Album review: TIM BOWNESS – Flowers At The Scene

Inside Out [Release date 01.03.19]

‘Flowers At The Scene’ is Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson’s first joint production in over a decade – they have been working as a duo under the no-man name since 1987 – although it is a Tim Bowness solo album. It is also a guest heavy album including Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator), Andy Partridge (XTC), Kevin Godley (10cc), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning/OSI), David Longdon (Big Big Train) and Dylan Howe.

Tim Bowness has a wonderfully mellow, dreamy vocal that sits atop the intricate music. There are many highlights including ‘Borderline’ which features Dylan Howe on drums and Big Big Train’s David Langdon on flute, added to the trumpet of Ian Dixon. Dixon appears on ‘Rainmark’, where his trumpet solo is as impressive as the guitar solo from Fair Warning’s Jim Matheos. The work and thought that has gone into each song, every note even, is simply stunning.

‘Not Married Anymore’ is a poignant piece, again the vocals lead the listener on and the dreamy soundscape adds to the song’s overall appeal.

The sound and production is spot on as you would expect given Steve Wilson’s involvement, with mastering by Steve Kitch (The Pineapple Thief). Of particular note is the percussion and drums throughout, never overpowering yet a key element to the album’s overall sound.

The real treat for this reviewer is the album’s final song ‘What Lies Here’, as it features a rare appearance by both Kevin Godley and XTC’s Andy Partridge. Both their vocals drift in and out of the song, which features a particularly fine performance from Tim Bowness and the keyboards/effects are mesmerising.

Tim Bowness is loved within prog rock circles for his solo albums and ‘Flowers At The Scene’ should see wider acclaim outside of the scene. It is an album that needs your full listening attention, background music this is not. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: TRAGEDY: ALL METAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEE GEES & BEYOND – Goes To The Movies

[Release date 11.02.19]

Do you remember the Disco/Metal Peace accord of 1977? No me neither, however from this momentous event came the seeds for the founding of Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees & Beyond. Looking like the ugly sisters of Twisted Sister, Tragedy have released five albums in the eleven years they have been together and now they have decided to do their own take on film songs.

They sneak in riffs of other bands into songs – listen out for a Poison riff on ’9 To 5′ and a famous West End musical forms the intro Tragedy’s take on ‘Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In’ from the musical ‘Hair’.

‘Summer Nights’ was pretty camp to start with and in Tragedy’s hands they up the camp, all done to a Manowar approved metal backing. Even James Bond doesn’t escape their radar as they take on ‘Skyfall’, complete with pounding metal drums courtesy of The Lord Gibbeth. Much better than the original version by Adele.

The version of ‘Without You’ is done pretty much straight faced, first recorded and written by Badfinger and made famous by Harry Nilsson , it has popped up in a few films including ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’.

The between song snippets tire after a few listens, however that is a minor blip in an otherwise enjoyable album.

If you like Wig Wam, Steel Panther and the Darkness you will love these guys. Even if you run a mile at the thought of listening to any of those bands, seek out Tragedy’s cover of ‘Raining Men/Reigning Blood’ on YouTube, a Weather Girls and Slayer mash-up to brighten up your day or possibly send you over the edge…

Music to dance the night and day away with, a romping disco metal feast! ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

 




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



News: KINGDOM OF MADNESS – Classic Magnum dates in March and radio special

In this extended, exclusive edit Mark Stanway chats about Magnum and Kingdom of Madness (15:45)  A two-part special is broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio in February 2019 prior to the tour (see news item for details)

Mark Stanway

The band formed by former Magnum keyboards player Mark Stanway play a series of dates in March 2019.

Stanway left Magnum in late-2016 and following a chat with one time Magnum keyboard player and flautist Richard Bailey decided there was merit in revisiting some of the earlier Magnum material.

Kingdom of Madness will play tracks from albums dating from the Magnum debut in 1978 to 1994 when they released ‘Rock Art’.

The band also includes drummer Micky Barker who joined Magnum for the ‘On A Storyteller’s Night tour in May 1985 and remained with them until their split in 1995.  Guitarist Laurence Archer, a long term associate of Stanway, stepped in for Tony Clarkin briefly on tour in 1984.  Completing the line-up is Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath) , vocalist Chris Ousey (Heartland, Snakecharmer) and Mo Birch who has provided backing vocals on previous Magnum albums and tours.

A two-part special is broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio prior to the tour.

Part 1 is scheduled for Sunday 24 February at 18:00 GMT, Part 2 on Monday 25 February at 16:00. Both parts will be repeated back to back on Thursday 29 February at 22:00.

Presenter David Randall is a long-term Magnum fan: “I picked up on their music after the late eighties peak but have closely followed their trials and tribulations since the early 1990s and of course their revival in the early millennium.  Magnum have long been a featured band at Get Ready to ROCK! and in 2012 received further promotion to tie in with the 40th anniversary of their formation.”

“It is always difficult when a key band member leaves, and in this case after over 30 years.  On a positive note Magnum fans are going to be able to hear songs that haven’t featured heavily if at all in the band’s setlists in recent years and it will help fill in some of the gaps.  The whole thing is given greater interest with the presence of musicians who have featured at various times in the band’s history.”

Tour dates

Fri MAR 1st 2019
Buckley, Tivoli
Sat MAR 2nd 2019
York, Fibbers
Sun MAR 3rd 2019
Manchester, Academy 3
Thu MAR 7th 2019
Newbury, Arlington Arts Centre
Fri MAR 8th 2019
London, ULU Live
Sat MAR 9th 2019
Poole, Planet Rock “Winter’s End” Festival
Sun MAR 17th 2019
Milton Keynes, The Stables
Sat JULY 13th 2019
Alfreton, Carnfield Hall, Rock and Bike Festival
Sat AUG 3rd 2019
Faversham, A New Day Festival
Fri OCT 4th 2019
Troon, South Beach Sessions
Sat OCT 5th 2019
Kinross, Backstage at the Green Hotel

Band website




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND – Signs

Tedeschi Trucks - Signs

Concord [Release date 15.02.19]

‘Signs’ is the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 6th album and it finds them unwittingly embracing middle age with mature songs, deep emotion and intricate playing.

What it lacks is a sense of equilibrium, as there’s surfeit of mid-tempo outings and an occasional tendency to try and incorporate too much many musical ideas into the arrangements. As a result ‘Signs’ is a song-led album that reveals its best musical bits fleetingly.

‘Signs’ draws on the band’s strengths as a musical family for its focus, direction and lyrical inspiration. The solos frequently emphasise a mood or feel, but only occasionally provide a defining flourish, as on the nuanced strings and gospel feel of the soulful ‘Im Gonna Be There’.

The recent passing of Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman hangs heavily on an album shot through emotional honesty, introspection and reaffirming love songs such as ‘Walk Through This Life’. Then there’s the resilience of tracks such as ‘I’m Going To Be There’ and ‘Strengthen What Remains’.

Special guests include Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood and Doyle Bramhall II and this album seems to have drawn from Bramhall ‘s well of introspection and perhaps the search for the spiritual.

It’s a strong and at times complex rootsy musical journey, with well crafted and meaningful songs full of old school r&b. There’s musical nods to Al Green, Bobby Bland style horns, and they even evoke Sly Stone on the gospel tinged, big pumping horns of the opening ‘Signs, High Times’, on which band members impressively trade vocal lines.

And when the emphasis moves to harmony vocals there’s splashes of Motown and plenty of soul, funk, gospel and understated blues.

It’s all topped by the soulful lead vocals of Susan Tedeschi, who explores the full range her timbre to get inside the lyrics, before letting the band naturally bubble up and take over. Her vocals are often tastefully flanked by cooing harmonies and gospel bv’s ,and everything is glued together by a nuanced production.

