Album review: PICTUREHOUSE – 1999 Live in Dublin

PICTUREHOUSE – 1999 Live in Dublin

Website [Release date 27.11.20]

Ahhh live music we miss you so and even someone like me who isn’t normally a big fan of live albums has been playing a lot of live tracks this year. So when of the many great bands I have discovered via Get Ready To ROCK!, namely PictureHouse, releases a live album I am more than happy to give it a listen.

PictureHouse have made a name for themselves in their native Ireland as the sound of 1,700 fans at this sold out show from October 30 1999 ably demonstrates. Recorded at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre as the band had seen ‘Sunburst’ become one of the most played songs on Irish radio for 15 months, the album the song came from ‘Karmarama’, had made the top ten album chart. They had also completed three national headline tours inbetween arena and stadium support tours with the likes of The Corrs and Meatloaf.

David Browne’s soothingly sweet vocals are highlighted on ‘Fear Of Flying’ (although he ramps it up by the song’s crescendo). You And I’ and ‘Thanks’ – power pop doesn’t get much better than this. The band’s big hit ‘Sunburst’ gets a suitably rousing reception from the crowd, whilst there are levels of almost boyband hysterics from the audience during ‘Love In The Street’!

‘Somebody Somewhere’ closes the set and what a song to end on. One of the band’s finest and little wonder the crowd sing along to every word.

This live recording not only captures PictureHouse at their best but makes you realise how much live music means to us all. As an introduction to this wonderfully talented band this is a good a place as any to start and for those lucky ones there that night, a permanent reminder of what must have been a pretty special night.

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: GRYPHON – Get Out Of My Father’s Car!

GRYPHON - Get Out Of My Father's Car!

Talking Elephant/Gryphon [Release date 20.11.20]

Gryphon will always occupy a small but significant place in my musical heritage.  Coinciding with my interest in (and performance of) early music, in the early 1970s they became a cross-genre novelty act.  And with the distinction of appearing on all four main BBC radio networks in one week.

Fast forward to 2018 and they made a comeback album of sorts, which gently brought them kicking and screaming into the millennium.

There were really two aspects to the early band.  An erudite enthusiasm for medieval and folk tunes and a subsequent steer towards prog, evidently influenced by a support slot with Yes in 1974/5. There was also a strand of humour throughout: they never took themselves too seriously especially when wearing doublet and hose.

The modern incarnation of Gryphon has therefore to reconcile these three facets or, alternatively, leave them behind and forge something new.  This is an aspect I highlighted when reviewing ‘Reinvention’ in 2018 which went in a more folky direction and perhaps reflected the more recent activities of the band members – with three of them also members of folk-rockers Home Service.

So on to ‘Get Out Of My Father’s Car!’.  The title track reminds me of the cross-fertilisation achieved by the Early Music Consort in 1969 when they fused with funk in a cult album called ‘Spinning Wheel’.

It’s like Blood Sweat And Tears c.1350.  Or, alternatively, a folked up version of the ‘Only Connect’ TV theme.

So it’s a good start and enhanced by violinist Clare Taylor.  But it’s Brian Guilland who takes us back to the band’s heyday with his distinctive bassoon (the bass crumhorn sadly absent on this latest offering).

The reflective instrumental ‘A Bit Of Music And Me’ showcases flautist Andy Findon resurrecting a piece of music originally written by his late brother whilst ‘Suite For ’68′ is a similar revival.

‘Percy The Defective Perspective Detective’ is a joyous romp which combines folk and medieval influences and the anticipated folkie vibe arrives with the Clare Taylor-fronted ‘Christina’s Song’ and the whimsical and somewhat throwaway ”The Brief History Of A Bassoon’.

‘A Stranger Kiss’ again fronted by Clare is not really Gryphon as we know them (but a good enough vehicle for their new violinist) and ditto ‘Parting Shot’ which revives a song already performed by some jazz/folk stalwarts albeit with new lyrics.

But it’s another instrumental  – Rob Levy’s ‘Forth Sahara’ – that shows the direction the band could have gone, melding jazzy, eastern influences with a funky electric guitar and bass undertow.  This trick is almost repeated on ‘Normal Wisdom From The Swamp’ but the effect spoilt by unnecessary vocals.

This is a beautifully constructed and executed album but there’s a lack of real consistency due to an  element of reworking older material where maybe a more ground-up approach would have been more authentic and original.  This means that ‘Krum Dancing’ – in tune with an earlier incarnation of the band as it references long remembered medieval riffs – stands proud, if somewhat isolated.

The main thing we can be grateful for is that Messrs G.Taylor, Oberle and Gulland are still active but I have to say Richard Harvey is still sorely missed.

The album liner is nicely annotated and you’ll at least discover the background to the rather strange album title.  Time to get out the cream cakes again, but preferably in an oak-panelled room as previously.  ***

Review by David Randall

Album review (Reinvention, plus interview, 2018)
Album review (The Transatlantic Recordings, 2018)



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Interview: TIM ARNOLD

Tim Arnold recently released his latest album ‘When Staying Alive Is The Latest Craze‘  – “An album of times, created in the current pandemic and although it may not have answers to end the virus, it does contain an underlying message of love and hope.”

Tim took time to tell us more about the album, his summer live shows and more…

Your latest album was recorded during lockdown. What sort of challenges did that put up and how different, if at all, is it making music in lockdown?

I’ve written and recorded several of my albums in situations when I knew I would be in one location indefinitely. I actually find it helpful in terms of my work ethic and discipline. Also, the optimistic and hopeful side of the album was a reflection of living with my partner, instead of being alone at home, so I am one of the lucky ones who found something new in my life to build with during lockdown. On a practical level, I didn’t have all my equipment or instruments, so the only real challenge was being limited by what I could use to make the record. But I took Peter Gabriel’s advice about “Limitations being an artist’s ally”. Challenges have always been a creative opportunity for me. Everything I created in Soho often looked quite glamourous to my audience, but part of making an album about Soho and staging so many events there is because I couldn’t really afford to go anywhere else. I always make the best out of the situations I am locked in to.

‘Change of System’ is a very strong song, both lyrically and musically, commemorating the NHS workers who died in the 2020 pandemic. How do you approach writing a song like this which is deeply personal to many?

Thanks for the kind words about the song Jason. I had several approaches to the song when I wrote it. It’s what I call one of my ‘hybrid’ songs. I often do what Lennon and McCartney did together, on my own. That is, where one of them would have a strong verse, the other might say “I’ve got a chorus that might work with that”. It’s how a lot of their songs were written. Not all, but many of them. When I started writing when I was 13, I wanted to do what they did, but of course, I was on my own. So ever since then, instead of always trying to complete a song, I often write a verse or a chorus, shelve it and hope that the right counterpart will arrive at some point. And it generally does. Sometimes the next day, sometimes years later. Because I’ve written songs or part of a song every day of my life, I have a large library of ‘limbs of songs’ waiting for the rest of their body.

