The Kentucky Headhunters Invite The U.K. On Safari
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Steve Hackett Exploring The Night Siren on his latest Album, his twenty-fifth as a solo artist a silver landmark of a distinguished career. Sit back, and be taken on an extravaganza of musical experiences. The Night Siren has its own tuneful call, melding together modern rock instruments with sounds from the dawn of time as Persian Oud meets Andean Quena via the strings of the viola and bass clarinet. Incorporating tradition with contemporary sounds works as The Night Siren weaves musical tonal textures under the guidance and artistry of Steve Hackett. With the complexities of string, woodwind and percussive instrumentation building a landscape where there is no simple journey of going in a straight line to your destination. The music flows, creating eddies, swells and detours, taking your ear to places that are delightful as Progressive Rock fills the room with layers of interest. Never self-indulgent always with a purpose exploring peace, how light will stop the plunge into darkness and self-destruction.
Hackett has gathered around him a group of artists who develop the scope of the instrument that shapes the music without constraints. The album has a global vision, reflected as we travel from the cold to heat. Steve Hackett travelled around the planet working with Icelandic drummer Gunnlaugur Briem, Azerbaijan tar player Malik Mansurov, Israeli vocalist Kobi Farhi and Arabic singer Mira Awad, who represented Israel in the, Eurovision song contest.
Opening the epic musical journey we join the legendary prog-rock guitarist and vocalist as the veil is lifted and we see Behind The Smoke. Behind the smoke on this socio-political song exploring displaced refugees and leader’s own self-interest of protecting borders. This is an album of music without borders, inventive and without self-constraint. This is music that is both considered, intriguing and above all else exciting. My first experience of the stringed Persian instrument Tar; the mystical sound pulls in the guitar and the sultry Eastern vocals from Amanda. The instrumental breaks have a sense of purpose and inherent rhythm that says more than the words. The didgeridoo under Sara’s guidance is joined by her father, Ferenec Kovacs trumpet as we travel to Fifty Miles from the North Pole. The opening is quiet, the sound is cool creating a soundscape of a journey across a landscape cold, ‘’it can freeze your soul”
The dramatic opening of El Niño with drums and strings describes the power of this force of nature as the orchestra of sounds creates the soundscapes of nature’s fury. All the tracks are mesmerising, as we step to the Other Side of the Wall we enter a dream zone shaping a different hegemony one of peace, solution and tranquility refuting the way the world seems to be a head full of xenophobia, hatred and intolerance. The music is cathartic a window of hope and renewal.
Rock, rises above on Inca Terra and In Another Life. Civilizations from the past connect the two melodies and cascade through the middle of the album, revitalizing and shining light on mysteries. Instruments from previous times help in the linking of the world of the past and now as quena and Uilleann pipes are used to great effect in shaping the melodic mood.
As the album draws to its worldly conclusion West To East fate is explored as we are lead to ask why the birds have left the sky. It is a message that we need to look into the East not expect the traffic of understanding has to flow East to West. We need to find what we have in common and then Peace can be found. There is hope and this is the track that lightens the night siren with a message of renewal. Closing with The Gift the shortest track, we are under the spell of Steve Hackett’s guitar playing and the lusciousness of the strings picking up the melody. The instrumental pulls the themes together once more re-affirming the talent of Steve Hackett.
The Night Siren, is more than a collection of eleven tracks. The Night Siren a celebration of the depth of cultures throughout the world. The wealth of music, the wealth of tones, the wealth of what is good in humanity. The Night Siren is a call to action for a different world. Open, giving and tolerant. The Night Siren is composition that will on every listen enthrall and entrance. Prog-rock does not get better than this. Albums do not get better than this. The Night Siren is masterful and the best yet from the talented musical mind of Steve Hackett.
TENdoodle paws out of TEN ….