Her mid-range expressive soulful phrasing is the natural focal point on the funky horn-led groove of ‘Walk Through This Life’, as she bring heartfelt expression to the lyrics: “Chasing our dreams together, well keep on chasing them forever, if the whole thing falls apart, there’s till you and me.”

She’s versatile too, on the stop-start dynamics and percussive ebb and flow of ‘Shame’, which includes some horn-led bluster, intense guitar work and supportive bv’s.

The band fills out the rest of the musical canvas with different hues and colours on arrangements that veer from the laid back to the occasionally complex.

They slips into mid-number tempo changes on ‘When Will I Begin’ and explores sudden shifts in musical emphasis on the ascending chorus of ‘Still Your Mind’, before a sudden intense guitar break transforms the mood of the song.

‘Signs’ has much to impart, but it doesn’t necessarily do so in a linear fashion. The sequencing takes a back seat to the overall organic feel and a plethora of mid-tempo outings in keeping with the lyrical meaning.

Tedeschi’s phrasing draws us into several evocative moods, but someone must have noted the need for variety in her attack, because on ‘Signs, High Times’ she swaps lead vocals with Trucks in the middle of a line. They then reach for the chorus on a song that builds irresistibly with a belated guitar break, flanked by bv’s.

This opening track sets the template for much of the intricate detail of an album that is dominated by moods and feels.

Tedeschi’s vocals works best on tracks such as I’m Gonna Be There’, where her Bonnie Rait style benefits from plenty of space, deft strings and a slow build towards a gospel filled hook.

The introspective feel of ‘All The World’ also evokes early Jackson Brown, particularly the way the harmonies dominate the soulful track and lead into a brief slide break.

Brown often struck an emotional chord, but sometimes struggled to escape a feeling of languor. Happily the Tedeschi Trucks Band explores enough musical variety to overcome such pitfalls. And when they do step things us, as on ‘Hard Case’, the husband and wife duo explore an almost celebratory Motown feel – albeit with a slide guitar part that mirrors the melody line.

The track has a Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell influence, while the early hook would surely bring a smile to veteran Motown songwriter Barrett Strong, a disciple of the early chorus in a song.

The album moves towards a gentle close with the funky undercurrent of ‘They Don’t Shine’, which makes good use of a dynamic gospel tinged hook and some understated rhythmic power. A combination of Tedeschi’s vocal and acoustic and slide guitar bookends an album on which the melodies linger. The emotional void at the end of the sudden fade is akin to an unresolved ending to a romantic movie.

‘Signs’ is a lyrically earnest, musically rich and very soulful album that leaves much to digest as different nuances reveal themselves with repeated plays. But unless they get radio play for the potential singles, it will probably struggle to expand their fans base, which would be shame as there should always be room for a mature roots album that seeks to engage us emotionally. ***½ 

Review by Pete Feenstra

 

 




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



EP review: ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY – Home Sweet Home

Facebook [Release date 22.02.19]

Alex James Brierley released his debut EP ‘Listen’ last year to positive reviews, including a four star review from this reviewer. Fast forward a year and we have a new EP, four songs recorded over the past couple of years and further new music is planned for later this year.

The title track has a laid back feel, with a gentle backbeat and the soothing vocals of Alex James Brierley, although the lyrical content is a thought provoking one being inspired about a young girl who had no home, parents or identity. Shades of Jack Johnson here.

‘Back Of My Hand’ is a more straight ahead pop tune, strong hook one this one, whilst ‘Place Of Nowhere’ references the current Syrian crisis. This song has a alt rock slant, not unlike recent Manic Street Preachers.

‘Lifetime Away’ dates back from 2016 when it was played live at Bolton Wanderers stadium and adds a little electronica/loops into the mix, after a church organ intro. A simply stunning piece of music and the EP’s stand out for me.

Alex James Brierley is on the up and up with this EP and with some more live appearances should see his music being deservedly more widely known. Impressive. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: SIMON TODD – Half Empty/Half Full

Simon Todd - Half Empty/Half Full

Ginger Tom Music [Release date 21.09.18]

Produced by the esteemed songwriter Boo Hewerdine, Northumberland singer/songwriter Simon Todd’s ‘Half Empty/Half Full’ is an aptly titled album that keeps the listener guessing until very end.  The title might be interpreted as a reference to observational songs that explore themes from different perspectives. And in doing so, the album places the emphasis squarely on the depth of Todd’s songwriting.

He mixes his irony with detachment and occasionally veers to outright pathos, but he offers enough musical contrast and different vocal phrasing to keep the listener interested. There’s plenty of substance to his narratives, which acts as a counterbalance to his light, but pleasant timbre, which on the upside leads to a welcome clarity of diction.

He tops and tails the album with the two hardest hitting tracks. The Americana feel of ‘Down To the River’, opens things with gospel sounding a capella vocals, an introductory banjo and fiddle line and a stomping beat that showcases a weathered vocal style in sharp contrast to much of his singing here. The musical arrangement draws us into a dark narrative that wouldn’t be out of place on a Nick Cave album: “I never killed a man who didn’t have it coming.”

The closing ‘Before The Devil Knows Your Dead’, is a sister track full of riff-driven muscular bluster on which he adds musical grit to hard hitting lyrics and an uplifting hook that rounds off the album nicely. You could imagine it becoming a show stopping favourite.

In between the two, he gives rein to a wide diversity of songs and musical styles, albeit he never strays too far from an 80’s light pop sounding approach, with a significant melodic undertow.

The brusque opener for example, neatly is juxtaposed by ‘Send Her Home To Me’, a reflective love song, which is a good example of how he writes material from a particular perspective, in this case a cuckolded lover.

And it’s his ability to see things in a different light that gives this album its consistent concept. As a result, ‘Half Empty/Half Full’ is a triumph in terms of disciplined songwriting.

The lyrics provide a constant thread, or inner voice as part of musical journey. The arrangements sometimes emphasize lyrical meaning and moods, but on tracks such as ‘And I Get Weak’, they shift sharply from a stripped down rough-hewn opening with slightly distorted shuffle beat, into a wide screen sound that sharply contrasts with the lyrical meaning, yet it all works.

As the song builds to the big defining titular hook, he almost sounds like an 80’s era Tony Hadley meets Boy George.

No matter, it’s Todd’s song craft that glues the whole album together, whether on the poignant ‘Poppy Fields’  – a brave song written on the 100th anniversary of World War One – or the musical lightness of touch of ‘Judas Kiss’, which builds up a significant melodic momentum with nuanced bv’s on a song about betrayal.

And having dealt with relationships, macro politics and ecology, he bravely digs deep to explore mental illness on ‘Demons’, which finds him in folk singer mode.

There’s diversity and contrast again, on the beautifully realized ‘The Rough Spots’ which gently sparkles with stop-time lines, delicate percussion and gently voiced phrasing, before it explodes into a big production hook.

Each song and musical development helps the album flow and feels part of a coherent whole, which bring us back to the concept behind ‘Half Empty/Half Full’.

Todd’s lyrics, vocals and folk roots remind me of the early 70’s combination of Pete Atkin and Clive James, probably because what they have in common is the themes of life, loss and regret, but more generally the primacy of the lyric.  And the attraction of this album is ultimately the way Simon Todd’s words lead us to deduce that his cup is more than half full. ***½ 

Review by Pete Feenstra




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



EP review: MIKE DEKLEVA – Psychedelia

MIKE DEKLEVA - Psychedelia

www. mikedeklevamusic.com [Release date 09.11.18]

There are many guitar hero wannabees out there but frequently they fall down due to lack of production values, guitar tone, or craftsmanship.  Mike Dekleva has all these qualities in spades.  Mike who?  Well to be honest he’s no spring chicken but evidentally commands respect from fellow musos and this is his second EP.