I wrote the chorus ‘Isn’t that enough’, walking my partner’s dog up and down a hill for about half an hour. I’d had enough with our leaders, but hadn’t filled in all the words. The melody just sprung from the walk with Wings (the dog). When I got back home, the first thing I read was the list of names of all the NHS workers. At that moment, I knew what I’d had ‘enough’ of and the song wrote itself. I don’t believe in restricting yourself when you are in the writer’s seat. I’m very much ‘Let’s just drive and see where we get to’. I never censor myself at that stage of creating. But as soon as I realised I would want to make the song public, I realised I was carrying a deep responsibility in singing those people’s names, and a responsibility to their families. The song is very much in their defence, as well as a commemoration, so I took a chance and hoped that the spirit in which I wrote it would be received well. As it turned out, many of the families and colleagues of those people I sang about contacted me, mostly on Twitter, to thank me.

I think that was the main reason I wrote the song. It’s the job, or habit, of news publications to turn a large group of individuals into a collective noun to create a snappy headline. Maybe it’s an artist’s job to slow down time and reveal the individuals in the collective.

To let their names echo in our ears and imaginations long enough to realise that it could just as easily have been you or me.

‘Another Record That Changed My Life’ name checks many classic albums that have obviously influenced you, both musically and artistically. If push comes to shove what would be your top five albums and why?

In light of the song being all about the personal value of our favourite records in times of distress, I would always need to have…Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, The Sensual World by Kate Bush, So by Peter Gabriel, The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd and Making Music by Zakir Hussein. And I’d need them all for the same reason – it’s the sound of my childhood awakening into adulthood and how I was nurtured by family through the music of those records. Those albums are soundtracks to being looked after for me. They make me feel cared for. They make me feel like I am enough.

This is your twentieth album. Looking back how do you see your music and songwriting has changed/developed over the years?

It’s taken a long time, but being overly precious about what’s in my head is starting to become less of an incentive to me. My OCD has found it’s way into so many areas of my life now that I’m starting to phase it out of the music. A bit. I feel that these days, I’m trying to impress myself with getting more out of less.

I’ve also been fortunate to develop over the course of 20 albums by mostly being out of the mainstream. That’s a real privilege to have no spotlight or critics wading in with their opinions every time I release a new album. It hurt me for many years, but once you’re into your second decade of being a sort of fringe artist, you can start writing about all the things that someone in the mainstream can’t or doesn’t write about. So the music I make and the way I write songs has reverted back to my original childhood ambition, which was simply to live inside the music I make. It’s very pure again to me, which is good, because it wasn’t ever my intention to have a career in music. I think that was someone else’s idea. I’m braver and happier with my music now.

For someone new to your music, aside from the new album, which album would you recommend of yours they listen to first?

I am hopeless at recommending my own music to other people. When someone asks me “What should I listen to of yours Tim?”, I never know what to say. If someone likes 60’s 1st British wave and Retro, then ‘The Soho Hobo’ album is a good start. If someone likes my first band Jocasta, then they should check out ‘Sonnet 155’ which was produced by Chris Sheldon, if they like Nordic Neo-classical, then the third album in my classical suite ‘Sounds To Pictures’, if they like solo singer songwriters, then my albums ‘I Am For You’ and ‘Another World’. If they’re into magic, community and civil disobedience, then probably the latest album. It works better when someone finds one of my albums, rather than me pointing them towards one. There always seem to be more fans of a particular Tim Arnold album than there are of Tim Arnold music. I don’t think I’ve ever written more than one album for one demographic. I change too much between albums for that!

You did a series of socially distanced gigs in the summer in your garden. How did that idea come about and what were the shows like?

I decided not to do any live shows in 2019, so you can imagine by the time we were half way through lockdown in 2020, I was really kicking myself that I hadn’t done any gigs the year before, but I did the best I could. I worked the shows with all the restrictions – rule of six, curfew and then the Tier system, same households etc. Again, it was really challenging and added an extra 4 hours of prep onto each show, but the rewards were worth it, just to be in a space where people could be together without screens between us. The garden gigs were the easiest way to start the shows and it made them very intimate having a small audience come to my home. When the restrictions changed, the shows moved to different venues in Soho which was lovely in a totally different way. It felt more like a night out. It was also the first time my partner Kate Alderton and I had both produced a show together and performed in it together too. I think there’s something special trying out something for the first time under extraordinary circumstances. The shows will remain a highlight of my 2020.

What piece of positivity would you give to people to keep them going, especially as we enter the winter months?

I’m still learning this myself, but when we can’t do what we want to do, it might be helpful to ask if there’s something useful we might have been avoiding that we can try instead. I’ve tried it a few times, and it has yielded positive results. For the main part though, I think staying positive means keeping conversations going. Not trying to win them.

Anything else to add (please add any socials, merch/music links) and message for your fans…

If you enjoyed this interview, please follow me on Bandcamp



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: MAJESTICA – A Christmas Carol

MAJESTICA – A Christmas Carol

Nuclear Blast [Release date 04.12.20]

‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens is one of my all-time favourite books and has been adapted for TV and film many times. Now we have Swedish symphonic metal band Majestica giving their take on this seasonal classic, in what is only the band’s second album (although prior to signing to Nuclear Blast they were known as ReinXeed).

Tommy Johansson (who is also a member of Sabaton), is the Majestica main man joined by bassist Chris David, guitarist Alex Oriz and drummer Joel Kollberg, who makes his recording debut with the band on this album.

Tommy states, “A silly dream of mine has finally come true. For many years I’ve wanted to release a Christmas album, because the atmosphere around Christmas is always so peaceful and the music with clear Christmas theme is always beautiful and very well‐written. The reason why we chose to make a Musical album with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge is very simple – it’s a great story to tell around Christmas and it works so well as a musical. And with the help of different voice actors and singers we made it possible for this to happen and we’re very happy with the result.”

The symphonic arrangements on this album are superb, creating great atmospherics, from choral parts through to passages of traditional Christmas tunes, it is all here and set to maximum. It can sound a little Disney at times and that is meant as a compliment! Certainly if you enjoy the Trans-Siberian Orchestra you will find much to enjoy on here.

‘A Majestic Christmas Theme’ is stupendously pompous in its musical scope, as is the intro piece ‘A Christmas Carol’. This would be a superb album to base a full theatrical live show.

The vocal parts are done with much vigour, highlights being ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ and the uplifting ‘Christmas Has Come’. Bah humbug to you if these don’t raise a smile and your spirits.

For those who like me may have tired somewhat of symphonic metal this album will reignite your love of the genre. Fantastic fun from start to finish. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: JEFF SCOTT SOTO – Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)

JEFF SCOTT SOTO- Wide Awake In My Dreamland

Frontiers Records [Release Date 6.11.20]

After going in a more modern metal direction with his Soto project and fronting prog rock supergroup Sons of Apollo, the latest album from the ever prolific Jeff Scott Soto sees him return to the straight ahead melodic hard rock with which he made his name in bands like Talisman, Eyes and Takara.

