BMG [Release date 19.01.19]
Let’s be quite clear: ‘Rip It Up’ was one of the best albums of 2017, a vibrant, relevant chapter in the modern-day Thunder storybook. It must surprise the band themselves that they have been allowed to “retire” a couple of times – once even in more recent memory – only to come back with renewed vigour and a bigger audience. The truth is not hard to find. In a topsy turvy millennium music business there will always be a place for quality songs and musicianship. Even better if you have an admirable back catalogue to draw upon.
Maybe with more (younger) competition things would be harder for these veteran bands who effectively stalled at the first hurdle “back in the day”. This can only help explain the renaissance of bands like Thunder, Europe, and FM?
The persistent trend for consumer quick fix and a grasshopper mentality and of course the lack of real mainstream exposure for new bands via radio or TV and – moreover – lack of real investment, leads to stasis. It allows old rockers to breathe again, especially if the original line-up is pretty much intact and the creative marbles untainted.
Which brings us to ‘Please Remain Seated’ Before you get excited this isn’t really a “new” Thunder album it’s simply a fairly low-key mainly bluesy revisit of previous work with only one track, the early single ‘She’s So Fine’, connecting with ‘Rip It Up’.
You have to think that Thunder have missed the boat a bit, because in a different age ‘Please Remain Seated’ would be termed “unplugged”. It’s like a group of ageing rockers are getting a long-hibernated vanity project out of their system.
Of course, the songs always stand up – as does Danny Bowes’ voice – but some fans (or the yet to be converted) may have been better off with a more natural successor to an excellent previous album. It means essentially that the true successor will be delayed.
And following a trend the band will be promoting the album in February with not a large rock venue tour but a rather more civilised excursion taking in some of the finest concert halls such as Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. All they need to do is add orchestra and maybe their journey will be complete. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 21 November. Next session 12 December. The video above was a Halloween Special, streamed 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 31 October 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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From 1 December the Featured Albums and Power Play segments will reflect those artists and tracks featured during 2021.
Featured Albums w/c 15 November 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 MEMORIA AVENUE Memoria Avenue (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FANS OF THE DARK Fans Of The Dark (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 HANNAH JAMES & TOBY KUHN Sleeping Spirals (Jigdoll Records)
Power Plays w/c 15 November 2021 (Mon-Fri)
THE FORGOTTEN Interstellar (FiXT Noir)
QUILL Riding Rainbows (indie)
DEAD REYNOLDS Uninspired (The Fort)
CAVALCADE Dreaming About (Golden Robot)
HANNAH ALDRIDGE Sinking (indie)
GREYHAVEN All Candy (Rude Records)
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