Dan Reed Talking about Networks and Live Music

Dan Reed Talking about Networks and Live Music

Dan Reed Talking about Networks and Live Music

 

 

BD: Hi Dan hope you are well, thanks for taking time to speak to Bluesdoodles, we spoke last year on the release of Fight Another Day, now as you embark on a European tour we have a chance to revisit and explore the world of Dan Reed Network.

DR: Good thanks, we are in Norway and it is as cold as hell. That is a silly thing to say it is beautiful and snowy.

BD: How has your perspective changed since taking the time out travelling, studying and having a son?

DR: Biggest change was the birth of my son.  He is so very cute, often mistaken for a girl with his long hair, people often still don’t connect when I say his name is Joshua. Having a child is all encompassing. It is so hard to describe the feeling the first time you hold the baby. There is a deepening of awareness, deepening of compassion, a child engulfs you with emotions of love and responsibility. My first responsibility is to raise them safely and then as they grow imparting lessons of gratitude, how to lead a good life, planting the seeds of who the child will grow into. It has made me a better human being. This runs through my lyrics as they reflect the path that you have left behind is so much more defined.

BD: Back touring Europe and hitting the U.K. in March. Before we talk about the 2017 tour with Fight Another Day. What were the highlights last year back on the road with the Network,

DR: Festivals are always fun and at Sweden Rock Festival, we were the first act on the stage on the second or third day after lots of partying. In an arena that holds twenty-thousand there were 300 in the rain. As the first song started the rain stopped and by the end of the set there were over 8,000 watching and it was exciting, energetic from the rain and gloomy skies we had music it was the best show. The coolest was playing back in our home town of Portland seeing so many familiar faces, lots of folks who have seen us play from the beginning from the making of the video for Ritual. It felt so good being back. Yes our knees hurt a bit with a few more aches and pains now after a performance but this is part of the challenge of a live performance and is definitely an excellent workout both mentally & physically.  Funky rock is hard and needs the energy of the song; we achieved this at a live rehearsal at the Hard Rock Café rehearsing in front of an audience the energy of the audience feeds the performance you trade off the energy of each other it is a symbiotic relationship. It is hard being away from family and home when on the road the positive trade-off is you get rid of the tensions by playing the music, talking to the audience and the feeling that we are so lucky to be doing this.

BD: What’s your favourite track from your extensive back catalogue to perform live??

DR: Favourite track, the solo stuff I love playing it live acoustic can be harder with a need to put your energy into the meaning of the lyrics. From the album The Heat Salt of Joy and when the band sings A Capella Long Way To Go, it is magical honest lyrics, written with visions in the head. Writing lyrics need to go into a daydream and explore thoughts and emotions. Kurt Cobain was a tortured soul but wrote honest lyrics the most honest rock songs ever written.

BD: Now you are performing tracks from Fight Another Day live, how do you select tracks from the extensive back catalogue to meld the past with the now.

DR: It can be difficult singing the same songs over and over again. The key to not sounding mechanical, just going through the motions is twofold having a good time and play the music as if it is for the first time. Play your arses out never let it become a slog, enjoy the music build up the audience.

Mixing things up more and more. Including a Bruce Springstein style request. It is fun, surprising challenging the request could be for a ballad, like Stronger Than Steel in a part of a set we would never plan a ballad. We now have no set list we play the songs we want to play trying to vary the groove what feels best changing the tempo and topics covered from politics to sex!

The Set is like climbing a mountain range. With summits and valleys can build and build through the show with a high point in the set climaxing the show. Or can sing a mellow song reached the top now meditating and chilling.

BD:  Last time we finished with what your dream band would be this time – what are you listening to and what Dan Reed Network track would you liked covered and by whom?

DR: Music that listening to at the moment D-A-D Danish rock originally named Disneyland After Dark but had to be renamed after The Walt Company threatened a lawsuit.  D-A-D & DRN all the letters would just so love to open for them would be so inspirational. The poppy melodies and funky tone of   Foster The People love the music they do not use any sequences and the evergreen band for me is  Jamiroquai

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to Cardiff at  The Globe on  5th March and hearing DNR live.

 Dan Reed Network is back in the UK with his tour Get Your Tickets HERE.

 

Dan Reed Talking about Networks and Live Music

Bleeker Album showcasing Canadian Indie-Rock with Erase You

Bleeker Album showcasing Canadian Indie-Rock with Erase You

Bleeker Album showcasing Canadian Indie-Rock with Erase You

 

Bleeker takes Rock to a different dimension, a collision of psych-tinged grooves and The Black Keys swagger. Canada is a hotbed of music that is cutting the edge of genres, twisting and turning the shape of music into a sound contemporary and grounded in the long discography that forms the history and memories of rock classics.

Bleeker a trio comprising Taylor Perkins on vocals, Cole Perkins on guitar and on bass Mike Van Dyk have been kicking up an indie storm following on from their self-titled EP with album Erase You. Bleeker was formerly Bleeker Ridge – two sets of brothers Taylor and Cole Perkins, and Dan and Dustin Steinke. Vocalist Taylor Perkins says, “Bleeker has worked really hard to be where we are today and we cannot wait to start sharing our music with the world. We’re all really stoked to get on the road and perform, getting to meet and make new fans all over. If you can’t have fun in rock ‘n’ roll, then where can you have fun? Grab our EP and come hang with us this year!!”

Starting the journey the Bleeker way with Highway, the undertow is rock and the curl of modern pop fused into a catchy mix full of interest this would get audiences jumping with the thrill of live music whatever the size of the venue.  We often feel that bands are just adjusting the sound of bands they followed in their teens, yes, Black Keys echo but never overwhelm. Bleeker have erased that thought with Erase You.  This is modern edgy, may not be to your taste, but that said, throughout the album your interest is maintained.   Free flowing with the energy of the opening track is not a tribute to the band. What it does have is an attitude fuelled by deep bluesy riffs and a beat that rocks your socks this is music of now. As we hear throughout the album the lyrics are confident and as Taylor sings “I don’t want your money girl … I just want to be myself”. Bleeker are definitely themselves.

The title track is the turning point the experimenting and stretching of the sound now in full blossom. The shape and form never lost with the mixing of pop-rock and elements of blues-rock are melded with a sound that connects through the strength of lyrics and Taylor Perkins vocals that have a melodic clarity.

Now to throw into the attitude that shapes Bleeker is a punk-fueled number Radio Radio a dance tune that has an infectious feel that is never punk just borrowing the tempo without the snarl and has been dampened down and made more commercial. This is seen several times and understandably this is a young band finding their voice and does not deter from the Bleeker approach to Contemporary Rock.  If it was alt-rock then it would be more edgy less recognisable in form and shape to lovers of bands of yesterday. They are a twenty-first-century rock band creating commercial sound. Borrowing from the past but never slaves to them.