With the exception of drummer Edu Cominato, his usual Brazilian band are put to one side in favour of a collaboration with a pair of Italians. Alessandro Del Vecchio, one of the few men with a résumé as long as his own, produces, supplies bass and keyboards and the two co-write every song, ensuring they do retain some of the JSS trademarks.

The other is guitarist Fabrizio Sgattoni, a new name to me but a real discovery in the way he regularly lights up the album. His guitar intro drives the melody on a strong opener ‘Someone To Love’, while ‘Mystified’ is bolstered by a slightly darker riff in very Talisman-esque fashion but he takes off mid-song on a very fluid solo. Then the relatively ordinary ‘Love’s Blind’ is enlivened by his short but sweet solo with an almost EVH-like lightness of touch.

‘Time For Change’ takes down the tempo with its piano intro and telegraphed power chord having something of a symphonic feel and reminding us of JSS’ love for Queen which even had some people suggesting he would be a perfect fit for May and Taylor.

Any suspicion he might be reserving his best hooks for the W.E.T. album next year are dispelled by a pair of mid-album songs in ‘Lessons In Love’, again the lead guitar driving the melody and ‘Paper Wings’, where the guitar work ironically draws comparison with Jeff’s original employer Yngwie J Malmsteen.

‘Love Will Find A Way’ is classic Soto with his strong vocals over a muscular, slightly funky riff, but the closing duo of the title track (oddly close to a Pat Benatar album title!) and ‘Desperate’ tread similar ground but to less effect.

In between there are a contrasting pair in the ballad ‘Between The Lines’, which starts off a little underpowered but gets there eventually and the faster pace of ‘Living In A Dream’, where Fabrizio goes off on some rapid fire solos.

The songs are direct and never outstay their welcome but are possibly a little on the generic side, while the production could be sharper.

As a bonus the album comes with a 40 minute bonus disc of JSS’ live set at the final Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan last year. Described in his own words from the stage as a ‘legacy set’ it’s a good introduction to his best work in all its diversity, albeit some of it shoehorned into medley format.

It concludes with two signature songs in Talisman’s ‘I’ll Be Waiting’, with lengthy audience participation and ‘Stand Up’ where he is joined by one of the best of the new generation of singers in Dino Jelusick.

The main attraction is a very strong, if unexceptional, return to those roots.  ****

Review by Andy Nathan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Quick plays: ANNA ELIZABETH LAUBE, PEACH & QUIET

ANNA ELIZABETH LAUBE  Annamania

ANNA ELIZABETH LAUBE  Annamania (Ahh…Pockets! Records)
[Release date 22.01.21]

You’ll find reviews of Americana singer songwriter Anna Laube’s last two releases – ‘Anna Laube’ (2015) and ‘Tree’ (2016) buried in the Get Ready to ROCK! archives.  Sufficient to say the former had an ‘easy listening’ East Coast vibe – its fusion of folk, country, blues and jazz falling squarely into Norah Jones ‘cafe culture’ territory, while the latter, focusing on environmental, personal, and societal healing, uses the barest of instrumentation and drips in mournfulness.

Annamania (which, realistically, is unlikely although she has amassed 20m streams on Spotify, so what do I know?) is a retrospective collection from her five studio albums which started with Outta My Head (2006), Pool All The Love and  Pool All The Knowledge (2009), ‘Anna Laube’ (2015) and ‘Tree’ (2016) supplemented with three new recordings – a poignant piano and French Horn cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Time To Move On, ‘I’m Gone’ – a bluesy garage rock tune featured on the Netflix show Locke & Key, and ‘Jardim Da Estrela’ a number inspired by her time in Lisbon and featuring Chris Joyner (Ray LaMontagne) on accordion.

Loaded with gentle folk, Suzanne Vega and Norah Jones tones, ‘understated’ perhaps best describes the vibe of a set that hangs together well, and offers a good starting point if that genre of artist floats your boat.  ***

Review by Pete Whallaey

PEACH & QUIET Just Beyond The Shine (Peach & Quiet Music)
[Release date 15.01.21]

Peach & Quiet are singer songwriter duo Jonny Millar and Heather Read from British Columbia, the western most state in Canada, and Just Beyond The Shine their debut.

Recorded and produced in Nashville by Steve Dawson (does the man never sleep?) the album is what I would call an ‘honest’ offering.  Majoring on understated country and folk, for a Get Ready To ROCK! audience it will work best where the duo alight on the edges of rock – like the Petty-eque opener ‘Empty To Fill’, and the bluesy, ‘Vaya Con Dios’ styled, ‘Shoreline After The Storm’.

As with all Steve Dawson productions, the sonics and supporting cast are first class, and Country lovers will enjoy ‘Lucky In Love’, but overall, while I can see Peach & Quiet having a strong local ‘pull’ I just don’t see Just Beyond The Shine translating into a broader fan base.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: REB BEACH – A View From The Inside

REB BEACH – A View From The Inside

Frontiers Records [Release date 12.11.20]

Reb Beach’s (Winger/Whitesnake) choice of musicians with whose help he recorded “A View From The Inside” is revealing: David Throckmorton, primarily known as a jazz drummer, especially for Maynard Ferguson; bassman Philip Bynoe worked extensively with Steve Vai and Mike (Dream Theater) Mangini, and is always in demand; Paul Brown, award winning Hammond B3 soulman, has worked with artists as varied as The Waterboys, Rush and George Clinton.

So you’re thinking that considering such a diversity of musicians, we should brace ourselves for some post-modern axe freakout, full of sonic improvisation.

Well no, not quite. As a student of Steve (Dixie Dregs) Morse, Beach’s music has always been a mix of the visceral and the lyrical, with some moody introspection thrown in. Always with a purpose, none of this “look ma, no taste” shredding, no flurries of meaningless notes, no headlong rush down a cul-de-sac.

In case we’re in any doubt, he hits the solo ground spinning that old ‘Black Magic’, wearing his heart on his fretboard, his hands a tuneful blur. Then the band makes its influence felt. The notebending, uptown funk of ‘Little Robots’ and ‘Aurora Borealis’, and the jazzy blues of ‘Hawkdance’ bring a more contemporary sound to the music, despite those traditional musical forms having a rich pre-rock history.

Beach continues to fuse traditional compositional styles on the clanging funk rhythms of ‘The Way Home’ and the proggy, white boy soul of ‘Attack Of The Massive’. Throck’s and Bynoe’s solid, syncopated rhythms form the bedrock of this and indeed all of the material here, as Beach deploys powerful images and memorable melodies with absolute precision.

