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Issue 12 - September 2013

I Year Old !!

PLUS Jettblack LaValle Reuben Archer Tigertailz Sammy Hagar Imperia Alter bridge Dream Theater Running Wild And More...

Contents THE GRAPEVINE - 4 For your latest news in the rock world!


INTERVIEWS 14 - Bad Pollyanna LIVE REVIEW 27 - MSG CD/DVD REVIEWS 09 - Jettblack - Gabriella Jones 10 - Imperia - Running Wild 12 - Flying Colours 17 - Will Wlde - Tigertailz 18 - Stone Temple Pilots - Walking Papers 19 - Coney Hatch - Dream Theater 24 - Lewis Hamilton - Sondura 26 - Crash Mountain - Reuben Archer 29 - Samantha Fish - Wooden Horse 32 - LaValle - Alter Bridge 33 - The Graveltones - GT’s Boos Band 37 - Sammy Hagar




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From The Editor Wow one year old already where has the time gone ? The magazine has come on great in this time growing with popularity every month and now being read in over 90 countries it is an achievement that me and my team are very proud of but It won’t stop there we are constantly looking at ways to improve and move forward. In other news, having played and written an awful lot about music through radio and magazines over the years I hit a mid-life crisis point and decided it was time to learn to actually play it, so guitar in hand I had my first lesson off none other than the Commander In Chief. Anyway two weeks later and with severe wrist ache (save the jokes, heard ‘em all) and it is coming to the end of a great month with the icing on the cake being the Pretty Maids in Camden, fantastic gig supported by the equally brilliant Tainted Nation. Anyway enough of a rant from me. Please enjoy the Birthday Issue and also stay tuned for the band of the year competition being announced soon with a fantastic prize. Also the third birthday next month of our sister Firebrand Rock Radio Peace and keep rockin’ peeps. Doc

EDITOR IN CHIEF Rick Palin SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANT Rachel Whiston REVIEWS EDITOR Lee Walker REVIEWS TEAM Graham Pritchard Heather Blewett Jason M. Davies Jon Seymour Mel Delacroix Paul Nicholls Stoodge Mc Nulty CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chris Nelson MG Jen Tony Corner DOWNLOAD CONTENT TEAM Judith Fisher Rick Palin CONTENT DOWNLOAD ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES CONTACT TELEPHONE +44(0)1244 940961


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The Grapevine Buckcherry – The Best Of Career spanning compilation released 28th October 2013 + November UK tour. After 15 successful years that have spawned 6 studio albums and countless tours, the LA based rock act Buckcherry are set to release their first ‘best of’ album on Eleven Seven Music and will tour the UK and mainland Europe to promote it. Having sold over 3 million records in the US alone, Buckcherry set the standard for the great American rock band right from the off with the release of their self-titled 1999 debut album that included the no. 1 US Rock hit Lit Up and For The Movies, followed by 2001’s Time Bomb that featured Ridin’. Following a hiatus, band lynchpins Josh Todd (vocals) and Keith Nelson (guitar) reconfigured the rest of their line-up and returned stronger than ever, solidifying their international status with the 2006 album 15 and its jaw-dropping lead off single Crazy Bitch. The song became an immediate radio mainstay Stateside and was soon followed by the massive crossover hit Sorry, which reached no. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Three more albums and a live release since then have yielded several more US Rock chart hits, most recently with Gluttony and Nothing Left But Tears from their current release, Confessions. A video for the latter has recently been made and can be viewed below.

American Head Charge UK show dates - 'Shoot Tour Part II' "American Head Charge is back, sounding bigger and better than ever!" - Vegas Seven Following the release of their critically acclaimed new ep 'Shoot' and their first major tour in 6 years, one of the finest bands of the industrial / metal genre are set to return to the UK this November. American Head Charge bassist and co-founder Chad Hanks speaks for the band when he says "Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we're all looking forward to returning to the UK for the Shoot Tour Part II. It's been WAY too long, and we're going to make it a tour to remember. See you soon, ladies and gents." Pulling no punches, keyboardist J.Fowler adds "Brace yourselves. We're back on the march and we're coming to rip your faces off...You wanted it? You got it!"

Absolva, Tysondog, Monument, Incassum, Wizz Wizzard & Eternal Breath confirmed for SOS Festival We're extremely happy to confirm the first 6 bands for SOS Festival 2014, the 7th such event which takes place this time on 19th-20th July and has a "Summer Horror" theme. Absolva : with a meteoric start in May 2012, formed from the ashes of Fury UK when Luke Appleton left to join Iced Earth, Absolva played a debut show at SOS in 2012, prior to releasing a widely lauded debut album "Flames Of Justice" later that year. They've toured UK and Europe consistently including Bloodstock, Hammerfest, plus support shows with Iced Earth and Michael Schenker. A live album and DVD is released on 30th September amid a widespread European Tour. By the time they play SOS 2014 a 2nd studio album will have been released. Tysondog : released a debut album in 1982 with a fine position in the NWOBHM scene, which many critics expected to project the band into the big league but when lady luck failed to smile, they disbanded in 1987. Unheard for many years they've launched a comeback during the past 5 years which is gathering momentum both at home and abroad, very ably reminding us why they were such hot property in the first place. Monument : Peter Ellis, formerly of White Wizzard and The More I See, formed Monument and has stirred an incredible support and praise as purveyors of true British heavy metal. With dual guitar harmonies and signature falsetto wails, this is a band determined to make a difference on the metal scene. Witnesses to their performance at Hammerfest this year will testify to their quality. They are currently touring as main support to White Wizzard. Incassum : the first of our heavier bands is a returning band from last years' festival. Those in attendance on day two last year saw a delivery of technical , progressive, multi-textured, melodic death metal. There was also the matter of an inspired acoustic set on day one with the band's songs lovingly re-crafted for unplugged delivery and superbly performed. Fans that witnessed the band at Bloodstock 2013 will also vouch for their quality. Wizz Wizzard : regulars at SOS Festival, becoming firm favourites especially in the past couple of years, Wizz Wizzard hail from Belgium and are fronted by the charismatic former pirate DJ Wizz who carries with him more than a hint of Dio and Biff Byford. The band released a debut official album, Tears From The Moon, late in 2012 and whilst developing a growing fanbase in their home-country have also connected extremely well with British classic metal followers. Eternal Breath : another band from Belgium, Eternal Breath have, despite being around in various line-ups for some 15 years, only quite recently come to real attention in the UK. A second more extreme band confirmed for 2014 that has gathered serious momentum in their homeland during the past couple of years and we're delighted to help introduce them further to UK audiences. SOS Festival takes place annually in July, at Radcliffe Civic in North Manchester. Previous headliners include GUN, Heaven's Basement, Blaze Bayley, Fury UK, Black Spiders, Tygers of Pan Tang, Babylon Fire. It's a two-day indoor rock and metal event, featuring in excess of 20 bands, with two stages - a main stage and an acoustic stage. In 2013 and now ongoing, the main stage was re-named the Dean Hocking Stage in honour of the bass player of Lincoln-based rock band Nightvision - Dean tragically lost his life in a serious car accident in December 2012.


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Beretta Suicide Joey K (Lead vocals / Bass), Joe Clements (Guitar) and Pert (Drums) met in 2011 following an online ad posted by Pert looking for band members “sick of the safe and sterile music scene”. The three bonded over their love of tattoos and low slung guitars knowing straight away they'd found their gang. Their debut album takes influence from bands such as Wildhearts, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Guns n Roses and Motorhead. Firm believers in the old adage ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’, Beretta Suicide haven’t reinvented the wheel – but they have experimented with the formula to become a new, leaner and meaner beast. This is Punk Rock with an insatiable hunger and fire in its eyes.

Blacktop Deluxe Formed in March 2013 when ex Devils Creek Bassist Tim Chapple & Drummer Alan Ibbotson joined Guitarist & Vocalist Keith Howe, well known for his work in the Band Blue on Black. This new Brit’ Power Trio, have many influences, Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Rory Gallagher for example, but also pull in the best of Rock and Blues from its beginning’s right up to tomorrow. The EP ‘Dark Horses’ showcases their ‘Signature Brand’ of Guitar driven, Rockin’ Blues.

Bruce Gregori Bruce Gregori is an American guitarist from Hartford, CT. AS a virtuoso guitarist, he has performed over 35 years dazzling audiences with his soul and feel approach to playing guitar. Currently Bruce is continuing his non stop live touring and performance schedule of over 300 shows annually and is in the studio working on his third release due out in late 2013 early 2014.

Carousel Vertigo Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Vincent Martinez - who is a star in the making - Vinnie just knows how to "light it up" with vocals that are reminiscent of a young Paul Rodgers from his Free days. Partner in crime, producer/guitarist Jansen Press supports it all with just the right amount of contrast, anchoring each twist and turn with deftness and attitude. Carousel Vertigo firmly places itself as a progenitor to the apparent rise of the '70's hard rock movement currently trending in Europe with the release of “MIGHTY” and are audibly, a band on the verge of a breakthrough.


