Cardiff Celebrating Classic Rock Tonight Skid Row Toseland Bad Touch

Cardiff Celebrating Classic Rock Tonight Skid Row Toseland Bad Touch

Three Bands, entertaining Y Plas in Cardiff tonight.  The bands span the years, varying in longevity. They were connected, all were five pieces, with two guitarists and a charismatic vocalist upfront. First up tonight the first of the five-piece rocking delights Bad Touch. High energy start, straight into their hefty Southern Rock inspired sound. What a band to warm the crowd they know how to entertain. The set included numbers of their well-received debut album, Truth Be Told. Stevie’s vocal delivery just gets better and better his confidence and freedom to perform grows with every gig he adds to the Bad Touch roster. The future of British Classic Rock is safe in the hands of young bands picking up the torch and setting stages alight with rock glory. The anthemic My Mother Told Me allowed the audience to join in the singing. In between the numbers we knew they slipped in a new rockier number from their anticipated album out later this year. We all raised our head with Get Your Head Up – now you have really whetted our appetite for a whole set of new Bad Touch songs.  The guitars of Daniel Seekings and Rob Glendinning work together with depths of harmony that will always be a delight. We hear the cowboy song, Daniels favourites as his guitar brings in the narrative-driven number Outlaw. Closing out the set with the single from the album 99% leaving everyone wanting more. The set was short and I could have listened to them all night, but we have two more bands to entertain us Toseland and headliners Skid Row.

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With many fans in the room, wearing Toseland T-shirts it was not surprising the welcome and a Boogie-woogie fanfare accompanied the entrance to a roaring welcome from the Cardiff crowd, many of whom had heard Toseland up the mountain at Steelhouse.

The temperature rose as Toseland’s, vocals and warm smile connected to the Cardiff crowd tonight. The guitarist added depth of tone as Zurab Melua and Ed Bramford complimented each other’s tones during another energetic set. When Toseland sat behind the keys the sound deepened. Opening with Puppet On A Chain from their album Cradle The Rage along with another two numbers on their very short six-track set.  The drumming solid as ever from Joe Yoshida with booming rhythms and timing that gives the band a depth of shape when combined with the bass tones from Roger Davis.  This is the defining rock from Toseland that allows James’ voice to soar and connect with the audience. The performance was top-notch rock that sings the vocals it is the glory that makes this band a firm favourite.


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The stage is reorganized and the anticipation grows for the headliners Skid Row, as we leave behind British Rock and new bands and are treated to American Rock. I confess I have not seen Skid Row live before in any of their formats. I loved the music from the Sebastian Bach period but willing to hear the vocals from new singer ZP Theart.  Skid Row finished the night off with some furious heavy rock, definitely the heaviest tonight. Yes, the sound on the classic numbers from the original line-up was not quite the same. But ZP was not imitating previous vocalists, he was delivering the numbers his own way. Yes, he certainly looked the part and at times his voice was lost in bands delivery of heavy melodic riffs and rhythms. Other bands have had changes and Skid Row is no different from them. This the heaviest of the bands tonight with dualling guitarists that hit the mark. The duals between Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill were superb. For me, this was rock that lifted the spirit and the feel-good factor was delivered in every number that was mainly from the Seb Bach period. The atmosphere was hot, with the crowd singing, chanting along creating a friendly rocking atmosphere as we were united by the love of live music.  The crowd went wild at every opportunity. The numbers that really got the crowds ecstatic were Sweet Little Sister and 18 and Life. With some punk rock was added to the mix delivered in their signature fast, and heavy style. Monkey Business gave the band the opportunity to jam. Including solos from all the band members. Great showmanship by the guitarist this was the battle of the guitars and the judicious use of cowbell added to the atmosphere.

For me the weakest number of the night to my disappointment was I Remember You. The tempo is slower and something of the inner majesty of the number was lost tonight.  Closing with Youth Gone Wild, our youth may have disappeared over the years since we listened to Skid Row deliver the number back in 1989, the energy is still there. We left on a musical high.

The three bands format is a fabulous way of hearing new bands. For some, this was Toseland, for others Bad Touch and a few the first time hearing Skid Row live. What it does do for me every time I leave with a feeling of disappointment. However, entertaining the headliners were you are left wishing one band had a longer set to play. Tonight, for me that was Bad Touch I wanted more from charismatic vocalist Stevie Westwood and the band from Norwich. The short set gave us a glimmer of a bad that is destined for the top of the classic rock tree.  There is no argument on tonight’s performance the wait for the second album will be worth it and another headline tour. Thank you, Band Touch for your music you Rock.