Steve Hackett: electric & acoustic guitars, oud, charango, sitar guitar, harmonica, vocals (1-11)
Roger King: keyboards & programming (1-10)
Amanda Lehmann: vocals (220.127.116.11.7.9.10)
Christine Townsend: violin, viola (3,4,5,7,9,10)
Rob Townsend: baritone & soprano sax, flute, flageolet, quena, bass clarinet (1,4,7,9)
Gary O’Toole: drums (3,4,10)
Nick D’Virgilio: drums (2)
Guili Briem: drums, cajon, percussion (7,9)
Mira Awad: vocals (10)
Leslie-Miriam Bennett – keyboards (11)
Dick Driver: double bass (3,4,5,7)
Nad Sylvan: vocals (7)
Kobi Farhi: vocals (10)
Benedict Fenner: keyboards and programming (11)
Jo Hackett: vocals (10)
John Hackett: flute (2,10)
Ferenc Kovács: trumpet (3)
Sara Kovács: didgeridoo (3)
Malik Mansurov: tar (1)
Live Albums capture a moment, freezing the live sound into the grooves that you can take home and play. Tedeschi Trucks Band Music Live From Fox Oakland comprises fifteen impeccable tracks across two CDs and does more that capture you in the moment. The album is a total immersion into a world where the blues based Tedeschi Trucks Band takes you to sonic places that enthrall and leave you breathless with joy. The lengths of the tracks vary from short and sweet Within You, Without You, full of Eastern mysticism and crowds whoops as the Beatles number is delivered with a delicacy and passion; through to the other end of the spectrum of nearly fifteen minutes of Tedeschi magic on I Want More complete with a Soul Sacrifice outro; could be self-indulgent time filling. Not under the hands of the jamming, improvisation virtuosity led by Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi every track is full of stylish twists and turns a music fairy dust of those special wow moments. The twelve-piece band gives Trucks and Tedeschi the choice of the sound they want to create as the instruments are at times maximized to full tonal depth and volume; or diminished into the powerful simplicity of vocals and keys. Every combination is used as the music played by Tedeschi Trucks Band Music Live From Fox Oakland creates a sonic mural of deep tonal pleasure. The colouring from the broad spectrum palette of jazz, the power hammer of rock, the hit of funk and the roots of the Blues that holds the Tedeschi sound together.
Picking out a few numbers from this magnum opus, is a real challenge. Leonard Cohen’s Bird On The Wire must be one, the combination of Susan Tedeschi’s vocals and Kofi Burbridge keys are a combination that is full of sensitivity, passion and music that sears straight to the heart. Then there is the re-working of I Pity The Fool, dominated by the vocals on this Bobby Blue Bland’s classic; the horns section pulling you deep into the vibe created. We all love a stomp, Sleepy John Estes’ Leavin’ Trunk provides this in buckets changing the tempo and providing a cascade of tones, and textures as horns guitar and vocals deliver a sound that is uncomplicated but full of interest as they explore the depths of the blues.
Into the mix of clever covers add the growing discography of Tedeschi Trucks numbers where they have input into the writing we have a selection of numbers that explores the musical journey that has been the sound track of the last hundred years. As ever Dereck Trucks guitar is majestic. Full of licks and riffs adding a luscious tone to every track as the interplay between the other instruments and Susan’s vocals create a sound board full of delights.
You may ask, do you want another live album with its mix of originals and re-working of classics that you already have numerous variations of and the original? Do you want another Tedeschi Trucks Band Album where half a dozen tracks are from last year’s album Let Me Get By? For me the answer is a resounding YES! Tedeschi Trucks Band Music Live From Fox Oakland, is full of fresh vitality and a pure hedonistic pleasure to sit and listen to from beginning to end time and time again.
NINEdoodle paws out of TEN ….
With a sold out show, everyone was at The Globe to hear the unique Hayseed Dixie take on classic songs we love to hear. Before the main event up on stage was an unknown entity, on the second night of their first UK Tour, a young French band, Dätcha Mandala. The band met Hayseed Dixie when playing Las Pieds Dans La Vase last year. With 22 dates they will be reaching audiences who will be amazed by the hard rock energy with psychedelic overtones all to a backdrop of blues riffs. Tonight the energetic leg flying Nicolas Sauvey, Bassist who takes the lead vocals and adds the tone of Harmonica whilst guitarist Jérémy Saigne who kneels as the high-octane Gibson fills the air provided an energetic front for the band. With a stand-in drummer following the band’s drummer breaking his wrist we were treated to a warm-up act that certainly got the musical adrenalin running. This is hard rock colliding with Buddhist spirituality they are a band who entertain and certainly put on a show.
