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Issue 6 - March 2013

Featuring Interviews With Skarlett Riot Halestorm Great White

PLUS Stryper Dio Mortiz Jo Harman UFO Neverstar Dorris Brendel Dendra Voodoo Vegas Band Features News Gig Listings

“You have to recognise when things aren’t going well, and challenge yourself to get over them”

THE GRAPEVINE - 5 For your latest news in the rock world! FEATURES 20 Focus on Blues 30 Where Are They Now? 44 18 & Life 57 Underground Focus INTERVIEWS 10 Lzzy Hale 14 Great White 32 Skarlett Riot 36 Doris Brendel 48 Virgil & The Accelerators Live Reviews 12 UFO 18 Skunk Anansie 25 Tommy Emmanuel & Martin Taylor 26 Halestorm 35 The Room CD REVIEWS 08 Dio Mortiz 22 Jo Harman King King 24 Jeff Healey 28 Satan 29 Dendra 42 Sebastian Bach Angelo Tristan 43 Voodoo Vegas Neverstar 46 Banjofondo Virgil & The Accelerators 50 Stryper

Lzzy Hale

“I was a witness to the most horrific tragedy you could ever imagine” Mark Kendall

“I think a lot of females in the rock world are looked down on” Skarlett

“Oh! and she washes out of clothes without staining!” Lee Dunham on Doris Brendel

GIG LISTINGS - 56

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FROM THE EDITOR They say time flies fast when you are having fun, and that is certainly no exception here in the Firebrand dungeon, Issue 6 already! Seems like only yesterday we started the magazine, but I can’t go all whimsical over fond memories, and trust me this really is not the place to get the Kleenex out, but as ever a huge thank you to all our readers for making this worthwhile. Last month saw the announcement of our very own festival Skyfest which is taking place this September on the 21st and 22nd at the Intake club in Mansfield. We are looking forward to seeing as many of you there that can make it, It is going to be a killer show and with the announcement having gone out recently that the excellent X-UFO are coming along to join the fun, promising to make the whole Skyfest experience a real treat for the ears. This month sees the start of a new section in the magazine designed by yours truly in which we explore the making of the video’s released by our favourite artists. Kicking this new section off is Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham’s new video for ‘Kind To Be Cruel.’ As ever lots of new things are happening over at mission control and we will keep you posted over the coming weeks, but if you are interested in having a future in either Radio, Press or even PR send me an email at rick.palin@skyfirepr.com Keep it rockin peeps Peace and Respect Doc

Editor In Chief Rick Palin Senior Media Consultant Rachel Whiston Reviews Editor Lee Walker Reviews team Mel Delacroix Jon Seymour Graham Pritchard Paul Nicholls Contributing Writers Chris Nelson Tony Corner Reg Richardson Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download sales@fbrr2010.com Advertising Enquiries sales@fbrr2010.com Contact Telephone +44(0)1244 940961

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Just announced for Saturday 4

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The Grapevine GOO GOO DOLLS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘MAGNETIC’ MAY 6th, 2013 Goo Goo Dolls have a long history – when the band started 27 years ago, they were a post-hardcore/thrash band – ripped jeans, baseball cap backwards, guitars slung low. Listen to Scream , and there is no better example of post-punk perfection than Ain’t That Unusual. Then in 1998, came Iris, arguably one of the biggest songs of all time and things would never be the same for them again. It brought them to a whole new audience - the album from which it came, Dizzy Up the Girl, has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Recently, three of the band’s songs were placed in Billboard’s Top 100 of 2002-12, with “Iris” standing at No. 1.

assembled a new studio band, including Vinnie Colauita (Sting, Jeff Beck) on drums, Chris Chaney (Janes Addiction) on bass and Mike Keneally (Dethklok) on keyboards. “The idea was to crank up the energy level of the sessions, and allow for more individual expression from each player. The chemistry with Mike, Chris and Vinnie was fantastic and we blazed through the tracks with everyone laying down amazing performances.”

Now, this multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated band are feeling particularly good about their tenth album, Magnetic, due for release on May 6th 2013. More to the point, the Goo Goo Dolls are feeling particularly good. Period.

THE UNION RE-SCHEDULE GIGS As you will almost certainly know by now we had to pull out of our London Islington Academy show last Thursday two songs into the set due to Pete's worsening flu. Despite hoping he would feel better the following day, he actually felt worse so we felt we had no choice but to postpone the remaining shows of the tour. Pete would like to thank you all for your supportive messages and the band as a whole want you to know that cancelling shows is always a decision made regretfully and never taken lightly.

“This album was really upbeat and fun,” says John Rzeznik, the trio’s primary singer, songwriter and guitarist since it was founded in Buffalo in 1986. “I don’t think we’ve made a record like this in a while.”

Our immediate concern was to allow Pete time to make a full recovery and re-schedule the cancelled shows for as soon as possible and we are now pleased to be able to announce the new dates which are;

Bassist Robby Takac, whose partnership with Rzeznik has been the band’s foundation since the start, has just had his first child, and Rzeznik is getting married this summer. That joy is all there in the spirit of the 11 new songs on the album, for which Rzeznik, Takac and drummer Mike Malinin the lineup steady since 1995 - recorded in New York, London and Los Angeles with Gregg Wattenberg (Train), Rob Cavallo (Green Day), John Shanks (Bon Jovi) and Greg Wells (Katy Perry). From the celebratory single “Rebel Beat” to the love-rediscovery ballad “Slow It Down,” from the blue-collar anthem “Keep the Car Running” to the meltingly romantic “Come to Me,” Magnetic is an album bursting with a spirit of renewal.

Tues March 26th - Wolverhampton Slade Rooms http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/The-Union-tickets/ artist/1429708

JOE SATRIANI UNVEILS TRACK LISTING AND ARTWORK FOR NEW ALBUM Legendary performer and the hardest working guitarist in the business, Joe Satriani confirms the release of his 14th studio album, “Unstoppable Momentum” in the UK on Monday May 6 (U.S. release is Tuesday May 7) through Epic Records/Sony Music UK. The album was recorded at Skywalker Sound in San Francisco and was produced by Satriani and Mike Fraser (AC/DC).

All shows were already very close to selling out so if you haven't already bought your tickets please don't hesitate as we anticipate the remainder will be gone very quickly.

Weds March 27th - Bristol Fleece http://www.seetickets.com/event/the-union/thefleece/664671 Thurs March 28th - London Islington O2 Academy http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/union-tickets/1295 All tickets already purchased for these shows will remain valid and anyone not able to make the re-scheduled dates will be given a full refund.

Once again thank you for your patience and we promise to make the re-scheduled dates worth the extra wait!

TRACER TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM "EL PISTOLERO" Australia’s award-winning powerhouse rock band Unstoppable Momentum dovetails Satriani’s UK Tour which Tracer are pleased to announce the long-awaited starts a month later on Saturday 8 June at the Manchester release of their new studio album "El Pistolero" - released in Apollo. the UK on Monday 6th May. The release will be supported by a re-scheduled UK tour that will start at the After returning from the South American G3 Tour in Sheffield Plug on 8th June, ending at the Isle of Wight October 2012, Satriani got down to writing new music over Festival on 16th June. the next two months. As he recalls, “A very prolific and cathartic two months followed resulting in a bundle of new Produced by Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Slayer, music I was very excited to get recorded.” Silverchair, Cold Chisel) the album is on target to make Tracer the band that everyone will be talking about in Eleven songs were selected to record, all of which were 2013. With the addition of new bassist Jett Heysen-Hicks, “heading in different directions and touching on a variety of founding members Michael Brown (vocals and guitar) musical influences.” With that in mind, Satriani

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and Dre Wise (drums) are determined to take Tracer to the next level. "The song writing has gone up a peg or two,” says Michael Brown. “Kevin had us doing things we would never have thought of doing and because of that we've stepped into a new realm. I think El Pistolero will define what Tracer is about, and why we're different to everyone else."

little way, help the charity’s noble cause. I hope you enjoy this cover and that you will never forget Jon and all the amazing things he did in his time.”

MONUMENT 'BLACK NIGHT' CHARITY SINGLE The legendary Deep Purple anthem “Black Night” is being released by London’s very own rising stars, Monument as a special charity single on April 8th to raise funds for The Sunflower Jam Charity.

RIOT|NOISE RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM 'STAND FOR SOMETHING' Bristol rockers RIOT|NOISE will release their long-awaited debut album 'Stand For Something' on June 3rd.

The Sunflower Jam is a high profile rock music event which donates funds and supports charities which provide complementary care to cancer patients. The last two years El Pistolero commands a high-energy mix of stoner have seen the event take place at the Royal Albert Hall with anthems, biker attitude and classic rock, it is the sound of a artists such as Alice Cooper, Brian May, Deep Purple, Jon 21st century band making their best album to date – a Lord, Bruce Dickinson, Paul Weller and a host of other rock high-energy collection on no-holds-barred rock’n’roll. It’s hot, legends pledging their support. The charity has been able to loud and sweaty. build a complimentary treatment room at Great Ormond Street hospital and this year, is working with the College of Tracer have come a long way since forming in Adelaide, Medicine to support research into alternative treatments South Australia around 10 years ago. They’ve made two for pancreatic cancer. independent mini albums; Into The Night (2006) and L.A.? (2009), but it wasn’t until they released their 2011 debut EDEN'S CURSE - SECOND STUDIO VIDEO DIARY EPISODE album Spaces In Between that people really began to take POSTED ONLINE notice. They’ve toured Europe 3 times, and won Best New Multinational melodic metallers EDEN’S CURSE have Band at the 2012 Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards. released the second episode from their fourth abum studio video diaries. Featuring bassist Paul Logue in LOSTALONE HOOK UP WITH PLEDGE FOR his home studio in Scotland recording the bass tracks for ALBUM #3 the brand new album and in particular the new track called PLUS ANNOUNCE APRIL 2013 UK TOUR + FESTIVAL “Evil & Divine” which was featured in episode one. The nine-minute video can be viewed below: APPEARANCES After successful showcases in Austin’s SXSW festival last week, LostAlone have made it back alive and are starting work on album number three! The band and their label have teamed up with Pledge Music to offer their fans a host of unique ways to get involved in the process and have smashed almost half their target in the first week of the launch. Check out a video announcement from the band here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/lostalone. Among the fourteen songs selected for recording are “Evil & Divine“, “Break The Silence“, “Unbreakable“, “Great Singer Steven Battelle says: Unknown” and “Devil In Disguise“. “This is the future, we hope you’ll enjoy sharing this experience with us… we’re literally exploding with creativity Mixing duties will once be performed by the band’s longtime to get back in the studio to record, then release in a timely engineer, pink cream 69 and UNISONIC bassist Dennis fashion (THIS YEAR), this new record! You guys, the fans, Ward, while German graphicdesigner Thomas Ewerhard supporters of LostAlone are essential to our existence so (edguy, avantasia, jorn) completes the same winning team who better to put our trust in than you!” who worked on the band’s previous album, 2011′s critically Before diving into the studio, the band will play at acclaimed “Trinity” record. The fourth album will be the first Nottingham’s Hit The Deck festival in April, as well as five UK to feature the band’s new vocalist, who at this point has yet shows with Canterbury, they then head to Brighton to to be named, from a meticulous audition process. appear at The Great Escape. Eden’s Curse’s follow-up to 2011′s “Trinity” album is Tickets cost £8 and are on sale now, visit scheduled for worldwide release at the end of the summer www.lostalone.com/tour for more info. via AFM Records.

Peter Ellis, vocalist of Monument said "We are very excited about releasing this cover of DEEP PURPLE classic 'Black Night’ as a tribute to the late, great Jon Lord whose work has heavily influenced all members of MONUMENT! It is fitting that Jon’s parts in the track are performed by one of our generations most accomplished and critically acclaimed keyboard players, our good friend Bob Katsionis (FIREWIND). It is also important to us to know that all profit from sales will be going to The Sunflower Jam charity which Jon Lord himself was such a big part of and that we can, in our own

Following on from 2009's 'Fight The People' EP - which created a buzz amongst critics and was supported by US and UK dates with the likes of Duff McKagan, Motorhead and The Blackout - the band's first full-length collection brings a hard and heavy edge to the aggressive, grimy rock they've made their name on. With hardcore/metal favourite Kev Peters producing, 'Stand For Something' fully showcases RIOT|NOISE's considerable technical skills, and displays a range and depth denoting an act with real staying power. Free download single 'Guidance' sets the mood on April 24th, in a stampede of snake-hipped Velvet Revolver-esque riffs and sneering, snotty attitude. The band then take the riot on the road for a UK tour in May.

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Dio Dream Evil Deluxe Edition 7 / 10 Record Label: Universal

Released: 4 March 2013

Highlight of the album: I Could Have Been A Dreamer Website: http://www.ronniejamesdio.com/

On the 16th of May 2010 one of rock music’s most iconic figures was taken from us when Ronnie James Dio sadly passed away. The ‘Deluxe Edition’ of ‘Dream Evil’ is the latest in the line of re-releases of Dio’s great work. Originally released in July 1987 ‘Dream Evil’ marked the 5th album that RJD released as part of the ‘Dio’ band and had the misfortune of being the last of the classic era ‘Dio’ albums to feature drummer Vinnie Appice. I have always felt that ‘Dream Evil’ never quite achieved the level of success that it really should have done, and didn’t reach the dizzy heights of albums such as ‘Holy Diver, ‘The Last in Line’ or ‘Sacred Heart’ previously did, perhaps this was due in part to the ever changing face of the music scene at the time, as it was passing through a metamorphosis where the older, classic bands was gradually being replaced by the emerging thrash scene, but I feel a lot of the blame was due to a lot of the songs on the album being not really too great to be honest, don’t get me wrong there are some great songs on there such as ‘Dream Evil’, ‘All The Fools Sailed Away’, and the anthem ‘I

Could Have Been A Dreamer’ but on the whole the remaining songs were pretty average for Dio’s high standards. The second cd features a selection of tracks mostly taken from Dio’s appearance at the legendary Monster’s Of Rock festival in 1987, where the band played on an all star line up consisting of Cinderella, W.A.S.P, Anthrax, Metallica with Bon Jovi headlining. While it is nice to be able to experience a live show recorded while the ‘Dream Evil’ album was still being pushed as part of Dio’s live performances this live recording has fairly recently been released so I feel slightly disappointed by its inclusion as part of this release and wonder if other material would have been better suited. Overall the ‘Deluxe Edition’ of ‘Dream Evil’ is exactly what it says on the tin and will certainly appeal to the Dio collectors out there, but as an album ‘Dream Evil’ didn’t impress back in the day and unfortunately still fails to impress now so the jury is still out on this one I’m afraid. Lee Walker

Mortiz SOS Record Label: Harmony Factory

10 / 10 Released: 16th March

Highlight of the album: Gonna Lose Her Website: https://www.facebook.com/moritzblitz

When this album began to drift out track by track to the station, I was not only impressed, well actually … damn impressed….but also a little worried. Why? Well … could the band possibly live up to the promise the tracks I’d heard alluded to? In short .. Oh yes …. And not only live up to the hype but surpass it.

subject matter (which I shall not divulge) made all the more poignant by the production treatment at the end of the song.