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Joe Bonamassa Playing on Dry Land In Cardiff

Joe Bonamassa Playing on Dry Land In Cardiff

Tonight, Joe Bonamassa opening his UK tour with a mix of jetlag and experiencing for the first time in 2018 playing on dry land. The Motorpoint Arena was ready and waiting and Joe B and his stupendous band delivered with fifteen deliciously tasty helpings of blues.

Joe Bonamassa did not seem jetlagged, he was pumped to deliver a night that will be etched on the musical antenna of everyone who had a seat tonight in Cardiff. Joe B was full of energy, confidence and the pure delight to be bringing his band to Cardiff once again. This was reflected in the inclusion early on in the set of new numbers which will be on the new album due out later this year.  Opening with King Bee Shakedown he hit the ground running with this rousing rockin’ and rolling number a real musical charge to make sure everyone one was sitting up in their seats revelling in the cascading riffs and licks from the Bonamassa guitar. His band around him were having fun from the horn section of the fabulous duo of Lee Thornberg and Paulie Cerra the renowned blues Saxophonist the dancing and tremendous backing duo from Australia Jade McRae & Juanita Tippins. Now into the mix and the compelling mix of drumming that is powerful and subtle, exquisite playing of the top hat as ever Anton Fig’s sticks and brushes ruled from the back. Adding to the rhythm and groove was bassist Michael Rhodes and magician on the keyboards Reese Wynans. The band that Joe surrounds himself with have been playing with him for years and tonight’s performance showed that this stability creates an innate understanding of the music and how to make Joe’s guitar and vocals buzz with vibrancy.

The set was a mix of something new, a lot of blue and something old. What had gone from the set-list and will be missed by many, despite the rising demand and popularity for gin, was that tonight Joe decided to drop Tim Curry’s Sloe Gin from the cabinet of songs.

The new tracks from the off led to some confusion as people thought I don’t know these, for me, it is always exciting to hear the music live before the studio version arrives. Just Cause You Can and Self-Inflicted Wounds are a pair of strong new Bonamassa numbers.

From his album Live at The Greek Theatre a tribute to the three Kings, his interpretations of Breaking Up Someone’s Home & I Get Evil had the crowds tapping their feet in time with the glorious blues, sharp exciting and entertaining.

The pair of numbers from Blues of Desperation worked well live. No Good Place For The Lonely with its confident driving beat and the change of the backdrop from red to deep blue and back to red added to the drama of the show. The number delivered in perfect harmony down to the matching Gibson Thunderbirds, guitar and bass creating a wonderful sound that reverberated around the arena. With a quick change of guitars How Deep This River Flows a number replete with delectable Bonamassa riffs and guitar fireworks. The long instrumental extravaganza once again making the show so much more than a guitar lead break. The keys danced through the melody and the horns a sting to the tail. Adding to the sparkling live rendition the horns and backing vocals filling out the sound in the arena.

Going back-in-time with Slow Train and Driving Towards the Daylight the arena was alive with pure musical joy. No longer could we sit as we wanted to Boogie with Stu along with Joe and his band. Closing with Led Zepplin’s How Many More Times reflecting his tour celebrating British Blues and forthcoming live album.

With the mix of instruments and the celebration of Joe B’s guitar playing that was gritty, harmonious and above all steeped in blues tones of every shade.  We wanted more, plenty of whoops, cheers and We Love You, Joe, bought the band back on stage for one final song for Cardiff tonight. Closing the night of fabulous live music with Hummingbird, a favourite number of Joe to play live and left the audience very satisfied as we stepped out of the arena with our heads full of riffs, and licks that Joe Bonamassa shared with us tonight courtesy of his dancing fingers over the six-strings.


Set List
King Bee Shakedown
Evil Mama
Just Cause You Can
Self-Inflicted Wounds
I Get Evil
No Good Place for the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Breaking Up Someone’s Home
Slow Train
Driving Towards the Daylight
Boogie With Stu
Last Kiss
How Many More Times



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Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The Globe

Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The Globe

Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The Globe



Back in Cardiff town again South African, guitar wizard, Dan Patlansky who invited Ash Wilson to join the May party as his special guest. A definite winning combination full of textured, tasty guitar that exploring the Blues.

Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The GlobeBy the number of Dan Patlansky T-shirts on display in the audience at The Globe; they had come to be entertained by the renowned guitar spectacular that is his trademark. Before, that Ash Wilson and his band took to the stage, to a venue that was slowly filling up. For the majority Ash was an unknown, the audience didn’t know what to expect. The result was a happy crowd, who enjoyed the opening numbers that gave justice to his debut album Broken Machine. Ash is a great performer letting the guitar and lyrics tell the story. It was a shame that the acoustic dampened the vocals. Ash did not disappoint with a rhythm section that set the shape of the blues he was displaying. On bass Steve Amadeo stepping into Roger Inniss shoes and Tristan Poole on drums. With a short strong set five songs from Broken Machine and closing with a Michael Jackson workout. Every number had persuasive listenability, with strong lyrics it is a dramatic slow blues ballad, domestic abuse through the eyes of a woman. It was the stand out moment.  The Wilson machine is definitely not broken the guitar delivering across the six strings.