‘Infinitum’ and ‘Sea Of Tranquility’ are probably the most commercial, accessible tracks on the album. One with Beach’s remarkably lean yet eminently anthemic axework soaring above a piston pumping groove. The other a chilled, sparse, piano and guitar duet that rises above sentimentality, to make the kind of emotional connection that only great musicians can make. ****1/2

Review by Brian McGowan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: THE QUESTIONNAIRES – Atlantic Ridge

THE QUESTIONNAIRES - Atlantic Ridge

Boom Chang Records [Release date 15.01.21]

It seems a bit disingenuous in the PR blurb to refer to Jane Wade and Steve Hall, aka The Questionnaires, as having been ‘around a bit’.  For most, me included, their formative bands – for Steve, the nine piece r&b outfit East Side Torpedoes, and Jane the all-woman 80′s band Jazawaki – likely won’t mean a great deal.

And while they originally paired up in the 80s, it was a short lived affiliation with both deciding to follow different careers – Steve in academia and Jane in the theatre. In 2002, they made a brief ‘debut’ releasing ‘Arctic Circles’ – an album of songs they demoed in the 80′s – an excellent set (still available via bandcamp) that marries elements of Steely Dan, The Carpenters and 80′s pop into the sort of timeless format I once hoped Culture Club’s Helen Terry might produce.

Atlantic Ridge – the Newcastle upon Tyne based duo’s ‘follow up’ – has been a long time coming, fuelled by Steve’s early retirement, and Jane’s acting career winding down.  A case of ‘now or never’, it remains rooted in that ‘classic’ song writing style that you could well imagine someone like Tina Turner using in her 80′s heyday, or, say it quietly – Dame Shirley Bassey – but with Arctic Circles’ jazzy brass flourishes supplanted with more contemporary folk / country / bluegrass dobro, violin, viola, and mandolin.

Sumptuous playing, Jane Wade’s perfect diction and wonderfully warm vocals combine to make both albums what I would describe as proper ‘adult’ orientated pop offerings.  Chuck in exemplary self-production and this is, indeed, ‘music for pleasure’.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: RICH YOUNG – Nonsense of the Heart

RICH YOUNG - Nonsense of the Heart

North Star Music [04.09.20]

We often miss the big picture whilst staring directly at one aspect. In that way we may see a particularly bright colour whilst failing to notice the multitude of hues that also make up the rest of the tapestry that surrounds it. The glory is often in the details. It’s very much the same when we look at the music scene. The big acts often get the attention and the glory but there’s often more craft and soul in the myriad of solo musicians and smaller bands that provide grass roots entertainment than in the corporate behemoths.

Rich Young is the perfect illustration of this very point. A well-travelled troubadour, he’s been perfecting his craft for years and has played with some of the biggest and most diverse names in the business. Well respected amongst his peers, here is a man whose craft has been refined over years playing everywhere from the biggest of concert halls to the smallest of pubs and can often be seen busking for the sheer joy of the music.

You can tell from this, his latest album, that here is a man who is open to ideas and inspiration from many sources as the tones shift from one style to another. That may appear that this is an artist looking for a sound but there is a glue that holds this all together in that there is a spark and a quality that is undeniable and all run through with Young’s distinctive, warm and lived-in tones.

Gladly, whilst the release is double album length, it has enough variety to never get stuck in one groove, the material not just different but full of lovely little touches as the singer and songwriter brings a great supporting cast of musicians around him. From the blue collar folk tinted rock of opener ‘A Great Tomorrow’, the lively Americana with a hint of rockabilly of ‘Chicken Boy’ and onto ‘Crazies’ gloriously laid-back sophistication that are dashes of added colour. Pedal steel, mandolin, concertina, clarinet and female backing vocals all add to the rich palate.

Alongside the more earthy elements of urban folk, rock and blues ably displayed on ‘Shape of Love’, ‘The Other Side of the World’ and Street of Miracles’, there are such treats as the 1980’s New Wave pop feel of ‘Let Her Go, Let Her Run’ and the gently atmospheric ‘ Outsider’. The eighteen tracks take the listener on a journey across heartlands and barren landscapes teeming with characters, the whole a reminder of what is possible when you have some seriously heavyweight songwriting talent at work.

With the albums diverse patina and brilliant production, it would be difficult to pin down any particular track as a highlight but, if pressed, the skyscraping heights of ‘Dominic’s Church’, ‘Everyday’s A Sunday Now’s multi-faceted charm, the grand, piano driven ‘Heart’ and gorgeous ‘Gramercy Blues’ must be leading contenders. All considered, this collection is a masterclass in what can be achieved on a tighter budget than others may have access to when you have the right people with the right heart. It shines in all the right places and for the right reasons. This is soul. ****1/2

Review by Paul Monkhouse



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: ECLIPSE – Viva La Victouria (CD/DVD)

ECLIPSE- Viva La Victouria (CD/DVD)

Frontiers Records [Release Date 6.11.20]

This package of goodies from Eclipse is very timely, as their last album ‘Paradigm’ rather got swamped in the rush of autumn 2019 releases, then after gearing up for a huge tour, it never reached the UK prior to the pandemic. More generally a live release is a reminder of what we have lost and there will be a shortage of these releases for a while yet.

Let’s analyse this ‘eat all you can’-style package. The DVD gives us no less than three films, with new bassist Victor Crusner also serving as director. The main feature is a live show on home territory in Gothenburg just before last Christmas. It is simply but effectively filmed, and at 80 minutes and 17 songs with barely a pause for breath is longer than any of their UK shows I can recall.

They obviously had full confidence in the then new album as seven songs are featured, including a pair of real anthems to kick off, ‘Viva La Victoria’ with its earworm Hank Marvin meets Gary Moore guitar line, and ‘Mary Leigh’.

The album’s immediate predecessors ‘Monumentum’ and ‘Armageddonize’ are also well represented, but the set is very light on their earlier moments. There are none from their breakthrough album ‘Are You Ready to Rock’ and just a solitary cut from 2012’s more metallic ‘Bleed and Scream’ in ‘Battlegrounds’. This has an unusual arrangement with just frontman Erik Martensson and guitarist Magnus Hendriksson on one of a fair few acoustic moments in the set where they take down the pace, and the audience take over.

Interestingly for an international release all the between song chat is in Swedish, but it doesn’t spoil the enjoyment of an energetic display. As the crowd go crazy to the huge hooks of ‘Stand on Your Feet’, ‘Runaways’ and ‘Never Look Back’  I found myself wistfully looking back to those days of mass participation with like minded fans and hoping they come again.

The second show is a ‘Live from the Quarantine’ show broadcast as a live stream from a studio basement in Stockholm early in lockdown.  It is an hour long and the 12 song set has quite a few differences to the Gothenburg one, opening with an electric version of ‘Battlegrounds’ and with ‘Bleed and Scream’ making a welcome return. The sound has a slightly more raw and less polished feel, as does the presentation with crew members working their way around the band and more spontaneous banter.

Finally, there is a 40 minute documentary,  primarily on the making of ‘Paradigm’, which may be a little late but gives some interesting insights from the band members in their flawless English, including showing a wider range of musical influences than you might immediately expect.