Hayseed Dixie has been a crowd-pleasing act since they formed in 2000; after fifteen albums ‘Rockgrass’ must be hitting the crowd-pleasing button. This is a band that despite having a brand new album Free Your Mind and Your Grass Will Follow did not provide a sales pitch it was about delivering songs, a mix of Dixie’s originals and their creative re-working of songs from across the genres of popular numbers. Not many set lists include War Pigs, Bohemian Rhapsody, Ace of Spades and Oliver’s Army. Hayseed Dixies DID! This Bluegrass ho down meets classic rock as the acoustic bass and guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin are on a collision course of rock & country creating a genre of their own grass rock it is music mayhem that works it is infectious. Sold out at The Globe means the venue is crammed with excited fans who just want to have fun, they did not need any encouragement from the foursome. The members may have changed but the music has stayed the same. Tonight, John Wheeler, Jake Bryers, Joe Hymas and Tim Carter came and conquered the capital city once again. As they explained, “we have playing this music longer than many marriages, must be doing something right as we explore Drinking, Cheating, Killing and Hell”. We all agreed in one very loud voice.
This is a band that does music their own way with its foot tapping, arms waving let’s dance to the beat and harmonies. They may not appear to be taking themselves too seriously. Do not let the jokes and wise cracks fool you; this is music that delivers in spades.
Tonight Liz from Bluesdoodles was tired post-festival fatigue was setting in having been in Sheffield all weekend. So Tuesday night more live music, but having missed seeing Hayseed Dixie too many times she wasn’t going to let sore feet get in her way. The music was fun, lively with a good time vibe so staying until the last note died away was a pleasure, not pain. Why? A set list that is a rollercoaster of hell raising mayhem that hits the spot all post bank holiday blues were blown away by Hayseed Dixie in Cardiff tonight.
There is no doubt that the promise of the debut album from ex Heavy Pettin’s Gary Moat & Burnt Out Wreck, brings a tingle of anticipation. Do not expect a re-run of HP style this is Burnt Out Wreck with its own exciting take on the rock n roll the band want to play and you to love. Scotland’s rock n roll giant Gary Moat steps out from behind the drums and leads the charge on vocals and guitar. Joining Gary are Adrian Dunn and Miles Goodman adding layers of guitar tone, deep riffs and licks that excite. Now we need deep rhythms to build on Gary’s rhythm guitar, from bassist Alex Carmichael and Paul Gray’s drums. Adding another layer of voice to the band are Adrian and Alex on backing vocals.
The music rocks, with attitude and sears through the room turn it up loud, and party rock music, the rock is melodic and the beat infectious. Opening with Burnt Out Wreck, the band laid down its credentials. From the oft the music is British rock full of good time vibes and Gary Moats vocals have bluesy rock contour and at times gives the album an AC/DC feel, is the that a bad thing?.. not in my book. The instrumentation and play between guitars throughout gives the sound a texture that is melodic, gritty and at times with the lightest of touches on other tracks. Next on the Wreck airwaves is Swallow now the music hardens with a dirty grime ridden riff; nothing complicated this is classic rock for good times as you swallow the beverage of choice.
Medusa, where the guitar is blistering hot and not to be mistaken for the other 2010 number of the same name. This is like Burnt Out Wreck a number that is rising from the ashes a Phoenix of a number from the remnants of Mother’s Ruin. Followed by Flames, we are not ever getting burnt by this as the number is solid 70’s classic rock. As the album steps towards the closing number, we slow down after the fist-thumping previous numbers Your Love (Is All I Need) a ballad that belongs on every rock album and will have the audiences singing along. How to follow a ballad; explore the roots of rock, the parent and dip into the blues with Rocking Man. This is blues rock that will get everyone stamping the ground, and partying all night long. Closing with Best Of Your Life, this may not be the best or greatest album, but it will be one you return to with a smile on your face.
