Albums of the year…to date

Saga – 20/20 (Ear Music/Edel)

Michael Sadler returns as the band release one of their finest albums to date.

Jeff Scott Soto- Damage Control (Frontiers)

Back with a more straight ahead melodic hard rock album.

Flying Colors – S/T (Ear Music/Edel)

Features Neal Morse, Steve Morse & Mike Portnoy and a set of tunes that have some of the biggest choruses this side of Journey.

Michael Thompson Band ‘Future Past’ (Frontiers)

Top notch AOR/melodic rock and choruses to die for.

Jamie Hartman

Singer/songwriter who lives up to the hype. Strong lyrics and melodies throughout.

Asia – XXX (Frontiers)

Their best album since they returned, full of pomptastic delights.

Casablanca – Apocalyptic Youth (Indie)

Ryan Roxie’s new band – pop rock with a bite.

Arjen Lucassen – Lost In The New Real (Inside Out)

Not as instant as Ayreon but just as rewarding.

Headspace – I Am Anonymous (Inside Out)

Supergroup can mean poor albums but not in this case as Damian Wilson and Adam Wakeman steal the show.

Estrella – Come Out And Play (Indie)

Young Scots rockers debut – if you like 80’s hard rock you will love this album.

House Of Shakira – HoS (Lion Music)

First with new vocalist Andreas Novak and they have found their knack again of penning melodic rock gems.

Styx – The Grand Illusion + Pieces Of Eight – Live (Eagle Rock)

Two classic 70’s albums played in their entirety by the current line-up.

Freedom Call – Land Of The Crimson Dawn (SPV)

One of the best power metal bands out there and they keep on producing magnificent albums.

Shinedown – Amaryllis (Atlantic)

Modern rockers who have an ear for melody and a love of big riffs. I’d be amazed if this album didn’t make most year end lists.

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Nikk Gunns Best of so far 201

CD-

Jack Blades- “Rock N Roll Ride

There can be no doubt that he writes excellent songs and is dependable as a solo artist. This album finds Blades in fine form

Europe “Bag of Bones

A great Europe album, mature sounding and with a bluesy side- and good to see that Kevin Shirley didn’t try to make them sound too much like Led Zeppelin!

Donnie Vie- “Wrapped Around My Middle Finger”

Stunning solo album from Enuff Z Nuff’s Donnie Vie. With those instantly recognisable vocals and the knack of writing addictively catchy tunes, this album is pure gold

L.A Guns- “Hollywood Forever

A superb return to form from L.A Guns, and with the whole name issue now seemingly resolved the band can get back to doing what they do best

Blackberry Smoke- “The Whippoorwill

One of the best Southern Rock bands out there at the moment- if you love The Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd then you will also love these guys. They deserve to be massive and with this new album, they very well could be.

 

Great White- “Elation

With a new frontman and a new found lease of life the band have released what will surely be ranked as one of the high points of their already lengthy career

DVD

Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones- “Live at The Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981

Quite simply, a superb document of a band and their influence ripping it up together just for fun

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Live In Concert

Filmed in 2003 this live DVD finds the legendary Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in fantastic shape, I can’t believe it has taken so long to find its way onto DVD

Velvet Revolver – “Live In Houston” (Blu-ray

One of the best value DVDs I have come across for some time, those excellent people down at Eagle Vision (check them out if you haven’t already, they do an outstanding job) have released both the “Live In Germany” and “Live In Houston” DVDs on Blu-ray with a load of extras

Gig-

Sebastian Bach, Islington O2 Academy

With a show combining the big Skid Row hits with the best of his solo albums Bach shows that he no longer needs his ex- band mates and, to be honest, we probably don’t either as this was as good as any Skid Row show I have ever seen

Slash, Hammersmith Apollo (that’s the Odeon to you and me

Another man who has comfortably side stepped from his band and done a great  job, Slash’s latest solo album and tour may mean that it will be some time before we see Velvet Revolver again

D-A-D, The Underworld, Camden

I had waited nearly 20 years to catch the band in the UK again- and was it worth the wait? You bet it was. Hopefully the band will put in another app


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Power Plays w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

BAD WOLVES Killing Me Slowly (Eleven Seven Music)
THE DEAD DAISIES Righteous Days (SPV)
DEEP DEEP WATER Something In The Water (indie)
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST Sleeping With The Light On (Nuclear Blast)
GHOSTS OF MEN Crooked Back (Regent Street Records)
ANNIE HASLAM Blood And Water (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MICK DEVINE Here Now (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 MOB RULES Beast Over Europe (SPV)
14:00-16:00 THE PORTRAITS For Our Times (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

STACKRIDGE A Victory For Common Sense (2009)



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