The double CD Is in my view less essential as the sound suffers compared to the actual concert experience, a common gripe with many of these audio-visual releases. The rhythm guitars in particular sound too light in the mix and the sound does not quite capture the sheer intensity of an Eclipse show.

Nevertheless it is again a great value package, including the whole of the Gothenburg show, a couple of acoustic tracks, a trio from the Quarantine set and studio and live versions of the single from earlier this year, a surprisingly effective version of a Swedish indie pop hit ‘Driving One Of Your Cars’.

It is hard to see what more an Eclipse fan could want at this moment, and for those yet to discover the hard hitting yet melodic charms of one of the very best Scandinavian acts of the last decade, this   package gives remarkable value for money and is as good a place as any to start.   DVD *****     CD ****

Review by Andy Nathan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: LORDS OF BLACK – Alchemy Of Souls Part 1

LORDS OF BLACK – Alchemy Of Souls Part 1

Frontiers [Release date 12.11.20]

Album number 4 from Spanish metallers, Lords Of Black, founded by virtuoso Spanish guitarist and songwriter, Antonio Hernandez.

There’s been the usual pack shuffling as members come and go over the years since formation in 2014. Now you see him, now you don’t, now you see him again vocalist, Ronnie (Rainbow) Romero, the man with the three octave range and a voice of unequalled power, but whose vocals would be difficult to identify in a line up, is back as the band’s frontman.

The album is something of a mixed bag. Underlying every other track is a feeling of urgency, a controlled dash for glory, a well planned sprint to the finishing line. They are all propelled by bold, thrusting riffs, each carrying a sense of threat, but they never truly develop into memorable metal.

Fernando’s guitarwork is high calibre, but a sense of sameness creeps in as ‘Dying To Live Again’, ‘Deliverance Lost’ and ‘Closer To Your Fall’ stomp past you, occasionally changing pace, but never slowing down enough to make an indelible impression.

Still, a handful of tracks offer a form of redemption. ‘Sacrifice’ reins back on the BPMs to great effect, never losing its edge or direction. The commercially inclined ‘Brightest Star’ could be a heavy metal Whitesnake, or a more accessible Masterplan.

And, as you might expect, the epic, grandstanding, ten minute title track is the one we’ve all been waiting for. Primed by the improvisational strum of a Flamenco guitar, they blaze a this-is-how-far-we’ve-come path through thundering, post-Hammerfall musical theatre, giving us a close-up and personal view of their musical chops en route. It would have been a fine way to close the album. Had they not chosen to finish, strangely, with a “piano version” of ‘You Came To Me’. The quiet after the storm, perhaps. ***

Review by Brian McGowan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: ZEBRAS DON’T SMOKE – Don’t Mention The Swedes (ABBA Tribute)

ZEBRAS DON'T SMOKE - Don't Mention The Swedes

Singsong Music [Release date 20.11.20] www.singsongmusic.com

ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus said what he thought of streaming live music during Lockdown.  He wasn’t impressed and thought kitchen gigs will never be a substitute.  I wonder what he would have thought of the latest tribute album “in a progressive idiom”?

Lynden Williams has been involved with various prog-rock related projects including Deckchair Poets.  There’s an element of humour and “not taking ourselves too seriously’ throughout his endeavours which do occasionally turn up something quite cool and compelling.

Which brings us to ‘Don’t Mention The Swedes’ (perhaps not the best title, ‘SmorgABBAsbord, anyone?) which enlists the help of previous collaborators Geoff Downes (Asia) and Nick D’Virgilio and Dave Meros (Spock’s Beard).

The true merit of a really great cover version is to bring new life and a different angle.  Jeff Scott Soto’s take on Seal’s  ‘Crazy’ (when in Talisman) is a good example.  The version of Chris Rea’s ‘Stone’ by The Law (Paul Rodgers) another.

This ABBA album plays it pretty straight, and to be honest it is like a rocked up version of the James Last Orchestra in the 1970s.  My Dad used to have James Last on his radiogram fairly regularly.

It might be stretching it too far to call it prog rock but what Williams has done is capture the essence of ABBA’s songs and to his credit has used some really excellent female vocals (Rachael Hawnt).

The choice of songs is varied too, not the most obvious so we get ‘Elaine’ and ‘I’m A Marionette’ which were originally B-sides.  And ‘Get On The Carousel’  was never recorded by ABBA although featured in their live set.

With some selections there is a real opportunity to heavy things up in a prog sort of way such as ‘Summer Night City’, ‘The Name Of The Game’ and perhaps the most obvious ‘Hole In Your Soul’ – even with a wailing guitar solo – but sadly this opportunity is never taken.  Only on ‘I’m A Marionette’ does guitarist Ollie Hannifan let rip.  He spent two years playing with the Mamma Mia’s touring company so adding some street cred (along with Downes who has composed and recorded with Agnetha Faltstrog).

This album, available in digital format only, is the perfect addition to a festive/party blow-out and on the latest reckoning we might have four or five family days to enjoy it before going back to kitchen streaming.  ****

Review by David Randall



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



EP review: PYLON POETS – Lucid Hallucinations

PYLON POETS – Lucid Hallucinations

Website [Release date 18.12.20]

Pylon Poets are an alt rock trio from Torquay featuring Dan Hughes (Vocals, Guitars, Synths), Sam McIver (Drums, Backing Vocals) and Nathan Hughes (Bass, Backing Vocals). This EP was recorded by Barnaby Ray at Momentum Studios in Plymouth and mixed and mastered by Josiah J Manning (Kris Barras Band, Wille and the Bandits).

All four tracks were recorded throughout 2020 with three released as singles. ‘Breathe’ was the first single to be released in March, a gentle song which does sound a tad different from the other songs on the EP.

Next up in July was ‘Abandon’ which gained radio play on Planet Rock, which with its melodic, hook filled chorus you can see why it gained airplay. The latest single ‘Rise and Call’ was released in November, the heaviest song on the EP, although the band let the guitars and synths take equal levels in the music. The synths on this one are particularly good.

Opening track ‘Reverie’ is the only one not to be released as a single, although it is planned to have an accompanying video for it come the EP’s release. A song that manages to recall the 80s synth pop era with a modern sound. Possibly the song of the EP, helped by a superb intro.

Not on the EP but do check out their guitar led version of the Human League classic ‘Don’t You Want Me’.

Pylon Poets have that certain something about them, with songs that can appeal to the younger crowd and aging rockers like this reviewer. A band to keep an eye out for next year and beyond. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: TREMENDOUS – Relentless

TREMENDOUS - Relentless

Facebook [Release date 20.11.20]

TREMENDOUS (stand down grammar peeps as they deliberately have their name in capitals) hail from Birmingham, UK and consist of Mark Dudzinski (guitar, vocals), Ryan Jee (bass) and Dave Lee (drums). The TREMENDOUS name is taken from the catchphrase of the Cuban-American comedian Joey Diaz, whilst the album is dedicated to Mark’s original manager/friend, the late Adrian Millar (he managed The Babys and worked with Black Sabbath).

