Read Out Loud is formed around guitarist Tim Read (ex-Chrome Molly, Demon). He is joined by two current members of Demon – guitarist Paul Hume (although he plays bass on the album, as well as producing it) and drummer Neil Ogden – keyboardist Jem Davis from FM and fellow guitarist Jamie Cress.
Read Out Loud managed one live show before the pandemic, supporting Romeo’s Daughter the Eleven Club in Stoke. Like many artists they will be chomping at the bit to get back into the live arena.
‘Waiting For The Sun’ certainly has an air of latter day Demon about it, especially in the backing vocals and guitar riffs. Mind you with three past/current members of the band involved that is hardly surprising and a big plus point in my musical view!
Elsewhere, ‘Talk To Me’ is a bouncy melodic rocker, similar to FM and ‘Don’t Go’, is the album’s ballad. With a fine guitar solo from Tim Read, along with a neat bass line, one of the album’s highpoints.
Being a band formed around a guitarist you’d not be surprised that plenty of solos and riffs feature one each song, however it is Jem Davis who also gets to show his undoubted talents. From the Who approved intro on ‘You’re My Angel’ through to a bit of classic Rainbow on ‘Playing With Fire’, plenty to enjoy keyboards wise.
‘Are You Out There?’ is a tribute to the music of Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy, complete with ‘spot the song title’ in the lyrics. The song also features suitably fine Thin Lizzy styled guitar solos.
If you fancy a classy melodic hard rock album that tips a nod to bands like Rainbow, Demon and Lionheart, then look no further. A very impressive debut and looking forward to further live shows and music from Read Out Loud. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
Tim answered a few questions about the album, how he got into music and more…
How did the album come about? On the band’s bio page you mention Neil Ogden of Demon fame seemed to set the ball in motion for a full band release?
I had recorded some demos just for my own entertainment, but I wanted some drum parts on the tracks which Neil added for me. He then gave me the encouragement to take the next step and book proper studio time and take the songs to the next level sonically and creatively.
The album has a classy hard rock feel, recalling bands like Rainbow, Thin Lizzy etc. Which bands/musicians have inspired you most and in particular taking the plunge to make a full album?
I’m very much a music fan of the best of 70s and 80s Classic Hard Rock, like Lizzy, UFO, Purple, Zeppelin, Rainbow and Van Halen. But I also love Melodic Rock bands like Foreigner, Journey, Toto and Night Ranger.
One of the highlights on the album (aside from the guitars obviously!) are the keyboard played by FM’s Jem Davis. Did he create the keyboard parts based on any music/ideas supplied by you, or did you have an idea what sort of sound you wanted from the keyboards on the album?
When Neil and I approached Jem after a FM show we chatted and he asked me to send him the completed backing tracks. He came back to me and was very enthusiastic about the songs, so we got together and discussed music, bands we loved and found that we loved almost all the same acts, kindred spirits in rock ha ha.
Even though I’m a guitarist I love keyboards in rock music played by people like Jon Lord, Gregg Giuffria, Toto’s David Paich and bands like Saga and Supertramp.
We basically spoke about each song and Jem knew instinctively what I wanted from the keyboards. I said to him play and record whatever you feel is right for the song and with every track he compiled these wonderful layers of keyboard parts. It was a complete joy to hear what he came up with.
He enjoyed it because he could really go to town with his ideas and be as creative as he wanted to be.
Read Out Loud only managed to play one gig before lockdown, supporting Romeo’s Daughter. How did that go and what plans have you got live wise once gigs resume?
It was great to play before lock down. I put a great band together for the show Jem, Paul Hume, Tabbie Williams and Neil’s son Sam Ogden.
We did our homework and the gig went really well. The audience were so warm to us, lots of smiling faces and the reaction at the end of the set was very emotional for me. It is a great feeling when people enjoy your music.
You have quite a Demon connection on the album, not least as you were in the band for a time. Has that band’s sound rubbed off on you and the song writing on the album?
Myself, Neil and Paul have played in various bands together, as well as Demon for many years.
I always enjoy helping out Demon playing guitars for them because the band leader Dave Hill is a wonderful character and very inspirational, still putting everything into his performances even though he’s over the age of seventy.
What have been the live highlights for you and why?
There have been many highlights with gigs but mainly it’s when the band plays well and the audience are enthusiastic, that’s what makes a memorable show
Don’t get me wrong I have played in Barbados, Malta and Rhodes and it’s lovely to be a guest in those places but the best shows can be in any environment.
With the current pandemic how has it affected you, aside from not being able to play live. Has it perhaps allowed more time to promote Read Out Loud and maybe create more new music?
I have used the lock down wisely by writing lots of songs for the next album.
I also put out videos for four tracks off the album which that kept up the interest. Because it’s an independent release I have been sending out the album to Rock Radio and Rock websites who do a great job in keeping this style of music relevant.
You’ve appeared in Limehouse Lizzy and now have been announced as the vocalist with Whitesnake UK. When in a tribute band do you keep faithfully to any solos/lyrics or can a band adapt the songs a little, without the audience getting too annoyed!
I can only play music by other bands that I love. I love Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and the music of John Sykes that I play in a band called Syked.
It really is fun to play songs by your favourite artists but I’m always aware that I never wrote the songs.
I always try to give 100% and I think people can tell if I’m enjoying it and having fun,so we feed off each other. Where possible you try to be as accurate as possible but the vibe you create is the most important thing.
Who or what inspired you to take up playing the guitar and who are your guitar heroes?
My first band I loved was Black Sabbath. I admire hundreds of guitar players, Michael Schenker for his solos, Gary Moore for his fire and Steve Lukather is very classy. Neal Schon, John Sykes and Eddie Van Halen, who was so inventive he raised the bar with technique and building his own guitar etc. I like the Night Ranger guitarists, all the Whitesnake players are great, Jimmy Page for his songs, Dave Menaketti of Y&T for his passion and vocals. Like I say we could go on for hours ha ha.
Message for your fans…
I would like to thank everyone who buys my CD, it really is a brilliant feeling when I send a copy in the post to someone who has brought it from my Readoutloudband.com website.
The album has been so rewarding if not financial but creative wise and the icing on the cake is when a Classic Rock fan tells you how much they like the album.
We will be playing some more shows with READ OUT LOUD and it will be great to meet the people who come out to enjoy a show.
Thank you Jason for your interest and support and to everyone out there try to be good to each other.
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