Issue 4 - January 2013
PLUS Iron Knights | Deep Machine | Rainbow | Saxon | Alice Cooper | Michael Schenker | FM | Hard Rock Hell 6 | Band Features | News | Gig Listings and more...
THE GRAPEVINE - 4 FEATURES AND INTERVIEWS 11 - Bill Tsamis of Warlord Interviewed 21 - Verden Allen 35 - Sandi Thom 47 - Where Are They Now? Heavy Pettin
CD/DVD REVIEWS 7 - Saxon 10 - Iron Knights 18 - Robin Trower 20 - FM 24 - Bison Grass 25 - Steve Lukather 26 - Alice Cooper 31 - Deep Machine 32 - Heavenward 33 - Rainbow 41 - Michael Schenker 43 - Mighty Mojos 44 - Rok Ink 45 - Navacross 49 - The Whitaker Brothers
LIVE REVIEWS 27 - Hard Rock Hell 6
GIG LISTINGS - 51
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FROM THE EDITOR We are finally here at the start of the new year. ’12 was such a great year for music and incidentally for Firebrand as well, getting the chance to interview and talk to some of the industry greats including Glenn Hughes, Sandi Thom, Robin Beck, Joey Tempest, Dennis Dunaway and loads more besides. It was a year also where you really had to sit back and take stock of the amount of incredible unsigned talent out there, yes it is a privilege doing this job one of which I personally am eternally grateful for. Firebrand Magazine has gone from strength to strength and the future has never looked brighter for something that was an “oh hell...why not !” moment. The Magazines sister Firebrand Rock Radio uncovered a huge surprise in December when we realised we were the second largest independent rock station in the UK. 2013 promises to be equally surprising with the newly rebranded Skyfire PR taking a much more visible role in our activity and our partnership with Sky-Rocket Records coming in to play (more on that next month). This year promises to be our biggest year yet. We could not have achieved any of this without you our friends, listeners and readers alike and we would like to say a very big thank you for your continued support and loyalty. We will keep pushing the boundaries to deliver the top quality you deserve and we look forward to going through 2013 with you. Much love and respect Doc & Team Firebrand
Editor In Chief Rick Palin Senior Media Consultant Donna Greene Media Editor Rachel Whiston Reviews Editor Lee Walker Reviews team Mel Delacroix Jon Seymour Graham Pritchard Si Staples Contributing Writers Hayley Foster da Silva Paul Nicholls Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download email@example.com Advertising Enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Telephone +44(0)1244 940961
Wilko Johnson Announces Farewell Concert Wilko Johnson, guitarist and founding member of Dr. Feelgood, will perform four farewell concerts in the UK during March 2013.
In 2009 Johnson featured in Julien Temple’s Oil City Confidential; a fascinating full-length feature film documentary about Dr. Feelgood. The film received many accolades including the MOJO Vision Award at the MOJO The news follows last week’s official statement on Wilko’s Honours List 2010. Facebook page that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas and has chosen not to undergo Dr. Feelgood originally formed in 1971 as a British pub chemotherapy. rock band from Canvey Island, Essex. Their name derived from a slang term for heroin or for a doctor who was Says Wilko’s manager, Robert Hoy, “The four UK dates willing to overprescribe drugs. It is also a reference to a represent an opportunity for Wilko to express his sincere 1962 record “Dr. Feel-Good” by the American blues thanks to his fans for all the support he has had over his pianist/singer Willie Perryman (nicknamed "Piano Red"), long career.” which Perryman originally recorded under the name of Dr. Feelgood & The Interns. The four UK dates represent a series of farewell concerts Dr. Feelgood’s distinctive British R&B sound was centered for Wilko. on Wilko Johnson’s choppy guitar style. The original band After returning from a tour of Japan, Wilko plans to record line-up also included singer Lee Brilleaux, and the rhythm a new studio album, and will also release a live DVD from section of John B. Sparks (aka "Sparko") on bass guitar and John Martin (aka "The Big Figure") on drums. 2012’s UK tour. He is also planning a short tour of France. In addition to pioneering Dr. Feelgood’s iconic mid-seventies, pre-punk British R&B sound, by 1980 Johnson moved on as the guitarist for Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Today, Johnson’s own band includes Blockheads members - Norman Watt-Roy (bass guitar) and Dylan Howe (drums).
Dr. Feelgood is best known for their high energy live performances. Their studio albums Down by the Jetty (1974) and Malpractice (1975) proved incredibly popular. In 1976, their live album, Stupidity reached No.1 in the Official UK Album Chart. When the band released their fourth album, Sneakin’ Suspicion (1977), Johnson quit the band to pursue a solo career.
Scott Sorry’s need to focus on family issues – but last month Sorry confirmed he wouldn’t be returning. In a Firebrand Rock Radio is looking to present a new show to statement he said: “The only thing I love more than being a our airwaves. "Firebrand Presents..." will be a one-hour Wildheart is my family. With my oldest son being showcase featuring one band per show, with full interview diagnosed with autism, I need to give them the most stable and their music. The show will alternately be hosted by our environment possible. Unfortunately, that stability does not include me playing in a band across the ocean in a own "Metal Goddess" Jen and Doc. different country.
If you are a band and are interested in having your music “So with much respect and a heavy heart I am bowing out and yourselves showcased, please email Metal Goddess of my favourite band. I’m sure I’ll see you all again as Jen at email@example.com for more information. retirement doesn’t really stick well to guys like me, but for now I bid you a fond farewell. Thank you for everything.” Rock on!
Europe plan 30th Anniversary Homecoming Gig
Saxon Announce a new album
With a storming new stomp in their boots and a renewed, Festival show promises to be only Swedish show for 2013. lithe swagger to their legendary sound, Saxon will release Europe will play the Sweden Rock Festival to celebrate “Sacrifice”, on 25th February 2013 through UDR Records. their 30th anniversary. Taking a sharper, re-invigorated approach to the production, on this, their 20th album, Saxon have The band posted a message on their website to announce produced 10 of their strongest, heaviest and most inspired the gig which will be their only Swedish show next year. songs for many-a-year, and a more than worthy successor According to the band’s statement, it promises to be "a to their last album “A Call To Arms”. “Less tricks, more grandiose event” with a stage show which will be "one of power!” roars frontman and founding father Biff Byford, the greatest of the band’s entire career” and that "very “my brief to the band was to be raw, be real and not be special guests will also appear”. afraid to look back at the old classic material for inspiration.” The career-spanning setlist will include tracks from all nine Europe albums and the concert is set to be filmed for The album was recorded at LS Studios in Yorkshire and future DVD release. was produced by Byford with Andy Sneap mixing and engineering by Jacky Lehmann. It fairly bristles with muscular metallic intent, Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt’s guitar work the best it’s ever been, while Biff’s vocals sound fresher and livelier. The songwriting too harks back to a classic era in Saxon’s history, with the likes of Earth Vs The Wildhearts ‘Warriors Of The Road’, ‘Wheels Of Terror’ and ‘Stand Up The Wildhearts will play a short UK tour in April to And Fight’ evoking the halcyon days of yore with a celebrate 20 years since the release of debut album Earth contemporary twist, the classic Saxon sound absorbing the Vs The Wildhearts. They’ll appear in Glasgow, snarl, ferocity and attitude of contemporary bands (and Manchester, Nottingham and Wolverhampton where they’ll fans) such as Megadeth, as evidenced by the crunching perform the 1993 record in full. title cut ‘Sacrifice’. Europe will close the main stage at the Sweden Rock Festival on Friday 7th June 2013.
Mainman Ginger is joined by guitarist CJ, drummer Ritch Battersby and bassist Random Jon Poole for the shows. The first half of each night performance will see the band delivering all 11 tracks on the original album, with the second half to feature tracks chosen by the audience.
“It’s certainly been done from a more early ‘80s thrashier perspective,” explains Biff, “and it’s not just guitars bashing away willy-nilly, they’ve got a fresh drive, purpose and perspective.”
Besides the new material, Saxon will also be adding some The Wildhearts’ last release was 2009′s Chutzpah. Ginger unique recordings of revisited classics to certain formats put the band on hiatus the following year due to bassist
of the release, also produced by Byford and mastered by Andy Sneap, including an orchestral version of Crusader and an acoustic version of Frozen Rainbow. “From the songs to the production, I wanted to focus on the raw aspects which made us great In the first place,” concludes Biff, “And living in that rawness, combined with some great classic Saxon-songwriting, has in my opinion, made Saxon fresher than ever.
Jeff Healey to release Live CD/DVD
On Friday 22 February, inakustik will release three a compilation of three rare previously unreleased German concerts recorded and filmed in 1989, 1995 and 2000, from the Canadian blues rock guitarist, Jeff Healey. Entitled “Jeff Healey - As The Years Go Passing By: Live in Germany 1989 – 1995 - 2000”, the concerts will be released as a 3 CD-set and as a Deluxe Edition 3CD + 2DVD. The latter includes an extensive booklet with contributions from the participating musicians and rare photos. The three concerts, “Ohne Filer Extra” (1989), “Extraspät in Concert” (1995), and “Ohne Filter Extra” (2000), give an insightful look into the evolution of Jeff Healey; a document of an outstanding guitarist in three distinct phases of his career. The concerts are presented as they were performed, live without the aid of studio intervention. Spanning over eleven, they document different periods of the Jeff Healey Band. “With the fifth anniversary of Jeff's passing coming up on 2nd March 2013, we were looking for a special way to commemorate and help celebrate Jeff’s life and legacy,” says Jeff’s widow, Cristie Healey. “In preparing for this release, it was important to include the participation of as many of the performers involved. Jeff’s friends and colleagues have enthusiastically shared their memories of the concerts which help make this rare live compilation extra special.” “The Jeff Healey Estate is very proud to endorse this release. It’s the first collection of archive material to be officially released with the approval of the Healey Family since Jeff left us all too soon. We are privileged to continue the legacy of his immense efforts, incredible talent and sheer love of music, for everyone to enjoy.”
Snakecharmer Announce Album Launch Show An album launch show in London on 23rd February at Islington Assembly Hall will see Snakecharmer supported by Motherlode. Any fans purchasing a copy of the album on the night will be given a pass to a meet and greet with the band that will take place at the end of the evening (between 11pm and midnight). Future UK dates include the following confirmed appearances: 30.06.13 Nottingham Rock City 01.09.13 Farnham Weyfest Festival Originally founded in 2011 by former Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray, the Snakecharmer super-group also includes a perfect mix of high calibre musicians with Laurie Wisefield (ex-Wishbone Ash), Harry James (Thunder), Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne) and Chris Ousey (Heartland) completing the line-up.
Welsh Rockers Locked ’n’ loaded
Welsh rockers locked n' loaded for 2013 return Following their 2011 Roadrunner Records debut album Revenge for the Ruthless, Welsh rockers Revoker are set to return this new year and prove to the heavy metal masses that the number 13 is lucky for some! Revoker, who release their 2nd album in 2013, take a break from the studio in April to tour the UK as main support to co-headliners Drowning Pool and Fozzy (featuring WWE wrestler Chris Jericho).
Breed 77 Back in the UK
Gibralter's finest return with new album & UK headline tour in January 2013. Following their hugely successful slot at last year's Download Festival and UK/European tour with SOiL and Fozzy - Gilbratars premier metal band Breed 77 return to the UK for their own headline tour to co-incide with the release of their highly anticipated new album The Evil Inside on 1st March 2013.
huw lloyd langton remembered It is with great sadness that we have to let you know that former Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton passed away peacefully last month.
his day to day life. He continued to play his guitar, laugh, joke and share the great love he had in his heart, with all who knew him.
Huw Lloyd Langton played on Hawkwind's debut album in 1970. He rejoined the group in 1979 and played with them for the next 10 years. He also played with Widowmaker in the 1970s, and formed the LLoyd Langton Group in 1982.
As he wished, he was at home when the time came, with his ever strong and loving wife Marion at his side.
Huw was one of the great guitarists with an individual style and character. He is gone but never forgotten Throughout the years he continued to make guest by any of us. He will live on in our music and in our appearances with Hawkwind and played solo support hearts.’ slots on there tours. In August 2009, the guitarist played an acoustic set at Hawkwind's 40th Huw was laid to rest on the 20th of December in a anniversary concert at Porchester Hall, in London. ceremony which was described as being a ‘Celebration of the Life of Huw Lloyd-Langton’ The Official Hawkwind website released the following message: There are plans in place to erect a memorial, with a commemorative plaque, in a place where fans and ‘Huw had been bravely fighting cancer for a couple of friends can visit to remember Huw. Further details of years, but was determined not to let the battle affect this will be released at a later date.
06/02/1951 – 06/12/2012 RIP
Heavy Metal Thunder The Movie
Reviewer Lee Walker
Previously available as a "Fan Club Only" only release, ‘Heavy Metal Thunder - The Movie’, charts Saxon's account of their ascent to the upper echelons of heavy metal. The double-disc set features the story of Saxon, while the second disc is packed with bonus features including a full-length St. George's Day performance from April 23rd, 2008. Comprising of the frank memories of every musician who has played in the band, from frontman Biff Byford's t eenage years in the coalmines of Yorkshire and Son Of A Bitch (the first incarnation of Saxon) all the way through to top 10 hits and world tours. Narrated by Toby Jepson, the movie features a platter of guest speakers ranging from all the past and present Saxon members through to a host of stars ranging from Lemmy Killmeister, Lars Ulrich, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clerk, Phil Cambell, Doro Pesch through to Wacken supremo Thomas Jensen. The movie opens up with a clip of Saxon at Wacken Open Air, doing what Saxon do best ~ flying the flag of the NWOBHM high over a sold out festival, with Bif and the
gang demonstrating exactly why they are still going strong and packing out venues and racking up festival appearances even now, some 30 years after the band was first formed. As the film progresses, you get to watch the band coming together, from it’s ‘ruff and ready’ working class background as it makes its way to the polished rock machine they are today and everything that happened in between such as Europe’s love of Saxon, The Metallica connection, the influences the band had on Spinal Tap and the Graham Oliver dismissal over the now infamous Monsters Of Rock bootleg release, which caused such a rift in the friendship between Graham and Bif that to this day the issues it created have still not been resolved. Throughout the film you get to view many rare clips of the band in action which breaks up the biography nicely.