If you like a little glam rock in your life (and let’s be honest who doesn’t?), you will adore this album.

‘Daniela’ harks back to the classic Cheap Trick sound of the late 70’s, whilst ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Satellite’ is full on glam rock in the Mott the Hoople mode by way of Def Leppard. Namechecking David Bowie gains them extra kudos too.

‘Don’t Leave Our Love (Open For Closing)’ is not only a canny bit of wordplay, but taps into that classic 70s glam rock sound. Reminded me of much missed Johnny Cola & the A Grades and of course the Struts. ‘Copycat Killer’ is a another floorfiller, all guitars, hooks and memorable chorus.

‘Like Dreamers Do’ has the potential to be hit single, thanks to a strong hook and sublime backing vocals. ‘Heart Sinker’ certainly shakes out the cotton wool in your head with its relentless guitar riff and frantic drumbeat.

At less than thirty minutes long that is my only gripe, we want more! Play it loud and get your happy face on, as TREMENDOUS are quite literally that. A three band bill with the Darkness and the Struts beckons methinks! ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: ANGELICA – All I Am

ANGELICA – All I Am

Frontiers [Release date 12.11.20]

Murder of My Sweet vocalist, Angelica Rylin goes solo again after seven years. “All I Am”, written and produced by the multi talented Daniel Flores, is only Rylin’s second solo outing since 2013.

It has opened to mixed reviews, perhaps because the sonic foundation created by Flores moves under your feet a couple of times over the course of the album. Frontloading it with rock mixed with electronica and classic dance rhythms might put some MOMS fans off. But when comes to compact and concise choruses, and in-your-face-hooks, Flores is moving confidently into Max Martin/Dr Luke territory.

And quite easily, you can imagine the joyous dancefloor pop of ‘Calling’ and ‘Beat Them All’ blaring from a thousand Balearic mega club sound systems. If Abba had really gone disco it would sound like this.

This 3 track opening section peaks with ‘Addicted To You’. A clubby chorus, full of liquid synths and stomping bass beats pretty well guarantees that it will be yet another sparkling, post Covid dancefloor filler.

The rest of the album moves between the snap and crackle of slick, chart aimed pop (Still Bleeding, Angel); lovelorn ballads – the sweetly romantic ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ (a duet with Michael Palace) stands out – and even more so, piano ballad, ‘I’m Sorry’. It’s probably Rylin’s best vocal performance here. The song’s lyrical hook, “caught in the middle” is just impossible to pass by, it flags you down every time, climbs in the back and becomes part of your day (and night.)

It’s hard to be original inside the narrow parameters of country rock, but Flores and Rylin just about get there with the balladic, chiming ‘Time And Space’. A whispered prayer of lover’s wisdom, it hints at a melodic country rock future for the pairing.

Then just to confirm they remember their roots, they give us the tightly interlocked ‘A Pounding Heart’. It has the momentum, urgency and sheer joy of all great AOR, and sounds refreshingly new. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Book Review: ON TRACK (every album, every song…) – IRON MAIDEN (by Steve Pilkington) and THIN LIZZY (by Graeme Stroud)

ON TRACK (every album, every song...)- IRON MAIDEN (by Steve Pilkington) and THIN LIZZY (by Graeme Stroud)

Sonic Bond Publishing

The ‘On Track’ series is a new one to me, but glancing at GRTR!’s recent book reviews it seems to be a rapidly growing collection. While more critically acclaimed artists such as the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen have always been well covered in print by song-by-song analysis, it is good to see heavier rock acts given this treatment, not least this pair of influential bands who were a big part of my musical youth and whose works continue to grace my CD racks.

The premise is a simple one, to review every recorded song in strict chronological order, album by album. Each chapter opens with basic factual info and the context in which the album was made, followed by an analysis of the sleeve designs – in this case focusing on the artwork of Jim Fitzpatrick and Derek Riggs – then each track described in order. This approach has the merit of focusing entirely on the music and complements more conventional storytelling biographies.

While both authors are clearly fans, they do not shy away from being critical in their analysis of weaker albums and songs, and the balance of fact and opinion is exemplary. The old reviewer’s trick of trying to spot errors did not yield any obvious ones, other than Stroud being a little hazy on the recent chronology of Black Star Riders.

Though the format is similar, there are a few differences between the two books – Stroud, as befitting a musician, is perhaps more technical in his descriptions though occasionally lapsing into jargon. He also boasts the only original source material, periodically quoting from an interview with Brian Downey.

Pilkington’s analysis has a touch more flair, with flourishes of sardonic humour and lengthier descriptions of the literary and historical inspirations in the lyrics of Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson, who he is an unashamed fan of.

Allied to their longer career, that makes the Maiden book a lengthier read. On the other hand, Lizzy seem to have left a greater legacy of B sides and other unreleased material and both their live albums are reviewed in equal depth, whereas the Maiden work sums up their many live recordings  on a single page.

Where I would take issue with the jacket blurb is that these books serve as an introduction for the more casual fan. The strict format prohibits any signposting to their best works, or separating the wheat from the chaff, even though Pilkington ends with a 30-song playlist. They would though be a good reference companion as said fan digs deeper into the catalogue.

But as a more committed follower, reading the track descriptions had me mentally singing along to much loved albums I grew up on or in the case of Maiden’s more recent ones, wanting to dig them out for a rare play. And as a music reviewer, I was left marvelling at the sheer level of detail they brought to the task.   ****

Review by Andy Nathan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: MARK KELLY – Marathon

MARK KELLY – Marathon

earMUSIC [Release date 27.11.20]

Thirty years in the making… well, ok, thirty years in the planning, Marillion’s much sought after keyboard player, Mark Kelly at last releases his “solo” album, the appropriately titled “Marathon”.

He’s enlisted the help of a number of ace musicians… guitarists Pete Woods and John Cordy; drummer Henry Rogers, and nephew Conal Kelly on bass. The inspired decision was bringing in Oliver M Smith on vocals. He treats each song’s lyrics (written by the band’s Keith Reid equivalent, Guy Vickers) with real respect, subtly changing his voice’s tone and timbre to suit the mood. It’s very impressive.

Together, they assembled the constituent parts in Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio.

The disappearance of world famous pilot Amelia Erhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, in 1927, is one of the album’s focal points. ‘Amelia’ is a song in 3 parts. Part 1, ‘Shoreline’, an instrumental, gives us a sense of place. Part 2, ‘Whistling at The Sea’ Kelly goes on to ponder the tenuous hold we have on life, and in Part 3, the focus moves forward, to the speculation that a find of buried bones, on a small Pacific island, had given up the brave adventurer’s last resting place.

This opening suite, despite being something less than epic, celebrates the power of grown up rock music, and grown up themes. It’s sharply observant, full of humanity, illuminated by insights on life in general. And yes, it has some excellent tunes.