Burnt Out Wreck Springs into Action with debut Swallow; the action is good this is rock that puts a spring in any rockers boots.
EIGHTdoodle paws out of TEN ….
Spring sunshine warmed the pavements as the crowds gathered on the street outside the O2 Academy Bristol. The draw tonight was a double hitting rocking with energy delight with Biters opening the cavalcade of music, culminating with Blackberry Smoke. The bands are both label mates and friends so the pairing made sense on many levels to the audience it was the music, quality.
There was a rock n’ roll, retro bite as the band kicked off the night it was full steam ahead for music fun and games. The quartet from Georgia, stepped onto the stage with a step back into the past Norman Greenbaum, Spirit In the Sky. This is a band that have both feet in the 1970’s including a number celebrating the golden age of rock 1975. With the task of warming the crowd, they immediately connected with the Bristol tonight, with a shout out for the gigging venue on a boat we all love where they have played. Thekla the venue where we hear first many a band that become firm favourites, demonstrating the importance of a vibrant and varied landscape of venues in a city. Cardiff, please take note; Womanby Street is a cultural asset!
Now, back to the music with influences flowing through the veins of the music but never clogging the artistry with hints of Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzie and a large helping of T-Rex. Biters, have a forthcoming album due out 19th May on EarAche records; The Future Aint’ What It Used To Be. The superb and ear-catching single from the forthcoming album Stone Cold Love full of T-Rex vibe was part of the opening numbers and we certainly were riding a retro rollercoaster of delight. Fitting in with the southern rock/country rocking vibe Georgia and Gypsy Rose fitted the starter menu perfectly. This is music that entertains. Energetic young band the perfect platform of hooks that caught the vocals and licks that made you shout with joy as the drums pulled the rhythm through every number.
The Bristol crowd was excited and ready for more rock in the form of Blackberry Smoke. Back in Bristol, a band they are road warriors getting their distinctive sound majestic Southern Rock, authentic. They are as they describe themselves Too Country for Rock; Too Rock for Country the sound is a collision of two genres into a crescendo of rock that is full of southern warmth and edgy charm. Tonight Like An Arrow Tour rolled into Bristol, the city music fans appreciated this as the venue was packed from top to bottom. Opening with Fire In The Hole we are ready to put reality on hold and be transported into the land of Blackberry Smoke with the setlist full of songs from the discography covering the whole of the twenty-first century. Yes, Blackberry Smoke are a millennium southern rocking explosion. This is good time rocking music with an edge, the sound permeated through the crowd creating an electric party atmosphere. With Waiting For Thunder from current album having the audience singing and this will be a keeper for a live set becoming a classic. The melding of American music is evident in a number that rocks and Charlie Starr, pulling on the tradition of the holler and the lead break from the keyboard under the guidance of Brandon Still is picked up by the guitar. What a number only five songs in and the venue is steaming with this heavy hollering delight. The music flows with an energy as the southern rock credentials pour through the O2, with Pretty Little Lie. The wonderful southern slide sound from Charlie’s Gibson 335 was a joy to behold, and the keys add that extra tonal layer we are all transported to a special place that live music takes you. There has to be the jam moment, tonight A Sleeping Dog, from The Whippoorwill album is segued with Your Time Is Gonna Come as Zeppelin and Allman’s sounds are pulled into the version tonight. This is the moment when time stands still as the audience is collectively transfixed by the music we are a single entity absorbed and re-vitalised by the cleansing sound of guitars washing the dust away.
Tonight, music is a celebration of the sound of Americana with a willing audience participating in Ain’t Got The Blues, no-one in the audience tonight had the blues the music was a celebration of the positive, feeling good was the result. Another number celebrating the sound of the Acoustic guitar was One Horse Town. All to soon time was catching up the encore left us with a trio of delights. We wanted more, tonight Blackberry Smoke were on top of the game. The guitar harmonies flawless, the percussive rhythm full of edge and the vocals poured out across the auditorium. Closing with Ain’t Much Left, the music had said it all. Live Music rocks with Blackberry Smoke and Biters tonight.