The title track is a funky and easily accessible workout whilst ‘Miguel’s Last Stand’ is urgent, highly melodic, and impressive.  ‘Between The Devil And Deep Blue Sea’ and ‘Love Finds A Way’ are less frenetic but afford great examples of Dekleva’s consummate good taste.   There’s great support here from Jason Webb (keys) and the rhythm section of Robbie Calvo, Amanda McCoy, and Grady Saxman.

This four track EP is a great introduction to his music, with the obvious influences such as Satch and Luke.  Whilst there are such references, Dekleva does in fact have a nice style of his own and you are left wanting a full album.  *****

Review by David Randall




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: DESIGN – Children Of The Mist – The Best Of

DESIGN - Children Of The Mist - The Best Of

Market Square Music [Release date 05.04.19]

You may well ask: was there a Design flaw?  This six-piece pop harmony group had great exposure in the early-1970s via several major TV shows but they never had a hit single.  Their ultimate main-man, vocalist Barry Alexander, was even a songwriter with the Beatles Apple Corps.

The truth is, their style had been well done and dusted in the late 1960s with US singing troupes like the Johnny Mann Singers, Mamas & Papas and The 5th Dimension. ‘Take A Boat’ and ‘The Jet Song’ (from their second album) provide suitable references.

This 20 track compilation is a perfect summation of their strengths but also underlines the reality.  Easy on the ear, folksy in origin, and easy on the eye (with the original girl singers Gabrielle Field and Kathy Manuell) you can see why they graced the likes of the Morecambe and Wise show and perhaps more specifically Benny Hill.

They recorded with some of the top session musicians of the day including Clem Cattini, Chris Spedding and Herbie Flowers whilst Nick Drake collaborator Robert Kirby orchestrated a couple of tracks in 1974.

It’s all a little bit “of its time” and could be grouped with the likes of Bert Kaempfert, Raymond Lefevre and James Last who had all experienced their easy listening heyday by 1971 when Design released their debut album.

By 1974, and after the release of a fourth album, they’d lost Gabrielle and original member Geoff Ramseyer and by the end of 1976 were no more.

With the 2012 RPM compilation now out of print, this new collection features three bonus tracks and two unreleased versions of songs that subsquently appeared in re-recorded form on the band’s swansong ‘By Design’ together with an informative liner note although light on “where are they now?”.

For those of a certain age this is music for your mum and dad.  You can almost smell the teak veneer in the radiogram.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: MUSCLE SHOALS – Small Town Big Sound

MUSCLE SHOALS – Small Town Big Sound

BMG Soundstage [Release date 28.09.18]

‘Small Town Big Sound’ is an ambitious attempt to update the famous Southern Muscle Shoals sound for the new generation.

A well received documentary led to this all star affair, on a musical meeting of roots rock artists and the original studio musicians who gave the sleepy Alabama town of Muscle Shoals its sound.

You could argue about the choice of songs, especially as they were apparently whittled down from a 100 to the 15 presented here. But the album is a laudable attempt at finding a musical equilibrium in which to fit all the disparate artists. And that might well be the reason for a pleasant, but not essential album. It’s partly successful in emulating the legendary Muscle Shoals sound, but ultimately fails to deliver any real excitement.

Rodney Hall, the son of Rick Hall –  the original studio owner – neatly captures the essence of the sound thus: “It comes down to hooks, groove, quality and vocals”, though that doesn’t necessarily explain the place’s original allure for say The Stones or Dylan who recorded here and helped give the place its legendary status.

The 15 tracks may adhere to a marketing man’s dream, but in truth, the highlights are far and few between. That’s not to say this isn’t an enjoyable album, but it just lacks a bit of direction and spark.

Keb Mo starts things of promisingly, leading us into a big band, slide guitar and horn-led bluster. It’s a perfect foil for his nasal timbre, while Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed excitingly attacks ‘Steal Away’ with whoops and hollers and a startling vocal performance to make it something all of his own.

Michael McDonald is also the perfect choice for the soulful ballad ‘Cry Like A Rainy Day’, as he taps into the Muscle Shoals heritage, while the duet pairing of Vince Gill and Wendy Moten on ‘True Love’ is a triumph.

Then there’s a deep reading of Gregg Allman’s ‘Come and Go Blues’ by Allison Krauss, while Dylan fans won’t be disappointed by Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton and friends’ version of ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’.

But if the above are near highlights, then they are offset by Grace Potter’s dutiful rather than inspired ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, and Steven Tyler and Nuno Bettencourt version of  ‘Brown Sugar’ which is frankly a mistake.

While most of the material has something going for it, tracks such as Aloe Blacc’s version of ‘I’ll Take You There’ fails to emotionally engage us, and Brently Stephen Smith’s version of ‘Mustang sally’ is simply a obvious cover too far.

If the aim of the album is to update the sound and draw in a new audience then at best it smoulders before flickering into life intermittently. Too many versions play safe and sometimes miss the actual nuance of the original material. As a result ‘Small Town Big Sound’ is a pleasant reminder of a golden age, rather than a catalyst for a new era. ***

Review by Pete Feenstra




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Quick plays: VINDICATA, REVOLUTION HIGHWAY, ROCKICKS

VINDICATA Beneath The Surface

VINDICATA Beneath The Surface Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18]

The “secret weapon” on this debut album might be construed as early Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland (who handles most of the solos) but in actual fact it’s vocalist Mary Magill who provides the major attraction.

Against a full metal onslaught, Magill’s vocals shine through.  It’s the strength of the songs that determine repeat playability and the album is filled with the catchy choruses including on ‘Death Defying Years’ and ‘Carry My Dreams Away’ whilst ‘Would You’ and ‘Fragile’ are groove-laden standouts where guitarists Jim McCrostie and Brett Pedersen provide relentless metal riffage throughout.

Play this loud.  ****1/2

Review by David Randall

REVOLUTION HIGHWAY

REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18]

Let’s be honest, this isn’t going to win any prizes for originality.  It mines a deep vein of hard rock previously well trodden by Messrs. Coverdale, Rodgers and Plant.

This is plainly evident on the opener ‘Renegade’ which reminds of ‘Black Dog’ and sums up this band’s meld of Zeppelin via early Whitesnake and latter-day Bad Company. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the songs are well constructed and the playing exemplary.  And thankfully this self-titled debut does meet these exacting requirements.

With main-men, vocalist David Fefolt and Savros Papadopoulos (guitar), eleven riff-driven, ballsy tracks have been fashioned with a high quotient of memorable choruses (including ‘Young And Wild’ and ‘Rollin’ Train’) whilst the longer ‘Sister Of The Devil’ provides suitable respite but is no less impressive.

If melodic hard rock is your thing, you’ll certainly like this.  ****

Review by David Randall

ROCKICKS Keep On Rockin’ (A Retrospective Anthology)
Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18]

This retrospective set from Rockicks might have been distilled to a more impressive single disc, celebrating a band who flourished briefly in late 1970s Los Angeles.

The first disc is impressive, the band’s brand of southern rock purposeful and well executed.  The second disc seems to be culled mainly from demos with several alternate versions and the sonic quality doesn’t really do the band justice.  However, there’s plenty of evidence of the band’s quality, fast forwarding to 1991-1992 when’Jesse James’ and ‘Get The Lead Out’were recorded.

The band were originally signed to RSO and probably didn’t sit easily in that label’s roster (with the likes of Yvonne Ellman and Bee Gees).  They released one album – Inside – in 1977 which is featured on Disc One in its entirety together with other tracks which may have been destined for a follow-up.

This package is let down by the complete lack of historic information, given also the lack of band visibility over the years.

Yes, we’ve never heard of Rockicks and maybe one clue to their ultimate lack of success lies in the rather naff name.  This leads you to have perhaps lower expectations but stick with it, this a slice of forty year old classic melodic hard rock that demanded – and still demands – a wider audience.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Gig review: KING KING – Koko, London, 7 February 2019

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

King King’s steady rise to prominence over the past decade has now taken on a new chapter with the band signed to a stateside management agency. However there are always casualties in the process of change and in this case, bassist Lindsay Coulson who founded the band with Alan Nimmo chose the moment to announce he could not commit to this enhanced schedule including worldwide touring.