The movie itself is well put together and captures not only the history of the band, it also displays everything, warts and all, capturing the band behind the scenes and shows you just how focussed Bif is in keeping the band alive, which is summed up perfectly in his speech where like a general mustering the troops he calmly states that â€˜We do have a great legacy, whether you joined the band in 1994 or (as) an original member. There's a legacy there and I've tried hard to not let people demean it and to spoil it and you have to look after that thing that is Saxon.â€™ Overall this is a fascinating and informative insight into one of the most decorated and respected bands of their generation, and is essential watching material for any fan of the band or of rock and metal in general. Rating: 10/10
Formats DVD Digipack (2 Discs) Blu-ray
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/saxon Website: http://www.saxon747.com Record Label: UDR Release Date: 10/12/12
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Iron Knights New Sound Of War Reviewer Graham Pritchard
Track Listing Billed as a vampire rock band and hailing from the underworld (well I guess you could call London that) Iron Knights are a band making a name and grabbing a piece of the action. Horror and war feature strongly in metal, just look at Hell and Sabaton who are two great bands that have made a career out of it and Iron Knights are definitely on following suit. They certainly dress to match with German uniforms and fangs these guys know how to put on a show. Having had to change the name of the band they were formally known as Stuka Squadron and have recently have released their second offering in the shape of the New Sound of War’. Their first album, ‘Tales of Ost’ was very good and had the sound of Maiden, which is no bad thing but with ‘New Sound of War’ they have shown they can progress and develop their own sound. From the off this is a very good album. Live these guys are stunning, however on the album I feel something is missing but I’m sure that with time that will come. From the opening track ‘Jericho’ through to the instrumental ‘Immortals’ and the heavier ‘Desert Fox’ this is an album that has something for everyone. To me they sound like a cross between Anvil and Iron Maiden but with a hint of Blaze Bayley on the vocal front. Somehow this strange combination works well for the band. These lads are ones to watch in future. Catch them on tour if you can. Highlight of the album: ‘Desert Fox’ Rating: 8/10
1 Jericho; 2 First Legion; 3 Feeder of crows; 4 Tell me strange things; 5 Immortals; 6 The path; 7 Desert Fox; 8 The messenger; 9 Afterwrath; 10 Bloodstorm;
Members Duke Fang Begley - Vocals; Gravedigger Cox - Guitars; Count Carlos Montoya el Foxico - Guitars; Bomber Beam - Bass; Baron Von Hammerstein - Drums;
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ IronKnightsBand Website: http://www.ironknightsband.com/ Record Label: Metalbox Recordings Release Date: 26/11/12
Bill Tsamis of Interviewed by Lee Walker Ahead of Warlord’s re-release of the classic album ‘Deliver Us’ and the band’s triumphant return to headline Germany’s Keep It true Festival I catch up with Bill to discuss the bands history , the Metal Blade years the upcoming new album release and to find out if 2013 with be the year of the Warlord… Hi Bill, thank you for talking the time out for an interview. Why did you decide to become a musician? Well, back when I was 8 years old my mom, especially wanted me to learn how to play the violin. My older sister was already playing the piano. I remember thinking at the time that the violin was a “girl’s instrument” so I told my parents “If I have to play an instrument I would rather learn how to play the guitar.” And it was at that time that I started taking acoustic guitar lessons in folk, then renaissance, then baroque, and then classical. I was fortunate to have a great guitar instructor who instilled in me a sense of melody. When I was 12 (1973) I picked up a Fender Strat and taught myself how to play the electric guitar, that is, playing with a pick, playing bar chords, and sitting around trying to learn Blackmore, Iommi, and Page riffs. The more I played the more I loved it and I started writing my own songs when I was 14. Though my early songs, of course, weren’t very good, I liked the creative process of writing lyrics and music and the more I wrote, the better of a songwriter I would become.
Why did you pick the name ‘Warlord’ for the band? Again, like any other high school rocker, I would sit around in classes and draw up logos with different band names. For a while I really liked the name “Sin Minister” and I had a great logo for it. But one of my metal comrades suggested the name “Warlord” and it stuck. That was when I was about age 16. So I kept the name and took it with me when Mark and I joined up. He liked the name as well so “Warlord” it would be.
Obviously you all used pseudonyms while performing as Warlord such as 'Destroyer' for yourself, 'Thunderchild' for Mark Zonder, 'Damien King' for Jack Rucker etc. How did you select the names to use? Well, I always wanted Warlord to be a mysterious band, in a Where did you get the idea to originally form Warlord? sense. I knew other people had pseudonyms (or stage names Well, the first incarnation of Warlord was my high school - like Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley) so I thought the idea of band. We played a lot of heavy metal covers but a lot of having mythological names would be cool. Some early originals as well. However, it was just a high school band. reviewers gave us excellent reviews but criticized our I was ready for more serious things and I was planning on pseudonyms. However, the Warlord fan base has always moving to Hollywood from San Jose right after I graduated though it was cool. Selecting the names just had to do with high school. The other members weren’t as ambitious as I the imagination. I was going to name myself Damien King, was and they were just high school friends. After I graduated but then I thought that would be a perfect name for the front high school I soon thereafter met Mark Zonder who was man/vocalist. playing with another band. He, too, was serious about Another name I had was “Abaddon” (from the Book of moving to Hollywood. We jammed together and seemed to Revelation), but because I wasn’t sure if people would know have a good chemistry. Eventually Mark made the move and how to pronounce it, I changed it to its English equivalent I followed and met up with him in North Hollywood. “Destroyer” (“Abaddon” is a Hebrew word). I kind of liked
the dark image so I took that name. “Thunder” fit Mark perfectly; I just added the “Child” to it to make it longer - “Thunderchild.” Essentially I named everyone. It also worked nicely in the sense that since I played the bass on the “Deliver Us” album, I could come up with a different name for myself as the bass player - “The Raven” - to make people think that the bass player was a separate person. A couple members that we “let go” are in the graveyard on the bottom right of the “Deliver Us” cover. The tombstones read “Deathmaster” and “Guardian Angel” and actually have the dates of their departure. And since we would go through many musicians, we have an “open grave” on that cover implying that this is the place where the next “fired” member of Warlord would end up. The Damien King thing worked nicely in the sense that when we changed singers we could just use Damien King I, Damien King II, Damien King III. Our trouble in finding a vocalist made us think that we would eventually end up with Damien King X. Now that we use our real names, many fans still hold on to the pseudonyms as well.
Quickly touching on Metal Blade, when people hear Metal Blade Records now, they automatically think of this giant conglomerate, but that has not always been the case. What was it like being a part of Metal Blade during its early years? Well, as I alluded to, Metal Blade Records in 1982 was Brian Slagel in his mother’s house. It was insignificant and we didn’t even consider it a record company. That was just our mindset. But, to his credit, Brian Slagel saw that were all these small heavy metal bands and maybe he could make a compilation album or two. He also (and we did too) that there were a lot of people who wanted metal - not the pop metal or glam metal of the club scene, but metal in the NWOBHM tradition. The NWOBHM had a huge influence on people like Slagel and others. Even when I was in San Jose (in high school) before I moved to LA, I was totally into the NWOBHM. So when Slagel put that advertisement in that local rock magazine saying something like “New label looking for heavy metal bands for compilation album,” it sort of served as a magnet drawing all the underground metal bands to him. So Metal Blade sort of became a magnet. It wasn’t so much that Brian Slagel was out discovering all these ‘Lucifer's Hammer’ is often regarded as being one of the bands; it was that he was “the only game in town,” and pivotal moments in the bands history, being pretty bands were flocking to him, sending him demo tapes from all instrumental in landing you a slot with Metal Blade Recover the country. I do recall the earliest days of Metal Blade, ords. How did the song end up being featured on Metal though, with Brian leading Mark and I into his bedroom in his Blades ‘Metal Massacre 2’ compilation album? mother’s house. Along with his bedroom, he sort of used the Well, Metal Blade was just a small independent fledgling record store he worked at, Oz Records, as his base of label in Brian Slagel’s mom’s house. We saw an operations - and that was it - Metal Blade Records. After our advertisement that said something like “Heavy Metal Bands Deliver Us album we were getting huge radio play in the Wanted For a Compilation Album.” So, Mark and I took our greater San Jose area (two major AOR stations playing “Child 1981 demo tape down to Slagel’s place of work (a record of the Damned,” “Winter Tears,” and “Deliver Us From Evil,” store named Oz Records). We gave Slagel our demo and we were doing radio spots and interviews. We had been in “Winds of Thor” was the first song. After about 30 seconds Kerrang and Sounds, reviewed positively by the likes of he offered us a place on his second compliation album. We Malcom Dome, Burrn and Music Life so naturally gravitated insisted that we wanted the number one slot on either side A to seeking out a record deal when we really already had one or B. At the time I had written many more songs besides with Metal Blade. It didn’t occur to us that Metal Blade was those on the 1981 demo tape. “Lucifer’s Hammer,” we a record company. Odd, isn’t it? thought, was a very heavy song. It would either be “Lucifer’s Hammer” or “Child of the Damned.” Actually, it was the “moment of truth” for me. I thought to myself, “Okay, you think your music is good now is the ‘moment of truth’ to see if other people like it.” The night after it was released I was at a club in Hollywood and everyone came up to me and complimented me on the song. I remember the guys from Armored Saint telling me they loved the song as well. So, “Lucifer’s Hammer” was pivotal for me because it vindicated my belief that I was a good heavy metal songwriter. Again, though, Metal Blade was such a small, insignificant outfit that we didn’t even consider them a legitimate record label. We were of the mindset that we needed to get a record deal with a company like Warner, Capitol, Epic, or one of the big labels. The concept of small independent labels was pretty much brand new at the time.
Interview Continued... Warlord sadly disbanded in 1986, what were the reasons behind this decision? The biggest problem was the inability to find a singer who was either (1) loyal to the band, or (2) good enough to sing “on key” live. Our first singer, Jack Rucker (Damien King I) simply wasn’t totally loyal or committed to the band. Even though we had the major radio play and had great reviews from tons of magazines, he was waiting for a major record deal and he expected me and Mark to “pound the pavement” of Sunset Strip in order to give out promo packages to every major label. He never rehearsed with us so “playing live” was out of the question with Jack. However, whenever we were doing something in the studio he was the first to show up. Great singer, nice guy, listened to my melodies perfectly and was great in the recording studio. But with his lack of commitment to the band we couldn’t play live - we had to nail a major record deal. So Mark and I decided to get someone who would be committed. We auditioned about a hundred singers (mostly David Lee Roth clones) and no one really fit our style. Then we received a tape of Rick Cunningham from Texas (who would be Damien King II) singing “Lucifer’s Hammer” and he nailed it. We brought him out to LA just on that one song. He was good in the studio when he essentially just parroted my melodies or scratch vocals, but after a lot of rehearsing it turned out that he wasn’t hitting the notes and he was “off key” a lot. Furthermore, he didn’t practice on his own like we did but became enamored with the Hollywood scene. He wasn’t into Euro-metal or the NWOBHM like we were. So we had to let him go and we started another search in 1985 when we discovered Rick Anderson (who would become Damien King III). But we had lived together for so long and gone through so many frustrations we sort of drifted apart. I know I started getting more into classical guitar, for instance. And of course there were natural tensions. Another thing that is important to understand is back then there was only the U.S., Britain, Japan, and maybe Germany. The whole European metal scene was barely taking off and we never expected that to happen. We never thought countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, and all these other countries would get into metal. And no metal bands in the U.S. thought this about those countries. Those countries weren’t even part of our cognitive mindset. Of course Britain was #1 for us because all of our great influences came from Britain - Sabbath, Purple, UFO, Rainbow, Tull, Heep, and so on. The only band that we ever heard of from Sweden was metal scene in Northern and Southern Europe, and even Abba. We would never dream that there would be a Eastern Europe. If we knew that, we would have waited a couple more years and everything would have taken off. So, “timing” and “luck” had
a lot to do with it as well. The last straw was when we met Michael Browning, the manager for AC/DC and INXS. He invited us up to his house in the Hollywood Hills and he put on the “Deliver Us” album. After hearing the song “Deliver Us From Evil” he turned sharply and looked at us (in the middle of the song) and said, “Who wrote that song?,” very pointedly. I was taken aback for a moment and I said, “I did.” I swear to God he looked at me and told me, “Do you know that that is a platinum selling song?” We were thrilled. Finally, here was someone on a major level who could do something for us, perhaps manage us or make some phone calls. However, after a short talk about the difficulties he was having with some of his bands he told us to call him again at a later date. Long story short, the whole thing didn’t work out with Browning and it was devastating. It would be like Simon Cowell telling you that you had a platinum sounding voice and then showing you the door. So, despair set in, tensions flared up, we started drifting in different directions. So there were a lot of factors, but if our first singer was a dedicated metal singer (he was more AOR), then we would have gone out and played live and things would have turned out differently I suppose. While Warlord was in hiatus you all continued on with various projects, such as your ‘Lordian Guard’ band, or Mark and the ‘Fates Warning’ or ‘Slavior’ projects. Did you think that ‘Warlord’ would one day reform? No, I didn’t. My Lordian Guard project was just a side thing I was doing with my wife. She was a great renaissance singer and we used to play a lot of renaissance gigs, but when Juergen Hegewald from Hellion Records asked me if I wanted to do anything, I figured I would use her and have her sing in the alto range. See, in 1988 I re-entered college and by 1995 I was teaching philosophy and theology - very heavy subjects so I was satisfied. Mark called me every once in a while to tell me that Warlord was pretty popular in all these bizarre European countries, but I didn’t think we would ever do a project together, mainly because I was occupied with a college teaching career and I knew Mark was doing something with Fates Warning. So I didn’t foresee the “stars coming into alignment.”
