Quick plays: DANTE FOX, CHEAP TRICK, KATE RUSBY, LOTS HOLLOWAY

DANTE FOX Six String Revolver

DANTE FOX Six String Revolver AOR Heaven [Release date 24.11.17]

This album sees Dante Fox re-record ten songs from their first two albums ‘Under Suspicion’ (1996) and ‘The Fire Within’ (1999) – five songs from each album. Joining the band are Eric Ragno on keys and Nigel Bailey on backing vocals, plus Tony Mills (ex-Shy/TNT) original backing vocals are kept.

It is a great album where they have kept each original song’s main melody, adding modern production and a few little tweaks here and there. Sue Willetts vocals are quite possibly more powerful now than when these songs were originally recorded. On songs like ‘Lonely’ and ‘Remember My Name’ she makes the music sound like classic Heart. Add in Tim Manford’s guitar playing and you are on to a winner.

Good mix of pace with a few ballads including the magnificent ‘Matter Of Time’ where Sue’s vocals and the backing vocals, weave and work their magic over the solid rhythm, guitars and keys.

A winner all round as it gives their older songs a new sheen and will introduce newer fans to their earlier material. Older fans will of course want the album to hear the refreshed songs.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

CHEAP TRICK Christmas, Christmas

CHEAP TRICK Christmas, Christmas Big Machine Records [Release date 20.10.17]

Cheap Trick are on a recording roll as this is their third studio album in two years, although there are only three originals on this festive album, the rest is made up of covers.

Of the three new songs, the title track is a bouncy piece of pop rock that won’t leave your head after even one play, whilst ‘Merry Christmas Darlings’ and ‘Our Father Of Life’ have that Cheap Trick sound and both are good little tunes.

Robin Zander gets to release his inner Elvis on ‘I Wish It Was Christmas Today’ with Rick Nielsen have a real rock ‘n’ roll workout on his guitars. Of course Wizard feature as Roy Wood is a big influence on the band and they fair fly through ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, with the school children choir on the original replaced by a slighter older gang choir!

Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ gets a routine run through, not overly impressive, however ‘Run Rudolph Run’ sees the band mix their love of rock ‘n’ roll with a garage/punk rock beat, great stuff.

Not a classic but then it is only ever meant to be a bit of seasonal fun and for that it is job done.  One for the dad dancers and rowdier relatives at Christmas time… ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

KATE RUSBY Angels & Men [Release date 24.11.17]

Kate Rusby is currently touring and celebrating 25 years in the music business, and this is her fourth Christmas themed album. Unlike the Cheap Trick one reviewed above, Kate Rusby’s take on Christmas is more traditional – one for all the family.

Kate Rusby has a marvellously soothing and hypnotic vocal, bringing new life to the traditional carols ‘Deck The Halls’ and ‘Hark Hark’. There is a stunning version of Richard Thompson’s ‘We’ll Sing Hallelujah’ – the musical arrangement is worth noting with gentle brass mixing well with Damien O’Kane’s gentle guitar chords.

Two of her own compositions finish the album, the gentle and reflective ’Let The Bells Ring’ and the more upbeat, ‘Big Bill Saves Christmas’ – complete with sleigh bells!

Many artists you wish they never recorded one Christmas album, let alone four, however Kate Rusby has the voice and musical backing to rise to the top of the musical Christmas tree. An album not just to be played and enjoyed at Christmas, but all year round. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

LOTS HOLLOWAY Slow Down (EP) [Release date 04.10.17]

Debut EP from Lots Holloway who has impressive talents, as she not only composed/wrote the songs, but played all the instruments and added the layered harmony vocals that work well on the songs.

Although ‘Slow Down’ has been released as the lead song, it is ‘Love Me’ that hits the spot – a gem of a pop song and Lots Holloway’s has a strong, yet melodic singing style. The other stand out on this four song EP is the acoustic ‘Between You And Me’. Simple, yet effective I personally would like to hear more from her in acoustic guise. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 6 November


SALVATION JAYNE Juno (indie)
STRAWBS The Nails Of The Hands Of Christ (Esoteric Antenna)
7 MILES TO PITTSBURGH Same Sized Soul (indie)
ELECTRIC DUCKS Something In Your Eyes (Store For Music)


Featured Albums w/c 6 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 KEE OF HEARTS Kee Of Hearts (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS Mk II (Mascot)
14:00-16:00 SAMANTHA FISH Belle Of The West (Ruf Records)



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