On Emergency the rock is light and will be instantly recognisable on a couple of listens, followed by a quieter number, do we need a ballad type song on an album that is looking to be different. Now, the piano is pointless with the instrumentation weaker and the vocals just did not have that gravitas. Too soft and gentle.

Closing with Every Time You Call, closes out an album that dips its toes into styles and rock that certainly has loads of potential. With the crafting of a true Bleeker sound, this is a band that has loads of musical avenues to explore. One thing is for certain Erase You is an album that is an interesting listen delivered by a band that wants to rock you and not Erase You.

 

Bleeker Album showcasing Canadian Indie-Rock with Erase You

Bleeker – Erase You – Five Seven Music

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Highway
  2. Free
  3. Getting Out
  4. Erase You
  5. I’m Not Laughing Now
  6. Still Got Love
  7. Radio Radio
  8. Where’s Your Money
  9. Emergency
  10. Close My Eyes

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015

GIG & FESTIVAL REVIEWS 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015

 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015Northsyde @ The Convent, Stroud – December 2015
Stark @ The Convent, Stroud – December 2015
Chantel McGregor @ The Tunnels Bristol – December 2015
Waterboys @ Colston Hall, Bristol – December 2015
Planet Rockstock 
Jamie Smith’s Mabon @ St David’s Hall. Cardiff – November 2015
The Grahams @ The Convent, Stroud via Netgig November 2015
Spikedrivers ~ Pontardawre Arts Centre – Pontardawre November 2015
Joe Satriani with special guest Dan Patlansky ~ Live at St David’s Hall, Cardiff Nov 2015Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015
Steve Hackett ~ Live at Colston Hall Bristol October 2015
Joe Bonamassa Live @ Motorpoint, Cardiff October 2015
Glenn Hughes & Special Guest Jared James Nichols @ Robin 2, Bilston – October 2015
Steve Earle @ Colston Hall Bristol – October 2015
Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons @ St Davids Hall Cardiff October 2015
Simon Campbell & Suzy Starlite @ The Convent, Stroud – September 2015
Crosby Stills & Nash @ The Motorpoint, Cardiff – September 2015
Kirk Fletcher @ The Convent Club, Stroud – September 2015
Aynsley Lister @ The Tunnels, Bristol – August 2015
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015Babajack & Marcus Bonfanti @ The Cube, Malvern – July 2015
Cara Dillon @ The Convent Club, Stroud
James Hunter Six @ The Lantern, Colston Hall, Bristol
Brother Strut @ The Globe Cardiff, July 2015
Coolhand Album Launch @ The Globe, Cardiff July 2015
The Jar Family @ The Convent Club, Stroud, July 2015
Amy Wadge & Pete Riley @ St David’s Hall, July 2015
Elvis Costello @ St David’s Hall, July 2015
Suzanne Vega @ Colston Hall, July 2015
Dave Arcari @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale June 2015Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015
Doug MacLeod @ The Convent Nr, Stroud, Glos June 2015
Blues on The Farm
Ben Poole supported by The Della Grants @ The Flowerpot, Derby May 2015
Larry Miller @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale May 2015
Dana Fuchs Live @ The Tunnels, Bristol May 2015
Gill Landry Guest of Laura Marling @ Colston Hall May 2015
Kara Grainger: Live @ The Convent Club May 2015
Beth Hart: Live @ Colston Hall May 2015
Dan Patlansky with Tristan MacKay Opening @ The Borderline, London April 2015<a
Mike and The Mechanics @ St David’s Hall. Cardiff April 2015
Band Of Friends @ The Globe, Cardiff April 2015
Duke Garwood @ The Louisiana, Bristol April 2015
Kenny Wayne Shepherd @ City Hall, Salisbury, April 2015
Ben Poole @ City Hall, Salisbury, April 2015
Grand Opening @The Convent Club, Stroud, April 2015
Ian Siegal @ The Tunnels, Bristol March 2015
The Handsome Family @ The Globe, Cardiff March 2015Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2015
Ian Siegal @ The Flowerpot, Derby – March 2015
Oysterband @ The Garage, Swansea – March 2015
King King with support from Laurence Jones @ The Globe, Cardiff – March 2015
Joan Armatrading @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – March 2015
10cc @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – March 2015
JAKS & Introducing Stage @ Great British Blues Festival ~ Skegness 2015 – January 2015
Thomas Ford @ West End Club Barry
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – February 2015
Marcus Bonfanti @ The Prince Of Wales, Ledbury – February 2015
Chantel McGregor @ Beaufort Ballroom, Ebbw Vale – Jan 2015
Paul Carrack @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Johnny Cash Roadshow @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

GIG & FESTIVAL REVIEWS 

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016

FESTIVALS

Rock & Blues Weekend – Friday – Butlins Skegness – January 2016
Rock & Blues Weekend – Saturday – Butlins Skegness – January 2016
Rock & Blues Weekend – Sunday – Butlins Skegness – January 2016
HRH Blues – O2 Academy Sheffield – April 2016
Blues On The Farm Pump Bottom Farm – June 16th – 19th June
Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale July 2016
Old Bush Blues, Callow End August 2016
3rd UK Blues Challenge @ Robin 2 November 2016
Planet Rockstock 2016 @Trecco Bay – December 2016

Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016GIGS

Alter Bridge with support from Like A Storm – Gojira – Volbeat @ Motorpoint Cardiff – Nov 2016
Planet Rock Roadstars – Aaron Keylock, Federal Charm, SIMO @ The Tunnels, Bristol – November 2016
Black Stone Cherry @ St Davids Hall, Cardiff, November 2016
Planet Rock Roadstars – Aaron Keylock, Federal Charm, SIMO @ The Globe, Cardiff – November 2016
Beth Hart @ Colston Hall, Bristol June 2016
Ian Siegal – Twenty Five Years Touring @ The Convent, Stroud November 2016
Saxon, Fastway GirlsSchool @O2Bristol November 2016
UFO @Tramshed Cardiff November 2016
Walter Trout, Jared James Nichols @Tramshed Cardiff October 2016
The Tubes @The Globe Cardiff October 2016
Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia & Will Wilde @ The Scene, Swansea September 2016
Sari Schorr & The Engine Room@ The Tunnels, Bristol – September 2016
Mitch Malloy @ The Globe, Cardiff – September 2016
The Dead Daisies @DCU Centre Worcester, Massachusetts – September 2016
Devon Allman @ The Scene Swansea – August 2016
LaVendore Rogue @The Convent, Stroud – August 2016
Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Convent – July 2016
Lisa Mann – The Convent via netgig, July 2016
Joe Bonamassa – British Blues Explosion @ Colston Hall, Bristol – July 2016Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016
Kaz Hawkins Band @ The Convent, June 2016
Vintage Trouble – The Tramshed Cardiff June 2016
Joe Louis Walker -The Convent June 2016
Michael Messer’s Mitra – The Convent – June 2016
Tristan McKay opening for Dan Patlansky – The Globe, Cardiff June 2016
Bonnie Rait – Colston Hall, Bristol June 2016
JJ Grey & Mofro – The Tunnels, Bristol May 2016
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – The Tunnels, Bristol May 2016
Stevie Nimmo Trio & Ben Poole Band – the Flowerpot, Derby May 2016
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016King King supported by Dan Patlansky – Civic Centre, Salisbury May 2016
King King, Dan Patlansky & Cake – Salisbury May 2016
Simon McBride – The Tunnels, Bristol May 2016
Gov’t Mule – O2 Academy, Bristol May 2016
Magnum – Tramshed, Cardiff May 2016
Ryan McGarvey – The Scene Swansea May 2016
Yes – Colston Hall, Bristol May 2016
Fish – Robin 2, Bilston May 2016
Chris Cornell – Colston Hall, Bristol April 2016
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016Dr. John Cooper Clarke – Tramshed, Cardiff April 2016
Hawkwind – Tramshed, Cardiff April 2016
JW Jones – The Garage, Swansea April 2016
The Sheepdogs with support from The People The Poet – The Globe, Cardiff
Karnataka – The Globe, Cardiff – April 2016
Tracer, Federal Charm & Everyday Circus – @ The Globe, Cardiff – March 2016
Reef & Tax The Heat – Tramshed, Cardiff March 2016
Ian Siegal – ‘The Lantern Colston Hall – Bristol Jazz Festival March 2016
King King with support Laurence Jones – @ The Globe, Cardiff – March 2016
Mary Coughlan – @ Roots Unearthed – St David’s Hall, Cardiff, March 2016
Jack Savoretti – supported by Earl – @ Tramshed, Cardiff – March 2016
Bluesdoodles Listening to Live Music 2016Devon Allman – supported by Kev Andrews @ The Flowerpot Derby – February 2016
Inglorious – supported by Ali Clinton @ The Flowerpot, Derby – February 2016
Runrig @ Colston Hall – February 2016
King King, Terrorvision & Thunder @ Colston Hall – February 2016
Whiskey Myers opening For Cadillac Three @ Tramshed, Cardiff – February 2016
Inglorious Opening For The Winery Dogs @ O2 Academy, Bristol – February 2016
RavenEye @ Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – January 2016
Oyster 3 @ St Davids Hall, Cardiff – January 2016

Recorded Music Reviews Delights of 2016

Recorded Music Reviews Delights of 2016

What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Recorded Music Reviews Delights of 2016

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016  read why these albums HERE

pawprint half inchTen Doodle Paws of 2016 read why HERE

Below are the album covers of the recorded music we reviewed throughout 2016 – click on the cover to be taken to the review. Every recording has something special. remember the doodle paws rating is subjective. This is the view of the reviewer you may differ I am pretty sure that your album of the year will probably be different from Bluesdoodles. It is how we hear and enjoy music differently that makes listening to music something very special.

 

Love recorded music  – live music has that special edge – read the Pick of the Gigs we travelled to in 2016 HERE. Make sure you support live music throughout 2017.

Holding On being the companion to Heal My Soul

Heavy Chimes with Glenn Hughes Resonate

Here We Go says Simpson and Flemons Sing Favourites

Slim Butler Blues Has No Bad Intention

Larry Miller Delivers Larry Miller Blues That Rock

Starlite Campbell Band Baking Up Tasty Blueberry Pie

Federal Charm Crossed Wires into Acoustic

Live Trouble with Gerry Jablonski Electric Band

The World Moves On with The Hitman Blues Band

Definitely NOT The Wreck of The Blues Pontus Snibb

It Is not Broke as Mick Ralphs Blues Band Set Down the Blues

Lightnin’ Malcolm Foot Soldier Delivering Roots Delights

It’s Christmas Time with John Cee Stannard

Riddle & The Stars Exploring Music Coastline

The Brew Shake The Tree of Blues Rock

The Leopard says Be Live With Rebecca Downes

Blues Full of Grit Grease & Tears with Deb Ryder

Listen to Beoga Before We Change Our Minds

Buckle Up with JOANovARC for a Ride Of Your Life

Nothing To Lose Sings Red Butler

Rik Emmet & RESolution 9 Album Delivers as Resolved

Robin Bibi Brilliance Is No More A Secret

On Safari with Rocking Rolling Kentucky Headhunters

Ian Siegal 2wnty5ive The Collection

nova

More Is More as DGB Adding to the Blues

ej-johnson

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

Rainmakin’ Guitar Driven Music By Steve Summers Band

Definitive Collection of Down Home Blues from Detroit

alter-bridge

Bad Touch Bringing Rock and Roll Truth Be Told

RECORDED MUSIC REVIEWS

Not A Wicked Day for Rock with Echotape AlbumMake Some Noise Shout Out The Dead Daisies

The Swamp Stompers New Single All My LovingWild Guitar with Joanne Shaw Taylor

Beth Hart Fire On The Floor

Feeling Exhilarated at last a King King Live Album

Bluesdoodles Pick of the Bunch July-Sept 2016

Aynsley Makes YOU Listen with Eyes Wide Open

The Apocalypse Blues Revue Bringing Heavy Blues

Small Town Talk with Ma Polaine’s Great Decline

jj-thames-2

Dan Owen Explores Emotions Open Hands and Enemies

live-at-the-gree_cd-edition

One Of A Kind as Grady Champion Brings His Blues

Si Cranston-

A Force Of Nature Sari Drives the Blues

Bury Me In My Boots with Cadillac Three

Tempt Releases Debut Album Runaway

Gary Hoey Blues Putting Flesh On Dust & Bones

Sari Black Betty Single-

The Tel-Star Sessions Emerge Twenty-Two Years Later

Dan Bubien New Album Keeps Grinding These Gears

LAurence Jones-

Honey Island Swamp Band Demolition Day Review

Live In 1967 – Volume Two John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

Virginmarys Never Divides Rock That Grabs Attention Now

Villiers and The Villains Songs Of Love And Fate

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Hard Times, Bad Decisions Sings Lisa Mann

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Federal Charm reaching Across The Divide Album Review

Walter Trout Alive In Amsterdam playing Hot Blues

Hoka Epic Journey for Nahko and His Music

On Tour Harry Pane releases Changing

Rhythm Zoo Sold For Love Debut Album

Hellbound Where Else On Dave Arcari’s Train

Michael Schenker Enter the Temple of Rock Live In Madrid

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

For Those Who Need The Blues There Is Giles Robson

Enjoy The Ride, Debbie Bond instructs with blues and more

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

Lucky 13 Kris Barras Band Ain’t Superstious

Rocking Time Will Come for Rod Scott

It is an Excellent Day sings Lizanne Knott

Livewire describing Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

Robin Trower Knows Where You Are Going To

Musics Emotion Breaking Free with Layla Zoe

Breaking and Entering The Blues with Eliza Neals

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Bygones will make you Smile thanks to Amy & Pete