When Warlord eventually reformed in 2002 you had Joacim Cans from HammerFall performing vocal duties, what prompted the reformation? and how did Joacim become a part of the lineup? Well, I knew Joacim from about 1997 - before their “Glory to the Brave” album when they asked for permission to do “Child of the Damned.” That song had been covered by some other bands but when I heard their version I was very impressed, especially with his vocals. Moreover, I was impressed with songs like “The Dragon Lies Bleeding” and “The Metal Age.” I knew they were instant classics and I told Joacim, “Brace yourself, because if you guys keep writing songs like these you’re gonna go a long way.” Jokingly, I still remind him of my little prophecy from back then. So Joacim and I became fast friends and when the 2002 opportunity arose for a Warlord project, Mark asked me, “Who do you think we can get to sing?” And I told him, “Joacim Cans” from a band called “HammerFall.” Mark had never heard them but when I sent him an mp3 or a CD he was immediately convinced that Joacim was our man. Plus, Joacim was a devoted Warlord fan. We never had a singer who loved Warlord or understood our epic metal viewpoint.
Where you surprised to learn that Hammerfall had covered ‘Child of the Damned’? Well, as I kind of alluded to, I wasn’t familiar with metal bands from Sweden in 1997 so, yes, when Juergen Hegewald told me about this Swedish band that was opening its gigs with “Child of the Damned” I thought it was cool. When they said that they wanted to record it for their album I was honored the same way I am when any band covers my music. Although HammerFall is the biggest band that has ever covered my music, we now have enough covers of almost all the Warlord material (which isn’t a lot) for about 4 compilation albums one is coming out in early 2013. What is your opinion of the cover version? I think it is a great version. It’s fairly close except for the guitar solo. I wouldn’t have expected them to copy the 11 second guitar solo of Warlord’s “Child of the Damned,” so that part doesn’t quite fit the song in my view. But, all in all, I think
they did a great job and, as I said, I was more impressed with a few of their own songs than the cover. And then as I followed HammerFall I started to be a fan. I also like the idea that they took their name “Hammer Fall” from the chorus of “Lucifer’s Hammer” which says “The Hammer will Fall on you” - a bit of trivia. The same year Warlord finally played its first ever live gig at Wacken Open Air. Where you surprised to be offered a slot at Wacken? Well, we were up in Long Island, NY recording the “Rising Out of the Ashes” album in February of 2002 and offers started pouring in from a lot of places. When the word “Wacken” was mentioned Mark and Joacim were a bit excited about it - I had never even heard of the place or the festival. (Remember, I was a college professor of philosophy and theology and I didn’t really pay much attention to the metal scene except for my classic favorites.) When Mark and Joacim explained what the gig was I was like “Hell yeah, let’s do it.” But we didn’t have a band so I had to put together a band of friends who I knew could play the backing parts, especially the dual lead guitar solos. That’s why I chose Paolo Viani from Black Jester / Moonlight Circus - great guitar player and big fan of Warlord - he knew all the Warlord material anyway so I knew it would be easy to work with him. We demanded (1) high billing (which we got), (2) everything paid for and taken care of (which we got), and (3) a rehearsal stage perhaps in a club during the day (which we were promised but we didn’t get - we got a small room where we had to stand in a circle - it was the smallest rehearsal room in the history of Warlord, and (4) a 9am to 12 midnight slot (which we were promised but at the end we were moved to the last slot at 1:30am which really pissed us off). Who was gonna show up to see us at 1:30am after a long day of heavy metal partying. But it turned out that several thousand people showed up (which surprised us) although it was very cold at 1:30am. I never played in such cold but it turned out okay.
Interview Continued... How did your set go? Was it like you imagined it would be? The biggest problem for me was that, because we had no sound check, I could not hear the drums. I remember that I had to stand right in front of my monitors to hear the drums and they sounded like Tinker Toys. I could barely hear the beat. Sometimes I’d move back to Mark’s drum riser and put my leg up against the drum riser just so I could “feel” the beat. Without the drums it’s like you’re flying blind. So I thought that was very unprofessional. We were on the big 72 foot stage where bands like the Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, or even the Scorpions play and I can assure you that, as headliners, they have perfect sound. So that’s one thing that pissed me off about that gig. I couldn’t really enjoy it because I had to concentrate so hard to hear the drums and stay on rhythm. Everyone else was just following me, so if I was off, then everyone would be off. Of course, to the audience everything sounded great, but it was a challenge.
award winner Phil Magnotti so the production is insured to be perfect. There are a few surprises on the album that Warlord fans would never expect.
Obviously the album is still in the production stages, but how do you feel it will compare to the previous album releases that you have been involved in? Well, it will be the most massively epic Warlord album that’s for sure. All the classic Warlord melodies are there so fans will immediately identify it as Warlord. As the songwriter for Warlord I like all the material, but I also liked a lot of the musical elements from Lordian Guard (they just weren’t produced properly), so I’ve integrated much of that style into the album and, with Mark on the drums, it sounds powerful, melodic, and epic. That’s all can say.
Do you have any favourite songs yet on the album? Yes, I do have a few songs which I’m particularly fond of and Since then the band have picked up a lot of interest, with offers to play at numerous gigs and festivals, notably with an one is the title track. However, I can’t reveal the names of the songs. All in all, though, as I said it’s all “killer no filler” so I offer to headline the 2009 Headbangers Open Air festival (which I believe you had to decline), and an offer to headline love all the songs, and the lyrics range from some the 2013 Keep It True Festival. Are you surprised by the con- autobiographical metaphorical material to some other interesting topics. tinued interest in the band? Yes, I am surprised by the continued interest (and even growing interest) in Warlord. Our fan base now ranges from 14 to 56, so we’re covering 4 generations. I never thought at 50 I’d be back playing with Warlord.
I know that you are currently in the final stages of producing a new album due out later in the year. Can you tell the Firebrand readers a little about the album? Well, when we did the “Rising Out of the Ashes” album I excluded keyboards altogether. It wasn’t something I wanted to do but I was under the impression that everyone wanted to hear “guitar heavy” Warlord. Although it turned out well for a “guitar heavy” album, I truly believe those songs could have used some orchestration which we are going to do with the “Rising Out of the Ashes” album sometime in Fall 2013 (as a re-release). The new album is, yes, “guitar heavy,” but with lots of orchestration and choirs. It sounds massive and epic with all the traditional Warlord (and even Lordian Guard) melodies going on. It will be 8 songs, 55 minutes, all “killer no filler.” Anyone who loves “epic power” metal will love this new Warlord album. In many areas it sounds like a powerful film score and it is very visual - I’ve dubbed it “visual music” because the themes and melodies, along with the lyrics just conjure up so many images in the mind. It will be professionally engineered and mastered by the muti-Grammy
With it being the first Warlord album release in 11 years, do you feel that there is extra pressure on you for this album to be successful? I write the songs for myself, I always have. I’m not trying to prove myself to anyone anymore. Sure, some people will say it should be “this way” or “that way” - a lot of people want to tell me how I should write my songs and which musicians I should use. Well, tough -- this is it. It was the best I could do with all the resources I had available to me and I think it’s pretty incredible. If people want to hear “Child of the Damned,” well I already did that. On this album I tried to “think outside of the box,” so even though it’s Warlord (and, like I said, people will immediately identify it as such), there are some additional elements which I think bring more power and beauty into the whole project. My attitude is that there will always be detractors when it comes to art. Like I said, I’m not writing to please them, I’m writing the music that I want to hear.
Once the album is released what do you have lined up for the future? Well, we have the 3 shows in Germany and Greece. As headliners it will be great because I have a lot of ideas for stagecraft and we will be able to call all the shots. We will record those shows with both audio and video, so we will be releasing a live album/BluRay DVD. And then there are some possibilities to either play in the States or come back to Europe. Things are happening fast this time around for Warlord so every day is a new adventure and a new possibility. We have a lot of momentum and what was once a snowball is turning into an avalanche so anything is possible. We want to play wherever there are a lot of Warlord fans and we want to record new material. We’re pretty charged right now. It’s like being 18 all over again.
What advice would you offer for any up and coming musicians? Keep at it. And try and develop your own sound. There is so much metal out there that is repetitive that you have to “think outside of the box” to sound original. But be determined. And remember, “all killer, no filler.” The music is key. Every note, every song title, every lyric and melody line should be in place. Don’t take anything for granted because with the internet now, there are thousands and thousands of bands advertising themselves and doing the same thing you want to do. It was the same in the past, in the early ‘80s, but crafting an original sound was the key. If you can carve out your own niche with original ideal and remain determined, and get out there and play in front of every audience you can (exposure), use the internet and social networking, you can make a name for yourself.
Are there any up and coming bands out there you would recommend keeping an eye on right now? Honestly, I don’t really follow the metal scene that much. You’ll find me listening to Savatage with Criss Oliva or Jag Panzer or all the greats from Rainbow to Sabbath to Iron Maiden, but I’m not really in touch with the new scene that much. I do get a lot of material from new bands but the problem is that they lack originality. And I’m so focused on my own creativity and music that when I’m not practicing or recording I’m usually watching a good movie or reading a good book. Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? I just want to thank all the people from all over the world really who have supported Warlord all these years. Even
when I though Warlord was a “dead entity” during the 1990s there were people in the metal media and fans keeping the flame burning. I was totally unawae of it. I am really astonished that Warlord (with really a handful of songs for a 30 year period) has lasted this long and the interest continues to grow. So I just have to “thank you all” for bringing joy to my heart and a feeling of vindication. I always believed there was something special about Warlord, but it died and I wrote it off as a “dead letter.” But it continues to “rise” because of the fans. So the new album has been especially crafted for the devoted Warlord fan . . . Not the general metal fan (although they can join in and listen to), but this album is for the Warlord fan. When I was writing this material I was very conscious of what “the Warlord fan” wanted to hear and all of them (all of you) were with me the whole time. You guys have given me great joy, so I intend on reciprocating with this new album and the live shows along with whatever is destined to follow. Thanks Lee for the interview and for giving me the opportunity to expand a bit on the story of Warlord.
For more information on Warlord: http://www.facebook.com/groups/warlordbattlechoir/ http://www.facebook.com/WarlordOfficial?fref=ts http://www.warlord-official.com/
Robin Trower Roots and Branches Reviewer Jon Seymour seldom gets any better than this. This is most certainly one of those albums for the purists. It’s simple in concept, faultless in execution, and sublime to listen to. Highlight of the Album: ‘I Believe To My Soul’ Rating: 10/10 I’m always nervous when it comes to reviewing a release from someone I really like, as I tend to worry that I might not like it. When this album dropped into my lap, I opened it with both excitement and reverence.
So now we come to another issue. This is predominantly 1. Hound Dog; a covers album… Not one of my favourite things to 2. The Thrill Is Gone; review, as a lot of covers albums have been, in my 3. When I Heard Your Name; opinion, much less than good… 4. Little Red Rooster; 5. I Believe To My Soul; It’s Robin Trower though, so that should count for 6. Shape Of Things to Come; something, right? Well yes actually. Rather than going down the “karaoke copy” route, Robin has broken down 7. That's Alright Mama; each song one by one, and built them back up in his own 8. Save Your Love; 9. Born Under a Bad Sign; way, putting his own twist on them. The end result is 10. Sheltered Moon; some great songs, with Robin’s unmistakeable playing 11. See My Life; running through them. That’s not the whole story though. Rather than just do his own arrangements of the cover songs, he’s added in his own material too. This puts an entirely different perspective on things, and keeps the album fresh. That’s the concept you see. The cover tracks are the “roots” and Robin’s own tracks are the “branches” linking directly back to them, or at least that’s how it came across to me. What’s more, there are some very bold covers on here, and honestly had this not been a Robin Trower album, I’d have been very dubious. You may gather I like Robin’s music, but what’s not to like? Every single one of his albums is a master class in just what you can do with a guitar. He is also one of the most influential guitarists ever, and respected the world over. Anyone who can play a guitar that well has my immediate respect. Roots and Branches is no exception. It’s a mix of material, both old and new, known and unknown, but each song is just pure class, and honestly, guitar music
Members Robin Trower – Guitar and Vocals; Livingstone Brown – Bass; Richard Watts – Bass and Vocals; Chris Taggart – Drums; Luke Smith – Keyboards; Paul Jones – Harmonica;
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ RobinTrower Website: http://www.trowerpower.com Record label: V12 Records Release Date: 4/2/13
FM Only Foolin’ E.P Reviewer Graham Pritchard the same name by Ozzy Osbourne with a lot of similarities between the two songs. The remainder of the songs, with the exception of the closing track, on this great e.p were all recorded live during their live shows in March 2012. UK based FM have a very long documented history, touring extensively back in the 1980’s, and are posses an excellent pedigree with members having spells with bands such as Samson and Wildlife.
With this e.p FM have said that they are back and here to stay, producing the Classic FM sounds that they are known for and I look forward to hearing the new album when it is released.
Formed initially after a chat over a pint in a London pub, FM have achieved a lot of success during the time that they have been together seeing them release five studio albums. However in 1995 they went their separate ways. During there time apart the band members took up numerous projects but there was always a constant pressure to reform and in 2007 they repented and took part in a reunion gig at Wigan’s Winstanley College and following it up by releasing a new album. Later on in October of 2008 they played Firefest, and followed up with further festival appearances at Hard Rock Hell and Download.