This headline UK tour therefore served as a farewell and closed one chapter in the band’s career and ushered in another. However, at least for now their popularity seems to have hit a plateau – on arriving at Koko we were ushered into the downstairs area with the luxurious balconies unused apart from a select few guests.

There was a very well matched support in Sari Schorr. Hitting the stage a good few moments after her band for maximum effect, I knew what to expect from the dark haired New Yorker having seen her recent headline appearance at the 100 Club, though there had been a line-up change since with one seasoned keyboard player Steve Watts replacing another in Bob Fridzema.

Sari Schorr - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

Much like King King, the way she belted out opener ‘The New Revolution’ showed how she has broadened her blues roots to encompass a more straight ahead rock direction, while ‘Damn The Reason’ had a slightly steadier pace but a great chorus, guitarist Ash Wilson and bassist Mat Beable supplying very effective backing vocals.

Indeed with the strength of her own material, this time I thought her cover of ‘Ready For Love’ (very accurately introduced as a Mott the Hoople song even if Bad Company’s version has become the standard) was relatively weak compared to home-penned gems such as the Robert Johnson homage ‘King Of Rock n Roll’ with a throatily-delivered chorus hook that was lodging in my head.

Sari Schorr - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

‘Thank You’ was a good example of how a rockier approach suits her band with some fiery wah-wah guitar from Ash, while Sari’s husky treatment of the title track of her current ‘Never Say Never’ album had me drawing comparisons with Melissa Etheridge.

She even changed the setlist to slip in the lively ‘Maybe I’m Fooling’ in recognition of the fact it had received radio airplay while ‘Valentina’ closed a highly impressive 40 minute set in rather more straight ahead 12 bar fashion.

The fact that an intro tape of ‘Highway To Hell’ heralded their arrival was the strongest signal that King King perceive themselves in the rock mainstream rather than be pigeonholed, for all the blues awards they have received over the years. They opened with one of my favourites from their most recent ‘Exile And Grace’ album in ‘Broken’, supremely melodic yet an odd choice of opener with its rather pessimistic lyrics and mid-tempo pace, before ‘Lose Control’ was more direct with a Bad Company meets Stones riff.

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

Lindsay was his usual quiet effective self on stage, his only concessions to flamboyance a sharp suit and the band’s name in rhinestone on his guitar strap, but he had to step in and save the day when Alan Nimmo inadvertently introduced the wrong song on the setlist, which became a recurring gag throughout the evening.

A King King set typically varies between short, punchy numbers and longer workouts and ‘Rush Hour’ was the first of the latter, featuring lengthy interplay between Alan and keyboardist Jonny Dyke, looking rather studious with spectacles balanced halfway down his nose, while the way the crowd took over the start of the song then joined in a chant later on suggested it would be high on the list of fan favourites.

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

Photo: Andy Nathan

‘Heed the Warning’ had a robust funky feel and ‘Coming Home’, touchingly dedicated to the memory of Alan’s fellow Glaswegian Ted McKenna, a smooth soulfulness with keyboards being more prominent than guitar. However, tipping the stopwatch at over 11 minutes, ‘Stranger To Love’ was a vehicle first for the band’s tightness in taking the pace right down before Alan picked it up again with a lengthy solo full of feeling.

Of the shorter numbers, old favourite ‘Waking Up’ with its soothing, soulful feel had the crowd waving their arms and ‘She Don’t Gimme No Lovin’ rocked hard in a distinctly Thunder-esque fashion. As usual, Alan also created a good rapport with the crowd, with his earthy humour and a big smile borne of someone who appreciates his unexpected break into the big time.

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

I was delighted at the good taste of a roadie who persuaded them to put the rarely played ‘Take A Look’ in the set, one of my favourite King King songs which reached a rather special climax as three instruments battled over the closing solo including Jonny playing piano with his left hand and Hammond organ with his right.

Indeed ‘Crazy’ almost appeared as pedestrian blues-rock because of the quality of the songs either side of it, including ‘You Stopped The Rain’, dedicated by Alan to family members and featuring another fine solo from him where he imitated the vocal melody of the song.

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

They closed with a quite superb ballad in ‘Find Your Way Home’ in which Alan showed that, in addition to his guitar talents, he can now be ranked alongside Danny Bowes and FM’s Steve Overland as Britain’s most soulful rock vocalists.

For this milestone occasion they encored with two songs that date back to their earlier days- ‘Take My Hand’ had a funky groove to it, before a cover of Eric Clapton’s ‘Old Love’.

It is interesting that whereas the original rock guitar pioneers were inspired by the old American blues men, they are the ones that the current generation, Bonamassa et al, are now paying homage to. It was another lengthy epic with Alan’s party piece of slowing down and playing in near silence before picking the pace up again and took the set to a healthy length of an hour and three quarters.

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

I only discovered King King over half way through this 10 year journey but by my reckoning this was the most enjoyable of their shows in this time. It was a fitting farewell to Lindsay and the new territories they plan to be hitting are in for a treat.

Review by Andy Nathan
Photos by Robert Sutton (except where indicated)




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: RPWL – Tales From Outer Space

RPWL - Tales From Outer Space

Gentle Art Of Music  [Release date: 22.03.19]

You know what it’s like. You go to a gig and there’s a couple of support bands and you’re thinking to yourself “these are quite good” – then the main band comes on and blows them into next week.

Thus it is with German progressive rock behemoths RPWL, who, since their formation in 1997 and their first album ‘God Has Failed’, have occupied a throne at prog’s top table – showing countless wannabes just how it should be done.

‘Tales From Outer Space’ is their seventh studio album, an output enhanced by many superb live recordings (check the GRTR! archive) and whilst they have never released a bad album, here they have surely exceeded even their own high expectations.

For this is a beast of an album.

Unlike their most recent output, ‘Tales From Outer Space’ is a concept album only insofar as the tracks are linked by the theme of outer space – the perception of it from Earth and how Earth could be perceived from an alien visitation.

As usual, from one of the most philosophically articulate bands out there, the lyrical content is both imaginative and thought-provoking which, when linked to music of real depth and conviction played by musicians at the top of their game, proves to be an intoxicating mix.

‘A New World’ lays down the marker, the (inevitable) spacey opening seguéing into a superb driving riff and a great chorus – delivering eight minutes of the finest rock music you’re likely to hear this year.

The cascading guitar riff of ‘Welcome To The Freak Show’ carries an insightful and honest look at world politics and religion (always a theme with RPWL) and the freaks and clowns who are driving the agenda – you know who you are…

The centrepiece of the album is the superb ‘Light Of The World’ – ten minutes of progressive rock Nirvana with stunning guitar work from Kalle Wallner, who, with similarities to Riverside’s Mariusz Duda’s side project Lunatic Soul, has really upped his game following his excellent ‘Blind Ego’ solo work.

Anthemic riffs abound and with great vocals from Yogi Lang the track flows effortlessly between passages – intensely heavy to light as a feather and you can never see the join.

The joys continue on the early ‘Floyd-like ‘Not Our Place To Be’ where Guy Pratt (Dave Gilmour, Pink Floyd) pops up on bass and where Earth is viewed by aliens observing “people living off the goodwill of a greedy few who pull the strings; engines on, this is not our place to be”.

An Edge-like U2 riff drives ‘What I Really Need’ – a disparaging critique of naked capitalism, and ‘Give Birth To The Sun’ gives everyone a chance to take it all in before fabulous drumming (a feature throughout) by Marc Turiaux builds the track to a swirling vortex with Wallner’s guitar again to the fore.

Closer ‘Far Away From Home’ with its pastoral piano motif gives Lang another opportunity to show what a fine singer he is – and we’re done.

