Album review: LINTON OSBOURNE – Drunk At Breakfast

www.lintonosborne.com [Release date 14.09.18]

Former Nazareth vocalist (who has also worked with original Naz guitarist Manny Charlton) has continued to work hard and, amongst a number of projects, has released this rather marvellous album.

His work with Nazareth was too short lived, and with them recorded a lot more than the band will officially tell you (and it sounds much better than anyone close to the band will ever give credit for). Other previous work includes Bon The Musical (Edinburgh Fringe) and the more folk oriented albums Ballads & Battles and Pigeonhole. Not only does all this encompass a variety of musical styles, but a great deal of talent too, and given that he’s still going after what happened with Nazareth is a testament to his personal strength too.

Working with guitarist Kevin Singer, bassist William Winsborough and drummer Dominic Hardy, what was originally planned as a country album came out reworked as a bit more rocky, and so they cranked it up. Given Linton’s vocal style and higher octave power, it’s come as a natural progression to the Bon Scott project. Opener Turn It Up kicks off in a stripped down bluesy metal style, there’s an AC/DC comparison from both the late 70′s and early 80′s. The chords are kept simple but somehow manage to do so much.

The guitar on Need It Man is old school rock’n’roll with some neat arpeggios thrown in, and the vocals, mid range power, give the rock’n’roll a beefed up 60′s feel. City Of Sin is a bit more crash bang wallop – imagine Raven playing r’n’r.

There’s a distinct AC/DC swagger to the title track. Again a stripped down feel, a diesel fuel edge to the blues without the boogie. Then all of a sudden Mud takes things lighter, with a 60′s psyche/lounge feel.

The Devil Is Strong shows another string to the bow, as Linton’s voice ventures on occasion to the lower register, and there’s a touch of Hank Marvin to the guitar, while Revolution Rock nods in a more power metal direction.

The album finishes with the country Who Let The Cat Out Of The Bag – a very different feel but there’s some fine guitar picking and it suits Linton’s vocals perfectly. Some rock’n’roll and rockabilly thrown in.

There’s some great material here, the man has made the right decision on direction. ****1/2

 Review by Joe Geesin


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: STATUS QUO – Deluxe Editions – 1+9+8+2, Back To Back, In The Army Now, Ain’t Complaining

STATUS QUO - 1+9+8+2

earMUSIC [release date 17.08.18]

These albums are the next in line to get the Deluxe Edition reissue treatment which covers the band’s output during the 1980’s. This was a period which saw band members come and go, the ‘End Of The Road’ tour and an opening slot at a small charity gig in 1985 in Wembley Stadium which earned the band a place in rock history.

1+9+8+2 is an album I hold dear. I borrowed a copy of this at the tender age of 14 and played it to death. This was the start of my rock addiction and I can thank this album amongst others for getting me hooked.

Listening back now the album does stand the test of time with ‘She Don’t Fool Me’ and ‘Dear John’ sounding as fresh as ever. I had also forgotten how good some of the other tracks were, ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Young Pretender’ are excellent with great melodies.

The second CD with 1+9+8+2 is mostly made up of recordings from rehearsal sessions with the guys mucking around with various cover versions. The cover versions range from the good to the unbelievably bad, Rick singing ‘Blueberry Hill’ has to be heard, just once though!  ****

STATUS QUO - Back to Back

1983 saw the band release Back To Back and hit the charts hard with a series of singles including ‘Ol Rag Blues’ and ‘Marguerita Time’. This album was the band’s most commercial to date and did cause some consternation among older fans who missed the heavy riffing of the Frantic Four.

However there was a number of great riffs if you persevered like on ‘Can’t Be Done’ and ‘No Contract’ but for some the cry was ‘sell out’ and the chart success reinforced their views.

CD2 contains a mix of singles, album out-takes and extended versions of tracks. One single that makes an appearance here is ‘The Wanderer’ which again raced up the charts peaking at number 7. Another track of note is a version of ‘Ol Rag Blues’ with Alan Lancaster on vocals which is great, I always like Lancaster’s rougher vocals.  ***1/2

STATUS QUO - In The Army Now

By the release of the next album In The Army Now Quo had parted company with Alan Lancaster and enlisted John ‘Rhino’ Edwards to the fold. They had also played their farewell tour but we will gloss over that one… This album carried on from ‘Back To Back’ with another four hit singles bothering the charts, the highest being the title track which reached the heady heights of number 2.

This record also found the band experimenting more with keyboards which again got a mixed reaction from the fans, but it was a route they would continue with through to the end of the decade. There are some gems here however like ‘Save Me’ and the country tinged ‘Invitation’.

On CD2 this time you will find B sides, remixes and live tracks. The live tracks are of most interest and include the Quo Cake Mix, a good blues jam and a cracking version of ‘La Grange’ which gives way to ‘Rain’.  ***1/2

STATUS QUO - Ain’t Complaining

The deluxe edition of Ain’t Complaining  bucks the trend by having 3 CD’s which include a live album recorded in Wembley in July 1988. The original album is interesting as it took Quo into AOR territory with extensive use of synths and electric drums. The track ‘Another Shipwreck’ actually reminds me of an Asia track which is about as far from traditional Quo as you can get.

To be honest I hadn’t heard this album in full until now and I feel I have missed out on a hidden classic in the Quo catalogue. The song writing is excellent and hearing the band stray from the well trodden path is a breath of fresh air. The album is rounded off with ‘Burning Bridges’, a track which continues to feature in the set list today and with good reason.

CD2 contains B sides, remixes, the single ‘Running All Over The World’ and a re-recorded version of ‘Rocking All Over The World’. It is CD3 though which is of more interest as it features the afore mentioned Wembley live set. Any Quo live album featuring ‘Hold You Back’ and ‘Dirty Water’ is a winner in my book. There are a couple of ‘Ain’t Complaining’ tracks on the album as well with ‘Cream Of The Crop’ being exactly that.

The 80’s were a transitional time for music and Status Quo moved with the times with varying degrees of success. Given the turmoil the band went through during this period the fact that they came out almost intact and produced so many hits is something of a miracle!  ****

Review by Dave Wilson


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: STATUS QUO – Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall and Down Down & Dirty At Wacken

Status Quo - Down Down & Dirty At Wacken

earMUSIC [release date 17.08.18]

These two albums have been released in tandem to demonstrate the two different sides of Quo and to prove that live they are still a must see. The Albert Hall show captures the band in full acoustic mode whilst the Wacken set finds them rocking in front of around 70,000 metalheads in a field in Germany.

Down Down & Dignified is a double album set capturing the full show from the Albert Hall in July 2017. Over the last few years Quo have honed their acoustic set and this is a very polished performance. Leading with ‘And It’s Better Now’ the sound is well mixed and the balance is spot on. Rossi shares vocal duties throughout with Rhino Edwards and harmonies are provided by the backing singers.

The use of the orchestration and accordion has developed and is now used to full effect. Highlights include ‘Hold You Back’, ‘Rock N Roll’ and ‘Reason For Living’ but the whole set is top notch. This is not the first Aquostic live album but it is a great record of a fantastic night in the Albert Hall and is a worthy addition to your Quo collection.  ****

Down Down & Dirty sees the band on full rocking mode. Recorded at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2017 this 70 minute set finds the band playing to a huge audience in the sunshine (an unusual sight at Wacken!). The band keep it tight with a greatest hits set and have the crowd rocking from the off.

From the opening bars of ‘Caroline’ through to the final chords of the ‘Bye Bye’ melody this is classic Quo. Here again Rhino takes on more of a vocal role filling the huge gap left by the great Rick Parfitt, it is a daunting task but he copes admirably. This package also comes with a DVD of the show and personally I think it works better than the CD as the mix is a bit flat. With the visuals you get more of the atmosphere of the day and you can also play the great drinking game ‘spot the mullet in the crowd’, one shot per hair disaster!

These albums record the latest chapter in the Status Quo story. There may be nothing new here but for anyone who doubted the band’s relevance post Rick this proves that the band are rocking as well as ever.  ***1/2

Review by Dave Wilson


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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Quick plays: DREAM CHILD, THE UNITY, PLASTIC TEARS

DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again

DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again Frontiers [Release date 14.09.18]

Dream Child is formed around former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, who is joined by fellow Dio member drummer Simon Wright, former Ozzy/Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, Wayne Findlay (ex-MSG) on guitars, keyboards and vocalist Diego Valdez. Frontiers go-to man Alessandro Del Vecchio co-produces with Goldy.