From the opener ‘Fire’ to the closing ‘SOS’ this album shows Moritz to be one of the most exciting bands around at the moment, this album, a follow up to 2011’s This album not only moved the goalposts, it picked up the ‘Undivided’ (and if you don’t have that one … go find it) ball and ran off with it! The single ‘Gonna Lose Her’ show development in just about all areas and to my ears opened the gates to this album and gave us a taste of the is just a superb slice of AOR …long may it continue. merchandise, immensely catchy with huge sing along The proof of the pudding as they say is, but can they do it hooks and the funkiest guitar sound this side of Bootsy live? Well … with appearances at Hard Rock Hell AOR in Collins. Once heard I predict you will be singing it for April and Skyfest in September this year we shall have weeks. The album doesn’t just contain the kind of classy ample opportunity to find out .. Watch this space .. But AOR that will make some bands weep with jealousy but ladies and gentlemen … the signs are very very good …. also includes magical auditory moments , one of my favourites being ‘Caught Between Life And The Light’ it’s Paul Nichols

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Lzzy Hale OF Interviewed by Jon Seymour First things first, congratulations are in order. Halestorm, GRAMMY award winners, has it sunk in yet? Yeah I know its freakin nutty, right? We obviously, if you seen the looks on our faces, did not expect it at all. In fact, we didn’t think they’d called us at first. We were like “Love Bites, who’s that? OH WAIT, THAT’S US!” We are so humbled by that though, as we were up against our idols you know, and people that we really admire, so we didn’t think we were going to get it at all. We were just happy to be nominated and going. We got to do the whole red carpet thing, and we were like “we’re not going to win, but this is like going to be the best day ever” and then we won, and I had a mini heart attack, and went running down the aisle in my heels, which was very unladylike, but it was really cool. You’ve managed to get a really big following over here in the UK too. The tickets for your current tour sold out just like that. It’s crazy, but we love the UK, and you’ve got some crazy rock fans over here, and I say crazy with the utmost respect. Anyone who would stand for six hours to get a ticket, or drive across the country to see a show deserves some respect. I don’t know if I’d do it for my favourite bands, so we’re extremely grateful to everyone that shows up.

You last toured the UK in September, so you’ve not been away that long, was there any particular reason why you came back here so quickly? We just can’t stay away we love you guys too much. You know I think that really we got a taste of the UK, and what the fans are like, and we only done a few dates last time, so people were bugging us to come back. We had an opening in our schedule so we like “ok, lets do it” and that’s what we did. On some of these dates, we’re playing with Bullet For My Valentine and we love those guys. I don’t know though, you can’t just go do a tour, and then not come back for another year you gotta keep the bed warm a little bit. The thing is though, its fun. We’ve got nothing holding us back, none of us are married, have families, have kids, none of us have houses really, we don’t own cars, so we’re like “lets just go out and do it while we can, just do everything” and that’s why we go out and play as many shows as we can. You played Download last year for the second time, how did the two occasions compare? You know it’s funny. The first time we played Download, it was sunny, the weather was hot, there was no rain, and we were like “this is amazing, people always say that it’s the most horrible weather of the year” and people were saying “oh no, you come again” and then last year, it was horrible. I forgot my

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wellies, and we were stood in mud over our ankles, and I had to wear something to keep my feet dry. It got to the stage where you couldn’t tell who were the girls and who were the guys, because there was so much mud. The thing is though, it didn’t do anything to dampen the spirits of the crowd, they still came out, 9am have a beer for breakfast, get up in the front row. It was great, you know?

You have to recognise when things aren’t going well, and challenge yourself to get over them.

2013 has already started in a big way, what has the rest of the year got in store for Halestorm? Yeah I know, if it gets any bigger I’m just going to explode. We’re heading out on a bigger tour this year though, going to play in countries we’ve never visited before, we’re just going to be very focused on that. We hardly got any time off last year, and I think this year will be the same. I’ll probably get to see my mom again at Christmas at this rate. That’s ok though, as anyone who comes out to see your shows can tell that you just love to be on that stage. Yeah, we were just talking about that the other day. You know, we love each other, we get on really well, like we are family. This is actually our tenth anniversary as a foursome, so we’ve been living together on a bus or in an RV pretty much all the time for the last ten years, so we really love each other. We get teased a lot by other bands, because they’re like “you’re having a day off and you four are going out and doing something together?” and we’re like “yeah?” and so then it’s “so you actually like each other?” and it really makes us laugh, but we’re really close, and we just love doing what we do. If you’re doing this for any other reason, if you don’t love it, and you’re doing it for the money, then don’t. You’re not going to get paid for a very long time, I don’t even have a house yet you know? There is a reason for that, because every dime I make goes back into the band, but the bottom line is, if you don’t love getting up on stage and playing, then go do something else, as you can make a lot more money doing something else you hate.

own press, and they’ll put something out there like “the lead singer is crazy” or some other gimmick. We haven’t had to do that as yet. The thing is though, with every decision you make, especially since I’ve sort of taken on the role as the spearhead of the operation, you come to a fork in the road, and you can either go left or right, and no matter where you go a new opportunity will open up. That’s what I’m addicted to, because every choice will take you down a different path. Its kind of like one of those “choose your own adventure” books, where you don’t know how it’s going to end, but you just keep going, and at the moment it feels like it’s beginning again, which is just wonderful. So I’m guessing then, that some of those decisions have been really hard for you? Oh yeah of course. I’ve had to fire people that I love in the past. I’ve had to keep my boys in line, which is more than a motherly, babysitting job. I’ve had to look after my brother too. You also have contractual decisions that are going to affect everyone in the band. You have to think “if I agree to this tour, are the guys going to be ok, or will it burn them out?” You also have to think, that if you sign a contract, then is that going to affect their lives further on down the line. It’s just responsibility, and ironically people think you get into music to run away from responsibility, but in reality, if you want to take it seriously, you’ll take on more responsibility than you would in your average office building, because you’re your own boss, and every choice you make is going to come back on you, so if something doesn’t go right, or someone doesn’t get paid, or someone isn’t doing their job properly, that’s not always their fault, because you hired them. It’s one of those things where we’ve definitely been through a lot, but I’m lucky enough that the guys are very supportive, you know, they trust me, which is scary sometimes. That’s kind of what Here’s To Us was about, because we do celebrate the good times and the bad times, you have to recognise when things aren’t going well, and challenge yourself to get over them, and things are never going to go well all of the time. It’s more about the journey as a whole, and if you can get through the hard times, then you’re still moving forward.

Around this time last year, you were here supporting Shinedown, and then the album was released, and it’s just kind of snowballed from there. Does it still seem a little unreal? You know? It still is. Sometimes I still don’t believe it myself. We know a lot of bands that sort of do their

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Support Bands - 4Bitten and Dendara Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, Saturday 23rd Feb 2013 On a cold winter’s night in Portsmouth, the crowd were soon warmed up by local band Dendera. These young lads wear their Piece of Mind era Iron Maiden influences proudly on their sleeves, which is no bad thing with a band this talented. Fast, technically complex, powerful metal backed by a tight rhythm section, two guitarists with real technical skills and excellent timing and the fantastic voice of Ash Edison soaring throughout, they fully justify their signing last year to independent label MetalBox Recordings. Recent support slots for Firewind, Kobra & The Lotus and UFO plus Saxon coming up and with a debut album to be released soon, this is definitely one band to keep an eye on. As always the highlight track for me was Bridges Will Burn.

showed that not only have they not lost any zest for life, but are obviously loving playing and thriving at this stage in their career.

Only a band at the top of their game and with such a great back catalogue could start their show off with Lights Out, probably one of the most iconic and classic tracks of their career, but that is just what UFO did in Portsmouth last night! Any sound issues evident in the mix were soon ironed out and by the second song, Mother Mary, it was obvious that the band were on top form once again. The sound was well balanced and clear, each instrument stood out and the playing from the band

There was a mix of old time classics and a sprinkling of newer material, based mainly around their excellent 2012 release Seven Deadly - Fright Night, Wonderland, Burn Your House Down and Mojo Town were all excellent. There was even a rare outing of two little played tracks Venus from the Walk On Water album, which I hadn’t heard before (what a track!) and Cherry from the Obsession album.

So, Phil Mogg can’t quite reach all the high notes, but he’s been in this game long enough to drop the register on the few occasions that he needs to. All in all his vocals were superb on the night and could be heard clearly, in fact better than on recent recordings I heard some people say.

For those people who are constantly harking on about getting Michael Schenker back in the line up I have one question for you – why? Vinnie Moore has been in the band for many years now and I’d put down their revival and obvious pleasure at playing firmly in his court. Having Next up were 4Bitten from Greece. I didn’t know these followed his solo career in the 80s/90s I was surprised but the band came out first and kicked off into the intro of when he joined UFO but boy has he done the band proud the first song and then singer Fofi Roussos bounded out and it is clear that he loves playing the classic hits as on stage full of life and vigour. As soon as she started much as he enjoys the songs he’s co-written too. He’s singing I knew this was going to be good – what a brought new life to some of the old classics and I don’t powerful voice! Unfortunately the second song suffered think I’ve heard them played so well, not since the when the guitarist’s amplifier blew, but full marks to Strangers album… Vinnie’s playing is something to be guitarist Tony Fuller from Dendera for running on stage seen and heard and he is very sympathetic to the key with his Marshall Head as a replacement! The band soon melodies from some of the best known rock songs ever. got under way again and delivered a great set of classic Not only does he keep parts identical, but even when he is hard rock. I just wish I’d had chance to listen to their new throwing some incredibly fast and intricate passages, he album Delirium before seeing them, another great band is always weaving in and around the original melodies laid to watch out for who no doubt picked up many new fans down by Schenker. Superior technical prowess while on the night. Standout track was Burning The Candle (At paying homage to one of my favourite guitarists of all time Both Ends). - bliss!

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Andy Parker’s drumming was rock solid all night, ably supported by great bass playing from Rob De Luca, leaving just one man to be mentioned….probably the most underrated musician going…it is of course Paul Raymond. All night he treated us to spot on guitarwork, fantastic keyboard playing and backing vocals. It was nice to hear the mix giving room to his wonderful keyboard playing allowing everyone to revel in the music. This is the third time I’ve seen the band in the past 5

years and each time I come away thinking – “WOW! There is a band playing at the top of their game, why aren’t they playing huge stadiums!!!” Oh of course, because the corporate world doesn’t think “rock” music is trendy! Another part of me though is glad because I get to see one of the greatest rock bands in a venue that makes you feel part of the show and where you can clearly see and hear everything going on. Roll on the next tour, miss them at your peril, it will be your loss! Tony Corner

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Mark Kendall of

Interviewed by lee walker Just after the release of their 30 Years Live At Sunset a singer named Butch Say who was a Rob Halford type Strip album, Firebrand magazine caught up with founding singer. We played around for months on end. Great White guitarist Mark Kendall for a quick chat about One day I called Jack Russell's parents just as a friendly the band, it’s history and what the future holds for them. call to see how Jack was doing. They said they were glad I called because they had a stack of letters from Jack for Great White have been around in one form or another for me and that Jack was being released earlier than around 30 years now starting off originally as ‘Dante Fox’. expected. The letters basically said please give me an How did the band originally come together? audition when I get out, I will blow away anyone you have. I I was in a band around the Los Angeles area called told the band about the letters and they agreed to the ZZYZX. We were playing around and we had original and audition down the road when he got released. When he cover material. I was becoming disheartened with my was released I auditioned him and the bass player and I singer who was 28 years old, which to me was ancient at liked him but the drummer didn't. He was asked to join the time, as I was the second oldest in the band at 20 due to a popular vote. The drummer ended up being years old. I heard about a singer through a friend of mine replaced by a guy named Gary Holland after a few who told me he was really good but quite young. I got his months. Then a year or so after Russell joined, the bass number and called him. It took about 3 weeks to put it player took off because he said we weren't heavy enough together but the singer came and auditioned for my band. which ended up being 3 weeks away from our meeting After I played him a with Niven and getting a couple of songs I had distribution deal in place. written it was decided He was replaced by a guy we would leave this called Lorne Black. situation and start our own band. What prompted the This gentleman's name name change from was Jack Russell. We ‘Dante Fox’ to ‘Great got a drummer and White’? bass player and When we met our rehearsed for a few manager, Alan Niven, he weeks and started suggested the name playing around under change. Niven said he the name Highway. heard it when I stuck my Then, we changed it for head out of a car window some unknown reason and screamed something to Live Wire. Then, I was out driving by The on my way to a day job Troubadour in Hollywood and stopped by a store and some kid said there that morning and I goes Great White. noticed on the front page of the paper it said ‘Jack Russell Shoot's Maid In Speaking of Alan Niven, how did you come across him and Botched Robbery Attempt.’ I said it can't be the same guy. what made you choose him to be the bands manager? I called his mom and it was him. The next thing I heard, he He worked for an independent record label called Enigma. was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He introduced Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mench to Don Dokken who became Dokken's managers. Niven was The bass player and drummer took off so I was left to looking for a rock band and asked Don who the best band start again. I found a bass player from San Diego after around was and he said Dante Fox. Niven came to see us putting out an ad. I auditioned him and 2 or 3 drummers. play and didn't like it. Don said your missing it, their good I loved the bass player who's name was Don Costa. The so he came and saw us again. Niven still hated us. Don drummers were horrible so I called the drummer I had said ok I am going to go with you because I don't buy it. before named Tony Richards. We found a singer who On his third visit for some reason we played ‘I Don't Need was actually a female named Lisa Baker. We called the No Doctor’ from Humble Pie that night and Niven said band Dante Fox. We played all original music and were wow this could work. He gave us his card and the next playing everywhere. We were doing showcases for record morning we went to see him and had a meeting. At the labels and pushing hard as Lisa had connections through meeting he changed our name and became our her father who was in television. Then a guitar player manager. named George Lynch stole our singer. We then recruited

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Around that time I believe he was also doing work for the likes of Guns’n’Roses, Motley Crue etc etc. How much do you think he influenced the development of the rock scene at the time? GnR came much later. Motley had already been shipped off to Electra. He was everything to us. He became our lyricist and shaped us. He brought all my influences out of me. He molded the band into what it has become. He was a genius when it came to business. He had a gift when it came to being a musical visionary.

