Album review: THUNDER – Please Remain Seated

THUNDER - Please Remain Seated

BMG [Release date 19.01.19]

Let’s be quite clear: ‘Rip It Up’ was one of the best albums of 2017, a vibrant, relevant chapter in the modern-day Thunder storybook.  It must surprise the band themselves that they have been allowed to “retire” a couple of times – once  even in more recent memory – only to come back with renewed vigour and  a bigger audience.  The truth is not hard to find.  In a topsy turvy millennium music business there will always be a place for quality songs and musicianship.  Even better if you have an admirable back catalogue to draw upon.

Maybe with more (younger) competition things would be harder for these veteran bands who effectively stalled at the first hurdle “back in the day”.  This can only help explain the renaissance of bands like Thunder, Europe, and FM?

The persistent trend for consumer quick fix and a grasshopper mentality and of course the lack of real mainstream exposure for new bands via radio or TV  and – moreover – lack of real investment,  leads to stasis.  It allows old rockers to breathe again, especially if the original line-up is pretty much intact and the creative marbles untainted.

Which brings us to ‘Please Remain Seated’  Before you get excited this isn’t really a “new” Thunder album it’s simply a fairly low-key mainly bluesy revisit of previous work with only one track, the early single ‘She’s So Fine’, connecting with ‘Rip It Up’.

You have to think that Thunder have missed the boat a bit, because in a different age ‘Please Remain Seated’ would be termed “unplugged”.  It’s like a group of ageing rockers are getting a long-hibernated vanity project out of their system.

Of course, the songs always stand up – as does Danny Bowes’ voice – but some fans (or the yet to be converted) may have been better off with a more natural successor to an excellent previous album.  It means essentially that the true successor will be delayed.

And following a trend the band will be promoting the album in February with not a large rock venue tour but a rather more civilised excursion taking in some of the finest concert halls such as Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.  All they need to do is add orchestra and maybe their journey will be complete.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

BRIAN ROBERTSON – Diamonds And Dirt (2011)

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