Dan, solo acoustic from Dan Israel

Throw Away Your Blues, Listening To Kyla Brox You Will

Adam Norsworthy singer-songwriter Showcasing Soaring Rainbird

Guitar Blizzard Of Blues with Tommy Z

Red Sky July Exploring The Truth and The Lie

Blues is the Truth for Guy King

With One Eye Open – Swampgrass Will Get You Wide Awake

Get Close to Geoff Carne and the Hatz

There is a Magic Corner sings Pete Lashley

Solomon Hicks is definitely Carrying On The Torch of the Blues

A Bassist, Singer/songwriter and Drummer creation is Ghost Riding

Debut Album, Undone from The Black Circles

Blues are Alive with Johnny Rawls Tiger In A Cage

Monster Truck rolling into town Sittin’ Heavy

Behind The Wheel with Red Dirt Skinners

Sonic Gumbo spicing up music Mumbo Jumbo Way

Time Has Definitely Come for Ben Poole

Michael Messer’s Mitra Live at the Convent

The Sky Won’t Fall proclaims Stevie Nimmo

Benjamin Bassford's Songs From The Blue Door

West of Eden follows the emigrant path – Look To the West

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

Wolfmother’s Heavy Rock reigning Victorious

Self-Titled Ina Forsman Presents her Blues

Tasha Taylor bringing Honey For Your Biscuit

Unconditionally Live with George Shovlin & The Radars

Broken Witt Rebels take to the Road

First Fix from The Della Grants

Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Believe has Rebecca Downes Singing the Blues

Big Boy Bloaters Journey to Luxury Hobo Blues

In Conversation with Guitarist JD Simo

http://bit.ly/1Z5OsfF

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 20162016 has seen many miles on the clock, dark roads and festivals and venues that make the trip worthwhile. The live music we have heard has been reviewed thanks to the winning combination of my trusty note taker and the driver of the car Kevin Hewitt and my Camera capturing the moment that memories are made of. We also need to include our faithful hound Othello our Labradoodle who loves his music and Bandanas.  Sometimes my trip planning can be faulty classic example South Wales to Salisbury to Derby and home to Blackwood, South Wales. The bonus was we did get to see both Alan Nimmo aka King King and Stevie Nimmo that weekend and eat fabulous cake thanks to Sandy and Paul Gregory at Cup Cake Heaven. The rewards of listening to have been amazing and the music tremendous – hot loud and live. Forever etched in my memory bank will be the Friday evening phone call and a trip across the Atlantic. Before we get to that let’s roll the year back to January 2016.

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016Started the year with bands that play at the opposite ends of the music spectrum Oysterband 3 and RavenEye and then the annual trek to Skegness for a weekend of musical fun and meeting up with old friends and making new ones. Another wild weekend of cold weather and hot music. As ever the music is mashed up from Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Catfish and the magic of seeing Rebecca Downes, one to catch on stage her voice is spellbinding and The Della Grants rising to the occasion on the main stage. (FridaySaturdaySunday reviews)

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016January warmed us up for a hot music fuelled February.  The first visit to the new Cardiff venue Tramshed; it proved to be a great venue that delivered music throughout 2016;  for The Cadillac Three who were stunning combined with a new band for us and a find of 2016 Whiskey Myers who delivered one of the strongest sets of the weekend at the end of the year at Planet Rockstock.  This was quickly followed by King King opening for the mighty Thunder at Colston Hall. King King just keep improving another gig of the year would be the winning combination of Dan Patlansky and King King later in the summer.  The glories of February continued with Runrig at Colston and then the first time we would see Devon Allman live starting at The Flowerpot, Derby courtesy of Raw Promo a venue that consistently put on music that thrills. The second time was at The Scene in Swansea, both competing to be the gig of the year. Could the momentum of the first two months continue in 2016 yes it can we were on the road to prove it.

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016March saw the winning combo of King King with support from Laurence Jones at The Globe, blues and rock collided this is the highest standard of British R n’B and then back at the Tramshed a hot night with Jack Savoretti entertaining and delighting the jam-packed house. A quick visit to Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival and  Ian Siegal with his band opening his celebration of touring with a band for twenty-five years. The enthusiasm to deliver his wild Rock n’ Roll music cocktail infused with country, blues and hill country music swampy, moody and surprisingly refreshing.

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016As the weather warmed the gigs increased with so many bands touring in April.  Welcoming compelling prog rock from Karnataka at The Globe and Canadian bluesman J W Jones to The Garage in Swansea and rockers The Sheepdogs to The Globe saw the red Maple leaf fluttering with musical pride over Wales. The Sound Garden was hushed as Chris Cornell held the audience enraptured with his sell out solo acoustic show and Colston Hall.  A first for us was a trip to Sheffield for HRH Blues Festival weekend what an array of talent that just played the blues with heart, soul and a helping of rock. Ten Years After acoustic was a sight to see and a joy to listen as was their headlining electric jamboree.

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016At the start of May, we said farewell to Fish at Robin 2 and across the land a performer that will be missed from the circuit. Gov’t Mule at the 02 Academy, Bristol was a scorcher wow we just can’t get enough of Warren Haynes at Bluesdoodles HQ. The Tunnels delivered with stellar guitar playing from Simon McBride, and then a double act full of anecdotes laughs and stunning music as the wayward sons Ian Siegal & Jimbo Matthus entertained. The final of the trio of Tunnel delights was the effervescent JJ Grey & Mofro. The journey of the year followed, and I will not live this down for a while. We can see both the Nimmo brothers perform this Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016weekend journey looks fine to me the non-driver of the Bluesdoodles team. So stage one Wales to Salisbury fortified by two delicious cakes celebrating Introvertigo and  Reaching For The Light from Cupcake Heaven in Salisbury as King King & Dan Patlansky performed at The Civic Centre.  Up early next day for a cross-country jaunt to Derby and the winning combination of Ben Poole opening for Stevie Nimmo and a finale with Aynsley Lister joining in – what a top-notch weekend. Plus some Prog rock Yes in Bristol and Magnum in Cardiff, May played out in every musical style.