And the subject matter, knitted together by eloquent musicianship and beautifully blended arrangements, is compelling… a natural union of words and music, giving birth to some plangent progressive rock.

Like his parent band, Kelly doesn’t neglect to provide accessible entry points, ‘When I Fell’ is a graceful, elegantly structured ballad, leaning gently but firmly into a more commercial sound. ‘Puppets’ again strikes that balance between artistry and accessibility. The song’s subtle collision of pop’s and prog’s musical values provides some of Kelly’s most interesting material.

The futuristic, twenty minute, 4 part suite, ‘Twenty Fifty One’ closes the album. Kelly switches his keyboards into Space Odyssey mode, and everybody else follows suit.

The instrumental passages are a treat. And again, Oliver M Smith’s expressive voice (inhabited by the ghost of Peter Gabriel) acts as our guide, carefully capturing the sense of wonder that sparks our imagination, as humanity reluctantly beats a path to the stars. ****

Review by Brian McGowan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: LOUISE STEEL – Sideshow

LOUISE STEEL - Sideshow

Website [Release date 20.11.20]

Here at GRTR! Towers we enjoyed Louise Steel’s 2017 debut ‘Heartstorm’ very much. Louise Steel’s second album has been two years in the making that has included personal tragedy and making this album has proved cathartic for her.

Her songwriting and musical foil Andrew Dunmore is again involved in the making and production of the album. Lyrically the themes cover empowerment, resilience and finding an inner confidence, all set to melodic, pop melodides.

One thing that soon becomes apparent is the sound/production which is clear and sounds like a big label production. It helps immensely as Louise wanted a theatrical feel to the songs. This certainly comes across on ‘Sideshow’, complete with a colourful video over on YouTube. It sounds like a clean mouthed Pink! That is also true of ‘Masquerade’, a lyric with bite that’s for sure!

‘Aura’ has a pop rock bounce about it,where some guitar crunch and a pop melody work well together. Certainly on this album the theatrics and atmosphere on each song are used to great effect. ‘Dollhouse Dream’ being a prime example where you need to listen carefully to what is going on musically, and another one for possible airplay.

‘Lady Labyrinth’ is a showstopper (although the album ends with a song called that!), just Louise’s impassioned vocals and a piano backing. In a word, magnificent.

It is very difficult for newer artists to get known and heard, especially with no label backing, so full marks to Louise Steel for carrying on and providing us with another pop rock treat. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: CATS IN SPACE – Atlantis

CATS IN SPACE – Atlantis

Harmony Factory [Release date 27.11.20]

On new album, “Atlantis”, it seems the new CIS line up, with vocalist Damien Edwards replacing Mark Pascall, has largely abandoned the iconoclastic tone of its predecessor, “Daytrip To Narnia”

That of course, is down to the band’s talented and experienced driving force, Greg Hart. And if the lyrics, in again sidestepping the normal “love and hearbreak” themes of pop and rock, don’t make quite the same impact as the last album, he is adept at weaving everyday life into tales worth telling.

But it’s a slow start.

Despite opener ‘Dive’s affectionate nod to the Fab Four’s inventive way with watery SFX, neither ‘Spaceship Superstar’ or ‘Revolution’ reach escape velocity, both reminding us of a time when glamrock teetered on its stackheels, never to regain its footing.

Then the album comes alive.

The well thumbed power pop blueprint feeds again into Hart’s songcraft. The soaring ‘Listen To The Radio’, and the peerlessly smart pop of ‘Sunday Best’ catch a welcome wave of nostalgia, full of beautifully descending bass line harmonies, satisfying chord progressions and memorably melodic hooks.

And on the self deprecating, autobiographical ‘I Fell Out Of Love With Rock’n'Roll’, sketched around a melancholy piano, Hart again shows the dazzling range of musical moves that illuminated previous recordings. It’s unarguably the album’s standout track. And in fact arguably the standout track of all CIS releases so far.

Cleverly, he follows it with something entirely different. His sharp edged rhetoric cuts a cynical path through the entertainment business on ‘Marionette’; ‘Queen Of The Neverland’ throws a few melodic rock shapes, recalling GTS and Moritz; ‘Magic Loving Feeling’s blend of blues/roots music sits neatly on a melodic pop rock foundation.

And so on…

Closing with the title track is daring, but that’s the confidence this band now has. It’s written by Hart with band co-founder (and drummer) Steevi Bacon, and while it lacks the hefty emotional punch that we now expect, it is shaped by a strong, driven sense of yearning, as an older Johnny Rocket looks back on the world of his youth while coming to terms with the present.

The story continues… ****

Review by Brian McGowan



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: ELLEFSON – No Cover

ELLEFSON - No Cover

Combat Records/earMUSIC [Release date 20.11.20]

Ellefson, the solo band of Megadeth bassist and co-founder David Ellefson, have a double album of covers for your enjoyment. Even the cover artwork is a homage to Def Leppard’s ‘On Through The Night’ album cover.

Ellefson, the band, featue David Ellefson on bass, vocalist Thom Hazaert,gGuitarists Andy Martongelli and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, ex-Guns N’ Roses), and drummer Paolo Caridi. They are joined by a variety of guest musicians including Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), Frank Hannon and Troy Lucketta (Tesla), Mark Slaughter, Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys), Chuck Behler (ex-Megadeth), Gus G, Doro Pesch, Todd Kerns (Slash & The Conspirators), Andrew Freeman (Last In Line), Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Russ Parrish (Fight, Steel Panther) and more.

Highlights depend on I guess which of the originals you really like. For this reviewer Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ is given a very metal makeover and Doro’s vocals add to the song. Good to hear Jason McMaster’s vocals again as he nails AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff’ and Priest’s ‘Freewheel Burning’, both are impressive versions.

Interesting that a few musicians appear on the originals they played on like Russ Parrish on Fight’s ‘Nailed To The Gun’ (you forget how good some of these songs are!) and Eddie Ojeda on ‘Tear It Loose’. Extra marks for avoiding the obvious covers by bands too.

Curveballs? Cheap Trick’s ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ featuring Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, certainly takes the song to new places and works well. The Sweet’s ‘Sweet FA’ with Todd Kearns on lead vocals sounds suitably metallic and glam at the same time. Some great guitar playing by Bumblefoot on that one too.

Crank it up loud and enjoy! Great fun from beginning to end and a good mix of metal, rock and punk classics. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 15 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 November 2020


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



Album review: PICTUREHOUSE – 1999 Live in Dublin

PICTUREHOUSE – 1999 Live in Dublin

Website [Release date 27.11.20] Ahhh live music we miss you so and even someone like me who isn’t normally a big fan of live albums has been playing a lot of live tracks this year. So when of the many … Continue reading

Album review: GRYPHON – Get Out Of My Father’s Car!

GRYPHON - Get Out Of My Father's Car!