It will come as no surprise that the album has a Dio sound, made all the more so by the vocals of Diego Valdez who sounds like Dio a lot of the time. It starts well with the melodic metal of ‘Under The Wire’ (complete with a snippet of ‘Tubular Bells’ at the start on piano), followed by ‘You Can’t Take Me Down’ and ‘Game Of Shadows’, both good, solid songs.

Closer ‘One Step Beyond The Grave’ builds nicely, featuring a suitably eerie synths/keys run midway through and a trademark Goldy solo – plenty of passion and style, however never outstaying its welcome. However, the rest of the album although well played and sounding good, the songs lack that spark to make you want to hear them again or indeed hear played live.

A solid debut that will hopefully see Dream Child record a follow-up as the talent is undoubtedly there, they just need to focus on songs that stand out amongst the crowd. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE UNITY Rise SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 14.09.18]

The Unity came about as a side project by Gamma Ray’s Henjo Richter (guitars) and Michael Ehré (drums), where they are joined by vocalist Gianbattista Manenti, Sascha Onnen (keyboards), Jogi Sweers (bass), and Stef Ellerhorst (guitars). They released their debut album last year and here we are with a relatively swift follow-up with ‘Rise’.

Despite the Gamma Ray connection the Unity have more of hard rock sound at times on ‘Road To Nowhere’ and the ultra catchy ‘Better Day’, although ‘Welcome Home’ is a power metal belter. Heck, a song like ‘L.I.F.E.’ would appeal to fans of Europe, a glorious piece of melodic hard rock. Gianbattista Manenti has an impressive set of pipes on him, easily matching the frenzied guitar playing of Richter and Ellehorst.

The Unity are perfect for those after melodic hard rock with a subtle edge of metal in the mix. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

PLASTIC TEARS Angels With Attitude City of Lights Records

Finnish band Plastic Tears have been around since 1992 and deliver Scandi sleaze rock done properly. Musically the band are straight out of the Andy McCoy school of rock n roll song writing and so comparisons to fellow Finns Hanoi Rocks are inevitable, and impossible to avoid, as there are nods to the band throughout latest album “Angels With Attitude”.

The 11-track album is strong throughout and although the vocals of Miqu December are heavily reminiscent of Hanoi frontman Michael Monroe, they are not a blatant rip off, well, ok maybe a little bit on the track “Nuclear Nights”. OK, “Midnight Date”, “Blue Angel”, the darker “Rhythm Rider” and the good old rock n roll of “Miss Stumbling Legs” are also, what I’m gonna call, “heavily influenced” by their obvious idols but there is more to Plastic Tears then this as other album highlights such as “Dark Passenger”, “Secret Society” or “Iris Kick” will demonstrate.

Plastic Tears may have suffered from more than their fair share of break ups, line-up changes and record company disasters but “Angels With Attitude” is a great album and one that shows exactly what is missing in rock n roll these days. ****1/2

Review by Nikk Gunns

JOLLYMON Voidwalker

Jollymon describe themselves as space rock, I guess that I’d go with that, and fifth album “Voidwalker” has mood and melody in abundance throughout. Released some 18 years after it’s self-titled processor, the album finds the band sounding on top form.

The trio work well together and the vocals have an almost pop like feel to them at times, this is lighter in comparison to the music and the contrast works to great effect. The band have blended many influences together, as is evident by the material on offer here, there is a touch of reggae in “Slice of Life”, a Southern rock meets Rob Zombie feel to “A Good Day”, the spacey “Forecast” and a big slab of doom rock in “Sky Burial”.

The tracks that I would recommend heading to are opening track “Tsunami”, “Monkeyhawk” and “Be Nice”. All in all, “Voidwalker” is an album that that I found to be easy to listen to and one that is enjoyable for reasons that are no simpler than it just all gelling together so well. Do yourself a favour and have a listen. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Gig review: NORTHERN FLYWAY – Cornerstones, Didcot, 21 September 2018

Northern Flyway is the brainchild of Jenny Sturgeon (Salt House, Jenny Sturgeon Trio) and Inge Thomson (Karine Polwart Trio, Da Fishing Hands). In 2017 they wrote and created Northern Flyway – an audio-visual production exploring the ecology, folklore, symbolism and mythology of birds and birdsong, which to date has been performed only in Scotland. Now they are on the road for a tour around the UK for September with a stop off at Didcot.

Joining Jenny (harmonium, vocals) and Inge (accordion, electronics, flute, vocals) are Sarah Hayes (flute, keys, vocals) and Jason Singh (electronics, mimesis). Now this is not your usual show as it mixes visuals, with elements of folk, progressive and with Jason Singh’s input some intriguing and at times, other worldly vocal effects.

It may not sound the most inviting prospects for some to hear birdsong, along with pre-recorded narrative about various bird species, yet it works brilliantly.

Highlights? Hard to choose with such an immersive show however the jaunty folk of ‘We Are The Morning’ and ‘Loch Carron Flame’ – this one has hints of Dead Can Dance – are personal favorites. The latter carries an import ant message as the habitat for the white-fronted geese that fly between Greenland and Argyll via Iceland are under threat.

Jenny, Inge and Sarah’s vocals harmonise wonderfully, whilst each adds there own instrumental skills as and when the music requires it. Jason meanwhile adds in beatbox, vocal effects and all manner of electronic wizardry to add progressive/electronica to the mix.

Northern Flyway can do for birdlife and wildlife what Public Service Broadcasting have done for space! If Northern Flyway appear nearby get along to see them, as an intriguing and enjoyable evening of music, sounds and visuals await.

Review by Jason Ritchie


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: LAYLA ZOE – Gemini

LAYLA ZOE – Gemini

Self release [Release date 05.10.18]

Layla Zoe’s ‘Gemini’ is one of the most honest and hard hitting blues-rock albums of the year. She openly tackles the pain of the blues, but you always get the feeling that there’s a more optimistic upside.

It’s a double set thematically split in two. The acoustic disc-1 is titled ‘Fragile’, while disc-2 is the more brusque and electrified ‘Courage’. Together they explore raw emotion, anger, jealousy, love and compassion.

‘Gemini’ is shot through with a restlessness reflecting her dichotomous personality, which may or may not adhere to characteristics of the ‘Gemini’ Astrological sign.

Interestingly, the moments of fragility don’t always come tidily wrapped in disc-1, as both elements pop up on both discs.

‘Gemini’ feels like a partial cathartic release, mainly because uncompromising songs such as ‘Weaknesses’, ‘Bitch With The Head Of Red’ and ‘White Dog’ feel like a commentary on an unresolved part of her life.

The back story to the album is that ‘Gemini’ is her first independent release for a few years and it’s a conceptual project that her previous labels didn’t want to back.

And while there are plenty of good songs, great playing and some incredible vocals here, there’s an argument to be made for these albums being released separately as there’s simply so much emotional weight to absorb.

The fractured psyche at the centre of the opening ‘She Didn’t Believe” rears its heads several times on an album that sometimes feels like an emotional sledgehammer.

Layla’s deep phrasing and guitarist Jan Laacks shimmering notes and delicate harmonics provide the perfect musical context to put her emotions on the line.

Parallels will doubtless be drawn with Janis Joplin, but it’s doubtful even Joplin would have dug so deep as this Canadian blues singer to bare her soul.

The acoustic slide-led ‘I’ll Be Reborn Blues’ brings contrast and a welcome lightness of touch to offset her authentic blues voice, while the resonant drum and North Mississippi Hill Country feel of ‘Turn This Into Gold’, is simply deep blues.

She adds some close to the mic phrasing with the kind of pristine diction, also to be found on the later ‘Roses And Lavender’.

She opens the song with a poignant line: “I don’t know where I fit in, oh lord where do I belong,” which could be a thematic statement about her persona throughout a restless album.

But then she adds the resolving killer line to counter her “fragility”with “courage”, as she sings: “But I’m gonna turn these bad vibes your throwing at me. I’m going to turn them into gold,” on a blues of the highest order.

She’s even better on the emotive ‘Let Go’, with familiar lyrical concerns: “It’s time for me to go. I don’t belong in this world anymore.”