 

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016June nearly half way through the year and Bonnie Raitt certainly bringing a ray of musical sunshine to Colston Hall. Brightening June with high energy entertaining nights of music were Vintage Trouble at Tramshed and Kaz Hawkins Band at The Convent. Soulful. delights at The Tunnels from JJ Grey & Mofro.  The festival celebrating a Silver Jubilee, Blues On The Farm was not so much a festival in the midsummer sun but more of a deluge of water and mud thankfully drowned out by the glorious selection of acts that kept smiles on out faces and the thought of British Summertime in our hearts. Festivals for Bluesdoodles is meeting frBluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016iends and discovering new and interesting acts and those we just never tire of hearing play. These included Ian Siegal; King King and Stevie Nimmo Trio. New discoveries were Sari Schorr and The Engine Room, Debbie Bond and  Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado. A first and quite possibly the last time I will hear the bagpipes played in a Blues band; Dr. Schwamp definitely delivered a musical feel good vibe.

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016

A first for me in July I was asked to act as interviewer/link person for a celebration of women in music. Sisters definitely bought blues and friendship
to the Convent. A scary but definitely fun night.  July also meant a local festival and a trip up a mountain. Firstly taking us back to a mellow Blues explosion that shaped the 1960’s and beyond was Joe Bonamassa at Colston Hall. Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016Two days later and we had sunshine and wet and cold just had to be Steelhouse Festival, near Ebbw Vale, South Wales. The rock was varied loud and very good. The mountain thundered its roar of approval. With so many highlights, laughs with friends. Bands that
caught attention who I had not seen play live before were Bigfoot, Vega, Von Hertzen Brothers. Into the mix add RavenEye, Dirty Thrills, The Answer, Thunder and The Dead Daisies the festival was musical mayhem and fun.

Bluesdoodles Picks of Live Music 2016With the summer upon us, highlights of August were hearing Devon Allman and his band for the second time and LaVendore Rogue with their special music mix-up with hints blues. punk/rock and always quality.  Off to Old Bush Blues, where Matt once again opened the pub and grounds to bands that just want to entertain. This is a weekend to kick off your shoes and enjoy yourselves. With Chris Farlowe, Northsyde, jammings sessions that left you breathless, any excuse to taste the real ale again!

Competition Planet Rock The Dead Daisies Leads To BostonAutumn, life is in a spin as Liz won a competition on Planet Rock Radio, a weekend to Boston to see the Dead Daisies play in Worcester. The excitement and delight will take many months to wear off. What a weekend from taking off at Heathrow until we landed back home. What laughs and adventures, staying in the same hotel as The Daisies, going to the gig on the tour bus and the AAA passes. This was a magical few days filling many pages in the music memory diary. Could any gigs compete as the year drew to a closes yes they could! Sari Schorr playing The Tunnels followed by Mike Zito at TheScene, Swansea with Albert Castigalia opening and kicking up a Blues storm. These two acts definitely kept live music hot and exciting as the year tumbled into October.

For me it has to be one of 2016 best events The Tubes in Cardiff, what a musical spectacle, myriad of costume changes, music energy and lyrical messages. Pure platinum entertainment. The nights were dark but the music and the warmth and light to cheer the shortening days. Saxon in Bristol another highlight even the gig of the year if it hadn’t been for that trip to Boston! Then two amazing nights by artists whose vocal power and emotional intensity always capture my musical soul. Ian Siegal celebrating twenty-five years on the road with his band and Beth Hart celebrating her wonderful album Fire On the Floor. These two are my absolute highlights of the year. when artists have that fire in their performance it is a real privilege to be in the audience.  In the midst of the gigs, we went to the 3rd UK Blues Challenge at Robin 2 organised by UK Blues Federation. The four acts were superb, Rebecca Downes, Wille and The Bandits, Dove and Boweevil and Kaz Hawkins Band. On the night the judges agreed that Kaz Hawkins delivered, winning the challenge and will in 2017 represent Britain for the fist time at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and will sing in the European Blues Challenge. Great opportunity to be heard and noticed. The emotion was raw and the blues deep when Walter Trout stunning Guitar and a Parka Plays It LiveWalter Trout visited Tramshed in Cardiff. A trio of acts closed November as The Planet Rock Roadstars. We saw them at The Globe & The Tunnels as two British bands blues rockers Federal Charm and young rising star Aaron Keylock were joined by SIMO from Nashville Tennessee.  SIMO stole the show they were superb with high-octane music that flowed with a cascade of notes and beats. Closing out November Black Stone Cherry at St Black Stone Cherry Bringing Kentucky To CardiffDavids Hall, Cardiff. A sit-down venue seems wrong for BSC. But it worked. The first half acoustic the second portion rocking BSC with tracks from Kentucky played loud sending through the rafters and out into the night.  The final act though was for Alter Bridge supported by Gojira and Volbeat. Volbeat stole the show the heaviest band I have seen this year but one I will definitely go again too.

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2017 to Trecco BayDecember started with Planet Rockstock, what a weekend friends, laughs rock and the seaside of Porthcawl always a winning combination. Stage two delivered those wow must see them again moments with JoanOvArc; Tequilla Mocking Bird and Lazuli. With a French Horn played the first time for me outside of an orchestral piece. Lazuli delivered progressive horn, chapman stick and so much more. Broken Witt Rebels fulfilled my expectations and more looking forward to seeing them in 2017 as they open for King Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2017 to Trecco BayKing. The other highlights of the weekend were seeing SIMO again and Stone Broken, A Thousand Horses and Whiskey Myers they rocked. Hitting the notes once again with their irascible brand of Rock n’ Roll the Dead daisies re-ignited the excitement of September. What a difference a year makes as Inglourious returned and they were glorious full of confidence the crowds were ecstatic.  Closing the festival Black Stone Cherry left everyone on a Winter rock fuelled high.

Once again 2016 confirmed that from January to December music will always take Bluesdoodles on a rollercoaster of musical highs.

We attended fifty-seven gigs; five festivals and 1 UK Blues Challenge. Notching up a few many miles and hearing a myriad of notes, chords and voices having listened to and watched over One Hundred and Sixty acts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Doodle Paws Album Awards 2016

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Ten Doodle Paws Album Awards 2016

 

What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

Album Earning Ten Doodle Paws During 2016

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Album of 2016

Now this was difficult almost impossible with so many contenders With Thirty-Six albums with the Ten-Doodle Paw accolade considered throughout December. what a delight to play and listen to them all again. The final choice is mine, yes it is subjective and has changed there are many that have not been mentioned that will continue to be regularly played and enjoyed in the House of Bluesdoodles

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicAlbum of  The Year 2016

Beth HartFire On The FloorMascot Label

I wrote when I reviewed in September that it was a contender for album of the year I was right. The fire in the album burns brightly from the floor to the heavens. Beth Hart,  Fire On The Floor has gathered together a dozen tracks that flow and warm up the speakers with a raw, charismatic and open delivery of intensely personal emotionally driven lyrics.  Fire On The Floor is a majestic album and will burn brightly long after 2016 fades into a memory.