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Final Coil Formed in 2008, Final Coil is a four-piece alternative band from Leicester whose shared love of the harmonies of Alice in Chains, the ambience of Tool and 'white pony'-era Deftones and the ferocious art-punk of Sonic Youth has led, thus far, to two blistering EPs - 'Goodbye to all that' and the recent 'live with doubt' which is available free to download from bandcamp. The songs have a doomy quality – heavy riffs combing with minor key harmonies and crushing percussion – but the band are eclectic in their tastes and just as you think you have their measure, a progressive riff will appear form nowhere and drag your perceptions of Final Coil along a different path. ‘Fallen’ is one of the band’s most accessible numbers and has been a staple of the band’s explosive live shows for some years. Final Coil is Phil Stiles, Richard Awdry, Jola Stiles and Tom Malin.

Jay Parmar Jay is a professional guitarist, composer and producer. Inspired to play guitar by the six-string mastery of Iron Maiden in the 1980s, and highly influenced by Dokken/Lynch Mob guitar virtuoso George Lynch, Steve Vai, Steve Stevens, and others,as a solo artist Jay is now signed to Steve Vai’s record label Digital Nations, which released his highly acclaimed 2012 album ‘Circle Of Fire’. Jay is also guitarist for progressive rock bands The Inner Road and Coalition, the former having released an album, ‘Ascension’ in 2013 and guitarist for metal band Iron Knights.

Jupiter Falls Jupiter Falls were formed in May 2013 by Guitarist Deano Silk & Vocalist James Hart. With the further addition of Danny Backhouse on the 2nd guitar, Matthew Geary on Bass & Lewie Lewington on the drums. Together they want to bring a sound blending melodic and hard rock and with the upcoming Debut album "Revolution" the whole world will hear the power that they create. Keep a look out for Jupiter Falls Videos and singles in the coming months and 2014. We intend to be around for many years to come. Tour dates will be added at a later date.

Kuko De Kobra Fakir Kuko the Cobra name was actually John. In the middle of the last century he traveled with the circus, where he swallowed swords, sat on sømmadrasser, breathing fire and other fun things. His hectic life smelled a part of rock n'roll and he would have loved to get a band named after him. It has he got now. Kuko The Kobra is a relatively new band built around John Sharlings songs, all of which indicate a background in harder rock, punk and (punk) people. The goal is first and foremost to play loud on stage and plant for rock fans with heart and brain in the right place.

Somewhat Scary Jamesie Blair and Jimbo McKee make up Somewhat Scary both original members of Mr.Scary back in 1990 the band split in 1992. But now they are back after choosing thier name from them noting that they were two fifths of ‘Mr. Scary’ and therefore only ‘Somewhat Scary’. It seemed like a good name, so they decided to use it. Playing live and loud rekindled their interest in writing and In late 2011, with the equipment now available to do home recording, they decided to write and record an album worth of songs. With the album completed, the two are looking to do more acoustic performances, playing a mixture of covers and their own songs.


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Jettblack 10/10

Black Gold

Record Label: Spinefarm Records Released: 19 August 2013 Highlight of the album: Barracuda Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

As a rule, I don’t much like compilation albums, as they’re usually just a collection of album tracks from albums that everyone already has, so from a fan’s point of view, it just seems like a money making exercise and nothing more.

party to get everyone in the mood. This is definitely the sort of album that will pick you up. It’s the musical equivalent of Red Bull, as if it doesn’t animate you in some way, then you should check yourself into the morgue, stat.

Needless to say, I had some trepidation when this one landed in my lap for review. What you have here though, instead of a “greatest hits” is a collection of unreleased, or rare bonus material, reworked songs, and with a few covers thrown in for good measure, and if that wasn’t enough, they’ve invited some extremely talented guest musicians to the party and had a good old jam session. I most definitely approve.

With its glam sleaze feel, it’s gritty enough to sound as though it was found drunk in the gutter, and polished up a bit to make it seem presentable. That said, the production is very good, and not over the top. Thankfully they seem to have taken the “less is more” approach, and that was a wise decision indeed. If you’re a fan of the band, then this is most definitely an album that you need to add to your collection. If you’re reading this having never heard of the guys before, then you really need to check them out, and this album is a great place to start.

The choice of material on the album is varied, and each track sounds great, and the album bounds along as you’d expect from these UK rockers. It’s no frills rock n roll, and just good music to put on at a

Gabriella Jones 9/10

Gabrielle Jones Record Label: Self Release

Released: 28 October 2013

Highlight of the album: Losing My Baby Website: Jon Seymour

Now someone suggested that I should give this young lady a listen, as it would probably be right up my street. They were exactly right too. What an incredible voice. Having emerged onto the scene at 16 years old, she’s since shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and at 19 years old now, she’s fresh from a tour opening for Beyonce for goodness sake.

only four songs to listen to, I���m desperate for more, I really am. Four songs are nowhere near enough. Each of them is a belter though, and I was literally gobsmacked the first time I heard her voice. Am I gushing? Yeah probably, but to be fair, I do enjoy a good female rock vocalist. Put it this way, when she releases an album, I want my name at the very top of the “reserved for” list. Just listen to her, and you’ll know exactly why that is. Gabriella Jones is a name you should remember, as pretty soon a lot of people are going to be saying it.

This is most certainly the lighter side of the rock spectrum, but this young lady has one of the best rock voices I’ve heard in a while. When she’s doing soft clean vocals, she sounds vulnerable and delicate, but when she lets rip, she’s got some awesome power in those pipes. Back all of that up with some rock guitar, and you’ve a match made in, well somewhere very nice, put it that way. Once again, I find myself reviewing an EP, and with


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Imperia 9/10

Pieces Of Eden Record Label: Escape Music

Released: 18 October 2013

Highlight of the album: Beast Within Website: Reviewer: Paul Nicholls

Impera’s sophomore release finds them treading a slightly harder edged sound encompassing straight ahead rockers and some really blusey tracks . Matti Alfonizetti’s voice is as usual top notch and truly world class, effortlessly holding the melodies Tommy Denander wrings from his guitar.

that you are going to get your money’s worth on this release.

It’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out this year because of the amount of great releases there have been (not a bad problem to have from the audiences point of view), but this album manages One track that I’m going to mention is a cover of that feat with a certain style In conclusion a winner Paul Stanley’s solo album of 1978, now much as this of an album which shows the depth of talent may shock you dear reader knowing what a KISS fan available in the band and as a second album truly I am …… in my opinion it’s the weakest song on the blows the dust out! release and would have been perhaps better being replaced with the bands own composition. There is no slacking from the rest of the band as JK Impera and Mats vassfijord are the dependable pumping heart of the band leaving there no doubt

Running Wild 9/10

Resilient Record Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Released: 7 October 2013

Highlight of the album: Run Riot Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

Not being overly familiar with Running Wild I was somewhat apprehensive when I saw that the press release credits them with inventing ‘Pirate Metal’.

leaving it pretty near impossible to pick a fault with this release.

Overall this album proves just how resilient Running Opening track ‘Soldiers of Fortune’ kick starts Wild actually are and continues the constant stream ‘Resilient’ with a sound not too dissimilar from of quality bands that are coming out of Germany. Saxon, with its thundering guitar intro leading you headfirst into the traditional styled vocals of Rolf "Rock'n'Rolf" Kasparek as the song unfolds in front of you combining a nwobhm feel with teutonic power metal creating a sound which seamlessly merges the best of what the genres have to offer. Title track ‘Resilient’ continues the audio assault with its mix of traditional Germanic power metal providing the engine for this thundering guitar driven machine, as track upon track is hammered home with deadly accuracy by its mix of screaming guitars, pounding drum bursts and traditional nwobhmesque vocals


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Flying Colours 9/10

Live In Europe CD/DVD Record Label: Music Theories Recorings label Highlight of the album: Infinite Fire

Released: 14 October 2013

Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

For those that don’t know, Flying Colors is a bit of a “supergroup” comprising Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Steve Morse, Dave LaRue and Casey McPherson. This release consists of the entire studio album, plus a few other tracks from the back catalogue of the individual member’s previous bands.

The track-listing for both the DVD and double CD are identical, so obviously your choice is to put the CD in the car, having ripped it to your MP3 player, and you can watch the video footage at home. The sound quality on both the DVD and CD is excellent, and of course the DVD really emphasises that with the The music sits predominantly in the prog sector, but addition of the 5.1 sound. It works equally well in there’s a bit more to it than that, as it’s quite easy stereo, but you lose some of the atmosphere, so if going, so not like some of the heavier prog that’s you’re going to watch it, you’re going to have to around. There are some good rock tracks too, but watch it on your home cinema system to get the then if you’ve heard the studio album, you’ll know that added benefit. already. For the main part though, it’s the lighter side of rock music, with some great songs to just sit back Additionally on the DVD, you get First Flight which is and listen to. a 45 minute documentary featuring backstage footage, additional concert footage from some other The DVD is mastered in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and gigs, interviews with the band members and a whole mastered really well. So often all that you get from heap of other stuff, and it really makes it worth the rear speakers is some crowd noise, which isn’t spending the money on, as it’s an interesting piece of great to listen to. This thankfully gives you that film. feeling of being sat in the arena, with the sound Overall this is a great live album, and if like me, you’re bouncing off the walls behind you as well as the a fan of Steve Morse’s guitar work, this is a great sound from the front. Visually, its run of the mill chance to hear that gorgeous tone live. Supergroups concert footage edited together from different tend to come and go quickly, and this captures the camera angles, and thankfully it doesn’t jump around band at their very best, and as it’s described, this is too often. Don’t you just hate that? I do at least. It the definitive (so far) live experience of the band, so does seem though that the picture isn’t that sharp you really should go out and throw some crinkly when up-scaled to 1080p by your DVD player, so if I pieces of paper at your local music retailer. had the choice, I’d most definitely opt for the Blu-Ray, due to the benefit of HD audio and video.