The additional piano and drums perfectly complement the acoustic guitar, as the track builds to a lovely uplifting sonic sweep and repeated hook: “Let go, move on, drift away”, complete with orchestral accompaniment, and a drop down to piano and voice.

She focuses on her lyrical depth on ‘The Deeper They Bury Me’:  ”the deeper they bury me, the louder my voice becomes,” in a song about Hermann Wallace, one of the ‘Angola Three’.

There’s some unexpected jazzy sophistication on the evocative ‘Mumbai’, which is juxtaposed by her big vocal presence on the John Lee Hooker guitar influenced ‘The Good life’.

Just to add to the twists and turns, we’re almost into Americana on ‘I Can’t Imagine My Life without You’. The delicate light acoustic and a distant pedal steel adds to a backwoods feel on a surprising love song.

The contrasting musical moods and sharp arrangements draws us into the lyrics, while the mandolin led ‘Rainbow Pacmen and Unicorns’ shows that she can reign herself in to nuance another love song.

Disc 2 opens with a corrugating heavy riffed guitar line that evokes the ‘Courage’ portion of the album.  And in spite of her aggressive phrasing, raw vibrato and lines such as: “Miscommunation, blackouts time, weakness, cowardice, oh and lies. Time can’t heal everything. No not his time,” she displays the fragility of a fractured soul, who gains her courage from committing her feelings to paper.

‘Dark World’ is powered another big guitar figure and features lyrics that sound as if they came from a 70′s metal band: ” she a nightwalker, getting high off your fantasies, she’s a street feeler. She knows what you need.”

‘Bitch With The Red Head’ is more of the same, but is sandwiched by a brisk opening rap on the Hendrix ‘Crosstown Traffic’ influenced ‘Ghost Train’.

It’s the seamless meeting of a sledgehammer riff and big voice leading into the hook as she explores the elements of her star sign. “I know what the I stands for in Gemini and honey it ain’t you.”

And as the band stretches out on a mix of buzz guitar slapped bass and a final shred, she sarcastically declares her independence: “We could make her a big star if she’d just listen.”

The opening riff on ‘Automatic Gun’ could be Ten Years After as she pushes her voice to the limit. In sharp contrast the soulful blues of ‘Are You Still Alive Inside’ provides a restless foil, while the reggae styled book-end of ‘Little Sister’ provides a subtle musical and emotional void that only a passionate powerful vocalist like Layla Zoe can fill.  ****

Review by Pete Feenstra


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: HOGJAW – Rise To The Mountains

HOGJAW - Rise To The Mountains

Snakefarm Records [Release date 2015]

Hogjaw embark on their maiden UK tour this autumn and they have a new album, ‘Way Down Yonder’ to promote, along with this, their 2015 album which is now getting a full UK release via Spinefarm Records. The four piece – Jonboat Jones (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Elvis DD (bass) and Kwall (drums) – play southern rock with a country tinge and they do it very well indeed.

The title track opens the album in a flurry of Skynyrd approved riffs, before the tempo changes to a slower, country feel not unlike the Allman Brothers. Hogjaw do rock hard though on ‘Leavin’ Out The Backside’ (that title may cause some sniggers in the UK fan base…) and ‘Over ‘Fore You Know It’, both sprinkled with a little humour in the lyrics and featuring the deep, resonate vocals of Jonboat Jones.

Like any good southern rock band they have a slow building epic in the eight minutes plus of ‘I Will Remain’. The guitars on this one are superb, with a tip of the hat perhaps to Molly Hatchett’s ‘Fall Of The Peacemakers’ at times.

Elsewhere, ‘The Smoker’ successfully adds a little country to rock in the same way Blackberry Smoke have done so successfully. In fact Hogjaw on a bill with either Blackberry Smoke or Black Stone Cherry, or even a festival appearance in the UK, would be ideal for them to get the lift up to the next level they need and deserve.

‘Grey Skies’ is a beautiful piece of music, both in the gentle pedal steel and guitar playing, and the emotionally fuelled vocal. Something different to end the album on a high with.

Add Hogjaw to your list of current favourite southern rock bands as they carry the flame lit by Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers et al back in the 1970′s. Impressive from start to finish. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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

Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Gig review: BIG BOY BLOATER/Jack J. Hutchinson – The Blackheart, London, Camden 20 September 2018

BIG BOY BLOATER - The Blackheart, London, Camden 20 September 2018

If there was something incongruous about finding Big Boy Bloater & The Limits and in a dark biker pub in Camden,  it’s nothing that bothers Bloater and his powerhouse trio, who revel in a typically boisterous show built from the ground up.

On a night with some of the windiest weather of the year, Big Boy Bloater’s show acts like an anchor in unsettled times.

His engaging personality draws the crowd into a series of unlikely stories and quirky characters. Everything is brought to life by a gruff voice, some ripping guitar work and a peerless rhythm section that contributes fully to a set of highlights from the ‘Pills’ and ‘Luxury Hobo’ albums, played at maximum volume.

And when I say maximum volume, I mean the bass is up to 11 and the ice in the drinks rattles at the back of the room as the sound teeters on the brink of becoming a mush.

No matter, Bloater ploughs on, raises his glass and offers the first of several cheers and dives headlong into the title track of his new ‘Pills’ album.

He emerges stage left, tucked behind a speaker stack, in a tropical shirt and pork pie hat (natch), before finally taking a sizeable step towards the middle of the stage and firing off an opening volley of catchy licks.

He leads his trio with a piecing guitar tone and a guttural growl that soars above a high volume rumbling bass.

‘Slacker’s Paradise’ follows – all throbbing bass and a hoarse vocal – on a poppy outing that is given extra heft by a sudden uplifting solo of power and precision.

It’s time for another round of cheers and we’re into the funky, bass driven ‘The Digital Number Of The Beast’. He suddenly fires off a solo of real intensity and purpose and follows that by evoking the eerie paranoia of ‘I Got The Feeling Someone’s Watching Me’ from ‘Luxury Hobo’.

BIG BOY BLOATER - The Blackheart, London, Camden 20 September 2018

Bloater’s songs tread a thin line between eclectic subject matter and catchy tunes. His narratives are left field, especially so on the psychotic character in ‘Unnaturally Charming’, which is a  heavy duty riff-driven piece well suited to tonight’s gothic venue.

But Bloater is a real trouper who builds up a sense of momentum that locks his audience in and never lets go.

He thanks the loyal gathering and extends the intro of ‘Friday Night’s Alright For Drinking’ to include the rest of us. It’s a pivotal moment, as he draws us into a set full of colourful narratives and wry observations not too far removed from the late Ian Dury.

Together with plenty of musical variation and several resolving hooks, his songs stay long in the mind after the show has finished.

‘Oops Sorry’ is one of his more annoyingly beguiling pop outings, which he counterbalances with ‘The Saturday Night Desperation Shuffle’.

Powered by a fabulous bass line as part of a booming shuffle, the latter finds Bloater at his best, firing off some sinuous guitar over a cooking rhythm section, as he belts out his poignant lines:  ”It all ends up in a bit of a scuffle on the Saturday night desperation shuffle.”

For a moment we’re transported back in time to the 70′s and Graham Parker, but for all the snappy riffs and catchy hooks, it’s the in-between song banter that makes him different.

He’s an old school artist with the need to explain what his songs are about and having done so, he draws us in with a great use of dynamics and a killer rhythm section that probably never sounded so loud.

The crowd sticks with him as he slips into a ska number, the title of which is rendered inaudible by the booming PA. He’s rewarded with a great reception for the stop-time rocker ‘Devils Not Angels’ and he dips into his back catalogue for the hot rocking ‘Leonard Cohen’.

He came, he saw and he conquered with a great song catalogue and a kick ass power trio that makes him a contender as a British institution, no pills required!

Earlier, special guest Jack J. Hutchinson impresses with some neat acoustic work, a gravely voice and a handful of good song including the catchy rhythm of ‘I Got Your Number’, the anthemic ‘Deal With The Devil’, and the punchy hook of Rapture’.