 

For all the other  category Winners check them out HERE

January – March

Jeff Healey – Heal My Soul
Kyla Brox – Throw Away Your Blues
Joe Bonamassa – Blues of Desperation
Monster Truck – Sittin Heavy
Red Dirt Skinners – Behind The Wheel
Mumbo Jumbo – Sonic Gumbo
Ben Poole – Time Has Come
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons
Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call of the Blues
Stevie Nimmo – Sky Won’t Fall
Big Boy Bloater & The LiMiTs – Luxury Hobo
The Temperance Movement – White Bear
Danny Bryant – Blood Money

April – June

Kaz Hawkins – Feelin Good
Dan Patlansky – Introvertigo
Giles Robson – For Those Who Need The Blues
Albany Down – The Outer Reach
Jimbo Mathus – Band of Storms
The Rides – Pierced Arrow
No Sinner – Old Habits Die Hard
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones
Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky

July – September

Honey Island Swamp Band  –  Demolition Day
Laurence Jones – Take Me High
Cadillac Three – Bury Me In My Boots
Aynsley Lister – Eyes Wide Open
Devon Allman – Ride Or Die
King King – Live
Joanne Shaw Taylor – Wild
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

October – December

The Brew – Shake The Tree
Mike Simpson & Don Flemons – Ever Popular Favourites
Ian Siegal – 2wnty5ive The Collection
Jeff Healey – Holding On
Glenn Hughes – Resonate
RavenEye – Nova
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2016 to Trecco Bay

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2017 to Trecco Bay

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2016 to Trecco Bay

 

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2017 to Trecco BayRockstock 2016 officially starts on Friday 2nd December, but if you have a Planet Rock Golden Ticket then you have an extra injection of music with four bands getting Trecco Bay rocking on Thursday. The honour of starting the proceedings fell to local band Mojo Sinners, with a set that with its heavy drum beat allows the guitar of David Williams to swirl and rise. With a new E.P. out in January, we were treated to a preview with the track Jester.  They delivered a short set opening a weekend of rock that will roll.The next two act’s music remained as a weekend highlight as the last notes faded away on Sunday. French progressive rock with twists of Eastern promise  provided by Lazuli creating an atmospheric opening with an eclectic mix of instruments including a Chapman Stick and French Horn.  Quite different for a Rockstock weekend and definitely music that excites the inner progressive. The keyboard orchestration combined with Geddy Lee-like vocals made for a great 3-D sound. If you like Prog you will love Lazuli with a rush of emotions as the all too short set was very impressive. Definitely want to see the band with a longer set on a larger stage.  Next, in contrast, was a young blues-rock band making quite a name for themselves in the West Midlands and beyond, the Broken Witt Rebels. Hitting the ground running with their single Low which sounded great live they immediately engaged to crowd getting them to join in the rollercoaster ride that was to follow including title track Georgia Pine. What a voice!! Really goose-pimply raising the hairs on the back of your neck. There is a strong hint of Rival Sons about this band which is no mean thing. They had numerous technical problems on stage – but you wouldn’t have noticed such was their professionalism these are definitely going places. Can’t wait to see them supporting King King early 2017. Closing the night were Tax The Heat delivering a class act with a typically intense rocky set punctuated with great riffs and licks.  The crowd were now in the mood for rock that would keep them warm as they went out into the cold night air. They certainly raised the heat in bringing a very impressive first evening of music at Planet Rockstock to a close and certainly whetted the appetite for what was to follow in the coming three days.

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Last year Wyatt rode from London To Rockstock overnight raising £40,000 for CALM. If that journey sounded tough Wyatt set himself and epic ride this year.  Wyatt cycled nearly 1,100 miles across the UK in just under seven days! On Friday 25th November 2016, Wyatt set off on an incredible 1,100-mile journey across the UK, with the aim of raising £40,000 for CALM. He achieved the goal and in fact his ride motivated people and he raised over £70,000 for Campaign Against living Miserably CALM.

Now for the main event, this is the proverbial long-lasting delicious aural stick of rock.  On the outside vibrant red stickiness that is Planet Rock that come together to Trecco Bay, South Wales in December to play rock live to the Planet Rock family.  The Red layer are the DJ’s Wyatt, Paul Anthony, Darren Reddick and of course the Hairy Bikers. That is not all there is a huge dedicated hard-working team that deliver lights, sound, backstage support and at the heart of the team Jon Norman, Mr Rockstock himself. The sugary white layer are the family that congregate to spend the first weekend in December to sing Rockaoke, compete in the Quiz, partake or listen to the DIY Band and above all to hear live rock music and meet up with old friends, make new ones and have fun. The lettering that runs through are the thirty-three bands that will be delivering Southern Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock bands that are new and old favourites like every seaside event there is something for everyone.

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2017 to Trecco BayOpening tonight were Stone Broken and the first of the women to play the festival this year across both stages. Drummer Robyn Haycock flashed her winning smile and then drummed with her heart on her sleeve. The vocals have a rocking snarl as Rich Moss fronts a band with attitude, style and energy playing large stages higher up the running order will be the norm for a band that definitely isn’t broken. Friday night the heat of rock kept the icy chill from the outside world at bay. Then the opening night like the closing night provided a strong billing. On with the music, and A Thousand Horses, the first Southern Rock fuelled band of the festival. The music was faultless what a stunning festival set. Michael Hobby’s vocals were like honey drip, drip, dripping onto a vat of moonshine. The rock hardened as Phil Campbell’s Bastard Sons were back to entertain with Lemmy’s spirit, not for the last time to join us over the weekend. The Motörhead numbers certainly hit the spot with the crowd. Their rendition of Ace Of Spades delighted a crowd whose excitement was getting hotter with every rock chord played.   The rock unfurled more delicious music with the first and definitely not the last all woman band of the weekend as Girlschool entertained with a mix of numbers off their new album and classics from the past like Race With The Devil.The anticipation and excitement was now fever pitch as The Dead Daisies returned to Porthcawl once again tonight to headline with their hot-tempered brand of rock n’ roll.  With numbers from Revolucion and their current album Make Some Noise, noise was certainly made by the festival crowd. What an opening night the depth and breadth of rock on display for every taste. The highlight tonight was A Thousand Horses, first time I have heard them live and they really impressed.