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Jon Seymour Interviews

Olivia Hyde From

So you’ve got a new album out now, would you like to tell us about it? Yes, it’s called Monstrous Child and it came out on 26th August. It’s actually a concept album. It started out as an idea for a music video. We had a few songs, and our guitarist Steve (Kilpatrick), knew a screen writer that wanted to get involved, as he was a fan of the band. When he heard Hollow he had this vision of a normal person who had been transformed into a powerful and deadly monster. We took that as a metaphor for someone that’s had something bad happen to them in the past. Along similar lines of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but in doing so, it can also make you a lot colder. Now that she’s got this new power, she’s seeing the world for the first time through different eyes, and she’s tempted to exact revenge.

get closer to her lover, because of her power and her lack of empathy, she tears him open and ends up killing him. The last track on the album is about the people we are. What happens to us throughout our lives defines who we are, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t carry the scars around with us, and that’s called Invincible Girl.

It would seem that you have a very active imagination, even if it is a little dark at times, not everybody could come up with something like this. Well I don’t really know what to say to that. I guess when people first heard the song Where Does It Hurt they saw me in a different light, you know “best not piss you off then” or something like that. It was just getting my self into the character, you know, trying to think if I had no empathy, what would I try and do? I had to start thinking about this guy who’s The album does seem to explore some of the the love of my life, what would a monster do to him? She loves him so much that being close to him or darker recesses of the imagination. Yes it does. The track Awake Now is about the girl next to him isn’t enough, but she doesn’t understand that tearing him open and covering herself with his opening her eyes and realises what’s been happening all along. When I write lyrics I try not to be blood is going to kill him. self indulgent, and I try to write them so that other So do people think you’re a bit weird sometimes? people can take something from it and make it personal to them. For instance, Awake Now could be How could someone take something personal from related to someone who’s been doing the same job that? for twenty years, and all of a sudden they realise that Yeah I guess that is a bit weird, but the way people they’re really not happy, or maybe someone who has could relate to that is like, ok when we do the song in been in a terrible relationship for a long time and all the show, I will ask the crowd if there’s anyone out of a sudden this light bulb has just been switched on. there that’s fancied someone or loved someone with As the album progresses there are more things that such passion that being next to them isn’t enough, the character goes through. In the song Chase The and if it was ok you’d tear them open and cover Demons she tries to reclaim her own sexuality, and yourself in their blood just so you can feel that you’re in the darker parts of the song, in her attempts to a part of them, which is closer than being next to


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them. There’s always someone who will shoot their hand up. One time we did this gig, and I said that to the crowd and this girl ran forward and shouted “FUCKING ME, ME, I HAVE, ME, ME” and she was jumping up and down, and at that moment I felt like “oh yeah at least I’m not alone” so yeah, people can relate to even that one.

Child where she undergoes the transformation, I’ll rip the dress off. That’s as far as we’ve got, but to be perfectly honest, we’re an independent band and right now, there just isn’t the budget available to do a big theatrical production.

Without giving too much away, is there anything further we can expect on the character in the album, One of the things about the album that really stuck or is Monstrous Child where the story ends for her? out for me personally was the crossing over of many Well we’ve actually started writing material for the next genres. There’s pop, rock, gothic, industrial and album, and at the moment it does look like some of the songs have continued on from the first one. It’s still in more, so it’s really hard to put you anywhere within the early stages of course, but we’re looking at the first the music sector. album being the awakening of the character, then the Yeah, it is really varied, and that’s kind of been a next one goes a bit deeper into the human psychology. blessing and a curse really. People have a hard time The thing about Bad Pollyanna and in fact the main describing what we sound like, including us, so there reason that the band is called that, is people’s aren’t very many bands out there that sound like us, obsession to put things in a box, and put a label on it, which is good. At the same time though, promoters and telling you “this is what you are.” For me that label’s and gig bookers have a hard time deciding who we might fit on a bill with. It’s a bit of a risk to take us on. If been anything from girl, woman, bisexual, freak, we sounded like a bunch of other bands, that would be mosher, metalhead, goth etc. People have to put a label on you that define you. Some people are called gay, or easy as we could just get put in the same box, but transsexual or it can be chav, and a whole number of because we are who we are, we’re kind of boxless other things because people are just so desperate to really. We’re too rock, alternative and weird for the do it. That’s what we’re planning to do with the second mainstream pop/rock acts, but at the same time we’re too melodic for a lot of the metal crowd as well, album, and kind of explore the need to label things. I was once accused of being a bit of a “Pollyanna” which so we have quite a unique band of followers. was inspired by the film and the book, and it basically means someone that tries to see the good in things So do you get much of a chance to listen to other almost to the point of being naïve, but that didn’t quite music at all? Some bands find they just don’t have fit in with the fact that I was in a rock band, and was the time. Yeah I do actually. I’m a musician, I love music. Music is into some dark and deviant imagery from my own imagination. my life, its part of who I am, and its part of the big pleasure of being alive really, so I listen to it as much as Actually that’s exactly how the album comes across, possible. I’ve got friends who are film students, and they say it’s like a curse because they can’t just sit and it’s an album of stark contrast, and it tells both sides watch a film without analysing it, and breaking it down of the story. Dark and light, Yin and Yang, was that into the different aspects, like the acting, the direction, something you wanted to get across? the scripting and the cinematography, but for all that, It actually wasn’t intentional to come out like that, but you wouldn’t give up that knowledge. I find it’s the same at the same time, given our views on the music and the with music. We can’t listen to a song without taking it writing, I couldn’t see it coming out any other way really. apart and listening to the individual instruments to see It’s just kind of how everything went, and that’s how it what they’re doing, but again, we wouldn’t swap worked out in the end. knowledge for ignorance. We don’t get stuck in one genre either, for instance I love metal, especially So this is your chance to tell people where to go so industrial metal. I love Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails, they can check you out, and to give them a personal but I also love opera, and I like Lady Gaga and Pink, and message: a bit of hip-hop as well. There’s no genre that I wouldn’t Thanks a lot. Go along to http:// listen to, I’m open to listening to anything, hence the and there you’ll find links to our reason why our own music is such a mash up of many BandCamp page and our Facebook page. If you’re new different genres. to the band, please come and check us out, and come and say hi. We’re very close to our fans and we try to So what about the live shows? Is the album concept interact with them every day through Facebook and taken out there as a theatrical production, or is that Instagram. If you’re already a fan of the band, then something you’re looking to bring in later? thanks so much for your support, it really means a lot Not at the moment, mainly because our budget won’t to us. Please keep coming along to the shows and stretch that far. It is something we’d certainly like to do buying the music, and we couldn’t do any of this without though. It’s really very subtle at the moment. At the you, and it’s you guys that make it all worthwhile. start of the show I’m representing the doll in the music video, and then when we get to the song Monstrous


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Will Wilde 10/10

Raw Blues Record Label: Rock The Earth

Released: 30 August 2013

Highlight of the album: Citalopram Blues Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

For those of you not familiar with the current blues scene, Will is the brother of Dani Wilde who just happens to be one of the hottest blues musicians around right now, so there’s already a good pedigree here, and expectations are extremely high. The album title leaves very little doubt as to what you’re going to get, and pressing play just confirms that.

Now I’m very much a guitar blues man to be honest, so listening to music that has harmonica solos instead of guitar solos was something I was a little worried about to be honest, but it wasn’t too long at all before it swayed me. I just couldn’t help be in awe at the unbelievable talent this guy displays when he lets rip, and great music is great music, no matter what it’s played on, and this is an album that’s most certainly Remember those old films where a cop would go into a filled with exactly that. seedy bar in Chicago, and there’d be a blues band playing in the background? Well that’s what I was I was pleasantly surprised by this album, not least reminded of as soon as I heard the music. Boy can this because it’s given me a new appreciation of the guy really play the blues harp, and as for raw blues? harmonica not just as an accompanying instrument, Yep it’s most definitely that too, make no mistake. With but a lead instrument in its own right. If you like your whiskey soaked vocals and the stripped back sound of blues, gritty, simple, and played with feeling, then Raw old time music, but at the same time having a modern Blues is as good as it gets. twist, makes it a very interesting album to listen to.