Review by Pete Feenstra
Photos by Bruce Ackroyd


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Quick plays: JIM SHEPARD, PHILLIP HENRY, SIR REG

JIM SHEPARD Jaded

JIM SHEPARD Jaded MelodicRock Records [Release date 10.08.18]

This is the third solo album by US musician Jim Shepard who has been on the music scene for some years including a band called Taxi, who had some success in their local area. Jim plays most of the instruments on here and utilises three vocalists, namely Rusty Ammerman, Mike Meadows and Ron Hanchar (who also adds a mighty fine bit of sax on ‘My Heart Is Mine’).

For the most part the album is standard melodic rock meets AOR similar to the likes of Bon Jovi (‘What I See’) and Journey (‘Destiny’). The sax break on ‘My Heart Is Mine’ adds some variety, as it can lack spark elsewhere such as on the chugging ‘I Still Think About You’.

An album of enjoyable melodic rock, not essential by any means, however songs like ‘Destiny’ and ‘My Heart Is Mine’ certainly warrant a listen. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

PHILLIP HENRY True North Dragonfly Records [Release date 05.10.18]

Phillip Henry has made his name through his slide guitar and beatbox harmonica playing, as well as working with singer songwriter Hannah Martin. These eleven songs on ‘True North’ are a result of his travels across the glob in the past ten years, where along the way he picked up various musical influences and instruments along the way, including the 22 stringed, sitar-like chaturangui.

His playing is simply wonderful on the ears, be it the gentle dobro on ‘Little Bird’ or the intricate playing on ‘The Road To Tofino’, the listener is drawn into the musical soundscapes created by Phillip Henry. The aforementioned 22 string beast that is the chaturangui is used on three songs, with the closing two songs drawing on traditional Indian classical music and these are an album highlight.

It has taken ten years of journeying to create this solo album and it is one that will stand the test of time. Music to draw you in and his playing is amazing, plus for fellow guitarists he adds the musical annotations required to replicate the music. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

SIR REG The Underdogs

SIR REG The Underdogs Despotz Records [Release date 21.09.18]

The feisty folk punks Sir Reg are back with another set of catchy tunes played at breakneck speed. Despite the band being located in Sweden, in Irish born singer Brendan Sheehy they have someone who adds the convincing tone to the songs.

Songs like ‘Don’t Let Go’ and the title track grab the listener by the scruff of their neck and don’t let go. Even an instrumental like ‘Cairbre’ rattles along at some pace driven by a flute. They do stop to draw breath midway through the album on the humorous ‘The Stopover’, although normal service is resumed on the tongue in cheek ‘Stereotypical Drunken Feckin Irish Song’, which as you can imagine has a rousing, sing-a-long chorus – perfect for a festival or pub crowd.

‘Sinner Of The Century’ closes the album and it is a ballad! When I reviewed their last album I thought a slower number would be good and this ballad does that nicely.

Sir Reg put a smile on your face and beat in your stride. If you enjoy bands like Flogging Molly and the Pogues, this album should be on your radar. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Gig review: THE QUIREBOYS – 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

Playing a classic album in its entirety is now such a well established concert concept that bands are having to approach it a little differently. The Quireboys already did this many years ago to mark 20 years of ‘A Bit of What You Fancy’, but that classic debut has tended to overshadow the rest of their catalogue including the series of albums since they reformed in the early 2000’s.

It was therefore something of a left field move to play 2008’s ‘Homewreckers and Heartbreakers’ in its entirety to mark its tenth anniversary, even though it was a return to form and spawned a couple of songs that form part of the live set to this day. They also gambled on playing a venue several times larger than the band have used for recent London shows,  but it was swelled close to capacity by some clever marketing offers and a supporting cast that grew to three bands.

So at the ridiculously early time of 630 Those Damn Crows opened proceedings, the latest in a series of up and coming bands from a Welsh scene punching above its weight, who seemed to have a surprisingly large number of supporters. The likes of ‘Don’t Give A Damn’ and ‘Someone Someday’ were a little heavy for my own tastes, blending metal with some nineties alternative influences, they nevertheless showed impressive stagecraft with singer Shane Greenhall confidently working the crowd.

Those Damn Crows - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

‘Behind These Walls’ had an almost Alter Bridge like intensity and the way people spontaneously joined in on the chorus to ‘Blink of an Eye’ suggested they are building quite a reputation before ending with the more straight ahead ‘Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead’, Shane leading some audience participation.

Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics are also making a name for themselves, again having plenty of supporters with people around me shouting the chorus to opener ‘Left Me for Dead’. The former Heavens Basement singer is a magnetic performer. Slightly built and a dapper dresser, he commanded the stage, oozing rock star charisma in a slightly camp manner, as well as showing an impressive ability to reach and hold a high note.

Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

His act also featured a spot of crowd surfing in which he was lifted to his standing height, though to do so twice in a short set was possibly excessive. His band also look the part but, and this is a big but, the songs were utterly unmemorable and lacking both in hooks and an identifiable direction. While entertained, I concluded that substance is not yet there to match the style.

Thus far I had been surrounded by fans proclaiming the merits of the opening acts but it was now time for me to turn the tables and eulogise about one of my own favourites, H.E.A.T., the energetic Scandinavians who for a decade now have been at the forefront of a contemporary melodic rock revival. This was a rare UK opportunity for them to break out of such a niche market and be exposed to a wider rock audience.

HEAT - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

As they opened with ‘Bastard of Society’ and ‘Late Night Lady’, singer Erik Gronwall was his usual inexhaustible bundle of manic energy, but the hollow sound was atrocious and only gradually improved during the set. There was fun to be had in ‘Mannequin Show’- though I couldn’t help singing ‘oops I did it again’ to the chorus, such is the similarity, and ‘Beg Beg Beg’ with audience participation and snatches of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and ‘Piece Of My Heart’.

However ‘Redefined’ fell very flat, sounding messily disjointed, and was one of the occasions when the thought occurred to me that when Erik goes off on his sorties into the crowd, they lack a natural leader to hold the music together. It was also one of only two songs to feature in this truncated set from last year’s controversial ‘Into The Great Unknown’ album.

HEAT - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

Instead its predecessor ‘Tearing Down The Walls’ formed the biggest part of the set with the balladic title track, Erik’s movement momentarily  halted as he donned an acoustic guitar  followed by the more up tempo and aggressive ‘Emergency’ and ‘Inferno’.

An all too short set ended with ‘Living On The Run’, perhaps my favourite song of the last decade, and its massive hook still rang through despite the performance again being rather ragged and undermined by the poor sound. It had been one of my least favourite HEAT shows compared to those where they had headline status, yet the reception they got and the buzz from people belatedly discovering them proved that it was mission accomplished.

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

When the Quireboys finally hit the stage at 9:30, playing the album ‘Homewreckers and Heartbreakers’ in its entirety but with some tweaks in the order, the sound was loud, crisp and full as they opened with ‘I Love This Dirty Town’, a live favourite to this day albeit usually later in the set, and indeed I worried whether Spike in particular could keep up that level of intensity. The band’s tightness also showed the benefits of having one of the most stable line ups in their chequered history.

After ‘Louder’ with some sterling slide guitar work from Paul Guerin came the album’s signature moment in ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’, though the folky, early seventies Rod sensibilities were somewhat lost. The pleasure of this format was to be able to hear a wider range of songs than the old favourites so familiar from the set they have delivered on countless occasions given that they are prolific tourers and festival mainstays.

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

Following ‘Hello’, ‘Black Water’, with Spike playing harmonica had the bluesy, southern stylings you would expect from a song inspired by Lynchburg, Tennessee, home of Jack Daniels.

An ever smiling Spike was even more full of his heart-warming bonhomie than ever and a dedication to past members of the band no longer with us led into ‘One For The Road’, and there were tender moments including the ballads ‘Late Night Saturday Call’, where he was at his huskiest and ‘Fear Within the Lie’ with another superb solo from the Les Paul-wielding Paul. He took the majority of the solos but guitar partner Guy ‘Griff’ Griffin was a man of all parts, supporting with backing vocals and being the dry foil for Spike’s banter.

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

I did sense that toward the end of this segment people were beginning to become impatient which was a pity as both ‘Hall Of Shame’, with some Black Crowes-esque slide guitar and ‘Take A Look at Yourself’ were fine songs, and ones which should encourage people to rediscover the album, as I had hastily done in some pre-gig homework. ‘Josephine’ with bar-room style piano from Keith Weir, was a fittingly up-tempo gateway into the remainder of a more traditional Quireboys set.

