Tag Archives: synth pop

Album review: JOHNNY HATES JAZZ – Wide Awake

JOHNNY HATES JAZZ - Wide Awake

[Release date 14.08.20] Johnny Hates Jazz’s return in 2013 was well received, with a comeback album ‘Magnetized’ gathering airplay and even a short tour in 2016 (when we saw them in downtown Darwen Library Theatre) and a handful of festival … Continue reading

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Album review: CHRIS ROSANDER – King Of Hearts

CHRIS ROSANDER – King Of Hearts

AOR Heaven [Release date 26.06.20] Christian Rosander is a 22-year-old musician and songwriter from Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Since he was 14 years old, he’d been writing songs in the AOR/Melodic and Westcoast genre. To be fair you’d been pretty certain the … Continue reading

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Album review: THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE – Diamonds

The Birthday Massacre - Diamonds

Metropolis Records [Release date 27.03.20] Diamonds is the eighth studio album from Canadian gothic rock outfit The Birthday Massacre. That genre embraces a whole range of musical styles, of course, and the influences here lean heavily towards the electro-pop end … Continue reading

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Album review: MISSING PERSONS featuring Dale Bozzio – Dreaming

MISSING PERSONS featuring Dale Bozzio - Dreaming

Cleopatra Records [Release date 20.03.20] A ‘household name’ back in the early days of MTV – as lead singer of Missing Persons – Dale Bozzio is said to have influenced Lady Gaga via Madonna. Also known for her work with … Continue reading

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Album review: LEAGUE OF LIGHTS – In The In Between

LEAGUE OF LIGHTS – In The In Between

Website [Release date 27.09.19] Second album from League Of Lights, who are the husband and wife duo Farrah and Richard West – the latter best known for being a member of Threshold. Their self-titled debut album released back in 2011, … Continue reading

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Album review: ROBERT HART – Pure

ROBERT HART - Pure

Escape Music [Release date 20.02.20] Vocalist Robert Hart sang on one of my all-time favourite albums, ‘Under The One Sky’ by The Distance, added to his solo album ‘Cries & Whispers’ is still revered in AOR circles. He has also … Continue reading

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Quick plays: KIWI JR, OF MONTREAL

KIWI JR. – Football Money

KIWI JR. – Football Money Persona Non Grata [Release date 17.01.20] Kiwi Jr. hail from Canada and feature Alvvays’ guitarist Brian Murphy amongst their ranks, with the group’s main songwriter being Jeremy Gaudet. They pack it in with ten songs … Continue reading

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Album review: SPARKS – Past Tense: The Best Of Sparks

SPARKS – Past Tense The Best Of Sparks

BMG [Release date 08.11.19] For many people of a certain age Sparks are famed for the high vocals and scary looking bloke on the keyboards, yet there is so much more to their music aside from the big hits ‘This … Continue reading

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Album review: SPARKS – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins

SPARKS - Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins

BMG [Release date 01.11.19] ‘Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins’ originally came out in 1994 and came after a six year gap by Sparks since 1988’s ‘Interior Design’ album. The band were said to be on hiatus, something Ron Mael takes … Continue reading

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Gig review: SQUEEZE – New Theatre, Oxford, 25 October 2019

A packed out New Theatre were eagerly awaiting Squeeze, however before the main event we had Heaven 17, a band who had plenty of chart success in the early-mid 80’s. Still featuring two thirds of the original line-up in vocalist … Continue reading

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Gig review: FLIGHT BRIGADE – Telford’s Warehouse, Chester, 4 October 2019

FLIGHT BRIGADE - Telford

What’s not to like? An architecturally interesting venue for food, drink and music.  A beer festival.  And a free gig!! The first thing you might say about Flight Brigade, two days into a 14-date tour, is “where are the girls?”.  … Continue reading

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Album review: SWIM DEEP – Emerald Classics

SWIM DEEP - Emerald Classics

[Release date 04.10.19] Swim Deep formed in 2011 and their first two albums made the UK album charts. However, last year they were sat at a crossroads in their local pub – The Emerald, from which the album takes its … Continue reading

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Album review: BERLIN – Transcendance

BERLIN - Transcendance

Cleopatra Records [Release date 16.08.19] OK, hands up who can name a Berlin number other than ‘Take My Breath Away’?  I certainly can’t, and I used to have a vinyl copy of their 1984 album Love Life.  But to be … Continue reading

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Album review: PRINCE – Originals

PRINCE - Originals

Warner Brothers Records [Release date 07.06.19 exclusively on Tidal, 21.06.2019 CD, vinyl, streaming] In this multi-platform, content driven age it would be hard to imagine an artist ever producing too much material but such were his prolific studio habits, that … Continue reading

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Album review: THE BETA MACHINE – Intruder

T-Boy/UMe [Release date 29.03.19] The Beta Machine hail from Los Angeles, led by A Perfect Circle’s rhythm section of bassist, vocalist and keyboardist Matt McJunkins and drummer Jeff Friedl. They are joined by vocalist Claire Acey and guitarist and keyboardist … Continue reading

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Album review: PHIL VINCENT – Hypocrite

PHIL VINCENT – Hypocrite

Rock Company [Release date 27.02.19] Hot on the heels of the recently released second album from Cranston, Phil Vincent releases his twenty first solo album. Yes that’s right, 21 solo albums in addition to his work on the aforementioned Cranston, … Continue reading

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Album review: MAGIC DANCE – New Eyes

Frontiers Music [release date: 07.12.18] Prime driver for this melodic rock/AOR outfit is Jon Siejka who created Magic Dance as a solo project in 2012. ‘New Eyes’ follows an earlier album ‘Vanishings’ and is the first output since the band … Continue reading

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Album review: LEFT WITH PICTURES – Afterlife

LEFT WITH PICTURES - Afterlife

Organ Grinder Records [Release date 29.04.16] Left With Pictures describe their music as  an orchestral pop ensemble. They have been around since 2005 and consist of Tom Walker, Toby Knowles and Stuart Barter. They have released a series of EP’s … Continue reading

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Gig review: SIMPLE MINDS and ULTRAVOX, O2 Arena, London, 30 November 2013

Simple Minds, Liverpool Empire, 20 April 2013

It’s an 80’s revival tonight with one of the 80’s big stadium bands Simple Minds headlining, but first we had Ultravox who had their own series of hit singles in the early to mid-80’s. They reformed with their classic line-up … Continue reading

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