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The Globe was buzzing with the hum of contentment; they had heard blues shuffle, slow blues and those with a rocky edge. Now for the main event.

Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The GlobeIn a few words. Majestic, scintillating jaw-dropping good, describes an Patlansky tonight. Tonight was a celebration for the acclaimed album Introvertigo. On the last few nights where this album will be centre stage. AS, on his return to South Africa it is back in the studio for another helping of studio work from Patlansky. A mouth-watering prospect, along with and promising to be back this time next year with album in hand.

Back to the live music being played tonight. With a trio of immensely musicians from Hamburg, joing Dan tonight in Cardiff. Smiling, Felix Dehmel with his imaginative and stylish drumming; Johnathan Murphy with his rhythmic bass and adding chords with hidden depths on the keys Tom Gatza and supplying tasty backing vocals.  Dan Patlansky is a blues-rock plays phenomenal guitar on his trusty 1962 Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The GlobeFender Strat ‘Old Red’ joined tonight by a guitar specially made for Slide from California with the maker Michael Couling in the audience to hear his masterpiece played live. Bright blue and cutting a sliding dash.

Opening with a  guitar driven instrumental jam, starting quiet Drone builds, holding the audience spellbound a we all listened in silence, then wham as his he exploded with all guitar cylinders firing, with his latest single from Introvertigo; Sonova Faith. Dan never plays the guitar with just his fingers, his whole body bends into the guitar with the energy flowing into the instrument. It is a workout of mind and body and add into the mix vocals that are strong full of emotional depths. A wonderful rendition of Jimmy Reeds Bright Lights Big City, as we floated on the reworking of this classic blues number. Into this mix we heard Stop The Messin’ and Heartbeat that had the crowds whooping with delight. The slow blues, which as he says is a must on every Dan album tonight was Introvertigo’s Still Wanna Be Your Man. So Dramatic and quite beautiful, clever use of silence then the build up to add drama. The dueling with Tom on keys was just one of the many highlights from this super-talented guitarists. He is one of the most innovative on the circuit.

Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The GlobeWith Backbite and My Chana from the wonderful Dear Silence Thieves album be wanted more. The guitar acrobatics, use of feed back, the power of the whole guitar is no party trick it is an artistry as Dan manipulates every inch of ‘Old Red’ who obliges every time. The band came back for two extended numbers we were awestruck in the presence of a virtuoso on the fender.

Dan Patlansky’s reputation and popularity continues to grow, reflecting the talent grown out of a true infinity with the guitar. All that is left to say Thank-you Dan for the blues and come back to Cardiff very soon.



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Check out more Bluesdoodles insights into the music of both Ash Wilson & Dan Patlansky


Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond Introvertigo Review HERE
Dear Silence Thieves Review HERE

Dan in conversation HERE


DAsh Wilson Broken Machine New Single & on Tour Broken Machine Review HERE

Ash In Conversation HERE



Dan Patlansky Stunning Guitar Returns to The Globe

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff



Tonight the last Friday of April the packed St David’s Hall was treated to a programme of two halves. A musical programme of two movements. The first Prog Rock modern, progressive and pertinent as Steve Hackett unveiled live numbers from his stunning album The Night Siren and dipping onto four of his many solo albums.  The second helping on this musical palette of delights was a revisiting of Genesis, the majority drawn from Wind and Wuthering celebrating forty years since its release.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffFor two hours, reality suspended as St David’s Hall was bathed in the multi-instrumental tones and textures created by Steve Hackett and the musicians that surround him. With an array of wind instruments including flute, penny whistle and soprano sax, keys, and a mixture of electronic wizardry, Rob Townsend; behind him surrounded by keys Roger King; the rhythm section of Gary O’Toole behind a sparkling shield of cymbals and bassist Nick Beggs with fretless and twin-necked instruments; and joining the stage for the second half vocalist Nad Sylvan.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffWith a discography full of depth and interest the night started with a dip into his third solo album Spectral Mornings and Every Day with the soprano sax adding brightness and colour we knew this wasn’t going to be an everyday performance we were in for something special. Gently easing us in with the familiar we were soon hearing the new album, the dramatic instrumental El Niňo so early on a number that was going to be one of the many highlights of the evening.  The music from the instruments was woven in to a sonic technicolour coat of shape and form, prog rock that enthralled, informs and takes you deep within yourself. Three other tracks from the Night Siren were incorporated into the first set, as he stepped back into the past The Steppes fitted seamlessly into the collection with its Eastern feel.