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

They scarcely drew breath as one much-loved debut album classic followed another- ‘Misled’ giving way to ‘There She Goes Again’ with Griff playing a tasty slide guitar solo, followed by another during ‘Hey You’ which Spike reminded us got the band on Top Of The Pops in their halcyon year of 1990. ‘Sweet Mary Ann’ sparked a raucous singalong and set the atmosphere up nicely for the inevitable closer of ‘7 o’clock’ and rarely was the ‘time for the party’ lyric more apt.

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

Never mind 7 o’clock, the 11 o’clock curfew was looming so I was curious how much more they could squeeze in during the encores. ‘This Is Rock n Roll’ broke the first album monopoly, but Spike said there was no way they could leave without playing ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’. Over the years the ballad’s epic qualities seem to have been accentuated, with the start of the song slowed and stripped down over Spike’s croaky whisper, then the band’s sound bigger than ever from the chorus onwards.

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

Sadly there was no time, in a musical sense anyway, for the usual ‘Sex Party’ but, always guaranteed to give a good night out, this was one of the more special of the many shows in Quireboys history.

Review and photos by Andy Nathan


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: TIFFANY – Pieces Of Me

TIFFANY - Pieces Of Me

Go On Then Records [Release date 05.10.18]

Tiffany sold over 15m albums to date and most will know her for her worldwide hit ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ in 1987. She has been releasing albums since then that have covered pop, country and more, however on this new album she has produced an album she admits people wouldn’t expect from her. It has a real rock vibe running throughout it, aided by various guest musicians including Big Country drummer Mark Brzezicki and LA Guns bassist Johnny Martin.

Tiffany has a wonderfully rich vocal, that can turn to a blues edge on ‘King Of Lies’ (complete with a tasty Hammond solo midway through), New Wave/Cars feel on ‘Heartbeat Away’ or hit the pop rock spot on ‘Beautiful’. The latter is a hit single if ever the song got enough streams/downloads in this modern age.

The ballad ‘Hey There’ is one to pluck on the old heartstrings, whilst album closer ‘Fall’ holds the biggest surprise. Led in by rhythmic drums/percussion and a grungy guitar riff, before Tiffany lets rip on an impassioned vocal – a real tour de force.

Tiffany wanted to record an album that has been in her musical heart a long time and it is one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. An album full of top notch melodic rock/pop rock highlighting an artist at the top of their game and producing music from the heart. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Gig review: ROSE TATTOO & GIRLSCHOOL – 02 Islington Academy, London, 13 September 2018

Girlschool - HARD ROCK HELL, Pwllheli, 15 November 2014

Rose Tattoo’s first appearance in London in far-too-many years and it was hotly anticipated. And for those not familiar with the Aussie rock band, led by the short in stature but no way in attitude Angry Anderson, they formed in the mid 70s and have kicked some serious arse since. Think that early AC/DC boogie, and add several buckets of aggressive slide guitar and street-punk attitude.

And with London legends Girlschool in support we knew it was going to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

I met Girlschool guitarist and vocalist Kim McAuliffe before the show and after the obligatory hug she told me of the pressure they were under in terms of both time and guestlist (both quite restrictive). But it was good to catch up.

On entry to the venue, it filled up pretty quickly and compared to previous apparently sold-out gigs there, this one seemed oversold, it was VERY busy.  And I’ve not lived In London for over 3 years now, only visiting for the occasional gig, yet on several times I got “There’s a familiar face” from people I didn’t know.

Girlschool got a huge cheer when they took the stage, to a siren, and crashed into the classic ‘Demolition’. Their sound is at the glam end of the NWoBHM spectrum and as catchy as ever. Kim McAuliffe and Enid Williams sung their hearts out and lead guitarist Jax Chambers shredded with aplomb; blond bombshell or blond bomber – could have given Michael Schenker a run for his money.

The classic ‘Let’s Go’ with Denise’s drum intro followed, then ‘Hit And Run’. Then from the later Legacy opus was ‘I Spy’. This was a darker chunkier number, the original featuring moments of Dio and Tony Iommi.

As Jax later told me, she was living with original guitarist Kelly Johnson when the latter died and wrote this song shortly after, it came from a dark place. Some tracks from the latest Guilty As Sin album, then back to the early material, which they almost fell over themselves getting through, being pressed for stage time. But who’s to complain at closers ‘Race With The Devil’ and ‘Emergency’?

The venue was seriously uncomfortably heaving by the time Rose Tattoo took to the stage. Angry Anderson is a much loved character (and a character he really is). I interviewed him back in 2000 (with original guitarist Pete Wells) and he’s a true gent too.

Short in stature, shaven headed and tattoo laden, he has the character and heart as big as a mammoth, and still hard as a bag of nails. Opener ‘One Of The Boys’ showcased the band’s sound well. With no disrespect to the current line-up, Wells’ slide guitar had a special streetwise edge but guitarists Dai Pritchard and Bob Spencer played their arses off and kicked serious butt in the process. And not to forget bassist Mark Evens, he of several early AC/DC albums.

The first few songs were run through quickly, with the odd word from Anderson, but then his tongue loosened and there was more and more interaction. His control of the stage was as wonderful as the music. From the slower tracks, chunky and bluesy, to the fast and furious, the band rocked and the crowd loved every second.

Stand out track – has got to be ‘Assault And Battery’, a defining track and there is nothing more blistering than this track live onstage. Frantic, frenetic, furious, it’s all here.

Angry Anderson may be 71, but he’s still got it, and here’s the proof that the band are as worth checking out as they were in 1981.

Review by Joe Geesin

GIRLSCHOOL Setlist
Demolition Boys/C’mon Let’s Go/Hit And Run/I Spy/Come The Revolution/Take It Like A Band/Future Flash/Kick It Down/Watch Your Step/Yeah Right/Race With The Devil/Emergency
ROSE TATTOO setlist
One Of The Boys/Juice On The Loose/Man About Town/Assault & Battery/Tramp/Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw/The Butcher and Fast Eddy/OnceIn A Lifetime/Branded/1854/Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King/We Can’t Be Beaten/Bad Boy For Love/Remedy/Scarred For Life/Astra Wally/Nice Boys


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: CINDERELLA – The Mercury Years

CINDERELLA - The Mercury Years

Caroline Records [Release date 28.09.18]

US rock band Cinderella formed in the early 80s, and had some notable success in the late 80s and early 90s. And a great live band they were too. They split in the mid 90s, and there’s been reformations, compilations and live sets since, and this set completes that original run of 4 albums with loads of bonuses.  And wonderfully packaged it is too.

Lots of gigging, and building up quite a fanbase, by 1986 the line-up featured vocalist/guitarist/pianist Tom Keifer, guitarist Jeff LaBar and bassist Eric Brittingham.

Their debut album Night Songs featured Jody Cortez, with credited drummer Fred Coury joining shortly after the album’s completion. The album also featured guest appearances from guitarist Barry Bennedetta, keyboard player Jeff Paris (who had a noted career in his own right), and on a couple of tracks Jon Bon Jovi on backing vocals. The album is a very solid mix of mid 80s rock/metal with some glam touches, and in one or two places the kind of boogie that Hair Metallers Poison threw about. A strong MTV presence and a support slot with Bon Jovi helped.  A very worthy debut.

1988’s Long Cold Winter saw the band move in a slight blues rock/hard rock direction, and this album is an absolute classic by any standards. Think early 70s Humble Pie, Deep Purple and Aerosmith for influences. Again Fred Coury doesn’t play on the album despite being a full time band member, the drums handled by Cozy Powell and Joseph Starns. Other guests include guitarist Jay Levin, and keyboard players Rick Criniti, Kurt Shore and John Webster. Gypsy Road was a classic, a live staple and a minor hit, while Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Till It’s Gone was the band’s highest charting hit. Four singles, and the album went triple platinum – things were good for Cinderella and rightly so. This album I’d recommend to anyone.  And everyone.

Their 3rd album Heartbreak Station (1990) featured three singles and sold a million copies, and continued in a similar vain, only suffering the same way all classic rock did – at the hands of the abomination called grunge. Shelter Me and the title track both stand out, and amongst the multitude of guests covering percussion, programming, horns, saxophone and keyboards is original Uriah Heep pianist Ken Hensley. It’s an excellent album, but will forever be in the shadow of the band’s second set.