What a start to 2017 – two festivals and some fantastic live gigs, memory box of 2017 filling up fast. Adding to the mix of delights is a cascade of albums arriving through the letterbox both the electronic format and the traditional front door.
First thirteen weeks, I have listened to many and thirty-three have been reviewed Bluesdoodles keyboard warrior loves the listening, enjoys the typing. The hard part is deciding the number of doodle paws for the superb musicianship and variety of styles we listen to. At the end of the first quarter of 2017 from the 1st of January through to 31st March 2017: EIGHT albums shone bright, thus ten doodle paws were stamped on the cover.
Hurricane Ruth – Ain’t Ready For The Grave – Hurricane Ruth Records “Hurricane Ruth delivers blues with gritty determination. She sets the music going and raises the tempo and heat until a perfect storm is created, with energised, swirling blues that are fueled with high-octane rock. …. The album is delivered with passion and determination the lyrics are set free by Hurricane Ruth’s vocal interpretation.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – This is The Life I Choose – 33 Records: “With three studio albums under Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion’s belt the fourth is definitely not running out of steam, it is full throttle blues. The blues are stylish, a mix of pathos and humour, reflections and looking forward, sadness and hints of joy” Read the rest of the review HERE
Thunder – Rip It Up – earMUSIC: “Rip It Up will never be a boring listen. Why? … Thunder’s eleventh studio album they a have definitely roared out of the studio with Rip It Up. An album for Thunder fans who have followed them over three decades and for those discovering them at today. ….. Rip It Up as new fans come under Thunder’s rock spell.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Erja Lyytinen – Stolen Hearts – Tuohi Records. “The only answer as the last notes fade is listen and explore Stolen Hearts again. Why? Stolen Hearts is an album of musical maturity that will remain a firm favourite for years to come in collections of lovers of contemporary blues without boundaries.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Jo Harman – People We Become – Independent: “The ten track, superbly crafted album closes out with piano and voice as Lonely Like Me with deep melody and a song that is timeless as we feel the hurt of loneliness and understand the begging for forgiveness as it is part of our own life’s journey. It is why we are the People We Become”. Read the rest of the review HERE
Catfish – Broken Man – Independent: “Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. … an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Matt Andersen – Honest Man – True North Records: “ … The music has a freshness, with a twist of retro and crosses across genres if you love a good song, superb vocals and interesting melodies then Honest Man will be a much-loved addition to your collection of music that is personal and political.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Change My Game – RUF: “…a studio album that sets down clearly the intent that Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado have once again picked up the baton of creativity and the game has changed for them building on their previous catalogue …. full of freshness as all the skills, dexterity and feel of the eight musicians are used to maximise the blues, rocking funky sound that flows through the album.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Spring sunshine warming Cardiff pavements, but not as hot as The Globe scorching from the two rock n roll sets from rising British Bands 2017 Planet Rock Roadstars show; Broken Witt Rebels & Bad Touch. First up in a lava flow of Rock from the red hot Birmingham band Broken Witt Rebels. Many bands would leave the crowd-pleasing signature number that Low, from the acclaimed EP Georgia Pine, has become. BUT, not the rebels this is the opening track they are opening on a high. High flowing rock that rolls around The Globe the crowd are jumping with delight they want more and more of Danny’s power blazing vocals, they are howling so the next number is perfect for the atmosphere created on a Sunday night, live music that Is Howlin’ good. Broken Witt Rebels are tight, they are having a great time playing the music we want to hear. This is a band that will rise to the top as the music is hot, tasty and created by a volcanic amalgam of music that shaped the seventies into a creative free form delight of classic rock infused with soul and whisky flaming southern riffs. The beating, pulsing heart of the Rebels is front man Danny Core, his vocals and stage artfulness catapult the band to the top of the rock face of young bands with ambition. He makes every song distinctive, the phrasing shaping the lyrics and the rebels behind him provide him with a trampoline that bounces with musicianship that sparks with attitude and flair. The drumming is energetic full of dramatic beats and cooled with phrasing and cymbal work from James Dudley whose sticks rise high and create the percussive tone for every song. Adding to the rhythm is the bass work from Luke Davis whose deep notes give us tone that takes us deep into the crater of joy that is the BWR music. Up front and on lead guitar giving Danny structure and his own delicious lead breaks, riffs and the hooks for Danny’s rhythm guitar as he described his playing ‘I am just a chord monkey’, James Tranter is the guitar wizard. At times through the set Danny sinks to the floor kneeling full of emotion, this is not in praying but in victory as the songs leap from a title on a set sheet into full blazing live glory. There is another chilled side as Turn Me On demonstrated that new songs are being added to a catalogue that has depth and that makes a live band great. Closing out the brilliant sparkling volcanic rocking set was Guns, we all know this from radio play and the number of times they have played the back catalogue. The encore was Shake Me Down, Danny and the boys definitely gave everyone a demonstration of a rock n rolling shake down that made Sunday night fizz.