Did you think that it would be as popular as it became? No.

Looking back through your bio once the early 90s hit the band seemed to ‘stutter’ bouncing between highs, such as doing massive, seemingly never ending tours, even touring Japan twice, playing big festivals such as the ‘Memorial Day Weekend festival’, which featured the likes of Whitesnake, Skid Row, Bad English, Hericane Alice and yourself, and the lows such as the shuffling between three or four different record labels, lineup changes etc, before eventually separating in 2001. What do you attribute this too? Music had gone through many changes. I was ready to do A lot of people credit the work that Don Dokken and Michael Wagener did on the production of your debut EP some solo work away from Great White. Jack wanted to do ‘Out Of The Night’ for getting you noticed and later signed solo work. I am sure the rest of the guys were up for other things as well. We all needed a break, as we had never really to EMI. What was it like working with them? had one. Even though we put out a farewell type record we It was Don's idea to bring in Michael Wagener to make didn't really break up as much as we just stopped. There was our EP from his work with him in Germany. So we flew no animosity. I knew it wouldn't be permanent. Look at how him out from Germany. Don and Michael produced the many farewell tours The Who has done over the years along EP. Wagener was a total pro and Don helped fix the lyrics with many others. The only real line-up changes at that point and make the choruses better. It was great to work with were the bass players.

anybody at that point. They were both great to work with.

I believe around 2002 you (Mark) joined up with Jack Russell to form ‘Jack Russell’s Great White’. What were the reasons Shortly after releasing your self-titled debut album you were touring with the likes of Whitesnake, Judas Priest, behind this decision? I never joined up with Jack Russell to form Jack Russell's Great and Dokken. What was it like being a part of the rock White. I had just finished a tour with my solo band and I rescene back then just as it was about to take off? ceived a call from Jack's manager. He said Jack was touring We toured with Whitesnake in the UK after the EMI with his solo band and put out a solo album. He said the ticket release. Niven went crazy trying to get us on a follow up sales were suffering horribly and would I go out and help. I said tour in the US with Judas Priest and made that happen. ok I would. At the time he was playing all solo material except at We were excited with everything. This was all new to us the end of the show, he played Once Bitten Twice Shy. When I came out it was decided we play all GW material and only a touring and playing arenas and having videos and stuff. We didn't tour with Dokken back then. We didn't play with couple of his solo songs. Since this was still his solo band but I them until after we released Shot In The Dark in 1985 or was out it was decided to call it Jack Russell's Great White. Essentially it was Jack's solo band and solo tour, with me in it. so and wasn't really a tour we only played 4 or 5 shows

with them I believe.

The ‘Jack Russell’s Great White’ period of the band was marred by the terrible fire during the Rhode Island gig. If you Whenever anyone asks me to name a song that Great don’t mind me asking, what caused the fire? White have released, I, like a lot of people, automatically Flammable foam that lined the entire club caught fire from think of ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’. Why did you decide to pyrotechnics they were using. The ironic thing was the press produce a cover of this song? reported this was Great White playing. The fact was it was a failing Jack Russell solo tour with me inserted to try and save it. After our Once Bitten album ran it's course the obvious Those facts have never been brought out except for possibly follow up was Twice Shy. Alan Niven had extensive knowledge of British bands. He came to us with that song some recent interviews. Neither Michael Lardie or Audie and we thought it was ok. We didn't think it would be the Desbrow were there that night.

single but the record company insisted on it. Of course they were right. Picking singles isn't one of my strong suits, I guess. We have had other songs that charted high, but none have ever received the attention that got. I think our band goes much deeper than that track, but if people automatically think of OBTS it's not going to bother me or anything.

I was a witness to the most horrific tragedy you could ever imagine

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It seemed like the whole thing deeply affected yourself shows with us. When Jack couldn't return it took us and the other members of the band. How did you cope about one second to make our decision, we loved Terry with the aftermath of it? Ilous by this point. This was the worst thing that has ever happened. I was a witness to the most horrific tragedy you could ever imagine. I prayed with my pastor on a daily basis for months. I saw 3 psycho therapists and 1 psychiatrist. The thing that has helped me through is the prayer and fellowship with all my friends who are surviving victims of that night. The love and fellowship has helped me through. We are in touch practically daily. I have some wonderful friends for life in Rhode Island.

Everyone is healthy, sober, and focused on doing what we love

How did the transition from ‘Jack Russell’s Great White’ to a reformed ‘Great White’ come about? After the tragedy we found out there was a way we could help the people of Rhode Island. We could raise money for the families by playing shows and donating all the proceeds. We decided to just use a hired band for the How do you think the fans have reacted to Terry Ilous’s moment to make the permanent inclusion in the maximum dollars for the band? families of the victims. This The fans have been just was strictly a benefit tour great. Terry kills it every for Rhode Island, nothing night on stage and the fans else. When we talked about have been very supportive. doing another Great White Terry had been in the band record is when we talked already as a fill in for Jack about a reunion with the for more than 80 shows. core members. I would We had played some of the never make a record with a markets 2 and 3 times bunch of hired guys. There already. So when it was is a sound and magic that announced who our new happens when we play singer was going to be, it together that doesn't wasn't that big of a shock as happen with hired players. our fans had already In 2006 we all got back witnessed the line up this together. way multiple times. Did you expect this ‘classic’ reformed lineup to hold together longer than it did? It's very difficult to predict that someone in your band is going to self-destruct. Everyone else has held up fine. As far as the band we have never been better. It's hard to watch someone go down a drug-infested road of self destruction and you can't help no matter how hard you try. The only way to help an addict is if they want to get well. It's unfortunate that Jack has chosen this path.

Where did the idea to release ‘Live 30 Years From The Sunset Strip’ come from? Our very first record was in 1982. We wanted to celebrate this milestone of 30 years as a band by bringing it back to where it all started for us, in Hollywood California on the Sunset Strip.

During this eventful period you had Jani Lane (from Warrant) as well as Terry Ilous (from XYZ) fulfil vocal duties for the band before finally settling on Terry. What was the deciding factor in selecting who replaced Jack permanently in the band? Terry had been filling in for Jack for a year and a half. We kept hearing different dates that Jack was returning but when those dates rolled around, some other excuse would unfold. The problem was he hadn't stopped what got him where he was. Every single thing wrong with Jack Russell has stemmed from major drug abuse. He destroyed his body. All the muscle was stripped from his legs from massive opiate abuse. Jani had done 9 or 10

Great White has quite an extensive back catalogue of songs. How did you select the set list that was played? We just talk it out as a band.... As a band you appear to be quite active right now, last year you released a brand new studio album (‘Elation’) and recently you released ‘Live 30 Years From The Sunset Strip’ album. What do you have planned to do next? Can we expect to see Great White in the UK at any point? Yes we have stayed very busy with making video's, doing a ton of press, and making new music for our fans to enjoy. We really hope to get overseas as soon as possible. We are looking at options now. We will be making another studio album at some point in the not-so- distant future. It

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is our goal to make our next record the very best Great White album in the history of the band. Our next record is going to get our full attention and we are going to strive with everything we have to make it the very best we have to offer. How do you think this 2013 version of Great White compares to the previous versions of the band? The core of the band and the musical driving force has always been Michael Lardie, Audie Desbrow and I, and that is intact. Michael and I wrote all the music for the band and are the key songwriters in Great White. Alan Niven wrote all the lyrics for the band in our heyday. The one thing that stands out to me that's different is that there isn't any major drama distracting from our music.

communication. Everything is faster. Up and coming bands have to pay to play now. There are no record stores. I miss that. Going to record stores was always cool, now it's a thing of the past. The population has grown and the traffic is unreal. It's much faster to record because of Pro Tools but it takes you longer to the studio because of the traffic. People download your music free now. The industry has changed completely. Nothing really bothers me, but I wish it were easier to get our music to the people. We have an awesome promotional staff, though, and they know how to work the internet and help us communicate with our audience.

Are there any up and coming bands out there you would recommend keeping an eye on right now? Nothing is coming to me at the moment, but there always Everyone is healthy, sober, and focused on doing what we great new things happening with up and coming love, which is to make music and play it live. When you musicians and bands. insert drug addiction and abuse into a band, the fun is stripped away. When the addiction leaves your area, the Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to fun returns. We are now all having a great time and really your fans? enjoying every moment. Music is fun again and so easy. I Yes, Great White fans are the greatest fans on the had forgotten how easy it is when all you have to do is planet. I would like to personally thank you for all the love, perform and kick maximum ass! support and loyalty over the years! You can't even imagine how much you mean to us. We are grateful to How do you think the rock scene now compares to how it have you all as fans! We will see you on the road! was back when you were first starting off? The whole world has changed with internet and Rock On, Mark Kendall/Great White

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Wolverhampton Civic, 21st March 2013 So this was my birthday and what do you do on your The band exuded rock; tremendous guitar licks from birthday? You get drunk don't you? Not this time, the Ace (Martin Kent), throbbing bass from Cass (Rich last time I got drunk with Lewis) and thumping percussion my camera I forgot what from drummer Mark Richardson I'd done with it, so (no relation) combined to support drunken shenanigans the aggressive lyrics delivered by were deferred. Skin in a high energy performance in which she leapt around the This was the first time stage like something possessed; since the bands all this made for a truly reformation tour in entertaining set which had the 2009 they had crowd going right from the first appeared in Wolversong. By Skins own admission hampton and not having some of the songs were 'a little bit seen them previously political', all of the songs, however, this was a new were full of energy which had the experience for me. The entire crowd bouncing along evening turned out to be regardless of age, colour or very loud, highly sexual orientation, everyone joined energetic and gay! Yes, I in, it was fabulously atmospheric. did say that. Gay icon Deborah Dyer, better This tour was to promote their known as vocalist Skin, 2012 album Black Traffic, their certainly attracted a very third, and most popular, album wide cross section of since reforming with six songs people to the evenings coming from it in the 21-song performance which was far removed from the salvo. In fact tracks were taken from each of the somewhat over-produced commercial releases of previous four studio albums as well as two tracks the 1990's. which were only available as digital downloads,

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making this a fitting review of the bands' history and how much they had developed and evolved.

The set opened with 'Skank Heads', which immediately set the scene, and this was followed by 'I will break you' and 'I believed in you', both from the new album. Their latest single, 'This is not a game', released earlier this month got an airing around half way through the set. Of the best chart singles both 'Hedonism' and 'Charlie Big Potato' were played but the set was oddly missing 'Brazen', their most successful single. Skin crowd surfed around the hall and 'Charlie Big Potato' finished the main part of the set. After just enough time to draw breath the band were off again with a 3-song encore finishing with 'Little Baby Swastikkka'. The crowd wanted even more but it wasn't going to happen, so the hooting and clapping went on as the audience dispersed into the snowy environs of Wolverhampton. If you're a rock fan but weren't sure about seeing a band like Skunk Anansie let me make your mind up for you - go and see them, you will not be disappointed in any way. It's as simple as that really. The birthday was rounded off nicely with a few beers in the Giffard Arms, a quite unique city-centre drinking hole. Cheers all!

Reg Richardson

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So what’s been happening in the world of blues over the last month? Well it’s actually been fairly quiet on the release front, as far as I know at least. There have been a few releases of note, and they’re reviewed in this here magazine, so please read them to see what we thought of them.

don’t know, this is one of the (if not the) biggest rock/blues festivals in the world. There was a lot of competition too, with many well known and popular musicians all fighting for the slot, and it was a very close call by all accounts. A couple of releases that have just dropped into my lap are worthy of mention too. I’ve got the new one from Pearl Handled Revolver entitled This Mountain Waits and honestly, it has a lot to live up to because their last album was awesome. Also one Mr Zakk Knight, a blues artist from the US, has just released an EP on the 22nd March, it’s incredible. Entitled ‘To: Mr Know All’ it’s a showcase of talent, that’s already heard him hailed as “the next blues/rock titan” which by all accounts, is high praise indeed. Reviews of both of these releases will be appearing on the website very soon. That would be http://www.fireflameservices.com if you didn’t know already by the way.

Photo By Christie Goodwin

In other news, Joe Bonamassa has announced a UK tour in September, playing some arena dates. The ticket prices for the shows have caused some outcry from his fans, but this is not the place to grind axes, so I’ll say nothing more on the subject.

We would also like to congratulate Philip Sayce on winning the coveted slot on the upcoming Crossroads Festival in the US. For those of you that

UK blues maestro Danny Bryant has also announced that he’ll be releasing his next studio album on 6th May too. Entitled ‘Hurricane’ and with a free track available from http://www.dannybryant.com/free-download/ it’s definitely something to look forward to. Also coming out on the 6th May here in the UK is If

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The River Was Whiskey which is the new album from Spin Doctors. It’s a blues based album, and it could well be one of the biggest surprises so far this year. I have high hopes for that one, that’s for sure.

This monthly feature is something new that we’ve introduced, so if there’s something news worthy, such as an upcoming release or tour that you think we should know about, or a festival, or anything else that you think may be of interest, then please get in touch by sending an email to jon@fbrr2010.com and I’ll do my best to include it. Thanks for reading.