FM will be embarking on a full UK tour later this year and they will also be appearing at the inaugural Hard Rock Hell AOR festival in April this year. Highlight of the Album: Shot in the dark. Rating 9/10
1 Only Fooling; 2 Rainbows End; 3 Shot in the Dark; 4 Let love be the leader (Live); 5 Don’t (Stop Live); This latest offering is billed as an EP but with actually has 6 Does it feel like love (Live); nine songs on it, with five of them being live recordings, 7 Tough it out (Live); and is a taste of what’s to come on their seventh studio 8 Hot Legs (Live); album which is to be released later this year through Riff 9 Only Fooling (Extended); City Records. In fairness I never really got in to FM back in the 80’s but having given this a listen I can say I like them and that the e.p has grown on me. With the very talented Steve Overland on guitar and vocal duties and Jim Kirkpatrick on the other guitar between them they create a sound not dissimilar to the great AOR acts such as Journey, Foreigner and Magnum, creating nice smooth vocals, clean guitars and just enough Keyboards make this one fantastic album and with tracks such as ‘Only Fooling’ and ‘Rainbows End’ you can see why they are often regarded as one of the UK’s top AOR artists. ‘Shot In The Dark’ comes across as being very similar to the classic hit of
Members Steve Overland - Guitar and Vocals; Jim Kirkpatrick - Guitar; Merv Goldsworthy - Bass; Pete Jupp - Drums; Jem Davis - Keyboards;
Additional Information Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FMofficial Website: http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/index.html Record Label: Riff City Records Release Date: 26/11/2012
verden allen What made you decide to become a musician? I had piano lessons when I was very young living in South Wales, and when my family moved to live in Hereford I joined a local Hereford band called 'The Inmates', and it all progressed from there. Why did you decide to play the organ? Well I started off with a 'Hofner Pianet' as used by 'The Zombies' but when 'The Animals' came on the scene I got myself a 'Vox Continental' and then later on, a 'Hammond M100' spinit organ. Obviously you are very well known for your time with legendary rockers ‘Mott The Hoople’, as one of its founding members how did the band originally form? I first turned professional with 'Jimmy Cliff & The Shakedown Sound' but left Jimmy after three years of working for 'Island Records' with him, I then went back to Hereford an formed 'The Silence' with :- Mick Ralphs, Overend Watts, Buffin & Stan Tippins. The group went to London, and won a recording deal with Guy Stevens for 'Island Records', Ian Hunter joined the band at that time replacing our vocalist Stan Tippins.
The Hoople’ the majority of them would answer ‘All The Young Dudes‘ but only a fraction of them know though that the song was actually wrote by David Bowie. How did Mott come to use the song? David Bowie was turned on to Mott The Hoople after hearing our 4th Island album 'Brain Capers', and when he heard that we were about to pack up he offered to help us, he put a few songs forward and introduced us to his manager, who then got 'Mott The Hoople' a record deal with CBS records, a big change was about to happen, we recorded All The Young Dudes, it was released on CBS records, and we finally had the hit record that had eluded Island Records for three years. I believe David also offered Mott ‘Suffragette City’ as well as ‘Drive-In Saturday’ what were the reasons behind the band not recording them? Well, we just didn't think that those songs were strong enough for a single at that point of time, but when we heard 'All The Young Dudes' we all knew that it was a hit song.
When people mention ‘Mott The Hoople’ now, they automatically think of a huge sprawling rock act. What was it like to be a part of them in the early days? It was hard work, lots of gigs all over the place, seven days a week, all year round, with a day off for Christmas if we were lucky, and albums had to be written and recorded as you went along, but it was a great experience, a learning curve with lots of fun. A lot has been said of Guy Stevens influence upon the band, how did you end up working with him? I new Guy from being at 'Island Records' with Jimmy Cliff, he was looking for a band to produce, and when Mick & Overend went to see him in London he liked their attitude & dress sense, Guy then arranged for the band to come to London and put down some demo recordings at 'Morgan Studios', the company liked our sound, we secured a deal with 'Island Records' What was it like working with David back then? Was it obvious and 'Mott The Hoople' was born. that his career was about to take off? It was good working with David, although he did tend to take How much did he influence the bands direction? the raw edge off of our sound a tad. At that point in time, Bowie Well Guy was very much into Bob Dylan at that time, and when needed Mott The Hoople to help his career to take off as it was Ian came along and played a Dylan song ' Like a Rolling the combination of us working with David Bowie that started a Stone ' on the piano that was it, Guy was looking for a Stones buzz in the music business and made things move, both Bowie type band with a touch of Dylan,and thats what he got at the and Mott needed that to happen. start, after that, we, the group, developed our own style. When people are asked to name a song associated with ‘Mott
Do you regret the working relationship that Mott had with David Bowie coming to an end? No, not at all. It was time to move on to different things.
It was the end for 'The Cheeks', what a shame, it was a good little band.
When ‘The Cheeks’ split up both James Honeyman-Scott and I believe you left Mott shortly around this time what were the Martin Chambers later joined the Pretenders. Did you keep in reasons behind this decision? touch with them? Direction, We all had different ideas and were unable to I met up with Martin occasionally, we still keep in touch now, combine them, in the end Ian Hunter took control of Mott, Mick as a matter of fact I contacted him prior to the Mott The Ralphs teamed up with Paul Rodgers to form 'Bad Hoople reunion in 2009 and he came and played with us on Company' and I went back to Hereford again and formed 'The the gigs to help Buffin out. Cheeks'. In 1990 you joined ‘The Business’ (which was later re-named as ‘Thunderbuck Ram’) what prompted you to leave your apparent exile and return to the music industry. The Business were a local R & B band from Bromyard Herefordshire that I sat in with at a few gigs, it was good, so we decided to rehearse, get some of my songs together and record them as we went along, we then changed the name of the band to 'Thunderbuck Ram' got some more gigs together, and carried on recording. By 1994 you had recorded enough material and eventually put out the album ‘Long Time No See’ how surprised were you with the reception it received? After you left Mott you joined up with James Well the album was recorded one track every now and then as Honeyman-Scott and Martin Chambers in a band called ‘The money was short at the time, but we soon had a little following Cheeks’, how did you become a part of this band? building so it made sense to make an album, I originally Well as I said on the last question, I went back to Hereford released it on my own label (Spinit Records) in 1994 just for and put the band together, 'Jimmy Honeyman Scott' was then our local fans, but it has since been re-released by 'Angel Air working in a music shop in Hereford, 'Martin Chambers' played Records' with a good response, and this encouraged me to do in a local ballroom band, and Kelvin Wilson our Bass player some more recording. with 'The Cheeks' had been playing in local bands, but was in one of the local pubs in Hereford 'The Bowlers' when I first met Since then not only has ‘Long Time No See’ been re-released him. but you have also put out another three solo albums ('For Each Other', '20 Year Holiday', and 'My Masochistic Side') as Obviously when you left Mott as it was just peaking and ‘The well as being responsible for bringing about the 40th Cheeks’ were relatively unknown at the time. How did you Anniversary Mott The Hoople re-union. It is almost as if a cope with basically having to start from scratch again? switch has been clicked on. What prompted this sudden burst After the band was together we had to get a set sorted, and of musical output? that took quite a while, as I wanted to play all original material, My parents had moved back to live in S.Wales, and when my I also had to do most of the vocals for the first time ever, then father passed away in 1996 I decided to move back and take we had to get the gigs, it's the same old story every time, you care of my mother because she was getting older and needed have to be a masochist. my help, it was at this point that I started writing more songs as I now had the time, so I bought myself some recording gear With The Cheeks you managed to gain quite a lot of interest and got on with the job. I released another three albums with with the record labels but you was unfortunately unable to 'Angel Air Records' before I lost my mother in 2006. obtain that all important record deal, which was credited to The albums were solo projects on which I played all the leading to the band eventually splitting up, why do you think instruments, but I soon felt that I wanted to play live gigs that was? again, but on a nice level, so when Ian Hunter was playing at It was a lot of fun with The Cheeks, and we did quite a number the 'Robin Hood 2' in Bilston, I went to see him, and guested of great gigs, but we were caught up between the 'Glam Rock' that night on 'All The Young Dudes' with him at. the gig. After era and the Punk Rock era, and the record companies were that while at the 'Mick Jagger Centre' in Dartford, Ian and I had indecisive in those days, we were offered a deal with Trident a chat and decided to have a go at getting 'Mott The Hoople' Productions who were looking after Queen, 'should have taken back together again for a reunion, but I didn't realise that it that one', after that things got tough and I took a solo deal with was 40 years on, and it wasn't then, but it was by the time that 'Jet Records' along with Luther Grosvenor. it all happened.
In terms of the Mott re-union how difficult was it to get other ones, we can now go out there and play these songs live everyone back together for it? at gigs as they are on the CD, and I have not been able to do It was not easy at all, it took 23 months before we did the gigs that with the other albums since the Thunderbuck Ram days. at 'The Apollo' in London, I guested at the 'Robin Hood 2' on 25th Oct 2007 and we played the 'Apollo' on the 1st Oct 2009 for five nights, with the original group. Were you happy with how the re-union went? Very happy, the gigs were great, we all had the best time ever together, and the fans were wondeful, what a shame that it all had to stop. Once you had done the re -union tour you all appeared to have gone your separate ways. Will that tour be the end of Mott? I honestly don't know the answer to that question, we all want to do it again, but as I said earlier, it's not that easy. Now you are currently involved with a new project titled ‘Soft Ground’ (or ‘Verden Allen’s Soft Ground’ depending upon where you read it) how did this project come together? After the Apollo gigs I was asked to play at the 'Wyeside Festival' in Hereford, so I got in touch with some local musician friends and it all started from there. Why did you choice ‘Soft Ground’ as a name for the project? Well it rained so much at the festival that we all thought that the name was appropriate, and as it happens I also have a song called Soft Ground from my Mott days that David Bowie produced for us and also sang backing vocals and played some synth on too. How did you select the bands lineup? I got in touch with 'Matt Blakout' (Drums) and 'Jamie Thyer' (Guitar) after seeing them playing with their own bands, and our Bass player 'Rob Hankins' is an old friend of mine. You are about to release the new album (‘Love You & Leave You’) later in the year. Can you tell the Firebrand readers a little about the album? The album has got a live feel to it, most of the songs have been recorded before on my solo albums, but now with the band they sound fresh and new, I'm vey pleased with the booklet which contains the lyrics of the songs along with pics of the band, it's a good package. Do you have any favourite songs on the album? All the songs mean something to me, I'm not going to commit myself to one in particular at the moment.
One of the things that Mott The Hoople, and the assorted splinter bands that are connected to it, are known for is having a very loyal fan base. How do you think they will react to the album ? I don't really know, but all the people that have seen the band live at our gigs, wanted a CD of the group as it is at present, Well now we have one, its up to date, its fresh, and I very much hope that they like it. With it being the first album that you have released as part of the ‘Soft Ground’ project, do you feel that there is extra pressure on you for this album to be successful? Very much so, but I'm also exited about it. Once the album is released what do you have lined up for the future? Do you have any tours or festival slots lined up? We have a gig at the Lads Club in Hereford on Saturday 9th Feb 2013 to launch the album, also radio and magazine interviews, other gigs are yet to be sorted and will announced soon on our website, http://www.softground.net/ and also on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SoftGround What advice would you offer for any up and coming musicians? Be prepared and don't let the cat out of the bag until it happens.
Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? How do you feel the album will compare to the previous album Yes, I would like to thank you all for your support over the past releases that you have been involved in? years and hopefully we shall see you at our gigs this year, so There have been a lot of people involved with the making of until then, all the best for 2013, and if you're gonna have this record, which makes it a totally different ballgame from the one, have a good one, whatever it is.
Bisongrass Bisongrass Reviewer Mel Delacroix glance (the artwork is very successful ~ offering a beautiful promise at the first sight), with the first note comes the first hopes. Bisongrass strikes the heart, and their music is truly unfeigned humanity. Organic as far as in his profession allows, rich in his dedication for sharing warmth and love which is the best medicine there is. Led Zeppelin under the effects of LSD meets the Unleashed era Alice In Chains, with the snakes themselves avoiding the golden coloured sands of Aberdeen, when you spit your guts into the microphone, the breath that remains is dedicated to malt…
‘What is what the life ? This is the splinter of a Luciola in the night. This is the blow of a bison in winter. This is the small prevalent shadow in the grass and loses the way to the sundown.’ Crowfoot (Blackfeet's chief) - Bisongrass - Is This Life ?
The first album from Scottish powerhouses Bisongrass was released on the 15th September (and is available in physical and digital forms via Amazon, Spotify, iTunes or the band themselves) and sets out the bands own heavy metal manifesto, which in eight decisive songs, sweeps, shakes and slices down Highlight of the album: ‘Desert Rose’ to the last morsel of your being. Rating: 9/10 Imagine the nuclear charisma of Pearl Jam merging in a forge with Down producing a mixing of the styles, allowing them to reach magical heights producing a vivid intoxicating doom which is heavy in its ritual, and recorded in the studio of Niall Mathewson (guitarist of legendary group progressive rockers Pallas), providing a Black Sabbath style midnight mass. The sincerity of the group quickly portrays its purpose where one feels real vibrations of love and of the love for a musical honest genius, when the ground that you trample would carry you on pathways of jubilation.
Track Listing 1. Electrified Gypsy; 2. Infected; 3. Seeds Of Hate; 4. Unipolar; 5. Square Turkey; 6. Desert Rose; 7. Sounds Like Trouble; 8. Halos At Sunrise;
Formed towards the end of 2010 with members of Dredwater, KCHGH, Ablach, Filthpact, Risactonia and Korpse, this acclaimed revelation and successor to the groups it was formed from, winning the 2012 ‘Fudge Awards’, all rests upon it’s unique Mark Craig- Vocals; Aaron Man – Guitar; sound and those powerful songs. James Dron –Guitar; Farmer Giles – Bass; Boosted by the shamanic vocal incantations of the inspirational Mark Craig, manifesting his voodoo on the abrasive Taff Barber – Drums; recording’s producing long, hypnotic pieces such as ‘Rose desert’ or ‘Halos At Sunrise’, that strums in the bacon, blackened with smoke bars and marinated with alcohol as for this band that are hungry for success, with the remaining band members being Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Bisongrassmetal Aaron Rodger (Guitar), James Dron (Guitar), Farmer Gilles Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/BISONGRASS (Bass) and Taff on the drums. It is often said that music is Record Label: Self Release thought of as female, and that one can fall in love with the first Release Date: 15/9/12
Steve Lukather Transition Reviewer Jon Seymour the right amount, every time. I thought that with his last album, he’d achieve something that could not possibly be improved on, but I’m afraid it turns out that I was wrong. It’s hard to comprehend just how good you can I was excited by this release ever since I heard about it. Steve’s get, before you reach that plateau where you’ve achieved the last album ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’, was one of my favorite highest level you’re ever going to get to. I thought that Steve hit albums of 2010, and honestly, my favorite of Steve’s solo it last time around, but this time? Well apparently it is possible career. This one has a lot to live up to, that’s for sure. to improve on perfection. It’s There’s no denying that Steve is one of the most experienced professional musicians around, with some 1500 plus album credits. That’s just as a musician, as he’s produced a whole lot of albums too, so when he writes his own material, you know it’s going to be of the highest quality.
at times like this that I like to be proved wrong.