It is only every so often an album as fine as this comes around – and in the mind-numbing vacuum of bugger-all that passes for much of music these days, the opportunity to absorb its brilliance should not, and must not, be missed.

Truly exceptional and an early candidate for “Album Of The Year”.   *****

Review by Alan Jones

 




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: CLIMAX BLUES BAND – Hands Of Time

CLIMAX BLUES BAND – Hands Of Time

Self release [Release date 05.01.19]

The Climax Blues Band moniker has existed since 1972 when after 5 years as a blues-rock band they quietly dropped the Chicago part of their name to reflect a broadening of their musical palette.

The band subsequently moved its musical focus to radio friendly material for the American market and it wasn’t until Colin Cooper reformed the band in 1986 that they returned to the blues – albeit they cut the commercial, but impressive’ Drastic Steps’ 2 years later.

This preamble is by way of contextualising their significant shift towards the soulful funk,  jazzy edges and blues heart of ‘Hands Of Time.’

It’s an aptly titled album that that reflects both the passing of the band’s former leader Colin Cooper, while offering a key to a mellow song-driven set on which vocalist Graham Dee and sax player Chris Aldridge make the most of the grooves that the stellar rhythm section of bassist Neil Simpson and Roy Adams offers them.

The band sets itself a high standard on material that evokes the white boy soul of Michael McDonald on track such as ‘Flood Of Emotion’, the funky title track and ‘Wrong Time’, which builds imperiously to an angst ridden hook.

Then there’s Graham Dee’s Stevie Wonder style vocal evocation on the gentle funky wash of ‘My Music.’

Dee is an excellent choice as vocalist. He has the timbre, range, versatility and expressive phrasing to lean into a succession of grooves while elucidating lyrical expression.

His faux baritone husk on ‘Ain’t That A Kick In The Head’ sets the standard for a laid back album which washes over you with a soulful funky hue.

The signature sax and guitar double lines are that of the early 70’s band,  while ‘Straight Down The Middle’ is the kind of smouldering funk that sounds not unlike the latter day Steely Dan, and is a good example of the album as a whole. Dee also comes as close as possible to Colin Cooper’s vocals, as evidenced by the closing bonus track.

Significantly the bonus track could almost have come from the same session as the rest of this album, which kind of justifies the band’s current musical direction.

What’s missing is some better sequencing, as the album cries out for an uplifting track in sharp contrast to a succession of mid-tempo tempo funky songs.  Guitarist Lester Hunt is also relegated to playing parts, as he only really stretches out with an incisive solo on ‘Straight Down the Middle’ and some crisp-toned licks on ‘Faith’. He’s at his best on ‘Hard Luck’, which significantly is the album’s only shuffle.  Both he and keyboard player George Glover are pushed higher in the mix, as Dee attacks the song with real grit.

It’s the kind of track that belatedly returns the band to its bluesy roots with some signature sax and guitar double lines, before Aldridge’s grainy toned solo weaves its spell.  You can imagine this being a live favourite.

And it’s Aldridge’s mix of rich sax tones and imaginative solos that dominates this album. He’s both a stellar soloist and intuitive accompanist. He’s the featured soloist on the New Orleans influenced musical departure of ‘Top Of The World’ and he’s in his element on the gospel tinged ‘My Music’. His signature riffs, rich tone and vivacious solo give the song its colour, while his jazzy intro to the title track gives the song a noir film feel.

He further adds a sinewy ‘early hours’ solo to offset Dee’s whispered rap on the atmospheric ‘The Cat’, as he sails over Glover and Hunt’s gently voiced accompaniment, while Adams pushes the groove.

His gritty attack on ‘17th Street Canal’ leads to a perfect drop-down finish with a solo sax outro, while his perfunctory stabs and deep in the alley funky lines on ‘Faith’ illustrate the way his playing illuminates a song.

The album finishes with another highlight called ‘Wrong Time’, on which the ensemble rise to the occasion, as Dee’s impassioned vocal draws one last surge from the band before an all too soon fade.

And so the Colin Cooper bonus track ‘Getting There’, which suggest it was Cooper himself who might have been the catalyst for the band’s jazzy feel. Either way, ‘Hands Of Time’ is a brave step forward. It’s the sound of a mature band drawing on historic roots to explore polished songcraft through a mix of deep funky grooves with a soulful feel, born of bluesy antecedents. Colin Cooper would surely have approved. ****

Review by Pete Feenstra




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: STEVE EGGS – We Humans

STEVE EGGS – We Humans

Self release [Release date 08.02.19]

The Steve Eggs Band is a Brit-Americana into country rock outfit with strong songs, sparkling harmonies and a significant Tom Petty influence.

‘We Humans’ showcases ten original Eggs songs and one co-write with bassist Peter Wass. It’s a singer songwriter album given extra heft by country rock arrangements shot through with an imaginative array of guitar tones and meaningful solos from guitarist Jon Kershaw, who always serves the song.

Eggs is a thoughtful, narrative driven songwriter and a vocalist who is not averse to getting inside a song with an emotive timbre that draws the listener in. Eggs may provide the songs and the core voice, but the predominant sound is that of a well honed band who all full contribute to the melodic sound.

‘We Humans’ is an album made with self evident love and care, as reflected by the 4 years of its making. Nevertheless it still sounds like a coherent album that flows from beginning to end on the back of sweeping melodies and catchy hooks that in a previous era would have found a home on Radio 2.

The album opens with the clang of a Beatles style power chord on ‘Slipstream’, a catchy country rocker with stellar harmonies and an uplifting hook. Kershaw adds a propulsive Sonny Landreth style tone and rhythm, before resolving the self built tension with a succinct solo topped by a harmony guitar line.

‘Slipstream’ is a decent barometer of what to expect, as the band strikes a delicate balance between Eggs’s lyrics and their own ability to rock. ‘Ghost Train’ is a very good example of this, while the mellifluous ‘The Ballad Of Wah Wah Banjo’ finds the band stretching out on a lovely 6 string sounding jangling guitar sound. It’s a sumptuous melody with a tremulous David Surkamp (Pavlov’s Dog) style vocal and a marvellous wah-wah solo that reflects the song’s title.

There’ s diversity and contrast too, as the wah solo gives way to ‘Darlin’ a song topped and tailed by a Neil Young signature harp flourish, as Egg’s vocal line is interwoven with Kershaw’s rich toned guitar on a fine ballad.

There’s a good balance of rock, country, ballads and Brit Americana. The latter comes into play on the beautifully crafted ‘Far Away’, which features a lovely nuanced intro on a stripped down ballad with a sublimated Celtic feel.

The mix of delicate tones, Mark Taylor’s lovely percussive brush strokes and Eggs’s restrained vocal makes the song an album highlight.

Eggs never strays too far away from his favourite singer songwriter forte, with ‘SS California’ featuring more jangling guitars on a folk song with a historic bent. There’s a similar focus on his lyrics and phrasing on ‘Here’, a song that lets the melody breath and the harmonies linger.

Refreshingly, the band adds a lightness of touch when they do rock out, as on the tightly wrapped ‘It’s Alright’ and the country picked rocker ‘Love & Grace’. The latter benefits from good bv’s and Kershaw’s ability to add conversational licks that mirror the vocal line.

The two tracks are very similar, but are wisely being separated by just one track, which again adds to the flow of the album.

The sub-waltz style of the title track neatly wraps up an exhilarating album on which songcraft enjoys an all too rare primacy. ‘We Humans’ enjoys an irresistible pull and a final uplifting chorus that should lead the discerning listener to hit the repeat button.

Recorded in Wallington, Surrey –  just up the road from his native Sutton – Steve Eggs and his band are a great example of the resilience of independent musicians. They’ve worked on their songs, added Andy Brook’s intuitive production and finally after 4 years of painstakingly honing their craft, they’ve released a splendid album worthy of the ‘We Humans’ title.