Short break and many of the crowd took time out to chat with the Rebels and buy some merchandise to take home. The Globe was on musical fire as the red lights reflected back the heat of energy generated by live music. With a young band from deepest Norfolk, there was nothing flat about the Southern rock infused quintet Bad Touch. The only task they had was following on from the dynamic crowd-pleasing Broken Witt Rebels to ensure the audience’s energy didn’t wane. Did they achieve this, Yes they did! How, Truth Be Told a mix of showcasing their latest album and the combination of front man vocalist and tambourine man Stevie Westwood, and a trailblazing secret, well not so secret weapon the guitar playing of the latest member of the band Harry Slater. The shape and approach is different from BWR, so we all wanted to hear the harder edgier rock from Bad Touch. Opening with One Night More, technical gremlins attacked the drummer George Drewery, who continued playing his loud hard drumming despite not being able to hear the rest of the band. Once sorted the band were firing on all five cylinders again. Completing the Bad Touch sound is Daniel ‘seeks’ Seekings on guitar and bassist Michael Bailey who add such depth and tone to the Bad Touch Rock. Highlights of the set were Sweet Little Secret from their debut album that hit the mark and Half Way Home. Bad Touch are a sure touch that they will be making musical waves that purr with a lion’s roar of dominance. They have a sound that connects, heavy, hard and full of licks and vocal refrains that are earworms. We had cowboy refrains with Outlaw, softer with a sting in its musical tail. Stevie whirls and swirls tambourine held high but it is his vocals that gain your attention they have an attitude that makes them compelling on numbers such as Words I Never Say and then a different tone with radio friendly 99%. This is a number that has a little extra with its huge chorus and energy there is much more to be heard from these young guns of rock. Closing with The Mountain, we were left with Harry’s guitar fireworks and Stevie’s gritty vocals singing in our ears. Live music made Sunday sparkle with Rock n’ Roll.
Tonight, everyone at The Globe came to hear and see the Roadstars a duo of bands Broken Witt Rebels & Bad Touch. The reward was seeing to young bands creating a summit of rock numbers that will become classics of the future. The future of rock is bright strong and full of vigour with these young bands.
Do not let the clear blue skies deceive you, Cardiff is in for a British rock invasion with the promise of stormy weather brewing under the mighty hammer of Thor as Thunder hit the stage with an array of cameras. The show was being filmed tonight which added to the eagerness to get the show underway. Opening the evening, Cats In Space filled The Motorpoint Arena’s stage with energy and ready to warm up an already excitable Cardiff crowd. The rock is classic, British taking you back to the seventies highlighted by the entrance to The Sweeney theme tune. The vocalist and frontman Paul Manzi is engaging and sings a mighty fine rock melody, reminding you why they caused a noise a few years back with Too Many Gods, their debut album. The sound was polished with layers of sounds and textures with keys and guitars displaying in all their glories on Greatest Story Never Told a track that stood out from the others. With Andy Stewart behind the keyboard wearing a mighty fine Top Hat adorned quirky decorations the choice of The Mad Hatters Tea Party was a perfect fit and introducing fans to their forthcoming album of the same title. With all the cats launched into space replete with rock. the crowd was ready for the forecasted stormy weather as the mighty Thunder took to the stage.