On March 26th, the final of the third New Brunswick Battle Of The Blues takes place in London. This competition has been held for the last three years, and aims to find the best in unsigned British blues talent. The line-up for the final is: David Migden & the Dirty Words from Tunbridge Wells (winners of the Southern heat), Dove & Boweevil Band from Norwich (winners of the South East heat), Street Corner Blues from Carlisle (winners of the North East heat), Laurence Jones Band from Shipston-onStour (winner of the North West heat), The Boston Tea Party from Dundee (Scottish heat) and the Judges’ Choice is Ben Smith from Sawston near Cambridge. The winner of this will win an all expenses paid trip to New Brunswick in Canada, to take the stage during the world renowned Harvest Jazz And Blues Festival. We’d like to wish all entrants the best of luck in the final.

If you like blues then check out Tony Corners dedicated Blue’s show on Firebrand Rock Radio every Sunday 7-9pm (UK)

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Jo Harman Dirt On My Tongue Record Label: Self Release

9 /10

Released: 4 March 2013

Highlight of the album: Cold Heart Website: http://www.joharman.com

I’d been hearing great things about this album from a great many people in the blues circle, so it was one of those albums that I just HAD to listen to, so I could hear for myself what all the fuss was about. First up, this is not your standard “12 bar blues” album. It’s definitely a blues album, but it’s by no means run of the mill. Drawing on influences from gospel and soul, the album opens with a few ballads, and if I’m honest, lulls you into a false sense of what’s to come.

This album then, after listening to it, is much more than a blues album. Sure, the blues elements are there, but it’s infused with jazz, classic rock, and a lot more besides. The musicianship is also exemplary, and is the perfect accompaniment to whatever style is being portrayed in the songs. The song writing is also of a very high quality, with intelligent lyrics, and just the right amount of outside influence. This is an album full of music of the highest order, and a voice to match. In a world where the market is flooded with good music, it takes something great to make you sit up and take notice. Dirt On My Tongue is certainly something great, with a variety of styles contained within. Honestly, it’s a lot different to what I was personally expecting, but it doesn’t disappoint at all. Believe the hype, this is a stunning album.

The album opens up after the slow start, and takes you completely off guard. The one thing that’s prominent throughout is Jo’s vocal talent. She has an incredible voice, and is equally at home singing on a stripped back ballad, where she sounds completely vulnerable, or on a much punchier track, where she delivers power and precision effortlessly.

Jon Seymour

King King Standing In The Shadows 9 /10 Record Label: Manhattan Records

Released: 25th March 2013

Highlight of the album: Jealousy Website: http://www.kingking.co.uk

So then, King King are back with a bang, and out to prove that their first album wasn’t just a fluke. The blues boys exploded onto the scene back in 2011, with an almighty album, winning critical acclaim from everyone that heard it. Album number two certainly has a lot to live up to. No pressure then.

executioner of course, I fell in love with this album right from the opening track. There are some great guitar moments on this album, but there’s never that over indulgent solo that detracts from everything else. Again though, it’s about a lot more than just the guitar.

This is a phenomenal blues album, played with surgical like precision by everyone involved. I love the classic sounding keyboards too, which add a real “thickness” to the sound, and giving it a more wholesome feel. What I like most though, is the effortless way that everything seems to come together. One of the most difficult things to do in music is to work really hard on something, but still make it sound so easy to anyone that happens to listen. This album does just that though. It’s just so Of course, with me being very much a worshiper of the six natural and organic in the way it comes across. stringed axe, provided it’s put in the hands of the right Jon Seymour From the off, this album is pure class. Alan Nimmo’s vocals and guitar are just sublime. That of course, is not where it stops it’s just what strikes you straight out of the blocks. Delve a little deeper, and you will find a stunning contemporary blues album. Sure there are some straight ahead classic blues tracks, but they’re intermingled with some variations on that theme.

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Jeff Healey As The Years Go Passing By 10 / 10 Record Label: Inakustic

Released: 25 February 2013

Highlight of the album: While My Guitar Gently Weeps Website: http://www.jeffhealey.com Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund: http://www.daisyfund.org

“So you play pretty good for a blind white boy.” These were the words uttered by Patrick Swayze in the film Road House. I’m fairly sure that this was my first introduction to Jeff, when I was still quite young. Since then, he has grown to be one of my all time favourite musicians, with his unique style, and incredible voice. Five years after his untimely death in 2008 from cancer at the age of 41, we are treated to no less than three previously unreleased live concerts, which were lurking somewhere in the archives. This set is available as a 3 CD standard edition, or a Deluxe Edition which also includes the concerts on DVD, and a comprehensive booklet including side notes from the musicians involved with them. For the purposes of this review, I have been given the Deluxe Edition.

features performances from 1989, 1995, and 2000. On watching them, I found myself overcome with emotion. To see the man on stage where he belongs is extremely poignant. Jeff’s music, and his playing has always stirred something in me, you know, that feeling that gives you goose bumps because it’s so spine tingling. Yes when the music is THAT good, you just can’t help but give yourself over to it, and surrender completely. The production on both the CD and the DVD versions is second to none, and the DVD’s have been mastered in 5.1 Dolby Digital, for a more rounded sound. Honestly though, with the CD’s in your car, and the DVD’s on your DVD player at home, you can listen to it any time you like.

This isn’t just another album, it’s a piece of musical history. It charts the rise to fame of one of the finest musicians ever to pick up the guitar. I for What we actually get one am so glad that these with this, is some very concerts have seen the cool packaging, which light of day, because they folds out both ways to are so important to the history of the blues and to reveal the contents. The booklet makes for some interesting reading all by its self, and the concerts are guitar music in general. We should feel privileged to be given the chance to see them, I know that I am. a chronological look at Jeff’s musical career. It Jon Seymour

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With the release of their new joint album, The Colonel & The Governor, Tommy Emmanuel CGP and Martin Taylor MBE are in the middle of a long tour around the British Isles in support of this. It is obvious that both guitarists are thoroughly enjoying playing and improvising together. It’s the first time I’ve been to The Anvil in Basingstoke, and it’s a modern theatre, with excellent sound capabilities and was very well attended on the night by an appreciative audience. Sound was crystal clear allowing the different styles of the two players to be heard clearly.

spot. The beautiful melodies and intricate jazz performances from Martin were stunning, especially his totally improvised version of Over The Rainbow. He’d set his targets on improvising a completely new song each night, I just hope some of these nights have been recorded, because his version of this song was jaw-droppingly good. To then be told he’d never played the song before………….well!!!

Tommy’s highlights, too numerous to mention here, included Classical Gas and of course Guitar Boogie, but a special mention for the new song he’s written about the native American Indians – what a complex masterpiece. He used every single part of the guitar Martin Taylor comes from a jazz background and his to add sound effects, percussion sounds, plus the playing is nothing short of phenomenal, his jazz runs, strings of course…. If you shut your eyes, you could use of harmonies, melodies and his chord easily imagine you were on an Indian reserve and progressions were something to watch and listen to you were listening to tribal drums – astonishing throughout the night. playing. Tommy Emmanuel’s technique can only be described by one word awesome! A much overused word these days, but fully justifiable in this instance. Whether he was playing rhythm to Martin, intricate and extremely fast lead runs, using his guitar as a percussion instrument or the two solo slots he did, his playing was always totally mesmeric! He plays an acoustic guitar better than most players do on an electric!

Throughout the night, both players added humorous asides and information about the tracks and their friendship. Although far removed from the rock, metal and blues that I love, this has to go down as one of my favourite ever evenings – I can see now why both players have become legends! Joint highlights for me from the evening have to be Jersey Bounce, A Smooth One, Down At Cocomos and True.

As well as many of the numbers from the new album, both guitarists took it in turns to have a solo

Tony Corner

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Supported By: In This Moment and Sacred Mother Tongue Waterfront, Norwich - 6th March 2013 This was my second time at The Waterfront, and the first time I’d experienced the lower floor of the venue. The last time I was here, it was in the smaller area upstairs. My experience of the venue was again very good. I like this place actually, the sound is good, and they’re efficient with getting people in and out, and the gig experience is good from start to finish.

the first band on, but I can honestly say that they nailed it. Keep an eye on these guys, and if they are anywhere near you, they are definitely worth checking out.

I will say though, that the lighting left a little to be desired. The venue has a low ceiling, and such was the lighting at times that it felt a little claustrophobic. I’m sure it was done for atmospherics, but for the most part, the stage seemed very dark. This of course was an absolute nightmare for the photographers that were there. I don’t know whether or not this is the usual standard of lighting though, so I can’t pass judgement after being there only once. The first up on to the stage are Sacred Mother Tongue. The guys are based in Northampton, apart from Andy James who actually lives in Norwich. It was his first time playing at the venue, and being a local chap, he was pretty excited, as he’d been many times to watch bands here. These guys are also very good. They play a good mix of metal, and soon get the crowd on their side. I would have liked them to play a little longer to be honest, as they put in a really commanding performance. It’s always hard being

Photo By Jon Seymour

Photo By Jon Seymour Next up were In This Moment. These were the “unknown quantity” for me. I’d never heard of them before, and after checking out a couple of strange YouTube videos, I was a bit apprehensive. Their music is really heavy, and the vocals laid over the top are haunting and melodic. Occasionally though, I personally found the vocals getting lost in the music. Whether that was because I was in the vocal “blind spot” being in the front row, or whether the sound check wasn’t done properly is not for me to say. Overall though, the crowd enjoyed the show, and they joined in at every request. For me though, the performance was very disjointed. After each song, there was a couple of minute’s break whilst a costume change occurred, or someone moved some prop or other on/off the stage. It made for a very stop/start show, and as it went on, it lost momentum completely. I like theatrics, and I get why artists want to use them, I really do, but don’t stop the show for 2 or 3 minutes after almost every song. Without all of this messing around they could have gotten another couple of songs into the set, which would have been much more preferable to watching stage hands moving stuff about, or staring at an empty stage while someone put on a cape, or a hat....

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Halestorm have been on something of a march in the UK over the last year. Since the release of their album last year, things have gone nuts. I saw these guys back in September, and due to an early curfew, they managed just over an hour on stage. This time, with a much later curfew, we got the works. From the moment they stepped onto the stage, they owned the place. I honestly don’t know what was more deafening, the music from the front, or the crescendo of applause, shouting and whistling at the end of each song. The venue was sold out weeks in advance, so they were playing to a packed house. They get a decent amount of flack from the rock world though, because of their mainstream success, and more recently of course, that thing they call a Grammy.

Such was the frenzied level of the crowd though, I’m sure they could pretty much have played anything, and still got a massive cheer. As it was though, they played a blistering set, and for change out of £15 for a ticket, it was awesome value for money. This was Halestorm’s debut appearance in Norwich, and I think they can consider it very much a case of Veni, Vidi, Vici. There wasn’t anyone in the room that hadn’t thrown their arms up in surrender to the storm. What’s more, they said they wanted to come back, and if they do, I’ll be there again. It might not be “metal” to like anyone commercially successful, or cool, but that’s fine, as I’m not a metal fan as such. What I am a fan of, is great rock music, and this evening was full of exactly that, from beginning to end.

Photo By Jon Seymour Truth be told though, commercial success or not, they play a kick ass rock show. On top of a great set that showcased their own material, we also had covers of Dio’s “Straight Through The Heart” and Judas Priest’s “Dissident Aggressor” which would be brave enough covers to take on, but these guys delivered them faultlessly, and in doing so, added a heavier side to the show. At the other end of the scale, Lzzy’s piano and vocal solo on “Break In” provided a much more intimate moment, where she could connect directly with the crowd. This was followed by a new version of “Familiar Taste Of Poison” with the inclusion of a piano arrangement, which added another dimension to an already great song.

Photo By Jon Seymour

Photo By Jon Seymour

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Satan Life Sentence Record Label: Listenable Records

9 /10 Released : 29th April 2013

Highlight of the album: Twenty Twenty Five Website: http://www.myspace.com/satanscourt

Satan a band whose name was mostly forgotten about until recently when they reformed for a one-off gig at Wacken Open Air in 2004 followed by reuniting in their original ‘Court In The Act’ line-up for 2011's Keep It True festival. The band itself was a part of the original NWOBHM movement and have strong ties to both folk metal band Skyclad and Blitzkrieg so when news broke of a band new album release I jumped at the chance to review it. As soon as the album starts off you realise that Satan are determined to continue where they originally left off all those years ago by flying the flag of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal high, and continuing to write and record songs that are true to their original sound, with a

mix of screaming guitars, classic rock breakdowns and a NWOBHM lyrics and vocals, producing the same pre thrash New Wave hybrid sound now as they did back in the day making you feel like you have travelled back in time to witness this glorious period in musical history when the great rock bands roamed the land laying waste to all with there deadly use of guitars and punching drums. With ‘Life Sentence’ Satan announce that they are back, firing on all cylinders and raring to go, with their ‘sound’ still sounding as fresh now as it did back in the day and continuing the NWOBHM revival. Lee Walker

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If you want your band featured then send an email to sales@fbrr2010.com with ‘DLC Request’ as the email title for further details

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Dendra The Killing Floor Record Label: Metalbox Recordings

9 /10 Released: 6th May 2013

Highlight of the album: Bridges Will Burn Website: http://www.dendra.co.uk

Dendera are a band local to me on the South Coast and about to release their debut album The Killing Floor on 6th May through the independent label Metalbox Recordings. This is one band that has been making a real name for themselves with their intensive and thoroughly enjoyable live performances supporting some of the biggest names in the rock and metal world.

If you were to take the best bits of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the Scorpions, mix it all up, modernise it, add great musicianship, topped with soaring vocals, then you would begin to get close to describing the sound of Dendera. Each listen brings out more in the album and I love to be able to hear something different each time, to follow different instruments through the tracks.

The band is built around the rock solid and intense rhythm section of Bradley Edison on bass and Andy Finch on drums, the twin guitar assault from Stephen Main and Tony Fuller all topped with the soaring voice of Ashley Edison. The boys play a classic mix of traditional heavy metal but with a modern harder edge.