Seek out and buy.  ****

Review by Pete Feenstra




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Gig review: INGLORIOUS – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

What seemed the inevitable rise to superstardom of classic rock hopefuls Inglorious has hit something of a rocky road in the last year or two. While they were touring bigger venues, initially well received ‘Inglorious 2’ album in hindsight found them treading water.

Then, last autumn, just as they were gearing up for the crucial third album three of the five band members who recorded it left in a single day and – as is the modern world – their dispute with singer Nathan James played out in unedifying fashion on social media. All this meant that uncertainty surrounded their UK tour including this largest headline show to date in London.

City Of Thieves - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

There were two bands in support with Blind River opening proceedings with an acoustic set then Inglorious’ Frontiers Records labelmates City Of Thieves. For years they have been treading the boards in my part of West London, though this was the first time I had seen them since a name change from Four Wheel Drive and a more recent stripping down to a three piece.

There was no corresponding loss of power and intensity in a set full of raw, no holds barred rock’n’ rollers and indeed on opener ‘Damage’  rough-edged vocalist and bassist Jamie Lailey even had a touch of Mick Jagger, another man who made his name in and around the Thames delta. They took an obvious pride on their biggest show yet in their home city and indeed were allowed a longer slot than on the rest of the tour.

City Of Thieves - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

They tore through a number of songs, principally from new album ‘Beast Reality’.  If truth be told their style is not to my more polished tastes but they saved the best for last with a closing trio – ‘Ride it Like You Stole It’ had a bluesier riff from non-stop guitarist Ben Austwick, the frantic ‘Buzzed Up City’ came over like a domestic version of Airbourne and set closer ‘Something Of Nothing’ was the catchiest most mainstream number on view. Without a doubt their energetic approach picked up a significant numbers of new friends.

Inglorious’ rather ominously titled new album ‘Ride To Nowhere’ had only recently appeared, so many – myself included- had not had time to become familiar with it. However they showed their own confidence in it, opening with its lead off single in ‘Where Are  You Now’ followed by more familiar numbers from their first two albums in ‘Taking The Blame’, ‘High Flying Gypsy’ and ‘Read All About It’. It wasn’t the best start for the simple reason that the sound took a while to sort itself out with Nathan James’ vocals rather buried in the mix.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

I felt that after ‘II’ they needed to get out of their comfort zone so ‘Glory Days’ was a welcome complete change of style, featuring various band members including drummer Phil Beaver on acoustic guitar and Nathan singing in a delicate falsetto far removed from his trademark Coverdalian roar, though the latter was in evidence in old favourites – the rapid fire ‘Warning’, heavy blues of ‘Making Me Pay’ and ‘Breakaway’ with the classic Purple and Whitesnake-isms that initially attracted me to the band.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

The focus of curiosity was the new band members and teenage guitarist Danny Dela Cruz was visually striking, with a mop of dark curls and fur jacket that made him look like Marc Bolan’s undiscovered stepchild, combined with some very Slash-like Les Paul guitar poses.

I had been a big fan of his predecessor Andreas Eriksson, but he played excellently throughout while Dan Stevens was given a few more solo opportunities than his two predecessors in the supporting guitar role. I felt overall the band were still finding their way and lacked the heavyweight clout that so impressed me with the previous line up, but it was a certainly a promising start.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

Nathan did thank former band members for their service but – speaking charitably – a comment ‘whatever they’re doing tonight it’s not this’ may have reflected his pride at playing their biggest London show yet rather than a perceived dig at them. The title track from the new album, with a hint of early Black Sabbath, and ‘Liar’ were notably heavier.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

In keeping with the night, even when they played their customary cover Nathan stepped outside his comfort zone with Alanis Morrisette’s ‘Uninvited’. It didn’t do much for me personally but led into a neo-classical guitar  solo slot from Danny which was probably the moment of the gig that most marked him out as a real talent.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

‘Far Away’, dedicated to Nathan’s late grandfather was one where the bluesy balladry lent itself to Whitesnake comparisons and as the gig entered the home straight ‘I Don’t Need Your Loving’ saw mass fist punching from a crowd that for a new band included a large number of fellow old rockers, and newie ‘I Don’t Know You’ which had something of an epic feel.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

For the encores though it was back to the tried and tested with – as is customary- Nathan singing the slow, stately ‘Holy Water’ from the Empire balcony, making his way back down as Dan and Danny traded solos,  before they finished with the gigantic riffing of ‘Until I Die’.

While not a perfect show, this demonstrated that a regrouped Inglorious are putting their growing pains behind them for a brighter future, and reports of their imminent demise look to be exaggerated.

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

Review and photos by Andy Nathan




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: CATS IN SPACE – Daytrip to Narnia

CATS IN SPACE – Daytrip to Narnia

Harmony Factory [Release date 08.03.19]

Album number three already from these groove filled Cats In Space who since their last album ‘Scarecrow‘ have been touring with the likes of Status Quo and Deep Purple, plus their own headlining tour. In fact the band’s touring helps hone their sound and make it a proper band when recording, unlike many of these project bands that lack the natural chemistry you get from said touring.

Cats In Space like a little bit of classic innuendo as ‘She Talks Too Much’ proves. A quick, almost throwaway song that Queen did so well back in their 70s pomp. Speaking of pomp and all things glam, ‘Silver & Gold’ is a glamtastic stomp back into the days when Sweet and Slade ruled the airwaves and charts. As an added bonus the Sweet’s Andy Scott guests on backing vocals.

Scott also appears on ‘Hologram Man’, a topical swipe at the current trend of dead rock stars coming back to front their bands. Some choice lyrics in this one including ‘Let’s welcome back the legend, But you can’t shake his hand’ and ‘He won’t get tired of playing’.

Greg Hart and Mick Wilson (ex-10CC) are a talented writing duo, successfully adding in their own musical influences, yet also creating a unique Cats In Space sound and style. Special mention about the artwork by Andy Kitson, a real treat for those who love a good album sleeve and inlay. You can see Narnia references like the lamppost and wardrobe (the Snow Queen looks like Blackie Lawless at first glance!) and the bedroom artwork is something else, astounding.

You wonder what Cats In Space could do different this time? How about side 2 being one long 27 minute epic with a storyline (told in the comic included in the inlay), strings and all manner of vocal and musical delights that make up ‘The Story Of Johnny Rocket‘. A real band effort as Paul Manzi is joined on lead vocals by Jeff Brown, Greg Hart and Mick Wilson, whilst Andy Stewart pomps it up on the synths and piano – Supertramp and Styx fans will love the keys throughout this song, and indeed the album

One minute it could be ELO on string filled ‘Twilight’ (not the ELO song of that name though), then there is a little disco on the excellent ‘Thunder In The Night’ – think Kiss jamming with Chic. Bit of the Bay City Rollers on ‘One Small Step’ – that would have been a teen anthem back in the day.

Those who remember the music of the 70s first time around will love the nods to bands and sounds included in this song, whilst younger listeners will now have the pleasure of tracking down these musical influences and discovering them for the first time. Purr-fect for all the Cats fans out there and those yet to discover the musical joys of this band. I didn’t award any album fives stars last year, however this gets my first in over a year, a purr-fect five. *****

Review by Jason Ritchie




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: DEL BROMHAM – White Feather

DEL BROMHAM - White Feather

Estoteric Antenna [Release date 12.10.18]

After a 50 odd year career, ‘White Feather’ finally reveals who Del Bromham really is musically.

It would be wrong to call ‘White Feather’ the missing Beatles album, it is too personal and diverse for that.  But there are several undeniable moments when Bromham relishes in that connection.

Firstly there’s the catalytic role of his producer Jamie Masters – who he calls his own George Martin. Then there’s the George Harrison style sitar and Eastern guitar tones on the lovely psychedelic period piece ‘Life’ and moments of intricate detail such as The Fab 4 style bv’s and strong melody of ‘My House’.