I will state unequivocally right now, that this album will definitely be in my top 10 albums at the end of 2013, as I expect that there’s not going to be very much that’s going to be better than this in the The thing is though, because of all of the people that Steve has next 12 months. worked with, he’s picked up countless influences and with so much going on, he could have a genre all to himself. It’s always Highlight of the Album: ‘Right The Wrong’ impossible to pigeonhole his music, but that’s one of the qualities I love most about it. It pushes the boundaries of what Rating: 10/10 you would call “the norm” and challenges you to think about what you’re listening to, rather than just go through the motions.
This album is no different. It’s full of songs that cross the thresholds of many genres effortlessly, sometimes two or three times during the course of the same song. There’s no need to bang on about Steve’s guitar playing, because that goes without saying. Just know that he’s one of the finest guitar players on the planet, and we can end it there. What surprises me most about this album though is the nature of the material. The last album went along a very personal route, as Steve was going through some emotional turmoil at the time. This album delves further into that territory, and it’s a collection of very heartfelt songs. Steve has very much put his heart on his sleeve on this record, and some of it is quite dark. Musically, it’s a stunning album, with clever arrangements, and enough changes in tempo to keep it moving along. The ballads are just beautiful, and Steve’s soft vocals are haunting. The faster tracks have monster choruses, and you’ll find yourself singing along before you’ve even realized what’s going on. What really puts Steve among the true guitar greats though is his ability not to play. He knows exactly how much guitar to put into each segment of the song, and the solos are placed with precision and delicacy. There’s no heavy handed soloing, just
1. Judgment Day; 2. Creep Motel; 3. Once Again; 4. Right The Wrong; 5. Transition; 6. Last Man Standing; 7. Do I Stand Alone; 8. Rest Of The World; 9. Smile;
Members Steve Lukather and various additional musicians.
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stevelukather Website: http://www.stevelukather.net Record Label: Mascot Records Release Date: 21/1/13
Alice Cooper Old School Reviewer Lee Walker
Alice Cooper’s Old School: 1964–1974 Special Edition is the story of the Alice Cooper group. Comprising of a four-CD and eAlbum set taking you inside one of rock’s great bands with an array of audio rarities direct from the depths of the band’s own vaults and personal collections, with unearthed gems also generously provided by family, friends, road crew, and long-time fans. Housed in a very apt mini traditional school desk design, this set features four discs crammed with demos, pre-production and rehearsal recordings of classic Alice Cooper tracks, radio spots, interview anecdotes, and a full live show captured on the 1971 Killer tour (‘Live in St Louis’) along with a 60-page yearbook charting the incredible rise of Alice Cooper complete with many rare photos.
the box set, particularly as it is made up mostly from a mix of early demos from the likes of the ‘Killer’, ‘School’s Out’ and ‘Muscle of Love’ albums and live recordings (including a ‘bootleg’ live show that was recorded in 1971). Also contained within the set is a cd full of interviews with Alice Cooper and his peers, which is guaranteed to be of interest to the growing legion of fans. With this box set being a ‘condensed version’ of one of the same name, which was only released the previous year, and containing material which is only really suited to die hard fans I am afraid to say that I would have to think very hard about purchasing it. That said, die hard fans of Alice Cooper who have not got the box set will love it. Highlight of the album: ‘In Their Own Words’ (The Interview Disk) Rating: 6/10
The years 1964–1974 were not especially kind to Mr Furnier who struggled to bring his own brand of shock theatrical rock to the masses in an era where free love and the swinging sixties still dominated the music scene. The Alice Cooper bands early work was heavily influenced by the psychedelic scene, which was very noticeable in his first album ‘Pretties For You’. The album itself was not well received and it took until the infamous ‘Chicken Incident’ at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in September 1969 to really bring the Alice Cooper band to the public’s attention. Even after the wave of publicity that this created it wasn’t until the release of 1971’s ‘Love It To Death’ that things started to look up for the band. With this release you have a collection of this earlier work, which to be perfectly honest, you will either love or hate as the early Alice Cooper Band’s sounds are very much removed from the highly polished, flamboyant theatrical affair that they are today, and fans of the more recent sound will struggle with a lot of the material within
Contents 4CD and eAlbum set comprising of demos, rehearsals, radio spots, interviews and a full live show captured on the 1971 Killer tour ; 60-page ‘School Yearbook’;
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AliceCooper?fref=ts Website: http://alicecooper.com/ Record Label: Universal Music Release Date: 19/11/12
Earlier this year I entered a competition to win tickets for the Hard Rock Hell festival. I entered mainly thinking of Miguel da Silva (my husband and fellow Firebrand Rock Radio presenter) as I wasn't too familiar with the bands that had been announced on the line up but I knew that he liked a quite a few of them, as they were names I knew he had played on his radio show The Rock Experience.
heating in all the rooms, a shower, and a basic but workable kitchen which for us was great as the only festivals we'd been to in the past have involved camping in a tent - so this was real luxury! The site was at a Havens - the Hafan Y Mor site in North Wales. It took us forever to get there (close to 7 hours) and the tiny roads in the mountains looked rather intimidating in the dark! It really felt like it was in the Little did I expect to middle of nowhere. hear anything after The site happened entering the to be right near the competition, but I beach, and it was a actually won tickets! short walk to a fanThe prize was for 6 tastic view of the sea people, with with Snowdonia in Bonafide reduced price the backdrop and Photo Credit: Miguel da Silva accommodation for fields full of sheep all the nights. It turned out to be quite difficult to right next to it! get other people to take the spare tickets due to either not being interested in the bands or The actual camp-site was fairly large with plenty having various other commitments. In the end I of chalets and caravans available, but it was got two other people to join us, one of them a only a short walk for us to get to the main friend of mine from my local Animal Aid group. festival location. There were two indoor stages right opposite from each other so you could I had no idea what accommodation we would easily go from one to the other. The first stage get, or what it would be like, especially as my was pretty huge with just a few bars and a friend Maria was telling me that the chippy and Burger King at the back. The accommodation on a previous year was really second stage was also large but there was a bad, but it turned out that the organisers had 'metal market' in there also with loads of stalls actually changed the site that they had with lots of things, like handmade jewellery, previously used. As it turned out, we were lucky music, clothes and other bits and bobs and enough to have a chalet as opposed to a most of the prices were pretty reasonably caravan and it turned out to be pretty nice with
priced too. There were also more bars and just next door there was a Starbucks where they had some acoustic and signing sessions. We tried to watch one acoustic session but the room was so small that we couldn't get in. There was also a restaurant on site but each time we went there was no vegan food (both of us are vegans) and on Sunday they didn't even have a vegetarian option. Luckily we had brought some of our own food along but we did have chips from the chip shop several times!
raucous rock n roll leaving you wanting to hear more. One of my favourite performances of the weekend were Buffalo Summer, who pulled off a sizzling hot set of Led Zeppelin inspired blues rock and there was something about the band's presence too that made them immediately likeable.
The final band we saw on Friday were the excellent Die So Fluid, who I'm ashamed to say We arrived fairly late in the evening on I wasn't too familiar with before Hard Rock Hell, Thursday night after a very long drive so we but I fell in love with them on this night, their were all very tired so only made it to part of the blend of hard rock and metal is mixed to first night's 'Gunslingers Ball'. We dressed up in perfection and some of their songs wouldn't our best Cowboy/Cowgirl attire but were not leave my head for weeks afterwards. overly keen with the few bands we managed to catch. Friday was a much better day and was the day I personally enjoyed the most. The first band we saw were Ajenda, a female fronted band from Ireland led by an almost pixie like singer, who although small had an impressive vocal range. The band produced big riffs and a very energetic performance for mid afternoon.
Die So Fluid Photo Credit: Miguel da Silva
Ajenda Photo Credit: Sean Larkin Soon after we saw Electric Mary, a band I wasn't familiar with, but there was much enthusiasm for them from the audience. One person nearby where we were standing cited them as his â€˜band of the weekendâ€™. They were indeed a highlight of the Friday, with some
Saturday was a less hectic day but we still managed to see some very good bands. Our new discovery of the day was 'Little Caesar', a fifties rock n roll influenced band who had some of the catchiest songs of the weekend - I defy you to listen to their song 'Rum and Coke' and not want to sing along! Bonafide put on a mind blowing performance literally- as members of performance group Area 51 first joined them on stage to dance, and then started fire breathing which was pretty wild especially as we were in the first row so could feel it in full force! I had never heard this
band before but I'm so glad I checked them out, we watched some metal and some blues/rock n' as they are as fun as AC/DC and could be as roll as well as some general hard rock. big as them one day. The metal came in the form of two bands Kobra and The Lotus, who had fantastic interaction with the audience, and although not necessarily my kind of music, did have an energy about them that made the set really enjoyable. Fozzy were the other metal band we watched, who despite the singer's endless frolics such as climbing on the speakers, just didn't manage to leave a lasting impression on us.
Bonafide, Photo Credit: Sean Larkin Spiders were a female fronted band that played 70's influenced rock but sadly their set wasn't very long so just as we were getting into them, they were finished. The headliner for Saturday was Ugly Kid Joe were a lot of fun as expected. They played THOSE two songs but also played some of their newer music and got a very positive reaction from the audience.
Kobra and the Lotus, Photo Credit: Sean Larkin Dr. Feelgood provided the blues and their set went down surprisingly well considering that none of the band members were part of the original line-up.
Ugly Kid Joe Photo Credit: Sean Larkin Sunday was the easiest day as everything was all on one stage as the 'Hard Rock Hell Xmas Rockers Ball'. It was a very varied day for us, as
Dr Feelgood Photo Credit: Sean Larkin
The real highlight of the day was of course main headliner Buckcherry who pulled off a loud energetic performance which included several tracks of their forthcoming new album 'Confessions', and of course their better known material from the album '13' ending with a rousing version of 'Crazy Bitch' which got everyone dancing and made us leave the festival on a high.
Buckcherry Photo Credit: Miguel da Silva
Overall we felt this was the best festival we had been to. Despite not knowing many of the bands I really enjoyed the music, and felt like there was something for everyone with all areas of rock music seemed to be covered. The festival was well organised, there didn't appear to be any trouble and everyone had a great time. See you next year!
For more information on Hard Rock Hell: http://www.hardrockhell.com/ For more photographs of Hard Rock Hell: http://www.seanlarkin.co.uk/
Deep Machine Whispers In The Black Reviewer Lee Walker there classic sound and making it available to the growing new army of fans. Unlike a lot of the reforming NWOBHM bands, Deep Continuing the New Wave of British Heavy Metal Revival Machine have kept there sounds true to how they are original NWOBHM London rockers Deep Machine. sounded when they original started off, successfully Formed originally back in 1979 this cult underground band managing to capture the raw energy and passion that started off strongly, quickly making a mark in the growing made the NWOBHM scene what it was, and continues to NWOBHM scene at the time, playing multiple gigs and still sound as fresh today as it did all those years ago. My even gaining a support slot with new wave giants Angel only complaint with this e.p is it’s too bloody short! in all Witch, but sadly succumbed to multiple lineup changes which eventually led to the band calling it a day before seriousness though I cant wait for the band to produce a they could really take off. Briefly reforming in 1988 to do full length album and I look forward to keeping track on a one off gig at the legendary Ruskin Arms venue the what the band get up to over the coming years. band continued its hiatus until 2009 when after a jamming session it was decided to re-form the band. Highlight of the album: ‘Whispers In The Black’ ‘Whispers In The Black’ marks the release of the first new Rating: 9/10 song that Deep Machine have wrote in a very long time, and continues to build upon the memento created by the recent release of the original 1981 demo tapes. Originally independently released in August 2012, this highly collectable e.p will be released through High Roller Track Listing Record on the 15th of February as a limited edition vinyl 1. Whispers In The Black; record. 2. Iron Cross; 3. Killer; Opening track’ Whispers In The Black’ is the first totally new song to be released by this rejuvenated band ~ Members having a sound similar to the ‘Brave New World/The Lenny Baxter – Vocals; Wicker Man’ era Iron Maiden, with its traditionally styled Bob Hooker – Vocals & Guitars; lyrics, catchy hooks and carefully crafted guitarmanship it Beastie – Guitars; is guaranteed to appeal to both fans of the scene and John Riley – Bass; Chas Towler – Drums; rock in general. Updated new recordings of ‘Iron Cross’ and ‘Killer’ complete this e.p, with the songs benefitting from the advances of the updated recording equipment since they were first recorded, bringing a new lease of life upon these classic Deep Machine tunes, successfully capturing
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/deepmachineuk?fref=ts Website: http://www.deepmachine.co.uk Record Label: High Roller Records (Pure Steel) Release Date: 15/2/13
Heavenward Within These Dreams Reviewer Si Staples
It seems to be the latest fashion by record labels to re-release albums of the 80’s and the 90’s. Most of them are marked as ‘lost jewels from the past’ that have either not succeeded for whatever reason or someone somewhere feels it’s a release that needs to have a second chance, which in my opinion, is just a trick to get attention from us metal fans , but the truth is most re-releases aren’t worth much. ‘Within these Dreams’ is the debut album of the German band ‘Heavenward’ which was released for the first time back in 1991 through a small metal label. Here in the re-released edition you will have the chance to listen to it for the first time or again as the case may be, you also get material from their second demo included as bonus.