With the addition of a couple more songs, and maybe slower ones at that, the album would have rightly been worth full marks. Some of the songs have their slower parts but quickly resume an upbeat tempo. I find I get to the end of the album too quickly and have to start again at the beginning. Although all of the songs are 5-6 minutes ones, two slower songs to break the tempo up would enhance the album, but as debuts go this is a fantastic effort and Dendera is one name to keep an eye on for the future.

Although steeped in the Piece of Mind era Iron Maiden sound, the band are so much more than this, as this album proves, with 8 tracks of high quality, fast technical metal. Each player shows their skills and prowess throughout and the mix on the album is excellent, each instrument can be heard clearly. Ashley’s voice really soars at times, with some incredible screams and he proves what a powerful voice he has. Having seen them play most of these songs live, he can certainly hit the high notes and hold them. This is definitely the sort of traditional style of heavy metal that I love with the addition of a harder, modern edge to it. There’s no cookie monster vocals here which is a blessing and the vocals add to the music not detract from it. From huge, crushing, gritty and modern riffs to classic metal ones, the music veers between complex, interwoven instrumental passages into sung parts, with some stunning guitar solos and back to instrumental passages again. This is one very tight and experienced band for their age, and the years of honing their sound and songs live has really paid off with a great debut album release.

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It’s hard for me to choose a favourite track from the album; the album starts extremely strongly with the song For Vengeance and doesn’t drop in quality until the end. Bridges Will Burn is probably one - such a huge song and a future classic, but equally good are any of the other tracks, in any order, from the more straight-ahead metal of My Mercy and The Predator, to the more complex songs of The Killing Floor and Till We Fall. I’ve not had so much fun listening to a metal release for years and it was almost akin to picking up albums like The Number Of The Beast and Blackout for the first time, taking them back home and playing them to death!! This one has put a real smile on my face and is definitely going in the car and onto my mp3 player!!! Tony Corner

Firebrand Magazine

where are they now?

Formed in November 1983 by Steve Bentley, Kevin Dobbs, Nigel Dobbs and Phil Denton, Elixir where originally known as ‘Purgatory’ and ‘Hellfire’ before settling on ‘Elixir’ which apparently was chosen through Steve Bentley closing his eyes and putting his finger on a word in a dictionary at random. In need of a vocalist, Elixir recruited singer Sally Pike, but after recording a four song demo tape and playing two gigs together, she left the band towards the end of the year. In 1984 Pike was replaced by Paul Taylor, and later the same year guitarist Norman Gordon joined the band to fill the vacant spot left by Steve Bentley, who departed after Elixir had completed their second demo tape. In 1985, the band released their debut single ‘Treachery (Ride like the Wind)/Winds of Time’ which received positive feedback when it was reviewed by Ronnie James Dio in Kerrang! and later recorded their debut album ‘The Son of Odin’. Spurred on by the success of ‘The Son of Odin’, Elixir recorded their second album (initially titled ‘Sovereign Remedy’) in 1988 with Mark White on the bass and former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr. Stevie Hughes replaced Burr for the band's live commitments. At the end of the 1989, Phil Denton quit the band and was replaced by Leon Lawson for several live shows. Their second album was released by the Sonic label as ‘Lethal Potion’ in 1990 and in 2004 the album was re-released as ‘Sovereign Remedy’.

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In 2001 the band reverted back to the Paul Taylor, Phil Denton, Norman Gordon, Kevin Dobbs and Nigel Dobbs line up and in 2003 recorded their third album ‘The Idol’, which was made up of material the band had written in the 1980s and hit the touring circuit around various countries such as Greece, Germany and the USA. Elixir recorded their fourth album ‘Mindcreeper’ in 2006 followed by ‘All Hallows Eve’ in 2010. Between 2006 and 2012, Elixir organised six editions of the "British Steel Festival", appearing on the bill at each event. The band sadly decided to finally disband in 2012, with Paul Taylor and Phil Denton going on to form the band Midnight Messiah. Midnight Messiah are about to release their debut album ‘The Root of All Evil’ through Coldtown Records on the 5th of April this year.

Discography Elixir Treachery (Ride like the Wind) – Single - 1985 The Son of Odin – Album – 1986 Lethal Potion – Album – 1990 The Idol - Album – 2003 Sovereign Remedy – Album – 2004 Elixir Live - Live Album – 2005 Knocking on the Gates of Hell – Single – 2005 Mindcreeper – Album – 2006 All Hallows Eve – Album – 2010 Midnight Messiah The Root of All Evil – Album - 2013 For more information on the band check out: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elixir-TheUltimate-NWOBHM-band/339389072505?fref=ts http://www.facebook.com/MidnightMessiah? fref=ts http://coldtown.com/

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Skarlett of Skarlett Riot Interviewed Interviewed by Jon Seymour With a new album due out this month (check the review in Issue 5 of Firebrand Magazine) and a busy touring schedule, I thought it would be good to grab a chat with these young upstarts, to see what 2013 might hold for them. Here’s what front woman Skarlett had to say when we chatted.

Also of course, this is your debut full length album, so are you a relatively young band in terms of getting together? We’ve actually been together for two years as Skarlett Riot, but before that we were doing the old covers scene in pubs and clubs locally. We decided that we’d really like to write our own stuff, and take So 2012 was a pretty things a lot more big year for you guys, seriously. We’ve with appearances at actually been Download and Bloodtogether as a band stock. What’s that since school. Most been like for the band? of us were like It’s been amazing, fifteen, and our obviously it was our drummer was like first time appearing at ten or eleven, so the big festivals, and it we’re a tight little just all happened so family and we get quickly. It was a on really well fantastic experience together. We do though, and we’d love sometimes look to be able to do it again back on those sometime. days and cringe, and ask ourselves Speaking of which, is why we didn’t start there anything on the out writing our cards for this year’s own stuff, but I festival circuit? think without doing Not yet no, we’ve just teamed up with the guys at Factory that we wouldn’t have grown as well as a band, and we Music and Sharon is going to be handling our bookings wouldn’t have the capability to do what we’re doing now. for us now. We have a lot of faith in them, and hopefully We were able to experiment with improvisation, and get you’ll see us around this summer at some festivals, but some gigging experience under our belts, so we could get who knows? up on stage without having stage fright. These are the things we kind of take for granted now though. Download The new album is due out on 25th March, but it’s already last year though, was the first time I’d been properly been receiving some great reviews, how have you found nervous. About ten minutes before going on stage it hit that? me, and when we saw old those people out there we were We’re really chuffed with the reviews so far, Mik (Factory like “oh my God” but we did it, and it was an amazing Music) has been telling us about all of the reviews that experience. are getting published, and we’ve been bowled over by the response. This is the best music we’ve written, and to You’ve just been out and done a few dates with Heaven’s hear that people are really liking it is amazing. Basement, how did that go? They were really good, and each night was absolutely

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rammed full. We only did three dates with them, but one of them was our hometown, Grimsby. It was great to get up in front of our home crowd and really give it some. We got a really warm welcome, and we certainly got some new fans from doing those gigs. The Heaven’s Basement guys are really great too, they were giving us some really good feedback, and they’re great to be around, a lot of fun, and it makes everything go a lot smoother if you can get on with who you’re touring with.

Going back to the album, as it’s your debut full length, how was the recording experience? Did it take that long for you to get it right? Not really actually. We discussed doing another album, but at the time we decided to take a step back and probably do another EP. Sharon (Factory Music) said “no, come on, you really should be doing an album” as we’d not done one yet, and really gave us the push we needed to get things done. They So what about later wanted us to in the year, are be really big in there any firm 2013, and plans for more show tours yet? everyone what There’s nothing we’re about. confirmed yet, This discuswe’re hoping to go sion took place out on the road about six later this year months ago, though, but so we locked probably on a ourselves support slot. We away for about want to gain more six weeks or exposure, and try so to get down and get some more fans before we go out on a full to some serious writing. The whole album, in terms of the headline tour. We want to go to places we’ve not played music took us about a month to write. People quite often before and take our music to as many people as we can. assume that because we’re so happy with all of the songs We’ve got a few dates lined up for March though, we’re on the album, that it took a long time to get right, but playing London with Sister Sin on the 16th, and Voodoo Six these are probably the quickest songs we’ve ever done in in Manchester on the 28th and Grimsby on the 29th of terms of writing. The thing is though, we feel that if we March. We’re also working on a music video which will be didn’t have that push that we needed, and we didn’t have out early April to help promote the album, so we’re the pressure to get things done, we probably wouldn’t working really hard to try and get the album across. The have come up with anything near as good, so we’re really new single will be called What We’ve Become and we’re thankful to the guys for believing that we could do it, and really looking forward to see how it turns out. for pushing us to crack on and get it done.

So do you all share the writing duties in the band? Yeah, we usually sit down together and the guitarist will like throw off a couple of riffs, then the drummer will give it some rhythm, and our bass player will then come in and they’ll just be jamming along. Then once I’ve got the mood of the song, the lyrics just start coming to me from somewhere. Inspiration can come at any time, so you’ve always got to be open to it. Other times though, myself and the guitarist will get together with a couple of acoustic guitars, and write something, then take it to the band and rock it up a bit. This time though, we did things Obviously you’re trying to get your music out there, so a little differently, where we all got together and wrote our how would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard it own little parts, and it just worked really well. yet? Wow that’s a tough one. Basically we’re a hard rock band Do you have any particular favourites on the album? with catchy choruses, melodic hooks, fused with a bit of Ooh that’s a tough one, I’d say probably Rock n Roll grit and dirt really. I don’t like to compare us to other Queen, and What We’ve Become are my favourite ones. bands, as I think we’re quite unique. We mix rock, metal, Rock n Roll Queen is something I like to think is a little pop and others, because we’ve all got so many different different to the rest of the album. It’s a bit more blues influences, and we try to bring all of this together to make rocky, and yeah probably a little cheesy, but I think it’s something fresh and exciting. We probably do things that really good, and when we perform it live, it just goes down have been done before, but we’re trying not to follow the a treat with the audience, and they join in singing along. current trends, and we like to think we’re different to what the rest of the scene is doing right now. It might make things a bit more difficult for us, but we’d rather be different than follow what everyone else is doing.

I think a lot of females in the rock world are looked down on

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What about other artists? Is there anyone out there that people might have missed, and really should check them out? That’s also a tricky one. I’d have to say Heaven’s Basement because we’ve toured with them obviously, and they’re really great guys, and their performances are really tight. Dirty Youth are also doing quite well, they’re a female fronted rock band, and it’s good to see another female fronted band doing well. Halestorm too are really good, although they’re getting there already, but they’re great to watch if you like to see a female rocking out with a guitar.

Lavigne on the telly, I was like “I wanna do that, I wanna pick up and play a guitar.”

Do you find it quite hard being a female fronted band sometimes? Yeah it can be. Sometimes I’ve been networking, and trying to get some exposure for the band, and I’ve mailed people who have responded with “no, I don’t like female fronted bands” and they won’t even check us out. This really annoys me, because you can’t decide you don’t like something if you’ve never heard it. I think a lot of females in the rock world are looked down on, and as soon as they take the stage, people have already got an image in their head of what they’re going to sound like, and most of the time it isn’t a good one.

This may seem like a daft question, but where would you like to see the band at the end of this year? Obviously we want to be as successful as we can, but by 2014 we’d really like for the album to have done well, and to have done some high profile shows, so we can look towards maybe doing our own headline tour next year. That’s what we’re aiming for at the moment anyway. We’d like to be big, but it can take time, so as long as we can continue to go out and playing our music to people, that’s the most important thing. We love doing it, and if we can keep doing it, then we’re happy. You have to stay grounded, and if your expectations are too high, you’ll only end up disappointed. Would you have anything you’d like to say to the fans that you already have? Obviously, just thank you to everyone that has come to the shows, and is supporting us. We need to keep the live music scene alive, especially in this digital age, where people are downloading etcetera.

Have you ever met, or got to work with any of your personal heroes yet? Yeah, at Download last year I got to meet Brent Smith from Shinedown and he’s amazing, I really love his voice. I also got to meet Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and even managed to pass her one of our CD’s to listen to, that was really cool.

People will be sat at home watching some “talent show” on the tv or something, and not bothering to go out. I know money is a big problem at the moment, so we really do appreciate everyone that’s bought a ticket, or bought our merch, because obviously it helps us. Without the fans it just wouldn’t be possible to do what we’re doing, and for that we can’t thank them enough.

Who was it that really inspired you to become a female rock vocalist? One of my earliest was Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, I also listened to Heart, Blondie, and even ranging to, although you’ll probably cringe, Kelly Clarkson, and Avril Lavigne. I was always rock and pop mixed, and Papa Roach and Bullet For My Valentine were also favourites when I was about thirteen, but as soon as I saw Avril

Finally, this is your chance to do the shameless plugging, so where can our readers go to check you out? Our website is probably the best place to go, as all of the other links to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, etcetera are on there. You can check out our website at: http://www.skarlettriot.co.uk

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Charity Single Launch Gig Jagz in Ascot, Sunday 3rd March 2013 One of the newer names in the realms of British prog rock, The Room debuted their album Open Fire at the end of 2012. Featuring a very accessible mix of prog and rock, it’s a melting pot of influences from across the whole band. Each member brings something different, whether it’s straight ahead rock, hair metal or progressive influences, all topped off with the unique voice of Martin Wilson. This was a launch night for their charity single, “Screaming Through The Noise” which is on sale through the band’s website www.theroom.eu/chect - CHECT is the Childhood Cancer Trust charity that helped support Martin and his son Joshua through the loss of Joshua’s eyesight during his childhood to Retinablastoma (Retinal Cancer). The album Open Fire really caught my ear when it was first aired and having played four songs from it originally on my show, on revisiting the album prior to the gig it made me appreciate just how damn good this album is! Having seen and heard it played live in its entirety now, I have to say that this is one band to watch for the future.

a live band and a punchy PA system). Backed by a constantly changing but rock steady rhythm section consisting of Andy Rowe on bass and Andrew Rae on drums, the band are always locked firmly in place. Steve Checkley is free then to add multiple layers of harmony, melody and at times mesmeric keyboards to the songs and weaving in, around and above all of this is the sublime, powerful, melodic and tasteful guitar work of Steve Anderson and his Parker Fly guitar. This was a band that could be enjoyed on so many different levels, and I found myself constantly swapping reference points from instrument to instrument. The Room is clever music that can be listened to again and again. With a supportive and really appreciative audience, this was a night to remember and thoroughly enjoyable. The band just need more gigs now and some exposure, once you’ve been “Roomed” there’s no going back!! If the band appear near you, go and see them!