Finally there’s an overt John Lennon connection of the sublime title track, which melds an ‘Imagine’ era piano intro with a poignant hook: “White feather’s gonna fall, send a message to us all.” The guitar tone and vocal could be from Lennon’s 1974’s ‘Walls & Bridges’ album, all neatly underpinned by a Ringoesque percussive stutter on the hook.

If the Beatles are the main inspiration there’s also fleeting flashes of the Stones on the riff driven ‘Let It Go’ as the band rocks out with Stonesy whoo hoo’s and a call and response section. And to round off the influences there’s a Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull (think Paul Buckmaster) style stringed  accompaniment on the slow building, barn storming mid-part of ‘Land Of The Free, as Del relates the moral indignation felt by Nat Turner, as part of the slave uprising documented in the ‘Birth Of A Nation’ movie.

All that said, the above is a musical backdrop to a dozen personal songs that showcase the Stray front man’s real songwriting forte.

‘White Feather’ is both adventurous and brave in its wide musical scope. It shifts from the unlikely, but highly catchy disco fuelled opening of the wonderful ‘Let’s Get Get This Show Started’ – the music being in sharp contrast to weighty lyrics about love and loss – through to the more familiar rock fare of tracks like ‘Champagne’. The latter is a sister track to the pounding guitar and organ riff driven ‘Monkey’.

Curiously given Bromham’s rock background, those two tracks are not representative of an album as a whole, which is full of heartfelt lyrics, polished melodies and unexpected musical forays such as the Latino feel of ‘Wicked Man’, on which he examines his karma.

There’s also room for the melodic ‘Paradise’ which sounds like a Nick Lowe era Brinsley Schwarz meeting The Hollies harmonies full on.

Above all, ‘White Feather’ has a composite feel as each track feels like a musical chapter. There’s plenty of diversity, but it’s all part of a coherent whole that for the most part has a reflective feel.

Even a track like ‘Genevieve’ – a central character in a children’s story that Del started but never finished – owes its place on this album due to the fact it was originally written in the 60’s. The contrast between the lattice of jangling guitars and sudden weighty organ and guitar parts keeps the song musically interesting.

The album strikes a nuanced equilibrium comprising lyrical self evaluation and musical flow, on songs shot through with honesty, integrity, poignancy, but also exuberance and always great guitar work.

‘White Feather’ isn’t quite a masterpiece, but its damn close. There’s something here for all shades of Bromham fans, from hard rock, a salient pop sensibility and a blues heart, while for the die-hard Stray fans tracks like ‘Champagne’,  update his rock credentials in the company of an essential rap from one Long John. The two singers coalesce brilliantly on a mirthful hook: “You’ve got champagne taste, but beer money.”

‘White Feather’ is arguably the kind of album Del Bromham could only have made as an experienced songwriter in the autumn of his career and he’s revels in the creative opportunity it affords him in a belated major step-up in his solo career. ****½

Review by Pete Feenstra




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



DVD review: CONNY PLANK – The Potential Of Noise

CONNY PLANK - The Potential Of Noise

CONNY PLANK The Potential of Noise Cleopatra Entertainment (DVD)

To be honest I hadn’t heard of Conny Plank before watching this film, and to be even more honest I don’t feel I know much more about him after watching this. However, I do now know that he is one of the most influential sound engineers and record producers of the 1970’s and ‘80’s.

From 1973 onward Plank helped to innovate and shape German modern music through his work with, amongst others, early Scorpions but it is his work with Nue! and more importantly Kraftwerk that changed the face of the musical landscape for many an emerging artist, as the list of artists he worked with after that will prove.

It is through Conny Plank’s son Stephan and producer Milena Fessman that we get to hear about this influential career that was cut short in 1987 by his untimely death. Plank’s career included ground breaking work the likes of Devo, Killing Joke, Ultravox, The Eurythmics, Kraftwerk, The Scorpions and a whole lot more New Wave and European bands to boot.

It is through interviews with some of the artists involved that we get to understand what an important part of their sound Plank helped to shape. You just need to listen to Ultravox frontman Midge Ure describe how Plank transformed their biggest hit “Vienna” to get an understanding of what a creative genius Plank was.

There is also a look at his old studio and some of his equipment, and the gold discs. You see, Plank also worked with a host of German pop artists and even had a hand in early Hip Hop, and it is at this point that you suddenly realise that had his career not been tragically cut short in 1987 then maybe we would all know more about him?  ***

Review by Nikk Gunns




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



EP review: DOWNCAST, BLACK TREE VULTURES

DOWNCAST [Release date 11.01.19]

This five track EP from British band Downcast is an interesting one as on the first listen you just think of the music, then it becomes apparent that the whole thing is one big break up song, or at least that is ho wit tends to come across.

The bands punk pop approach is apparent throughout, opening track “Anthurium”, “Window Seat” and “2013” are all good songs., but the acoustic “Sombre” doesn’t really gel with the rest for me and “I’m Sorry” has a more downbeat feel going on.

If, as I suspect, these songs are about that one long gone special person, my advice would be to move past that now and work towards a debut album that reflects the talent in the band. **1/2

Review by Nikk Gunns

BLACK TREE VULTURES [Release date 19.04.19]

Black Tree Vultures have been together for just under two years yet have the feel of a far more seasoned band, as their new self-titled EP will show, there are only three tracks here but I cannot wait to see what the band can do with a whole album.

First track “Bitter” is heavy yet melodic and feels like when Metallica nailed this in the early to mid-90’s (thinking of the couple of albums after the black album here). “No More Empathy” follows in the same vein and “Ode To Johanna” is a riff driven, heavy groove affair that instantly makes you want to hit the repeat button and start again.

This is a band to watch as it is definitely a case of onwards and upwards for Black Tree Vultures. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: CURVED AIR – The Second British Rock Meeting 1972

CURVED AIR - The Second British Rock Meeting 1972

Curved Air [Release date: 05.10.18]

Dawn breaks grey on the last day of the 1972 Second British Rock Meeting at Germersheim, Germany.

The festival has included sets from Pink Floyd, Humble Pie, The Strawbs, Savoy Brown, Lindisfarne and many other luminaries from Britain, along with the US’s Pacific, Gas & Electric, Buddy Miles, Tom Paxton and more, and Continental Europeans such as Amon Duul ii, Eloy, Guru Guru and yet more.

True, there have been glitches: The Kinks and The Faces are no-shows and Uriah Heep are booed off, indignantly stopping play after a drunk lobs a bottle into drummer Lee Kerslake’s testicles.

And indeed, in the grand tradition of the day, the festival administration has lost control of the crowd of over 70,000 souls.

Ranging from indigenous hippies to GIs serving at local US military bases, many are in varying states of disorientation brought on by lack of sleep, narcotics, drink, and often all three. The local hospitals are being kept busy.

Giving the last salute to this mayhem falls to Curved Air. As if the hour and the devastation before them is not enough to drive the band backstage, worse is the realisation that the guitar is not working and not likely to for the duration of the set.

The outcome is curiously magical. Opener ‘No Guitar Blues’ is an instrumental jam set to stall audience indifference while vocalist Sonja Kristina tries to push her way to the stage. Drifting mysteriously to a rendition of ‘Shortnin’ Bread’, the band gets underway with what is to be its most improvised set ever.

Latest album ‘Phantasmagoria’ is to be plugged and energetic takes on ‘Cheetah’ (segued from ‘Everdance’ and briefly into ‘Vivaldi’), and a taste of the title track are duly dished up. Assuming their guitar-free state means getting off early, Kristina has announced they are going “to go on or possibly finish” with ‘Over And Above’, but the band then picks up the opening bars of what is to be the near mythical ‘Germersheim Jam’.

This extraordinary impromptu monster takes a steady riff that builds gradually before descending into a sonic synth n’ violin hell of extenuated shrieks and squalls.