lot as the band had matured greatly and started to really develop their style, but I still very much prefer to listen to the ‘Blind Guardian’ and ‘Metal Church’ releases of the same era… Try to listen to them and make your own decision. Highlight of the album: 'Within These Walls’ Rating: 7/10
Track Listing 1. System Going Down; 2. The Sky; 3. Dreams In Disguise; 4. Cold Embrace; 5. Their Eyes; 6. Remember – At first Nature; 7. Raging Waters; 8. Within These Walls; 9. Holding The Key; 10. Remember – At First Nature (Demo); 11. Dreams In Disguise (Demo); 12. Hell On Earth (Demo); 13. Holding The Key (Demo);
I think that all these sound as a great treat for the fans of the old metal sound (a category I hate I hasten to add!!!) but it seems to be generally accepted as such. As for the music, Heavenward sit firmly in the ‘Power Metal’ niche. Being from Germany you might class them as European ‘Power Rock’ but that is so not the case. Within the album you have hints of European brand of Power Metal such as Members ‘Blind Guardian’ and ‘Scanner’. There are also traces of U.S. Power Metal influences to which the great ‘Metal Stefan Kessel - Vocals; Bernd Gröters - Guitars; Church’ jumps straight out, which strikes a great balance Oliver Müller - Bass; between the two different sounds. Thomas Kelleners - Drums; All of this makes you think ‘Within These Dreams’ must be an album that will offer you some great metal but the truth is that the debut album of Heavenward lacks a little imagination and sounds like a lot of others that was released at the time. It lacks Heavenward’s personality for me and easy to forget. In the demo things are improved a
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Heavenward.de Website: http://www.heavenward.de/ Record Label: Pure Steel Records Release Date: 7/12//12
Reviewer Lee Walker Rainbow, or Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow as they were once known were an English rock band, controlled by former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1994 to 1997. It was originally established with former Elf members, though over the years Rainbow went through many lineup changes with no two studio albums featuring the same line-up. In addition to lead singers
lease of life. With the advances in technology allowing you to fully appreciate the amazing voice of Ronnie James Dio and the unparalleled guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore as never before, as they play classic numbers such as ‘Long Live Rock 'n' Roll’, ‘L.A. Connection’, ‘Sensitive to Light’ and ‘L.A. Connection’ or experience the brilliant live recording of ‘On Stage’ where you get to listen to one of the earliest known recordings of Rainbow in all its glory.
Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White, the project consisted of numerous backing musicians. The band started out combining mystical lyric themes with neo-classical metal, but went in a more streamlined commercial style following Dio's departure from the group. Re issues of albums have always been a bone of contention throughout the music scene with as many people being for them as against them. My own personal take on the matter is that as long as the music is good and that they have something additional and more importantly worth while for the fans then they are fine. With the ‘Deluxe Editions’ of the classic Rainbow albums ‘On Stage’ and ‘Long Live Rock’n’Roll ‘ you have just that. With both of these albums originally being released way back in 1977 and 1978 respectively you have the original recordings restored and re-mastered giving them a new
Also included with the Deluxe Editions are second disks which contain rare, previously unreleased material such as remixes and draft recordings of the songs which make up the ‘Long Live Rock’n’Roll’ album or a previously unavailable 1976 live recording for the ‘On Stage’ album. With both recordings also being repackaged, and both containing intricate booklets offering personal unique insights into Rainbow at the time, these re-releases not only make an ideal introduction to Rainbow they also make a great addition to any fan of Ronnie James Dio and/or Rainbow and continue to make Di’s great musical legacy available to future generations Highlight of the albums: On Stage – ‘Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain’ Long Live Rock’n’Roll - ‘Kill the King’ . Rating: 10/10
Track Listing CD 1 1. Over The Rainbow; 2. Kill The King; 3. Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain/Blues/Starstruck 4. Catch The Rainbow; 5. Mistreated; 6. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves; 7. Still I'm Sad; Disc 2 Bonus Tracks – Live Osaka 9/12/1976 1. Kill The King; 2. Mistreated; 3. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves; 4. Catch The Rainbow; 5. Medley: Man On The Silver Mountain/Blues/Starstruck; 6. Do You Close Your Eyes (Previously unreleased)
Members Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar; Ronnie James Dio – Vocals; Jimmy Bain – Bass; Tony Carey – Keyboards; Cozy Powell – Drums;
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainbow/ Record Label: Universal Music/Polydor Release Date: November 2012
Track Listing CD1 1. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll; 2. Lady Of The Lake; 3. L.A. Connection; 4. Gates Of Babylon; 5. Kill The King; 6. The Shed (Subtle); 7. Sensitive To Light; 8. Rainbow Eyes; CD 2 – Bonus Tracks Rough Mixes (1977) 1. Lady Of The Lake; 2. Sensitive To Light; 3. L.A. Connection; 4. Kill The King; 5. The Shed (Subtle); 6. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll; 7. Rainbow Eyes; L.A. Rehearsal (1977) 8. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll; 9. Kill The King; Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert (1978) 10. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll; 11. L.A. Connection; 12. Gates Of Babylon; 13. L.A. Connection(Outtake Version); 14. Gates Of Babylon (Outtake Version);
Members Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar, Bass; Ronnie James Dio – Vocals; Bob Daisley – Bass, Backing Vocals; David Stone – Keyboards; Cozy Powell – Drums;
Sandi Thom Interviewed by Rick Palin
Your career s incredible I mean you’re like the music equivalent to J K Rowling I have a lot of stories to tell One of the things that has impressed me over the years and keeping track of you was finding out about the 21 Nights From Tooting. That was like an act of desperation But it actually worked quite well That’s what happens when you are fed up and at the end of your tether, you know when you’re in those positions, you go to great lengths to do things and to make things work, so I had been doing what everybody else was doing for years, you know I started playing professionally in a band when I was 14, I was a member of a tribute band with a bunch of much older guys, so me, a young girl in a band of 40 something year old dudes was dynamic, but they all ended being like dads to me. So I started my career as a 14 year old and was out playing pubs and clubs so you know for me this journey began long ago and by the time got to 20 something living in London I was fed up, so I was inspired by this gig I did in Edinburgh and the idea had already been planted in someone else’s head evidently because they had webcast the night on the venues website and it was very revolutionary and it was all very high-tech and I was intrigued by it and I was literally fascinated by the whole thing and I came back to London, back to my house and thought well how can I offer you this. So that’s really where the whole thing began. And I did have a manager at that point which I was working with who was equally as crazy as me and would do things like this, who would go out on a limb and take a risk like I like to do, so he and I worked together and we found a company who would be willing to come on board, it really sort of spun from there. Because it was a time when people just didn’t do that, that was the thing because it was so new and that’s why it cottoned on so quick and why everyone was so interested in it. There always seems to be a very big sense of humour element like with the early stuff, you know like such as the previous album titles from the Tooting days were incredibly well thought out and quite funny with it. Like the Saturday nights video
Was it before or after alcohol, that’s what we need to know. The thing is, I’ve always been a person that that when people tell me it’s not possible to do this and then I go a hundred times harder at it to make it happen. I’ve always been like that, someone says oh you can’t do that, my then label said oh it’s impossible, and actually no its not, a lot of things people think impossible actually are possible. So when Sony said we’re not doing the video for Saturday Night, I went oh well I’ll make one and if you go online I think it’s like racked up more than 100,000 hits. You know it’s hilarious the stuff we used to do, because we were just young, carefree and musicians just really trying to get noticed by everyone else, and there is a sense of humour to everything and I think the thing about me that maybe some people don’t know is that’s my personality – a little bit crazy, very spontaneous jump in head first kinda person, and suffer the consequences good or bad. Well I can appreciate that, I mean 2 years ago someone told me I was incredibly nuts to start a radio station and it will never get off the ground, now 2 years later we’re the second biggest independent radio station in the UK. Sebastian said that to have someone do something, is to tell someone it’ll never work. It’s an amazing thing because people will always try to keep you at their level, it’s quite an amazing thing when you come through it, like I say you’ve done incredibly well. Well its worked for me because even when I was a little girl my music teacher said you’ll never get into that school and I did, and then you’ll never get into that university and I got into that university, then I moved to London and was told I’d never get a publishing deal and I did and then I’ve come along all the way to this point now, when Sony when they had the mass cull in 2008/2009, when I got dropped I said I’m going to start a label and I’m going to have worldwide distribution and everyone was like, that’s the hardest thing to do, and given it is really difficult. I don’t know how these things have occurred but I suppose when your hell bent on them happening you’ll just find a way. This is very, very true I’m at the point now where I have the label, I have the distribution and it’s all self-made, it’s all done,
all come along. It’s been a lot of hard work. You’ve probably been asked this a thousand times, but when I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker was originally released did you expect it would have the impact it did? When it was originally released, I released it myself, it then had different artwork and it was a whole different thing, when Sony released it, I think I had an idea of the impact, but it would have been because of the fact it had this platform. The thing about the industry is that its songs and musicians, there are people out there who write the most amazing song that never gets heard because there are so many barriers that are built that stop you from getting there, well you don’t make the list, you don’t get on this tv show, you don’t get on Jools Holland, there’s so many things that you need to go out and play live, you need to have this Facebook thing blah blah blah. So I think when I got signed to Sony and being this 20 something, giddy and just starting out, I was tickled pink because I thought this was it, I’d made it. I think that when that happened and I saw the machine work and I saw how being with this big powerful entity could really take you from being A to B in a flash, that I realised the impact the song could have, because I knew the song was different and I knew that if people could only hear it, it would make and impact. The ironic thing is that this went out as an independent label prior to that I did release that song on my own and it went to 55 in the charts, which is a really great thing for a little, nothing label, but then you see the impact that the machine has when it gets behind it and plugs a lot of money into it – gets it on air, gets it in people’s faces. That was a great learning experience and a great thing to watch, the difference between the major label at work and the independent at work and where one fails and another doesn’t. I did think I knew, yes. Setting up Guardian Angels was probably the best thing you did then? Well, the thing is now, there’s so many ways to skin a cat, and there’s kind of a way to be successful. You can have millions and billions of hits on Youtube and release covers on iTunes and make money all day long selling single downloads and you never have to leave your house, or you can be the most incredible touring artist that’s spent the last 20 years building up a live audience, or you can be old school and still follow the old traditional model and be a success like Adele, so there’s so many ways to skin
a cat. You have to figure out what’s the best for you, and the thing about me here is it started out in such a odd way with the webcasts and everything else, but it really kinda took me in a place I didn’t necessarily want to be in, this girl next door sings folk songs type person and the songs that I wrote then I can still play now and I love them, I give them my heart and everything. I was definitely one of those artists that steered in certain directions particularly with the second album when that came along. When I made that album I realised I couldn’t be one of those acts that, you know, here lets re-record this song for the 19th time and how to rip the soul out of music and follow steps 1 to 10, I went through that and then realised very, very quickly that I was just not going to be that person, and I think its because I have always been very independent, very headstrong and I micro-manage everything. I’m a total control freak. I’m thinking when you look in terms of the industry these days it was probably the best thing to do. I think that you know I have worked with of other couple of acts on my label that are completely different genre wise to me and could not be any further away from what I do, but I respect them and I get there enthusiasm and I love that and I feel that’s the people who deserve it. But I still see they are young and I see myself ten years ago when I didn’t know this industry, the pitfalls and what was clever and I think I look at them and I still listen to them talk about the old model – you write the song, you put it on the radio people hear it, you sell records, you know if only it was that easy like it was before and unless you wise up to that its shit, and unless you are really not aware of how you make success, how do you make money, how do you make a career. People want it so much the world is saturated with it, so you are really not going to have a chance and I had to learn a lot in the last five years about the industry and how it runs things and also about myself. I actually discovered myself, what I want to sound like because when I started out I was a girl who could write songs, who had a new voice, who could play, who was interesting, now I know what I want to sound like and that is very valuable and I own that. That is mine. So yes, that’s the greatest thing about being independent not being under anyone else’s control. Flesh and blood is absolutely amazing; it really is a superb album. I have been reading up a bit on the website as
well on the whole production process. It is sort of phenomenal, you got to work with some of the biggest ound on this album. Did Joe have any input on this one? names around on this album. Did Joe have any input on this one? No, he was very far away. Geographically he was on the other side of the world so I remember Skyping on an iPad in the studio Bejing or wherever he was. So no, because I think it was just because we were in totally different places at the time that I found the people I worked with were incredible and I couldn’t have asked for that and I still pinch myself that I have worked with people like that. And I pinch myself because they took the time out of their schedules, and I’m sure they have a million other things that they were offered, so to come and do that with me was a great compliment and when I look at how well respected these people are and to think that they worked with me is brilliant, it’s the greatest thing, the greatest achievement, the best feeling when you know people that you have looked up to your whole life, who have this legacy and history then come and sit with me and that really is the greatest compliment. I actually got to interview another one of my heroes a couple of months ago and it was Glen Hughes, funnily enough I was totally amazed at how down to earth Glen was. He’s got a hell of a story to tell There is such a lot of fantastic tracks on Flesh and Blood, what personally stands out to you as your favourite track on the album? That’s such a hard question to answer because you never know. Honestly I think that there are some songs that I like to play more than others maybe its because they have more elements than others, but I think the way the album begins and ends I really love that, and I love the fact that it began with this big old belter of a tune that really, I could show the world that I play the harmonica for a start which was something that they would never know … I love the way that the album begins with Help Me it’s great. Its this big old raunchy blues song, which is like a vulnerable heart felt confessions of this slightly tragic past that you are letting go of, there are so many emotions it’s such a roller-coaster throughout so I don’t really ever see one song I see it as one body of work. You know my favourite albums were always and will always come back to the first band I was in called Rumours and I thought it was the
best album - 10 songs 40 minutes long, it was just so great everything was so unique but you could never own a part of it, you could only have the whole thing and that’s what I loved about making the records like the ones you make back in the day, you were a bit noise a bit like The Who and those types of bands they made these concept records so the whole thing was a story and you had to own it the whole thing and that was really what I try and do with my albums coz what I really tried to do with Flesh and Blood was to make it something like a journey. Well it’s not very often that I would admit to saying this on air but it’s probably one of the very few albums that has actually brought a tear to my eye in places. The lads will probably give me a load of shit for this now but it’s incredible performance, again as you say you actually got to work with Kevin Shirley with this one? Yes it was incredible. You know I actually cried when Merv sent me the mix he had done of Sun Comes Crashing Down, and to have someone like him who hears things in a special way is just perfect. You listen to the way he mixes things and I cried because he had gotten what I was just looking for so perfectly without even sitting and having a conversation with me about it, he knew what to do with it and that’s a massive gift. He’s such a talented musician. The album has been out now for about 4 months now In the UK, it’s not out in the States, it’s out digitally but physically comes out in March this year so it’s a kind of staggered release. Of course the release time is scheduled, but we get advance copies from the PR companies and so on to promote it and it was an instant hit with me from day one. I was sitting there saying to your PR guy in London saying come on please let me play this “No” and I was like ok I wanted to play it well in advance of its release date but no one would let me. You should play it anyway. We tend to get into trouble for things like that. But now you have decided to take the covers step one stage further and are working on an album of purely covered stuff. We have an album through Pledge Music just now which is all covers. It really started with the people who took to the songs that I covered on Youtube and as you said the single November Rain was a huge hit with everybody. These are all songs that are very relevant to my life, so
that’s probably why I can sing them and have such emotion, because I remember that it reminds me of something in my life and I like to perform it. It was such a hit online so I decided to release it and decided to do something kind of new and exciting called Pledge Music and you pledge basically - it’s like pre ordering, but it’s a real fan interaction and you get exclusive updates and its kinda like a fan club so we have done that and that gets released now soon in just under a month and then I have a whole bunch of tour dates and will most likely looking to make record number 5 in August this year. Wow so it’s going to be a busy year then. I was just about to ask you what is coming up this year It’s really, really good I have just started to really play again in the US because I have just not played there enough for a long time. But now I am here permanently it’s where my focus is, so I have been playing a lot of gigs around here for a while and will continue to do that until March and April then go to Europe and spend a couple of weeks in there, and then we go to Australia at the end of April to do a festival in Australia and I am there for two weeks doing a tour, it’s just me it’s really good fun and it’s a full on show, but it’s just me playing on my own for an hour an half. It’s a challenge its great actually I do older stuff and I do a lot of new stuff as well. And then we go to China which is weird as I have never been to China. That will be exciting Oh extremely! And then I have got a festival in Ireland at the end of May called Blood in the Bay which will be really good fun and then I go back to Australia to do another festival and some PR and stuff and then the UK in the middle of June so we are playing the Windsor Festival actually with Robert Craig which is really, really cool and that’s the last thing I am doing in the UK on the 21st of June I think . Is there only one date in the UK or are you coming back to do more later in the year? No I am going to do solo, more intimate shows this year I really like. I really have taken to doing stuff on my own again which is great. It’s more of an intimate thing. It’s more of an evening with if you like - really just raw and allows me to really present myself without anything else which I think is really important right now, so I will definitely be doing another couple of shows that will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks around June ~ it will be mid-June so of course I will be.