Difficult to pick highlights from such a strong set list, which included a couple of songs from Martin’s previous The sound on the night was very clear and extremely well band Legacy (also excellent), but for me if I was forced to balanced, allowing all of the many layers of The Room’s choose any it would be A Casual Believer, Screaming music to be heard and appreciated fully. Martin Wilson’s Through the Noise and In The Shadows. Special mention voice was note perfect throughout and came across though for Behind The Silence and The Spark, two more powerfully than on the record (a common thing with wonderful songs! Tony Corner

Photo by - Angus Thomas Photography

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Doris Brendel and

Lee Dunham Present

The New Video ‘Kind To Be Cruel’ Special Feature by Rick Palin 36

Firebrand Magazine

In a new series to Firebrand Magazine I will be bringing to you these special articles on some of our favourite bands going behind the scenes of the making of new videos, new albums to give you an insight into the work involved when creating these great projects we all enjoy. First in line for our behind the scene’s treatment is the brilliant new video from Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham for “Kind To Be Cruel”. The video can be viewed from the button below

Steve Walker What attracted you to the project ? The project sounded a very interesting proposition when i was first told about it, straight away I thought ...yes let's make all these weird and wonderful ideas work but initially the only thing the project was lacking was a narrative of some sort,...and then i had a brainwave! A little bird tells me that the idea of the tramp in the video was all down to you ? Yes, that was my brainwave! funny but when Doris suggested Roger smartly dressed watching a surreal show through a pair of Opera glasses, I thought. No, let’s go to the opposite end of the spectrum and make him a tramp, let’s make the video a Dream sequence!? and film him asleep on a park bench and in different places at the venue watching the show, asleep, half awake and in various states of confusion. To be honest the tramp scenes worked far better than I thought, and you have to remember that the guy had never acted before, and yet in the video he looks like a pro actor, check the Scene of the tramp playing the piano, cracks me up that, cos he looks just like a ham fisted kid, classic stuff lol

What is the most important part of making a video in your eyes ? Difficult question, i would say having a Narrative, I love doing videos with Metaphors and Semiotics, anything that provokes thoughts really, as opposed to just throwing loads of images together that make no sense what so ever. Oh i nearly forgot of course you have to include some humour in the video somewhere lol

Lee Dunham Lee, you have worked with Doris for quite some time now but “Not Utopia” is your first “official” joint project. Tell me what is Doris like to work with ? Doris is a bit like playdoh to work with! Extremely fun, malleable, smells edible (although you can't eat her) comes in a range of colours, and makes beautiful musical shapes of just about everything!....... Oh! and she washes out of clothes without staining! After working together for so long you get to the point where nothing you can say can upset the other! Obviously I've learned to know what rubs her up the wrong way and avoid those topics/conversations unless, for fun, I'll do some "up the wrong way rubbing" just to start an argument. I do love a good row sometimes! lol Regarding the album, most of my time was spent in the studio producing the tracks alone so we only really worked together when she was putting her vocals down in the studio. The internet has changed things. We could send the files to each other to listen to and converse without being in the same room. As professional musos, when you are working there is not enough time to argue as the job in hand is paramount and takes up all conversation. Socially she is a great person to be around!

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There is obviously a very strong creative dynamic between you so when faced with a video project how does the creative process work? Sit Backstage with 5 or 6 hours to kill, get a pen n paper (old school) and write down as many ideas that we can on as many topics as possible. Once we've agreed on ideas that we like, Doris goes ahead and does the background work i.e. getting the record co. to organise camera crew, etc although this time, because the orchestra we used was based in Hertfordshire, I wanted to use locations close to them, so I ended up doing research for venues!

Who came up with the idea for the Unicycle? I can't remember who thought the unicycle should be in the video.

We gigged somewhere, a few years back and in the dressing room was a unicycle! With a few hours to kill it didn't take me long to get the hang of it, starting off between a door frame. I loved it as Doris could tell. Sure enough, next birthday I got a large box through the post and a wonderful unicycle was mine. As with most things there is a bad side to these contraptions! Lots of fun until someone got hurt.......... me. I'd had it for 3 months and had never fallen off. So showing off in On the day there is soooooooo much to get right! You front of some friends went arse over tit down the only have so much of actual shooting time so the ground work is so important! There was a big cockup garden path; put both hands out to save my face hitting the floor and sprained both wrists. No guitar this time on set. The venue we shot the video in, on their website, looked perfect! So we booked it without playing, no mouse control on the computer and no wanking! for a month!!!! Needless to say, the unicycle checking it out as the orchestra use it for concerts. So was resigned to the shed! Until our video!! We knew i thought, if its good enough for them....... However, when I turned up on the day, the floor of the place was the video's dream plot needed something odd and thought the unicycle would fit right in! actually a 5 aside football pitch!!!!! After much panic and help from my bro Chris, We had to make a fake Let that be a lesson to all you wannabe circus freaks floor which took a couple of hours!! Filming time wasted already! Little things overlooked become costly! out there! I've never used that much gaffa tape before. lol!! As this video was a dream it meant anything goes. The weirder the prop, the better, strange combinations like kids toys tied with metal chains and padlocks. Very thought provoking!

Roger Beleffi

As a long time fan of Doris’s work, what impresses you about her music so much ? Doris has an extraordinary and powerful voice which greatly impressed me. Her singing along to the track as well as her looks at the video shoot also impressed me.

As the director for the video how do you picture what you want to see on screen? That's the hard bit! Painting pictures, making music and shooting videos are all very difficult to get right! You have an idea, you think you know how to get the idea out, but sometimes no amount of planning can get you what you envisage! Writing the video in clips helps, but the actors/ actresses/ musicians never do exactly what you want, so go with the flow sometimes and be surprised with the results! Works for me. It also keeps you excited about the outcome as you never know what you’re gonna get! If it comes out crap....... Screw up the picture, throw away the chord structure, delete the video files...........you can always start again!

What made you want to invest in her projects? Ie the Video and the forthcoming new album? Doris still has many projects to come; of that I'm certain and I will gladly support her. She is just brilliant! To be instrumental in the progress of the album is for me a sheer pleasure! The music industry is a tough business these days, and so I'm glad to help out. How did it feel to be actively cast in the video? To have personally appeared in the video as an actor has been an amazing experience for me. As a blogger I now know what I'm talking and writing about. How would you describe Doris and Lee’s work to a new listener? Doris and Lee are multi-talented musicians and singers with never-ending energy and imagination. To watch them and listen to them is great fun. Sounds great! How would you like to see the future develop for Doris? Doris has a great career in front of her. She will continue to give her fans great pleasure.

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the orchestra wearing wings, but this would have been a logistical nightmare, so we opted for halos. A video of light and shade. What was the reasoning behind choosing “Kind to be Cruel” off “ Not Utopia as the next video project? The 3 videos we had already shot are all for the more commercial and poppy tracks from the album. Having been gifted the chance to make one more Lee & I both agreed it would be great to use more of an album track this time to show an important aspect of our writing and to showcase one of the tracks we personally prefer. We considered 'No Lonely Girl', but opted for 'Kind to be Cruel' as it's very different and was so brilliantly produced by Lee. We also talked about getting more people involved in it and having an orchestra was a great opportunity to do so.

Doris Brendel First and foremost it’s great to see the new video, where do you draw your inspiration from for the video projects? Each project is different. Our initial ideas for 'Going Out', our first video project, changed completely when we used an external Director and he turned it into something far more commercial than we envisaged. 'Ebay' we cannot take credit for either which was completely the brain child of Crowman Productions who created the brilliant and disturbing film. 'She Just Won't Eat' was our first 'solo' project. Lee and I discussed and story-boarded various ideas and decided on our roles early on: I would be in charge of production and Lee would direct. This we continued to do with 'Kind to be Cruel'. For this latest video the ideas evolved. I had the early vision of a pre-raphaelite feel with an orchestra and grand piano and this then morphed into it's current incarnation. We were keen to involve Roger Beleffi, as he had sponsored the whole

You have made this very much a community project involving a lot of complete strangers for the orchestra? What made you decide on this route ? Once we decided to feature an orchestra this proved a logistical dilemma. We didn't have the budget just to hire a large professional orchestra, though we already knew quite a few players including Lee's wife Emma, along with orchestra members Emma Robinson and Suzanne Pressman who played on the album. What we really wanted was a BIG orchestra and so we decided to invite local players of all standards to take part. We were hoping for more than we got truth be told, and it was somewhat nerve-wracking organising everything. But we're incredibly grateful to all who took part and we hope everyone had an eventful and memorable day.

So are you going to tell us what the black cue cards mean or are we supposed to guess? project, and he seemed keen to fly over from Switzerland for the shoot. Initially he was meant to be Hmmm. The black cue cards.... They're astral doorways to dangerous dreamscapes. They're statements of an audience member. Then Steve, the camera man had the idea of it being Roger's dream, especially when intent. They're symbols of the unknowable. They're the embodiment of black versus white. They're the I suggested using some disturbing masks. Then Lee unanswerable question. Ok. That's all a load of bollox. added an array of props - discarded toys, smoke, bubbles - to make it more dream-like. Initially I fancied Ask Lee…

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“Not Utopia� has been a stunning example of your work from start to finish, but what has been the highlight of the whole project for you? Highlights? Actually there have been many. One has been working with Lee. We had worked together on the live circuit for many years, but this was our first album project together. And we're still friends! So altogether a success. In fact we've already embarked on a new album project. It has been incredibly enjoyable to work with someone with a great sense of humour and an exceptional imagination, not only musically, but also when it comes to discussing visuals, presentation, concepts etc. It has made everything bigger and better.

by genre-specific fad and fashion driven music and can wrap their heads around what it is I do.

Julie Gristwood

When filming the video a Orchestra was used constructed from adverts in the local media. I spoke to Julie Gristwood and asked her why she chose to get involved. What made you decide to take part in the project? I saw the article in the Mercury and was intrigued. Although I haven't played my violin seriously since I was at school over 30 years ago I have recently picked it up again just for fun, so I thought it would be good to take the The other highlight has been making the videos. I have opportunity to get involved. When I heard the track I never been so involved in the process, from conception, immediately loved it and got a real buzz from playing along story-boarding, production etc, and it's been at home. However, as the day of the filming approached I surprisingly rewarding and exciting. We'll definitely be got more and more nervous. making more! Was it what you expected? If not, how did it differ? I had expected there to be more musicians so I felt even What does the future hold for Doris? more daunted when I arrived and discovered how small Well I'd love to be able to say that I will sell millions of the orchestra was. Still, I needn't have worried, as CDs and sell out Wembley. I shall briefly crash back everyone, particularly Doris, was very encouraging, and I down to earth. Realistically I will continue doing what I do. A new album project has already begun. Once again soon got caught up in the atmosphere and forgot my nerves. with Lee. We already have more new songs than we

can fit on one album. It's likely to continue in the vein of multi-genre eclectic largely un-commercial and hopefully original compositions that I think is now expected from me. Undoubtedly there will be more gigs - both acoustic and band. And I will continue to enjoy the priviledge of being able to record the music I want to record, and am thankful for every non-conformist, individualistic individual who refuses to be constrained

What did you enjoy the most on the day? I enjoyed the whole experience. It gave a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of how a music video is made. But the best bit was definitely when we played the song through at the end without the backing track. It sounded amazing and made me realise that I had been very lucky to be part of such a special experience.

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Don’t forget you can see Doris Brendel at Skyfest or buy the album now

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Sebastian Bach ABachalypse Now Record Label: Frontiers Records

5 /10 Released: 22 March 2013

Highlight of the album: American Metalhead (L.A Version) Website: http://sebastianbach.com/

Having grew up listening to Skid Row I was looking forward to reviewing the latest offering from the charismatic former frontman of the band.

disappointed by it.

On paper the album promise’s so much with a host classic Skid Row hits such as ‘Slave To The Grind’, Big The much hyped album is a live offering containing songs Guns’, ’18 And Life’, ‘Youth Gone Wild’ etc, merged with spanning the length of Sebastian’s long and somewhat a scattering of Seb’s solo work such as ‘Kicking And chequered career and fills two cd’s with the first cd being Screaming’, ‘American Metalhead’ etc, but unfortunately his live performance at France’s legendary Hellfest from the delivery of the songs themselves seems poor, with 2012 and the second being a live performance at Los the timing of the Skid Row songs in particular being out of Angeles ‘Club Nokia’. synch and Seb’s vocals seeming strained and uncharacteristically rough, and when coupled with the With the album being formed from two separate live poor quality of the recording, makes this album very performances you know that you will get to hear a lot of difficult to listen to. the songs twice, which might not normally be a bad thing if you are listening to great performances, but when you For a first live album the result is disappointing, and you are listening to performances that are not great then it is get the feeling that it could, and should, have been better. quite torturous which is what the case is here. This is the For people who attended the gigs that it was recorded at first time that I have really listened to a live Seb Bach the release will make a nice memento but other than that album and I have got to say that I am severely I would avoid it. Lee Walker

Angelo Tristan The E.P Record Label: Independent Release

8 /10 Released: 11 March 2013

Highlight of the album: When Faith Breaks Website: http://atrista9.wix.com/angelotristan

With there mixture of catchy, country style, melodic rock, the Angelo Tristan band are racking up comparisons to the likes of Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and are rapidly making a name for themselves, with their debut single ‘I’m Coming Home Tonight’ (which was released last November) receiving a great deal of praise from the media and public alike.

can almost see the lit lighters held aloft swaying to its beat, while allowing the stunning Bon Joviesque guitar playing of James Wills to really shine through before ‘When Faith Breaks’ cranks the pace back up, really bringing the guitar riffs to bear with ‘Lying Next To You’ plays the EP out.