Tigertailz 8/10

Knives (E.P) Record Label: Scarlet Records

Released: 22 October 2013

Highlight of the album: Bite The Hand Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

Tigertailz have always struck me as a band which should have been far bigger than what they were but for one reason or another they never quite managed to achieve the amount of recognition and success that they deserved.

Thankfully ‘Bite The Hand’ kick starts the E.P back to the ‘tailz of old with that fast upbeat tempo and catchy sound that first brought Tigertailz to the masses. ‘Spit It Out’ and closing track ‘Punched In The Gutz’ continue with this format bringing the E.P to a fine close.

Lately the ‘tailz has been known more for the revolving door of musicians that have graced the band than their musical output so I was somewhat Overall ‘Knives’ proves that Tygertailz are back and intrigued by what this latest lineup of the band would are still capable of producing killer songs but that sound like. inconsistency which has seemed to dog them throughout the bands long career still appears to be ‘Knives’ itself is a pretty mixed E.P with the usual there, hopefully this version of Tygertailz stay mixture of ‘tailz sounds with opening song ‘Shoe together long enough to iron out the bugs from the Collector’ having a more sleazy overtures than ‘tailz system so that the band can return to heights they songs of old even throwing in a line or two from once held. AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ and while the song itself isn’t bad it just doesn’t do the band justice and following it up with the ballad ‘One Life’ was probably not the wisest of moves.


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Stone Temple Pilots 8/10

High Rise EP

Record Label: Spinefarm Records Released: 7 October 2013 Highlight of the album: Black Heart Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Yes you read that right, STP are back with some new material, and I have to say, it’s pretty damned good. With the furore surrounding the departure of Scott Weiland and the subsequent lawsuits etc that ensued, you could be forgiven that the band would decide to call it a day. Instead though, they drafted in Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and went about their business.

it’s very much business as usual. Fans of the band I think are going to be happy, and with a different approach on the horizon, maybe some new fans will be gained, who knows? If you’re not familiar with the band, they play good honest straight ahead rock music, with a kind of indie vibe, spaced out vocals, and gutter grime. Yep, it’s interesting to say the least.

So what’s the new material like? Actually it’s a little different. Sure there are some classic STP songs, but there are a couple thrown in to “test the water” so to speak, and hint at a new direction in which the band may be heading. Evolution is never a bad thing though, and when any seasoned band takes on a new member, new influences are brought to the table.

A handful of songs are all we get to pass judgement though, so it’s just as well that every song on the EP is a good one, and I like the new material. With a mix of “classic” STP and “new” STP it’s exciting to see what they’re going to do next. Put it this way, if they release an album along the same lines as this EP, then I’ll wager that will also be pretty damned good. If you’ve not heard of the band before, then do check this out, as it’s a great collection of songs.

Some of the songs though are instantly familiar, and

Walking Papers 9/10

Walking Papers Record Label: Loud & Proud Records

Released: 7 October 2013

Highlight of the album: Two Tickets Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour If you’ve had your head buried in the sand, then you’ll not know anything about this band. However, those in the know will undoubtedly be aware that this band features none other than ex G’n’R member Duff McKagan, ex Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and ex The Missionary Position members Jeff Angell and Benjamin Anderson. The band hail from Seattle which of course provided us with bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and the album features contributions by the latter’s Mike McCready and to start with I thought it was going to be a grungey affair, like those other bands, but it seems there’s a lot more to it than that. Now if you know anything of the band, you’ll know that this album was already released in the US back in October 2012, but it’s been re-packaged for the UK, which adds another four tracks to the album, and there is also an iTunes version, which will contain four more. For the purposes of this review I have the CD version, so I’ve

“only” got 14 tracks to be going on with, although no complaints here. The music is actually really varied, and I swear I could even hear some brass in there somewhere. The tracks range from full on “in your face” rock tunes, to laid back “sit in the garden with an ice cold beer with the wind in your hair” type of songs. There’s certainly enough variety to make this a really interesting album. The album also mixes it up with genres too, from grunge, to down and dirty gutter blues, to power ballads, and much more besides, but it flows well from one song to another. Musically, everything just works well, but with musicians of this calibre, you would expect nothing less. The songs a very well crafted, and everything slots into place with pin point accuracy. The whole album has a sleazy feel to it, and it sounds as gritty as an asphalt milkshake, and it really has a ton of attitude. I was expecting good things from this album, and I’m happy to report that my expectations were well and truly met.


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Coney Hatch 9/10

Four Record Label: Frontiers Records

Released: 27 September 2013

Highlight of the album: Blown Away Website: Reviewer: Paul Nicholls

This is the bands first new album in more than 20 years, and ladies and gentlemen I have to’s been worth the wait!

that only a band whose track record resembles Coney Hatch could pull off. Overall “Four” has some very intelligent song writing coupled with guitar riffs that will remain in your mind, superbly backed up with sharp vocal lines and harmonies.

I’ve never been the biggest CH fan but I have to say this time, the penny has dropped and I think I get it!

You know when you have a great record when it stays on play when you’re off air as this one has.

Opening with the aptly titled “Blown Away” it leaps from your speakers making no apologies for pummelling it’s way into your ears.

Coney Hatch on the strength of this album are going to be a force to reckon with when it comes to The album, to coin a phrase, rocks along quite nicely “Album of the Year “ stakes, a band that knows how thank you, holding its own against the competition to rock and yet also is aware what NOT to play on a very well’s not all out and out rockers, song ... One of the most successful of the “reformed there are some superbly written numbers on offer bands” category, Coney Hatch are back to stay!

Dream Theater 9/10

Dream Theater Record Label: Roadrunner Records

Released: 24 September 2013

Highlight of the album: The Enemy Inside Website: Reviewer: Tony Corner

Dream Theater have just released their eagerly awaited 12th studio album, self titled as they didn't want to give anything away to the fans on what to expect from this album. Its the second release to feature Mike Mangini on drums and for me the band have well and truly hit their stride after Mike Portnoy's departure… All the elements that us fans love are still there but have been toned down a little at times, there's a lot more melody and the whole album seems to this listener to be a much more rounded and fuller sounding affair. Don't get me wrong, the intricate passages are still there but seem to fit the songs so much better.

As with all DT albums this one has a long and complex track, at 22mins plus “Illumination Theory” is not for the faint hearted but it's these sort of tracks that are a must for any DT fan and this one is no exception. It runs the gamut from soft gentle keys, through intricate instrumental passages, intense riffing, brutal metal, complex time signatures and key changes before easing off into a wonderfully classical influenced symphonic mid section and then starts all over again. The album is filled throughout with outstanding musical ability, wonderful songs, lots of melody and this is one fantastic album that really shines (on headphones especially!)!

Starting with a short but very sweet instrumental it goes straight into the awesome single “The Enemy Inside” – vintage DT and has all the elements you would expect and so much power! “Enigma Machine” is a classic and complex instrumental track and “The Bigger Picture” just oozes class. Other highlights for me are stunning tracks “Behind The Veil” and “Along For The Ride”, plus of course the following track....

Top class music and a strong contender for prog metal album of the year, it's certainly been worth the wait and one I can't wait to see live. The boys from Dream Theater prove that they're still top of their game and are still improving after all these years. I guarantee each listen will make you appreciate something different in each song. One to keep you company on the long winter nights that are fast approaching.


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Firebrand Rock Radio’s

Doron Interviews Dale and Steve of

September 20

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Firebrand Rock Radio is pleased to announce the winner of the September Band of the Month competition. This month's winner is none other than Worcestershire based pop rock group The Dale Von Minaker Group. The namesake of the project, Von Minaker cut his teeth at 15 years old playing the drums, and before that he fancied hitting ice cream tubs with wooden spoons. This would pay off when he picked up a guitar and started writing songs for a contest. He didn't win, but he got the attention of some influential people with an electro track called "Everybody Wants a Revolution". In 2011 Von Minaker would knuckle down to pen a pre-production demo, which wooed his fellow bandmates to join, namely bassist Gaz Gibbons, drummer Steve Smith, and keyboardist Nick Sellers. After 12 months of various gigs and rehersals, the band would settle into Magic Garden Studios with producer Gavin Moneghan to record their debut full length album "You Are Here". Firebrand Magazine recently sat down with Von Minaker and drummer Smith to have a candid chat about the happenings of the project. It seems that Von Minaker and company have quite a bit going on, among them being a well-decorated "play room" - and a drummer that has a bit of a case of Tourettes. But we'll let you come to your own conclusions on it all.