The light show throughout added a sense of drama as the swirling patterns fell across the stage then up through the tiers that form the many faceted auditorium of St David’s Hall. As we stepped into The Skeleton Gallery the music live reinforcing the power of Steve Hackett’s latest recording and then to the album’s opening track Behind The Smoke. With a political comment about Brexit, an audience divided Steve reminded us that his lineage included Polish refugees. He sang the lyrics that explore the despair of the displaced and how borders contain. Whilst the music crossed all boundaries finding a common coming together through the power of the musical note tonight in Cardiff.  This emotional masterpiece should be the earworm that dictates our walk through life and how we meet and greet strangers from a different place. Last visit to the album is Serpentine, dedicated to his father and gentler times. Inspired by his father selling paintings in Hyde Park, London.  Closing out the set with Rise Again and Shadow Of The Hierophant; with Nick Beggs sitting on the floor using his bass pedals creating a spellbinding atmosphere. We had been on a voyage as acolytes and the feet of superb musicians who deliver prog rock that is mesmerizing, entertaining and often beautiful music, that cascades and falls away leaving a thoughtful phrase or question.

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff


The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall CardiffThe Second set, was much anticipated with the Cardiff crowd looking forward to old favourites and hearing Wind & Wuthering tracks live once again.  Opening with Eleventh Earl of Mar we were once again introduced to the vocals of Nad Sylvan. They are a beguiling mix of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins yet never pale imitations Nad brings his own sonic quality and vocal interpretations to every number. The cheer for One For the Vine, when announced was loud and very happy. Cardiff prog rockers were delighted. Then the atmosphere changed as we were treated to an Acoustic Noodle, Steve on stage with acoustic guitar joined by the band at the end a quiet interlude, with classical guitar playing, hints of flamenco and a moment of reflection. The quiet was broken with Blood on the Rooftops, and with Inside Out written by Phil Collins, an early lyric that was left off the final cut of Wind And Wuthering; a Cinderella song quipped Hackett, included tonight as it fits in with the rest. Closing out the set that highlighted the power of Genesis was Musical Box, a wonderful atmospheric number, Nad, using the tambourine to great effect as he added drama to the lyrics. Tonight was a great nostalgic set of Genesis classics.


The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff​St David’s Hall was resplendent in the glow of Prog Rock from Steve Hackett and his band of musicians, we had been bathed in lights of every hue and taken on a journey through the power of lyrics and the complexities of multi-instruments exploring the notes of the octaves. The sound was superb, the audience attentive and as one rose as The Musical Box faded. The encore the perfect Genesis titled number Los Endos. This must not be the end, Steve Hackett and his Progressive Rock is welcome back in town anytime. For me I enjoyed the reminiscent quality of the Genesis numbers, they are familiar and safe, BUT the new solo numbers have an edge and intimacy they are modernity looking forward not back.

The tour continues check out dates and venues HERE A musical journey to be enjoyed and definitely not missed!

The Night Siren Steve Hackett Charms St David’s Hall Cardiff


Alter Bridge Recording Live In Cardiff

Alter Bridge Recording Live In Cardiff

Alter Bridge Recording Live In Cardiff


Opening a show with a quartet of bands, early on Monday evening in Cardiff Like A Storm. An unknown quantity for many, if you were not aware that three brothers Brooks in the band are from New Zealand. The opening with a blast of the didgeridoo from lead singer Chris Brooks gave a context to the heritage of the band who, with their Canadian band mate are all living in Canada now.

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They certainly were relishing playing in Wales for the first time, promising to be back with a short set including TNT, an AC/DC classic with a mix of their own numbers including Chaos and Wish You Hell from the alternative heavy metal band’s current album Awaken The Fire. The live powerful set certainly awakening the audiences attention tonight who were getting excited with favourites amongst the three different interpretations of Rock tonight French band Gojira, Danish Volbeats and Floridians Alter Bridge.


Gojira – previously known as Godzilla producing a heavy bass thumping metal from Bayonne with brothers (almost a theme here!) Joe & Mario Duplantier joined by bassist Jean-Michel Labadie & guitarist Christian Andreu. They deliver their own brand of metal, harsh, industrial, loud and grinding out the beat with timing that is tight and the musicianship is without argument superb. With a 2016 album Magma to play live unsurprisingly Silvera and The Cell were in the mix.  The sound is colossal and the bass lines hit hard in the solar plexus. Gojira’s music style is just too heavy for my tastes, that withstanding as ever live music rules and for lovers of death metal, Gojira has it all.