The Motorpoint was hot the cheering immense as Jungle Boogie from Kool and The Gang rang out and the band took to the stage and Danny Bowes lifted the mic to sing, Brit Rock never sounded better in a set that was full of tracks from their acclaimed latest album Rip It Up. The welcome from the Capital City of Wales was warm and heartfelt we wanted the evening to rock our socks off with energy and surprises and Thunder certainly delivered from the first to the last note. As ever The Motorpoint a vast cavernous space more Sports Hall than Concert Hall the echoes were present but the sound guys had certainly worked hard to reduce them for tonight to a minimum.
Opening with No One Gets Out Alive, from Rip It Up, the crowd were totally immersed into the waves of Thunder sound, the question to be asked would they let the band on the stage? Cardiff was in a mood to party especially with camera’s aloft swooping across the arena. Danny Bowes was in his element engaging and egging the crowd on to be louder as he danced and swirled around the stage with is signature boundless energy. Combining this with never missing a beat and his vocals always clear and soaring majestically out across the auditorium. Thunder is not a band supporting the frontman’s antics they are a tour-de-force to enjoy with rock melodies and riffs cascading through every track. Luke Morley’s guitar playing was immense the solo lead breaks pulling out the emotional energy within the rock with the power of Gary James aka Harry drumming immaculately as ever a demonstration of how cymbals can be subtle as well as clanging with brute force. Completing the quintet, bassist Chris Childs with his solid rhythms and Ben Matthews with his guitar, keys and the mighty cowbell towards the end of the set on Love Walked In.
The perennial crowd pleaser River of Pain (Shooting at the Sun), proves Dany’s voice is as lyrically powerful and full of singing acrobatics as ever and makes Thunder’s rock a fizzy delight, a storm brewing that always refreshes and never cools the Cardiff Crowd. In between the half a dozen tracks from Rip It Up including the title track and yes Cardiff did Rip It Up, the cheering of the crowd was off the Richter scale. Old favourites were given an airing sounding fresh as ever with Backstreet Symphony and Don’t Wait for Me slipped into a set list that was alive with hallmarked British Rock verve and energy.
Friday night provided a big kick start for the weekend and before the encore, Cardiff was having the weekend of their lives. With three more numbers filling in the encore sandwich was She Likes Cocaine from Rip It Up a special track on the album with the addition of Lynne Jackaman’s powerful rock operatic soprano crescendos. Tonight for Cardiff Jackaman stepped on stage and lifted the atmosphere a notch higher. What a way to lead into the last song of the night. A great gig by one of the best live British Rock acts around.
Michael Schenker announces four UK concerts in November for his “Michael Schenker Fest” Tour that will reunite the original three M.S.G. vocalists, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, plus MSG musicians Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums).
Michael will be bringing his spectacular show of live Rock to London; Sheffield; Manchester and Hull.
Tickets for the Hull 12 noon on Friday 17th March (today).
Tickets for the London, Sheffield and Manchester shows goes on sale to the general public at 10am on Monday 20th March, but O2 Priority customers can take advantage of the pre-sale which starts at 12 noon on Friday 17th March (today).
Featuring the original MSG vocalists, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin Macauley and MSG musicians, Steve Mann (guitar & keys); Chris Glenn (Bass); Ted Mckenna (drums)
If you have ever heard Michael Schenker play live these are dates not to be missed. The opportunity to hear live in a UK Venue his latest Fest, recorded in Tokyo a superb boxed set, however good is not the same as being in the concert Hall with the musicians. Read what Bluesdoodles said about the recording HERE
Michael Schenker says, “It’s a miracle that after all these years, a tour like this will take place with the original band members of “M.S.G.”. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable.”
Continues Schenker, “It’s an amazing feeling to have all of my M.S.G. Family from the ’80’s performing together and especially with Graham Bonnet, who I never got to play any concerts after our Assault Attack album that was originally released in 1982. Fortunately, being able to have the participation of original M.S.G. members including Gary Barden, Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums) being part of it, and to perform with Robin McAuley and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards) again as well, is pretty awesome.”
More background information HERE