Welcome to Firebrand Presents. I'm Doc #2 and with me I have the winners of the September Band of the Month competition, The DVM group, whats up guys? Dale: Hi Doc! Now I understand you guys have quite the decor set up for this interview, am I right? Dale: We're the toy room, that's right - there are a selection of toys in the toy room, some bean bags, and other things .. There's no end to the fun... *laughs* Sometimes the fun doesn't even start! So why don't you guys tell me a little bit about yourselves and how you guys got into how you got into doing what you do? Dale: Well the members of the band, obviously myself, Mr Dale Von Minaker, and I'm joined by Mr Steven Smith here on drums. We've also got the bass player, Gaz, as well as a guy on keys and Hammond called Nick Sellers. I was involved in a songwriting contest, I've been writing for years...and the work was critqued by Sir Bob Galdoff, a producer...I got into the semi finals and just got booted out, but I left the competition with quite a few Facebook likes, so I decided to point my finger out there, and started to write an album and get back into performing again. Steve was first on board, followed by Gaz, and we eventually hijacked Nick. We feed him fast food...and as long as we do that he stays on board. *laughs* At that point I kind of hadn't been playing music for about 5 or 6 years, and got dragged into it very willingly, I started playing drums again .. and the opportunities kept coming from there! I wanted to record an album and do some live gigs, because once you record an album you need to promote it .. alright yeah! Steve: And here we are two years later. Dale: Yeah, we sort of did everything backwards...Most times we'll do a demo, but we just

kind of went all out and did the album first. And then you have the question "oh what do we do now, oh yeah we need to promote this don't we?" .. so.. However doing it this way, we've got quite a big bulk of material, so we aren't promising each other *unintelligible* but then we've only got one or two songs... That's pretty much where we're at, I mean ..we signed up to do an artist development course, and we went on board with that... they're called MAS records, and from that we got asked to support the band Madness, in an arena, so that was really cool. So we just recorded a single for them, which is coming out on the 8th of November, which is an unusual day, because I think most singles come out on Monday .. but they told that social media is clogged with people that pay for updates on that day, so there are a lot of things about this band that are quite unsual. So I know Dale that you had quite an upbringing when it came to music, you started at 15 writing pop songs, and then you just kind of branched out into rock, what made you take that direction? Because you have a very unique style. Dale: Well, I think I first started playing drums probably before I started playing properly at 15 .. I was beating ice cream tubs with wooden spoons, and I was into things like Duran Duran. And then I got into like, growing my hair long and going to Iron Maiden, AC/DC .. that sort of thing .. It's sort of a bit of a mish mash between the type of music I like and the type we sort of arranged as a band.. We tend to right now, write more commercial stuff, but because as a band we're so used to writing rock.. the songs have a bit more meat to them..But really just trying to get into writing classic pop rock indie whatever you want to call it .. songs.. that are really going to last..we don't want to be one of these flash in the pan bands of the moment that you forget.. So it's really the longevity that we try to concentrate on.


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Cool. And you guys have a full length album out called You are Here - What was the recording process like for that? Dale: The actual recording process ... The technology that's available now, we couldn't have done this album ten years ago... The actual keyboard parts and prep work were mostly done in my studio ..When I say studio, I mean the garden shed.. it really was a garden shed. So it was basically a lot of long nights, a lot of prep work, so when we got into the studio time matters and the clock's ticking‌so‌ we really had a brilliant producer working for us, Gavin Monaghan. .. he's worked with bands like the Editors and Robert Plant‌ we really needed to work with someone like him who's into what you're doing and understands your objectives. And it took over about ...couple of months with coming in when we had time to chisel away with it, and eventually we came away with something we were quite proud of, but .. there were times when i didn't think we'd come away as successful as we did, so I'm quite grateful to him for that. What's your songwriting process like? Do you come up with the majority of the material? or do the other band members contribute? Dale: It's pretty much what you said, I mean .. I write the songs, but they wouldn't sound the way they do without the other members. I write the bare bones of the song - and then someone will say "this part's too long, this part needs to leave" .. I mean I'm not a tyrant! *laughs* So there is some flexibility, but in terms of writing, it always tends to be when I'm driving home from work, I'll just sort of em, go into a daydream, which is a bit of a concern for the other

drivers on the road *laughs* .. So, my phone is used to just kind of record things into..I've got folders and folders of just mumbling..and sometimes I'll just start with some kind of random thing on the piano, or the guitar..and things just fall out..Sometimes you've already written a few lyrics, and then your subconscious mind just starts to kind of glue everything together.. that's how a lot of things get written. And then live the other band members jump in, and we just kind of go with the flow. It works quite well, we're like a machine in that regard - everyone just kind of doing what they need to do. I've been in many bands in the past, and you're on stage thinking "I hope the drummer remembers this", or "I hope the bass kicks in there" and I don't need to worry about those things with this band. *comments about the interference on the phone line* Speaking of buzzing, you were telling me yesterday something that I think I need to bring up here, something about the drummer humming to himself wordlessly when he's tuning his kit - is that a ritual? Dale: Steven has what we call a "tourette's moment" - I think his job kind of drives him to the point of insanity, and he tries to supress that - but ..every now and then it'll just take over. Steve: Rubbish! *laughs* Sorry, that slipped out there.. Yeah, I'll also tend to talk complete nonsense to myself... Sometimes I'll just be tuning my kit, and waiting for the other band members to stop fucking about, so I'll just spew out some completely off the cuff nonsense.. won't make any sense whatsoever. ..


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Beautiful. It's beHave you guys ever thought about recording the mumbling and using it for a song? Dale: I think it could be a drum n bass mix, some kind of Europop hit maybe? ... Possibly some obscene Europop.

- but people over here tend to think we're kind of pop-rock. When you say pop rock, you think of someone like Whitesnake.. but we just think of ourselves as a rock band...The Black Keys isn't a bad example - We're very sort of .. New Wave/Old Wave .. 1970s ... Stranglers, Clash, those sort of bands.. there's sort of a raw edge to it.. We think we're also Billy Joel, or the Cars ... I don't know, what do you think Doc?

So it's going to sound like Eiffel 65? Dale & Steve both laugh ... Possibly, yeah yeah.. So you guys are the winners of the September Band of the Month competition, that's part of the reason you're all here... What made you decide to click the button? How did you find us? Dale: I think I'd seen the radio station several places it'd been mentioned on Reverb Nation - opportunities come up .. And what tends to happen when you're in a band in this day and age is you'll get those kind of opportunities, and enter every competition and write to every single magazine in the hope that one of them will come back to you.. So I saw it and I thought that that would be quite a good opportunity for us.. and I just started spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter..Just to annoy people - I pretty much excel in doing that... and then we just had an email that said we'd won, so naturally I didn't think that we'd have won - and low and behold we did, so .. And we listen to a lot of rock radio stations to see what people are playing and such ... And we'll find out how its presented also.

Nowadays, music has become so ... I don't want to say anything I'll regret, but when I think pop, I think One Direction. Dale: *laughs* We just need to switch off the radio then, just go straight out of it.. But you guys say Whitesnake, and that's what comes to mind when I think of it, you know.. I think of one Direction because that's how much it's changed over the years ..and that's why it's good to have indie bands like you guys - because we're kind of counting on you guys to save us, ya know? Otherwise we'll all be Justin Bieber. So do you have anything you want to say to your millions of fans before we get out of here? Dale: We'd like to humbly thank you for listening, and if you've picked up on us and checked us out - bear with us.. We're playing as many gigs as we can. Thanks for listening, and thanks for picking us!

I hate to categorize bands, but to a new listener, what would you guys describe yourselves as "genre wise?" Jam rock? dubstep? Europop? Dale: Technophobe ... *laughs*

And where can fans buy a copy of You are here? Dale: There are several platforms - Itunes, Amazon, Spotify, we're on there ... If you want to go to - you can probably download the album at a reasonable price .. We do have a new I hear a lot of Black Keys and stuff like that.. single coming out on the 8th of November called Dale: Yeah, I would probably go that way - I think our Romance.. and it's going to be sexy. demographic is something like 18 to 30 or 40 something like that... I think that part of the market Beautiful. It's been a pleasure. Congratulations on tends to be people that are into guitar rock music. winning, we're glad to have you. We'll talk to you You've got so many sort of categories to choose from soon!

Do you think your band has what it takes to be Firebrand Rock Radio’s

Prizes include interview both on air and in our Magazine, and much more. If you are interested, please email us at for more information and details! We only have six slots available, so get your entries in! 23

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Lewis Hamilton 9/10

Ghost Train Record Label: Self Release

Released: 5 August 2013

Highlight of the album: Breaking Heart Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

The new album from this Scottish blues prodigy has a lot to live up to. The first albums were quite frankly, stunning so this one very much has a point to prove. The style is very much guitar driven blues, with some funk, jazz and soul infused. Of course there are some pure blues tracks too, as that’s primarily what this album is all about, but it’s definitely not a one trick pony that’s for sure.

the way. This is an album that is good because it doesn’t go out of its way to try and show you how good it is. It just turns up, does the job, and then when it’s finished, turns to look at you just in time to catch you saying “that’ll do” or words to that effect. This is heartfelt soulful music, and it’s as honest as the day is long in June, and when music has that much integrity, it just has to be good.

The guitar work is once again exemplary and the vocals have an understated approach. Nothing is overdone, and everything just comes together seamlessly, to make something greater than the sum of its parts. From the guitar playing, it’s easy to tell that there’s a considerable talent there, but also the knowhow to wield it to greatest effect. Not all guitar driven blues has to have ninety mile an hour solos, or overly exaggerated sustain, although I like that too by

One of the most important things about this album though, is that it’s from one of the rising stars on the scene, and it’s albums like this that are keeping the scene alive. If the new generation of blues musicians keep churning out music of this quality, the blues scene is going to remain healthy for a very long time, and that is a very good thing, a very good thing indeed.