Recorded in 1991, after the live EP, Still Climbing wasn’t released until 1994 (due to vocalist Tom Keifer losing his voice), and sadly didn’t sell so well, largely due to grunge/alternative rock trends, and the lack of promotion from the record company. A shame as it was the grittiest bluesy set thus far. Opener Bad Attitude Shuffle (a minor hit) was by far Cinderella’s highpoint – a blistering groove.

The band have done lots since, there’s been many a live and retrospective release, but this album completes the Mercury years perfectly. The first two discs add a couple of single edits and b-sides apiece, while the third adds 2 tracks previously exclusive to the Greatest Hits. Then the fifth disc adds further single and b-side tracks and the 1991 Japanese only live EP. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Nicely packaged in individual card sleeves, booklet and clamshell box. The label have packaged previous releases like this and it works well. More, please.  *****

Review by Joe Geesin


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: VANESSA PETERS – Foxhole Prayers

VANESSA PETERS - Foxhole Prayers

[Release date 05.10.18]

For some reason, Texas based indie-folk singer songwriter Vanessa Peters’ last album – The Burden Of Unshakeable Proof (2016) seems to have bypassed GRTR!  But a quick listen on bandcamp.com suggests it was a welcome return to her late 1980s/early 1990s Maria McKee, Aimee Mann, Natalie Merchant-style of songwriting after the somewhat underwhelming With The Sentinals (2015) – a restrained and ‘laid back’ affair with a Danish Americana band.

The good news is that her latest offering – Foxhole Prayers – is perhaps her strongest and most consistent album yet.  Thematically inspired by the corruption and self-indulgence that permeated The Great Gatsby, it sees her shine a lyrical light on the populist politics and the unrest, hatred and violence of the modern world, tempered by the need to stay positive in these troubled times.

The production by Rip Rowan (keys) and John Dufilho (drums) puts Peters’ vocals/lyrics firmly centre stage as, supported by long term collaborator Joe Reyes and Chris Holt (Don Henley) on electric guitars, Jason Garner (bass), and bassist Andy Lester, the set effortlessly weaves modern electronic elements with more familiar acoustic and rock arrangements.

The result is Peters’ most accessible release to date, her sensual vocals, in particular delivered with an almost effortless cool that at various moments echo the timbres of the likes of Karen Carpenter and Lana Del Ray.

Highlights include the sumptuous ‘Before It Falls Apart’, the infectious, upbeat, toe tapping ‘Lucky’, the haunting beauty of ‘Just One Of Them’, the acerbic but timeless ‘Carnival Barker’, and poisonous’ Trolls’.

Once again, Peters’ eschews the banjo, mandolin, pedal steel trappings of most current singer songwriter releases, resulting in a refreshing retro ‘adult pop’ album that is not only easy on the ear, but one that has a timeless depth and quality.  More please.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



News: STEVE HACKETT – orchestral tour, box set, radio interview

Prog-meister Steve Hackett tours with a 41 piece orchestra in October, plus there is the release of a 6-CD/2-DVD box set covering the years 1984-2006.

Steve’s orchestral tour stems from a one-off performance in March 2017 in the USA.  He’ll bring a symphonic slant to his “Genesis Revisited” catalogue.

October also sees the release of Broken Skies – Outspread Wings (1984 – 2006) a multi-disc collection of albums including the world music-inspired ‘Til We Have Faces’ and the live album ‘Feedback 86′ – all newly remastered, alongside a host of bonus tracks.

In addition to this, 2 DVD’s feature several recent live rarities and 5.1 mixes of selected songs, including the ‘Somewhere in South America’ live set.  This limited edition is rounded off by brand new artwork from Roger Dean and a 60-page book with liner notes, rare photos, lyrics and more.

On Monday 24 September (16:00 GMT; repeated Thursday 27, 23:00) he chats to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio in a new interview as part of the radio station’s ’10 Years in the making’ celebration in September.

More information
Steve Hackett website

Photo: Steve Goudie

UK Tour dates

1st October – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
3rd October – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester SOLD OUT
4th October – Royal Festival Hall, London SOLD OUT
5th October – Symphony Hall, Birmingham SOLD OUT
7th October – The Sage, Gateshead
8th October – Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
10th October – Regent, Ipswich
11th October – Palladium, London


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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

Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: DAN REED NETWORK – Origins

DAN REED NETWORK - Origins

Zero One [Release date 23.11.18]

‘Origins’ is an interesting concept and is perhaps best viewed as a live album recorded in the studio.  Over the past year or so, DRN have recorded themselves in various studios (Manchester, NYC, Portland and Stockholm) in front of a live audience.  They’ve also involved the ‘Networkers’ on the choruses.  For anyone who has seen the band performing live in the past few years this will come as no surprise.

The more recent history of the Network has been one of rock’s more compelling and genuine comebacks.  When we chatted to Dan Reed back in 2009 right at the start of this journey he was doubtful about the chances of a band reunion, although he was always pestered for this at his solo acoustic shows.

Perhaps indirectly, Dan solo paved the way for the comeback, not least because he demonstrated there was still a demand for the songs, some of which appear here.  Fast forward to their home city of Portland on New Year’s Eve 2012, when they reformed, and their trajectory has been upward ever since.

For some older bands in 2018 they are seemingly filling a creative void in modern music and having a second chance.  In the example of Dan Reed Network they not only have the back catalogue but arguably they are sounding better than ever.  2016′s ‘Fight Another Day’ demonstrated also their relevance, skilfully mixing an eighties vibe with their signature funk rock sound and with a handful of really outstanding tunes.

The early single ‘Fade To Light’ sums up the fan-friendly approach of ‘Origins’ although – as with another new song ‘Right In Front Of Me’ – the guitar riffs are redolent of something else.  (Answers on a postcard).

As we’ve mentioned previously, when interviewing Dan, he doesn’t do naff.  There is a consistent quality to the new material and another obvious “single” is the radio-friendly ‘Shameless’ even if in edited form.

‘Ritual’, ‘Forgot To Make Her Mine’, ‘Let It Go’ (originally on ‘The Heat’ in 1991) and ‘Rainbow Child’ demonstrate the relevance of those songs to a millennium audience and accurately reflect the band’s current live performances.  All are gently updated for modern ears.  And as with the previous album the performances are convincing, with joint producer Rob Daiker’s keyboards a real asset.

Dan Reed Network are frequently as infectious as Chic if Nile Rodgers’ crew had pursued a rockier route.

It took mainstream media (and fans to be truthful) a little while to catch up with Dan Reed and DRN but recent tours, festival appearances, and now the Planet Rock-monikered November tour will cement their comeback.  ****

Review by David Randall

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

Gig review (March 2017)
Album review/interview (Fight Another Day)

UK tour (November 2018, special guests Mason Hill and Hollowstar)

Wednesday 7 November – Bilston, The Robin 2
Thursday 8 November – Newcastle, Riverside
Saturday 10 November – Inverness, Monsterfest, The Ironworks
Tuesday 13 November- Glasgow, The Garage
Wednesday 14 November – Wakefield, Warehouse 23
Friday 16 November – Pontypridd, Muni Arts Centre
Saturday 17 November – Chester, The Live Rooms
Wednesday 21 November – Stoke, Eleven
Thursday 22 November – Derby, The Venue
Friday 23 November – London, 229 Venue – Album Launch Party
Saturday 24 November – London, The Landor – Exclusive Album Listening Party
Sunday 25th November – Manchester, Club Academy


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Gig review: JAWBONE – 02 Islington Academy, London, 12 September 2018

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

And so to Jawbone, a new roots rock band with some familiar faces.

Jawbone isn’t so much a case of old wine in new bottles, as a thoughtful and musically excellent quartet exploring a new significant context for their collective creativity

More specifically, the band is built round the nascent songwriting partnership of pianist and vocalist Paddy Milner and guitarist/vocalist Marcus Bonfanti, who are backed by an intuitive rhythm section of drummer Evan Jenkins and bassist Rex Horan who also adds superb bv’s.

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

Harmonies play a big part in the band’s repertoire. They offer plenty of musical variety, interesting arrangements and engaging narratives that fit comfortably under the Americana label, though that doesn’t preclude them from exploring several locked-in moments tonight.