Talking Elephant/Gryphon [Release date 20.11.20] Gryphon will always occupy a small but significant place in my musical heritage.  Coinciding with my interest in (and performance of) early music, in the early 1970s they became a cross-genre novelty act.  And with … Continue reading

Interview: TIM ARNOLD

ta2

Tim Arnold recently released his latest album ‘When Staying Alive Is The Latest Craze‘  – “An album of times, created in the current pandemic and although it may not have answers to end the virus, it does contain an underlying … Continue reading

Album review: MAJESTICA – A Christmas Carol

MAJESTICA – A Christmas Carol

Nuclear Blast [Release date 04.12.20] ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens is one of my all-time favourite books and has been adapted for TV and film many times. Now we have Swedish symphonic metal band Majestica giving their take on … Continue reading

Album review: JEFF SCOTT SOTO – Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)

JEFF SCOTT SOTO- Wide Awake In My Dreamland

Frontiers Records [Release Date 6.11.20] After going in a more modern metal direction with his Soto project and fronting prog rock supergroup Sons of Apollo, the latest album from the ever prolific Jeff Scott Soto sees him return to the … Continue reading

Quick plays: ANNA ELIZABETH LAUBE, PEACH & QUIET

ANNA ELIZABETH LAUBE  Annamania

ANNA ELIZABETH LAUBE  Annamania (Ahh…Pockets! Records) [Release date 22.01.21] You’ll find reviews of Americana singer songwriter Anna Laube’s last two releases – ‘Anna Laube’ (2015) and ‘Tree’ (2016) buried in the Get Ready to ROCK! archives.  Sufficient to say the … Continue reading

Album review: REB BEACH – A View From The Inside

REB BEACH – A View From The Inside

Frontiers Records [Release date 12.11.20] Reb Beach’s (Winger/Whitesnake) choice of musicians with whose help he recorded “A View From The Inside” is revealing: David Throckmorton, primarily known as a jazz drummer, especially for Maynard Ferguson; bassman Philip Bynoe worked extensively … Continue reading

Album review: THE QUESTIONNAIRES – Atlantic Ridge

THE QUESTIONNAIRES - Atlantic Ridge

Boom Chang Records [Release date 15.01.21] It seems a bit disingenuous in the PR blurb to refer to Jane Wade and Steve Hall, aka The Questionnaires, as having been ‘around a bit’.  For most, me included, their formative bands – … Continue reading

Album review: RICH YOUNG – Nonsense of the Heart

RICH YOUNG - Nonsense of the Heart

North Star Music [04.09.20] We often miss the big picture whilst staring directly at one aspect. In that way we may see a particularly bright colour whilst failing to notice the multitude of hues that also make up the rest … Continue reading

Album review: ECLIPSE – Viva La Victouria (CD/DVD)

ECLIPSE- Viva La Victouria (CD/DVD)

Frontiers Records [Release Date 6.11.20] This package of goodies from Eclipse is very timely, as their last album ‘Paradigm’ rather got swamped in the rush of autumn 2019 releases, then after gearing up for a huge tour, it never reached … Continue reading

Album review: LORDS OF BLACK – Alchemy Of Souls Part 1

LORDS OF BLACK – Alchemy Of Souls Part 1

Frontiers [Release date 12.11.20] Album number 4 from Spanish metallers, Lords Of Black, founded by virtuoso Spanish guitarist and songwriter, Antonio Hernandez. There’s been the usual pack shuffling as members come and go over the years since formation in 2014. … Continue reading

Album review: ZEBRAS DON’T SMOKE – Don’t Mention The Swedes (ABBA Tribute)

ZEBRAS DON'T SMOKE - Don't Mention The Swedes

Singsong Music [Release date 20.11.20] www.singsongmusic.com ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus said what he thought of streaming live music during Lockdown.  He wasn’t impressed and thought kitchen gigs will never be a substitute.  I wonder what he would have thought of the … Continue reading

EP review: PYLON POETS – Lucid Hallucinations

PYLON POETS – Lucid Hallucinations

Website [Release date 18.12.20] Pylon Poets are an alt rock trio from Torquay featuring Dan Hughes (Vocals, Guitars, Synths), Sam McIver (Drums, Backing Vocals) and Nathan Hughes (Bass, Backing Vocals). This EP was recorded by Barnaby Ray at Momentum Studios … Continue reading

Album review: TREMENDOUS – Relentless

TREMENDOUS - Relentless

Facebook [Release date 20.11.20] TREMENDOUS (stand down grammar peeps as they deliberately have their name in capitals) hail from Birmingham, UK and consist of Mark Dudzinski (guitar, vocals), Ryan Jee (bass) and Dave Lee (drums). The TREMENDOUS name is taken … Continue reading

Album review: ANGELICA – All I Am

ANGELICA – All I Am

Frontiers [Release date 12.11.20] Murder of My Sweet vocalist, Angelica Rylin goes solo again after seven years. “All I Am”, written and produced by the multi talented Daniel Flores, is only Rylin’s second solo outing since 2013. It has opened … Continue reading

Book Review: ON TRACK (every album, every song…) – IRON MAIDEN (by Steve Pilkington) and THIN LIZZY (by Graeme Stroud)

ON TRACK (every album, every song...)- IRON MAIDEN (by Steve Pilkington) and THIN LIZZY (by Graeme Stroud)

Sonic Bond Publishing The ‘On Track’ series is a new one to me, but glancing at GRTR!’s recent book reviews it seems to be a rapidly growing collection. While more critically acclaimed artists such as the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen … Continue reading

Album review: MARK KELLY – Marathon

MARK KELLY – Marathon

earMUSIC [Release date 27.11.20] Thirty years in the making… well, ok, thirty years in the planning, Marillion’s much sought after keyboard player, Mark Kelly at last releases his “solo” album, the appropriately titled “Marathon”. He’s enlisted the help of a … Continue reading

Album review: LOUISE STEEL – Sideshow

LOUISE STEEL - Sideshow

Website [Release date 20.11.20] Here at GRTR! Towers we enjoyed Louise Steel’s 2017 debut ‘Heartstorm’ very much. Louise Steel’s second album has been two years in the making that has included personal tragedy and making this album has proved cathartic … Continue reading

Album review: CATS IN SPACE – Atlantis

CATS IN SPACE – Atlantis

Harmony Factory [Release date 27.11.20] On new album, “Atlantis”, it seems the new CIS line up, with vocalist Damien Edwards replacing Mark Pascall, has largely abandoned the iconoclastic tone of its predecessor, “Daytrip To Narnia” That of course, is down … Continue reading

Album review: ELLEFSON – No Cover

ELLEFSON - No Cover

Combat Records/earMUSIC [Release date 20.11.20] Ellefson, the solo band of Megadeth bassist and co-founder David Ellefson, have a double album of covers for your enjoyment. Even the cover artwork is a homage to Def Leppard’s ‘On Through The Night’ album … Continue reading