Were kraut-rockers Duul to have tangled with Tangerine Dream, the ‘Jam’ would be their bastard offspring.   Running to over half an hour in length, it has a passion and energy to muster the most catatonic of crowds, and closing with another heavy dose of ‘Vivaldi’, it’s met with much approval.

This strange yet somehow wonderful performance renders exceptionally well given it was recorded in a converted VW Camper by local DJ Paul McGowan, who had struck a deal with the organisers to advertise the festival on his radio station in return for being allowed to record the entire thing for broadcast.

Of course, this is a must-buiy for fans, but the package overall serves the event well, too, its accompanying booklet with an introduction by album curator Francis Monkman along with two essays written by fellow attendees bolstered by previously unseen pictures.

Which leaves only one question: what happened to rest of the performance tapes? Paul? Paul – are you there?  ***

Review by Peter Muir

Album review (Rarities series, vol.1)
Album review (reissues)




On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″

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

Power Plays w/c 4 February 2019

DEEVER Only Enemy (indie)
REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Sister Of The Devil (Grooveyard)
MALLEN Pull The Trigger (indie)
ROCK GODDESS Are You Ready (Bite You To Death Records)
RPWL What I Really Need (Gentle Art Of Music)
WILLE AND THE BANDITS How Long (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 4 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MIKAEL ERLANDSSON Capricorn Six (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KANE ROBERTS The New Normal (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THUNDER Please Remain Seated (BMG)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

EARTHPRAYER Nine Days (2011)



Album review: TIM BOWNESS – Flowers At The Scene

Inside Out [Release date 01.03.19] ‘Flowers At The Scene’ is Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson’s first joint production in over a decade – they have been working as a duo under the no-man name since 1987 – although it is … Continue reading

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Album review: TRAGEDY: ALL METAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEE GEES & BEYOND – Goes To The Movies

[Release date 11.02.19] Do you remember the Disco/Metal Peace accord of 1977? No me neither, however from this momentous event came the seeds for the founding of Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees & Beyond. Looking like the … Continue reading

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News: KINGDOM OF MADNESS – Classic Magnum dates in March and radio special

Mark Stanway

In this extended, exclusive edit Mark Stanway chats about Magnum and Kingdom of Madness (15:45)  A two-part special is broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio in February 2019 prior to the tour (see news item for details) The band … Continue reading

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Album review: TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND – Signs

Tedeschi Trucks - Signs

Concord [Release date 15.02.19] ‘Signs’ is the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 6th album and it finds them unwittingly embracing middle age with mature songs, deep emotion and intricate playing. What it lacks is a sense of equilibrium, as there’s surfeit of … Continue reading

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EP review: ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY – Home Sweet Home

Facebook [Release date 22.02.19] Alex James Brierley released his debut EP ‘Listen’ last year to positive reviews, including a four star review from this reviewer. Fast forward a year and we have a new EP, four songs recorded over the … Continue reading

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Album review: SIMON TODD – Half Empty/Half Full

Simon Todd - Half Empty/Half Full

Ginger Tom Music [Release date 21.09.18] Produced by the esteemed songwriter Boo Hewerdine, Northumberland singer/songwriter Simon Todd’s ‘Half Empty/Half Full’ is an aptly titled album that keeps the listener guessing until very end.  The title might be interpreted as a … Continue reading

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EP review: MIKE DEKLEVA – Psychedelia

MIKE DEKLEVA - Psychedelia

www. mikedeklevamusic.com [Release date 09.11.18] There are many guitar hero wannabees out there but frequently they fall down due to lack of production values, guitar tone, or craftsmanship.  Mike Dekleva has all these qualities in spades.  Mike who?  Well to … Continue reading

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Album review: DESIGN – Children Of The Mist – The Best Of

DESIGN - Children Of The Mist - The Best Of

Market Square Music [Release date 05.04.19] You may well ask: was there a Design flaw?  This six-piece pop harmony group had great exposure in the early-1970s via several major TV shows but they never had a hit single.  Their ultimate … Continue reading

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Album review: MUSCLE SHOALS – Small Town Big Sound

MUSCLE SHOALS – Small Town Big Sound

BMG Soundstage [Release date 28.09.18] ‘Small Town Big Sound’ is an ambitious attempt to update the famous Southern Muscle Shoals sound for the new generation. A well received documentary led to this all star affair, on a musical meeting of … Continue reading

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Quick plays: VINDICATA, REVOLUTION HIGHWAY, ROCKICKS

VINDICATA Beneath The Surface

VINDICATA Beneath The Surface Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18] The “secret weapon” on this debut album might be construed as early Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland (who handles most of the solos) but in actual fact it’s vocalist Mary Magill who … Continue reading

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Gig review: KING KING – Koko, London, 7 February 2019

KING KING - Koko, London, 7 February 2019

King King’s steady rise to prominence over the past decade has now taken on a new chapter with the band signed to a stateside management agency. However there are always casualties in the process of change and in this case, … Continue reading

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Album review: RPWL – Tales From Outer Space

RPWL - Tales From Outer Space

Gentle Art Of Music  [Release date: 22.03.19] You know what it’s like. You go to a gig and there’s a couple of support bands and you’re thinking to yourself “these are quite good” – then the main band comes on … Continue reading

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Album review: CLIMAX BLUES BAND – Hands Of Time

CLIMAX BLUES BAND – Hands Of Time

Self release [Release date 05.01.19] The Climax Blues Band moniker has existed since 1972 when after 5 years as a blues-rock band they quietly dropped the Chicago part of their name to reflect a broadening of their musical palette. The … Continue reading

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Album review: STEVE EGGS – We Humans

STEVE EGGS – We Humans

Self release [Release date 08.02.19] The Steve Eggs Band is a Brit-Americana into country rock outfit with strong songs, sparkling harmonies and a significant Tom Petty influence. ‘We Humans’ showcases ten original Eggs songs and one co-write with bassist Peter … Continue reading

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Gig review: INGLORIOUS – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

INGLORIOUS - Shepherds Bush Empire, London, 1 February 2019

What seemed the inevitable rise to superstardom of classic rock hopefuls Inglorious has hit something of a rocky road in the last year or two. While they were touring bigger venues, initially well received ‘Inglorious 2’ album in hindsight found … Continue reading

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Album review: CATS IN SPACE – Daytrip to Narnia

CATS IN SPACE – Daytrip to Narnia

Harmony Factory [Release date 08.03.19] Album number three already from these groove filled Cats In Space who since their last album ‘Scarecrow‘ have been touring with the likes of Status Quo and Deep Purple, plus their own headlining tour. In … Continue reading

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Album review: DEL BROMHAM – White Feather

DEL BROMHAM - White Feather

Estoteric Antenna [Release date 12.10.18] After a 50 odd year career, ‘White Feather’ finally reveals who Del Bromham really is musically. It would be wrong to call ‘White Feather’ the missing Beatles album, it is too personal and diverse for … Continue reading

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DVD review: CONNY PLANK – The Potential Of Noise

CONNY PLANK - The Potential Of Noise

CONNY PLANK The Potential of Noise Cleopatra Entertainment (DVD) To be honest I hadn’t heard of Conny Plank before watching this film, and to be even more honest I don’t feel I know much more about him after watching this. … Continue reading

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EP review: DOWNCAST, BLACK TREE VULTURES

DOWNCAST [Release date 11.01.19] This five track EP from British band Downcast is an interesting one as on the first listen you just think of the music, then it becomes apparent that the whole thing is one big break up … Continue reading

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Album review: CURVED AIR – The Second British Rock Meeting 1972

CURVED AIR - The Second British Rock Meeting 1972

Curved Air [Release date: 05.10.18] Dawn breaks grey on the last day of the 1972 Second British Rock Meeting at Germersheim, Germany. The festival has included sets from Pink Floyd, Humble Pie, The Strawbs, Savoy Brown, Lindisfarne and many other … Continue reading

Email This Page