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Early doors on Saturday for Stage 2 as Haxan brought the darker side of rock before Bad Touch provided the shades of their rock with rock n’ roll and southern rock. The afternoon was full of bands people will want to see on the main stage and culminated with Darren’s DIY Band. Early evening and The Colour of Noise a multi-talented rock band picked up the stick of rock and opened an evening where the rock was loud and varied. They were followed by Amorettes the girls were certainly rocking across the festival in 2016 with a hefty set of heavy rock. Opening with We Will Bring The House Down; they certainly did. As they say Keep it hot Keep it heavy. For me, the only stand out act tonight on the weakest evening of the weekend was Whiskey Myers. They delivered Southern Rock guitar warmed by the southern sun and roughened with the stinging moonshine. There is an infectious beat as country collides with hard rock via the Blues. Southern dialect fills out and warms the lyrical vocals.  The delta meets the open road of adventure with all the possibilities of a rock beat drums set the route and the guitars explore the by-ways of expectations. They took us to a party in the empty barn before harvest. The urgency was slowed with gentle riffs and the dance foot tapping beat. The fiddle was hot as a square dance was imagined. Now the audience were heating up. The title track of their new album Mud was given an airing as the fender was really strung on stage!  Taking us on southern tour Louisiana/Texas border riffs with glass slide slithering across the six strings as fishing in the bayou is explored. The percussion was infectious and the Cowbell rock tango was beguiling. Wow! The acts did not excite me but like any family what delights one member leaves another unmoved and Planet Rock knows how to weave together a rocking melody of styles.

Planet Rock Brings Rockstock 2017 to Trecco BayAll too soon it is the last day and like all good treats, the best have been saved for us so much rock music left to hear from 11am until midnight. Every band played with verve, delivering thrills and spine-tingling moments. It is those moments that make live music so special and festivals have an intensity as the music flows and sweetens the very air we breathe. Every player deserves a mention but space is limited. These are my highlights of the day and yes, yours will be different no one is wrong or right. What we enjoy is subjective it is the difference in our tastes that makes the Planet Rock family full of interesting conversations and the opportunity to find new bands and new sounds.

With two all-women bands Joan Ov Arc and Tequilla Mockinbyrd on stage two’s bill the rock was flamboyant and exciting Main Stage next year could be dominated by women who are stirring the rocky pool with music that rings with a clarity that excites. The closing act of the afternoon SIMO is a force field of guitar and vocals that thrills. This is a trio full of power and they unsurprisingly blew the roof off. JD Simo went for it with an energy that burns up the stage and audience as he delivered an opening couple tracks off the current album, Let Love Show The Way and then it merged into a jam with a whirling shapes of tones and textures. This is rock burning with Nashville fire simply mesmerising.

With a few minutes to draw breath before the baton is taken over by the Main Stage and the last mouthful of rock to enjoy and savour. Jackaman opened the evening; her vocals have a searing purity with a gritty edge. A lighter rock with the only saxophone of the festival as funky tones wove into the musical textures of Rockstock 2016.  They were followed by the Finnish Von Hertzen Brothers who entertained with prog rock with attitude. The interaction between lead/rhythm guitars upped the tempo. The set was eclectic full of interest, creating a great atmosphere that was continually building. Tonight without the keys, the band still managed to create the Von Hertzen sound. Next up were Inglorious. Stepping out on stage the journey this band has been on since playing their first live set at Rockstock 2015 has been amazing.  They played the rock from the self-titled album Inglorious as we wait for the follow-up album early next year.  What a difference a year makes Nathan was full of his usual confidence and vocals that can fill the largest auditorium. Nathan James has real charisma a front man that loves being centre of attraction. What has changed for the better is the interaction between the band, less standing on the monitors more playing of the guitars. The sound created was rocky and we all loved hearing Breakaway, High Flying Gypsy with its great bass/drum duo to close the number out. The Atmosphere was electric, excited we wanted more music. Following that the penultimate set of the weekend Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts, fast British heavy rock. The lyrics were powerful as the rock cascaded from the stage. All too soon the finale, and what a final act for us tonight as we had the last bite out of the stick of Planet Rock. Black Stone Cherry took to the stage auditorium packed, hot and excited. Unfortunately, vocals were muffled for another headlining act was poor. But like British Lion the night before; Black Stone Cherry had their own sound engineers and had removed the infill speakers at the front of the stage to create more space. That said, the show they put on was electric and punctuated with favourites such as and Me and Mary Jane, Shakin’ My Cage from Kentucky album raising the excitement of the packed venue to fever pitch… BSC win more fans of their distinctive rock every time they play and tonight was no different as the mighty headliners bout the show to an end. Here’s to Rockstock 2017!

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Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016: July – Sept 2016

Bluesdoodles Pick of the Bunch July-Sept 2016

 

Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016:
July – Sept 2016

Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st July and 30th September 2016 Bluesdoodles listened to numerous albums and reviewed 27 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance.

This is the third quarter of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016.


Honey Island Swamp Band  –  Demolition Day
Laurence Jones – Take Me High
Cadillac Three – Bury Me In My Boots


Aynsley Lister – Eyes Wide Open
Devon Allman – Ride Or Die
King King – Live


Joanne Shaw Taylor – Wild
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse Glory


Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GlorySunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse Glory

How does Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse Festival Glory? The glory part is easy two days of phenomenal live music on top of a mountain in Wales. The sunburn and rust that is the vagaries of a Welsh summer, Saturday was scorching hot, whilst on Sunday the misty drizzle dampened the ground but not the spirit of rocking fun.

 

Saturday 23rd July 2016 – Hot and Sunny Rocking

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GloryOpening a festival is a daunting experience. Bigfoot, a young rock band from Wigan, stepped on the stage and left a lasting impression. This is a band with the potential to go places, full of confidence and good songs they were a hit, still remembered as the festival drew to a close on Sunday. Saturday was warming up throughout the day, with each successive band raising the Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse Glorybar ever higher as the temperature, excitement and fun grew. Next up was Dirty Thrills, they definitely thrilled the crowds with rocked up individuality with a thread of blues as bright as the skies overhead. Full of energy on stage they interact with each other and the crowds, the high jinx’s though never deflects from the deep groove-laden music. A great set they will keep building their reputation as rocked-up contemporary excitement from Dirty Thrills.

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GloryCentre stage of any festival is the music from the stage, but to get a true festival vibe it is the added extra. After the steep climb up the mountain on a dusty track you are greeted with a vista that spreads across the horizon it is beautiful. The stage dominates the area. In addition there is a wide seleSunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse Gloryction of foods and drinks alcoholic and some delicious coffee. Then there was the lovely jewelry made from guitar strings, leather goods, bandanas (the doodle, Othello, in bluesdoodles is delighted with his new red bandana that is his little bit of The Dead Daisies) and the festival and bands merchandise.

The next two bands show different sides of rock, Vega, with a charismatic lead singer who knew how to flaunt the power of the runway stage they got everyone’s attention with the dramatic entrance, and cartoon backdrop. Once their attention was gained the audience warmed to them this is rock that will always, please. Young dudes that are getting deserved attention are Tax The Heat, and in the heat of the afternoon if they were tax collectors they would have pulled in the money. They do not need to be tax collectors the heat is in the rock they deliver from the strong rhythm section through to Alex Veale up front this is a stylish band with depth and delicious slide guitar from JP. The heat will continue to rise for this young band.