Sondura 9/10

Undivided Record Label: Hardsound Records Released: 3 March 2014 Highlight of the album: Reaching Out Website: Reviewer: Lee Walker

Having been on my ever growing musical radar for quite some time I was looking forward to finally listening to ‘Undivided’ by London rockers Sondura. The first single to be released from the album ‘We’re Here Now’ sets the scene for this all important second album, with its mix of catchy American style rock, showing just how much the band has matured and perfected its sound, creating songs which are polished just enough to give them that extra edge that they need to stand out while leaving just enough rawness on them to still allow the natural talent to shine though.

With this release Sondura pretty much guarantee that they will have your undivided attention as they prove once again exactly why they are one of the most talked about hotly tipped bands of the rising new generation of rock.

‘Reaching Out’ continues the barrage of audio bliss as the album takes full hold with its mix of catchy hooks and radio friendly choruses becoming increasingly evident in each of the tracks which make up this powerhouse of an album.


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Firebrand Magazine

Crash Mansion 8/10

Live For Something EP Record Label: Transcend Music/EMI

Released: 7 October 2013

Highlight of the album: Money Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

If you like your rock music straight up, with no frills or gimmicks, and kick ass tunes, then you should definitely pay a visit to Crash Mansion. This band has that certain feel to the music that just makes everything move along nicely. It’s not frenetic, but it’s definitely high energy. The music has just the right amount of sleaziness injected into it, and the vocals are powerful without going too far. With just a handful of tracks, it’s hard to discern what the band are about as rule, and personally I much prefer to get my hands on a full album rather than a taster EP, but this is damned good, and after listening you’re left in no doubt as to the quality of the band, and the message they wish to send. That message is “come listen to us, cuz we fuckin rock” and that’s exactly what they do.

This is no trailblazer, as it’s going over territory covered before, but the way in which they do it is great. That said there are some elements of originality, and some crossover of genres, so it will keep you on your toes. The songs are built around fist pumping choruses, and yes they’re infectious. Honestly, I am really intrigued to hear what these guys will put out next, but as it is, Live For Something is definitely worth taking the time to check out.

Reuben Archer’s Personal Sin 10/10

Personal Sin Record Label: Toxic Arrow Records

Released: 19 August 2013

Highlight of the album: Spanish Nights Website: Reviewer: Paul Nicholls

Reuben Archer, famed for his vocal delivery for band such as Stampede, Wild Horses, Lautrec and Lionheart unleashed his debut album “Personal Sin” last month. I have to wonder what has taken so long in this world of “release all we can.” Suffice to say that it appears to me, that Reuben has done the sensible thing and waited until both the line up and the music deserved to be out there. I can’t list all the name contributors to this release as there simply isn’t room... members of Magnum, Thunder, Saxon, Lionheart, Whitesnake, Quo and UFO to name but a few.

most albums had, keeping the listener interested and absorbed. Not for this release the syndrome of each song running into each other to become a mush for the ears. Reubens maturity as a vocalist shines through as does his maturity as a writer, from the barnstorming “Play My Rock N Roll” to the atmospheric “Spanish Nights” each song stands on its own two feet without harking back to either past glories or jumping onto the first available bandwagon. With a first class production by Reuben and Rob Wolverson what we have here, are 13 tracks of some of the best bluesy, rocking and melodic songs you could hope for...Buy !

But can have the prettiest wrapped box, the contents can still be rubbish...This ISNT. Very varied in its style and composition it doesn’t stay at all safe, the album has the diversity that once


Firebrand Magazine

Reviewed By Chris Nelson, Photos by Reg Richardson

Micheal Schenker Temple Of Rock & Lovedrive Reunion Tour Robin 2 Bilston It was a red hot night in the West Midlands and the most famous person that ever put his hands on a a Gibson Flying V was in town. Now Michael Schenker over the last five years has been a Tuetonic rollercoaster of a man. I’ve seen him have a great night, and I’ve seen him have a complete drunken disaster of a night, luckily this was a scorcher. The past few years he’s employed the magnificent vocal talents of Michael Voss of Mad Max fame, who sang on Schenkers last album and done a great job on the live front too, but for this tour I’m pleased to say he’s gone with one of Scotland’s finest Doogie White, who stars alongside Scorpions legends Francis Buchholz on the bass guitar and Herman Rarebell on the skins, with the added guitar talents of Wayne Findlay making up the ranks.

Shoot, Lights Out, Rock You Like A Hurricane and Rock Bottom, but the best was saved till last as two of the greatest hard rock anthems ever popped up as the encore’s riffed into Blackout and Doctor Doctor. I haven’t seen the Robin 2 this pumped up and bursting to the doors for a long long time, with crowd and band giving their all. Overall it was fantastic to see Michael Schenker back to his best as he’s been one of my life long guitar heroes , and long may stay clean and still the riff master

Because of this line up it was never going to be a normal Michael Schenker gig, so alongside the trusted back catalogue of MSG classics ,we were going to get Scorpions tracks and UFO gems thrown into the mix. The night kicked off in fantastic form as they went straight into two of my favourite Scorps songs Lovedrive & Another Piece Of Meat, which seriously set the standard of what was to come. The only MSG songs of the night came next, but great songs they were and included the classic Armed & Ready, Attack Of The Mad Axeman and the best track taken from their recent Temple Of Rock album Before The Devil Knows Your Dead. The driving rhythm section really came into their own with the following Scorpions and UFO songs, such as Shoot


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Firebrand Magazine

Samantha Fish 10/10

Black Wind Howlin’ Record Label: Ruf Records

Released: 20 September 2013

Highlight of the album: Sucker Born Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

The blues scene over the past few years has seen something of a surge of female guitar players, which is a very good thing indeed I might add. The first time I came across Ms Fish was when I got the Girls With Guitars album, and I was impressed then, so it was with a certain amount of anticipation that I put this CD in to play.

beautiful music, and that’s just what this album is full of.

From smouldering blues ballads, to scorching blues rock, and a lot of ground covered in between, everything is just taken in their stride, and handled extremely well. This is an album that will cement Samantha Fish’s position as one of the forerunning It opens up with a full on blues boogie and will get blues musicians on the circuit right now, female or your foot tapping in no time at all. The vocals are otherwise. Each song is a variation on a theme, and effortless, with a great deal of soul, but just enough it doesn’t matter which one in particular that you’re raw power to keep the blues feel to them. The guitar listening to, everything just works. though, well that’s something different entirely. Her tone is amazing, and the playing full of emotion and As blues albums go, this should definitely be on your feeling. Put all of that together and you’ve got a list of essential albums of 2013, as it really is just pretty good package. Back all of that up with some that good, there’s no other way to say it. great musicians and you have a recipe for making

Wooden Horse 9/10

This Kind Of Trouble Record Label: Self Release

Released: 30 August 2013

Highlight of the album: The Walking Rain Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

I’ve reviewed several blues albums this month, and this is yet another side of the blues to the others. This is a mainly acoustic blues album, complete with some great slide guitar. There are some electric moments along the way and some nice keyboard work too, but the focus is primarily on keeping things simple and stripped down.

intricate guitar solos, and pushing the boundaries of where the blues can go, so when a modern band comes along and says “that’s all well and good, but we want to play blues the way it was played way back when” that’s something you have to admire.

The problem that most artists run into though, is that when you’re doing something that’s been done When music like this is completely stripped back, over and over again, you have to do it well or you may there’s nowhere to hide, so everything has to be as well just forget it. Well these guys do it really well, spot on. Thankfully, it is just that. Vocally, it’s also and there’s an air of honesty that you can hear really interesting, as there are some great throughout the whole album. This is the blues exactly harmonies interspersed into the songs. It really gives how it was, and for most, the way it still should be. the music a nostalgic sound, and you can hear it going right back to the very origins of the blues. There’s a lot to be said for this type of music, especially as a lot of the blues is focused around


Firebrand Magazine

With Chris Nelson 18 & Life is the brainchild of Firebrands Switchblade Serenade presented by me, Chris Nelson. Each month I will be bringing you an insight into what goes on in the personal lives of musicians and bands. It's 18 questions all about them, with final question telling you what they are up to at the moment and what their plans are for the next 6 months. So if you’re in a band and you want to take part, send your contact details to This months

Features David Mark Pearce.

