My A To Z Music Challenge: Letter C – Celestial Fire

Celestial Fire is a fantastic new progressive rock band. The band is led by ex Iona founder and guitarist Dave Bainbridge. With Iona disbanding recently one could easily view Celestial Fire as the new Iona. On lead vocals is the fantastic Sally Minnear. Dave Bainbridge has been working with her over the last few years. She appeared on his most recent solo CD in 2014. The two have also been performing live as a duo. Kudos to Dave Bainbridge for his choice of Sally Minnear, she is a wonderful vocalist.   Now she is the focal point of Celestial Fire.

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Currently Celestial Fire exists only as a live band performing songs from Iona and Dave Bainbridge’s solo albums. The band is up to the task as they play this material with excellence. Sally Minnear has a fantastic voice and she handles the Iona material quite well. Anyone familiar with Dave Bainbridge knows that he is an ultra talented guitarist and a fantastic keyboard player. The rest of the band, consisting of ex Iona drummer Frank Van Essen, Simon Fitzpatrick on bass and Dave Bronos on guitar, are top notch musicians.  With this much talent on board the next logical step is obvious.  Celestial Fire needs to get into a studio to write and record an album.


The band recently released a live CD/DVD entitled Live In The UK that is highly recommended. Several Iona songs are included, among them are Today, Chi-Rho and Beyond These Shores just to name a few. I am not sure what the future holds, but I definitely want to hear more from this fantastic band. Celestial Fire is first and foremost highly recommended to fans of Iona. If you love the music of Iona then this release is a must. I would also recommend this release to fans of well written and intelligent progressive rock.


Troy T.

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