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In between the sets the breaks are long enough to catch up with friends, make new acquaintances and deepen the relationship between Steelhouse and festival attendees. This year as the festival develops the campsite area has a new addition, Glamping tents, which proved popular as they were sold out weeks before the festival dates.

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The shadows lengthened and the sun cooled as the last four bands of a wonderful opening day got ready to strut their stuff. First of the international bands from Finland, Von Hertzen Brothers, with a spectacular backdrop telling a story of two Ravens in chains against the red background. New Day Rising their current album cover is certainly a powerful image and the music hit the mark with a prog-rock twist and keys that provided a textured background sound. Mikko the vocalist has wonderful phrasing singing gently then with vigour and at times with a roughened edge. They added another layer of rock strata building the Saturday into a perfect festival memory. Following on Blues Pills kept the Scandinavian feel with Swedish/American/French inspired rock and the first woman, Elin Larsson up front burning up the stage with her stunning vocals at Steelhouse. The quartet mix up the flow with a definite sixties feeling as the lead guitar curls around the music redolent of early Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix, Aretha Franklin creating a sound that is their own Blues Pills mesmerizes with an addictive psychedelic rock.

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GloryTo follow this we had The Answer, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the release of their debut album, Rise. Cormac’s distinctive vocals got the set underway as unusually for a festival they played the album in full. The set was full of emotional command reminding you of how good the album was and still is. In this day and age of streaming and random play the set re-asserted the inherent power and flow of hearing the whole album as the artist planned it. There is context story and drama. The audience participation was enthusiastic on Preachin’ Blues this was quality festival entertainment. Now the final live band of the opening day.

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse Glory

Saturday Headline

The only threat of bad weather today was always going to be from the stage where a storm of Thunder was being counted down by the phalanx of fans up front they wanted to see every moment of the final set as the day darkened into a summer’s night. Yes, the air temperature was dropping high above Ebbw Vale, the festival was heating up a light display, entrance music and then Thunder hit the stage to the chant of Harry! Harry as the drummer took his seat. Danny Bowes lead from the front building the vocals and the crowd’s excitement. Thunder did not disappoint, hitting the music running with a thunderous set that connected with fans and beyond. The audience sang to the words that tripped off the tongue we were partying the night away creating a great atmosphere as the last notes faded away. For those who wanted to party the night was young with the DJ’s setting up for dancing and fun at a festival with no neighbours to upset.

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Crowds-6061

Sunday 24th July 2016 – Grey, Drizzle and Misty Rocking

Day one, was a success, anticipation was high for day two as Last Great Dreamers started the day’s rock fest. With their take on glam rock, they opened up to a bleary-eyed crowd for me their pop rock got Sunday off to a meandering start and the weakest band so far. Next up were Hand Of Dimes full of Welsh verve and pizazz as both singer and front man Nev MacDonald got the early birds rocking through the drizzle and Sunday morning mist nothing was going to dampen this festival. This is rock music that warms your rocky heart and soul and the first and only harmonica of the festival thanks to Neil Garland the keyboard player and fellow ex. SKIN member. This is a band that understands space between the chords, the timing was superb and layers of sound certainly kick starting the day. Toseland were up next and the first technical gremlins hit the stage crew, quickly dealt with and the live music was back on stage. James Toseland, may have left the adrenalin-fueled world of motorbike racing but he still packs an adrenaline-fueled vocal punch. James has surrounded himself with a band that enhances his vocal prowess playing with energy and excitement. The set was the highlight pf the festival for many and Toseland certainly won new fans after this performance.

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Today, Welsh weather reverted to type, the sun was shrouded in mist, interspersed with drizzle and rain. That did nothing to dampen the festival audience spirits. Steelhouse in its sixth year is growing in size and the reputation is based on the music not the weather.

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GloryThe stage was now set for Raveneye, and we were in for some guitar fireworks from Oli Brown. He may have started out his career as a blues guitarist, but this young man certainly knows how to rock and put on a show. Including not missing a note as he is paraded around the stage on the shoulders of bassist Aaron Spiers. Raveneye’s set was animated and the music superb with the vestiges of his blues career a pick on his thumb and a shining sapphire blue guitar.

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GloryThere was no doubt that the excitement around the next out was equivalent for a headliner. Who? The Dead Daisies. Why? Their sound is stunning, awesome, they are a live band that excites with superb melodies, and fantastic vocals. The Dead Daises connect to your rocking heart and soul the music flows through your veins full of electric brilliance and spark. This is Rock n’ Roll that makes you want to scream, shout out loud and laugh with pure delight. The latest member is Doug Aldrich who fits into the Daisy gang perfectly. John Corabi, on vocals, fronts this charismatic group and is given the room to develop the lyrics and have fun. We are taken back to the seventies and forward to now as they blend the sounds, whilst delivering their re-takes of classics. The rhythm section powers through the rock with the animated and flamboyant Marco Mendoza on bass and drummer Brian Titchy and rhythm guitarist David Lowy. The festival was on fire with excitement as the set sadly drew to a close many just wanted them to play on as for them The Dead Daisies were the band of the festival.

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The programme moved on with Hey! Hello!, we were in for some noisy pop-rock with Ginger Wildheart, The Rev and two women Ai on drums and new singer up front they were fun and the pop rock contrasted to The Dead Daisies who are never an easy band to follow. Just as everyone had given up on being dry and seeing the sun the crowds rolled away as Terrorvision hit the stage. They have a distinctive lively rock sound with elements of rap, glam and the late eighties tonal context. Terrorvision are definitely the marmite band of the weekend, causing many a debate between the fans and those who just don’t quite get the band. The fans were treated to a set that captured rock they delight in.

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Sunday Headline

Now for the finale, the skies once again darkened the lights shone as The Darkness bought 2016 Steelhouse to a close. The Darkness rewarded the fans for waiting for them to play as the rock-pop theme of the last three acts was maintained. Jason and The Darkness provided an uplifting and rousing finale to the festival.

Sunburn and Rust combine for Steelhouse GloryA big thank you to the organisers Max and Lee and the phalanx of volunteers who kept the bands happy back stage and the whole event organized, the sound crews, and security. Then a special award should go to the mighty Darren Redick from Planet Rock for carrying out the MC role, stopping and talking to many who stop him as he wanders around the festival.

Every band performed at the top of their game, bringing live music energy to the festival. Bluesdoodles standout acts were opening band Bigfoot and Von Hertzen Brothers, both new bands for us. Then we really enjoyed Tax The Heat another young band going places, The Answer, Blues Pills and Raveneye. The top band of the weekend just has to be the effervescent The Dead Daisies.

Sunburn and Rust combined for Steelhouse Glory 2016, for me The Dead Daisies should have been the headliners. But that said what a fantastic two days of rock energy and music high up a mountain via a dirt road. Roll on 2017 when we will be back up the mountain. Make sure you keep the Crepe stall they were perfect.