WHATS THE BEST BAND YOU’VE EVER SEEN LIVE? Dio on the Strange Highways Tour. ARE YOU AFRAID OF ANYTHING AND WHATS YOUR FEAR? Yes, Spiders and heights. IF YOU COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY AND INVITE ANY TWO PEOPLE FROM HISTORY ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE? Ronnie James Dio and Yngwie J Malmsteen, both head strong, opinionated and very warm and funny people at the same time. I think I would learn a lot from talking with them. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE? The Devil Rides Out. WHO ARE YOUR HEROES, THE PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC? Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale, Yngwie Malmsteen and early on Iron

Maiden. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF FOOD/ DISH? Chicken Curry with Egg Fried Rice. WHAT WAS FIRST ROCK ALBUM YOU EVER BROUGHT? Can’t remember but the first one I asked for as a present that I had with my first ever hifi, ie record played with two speakers, was Dio ‘The Last in Line’ I will never forget holding that album cover in my hand and listening to ‘WE ROCK’ That will stay with me forever. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR CAREER HIGHS AND LOWS HAVE BEEN? Career high recording and performing with the Oliver Wakeman Band for the live album & DVD in Poland 2007 and of course getting my first ever record deal with AOR Heaven for my debut album Strange Ang3ls


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Career low: Haven’t really had one as yet.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIG YOU EVER WENT TO? Thunder supported by No Sweat at the Cornwall Coliseum .

DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS OR UFO’S AND HAVE YOU HAD ANY EXPERIENCES YOU CAN SHARE WITH US? Yes I do, I’ve had many Tarot card readings and Rune stone readings that so far have been a very good guide for me plus I’ve communicated through a friend with my Gran. That was a very special moment for me. Plus I was told in a reading that I would meet a lady from Scotland and I have.


WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT AND WHATS YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS? At the moment I’m completing writing the final two songs that will make up YOUR CHILLING AT HOME AND PUT ON AN ALBUM BY AN ARTIST SOMEONE WOULD NOT the demo’s for my next album and the ASSOCIATE YOU WITH, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR next six months will be spent polishing them, inviting musicians to perform on GUILTY PLEASURE? it and of course then recording it and Prince. The guy is a great musician at securing a deal for release. whatever instrument he picks up whether that’s singing, guitar, bass, drums, piano etc plus we writes amazing songs and is a great producer too. Basically he can do the lot! WHATS THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACE YOU’VE EVER HAD SEX? On the beach at PZ, just under the promenade with people about 2 feet away over head. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD? Ignorance & Rudeness. FAVOURITE COMEDY TV SHOW OF ALL TIME? Only Fools & Horses, Morecambe & Wise. WHAT IS THE ONE THING IN LIFE YOU SIMPLY CANNOT DO WITHOUT? My guitar! And of course my partner Gillian. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Jack Daniels. WHATS YOUR FUNNIEST TOUR BUS STORY? When I was with Oliver over in Poland for the DVD recording, we had borded the plane to come back to the UK and I decided to go to sleep, when I woke up I asked Oliver if we were there yet and he simply replied, ‘We’ve yet to take off’ see, hilarious haha.


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

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LaValle 10/10

Dear Sanity Record Label: Kivel Records

Released: 20 August 2013

Highlight of the album: Smoke and Mirrors Website: Reviewer: Paul Nicholls

The release of this album was highly anticipated following the “leak” of a couple of tracks to radio by Kivel Records ...just enough to whet the appetite without giving away the whole game. Delayed by a couple of months, but now released, we get a chance to hear more of the band.

Writing began in 2011 between Messrs Lavalle & Logue and is rooted firmly in Dokken / Def Leppard influences (not a bad place to start) but is a very long way from being a copyist release. Lavalle has a distinctive sound that fans of both bands will recognise but is diverse enough to not draw many direct comparisons.

Put together with musicians from the USA and Europe, taking their name from guitarist Eddie Ty Sims does a splendid job of production making the Lavalle, the band comprises Paul Logue (Bass) Ramy final mix sound uncluttered and spacious but with Ali (Drums) and the inimitable voice of Carsten enough power to’s that perfect balance. “Lizard” Shultz. Strong melodies and razor like harmonies abound on Beware dear reader, this is no ordinary “Project this album ... a true unmissable release and one I Album” which normally has me running to the hills, personally keep returning to hear again. This sounds more like a touring band than many “touring bands” ... you get the picture?

Alter Bridge 10/10

Fortress Record Label: Warner Music/Roadrunner UK Highlight of the album: Fortress

Released: 30 September 2013

Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Arguably one of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2013, this album has a lot of hype to live up to. Since the announcement went out earlier this year that they were working on the next album, the world has been salivating in anticipation. Or maybe that was just me…..

Addicted To Pain hinted at what this album is going to be about.

Overall, this album is a little darker, and quite a lot heavier. The songs are as complex as ever, and Mark has brought some of the harder stuff that he Now I’m one of those that prefers Blackbird over ABIII produced on his solo album. As for Myles, well the guy although the margin is small. I don’t know why but the could sing a dictionary and it would still sound third album just didn’t quite strike the same chord as awesome. I can’t help thinking though that his time number two. After the various members have been off with Slash has rubbed off on him a little, and he’s doing their own thing though, maybe this album is brought some of that influence to the table. going to bring elements of that into it, or at least that’s my thinking. So then, the burning question is whether it’s better than ABIII and I can honestly say that I believe it is. I I clicked “play” and immediately the sound was would go so far as to say that I think it’s even better unmistakable. This was undeniably Alter Bridge. The than Blackbird, yes it really is that good. Put it this way, album kicks off with an acoustic intro before it opens this is my album of 2013 so far, and I seriously doubt up into a balls out rocker, and from there on in, it’s a that anything else is going to be released this year that case of strap yourself in and hang on tight. The single is going to change that. This album is simply epic.


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The Graveltones 9/10

Don’t Wait Down Record Label: Lagoon Dog Records/RSK Entertainment Highlight of the album: You’re No Good

Released: 21 October 2013

Website: Reviewer: Jon Seymour

One of the best things about doing this job is that occasionally you get something a bit quirky that just makes you smile. This is one of those times. This album is made basically by Rockabillies on steroids forming a blues punk band. You can tell it has that old time sound, but it’s just been amped up, and sped up.

worth persevering.

All in all, it’s a welcome taste of a genre that I’d almost forgotten about. Yes I’ll admit that it made me feel a little nostalgic, but for those of you out there who are too young to remember the psychobilly movement first time around then grab yourself a slice of the Graveltones and have a listen What you’re left with is an interesting album, that’s to see what happens when you inject it with a rock n actually a lot of fun to listen to. It sounds raw, and it’s roll attitude, and see how many other genres you most certainly rough around the edges, but that just can pick out along the way. Whatever happens adds to the overall charm. I wasn’t too sure whether though, it’s just a whole heap of fun. I was going to like it to be honest, but after just a couple of tracks it had won me over. It’s a strange mix of that rockabilly funk, whiskey soaked blues, and straight up hard rock, with the vocals going through a fuzzbox, so it’s a little weird to start with, but it’s

GT’s Boos Band 9/10

Steak House Record Label: Self Release

Released: TBC

Highlight of the album: Steak House Website: Reviewer: Tony Corner

Following On from their inclusion in the Jock’s Juke Joint series of albums celebrating the best of contemporary blues from Scotland, Gt’s Boos Band released their much anticipated debut album Steak House on Friday 6th September 2013. Featuring 10 tracks and covering a wide variety of blues styles, from laid back, through rock to groove, this is an excellent debut album from one of Scotland’s hardest working bands.

nice in these modern times to hear the bands instruments shine through clearly, with little or no effects/processing applied, just the perfect blend of sounds from Fender, Gibson and Marshall! The album is a concept album with an adult theme behind it and the highlights for me are the blues-rocker and title track “Steak House”, “Whiskey and Woman”, groove laden “All Night Long” and the sublime and wonderful “Lonely Roads”.

The band consists of Greig Taylor (vocals), John Boos (guitars), David Atkinson (bass) and Stephen Coetzee (drums) and presents a nice stripped back, natural feel to their music. There’s guest harmonica from Jim Harcus of Wang Dang Delta fame which adds to and enhances the rhythms produced by the band. It is so


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This months DJ is Jon Seymour


Alter Bridge – Addicted To Pain When news of a new album from AB emerged earlier this year, it would seem that almost the whole of the rock world held its breath. This is the first single lifted from the new album Fortress (reviewed in this very magazine) and is classic Alter Bridge. It’s a very strong track, and a great rock song to boot.


Annihilator – No Way Out I’ve always had a soft spot for these guys, and while admittedly some of their albums have been hit and miss, Jeff Waters’ ability on the guitar has remained constant throughout. This is the first single from the new album Feast and it’s a welcome return to form.

3 4 5

Hey! Hello! – Swimwear Yep, this the new single from Ginger Wildheart’s new band. It’s an infectious rock song, and it’s got a real “feel good” vibe to it. I’ve liked pretty much everything that Ginger has been involved with, and this is no different. It’s got that nostalgic feel, while still managing to remain modern.

Promethium – Gunslinger The first single from their new album Origins. I will admit to only recently being introduced to this band, but the album is cracking, and this song is just another one of those great metal tunes that you don’t mind listening to over and over.

Bad Pollyanna – Hollow The new single from this goth/industrial/pop/rock band/more besides band is another cracking song. I don’t know why I’ve fallen in love with this band, maybe it’s because of my well known soft spot for female rock vocalists, or maybe it’s because of the sometimes disturbing imagery evoked by the songs, or maybe it’s both. All I know is that the album Monstrous Child is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.