The opening song ‘I’m Coming Home Tonight’ starts the EP off well, with its mix of country style melodic rock harmonies and catchy hooks the song soon has you drawn into its pleasing blend of aor friendly singalong rock. ‘First Words’ slows the pace down slightly, entering deep into ballad country where you

All in all ‘The EP’ is a good strong debut for Angelo Tristan and contains moments of great guitar work and well written lyrics.

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Voodoo Vegas Rise Of Jimmy Silver Record Label: Cargo Records

8 /10

Released: 4th March 2013

Highlight of the album: Rise Of Jimmy Silver Website: https://www.facebook.com/VoodooVegas

Recorded at Rockfield last summer, Voodoo Vegas have made sure that this was as perfect as they could make it prior to release. Using the ‘Pledge Music’ system they raised more than they initially hoped for, enabling them to not only record much more professionally but also spend more on the quite superb packaging of this album. However all that glitters as they say …. Not in this case though, the gloss is borne out by just over 30 minutes of, in some places, quite eclectic music. From straight ahead rockers such as the opening ‘King Without A Crown’ to really very intricate song structure of ‘The Ferry Song’ the listener is guided along without time to become bored.

With a guest appearance from non other than Stevie Lange, who incidentally was so impressed by Lawrence Case’s singing that she wanted to be involved with the album, the quality level is quite astounding . A sure fire winner for fans of Voodoo Vegas and guaranteed to win the band a new horde of avid listeners, ‘The Rise Of Jimmy Silver’ joins what is becoming a year form excellent debut albums. Paul Nichols

Neverstar I’ll Be Waiting Record Label: Smashdown Records

8 /10 Released: 8th April 2013

Highlight of the album: City Of Sin Website: http://www.neverstar.com

It would seem that word of my love of female vocalists is Celtic influences in the music too. They’re quite subtle, getting around, as I was offered this one. How to describe and could even possibly be unintentional, but they’re there it though is another matter entirely. It’s really quite heavy, none the less. with Vega’s voice layered over the top giving it a wholly haunting sound. The thing is though, I can’t remember listening to anything like this album before. I’m sure I probably have, There are several styles of female vocals in rock, with the as have other people, but this one will stick with me, as most obvious being raw power. Neverstar aren’t a power it’s made quite an impression. It’s a great amalgamation metal band. It’s really hard to stick a genre on them at all of lyrics, music, singing and song writing, and it’s also a actually, but in my opinion that’s entirely a good thing. I very interesting album to listen to. Quite often I found don’t like comparing bands to other bands, as that myself being hit by a curve ball that I really was not detracts from their own identity in my opinion. However, expecting. occasionally you can’t help thinking you’re listening to Amy Lee. Now it’s not a direct comparison, just Are there better albums out there? Quite honestly I’d occasionally the voices and vocal styling are similar. have to say yes, but this is most certainly in the top ten or twenty percent, and well worth spending your money on, Musically, its mainly heavy rock, with some thundering especially if you’re looking for something altogether rhythms, and earth shattering guitar parts, and what’s different to a lot of the music out there at the moment. more, each song matches the chosen vocal styling really Most importantly, they’re a fairly young band, and this is well. The album even from the off, is quite atmospheric. their debut album, so there’s plenty of time to improve, The atmosphere grows with each song, and you find but this album is very good, it just misses great by the yourself allowing the music to wash over you. Personally I narrowest of margins. Jon Seymour found my head filled with visions of rolling hills, fields, rivers and forests, and I’m sure I picked up on some

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With Chris Nelson 18 & Life is the brainchild of Firebrands Switchblade Serenade presented by me, Chris Nelson. Each month I will be bringing you an insight into what goes on in the personal lives of musicians and bands. It's 18 questions all about them, with final question telling you what they are up to at the moment and what their plans are for the next 6 months. So if you’re in a band and you want to take part, send your contact details to chrisnelson@fbrr2010.com This months features Douglas Docker - Writer, musician, producer behind the new Sci Fi Rock/Metal concept album The Mystic Tecnocrocy. the album features Tony Mills, Gregg Bissonette, Tony Franklin, John Payne, Goran Edman and Amanda Somerville amongst others.

1.WHATS THE BEST BAND YOU’VE EVER SEEN LIVE? 5. WHO ARE YOUR HEROES, THE PEOPLE WHO I’ve seen so many that it’s really INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC? difficult to answer, but Artists that were not I’ll give you three: David afraid to break new Bowie, The Rockets and ground musically or Iron Maiden. visually. David Bowie, Kiss, The Rockets, The Police in 2. ARE YOU AFRAID OF my early days. Iron Maiden, ANYTHING AND WHATS YOUR Ozzy, Motley Crue later. FEAR? Journey, Asia, Pretty Maids Tough and very and Threshold. personal question, so I’ll be honest about it. I 6. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE suffer from a panic TYPE OF FOOD/DISH? disorder that has It’ll have to be sushi and effectively halted my pizza for me! Followed by music career for 15 Italian raw ham and Thai years. I guess you could food in general. say I’m afraid of everything, including 7. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN fear itself! TIME TO A CERTAIN TIME AND PLACE IN HISTORY, WHERE 3. IF YOU COULD HOST A WOULD YOU CHOSE, AND DINNER PARTY AND INVITE? WHY? ANY TWO PEOPLE FROM Ancient Rome, The French HISTORY ALIVE OR DEAD and American WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE Revolutions, the age of Mozart and William dinosaurs. Blake. 8. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR CAREER HIGHS 4. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE? AND LOWS HAVE BEEN? I’m a huge horror movie fan, so I have a wide Biloxi in the mid ‘90s was definitely a selection of favorites. My favourite genre highlight, I was just fresh out of music is zombie movies, but I’ll go with Silent Hill. school, and 3 months later we were getting rave reviews worldwide, headlining the historic Sunset Strip Clubs

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(Troubadour, Roxy, Wiskey a Gogo, etc). It was a dream come true. The lowest point was in the late ‘90s when my panic disorder hit my like a ton of bricks and I had to stop playing for a very long time. 9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS OR UFO’S AND HAVE YOU HAD ANY EXPERIENCES YOU CAN SHARE WITH US? I believe in UFOs because I’ve seen at least one, and it was not human made. I never reported it because I have no interested in joining the mad circus that goes around this kind of stuff. I believe in the supernatural in general. After having done intensive academic research in Thai lore and demon worship (it was my thesis subject), I witnessed things that cannot be explained by science yet. However, I am very sceptical of all forms of conspiracy, new age and occult affairs. From what I’ve seen, 99% is just pu0re garbage deigned to make money out of credulous people. Just look at the 2012 frenzy as an example. 10. YOUR CHILLING AT HOME AND PUT ON AN ALBUM BY AN ARTIST SOMEONE WOULD NOT ASSOCIATE YOU WITH, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? Duran Duran, who were overtaken by their image of pretty boys back in ‘80s. This eclipsed their absolute visionary genius in songwriting, arranging and pioneering video work. They have influenced me more than most rock or metal bands around. 11.WHATS THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACE YOU’VE EVER HAD SEX? My bedroom ;) 11A.WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD? Hypocrites, preachers, fanatics and fundamentalists of all stripes and colors, people who use only their mouths and never their ears.

15.WHATS YOUR FUNNIEST TOUR BUS STORY? Being told by my manager to go and greet some fans who were camping outside the Mississippi Coast Coliseum back in the Biloxi days, only to find out they were there for a Rod Steward show the next day. I looked everywhere for a carpet to crawl under. 16.WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIG YOU EVER WENT TO? The Rockets, an obscure ‘70s French space rock band who dressed up like robots in sci fi costumes. It marked me forever. That event marked me forever, I was 12 years old. There will be a cover of their material in each Docker’s Guild album. 17.WHAT SPORT DO ENJOY PLAYING OR WATCHING THE MOST? I really don’t like sport in general very much. I do watch the World Cup every 4 years, and I practice iaido, swimming and biking. I’m a lone wolf and don’t enjoy team sports at all, or anything with a ball! 18.WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT AND WHATS YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS? Right now things are really crazy. There is the Docker’s Guild special event coming up on February 23 to celebrate the release of the short film “Darwin’s Tears”, I’m working on the 2nd album, I’m opening my own rock music school, among other things. It’s a very exciting phase in my life J.

Next months 18 & Life interview will be with the temptress vocalist of one of America’s top 1980’s female fronted bands Femme Fatale. The band is back together and starting to tour again and Lorraine is one of the stars of one of the U.S.A’s top reality shows Ex wives of rock.

12.FAVOURITE COMEDY TV SHOW OF ALL TIME? Faulty Towers, but also George and Mildred, Red Dwarf, Pink Panther and anything Laurel and Hardy.

Don’t forget you can catch up with Chris Nelson every Sunday 12-2pm on Firebrand Rock Radio

13.WHAT IS THE ONE THING IN LIFE YOU SIMPLY CANNOT DO WITHOUT? My wife! 14.WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? I don’t drink much, but Italian wine is nice, and at the end of the meal Limoncello goes down well ;) I’m not a beer fan at all however.

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Banjofondo Presente Record Label: Sony Masterworks

8 /10 Released: 5 March 2013

Highlight of the album: Olvidate Website: http://www.bajofondomusic.com

Described as being a stirring mix of tango, milonga, folklore, rock, hip-hop, electronica, jazz, classical, and a world of sounds from the Río de la Plata, I was somewhat intrigued when I was asked to review the new Bajofondo album ‘Presente’. Landing at a whopping twenty one tracks this Latin American octet are creating quite a stir in the modern free forming tango scene and it comes as no surprise as Ustavo Santaolalla, Bajofondo’s founder and producer has previously been the winner of a Golden Globe, 2 Oscars, 2 Grammys, and 12 Latin Grammys.

The album itself features a mix of carefully crafted artistic numbers pushing the boundaries of the modern Tango scene further than ever with its seamless merging of the finer element’s of Jazz, Tango, electronica and traditional Latin Americano music, even managing to fit an A Cappella song into the mix. As with all artists of this nature you will either love or hate this creation, but one thing is certain with ‘Presente’ Bajofondo have created a work of art that will appeal to the diehard fans while picking up new converts and take the new tango scene to the next level of innovation. Lee Walker

Virgil & The Accelerators Live At Marshall

9 /10

Record Label: Self Release

Released: 15th April 2013

Highlight of the album: Silver Giver Website:

I was actually at this recording, so I was really interested to see what the finished article was going to be like. DVD understandably has a hard job encapsulating the atmosphere of a live show, and it never quite delivers the intensity of actually being there. Understandably I was hoping that this wasn’t going to be a disappointment, so it was with some apprehension that I slotted this into my DVD player…..

http://www.vataband.com

surround is very well mastered, and this was a big relief. I’ve heard some truly appalling attempts at doing this right.

The guys themselves though, have to be seen or heard to be believed. Yes they’re a fairly young band, in both conception and in years, but they have some serious talent. As a power trio, there’s not much around that can touch them, and the way Virgil wields a guitar Ok first up, what you get with this is the DVD of the would scare even the most seasoned professional, he entire concert, plus a couple of extra bits thrown in. It’s is simply THAT good. obviously been mastered in 5.1 Dolby digital and it’s This is the first live DVD from the guys, and it’s very packaged into a nice gatefold digi-pack, which good indeed. I guess I may be biased, as watching it incorporates a booklet, and a CD of the concert, minus enabled me to relive one of my personal highlights of the encores. All in all a very well rounded package. 2012, but if you’re looking for someone in the blues The sound production is extremely good, as is the video rock genre, then these guys are among the best in the editing, and of course, like I said, it doesn’t quite business, I kid you not. You can order it directly from capture the essence of the live show, but it’s as good the website, and get it signed to boot. as any live concert DVD in that respect. The 5.1 Jon Seymour

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Virgil & The Accelerators Interviewed by Jon Seymour Photos By Andy Hibbs So tell us a little about the band. How it all started, who your favourite musicians were when you were growing up, that kind of thing. The Accelerators was originally set up by our father Hendry. I joined them in my early teens. They kind of pushed me to the front and then decided to step back and bring in a younger rhythm section. Hendry is a blues man through and through so we were surrounded with great music from the very start of our lives. SRV, Rolling Stones, Joe Bonamassa, Howling Wolf the list goes on.

2012 was a really big year for you guys, and 2013 has also started well, with support slots with Uriah Heep last month, and Michael Schenker in April. You guys are making a very good name for yourselves. Do you think that this year might be even bigger? Each year has to be bigger than the last! 2012/2103 have all been about gaining exposure, hence the high profile support slots. We have the 'Live at Marshall' DVD out this month and looking to release a new CD this autumn. So yes indeed this year is another good one for us. Europe is looking very exciting too. Onwards and upwards!!

The live DVD is due out next month. I know you guys had a lot of fun recording it, but what was it like to hear it for yourselves the first time you played it back? We poured everything we had into the making of the DVD. Our label Mystic Records UK gave us a free hand (which we are eternally grateful for). When hunting for a cool venue, Paul Marshall offered us the use of the Marshall Theatre at Marshall HQ, We would need the RAH to top that. We also contracted the DVD crew, lighting engineer and Steve Rispin who engineered our debut album 'The Radium' handled the sound. So if this went tits up, we only had ourselves to blame! It was a very stressful 3 days before the shoot. Against our labels wishes we wanted to do it in one take. Most live DVDs are shot over various gigs and retouched in the studio. Ours is one take and no studio overdubbing. What you see/hear is exactly what went down on the night. So the first time we popped a copy in the DVD player it was a surreal experience, like watching another band. It turned out better than we expected, great job by all involved.

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You seem to be making a lot of friends on mainland Europe too, what has been your best experience so far outside of the UK? We have been doing some promo shows for promotors in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and . It has been a very positive experience. The scene is very different and they are more geared up for looking after the artist. You get rockstar treatment all the way, nothing is too much trouble. Audiences are less reserved and they love to show you they are having a great time. All gigs have been a positive experience but The Luxor Live gig, in Arnhem Holland stands out, small but killer audience.

best of times, what do you like to do if or when you take a break from music? To be honest, we never take a break. If we are not touring we are in our humble studio, rehearsing writing and just hanging out. Although Vegas would be nice! What is the best part of being in a band? How many people get to do what they love for living, very few and we are lucky enough to be in that club.