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Third on a night where live music was shaking the dust from the vaulted ceiling of The Motorpoint, with another quick change and a new backdrop Volbeat took to the stage.  Following Gojira, which was loud full of energy was going to be a task as the crowd’s excitement was rising proved an easy feat for the boys from Denmark. These brothers in music deliver a kaleidoscope of sound as Rockabilly, Rock n Roll collide with Metal with a splash of Punk. Out of this potentially chaotic style emerges Volbeat for many in Cardiff the band of the night.  With a new album Seal the Deal & Lets Boogie sums up the set. They sealed the deal with the audience who were delighted with the live music and they certainly added boogie to the musical journey we were being taken on before Alter Bridge.

Opening with The Devil’s Bleeding Crown from their current album Seal the Deal & Lets Boogie the filling arena participated and their engagement got louder and hotter. No song is off limits for the Volbeat treatment as acoustic guitar heralds Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire, Michael Poulson builds the crowd up who are happy to join in the fun as acoustic makes way for electric. This stage piece of the band a Volbeat signature that we mash-up the styles to create our own.  This is a band that wants everyone to have a good-time, to party with them. The cheer as Barney Greenway (Napalm) joined them on Evelyn was loud and genuine. The Cardiff Motorpoint audience was now getting loud and they were ready to have rock cascade over them song after song.   They definitely Seal the Deal with Alter Bridge that they would warm up the atmosphere in Cardiff.

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Alter Bridge Recording Live In CardiffThe three bands who had entertained since 6.15pm had warmed the stage and spacious auditorium ready for Alter Bridge who were recording tonight for a live CD. If the crowd was excited before now they were ecstatic, a moment of fame “yes that was my scream, whistle yes it was I was there”.
The anticipation was high, but did Alter Bridge vault the expectation of fans yes, probably the added frisson of a live recording helped. For me, the engagement at times between audience and the band was a little flat. There was none of the danger of Gojira, of friendly warm rocking communion that Cardiff had with Volbeat. That said there is no doubt that the combination of Myles Kennedy’s vocals and Mark Tremonti guitar will always be a charismatic and winning combination.  The band bounce off each other and as you would expect the musicianship was exceptional as was the set with the changing visuals this was not about showmanship it was Alter Bridge delivering rock that will always, please. There is no competition in the band they are there to play the music live we want to hear. Huge anthems and songs to be heard live for the first time from the current album The Last Heroes.  The Writing On The Wall opened the set and shaped the rest of the evening as Alter Bridge played the music that makes them identifiable and so very listenable.

This was Alter Bridge playing the music live as they filled the cavernous arena that is the Motorpoint with rock music that stays with you. Lyrics linger and riffs capture you with a musical hug Addicted To Pain was smashed as they followed with Poison In Your Veins. Two different albums Fortress versus The Last Hero these songs played live prove the quality of the catalogue that makes Alter Bridge.

With Waters Rising, Mark Tremonti has the opportunity to add a vocal flourish to the guitar playing that was majestic with its riffs, licks and lead breaks throughout the set tonight. Mark, makes his guitar sing deep with a rock vibe.  Then the quiet moment time to draw breath with Myles Kennedy acoustic as he sung Watch Over You. Then back came the band  and the throttle was revved back up and a back to back pairing that were definite highlights Isolation and Blackbird. Alter Bridge were on form tonight a gush of beats that rocked the collective soul in Cardiff tonight.

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All to soon the hour and half whizzed by and the auditorium fell quiet with just the buzz of people talking as they entered into a Cold Monday night in Cardiff hot with the music that had fuelled them since just after six and Alter Bridge Recording Live In Cardiff.

Photo Album – Alter Bridge HERE  Photo Album – Volbeat HERE

Photo Album – Gojira HERE   Photo Album – Like A Storm HERE


Dan Patlansky Video of New Single STOP THE MESSIN’

Dan Patlansky Video of New Single STOP THE MESSIN’

Dan Patlansky-0272

Fresh off his special guest slot on King King’s May UK tour, South African singer-songwriter and guitarist,Patlansky Chats about being back in the UK with Introvertigo Dan Patlansky, has released a live video of his latest single , Stop The Messin’.  The video was filmed on April 27th at the Rivonia Barnyard Theatre in Johannesburg which was the final show onPatlansky’s recent South African tour. The song is taken from Patlansky’s new studio album INTROVERTIGO.



Watch the video now:




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Dan Patlansky is a guitar phenomenon not to be missed – Dear Silence Thieves and his current album Introvertigo are solid gold.

Read what Bluesdoodles said about Dear Silence Thieves HERE & Introvertigo (Definitely in the running for album of the year 2016) HERE

INTROVERTIGO is the follow up to 2015’s critically acclaimed Dear Silence Thieves which spawned to rock radio hits Backbite and Fetch Your Spade.

