Quick plays: SAGA, CUDDLY SHARK, THADEUS GONZALEZ

SAGA Live In Hamburg earMUSIC [Release date 01.06.18]

‘Live In Hamburg’ was recorded back in 2015 in one of Saga’s main national fan bases Germany. It was originally released as limited-edition, however now it gets a full release.

Some of these songs were added as bonus songs to the band’s and earMUSIC’s re-issues of the albums since 1989 which started in 2015, although it strangely stopped after a few re-issues. A real missed opportunity as they pinged around record labels in the 90′s and beyond, often making it hard to get their albums and they deserve a proper re-issue campaign.

Highlights are many including ‘Someone Should’ and ‘You’re Not Alone’ where drummer Mike Thorne really gets a chance to shine. The sound is crystal clear – you can hear the keys/synths so well on songs like ‘Wildest Dreams’ – and a good sound mix where even the vocals don’t get drowned in the mix. The classics ‘Wind Him Up’ and ‘The Flyer’ close off the set, both show that Michael Sadler was still in fine vocal form.

Saga have now retired after a final show earlier this year and this album highlights what a great band they were not only on record, but live as well. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

CUDDLY SHARK S/T Armelodie Records [Release date 06.07.18]

Cuddly Shark have released two albums to date and their line-up is Colin Reid (guitar, vocals), Jason Sinclair (drums, vocals) and Ruth Forsyth (bass, vocals).

They have a quirky sense of humour be it ‘Not Yet Three’, which looks at life from a three year old’s perspective or an ageing rocker on ‘Hobo Rock’ – a 44 year old still playing guitar and travelling around in a transit van! It doesn’t always work as ‘Cancel Mansell’ is a bit too ‘shouty’ although ‘Cover Band’ is a fine tune to end the album - hint of the Pixies on this one.

They reminded me a lot of They Might Be Giants with their love of a quirky lyric and tune, albeit with a more punk twist. Go have a listen, you won’t be disappointed. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

THADEUS GONZALEZ Silver Inside

Thadeus Gonzalez has been gradually building a following for his music and his latest album, like his previous one, is produced by Dennis Hill (Hagar/Satriani, Lit, Good Charlotte).

It certainly rocks like a good ‘un! Plenty of Foo Fighters approved guitar riffs and drums on ‘Diamond High’, the heavy, heavy title track and ‘The Surgeons’, with its strong chorus. He’s not all riff rock though as the jangly ‘Walk Off A Cliff’ demonstrates.

Not a bad set of tunes and if alt rock is your bag one to investigate further. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 15 October 2018

BIRDSONG AT MORNING Waterfall (Blue Gentian Records)
GUN RUNNERS Save Our Souls (indie)
THE BUZNIKS Nail It To The Floor (3MS Music)
NAZARETH The Secret Is Out (Frontiers)
CITY OF THIEVES Fuel And Alcohol (Frontiers)

Featured Albums w/c 15 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 STEVE PERRY Traces (BMG)
12:00-13:00 URIAH HEEP Living The Dream (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BIRDSONG AT MORNING Signs And Wonders (Blue Gentian Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 STEVE MORSE/SARAH SPENCER Angelfire (2010)



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