Oh good I hope so as I hope to be able to catch you this time around. One of the things I did notice when I was doing studying and so on was the work you do with Oxfam. Its basically as an Ambassador, I haven’t been on a trip in a long time and its kinda getting to that point where I really need to go and do something. I guess it’s because I have a bit of time on my hands for the next few months. There is one thing which is really close to my heart right now, and I am sure people who know me online know I am always talking about it - you know I am a big animal lover more than just petting a dog and my love goes beyond having pets - it goes back to something that happened as a child, I grew up around horses and cats and dogs and have ridden all my life and I absolutely adore animals, so I am a patron of an animal sanctuary in Scotland and its great I have had some amazing people donate stuff. I have just had a guy who is now a patron make a guitar, so we named a foal Free after it. It is really cool that people are coming on-board that share the passion, and I am actually going to start working as a volunteer at a local sanctuary here where I live, so that’s kind of been my focus in the work that I do along with my music and it’s a passion for me. I really focussed on the work I have been doing at the sanctuary in Scotland and the work at a sanctuary here so I have not really done a lot for Oxfam for a while. The last trip I did for Oxfam was to Africa to really discuss the effects of climate change on the way that the crops grow and the rain seasons and the unpredictability of the weather and how that effects peoples livelihoods, because it’s so touch and go when your whole life depends on it, so the farmers that’s what they do so that was an interesting trip, very much an experience you won’t forget. To see people on deaths door to tell you stories about their fear of their children dying, it’s a really eye opening experience. I hope to do more work in the next year or so and it’s better to give a lot of time to a single thing rather than to endorse others because you can’t do everything, and I would rather do something that is meaningful to one or two things, than to try and do something for everybody. So there is really a few things I plan on getting done. Going back to reading about the career and how you have came along and stuff, it’s a really great inspiration to other musicians out there because a lot of guys I know, speak to bands and they are sort of up-and-
coming, regular and all over the place and its nice to know that there is still hope out there for people to be able to get out there and achieve something with it. Is there anything you would like to really say? There is so much hope. Honestly, I think a lot of people think that it is impossible now, but it’s really not, there is actually so much more that you can do to make people aware of who you, there are so many more tricks so many more assets, resources, outlets, you name it. You know you are sitting on a fortune with everything that you can access and create awareness, and I do think that. And I have always firmly believed that regardless of technology and how it changes the way you buy and sell the music, which will ultimately change to the point where people will just subscribe and that’s it, music will be a part of a subscription service like iTunes, Amazon etc whoever it will be, it will be a subscription it will be not to dissimilar to old school fan clubs, you know you subscribe and pay a monthly fee you get involved with that. So no matter how all that will change and it will, there is nothing that will really change your life and that is the hub of your actual being. So I think that even though people think that they are going out there and playing to the same ten people and the same bar every Saturday night its not all that bad as you are getting better, you are building your craft and you are experiencing it. All the time there is stuff that happens when you are out there on the road living ‘that’ life that goes into the songs that take you on roads that you would never go down if you were just sitting twiddling your thumbs . There’s so much that happens along the way that just getting out there and putting your all into it, I know it’s shit when you are broke and have no money and it sucks and you want a record deals as it seems like the answer to everything, but its really not. There are so many things you can do now though that helps you build very, very quickly. There are two fundamental things that will never change – great songs and being able to kick arse on stage. If you can blow people away and write great songs those two things will never change, so I think that and being mindful of the business that you are in is the best advice I can give. And you heard it here first folks that’s properly the way it should be. And listen, I am no expert and I have certainly made a lot of mistakes and have learned from those things, and if there is anything I can do to help prevent someone else
from making them I will of course let them know. The one thing you can never take away from a musician is the fact you can die knowing that you have lived a very interesting life. You can tell so many stories and give an abundance of character, because of who you have become through that journey, that personal journey that you are on and that is something you can never take away from someone. So don’t get down, don’t get despondent because you never know what comes around the corner. This is very, very true. The last ten years have been sort of incredible for you so what my final question to you is, what would you like to do now? I am just like a caged lion because I have just started to play again on my own and I love it, and people love it. I have really gotten to know the ability that I have as a singer and you learn these things about yourself every day like - I didn’t know I can hit that note or I didn’t know I could sing like that. It’s weird but you do and I feel so inspired by the fact that I finally feel that I know what I am doing and that’s taken a long time, and it’s great to really finally get to a point where all the pieces fall into place and suddenly it makes sense and you know exactly what to do to make this a huge success and I am not in it for fame or money or the glory or the adoration, but to get to a point where I can sit in front of people, not lots of people coz lets face it we are all trying to make it happen and that’s the key, and play this music and ball and cry on my own and move people and that’s an amazing place to be. It’s a very fortunate life lived and I am just so excited for next year because I know it is going to be great, I know its going to be so much. I get to travel and I get to meet interesting people and do better at what I do, tell some stories and play some songs and make a record at the end of it that I am really excited about, because Flesh and Blood has really set the president for the future in this sound that I am carving out. I think that album really hit the mark and I now know where to go if you know what I mean so I am excited for the next album as it can only get more detailed and more interesting so that’s a really exciting thing for me.
Michael Schenker Temple Of Rock Reviewer Paul Nicholls the best live recordings released anywhere in the past few years.
Recorded at Tilburg, Netherlands in May 2012 and excerpts from ‘High Voltage’ 2011, this double cd (also available as a dvd/blue ray), forms a celebration of his career to date. Featuring a stellar line up of musicians, differing on both featured dates. From this date we have 19 tracks from not only Michaels MSG recordings but also UFO and Scorpions tracks too. Dougie White puts in a fine performance effortlessly bringing the lyrics to life and reminding us why he is one of the best rock singers around. Herman Rarebell is as always 100% rock solid working in perfect harmony with Francis Bucholtz bass and Wayne Findlays keyboards to complete the sound , this leaves Michael Schenker free to do what he does best , let his instrument wail, scream and punch these classic songs home with a confidence and poise that many younger players can only dream of having. On tracks that cover so many years at the very top of this roller coaster ride that we call ‘Hard Rock’, Michael underlines why it is that he has been so successful for so long, powerful yet simultaneously melodic, it really is a pleasure to listen to this cd , in fact this is surely one of
Most artists would be satisfied releasing 19 tracks and calling it a day, not so here, with the inclusion of 5 more tracks recorded live at ‘High Voltage’ festival from 2011, we go further still with the vocals on this outing handled by none other than Michael Voss with Elliot Robinson on bass, otherwise the band line up remains unchanged. What sets this section of the cd apart is the guest musicians joining the band such as for ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ Rudolph Schenker shares the stage (playing rhythm guitar) . He repeats this role on ‘Hanging On’ and ‘Doctor Doctor’ where he is also joined by Dougie White and Mr Pete Way on bass. To my ears, the mixing, by Michael Voss is superb, with both CDs being razor sharp, yet capturing the raw power of a confident live band at the peak of their game . I don't think I have ever heard a better version of ‘Armed And Ready’ than appears from ‘High Voltage’. In short, this album is a tour de force from Michael Schenker, underlining what a superb player he has always been from a child prodigy through to being an elder statesman of metal, If you only buy one live album this year make sure it's this one. Highlight of the album: ‘Armed And Ready’ (High Voltage) Rating: 10/10
Track Listing Disc 1 1. Into The Arena; 2. Armed And Ready; 3. Lovedrive; 4. Another Piece Of Meat; 5. Hanging On; 6. Cry For The Nations; 7. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie; 8. Coast To Coast; 09. Assault Attack; 10. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead; 11. Lights Out; 12. On And On; 13. Let It Roll; 14. Shoot Shoot; 15. Rock You Like A Hurricane; 16. Rock Bottom; 17. Holiday; 18. Blackout; 19. Doctor Doctor; Disc 2 ‘Live At High Voltage’: 1. Armed And Ready; 2. Another Piece Of Meat; 3. Rock You Like A Hurricane (ft. Rudolph Schenker); 4. Hanging On (ft. Rudolph Schenker); 5. Doctor Doctor (ft. Rudolph Schenker);
Members Michael Schenker – Guitars; Dougie White – Vocals; Francis Bucholtz – Bass; Herman Rarebell – Drums; Wayne Findlay – Keyboards;
Additional Information Facebook: www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks Website: www.michaelschenkerhimself.com Record Label: Inakustik Records Release Date: 10/12/12
Mighty Mojos Hook, Line and Sinker Reviewer Jon Seymour the mix for good measure. The only thing you need to worry about when you do something in the classic vein is that it has to be good, and with this album, these guys have pretty much nailed it. This was another of those albums where I went into this with absolutely no idea who this band was, the CD just managed to find its way to me, so I thought I’d give it a listen. I’ll tell ya what, it’s pretty damned good.
There’s no doubt that this is a blues album. It’s straight ahead blues, complete with harmonica and slide guitar. It’s got a lot of energy too, and it’ll get your tail feather shaking for sure. It’s mainly an upbeat affair, and the first couple of tracks come at you straight out of the gate. The album has a flavour that comes from the Deep South, good old Delta blues, but that’s a good thing, right?
Highlight of the Album: ‘Come On In My Kitchen’ Rating: 8.5/10
Track Listing 1. White Lightning; 2. Hook, Line And Sinker; 3. Come On In My Kitchen; 4. Devil In Disguise; 5. Back To You; 6. Cindy Lou; 7. Am I Wrong; 8. I Want It All; 9. Can’t Be Satisfied (Live); 10. Don’t You Lie To Me (Live); 11. You Wouldn’t Treat A Dog Like That;
The question though, is whether it’s any good. Well in my opinion, it is good. It’s one for the purists out there, it doesn’t deviate from the norm, doesn’t venture into unfamiliar territory it’s just straight up, middle of the road, good old fashioned blues. Some people would look upon that as a negative, but I don’t see any reason why a tried and tested formula can’t be done again and again. Some Members of the classic culinary recipes have been around for gen- Alan Ward – Vocals; erations, and people still cook them, so why can’t it be the Ali McKenzie– Bass ; same for music? David Kennedy – Drums; David McClean– Guitars; I do like things that push boundaries, or challenge the way you think, but equally, I like to go back and listen to how stuff is supposed to be played, and in that respect, this album is a big glass of Southern Comfort. The material is original, and there are a couple of live tracks thrown into
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mightymojos Website: http://www.mightymojos.com Record Label: Self Release Release date: 22/2/13
Rok Ink Vita MMXII Reviewer Lee Walker Track Listing 1. Life Forever; 2. Dead End; Rok Ink started as an idea between friends who wanted to play good rock covers but collectively decided to write and 3. Exorcise My Demon; 4. Dark Horse; produce their own material. 5. Time Is A Healer; Having made the transformation from an aspiring tribute 6. One Big Win; band to one which writes, records and plays their own 7. Upside Down; music Barnsley based bruiser’s Rok Ink have been 8. Bitch!; steadily carving a niche for themselves lately with there 9. Name For A Number; own brand of rock, creating a strange hybrid beast of a band that has the raw, gritty biker rock attitude with the catchy, carefully crafted hooks of a classic rock band. Members Throughout the album you get to catch glimpses of stunning guitar solos ala early Maiden seamlessly merging and interacting with raw, gritty vocals similar to Metalica, creating a high octane, energy fuelled album which fly’s along at break neck speed, pausing briefly at ‘Time Is A Healer’, which soon turns into an epic power ballad, before ‘One Big Win’ comes bursting out of the starting blocks with all guns firing taking the album back to its fast paced guitar based rock roots (complete with the occasional classic 80s style guitar solos thrown in for good measure). ‘Vita MMXII’ continues to push the Rok Ink machine along, and its release marks the age of a new dawn for this fledgling band. Highlight of the album: ‘One Big Win’ Rating: 7/10
Pete Brotherton - Rhythm Guitar and Vocals; Luke Slater – Drums; Ant Allatt - Bass; Scott Crowther - Lead Guitar;
Additional Information Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rok.ink.bandpage?fref=ts Website: http://www.reverbnation.com/rokink Record Label: Self Release Release Date: 21/11/12
Navacross All The Way Home Reviewer Jon Seymour this album, but what I got was above and beyond anything that I could have imagined. Being very much a blues fan, I was intrigued by these guys to say the least. This is not a blues album per sé though. It’s also rootsy, folky, and above all, ballsy. It’s pretty unrefined too. There are no big budget productions on this album, and despite its laid back style, it’s certainly got some raw power. What this album is though, above all else, is simple. There are no complex arrangements, no mad sampling, and no excess of guitar effects. This is as stripped down as music gets, with a bit of slide guitar, harmonica, and vocals with soul. When music is this simple, there’s nowhere to hide so it has to be very good, or it will just fall flat. This album is by no means flat.