In 2015, Patlansky toured 10 countries with Joe Satriani read why we loved that night of live music and guitar fireworks in Cardiff HERE
It was unsurprising the Dan Patlansky was nominated by Classic Rock as one of their hotly tipped new artists of 2015. Patlansky said this about the new album, “INTROVERTIGO draws from all my influences from Audioslave, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jim Hendrix, Rival Sons and beyond. We’ve continued the same mix of rock, funk and blues that we mastered on last year’s Dear Silence Thieves album.” Bluesdoodles talked in depth about INTROVERTIGO HERE

Amy Wadge and Pete Riley Live @ St David's Hall June 2015

Amy Wadge and Pete Riley - St Davids Hall June 2015_0011lAmy Wadge and Pete Riley
@St David’s Hall, Level 3
26th June 2015

As part of the St David’s Hall’s successful and well received Roots Unearthed sessions, we welcomed the powerhouse combination of Amy Wadge and Pete Riley I am not sure who was more excited to be in the room Amy or the audience.


Alex Stacey - St Davids Hall June 2015_0006l

Opening tonight was a young Singer/songwriter Alex Stacey who is getting loads of support from Amy including producing his EP in Amy’s Shed! He delivered a stylised acoustic set with many of the songs about the travails of love won, lost and regrets. There was a change of style with hints of jazz and blues and deep chords the stock-in-trade default for an acoustic act. Deja Vue and Fighting for Me, a bluesy number, stood out and just as you wondered if there was something else he added a loop effect bringing this acoustic act up-to-date I would love to hear more of this. Amy’s influence was noticeable in his self-penned material and is an act to take notice off.

Amy Wadge and Pete Riley - St Davids Hall June 2015_0015lShort-break and Amy bounced onto the stage accompanied by Pete Riley, they are a double-act musically and the chatting and friendly rivalry/bickering between the numbers was fresh and we all got to know a secret about Amy that stays in the room. The great banter on stage shows they obviously get on as friends and respect each other’s music as they travel the country, they are undisputedly two great singer/songwriters. Pete had an easy way of differentiating the track either off the Orange album Afterglow or the White album – no not the Beatles one, this is Rivers Apart plus lots of music from a future album and their back catalogues.
The slide guitar from Pete Riley accompanying Amy Wadge’s vocals was sublime the harmony and depth of Amy Wadge and Pete Riley - St Davids Hall June 2015_0034ltextural tone raises this act on every track above the crowded scene of singer-songwriters. We heard from Amy about her two girls and anyone who has experienced toddlers that will not sleep every line of the lyrics, resonates on Won’t Go To Bed. We were also promised a new Amy Wadge album as she has just signed a contract with Sony and then tales of Grammys and multi-million sales on a certain song and Ed Sheeran and the song she co-wrote tonight we heard Amy’s rendition of Thinking Out Loud everyone in the audience was delighted sharing in the success of – she is living the dream and sharing the experiences with us. Amy may be a successful songwriter, but according to Pete and the song he has written Nine Miles of Bad Road; Amy is not a great driver but her Amy Wadge and Pete Riley - St Davids Hall June 2015_0059lsinging was once again spot-on. Amy put down her guitar and sat behind a grand piano to accompany Pete’s guitar on Easy On Me from Rivers Apart or the white album left us spell-bound. They both had a solo segment of the evenings music and Alison’s Sky about Pete’s wife is a song full of emotion and then all to soon it was the final number and this was 17 from the orange album, Afterglow dedicated to Amy’s grandparents who have been married for seventy-six years and in their nineties a moving song full of emotionally intelligence as how we stay forever young. It wasn’t the last we were to hear as they added two more songs in the encore, ending with Dance With Me; tonight was live music close up and personal. Enjoy your break from the road, but come back Amy & Pete sharing songs, old, new and very much-loved.

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Elvis Costello: Live @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff – June 2015

Elvis Costello - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4074l

Elvis Costello @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff
25th June 2015

Elvis Costello - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4073lThe show started before a musician set foot on the stage, people who arrived and took their seats in plenty of time were rewarded with the giant vintage television video backdrop and on the television was an anthology of Elvis Costello hits in chronological order which was quite effective and set the atmosphere straight off.

Larkin Poe - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4093lThe warm up act were a trio from Atlanta, Georgia two sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell and a drummer Marlon Patton, delivering southern roots based music that had a raw zing that made every song delivered have its own personality and energy. They shared how they wrote the songs, and about family including how the band’s name is a tribute to their Gt.Gt.Gt. Grandfather a cousin of Edgar Alan Poe, the one and only Larkin Poe. The Elvis Costello - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4090limportance of family and of relationships shone through as they played songs from their debut album Kin, including Jailbreak. The sound was steeped in blues with a rousing version of Leadbelly’s Black Betty they bought a wonderful sound with clear vocals, stylish lap steel and electric guitar. The sisters were a tour-de-force entertaining in their own right and warmed up the musical vibe superbly at St David’s Hall.