Don’t forget to check out Jon’s show every Wednesday 7-10pm (UK) 35

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Sammy Hagar 9/10

Sammy Hagar & Friends Record Label: Frontiers Records

Released: 24 September 2013

Highlight of the album: Going Down Website: Reviewer: Chris Nelson Sammy Hagar & Friends is just that, one of the greatest voices in rock joined by a collection of some of the finest connoisseur’s of the genre. The album kicks off with a very blue grass sounding guitar courtesy of dobro guitar wizard Taj Mahal, but in a very Long Cold Winter Cinderella type of way. It’s a great feel good song in a very basic style, I kept waiting for a big guitar sound to kick in to give it a fuller feel, but on repeat listens to it, it doesn’t need it. Next up is a Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, penned sultry tune called not going down, which features a great slide guitar solo by Vic Johnson and a military type drum beat from Denny Carmassi , which slides into a a very deep south type of feel once again. Track three is very different, and is a cover version of the Depeche Mode classic Personal Jesus. It’s a very gospel sounding song, complete with its own small gospel choir on backing vocals, and is the first song on the album to involve the father, son and holy ghost of rock, Neil Shcon, Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith, if you like the original version you are going to love this. Next up is one of my favourite Red Rocker songs Father Sun.

version, in the shape of Bob Seger’s Ramblin Gamblin Man. It fits perfectly though in the way the album progresses sometimes into a bar room boogie type groove. Next up is Bad On Fords and Chevrolets, and complements the previous track superbly. It features American Country singer songwriter Ronnie Dunn, who sounds fantastic on this, and in my eyes is a perfect choice for this song. Now next is a completely different kettle of fish, and also one of my favourites, the rather excellently titled Margaritaville. It sound like the theme to TV program Benidorm, performed by the Eagles but works fantastically, complete with Hawaian sounding guitars, and is a perfect anecdote for a hot summer’s day. All We Need Is An Island featuring the sublime vocal talents of Heart’s Nancy Wilson follows this and fits in great with the preceding song. Sounding very Kenny Rogers, but over all a really relaxing and a great way to slowly wind down what is a very diverse but brilliantly crafted piece of music.

Just when you think it’s all over along comes the live studio genius of the second song featuring the holy trinity. Going Kicking off with the familiar sounding deep south sound of Down. By far my favourite and by far the rockiest track, but the album, but this time with more of a hard rock edge to still fitting well with the other songs, and features a wicked it, it ploughs along relentlessly and features Denny solo from Journey shredder Neil Schon. There is a bonus Carmassi once again and Aaron Hagar, and is a totally track ( Space Station #5, originally done by Sammy’s first great feel good tune. Track five is the first single taken band Montrose), but is only available on the deluxe edition from Sammy Hagar & Friends and one of the hardest rock cd , but unfortunately for me I only have the promo, so tracks on the album . It’s an all star performance on this looks like I’ve got to go out and buy it. Over all if your track from award winning guitar maestro Joe Satriani and expecting Van Halen and Montrose you are going to be Kid Rock, but at only two minutes seventeen seconds long I very disappointed , but if you come to the table with an feel somewhat cheated. The whole album is crammed with open mind, be prepared to be bowled over and pull up a short sharp bursts of melody and charm though, and chair , a bourbon and coke, and join the party. maybe sometimes less is more. Also coming in at a very short two minutes thirty seconds long, is the second cover


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December 10 London O2 Arena 12 Belfast Odyssey Arena 14 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 16 Glasgow Hydro 18 Manchester Arena 20 Birmingham LG Arena

28 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 05 Bristol Anson Rooms April 2014 5 West Yorkshire The Picturedrome Motorhead and Saxon November Fleetwood Mac 13 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall September 14 Newcastle City Hall 25 London O2 Academy 16 Brixton 02 Academy 27 London O2 Academy 17 Brixton 02 Academy 29 Birmingham LG Arena 19 Wolverhampton Civic Hall October 20 Manchester 02 Apollo 01 Manchester MEN 22 Glasgow02 Academy 03 Glasgow Hydro Arena

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December 08 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

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November 22 Bournemouth O2 Academy 23 London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire 25 Bristol O2 Academy 26 Cambridge Junction 27 Norwich UEA 29 Pwllheli Hard Rock Hell 7 30 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall December 01 Cardiff Solus 02 Oxford O2 Academy 05 Inverness Ironworks 06 Edinburgh Picturehouse 07 Newcastle O2 Academy 08 Leeds O2 Academy 10 Leamington Spa The Assembly Rooms 12 Nottingham Rock City 13 Manchester Ritz 14 Dublin Academy

Novermber - December 28 - 1 Pwllheli Hafyn Y Mor (Haven Holiday Park)

Broken Hands

Joanne Shaw Taylor

September 26 London The Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen

Buckcherry November 22 London Koko 23 Coventry Kasbah 25 Manchester Academy 26 Glasgow O2 ABC 27 Belfast Limelight 2 29 Dublin The Academy 30 Nottingham Rock City December 02 Bristol O2 Academy 03 Cardiff Solus 04 Exeter Lemon Grove

Deacon Blue December 01 Brighton Centre

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

Depeche Mode November 11 Glasgow Hydro 13 Leeds Arena 15 Manchester Arena 19 London The O2 January 2014 27 Birmingham LG Arena

Dr Feelgood October 24 York Fibbers 30 London Royal Albert Hall November

Hawklords October 12 Leeds Brudenell Social Club

December 01 Portsmouth Pyramids 02 Sheffield Academy 03 Birmingham Academy 05 Manchester Academy 06 Dublin Academy 08 Glasgow Barrowlands 09 Newcastle Academy 10 London Brixton Academy

Huey Lewis and The News September 30 Gateshead The Sage October 01 London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun September 26 London St Pancra Old Church October 3 Nottingham Bodega Social November 28 London Shepard’s Bush Empire 29 Birmingham Town Hall 30 Holmfirth Picturedrome December 01 Gateshead Sage

Queensryche October 13 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 15 Glasgow Garage 16 Manchester The Ritz 17 Nottingham Rock City

Reckless Love October 01 Manchester Academy 3 02 Newcastle O2 Academy 03 Glasgow Cathouse 04 Leeds Cockpit 05 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 06 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 08 Norwich Waterfront Studio 09 Bristol The Fleece 10 London O2 Academy, Islington

Status Quo December 06 Liverpool Echo Arena 07 Birmingham LG Arena 08 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 10 Plymouth Pavilions 11 Bournemouth International Centre

London Grammar October 15 Norwich Open 16 Brighton Haunt 18 Brixton Electric 19 Oxford Gathering 20 Bristol The Fleece 22 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 23 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 24 Leeds Cockpit 26 Manchester Sound Control 27 Glasgow Broadcast 28 Newcastle Cluny

Texas November 09 York Barbican 10 Inverness Leisure Centre 11 Manchester Bridgewater Hall 13 Bristol Colston Hall 14 London Hammersmith Apollo 15 Plymouth Pavilions 17 Oxford Apollo 18 Birmingham Symphony Hall 19 Southend Cliffs Pavilion 21 Brighton Dome 22 Portsmouth Guildhall 24 Ipswich Regent Theatre

Madness September 28 London Alexandra Place

Manic Street Preachers September 27 Manchester The Ritz 29 Glasgow Barrowland

25 Cambridge Corn Exchange 26 Sheffield City Hall 28 Glasgow Academy 29 Edinburgh Usher Hall

The Cult October 18 Cardiff University Great Hall 19 Exeter Great Hall 20 Southampton Guildhall 22 Norwich UEA 23 Wolverhampton Civic Hall 25 Manchester Academy 26 Glasgow Barrowlands 28 Nottingham Rock City 29 Liverpool O2 Academy 31 London Roundhouse

The Damned November 29 Portsmouth Pyramids December 06 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 07 Edinburgh The Picturehouse

The Goo Goo Dolls October 15 Nottingham Rock City 16 Manchester Academy 17 Glasgow Academy 19 Newcastle Academy 20 Leeds Academy 21 Norwich UEA 23 Birmingham Institute 25 Hammersmith Apollo

The Quireboys October 06 Bristol O2 Academy 07 Oxford O2 Academy 09 Birmingham O2 Academy 10 Sheffield O2 Academy 11 Glasgow The Garage 12 Nottingham The Rescue Rooms 14 Newcastle O2 Academy 15 Manchester Club Academy 17 London O2 Islington Academy 18 Bournemouth Old Fire Station

Turisas October 09 London O2 Academy 10 Nottingham Rock City 11 Glasgow Cathouse

Warrior Soul September 25 Bristol The Tunnels 26 Manchester Satan’s Hollow 27 Corby The Zombie Hut 28 London Nambucca

Metal Wave UK October 05 Purfleet The Circus Tavern

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

Mindless Self Indulgence November 28 Brighton Concorde 2 29 London KOKO 30 Norwich Waterfront December 01 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms 03 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 04 Manchester Ritz

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


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Firebrand Magazine Issue 12 - September