Highlight of the Album: ‘Clowns’ Rating: 9/10
1. Overload; 2. Secret streets; 3. Steer; 4. Clowns; 5. Get Me Outta Here; The whiskey soaked vocals blend with the music, to give it 6. Open Your Eyes; a true sense of good old fashioned blues dragged straight 7. Waiting On A Wire; up from where it was born. You could close your eyes and 8. This Situation; be taken on a journey to the Mississippi Delta. This is blues at grass roots level, and it’s damned good too. Being 9. Too Much; predominantly a rock fan, I listen to a lot of stuff that is 10. Lazy Days; miles away from how this album sounds, so listening to it was a breath of fresh air. The biggest surprise though, is the way that it comes across. Despite being predominantly acoustic and slide guitar driven, it’s still got enough power to give it some serious clout. I guess it could be likened to being hit with a big sledgehammer, disguised in a big bundle of cotton
Dean Baker – Vocals Noel Gander – Guitar/Vocals/Harmonica/Uke Mike Skinner – Guitar/Banjo/Bass Andy P – Drums/Percussion
wool. On the face of it, it doesn’t look like it will do you any serious damage, but when you least expect it, bam, and Additional Information you’re on your arse. That’s a hard thing to accomplish with Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/navacross an album, but that’s exactly what this is. Website: http://www.navacross.co.uk Record Label: Hi4head Records As an album, this is incredibly good, but as a debut album Released: 19/1/13 phenomenally so. I didn’t quite know what to expect from
where are they now?
In the first of a new series of features in Firebrand Magazine we take a look back at the pioneering bands of rock, track them down and find out what they are doing now. The first band to kick this off with is Heavy Pettin.
In July 1983 they played the Reading Festival playing alongside Black Sabbath, Marillion, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Suzi Quatro, Anvil, Magnum, Mama's Boys and Lee Aaron. The debut album ‘Lettin Loose’, was released later the same year and was produced by Brian May of Queen. It was later revealed that this was the first album that May had produced for another band.
Formed in Glasgow in 1981 from the ashes of the band ‘Weeper’, when drummer Gary Moat, guitarist Gordon Bonnar and bassist Brian Waugh, added vocalist Steve Hayman and lead guitarist Punky Mendoza to the line-up. The name was inspired by the 1976 UFO album ‘No Heavy Petting’. The first demo of the band was published in 1981, and was composed of the songs ‘Love Times Love’, ‘Speed Kills’ and ‘Hell Is Beautiful’ which led to the band being signed to Neat Records (home at the time to bands such as Venom, Raven and Tygers of Pan Tang). The release of the bands first single ‘Roll The Dice’ prompted a lot of interest among the record labels and led to the band eventually signing a deal with Polydor Records. The following year they grabbed lucrative support slots with bands such as Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne on their UK tours then in 1985 they released the album ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ and then took part in the Metal Hammer Fest in Loreley, Germany alongside bands such as Nazareth, Venom, Metallica, Wishbone Ash, Savage Grace, Running Wild, Pretty Maids and Warlock. The decline of the band began in 1987 when the band took part in the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ entering with the song ‘Romeo’ which failed to make the impact that the band desired and created a lot of negative press towards the band. Polydor subsequently dropped the band. The band called it a day later the same year, and a collection of songs which they had recorded was released as a full album in 1989 titled ‘Big Bang’.
After several individual projects, Hayman reassembled the old lineup in 1998 and published a collection of demos packaged together as simply ‘Demos '98’ which temporarily brought the band back to life and prompted them to release the live album ‘Heart Attack Live’ in 2000. The band then released two more collections Pettology (2006) and Prodigal Songs (2007) before once again going there separate ways. Recently Gary Moat has now moved from behind the drum kit and is playing Rhythm Guitar and singing for ‘Mothers Ruin’ alongside Mick Ivory (Drums), Adrian Dunn (Lead Guitar) Joe Thomas (Bass). Moving away from the traditional ‘Pet sounds they produce music which has led to comparisons to classic rockers AC/DC or Rhino Bucket. They are currently searching for the elusive record deal but have managed to gain slots at the prestigious Hard Rock Hell Ibiza Road Trip and the Bulldog Bash festivals in recent years.
For more information check out: http://www.facebook.com/mothersruinrocks?fref=ts http://www.facebook.com/pages/HeavyPettin/228698343823877?fref=ts http://www.angelfire.com/rock3/heavypettin/ heavypettinmain.html
Discography Roll the Dice Single 1982 Lettin Loose Album 1983 Rock Me Single 1983 In and Out of Love EP 1983 Love Times Love EP 1983 Love Times Love Single 1984 Rock Ain't Dead Album 1985 Heart Attack Live Live Album 1985 Sole Survivor EP 1985 25 Hours a Day / Rock Ain't Dead Split 1985 The Video – Video 1985 Romeo – Single 1987 Big Bang – Album 1989 Demos 98 Demo 1998 Pettology – Boxed Set 2006 Prodigal Songs – Compilation 2007
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The Whitaker Brothers Animated Reviewer Jon Seymour Having read the write up in the press release about these guys, I was intrigued to say the least. The album confirmed my interest for sure. The thing that sticks out the most is that it’s very different. On the face of things, it’s an acoustic rock album, but I use that term in the very loosest sense. There are many elements that make up this album, and the listening experience is quite the journey. You have to listen to this album to get the full effect, and putting it on in the background would mean that you’re going to miss out on a whole lot.
that it’s not just been thrown together to see if it would work or not. It’s been contrived with a great deal of thought, and these guys certainly know what they’re doing with regards to what flavours will work together. It’s a very accomplished piece of work, and although it’s a little bit quirky, it’s well worth the time to check it out. Highlight of the Album: ‘What A Man Can Do’ Rating: 8/10
1. Feel Good; 2. Santorini; Each song too, is vastly different from the rest of them, so 3. Good Love; it’s very much an album that crosses many genres and 4. Anus Penis; into new territory. There are steel drums, some acoustic 5. Doing Fine; folk, some Cockney banter, and a whole lot more. Rather 6. What A Man Can Do; than being a full on main meal, this is more of 11 very 7. Je t’adore; different amuse bouche. It makes for some interesting 8. Bonuses; listening, and it will certainly give you the full musical 9. Steeplejack; experience. 10. Nude In Public; 11. Celebrate Nothing At All; Honestly, although I was interested in what it sounded like, I did have my reservations. I’d decided that it was Members going to be something that worked well, or something that Simon and Tim Whitaker just didn’t work at all. Thankfully, it’s the former. On the surface, this is a pretty good album, but if you allow Additional Information yourself to delve a little deeper into it, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thewhitakerbrothers Website: http://www.thewhitakerbrothers.com Record Label: Self Release In that respect, it’s an intelligent album, and you can tell Release Date: 7/2/12
February 21 Bath Komedia 22 Bournemouth Academy 23 Portsmouth The Pyramids 24 Oxford Academy 26 Cardiff Coal Exchange 28 Holmfirth Picturedrome March 1 Glasgow ABC 2 Preston 53 Degrees 3 Birmingham Institute 5 London Forum
April 19 Birmingham O2 Academy 20 Bristol Colston Hall 22 London Hammersmith Apollo 25 Manchester O2 Apollo 26 Glasgow O2 Academy
Daylight Robbery 27th March, Lucy’s Bar, Staffordshire
9th May Nambucca, London and 10th May Route 44, Birmingham
Living Colour Danny & Ben From Thunder January 21 Bath Komedia 24 Cambridge The Junction 2 25 London Shaw Theatre 28 Birmingham Glee Club 30 Gateshead The Sage 31 Glasgow Oran Mor March 1 Leeds City Varieties Music Hall 4 Brighton Komedia
FM March Support - Vega and Serpentine 15 Pontypridd Muni Arts Centre 16 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 17 Glasgow King Tuts 18 Bingley Arts Centre Support - It Bites and Vega 20 Newcastle O2 Academy2 21 Manchester O2 Academy2 22 Nuneaton Queens Hall 23 London O2 Shepard's Bush Empire
Hanging Doll Absolva February 1 Liverpool The Lomax 2 Burnley Sanctuary 8 Leicester Soundhouse 16 Carlisle Brickyard March 9 Stoke The Rigger 15 Pwllheli Hammerfest
Babylon Fire February 1 Liverpool The Lomax 2 Burnley Sanctuary 8 Leicester Soundhouse 16 Carlisle Brickhouse March 9 Stoke The Rigger
Bruce Springsteen & The E Band June 15 London Wemebley Stadium 18 Glasgow Hampden Park 20 Coventry Ricoh Arena July 23 Cardiff Millennium Stadium
22 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena 23 Manchester Arena 25 Nottingham Capital FM Arena 26 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 28 Birmingham LG Arena 29 London Wembley Arena
February 8 Birmingham The Asylum 21 Manchester Grand Central 22 Bury Flying Shuttle 23 Burnley Sanctuary May 4 Liverpool The Lomax
Incassum February 8 Birmingham Asylum 2 21 Manchester Grand Central 22 Bury Flying Shuttle 23 Burnley Sanctuary March 2 Sutton Bridge The Gathering
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 May 18 Glasgow SECC 20 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
March 8 London Koko
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 February 28 Chislehurst Beaverwood Club March 1 Sutton Boom Boom Club 2 Fletching Trading Boundaries 3 Doncaster Blues Festival 6 Morpeth Riverside Lodge 8 Hessle Town Hall 13 Sheffield Greystones 14 Wolverhampton Robin 2 15 Hullbridge Touchline 16 Lowdham Village Hall 17 High Wycombe Arts 4 Everyone 20 Kinross Green Hotel 21 Edinburgh Bannermans 22 Bolton The Railway 23 St Helens The Citadel 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
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
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 19 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 21 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Men Without Hats February 1 London O2 Islington Academy
Paul Raymon Project February 1 London The Boarderline
Rival Sons 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
Roger Waters September 14 London Wembley Stadium
Saxon 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
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Slash February 28 Nottingham Arena March 1 Blackpool Empress Ballroom
Sonata Arctica April 14 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 15 Manchester Club Academy 16 Birmingham HMV Institute Library 17 London The Garage
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22 Bury Flying Shuttle March 2 Sutton Bridge The Gathering 15 Pwllheli Hammerfest 23 Belgium Wizzfest May 3 Burnley Sanctuary 4 Liverpool The Lomax
U.F.O February 21 Bath Komedia 22 Bournemouth O2 Academy 23 Portsmouth Pyramids Centre 24 Oxford O2 Academy 26 Cardiff The Coal Exchange 28 Holmfirth Picturedome March 1 Glasgow O2 ABC 2 Preston 53 Degrees 3 Birmingham HMV Institute 5 London HMV Forum
Voodoo Six March 22 Dublin The Pint 23 Ballymena Diamond Rock Club 24 Inverness Mad Hatters 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
Wilko Johnson March 10 Glasgow O2 Academy 12 Manchester O2 Apollo 13 Wolverhampton Civic 15 London Hammersmith Apollo 16 London Hammersmith Apollo
March 6 London Koko (Sold Out) 7 Bilston Robin 2 (Sold Out) 8 Holmfirth Picturedome (Sold Out) 9 Glasgow O2 ABC 10 London Koko
March 15 Leicester De Montford Hall 16 Wolverhampton Civic Hall 18 Leeds Academy 19 Southend Cliffs Pavilion 21 Cheltenham Centaur 23 Plymouth Guildhall 25 Doncaster Dome 26 Blackpool Empress Ballroom 27 Edinburgh Usher Hall
February 20/21 Manchester SOS Festival
ZZ Top June 24 London Hammersmith Apollo 25 Manchester O2 Apollo
Steve Harris British Lion March 26 London O2 Academy Islington 27 Birmingham O2 Academy2 27 Glasgow The Garage 30 Manchester Club Academy
The Black Crowes March 24 Manchester Academy 25 Birmingham O2 Academy 27 Glasgow O2 Academy 29 London Forum 30 London Forum
Triaxis February 8 Birmingham Asylum 2 16 Pontypool Hog & Hosper 21 Manchester Grand Central
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where are they now?
Issue 4 of Firebrand Magazine is out now featuring interviews with the likes of Verden Allen, Sandi Thom, Bill Tsamis and reviews from the l...