Elvis Costello - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4107lElvis Costello took centre stage to a rousing cheer, the left to the right Detour had been illuminated all evening; now the light to the right told us as in a recording studio Elvis Costello was ‘On Air’ the night of live music adventure was beginning.
Straight onto the stage hitting the ground running with Red Shoes and the hits and favourites just flowed on. The set was stripped down with solo acoustic versions of so many songs we love; this is the power of a solo artist holding the audience’s attention. Surrounded by guitars, grand piano and stage props Elvis was determined that we were going to have a fun time. Between the music he shared anecdotes about his family, musical upbringing and the source of his inspiration as on the double offering of Church Underground and Stella 45 unfolded.

His wit was sharp and the laughs from the packed house were genuine, we could relate to the television he was talking about and felt the Elvis Costello - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4223lpolitics he was sharing no one says ‘our brave nurses’ as he sang Oliver’s Army to everyone’s joy the whoops and cheers hung across the auditorium followed by Shipbuilding.

His voice was as ever his own distinctive tone that shaped and wormed its way around and above the amazing tone he pulled from every guitar he played or when he sat at the grand piano Elvis was entertaining with the full box of musical fireworks tonight. I loved the sub-set when he sat on a simple chair with guitar and foot resting on the monitor a laid back back-porch approach creating an intimacy with the large audience in a large auditorium this was full of amusing dialogue and reflective musings, a true feel of a one-man show as he stepped in front of microphones and with simplest of guitar accompaniment sang virtually A Capella version of She the music antennae at the back of my neck tingled.

Elvis Costello - St Davids Hall June 2015 - DSC_4164lFor over two hours he sang and everyone just relived our music memories this was a powerful performance centred around an amazing singer songwriter it was full of energy with clever use of loops Watching the Detectives. He bought a relevance to the city and now with images of Andy Fairweather Low; Stan Stennet, Dave Edmunds and then the powerful image of Elvis Costello pointing to a picture of Charlotte Church and her anti-austerity campaign Wow a moving moment full of authenticity.


He then was joined by the Lovell sisters and the music flowed on with a renewed energy. Everyone was then treated to another sub-set when Elvis and the Lovell sisters left the stage all fell silent and then they re-appeared inside the television we were back watching collectively around the T.V. on a Saturday night when there was only two channels. We heard Kinder Murder and so much more. They left the stage but more was to come with an encore ending the evening to rousing applause and with many now out of their seats down at the front chanting and dancing to Peace Love and Understanding. Tonight was live music at its best.


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Gig Review: Band Of Friends @ The Globe – April 2015

Band Of Friends - The Globe -   Apr 2015- _0216lTonight The Globe was buzzing with joyous anticipation of Band of Friends hitting The Globe, Cardiff as part of their current tour, they truly are a celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher.


Glas  - The Globe -   Apr 2015- _0004lFirst a local band Glas had the task to open and get the throng’s attention, this they did with their valley take on blues with a country twang; ever popular in pubs and clubs in the area they showcased tracks from their album, From The Blues To Your Shoes and certainly got the attention of many.


Band Of Friends - The Globe -   Apr 2015- _0091lBand of Friends bounced on the stage with rapturous cheers, this is no tribute band this is a trio who bring the heart and soul of Rory’s music to audiences in clubs and festivals and mix the music up with their own material. With The Band of Friends; there are two members who played with the great man himself, energetic bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna have the rhythm and beat that made Rory so fabulous as he flew with the guitar. Dutch guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel fronts the band with stylish guitar playing and vocals that make every song sing and the interaction and energy between Marcel and Gerry makes this into a show of verve and drive. Marcel brings to the band not a Rory clone but a guitar player that is on fire, inspired by Rory he captures the essence that made him so loved and twists it around the strings and delivers songs we all love to sing along to the night was rocking right from the off.

This is a gig that bought the skills, showmanship and glory of Rory into The Globe; in was a Band Of Friends - The Globe -   Apr 2015- _0252lconcert that was loud and appreciated by the many loyal followers who remember and love Rory Gallagher’s music the beat was infectious and the music from their latest album Too Much Is Not Enough blended into the mix. As Gerry has said; Too Much Is Not Enough is a line in the sand for us. We’re always going keep Rory’s songs alive – but we’re creative artists too and it’s time to make that point;” and what a valid musical point. The old favourites were sung we were exhaulted by Gerry to clap, sing and wave our hands in the air and from the first note everyone was happy to do so as live performance energy flowed off the stage and around the venue. We heard well-known tracks including Calling Card, A million Miles Away and many more it was a set list that kept everyone entertained wanting to hear more and more. The audience had the liveliness and enthusiasm for the band to play on and on in fact long after the last note of the tumultuous encore died away.