They open with ‘Leave No Traces’, arguably the best track on their self titled debut album. It’s carried by a New Orleans influenced stuttering rhythm and features a clever change of focus on vocals. Paddy sings the opening verse, before Marcus’s adds a contrasting baritone. They head for a call and response section and three part harmonies on a catchy hook.

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

It’s the perfect calling card and sets a high standard for the rest of the night. And if the band is still finding it’s feet, the new songs resonate quickly.

There’s the piano driven and funky feel of ‘What You Deserve’, which is underpinned by Rex Horan’s sumptuous bass line and that is followed by ‘When Your Gun Is Loaded’, which owes much to The Band.

The latter influence rears its head later in the set with a celebratory ‘Rag Mama Rag’ which is the point when the audience finally eschews its reserve and starts dancing.

Bonfanti’s weathered vocal is well suited to the band’s rootsy style and Jawbone positively revels in an acapella breakdown as the tambourine playing Paddy moves centre stage to lead the crowd into a sing-along.

The band further reveals it’s musical influences with a rather obvious cover of Little Feat’s ‘Willin’, which given Bonfanti’s (slimmer) resemblance to Lowell George is eerie.

In truth, it’s a rather obvious Little Feat cover when there’s such a big catalogue to choose from, a point highlighted by the bigger impact of Steve Stills’s ‘Love The One Your With’, which brings surprised whoops from the tightly pressed crowd.

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

‘Sit Round The Table’ is a good re-entry point for their own material, as the set rebuilds on the back of a heartfelt ballad with impressive harmonies and a great lyrical bent: “when we’re sat round the table, time stands still, let’s share our troubles like we share the bills.”

The quality of the song and tonight’s impressive harmonies make this band more than just a enthusiastic diversion.

There’s a subtle balance at play from the interchangeable vocals, to the fluid interplay and subtle solos that colour the material and emphasize different moods and feels.

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

And if as someone noted, the covers show that they have a way to go with their own material, there’s enough lyrical substance and musical twist and turns on show tonight to satisfy most palettes.

As they slip into the deep groove of ‘Two Billion Heartbearts’, with Milner on organ and Bonfanti’s earthy phrasing bringing to life the lyrics of another resonant hook with rich harmonies, you can almost feel the project growing and taking shape in front of us.

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

Jawbone may be a work in progress, but apart from the need for better presentation, they make a significant splash as a brand new song-driven roots rock band of the highest order.

Review by Pete Feenstra
Photos Maggie Rogers (1/2/4/5/& 6) and Pete Feenstra (3)


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Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: JIMMY WALDO & STEVEN ROSEN – Voices From The Past

MelodicRock Records [Release date 28.09.18]

Jimmy Waldo and Steven Rosen were a prolific writing duo at the height of hard rock’s popularity in the 1980′s and were two of the go-to-guys for songs. This writing partnership lasted more than 30 years and now over thirty songs they were involved in are gathered together to form this double album.

The songs feature a host of talented musicians including Jeff Scott Soto, Autograph’s Steve Plunkett, Chicago’s Keith Howland, legendary session guitarist Tim Pierce, Black ‘N’ Blue’s Tommy Thayer and Jamie St James, Keel’s Marc Ferrari, Paul Shortino, Bob Kulick and many more. JK Northrup handled the mastering of the tracks.

It is a mixed bag of styles, from the Heart like performance on ‘(Don’t Give Up) On Me’ by Mona Moore (a great, passionate singer who appears elsewhere on four other songs) through to ‘Phantom Of Passion’ by Phil Brown – his singing and the song sound uncannily like mid-80′s David Bowie.

For those after some bona fide 80′s hard rock ‘City Of Angels’ hits the spot, complete with OTT guitar playing from Michael Angelo, although the 80′s electronic drumming may put some off. Jeff Scott Soto rips through ‘Ice’, with Black ‘N’ Blue’s Jamie St James rocking out on ‘The Other Side’. Similarly the three songs with Autograph’s Steve Plunkett will be sure to please fans.

Plenty of songs on here you could imagine would have made an 80′s film soundtrack like the excellent ‘Blow The Beast’, with Greg Edelman on vocals. His other vocal on here, ‘Thinking Is A Dangerous Game’ follows a similar style.

Jimmy Waldo does a new instrumental version of the Alcatrazz song ‘Islands In The Sun’, with parping keys to the fore!

A collection where you may want to cherry pick a selection of songs and fans of Autograph, Jeff Scott Soto and Black ‘N’ Blue will certainly enjoy the songs on here. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: JOE BONAMASSA – Redemption

JOE BONAMASSA – Redemption

Provogue Records [Release date 21.09.18]

‘Redemption’ is a loosely based concept album on which some of the songs explore the titular theme.

The dozen self penned songs track Joe Bonamassa’s musical evolution as one of the most broad based blues artists of our times.

His career so far has embraced rock, blues, soul, world music, jazz-funk and acoustic music. And the mission statement of this album seems to be to expand his rock/blues template further into related musical areas, though you suspect with producer Kevin Shirley at the helm, he will never let go of the Zeppelin fetish that has permeated much of his career so far.

‘Redemption’ is built round song-led material that leaves plenty of room for big horn arrangements and significant solos that are always an essential part of the song.

There’s a significant Nashville influence here, both in terms of the songs and their ability to crossover from one niche to another.

Then there’s the horns which provide a suitable context for his intense guitar work and expansive vocals, most notably on ‘Love Is A Gamble’. His solos resonate and he pushes his rough-hewn timbre into falsetto mode.

‘Redemption’ does it best to bring make a coherent whole of the the primacy of songs, some elaborate big band outings and the aforementioned Zeppelin influences.

All three neatly fit into Bonamassa’s contemporary take on the blues. He’s a broad church open to many related musical persuasions, as evidenced by his willingness to collaborate on songs.

He’s at his best on ‘Self-Inflicted Wound’, on which a big drum sounds acts as the scaffold for an atmospheric ballad with an imperious build. It’s full of significant bv’s and harmony guitar parts that lead to a tension busting solo, as fluid as it is evocative.

He’s positively jumping on the celebratory ‘King Bee Shakedown’, a big band boogie and swing number. The horn stabs provide the perfect foil for his slide solo over a crisp percussive track with sampled party voices.

He also adds some big toned steely licks on ‘Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should’, on which the horns sound like an unwanted luxury, while the name checked Reese Wynans’s organ solo acts as a conduit to JB’s wah wah inflected solo.

Not everything works as well, as the ‘kitchen sink and all’ approach of ‘Deep In The Blues Again’, provides plenty of bluster, but not a lot of soul. And ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ is almost an exercise in songwriting as it veers towards a sleazy, after hours, Tom Waits jazzy feel that might be better suited to Beth Hart.

In the same spirit of adventure, he goes for contrast as he pairs his tenor with Outlaw Country singer Jamey Johnson’s weathered husk. The song sounds like familiar territory until some startling picking on an uplifting solo that brings intensity and melodic emphasis.

The country feel also permeates the nicely ragged slide-led ‘Ive Got Some Mind Over What Matters’, on which he returns to his reflective central theme.

And just when you think we’ve got his stylistic measure, he draws us in further with the emotive and acoustic ‘Stronger Now In Broken Places’, which is arguably one of his best ever songs.

‘Redemption’ feels like a musical journey with familiar pit-stops, but it takes its time to wend its way through engaging musical diversions, all of which act as a catalyst for his musical spark.

The album might not quite live up to the strong unifying theme of its title, but it’s a musically ambitious work with good songs, inspired band interplay with fiery guitar work and a freshness that belies the fact that this is his 13th solo album. ****

Review by Pete Feenstra


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: ENUFF Z’NUFF – Diamond Boy

ENUFF Z'NUFF - Diamond Boy

Frontiers [Release date 14.08.18]

Enuff Z’Nuff returned to action with 2016′s ‘Clown’s Lounge’, although that was older songs recorded back in the band’s early days with some updating . ‘Diamond Boy’ marks the first album without any input from former singer Donnie Vie. Bassist Chip Z’Nuff now handles lead vocals and the band consists of guitarists Tony Fennell (ex-Ultravox) and Tory Stoffregen with Dan Hill on drums. Stoffregen and Hill have joined the band since ‘Clown’s Lounge’ was released as Enuff Z’Nuff have had a fluid line-up in the past few years.