Do you arrange your life outside of music around the band, or do you arrange the band around your daily lives? Your last album "The Radium" was seen as something of The band rules over everything, it has too. If anything gets a milestone in your career. Do you think that the pressure in the way, the band would lose it's strength. So band first, is really on to produce something equally as good, or even life second!! better for your next studio album? There is always pressure but we do not let it interfere Being quite young, do you often find people are shocked with writing. The next album is its own entity, so far we when they hear you for the first time? Do you find that are very pleased with what there's still a certain stigma of we are producing. We feel young artists not being able to maturity is showing through cut it? on this one. The only stigma out there is provided by other artists who put Going back to support slots, down young artists as copy cats. if you could open up for any Most young artists will use their artist around at the moinfluences and covers to ment, who would it be? showcase their own talent. Which Too many to list but we will is exactly what we did in our early go for the big audiences days. The Radium was basically a (after all we are just there to big up yours to the doubters. Few try and steal some of it) so bands produce an all original ZZ Top, ACDC, Iron Maiden, dedut album that is so well Joe Bonmassa etc. received. The support slots we have been doing always produce very positive feedback at the Do you have any firm plans merch table afterwards. New for gigs, tours and recording fans genuinely blown away, it is for the rest of this year? the best feeling ever. Yes, we have a headline club tour in May and June. We Would you have any advice for are also nailing down dates young people like yourselves that in june for recording a new may be inspired to start making album. Looking to release music after listening to you? in September for a full The formula is simple. Believe it headline autumn tour. what you do, let nothing get in the way. This business is not for the You've met some of your feint hearted, talent is not personal musical heroes enough. Head down, full on all the over the past years, who time and make those doors open would you say gave you the biggest thrill to meet up with for yourself. If the stick, kick them off the and speak to? hinges!! Too many too list but special mention goes to Wilko Johnson and Norman Watt Roy - we toured twice with Is there anyone else on the Blues scene that we should them and these guys have done everything and more in particularly keep our ears open for? the rock n roll world. Boy do they have some history To name a few Joanne Shaw Taylor, Tracer, Phillip Sayce, stories to tell. They are also hilarious when you get them Joe Bonamassa to name a few. started on a subject they disagree on. They treated us as equals and we consider them friends. Shortly after our Do you have anything you'd like to say personally to your last tour with them Wilko announced he has terminal fans, that maybe you've not said before? cancer. We are devastated by the news. We caught up Nothing we have not already said just a huge thank with them recently and Wilko seemed to be his normal you, without our fans we do not exist. self. That man is a national treasure. You guys have a pretty hectic touring schedule at the

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Stryper Second Coming Record Label: Frontiers Records

9 / 10 Released: 26th March 2013

Highlight of the album: Blackend Website : http://www.stryper.com/

In the beginning we had rock, then came Stryper. Originally known as Roxx Regime, Stryper was formed in Orange County,California by brothers Michael and Robert Sweet and guitarist Oz Fox. Stryper stands for Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness. The Isaiah 53:5 under their logo is the bible verse that states ‘by His stripes we are healed’. Yes they are a Christian Glam metal band, I never really familiarised myself with them back in the 80’s, not that I had or have anything against Christians, but it just didn’t sit right with me, and to be fair they were the first band of this type to be accepted by us rockers and to prove that the second album ‘Soldiers Under Command’ sold over half a million records worldwide. Now they are back with a new album, which is more a best of album with 16 tracks, two new songs and 14 from previous albums. If you’re of the age group that wasn’t around back in the 80’s then this will be new to you and if you do remember them then a trip

down memory lane is in order, either way all is good in the metal house. The album is a cracker and I love it and I am asking myself why did I not just bite the bullet and have a listen way back then. So what can you expect from Stryper’s ‘Second Coming’? From the offset we are treated to a rocking guitar melody sweet vocals and a driving back line that doesn’t stop until the album finishes. Tracks like ‘Loud And Clear’, ‘Soldiers Under Command’ and ‘Makes Me Wanna Sing’ all say this is Stryper and we rock and to be honest I’m finding it hard to pick one stand out track on this album as they are all good. Maybe the compulsory ballad, ‘First Love’ is a bit weak but that’s just me other’s might like it. Maybe I should say the best tracks on the album are the two new ones ‘Bleeding From The Inside’ and ‘Blackened’ which is a testament to how far Stryper have come. Graham Pritchard

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Absolva April 18 Manchester HMV Ritz 26 Ebbw Vale Odins May 4 Manchester NQ Live 18 Birmingham The Asylum June 28 Newcastle Trilliums 29 Crossford Les Fest

Astra April 15 Bristol England The Fleece 16 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 17 Glasgow King Tut's 18 Manchester Deaf Institute 19 London The Borderline

27 March Staffordshire Lucy’s Bar 9 May London Nambucca 10 May Birmingham Route 44 24 May Staffordshire Lucy’s Bar 12 October Rocktober Festival

26 Birmingham The Institutes 27 London O2 Academy Brixton 29 Nottingham Rock City 30 Leed O2 Academy

Bluey Robinson March 31 Brighton The Haunt April 2 London Scala 3 Birmingham O2 Academy 5 Manchester Academy 3 7 Newcastle O2 Academy

Bon Jovi June 8 Manchester Ethiad Stadium 9 Birmingham Villa Park 12 Cardiff City Stadium 13 Sunderland Stadium Of Light July 3 Glasgow Hampden Stadium

Bruce Springsteen & The E Band June 15 London Wemebley Stadium 18 Glasgow Hampden Park 20 Coventry Ricoh Arena July 23 Cardiff Millennium Stadium

Counting Crows April 19 Birmingham O2 Academy 20 Bristol Colston Hall 22 London Hammersmith Apollo 25 Manchester O2 Apollo 26 Glasgow O2 Academy

Deep Purple October 12 Manchester O2 Apollo 13 Glasgow Clyde Auditorium 15 Birmingham NIA 17 London Roadhouse

Audrey Horne

Drowning Pool

April 27 Nottingham Rock City 28 Glasgow Ivory Blacks 29 Belfast Limelight 2 30 Dublin The Pint May 01 Manchester NQ Live 02 London Underworld

April 19 York Fibbers

Ben Harper & Charlie Musslewhite July 16 London Shepard’s Bush Empire

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club March 25 Glasgow Barrowland

Emilie Autumn August 23 Edinburgh Picture House 25 Manchester Ritz

May 11 Preston 53 Degrees

26 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 28 Birmingham LG Arena 29 London Wembley Arena

Hanging Doll

Little Angels

May 4 Liverpool The Lomax

June 13 Cardiff University Students Union

Gothminister

H.I.M April 26 London Dingwalls

I AM I April 4 Ipswich The Railway 5 Plymouth White Rabbit 6 Cardiff Great Hall 2 9 Grimsby Yardbirds 10 York Fibbers 11 Manchester NQ Live 12 Leamington Assembly 13 London Islington Academy June 14-16 Donnington Park Download

Ian Hunter March 30 London Bloomsbury Theatre

Jettblack/ Crashdiet April 20 Manchester Club Alter Ego 23 Newcastle O2 Academy 24 Sheffield O2 Academy 25 Birmingham O2 Academy 26 Nottingham Rock City 27 London O2 Academy Islington 28 Southampton Joiners

Joe Bonamassa March 26 London Borderline 27 London O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire 28 London Hammersmith Apollo 30 London Royal Albert Hall

Journey, Whitesnake & Thunder

Lordi May 2 Dublin Button Factory 4 Belfast Limelight 1 5 Norwich Waterfront 6 Wakefield Warehouse 23 8 Manchester Ritz 9 Edinburgh The Picture House 10 Birmingham The Institute 11 Nottingham Rock City 12 London The Forum

LostAlone April 21 Nottingham Hit The Deck Festival 23 London Garage 24 Birmingham Temple at The Institute 25 Manchester Deaf Institute 26 Newcastle O2 Academy 27 Glasgow Stereo May 17 Brighton The Great Escape, Green Door Store

To have your gig Highlighted please email sales@fbrr2010.com

May 18 Glasgow SECC 20 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 22 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena 23 Manchester Arena 25 Nottingham Capital FM Arena

For a free listing please email your gig or festival information to:

Fleetwood Mac September 24 London O2 Academy 25 London O2 Academy 27 London O2 Academy 29 Birmingham LG Arena October 1 Manchester MEN 3 Glasgow Hydro Arena

With the following info: Date(s), Band Name, Venue, City (Please do not send any attachments) Sadly if any of the above information is not included we will be unable to list your event.

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Underground Focus the shows

Band Name: Counterhold

Date Formed: January 2011

Based In: Cwmbran, South Wales

Band Lineup: Vocals: Guitars: Bass: Drums:

Steve Jenkins David Birbeck (Lead) Karl Silverthorn (Rhythm) Ben Saunders Ryan Salter

Influences: In Flames, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Pantera, Orange Goblin, Dream Theater, Down, Pink Floyd, System of a Down, Opeth, AC/DC, Rammstein

Describe your sounds: Powerhouse Melodic Metal

Upcoming gigs: Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 30th March with Iron Knights, The Duke, Neath - 19th April, Metal Gods Festival, Mansfield - 25th May. 200 Club, Newport - 31st May with Evil Scarecrow

Find out more at:

Main Site · http://www.counterhold.com Facebook · http://www.facebook.com/counterhold To Apply or find out more information please send an email to : submissions@fbrr2010.com With Underground Focus as the email title

Mark Knopfler May 17 Glasgow SECC 18 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena 19 Liverpool Echo Arena 21 Bournemouth International Centre 22 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 24 Birmingham LG Arena 25 Brighton The Brighton Centre 27 London Royal Albert Hall 28 London Royal Albert Hall

Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash April 4 Swansea The Scene 6 Rotherham HRH Prog Festival 25 Glasgow The Ferry

26 Carlisle The Brickyard 27 Wigan Maximes 28 Norwich St Andrews Hall May 8 Milton Keynes The Stables 26 Maryport Harbour Festival June 28/29 Upper Cwmtwrch Village Hall

Meatloaf Farewell Tour April 5 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena 7 Glasgow SECC 10 London The O2 12 Birmingham LG Arena 14 Nottingham Capital FM Arena 17 Manchester Arena

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Firebrand Magazine

19 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 21 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

Megadeth June 3 Newcastle O2 Academy 4 Glasgow O2 Academy 5 Manchester O2 Academy 6 Brixton O2 Academy

Micheal Schenker April 9 Stockton on Tees Stockton Arc 10 Aberdeen The Lemon Tree 11 Edinburgh HMV Edinburgh Picture House 12 Newcastle O2 Academy 13 Holmfirth Picturedrome 14 Warrington Parr Hall 16 Falmouth Princess Pavillion 17 Bristol O2 Academy 18 Salisbury City Hall 19 Oxford O2 Academy 20 Nottingham Rock City 21 Northwich Waterfront 31 London O2 Sheppard’s Bush Empire

Roger Waters September 14 London Wembley Stadium Queensryche April 18 Manchester HMV Ritz

March 25 Bournemouth Dome 27 Reading Hexagon

15 London O2 16 London O2 18 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 20 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

Sonata Arctica

Training Icarus

April 14 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 15 Manchester Club Academy 16 Birmingham HMV Institute Library 17 London The Garage

April 18 Canterbury Lady Luck 20 Birmingham Scruffy Murphy’s May 18 Maidenhead Hobgoblin June 8 Camden Fiddler’s Elbow August 24 Stoke Scarfest

Skunk Anansie

Stereophonics March 25 Doncaster Dome 26 Blackpool Empress Ballroom 27 Edinburgh Usher Hall

Triaxis May 3 Burnley Sanctuary 4 Liverpool The Lomax

Steve Harris British Lion March 26 London O2 Academy Islington 27 Birmingham O2 Academy2 27 Glasgow The Garage 30 Manchester Club Academy

June 17 Cambridge Corn Exchange 19 Brighton Dome 20 London Shepard’s Bush Empire 22 Bristol Colston Hall 24 Salford Lowry 30 Margate Winter Gardens

Stiff Little Fingers

April 9 London O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire 10 Cardiff Solus 11 Birmingham Institute 13 Leeds Met University 14 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms 15 Preston 53 Degrees 16 Cambridge Junction

March 28 Bristol O2 Academy

Saxon

The Misfits

April 18 Leamington Spa Assembly 19 Nottingham Rock City 20 Newcastle O2 Academy 21 Glasgow O2 ABC 23 Manchester HMV Ritz 24 Leeds O2 Academy 26 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 27 London O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire 28 Bristol O2 Academy

April 3 London O2 Academy Islington 4 Leeds O2 Academy

The Black Crowes March 25 Birmingham O2 Academy 27 Glasgow O2 Academy 29 London Forum 30 London Forum

March 26 Glasgow King Tuts 27 Sheffield The Corporation 28 Manchester NQ Live 31 Birmingham Academy 3 April 2 Brighton The Haunt 3 Southampton The Joiners 4 Exeter The Cavern 6 Harlow The Square May 9 London The Garage

March 27 Hednesford Lucy’s Bar

ISSUE 2

ISSUE 3

Y&T September 21 Nottingham Rock City

ZZ Top June 24 London Hammersmith Apollo 25 Manchester O2 Apollo

ISSUE 4

The Stranglers

To have your gig Highlighted

March 26 Salisbury City Hall 28 Carlisle Sands Centre 29 Newcastle O2 Academy 30 Manchester Academy

please email

The Union Serpentine

ISSUE 1

Voodoo Six

Steve Winwood

Rival Sons

BACK ISSUES

ISSUE 5

sales@fbrr2010.com

March 26 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 27 Bristol Fleece 28 London O2 Academy Islington

Skid Row April 5 London White Rabbit

The Who June 10 Belfast Odyssey Arena 12 Glasgow SECC

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the shows

To contact the Firebrand team for anything from advertisements to reviews you can contact us on:

Album Reviews/Interview Requests submissions@fbrr2010.com Content Download sales@fbrr2010.com Advertising Enquiries sales@skyfirepr.com PR pr@fbrr2010.com Contact Telephone +44(0)1244 940961

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Firebrand Magazine Issue 6 - March