Live music that engages that sums up the Band of Friends, they love to play and love the reaction of the audience it was a happy rocking night tonight. Together they transcend a mere tribute act and have now released a collection of their own songs.

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THURS 23rd Square and Compass, Ashill llminster, Somerset Tickets: 01823 480 467 Doors 8pm £14 Adv £16

FRI 24th Robin 2 Bilston Doors 9pm £15 Adv £16 Door

SAT 25th Hessle Town Hall, Doors 7pm Start 8pm £14 30 inc B/F

SUN 26th Yardbirds Rock Club Grimsby – Doors 7pm 07771 520 374 £14.30 inc

THURS 30th The Musician, Leicester Clyde Street Leicester LE1 2DE +44-116 251 00 80
Doors 8pm 15.40 inc B/F Tickets wegottickets

SAT 2nd The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh Doors 7pm 0131 225 2564 £18+£1.75

Review: The Unthanks @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff

The Unthanks  - St Davids Hall - March 2015 -  5 - _0002l

The Unthanks
St David’s Hall, Cardiff
26th February 2015



The Unthanks  - St Davids Hall - March 2015 -  5 - _0045lTonight we had a different mix The Unthanks always love to surprise as they refuse to be corralled into pure folk genre. Raevennan Husbandes was there to open and support The Unthanks not once but twice at the beginning of both sets; this arrangement balanced the concert so that the interval was in the middle. It is a re-mixing of the normal that worked, we had the chance to chat with the friendly songbird Raevennan and buy her debut EP Box of Innocence before finding our seats and enjoying her unique acoustic approach to folk more beatnik and afro-centric than barn dance – with her standout voice that made the hair at the back of your neck tingle with delight. Tonight was a showcasing of their latest album, Mountain Air creating an atmosphere of mists, another place and time and above all else the shadow of sadness and regret present in so many folk songs.
The Unthanks, with the Grand Piano, and ensemble of musicians filled the stage but centre of everyone’s attention were The Unthanks sisters, Rachel & Becky as they rework Northumbrian folk with moody, musical orchestrations. Tonight we saw the wonderful interplay between the musicians on stage and the music soared across St David’s auditorium, but I felt something was missing a bit of fizz could be nerves or the setting not comfortable, but this did not prevent the quality of the music shining through as the night went on they connected with the audience and especially after an amusing tale of making pots in Cardiff and the offer by Adrian McNally, writer , producer and pianist of perhaps raffling them which was decided as a bad idea as they were not so good they relaxed and the show hit a new high.

The Unthanks  - St Davids Hall - March 2015 -  5 - _0011lOpening with Hawthorn and Madam we heard the wonderful combining of melancholy and perfect instrumentation with the interpretation echoed by vocals trumpet and piano. There is throughout the renditions of traditional, self-penned songs a bleakness of moors and open spaces of the harshness of life, this though is never a dirge as the luscious sound from the quintet of strings, bass and trumpet adds a warmth like the sun peeping out from behind the cloud adding silver to a leaden sky.
Rachel’s, Last Lullaby is an uplifting song that engages and absorbs the listener as the first half is then closed with a ten minute number the title track of the album Mountain Air with its scarcity of words but fullness of sound with a glorious crescendo on the piano leaving the audience full of eager anticipation for the second set.
Refreshed, re-introduced to Raevennan, The Unthanks were soon back on stage picking up the folk fest that everyone was enjoying in Cardiff. Opening the second set with Gan To The Kye a traditional song given the Unthanks treatment everyone was happy that they had lots more of The Unthanks to enjoy tonight Wow is a simply description of Out Of The Blue this is an astounding re-interpretation of the Robert Wyatt song, intense sounds the viola intensifying the bristly feeling of a civilian returning to his house that had been bombed the emotional effects where thick in the musical air.The Unthanks  - St Davids Hall - March 2015 -  5 - _0006l

We were treated to Unthanks version of Starless, also covered by King Crimson. All too soon the encore was played with a trio of treats that fitted the mood finishing with and Adrian McCully number Last; with rapturous cheering, foot stamping and standing ovation Cardiff thanked the Unthanks and hopefully this is not the last time they cross the border into Wales.

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Set List

Felton Lonin
Died For Love
Last Lullaby
Mount The Air
Gan The Kye
For Dad
Out Of The Blue

The Wind The Wind
Lucky Gilchrist