The short, harmony vocal filled ‘Transcendence’ opens the album before the title track kick starts the album. A trademark Enuff Z’Nuff song that has a Cheap Trick vibe and like the next song, ‘Where Did You Go’, shows its Beatles influence loud and proud. ‘Dopesick’ goes for the full on Beatles 60′s psychedelic trip and sounds glorious it has to be said. The outro vocal harmonies are simply divine – this is the band back firing on all six.

If anything the album goes for a more psychedelic pop rock sound than on their last couple of albums, full of sweet melodies and only ’Faith, Hope, Luv’ and ‘Metalheart’ are below par.

When such a key part of the band left with vocalist Donnie Vie it was always going to be a hard act to follow, however Chip Z’Nuff takes it in his stride and ‘Diamond Boy’ is a pop rock gem. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


Get Ready to ROCK! Radio

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

Power Plays w/c 17 September 2018

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Try As I Might (KScope)
JAWBONE Two Million Heartbeats (indie)
BAD TOUCH Hammer Falls (Marshall Records)
SARI SCHORR Thank You (Manhaton)
MALLEN Polarity (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 17 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GIOELI-CASTRONOVO Set The World On Fire (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FEDERAL CHARM Passenger (indie)
14:00-16:00 PAUL CARRACK These Days (Carrack-UK)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JOURNEY Raised On Radio (1986)



Album review: LINTON OSBOURNE – Drunk At Breakfast

www.lintonosborne.com [Release date 14.09.18] Former Nazareth vocalist (who has also worked with original Naz guitarist Manny Charlton) has continued to work hard and, amongst a number of projects, has released this rather marvellous album. His work with Nazareth was too short … Continue reading

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Album review: STATUS QUO – Deluxe Editions – 1+9+8+2, Back To Back, In The Army Now, Ain’t Complaining

STATUS QUO - 1+9+8+2

earMUSIC [release date 17.08.18] These albums are the next in line to get the Deluxe Edition reissue treatment which covers the band’s output during the 1980’s. This was a period which saw band members come and go, the ‘End Of … Continue reading

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Album review: STATUS QUO – Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall and Down Down & Dirty At Wacken

Status Quo - Down Down & Dirty At Wacken

earMUSIC [release date 17.08.18] These two albums have been released in tandem to demonstrate the two different sides of Quo and to prove that live they are still a must see. The Albert Hall show captures the band in full … Continue reading

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Quick plays: DREAM CHILD, THE UNITY, PLASTIC TEARS

DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again

DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again Frontiers [Release date 14.09.18] Dream Child is formed around former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, who is joined by fellow Dio member drummer Simon Wright, former Ozzy/Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, Wayne Findlay (ex-MSG) … Continue reading

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Gig review: NORTHERN FLYWAY – Cornerstones, Didcot, 21 September 2018

Northern Flyway is the brainchild of Jenny Sturgeon (Salt House, Jenny Sturgeon Trio) and Inge Thomson (Karine Polwart Trio, Da Fishing Hands). In 2017 they wrote and created Northern Flyway – an audio-visual production exploring the ecology, folklore, symbolism and mythology … Continue reading

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Album review: LAYLA ZOE – Gemini

LAYLA ZOE – Gemini

Self release [Release date 05.10.18] Layla Zoe’s ‘Gemini’ is one of the most honest and hard hitting blues-rock albums of the year. She openly tackles the pain of the blues, but you always get the feeling that there’s a more … Continue reading

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Album review: HOGJAW – Rise To The Mountains

HOGJAW - Rise To The Mountains

Snakefarm Records [Release date 2015] Hogjaw embark on their maiden UK tour this autumn and they have a new album, ‘Way Down Yonder’ to promote, along with this, their 2015 album which is now getting a full UK release via Spinefarm … Continue reading

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Gig review: BIG BOY BLOATER/Jack J. Hutchinson – The Blackheart, London, Camden 20 September 2018

BIG BOY BLOATER - The Blackheart, London, Camden 20 September 2018

If there was something incongruous about finding Big Boy Bloater & The Limits and in a dark biker pub in Camden,  it’s nothing that bothers Bloater and his powerhouse trio, who revel in a typically boisterous show built from the … Continue reading

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Quick plays: JIM SHEPARD, PHILLIP HENRY, SIR REG

JIM SHEPARD Jaded

JIM SHEPARD Jaded MelodicRock Records [Release date 10.08.18] This is the third solo album by US musician Jim Shepard who has been on the music scene for some years including a band called Taxi, who had some success in their local … Continue reading

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Gig review: THE QUIREBOYS – 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

THE QUIREBOYS - 02 Forum, London, 14 September 2018

Playing a classic album in its entirety is now such a well established concert concept that bands are having to approach it a little differently. The Quireboys already did this many years ago to mark 20 years of ‘A Bit … Continue reading

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Album review: TIFFANY – Pieces Of Me

TIFFANY - Pieces Of Me

Go On Then Records [Release date 05.10.18] Tiffany sold over 15m albums to date and most will know her for her worldwide hit ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ in 1987. She has been releasing albums since then that have covered pop, country and … Continue reading

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Gig review: ROSE TATTOO & GIRLSCHOOL – 02 Islington Academy, London, 13 September 2018

Girlschool - HARD ROCK HELL, Pwllheli, 15 November 2014

Rose Tattoo’s first appearance in London in far-too-many years and it was hotly anticipated. And for those not familiar with the Aussie rock band, led by the short in stature but no way in attitude Angry Anderson, they formed in … Continue reading

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Album review: CINDERELLA – The Mercury Years

CINDERELLA - The Mercury Years

Caroline Records [Release date 28.09.18] US rock band Cinderella formed in the early 80s, and had some notable success in the late 80s and early 90s. And a great live band they were too. They split in the mid 90s, … Continue reading

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Album review: VANESSA PETERS – Foxhole Prayers

VANESSA PETERS - Foxhole Prayers

[Release date 05.10.18] For some reason, Texas based indie-folk singer songwriter Vanessa Peters’ last album – The Burden Of Unshakeable Proof (2016) seems to have bypassed GRTR!  But a quick listen on bandcamp.com suggests it was a welcome return to … Continue reading

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News: STEVE HACKETT – orchestral tour, box set, radio interview

Prog-meister Steve Hackett tours with a 41 piece orchestra in October, plus there is the release of a 6-CD/2-DVD box set covering the years 1984-2006. Steve’s orchestral tour stems from a one-off performance in March 2017 in the USA.  He’ll … Continue reading

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Album review: DAN REED NETWORK – Origins

DAN REED NETWORK - Origins

Zero One [Release date 23.11.18] ‘Origins’ is an interesting concept and is perhaps best viewed as a live album recorded in the studio.  Over the past year or so, DRN have recorded themselves in various studios (Manchester, NYC, Portland and … Continue reading

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Gig review: JAWBONE – 02 Islington Academy, London, 12 September 2018

JAWBONE – 02 Islington Acadamy, London, 12 September 2018

And so to Jawbone, a new roots rock band with some familiar faces. Jawbone isn’t so much a case of old wine in new bottles, as a thoughtful and musically excellent quartet exploring a new significant context for their collective … Continue reading

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Album review: JIMMY WALDO & STEVEN ROSEN – Voices From The Past

MelodicRock Records [Release date 28.09.18] Jimmy Waldo and Steven Rosen were a prolific writing duo at the height of hard rock’s popularity in the 1980′s and were two of the go-to-guys for songs. This writing partnership lasted more than 30 years and now … Continue reading

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Album review: JOE BONAMASSA – Redemption

JOE BONAMASSA – Redemption

Provogue Records [Release date 21.09.18] ‘Redemption’ is a loosely based concept album on which some of the songs explore the titular theme. The dozen self penned songs track Joe Bonamassa’s musical evolution as one of the most broad based blues … Continue reading

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Album review: ENUFF Z’NUFF – Diamond Boy

ENUFF Z

Frontiers [Release date 14.08.18] Enuff Z’Nuff returned to action with 2016′s ‘Clown’s Lounge’, although that was older songs recorded back in the band’s early days with some updating . ‘Diamond Boy’ marks the first album without any input from former … Continue reading

Email This Page