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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NEWS

The upcoming new PINEAPPLE THIEF album will be entitled Little Man and is to be released on the Cyclops label on November 27th.

NEIL YOUNG wins Artist of the Year recognition at the Americana Honors and Awards held in Nashville.

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler has been battling hepatitis C for three years and wants to raise awareness of the disease. He explained the infection is "non-existent" in his bloodstream after a year of interferon treatment.

PRESS RELEASES

Caamora is the name of the latest Clive Nolan (ARENA/PENDRAGON) project. It is a collaboration between Clive and Agneiszka Swita. The two are working on a project called She.
The musical version of She is based on the classic novel of the same name by Victorian adventure writer H. Rider Haggard. Spearheaded by Clive and Agneiszka, this epic production will feature guest vocalists, instrumentalists, orchestra and choir, forming a two-hour musical journey. An album will be recorded in the summer of 2007, with a partly staged performance to be filmed in a theatre for DVD in September 2007. The album and DVD box set is planned for release in October 2007.

The Story:
Two explorers travel to Africa and stumble into a world of mystery and intrigue. They discover lost tribes living in vast underground caverns and worshipping a living Goddess... 'She who must be obeyed'... Ayesha, the queen who is believed to be a woman of vast age. She welcomes the explorers, but her true motives soon become apparent. Ayesha has been waiting for the return of the man she loves... a man she murdered over 2000 years ago!
The two are currently looking for guest vocalists and musicians for their project. Bob Catley of Magnum has already been muted for one of the two male roles.

As a taster Nolan and Swita will be doing some performances as support act of Galahad. They will also be releasing a special EP which will be available at these gigs and through the website.
1. Half Moon Street (reworking of a Shadowland song)
2. World Somewhere (written for the upcoming She project)
3. Sacrifice (new orchestrated version of Strangers On A Train track)
4. The Bonding (written for the upcoming She project)
5. Closer (track especially written for this EP)


Hey all,
Long time no speak. We're gearing up for our October tour now - if any of you would be so kind as to help us promote the shows that would be fantastic. If you live relatively near to any of the shows we're playing (near enough that you would consider going yourself) and are up for it then *please* message us back with your address so that we can send some stuff to you. You'll receive our gratitude instantly and hopefully some kind of reward when we can think of one!

Here are the dates:
18 Oct 06 :: Stockport, UK
19 Oct 06 :: Leeds, UK
20 Oct 06 :: Wolverhampton, UK
21 Oct 06 :: Southampton, UK
22 Oct 06 :: Derby, UK
23 Oct 06 :: London, UK
26 Oct 06 :: Leeuwarden, NL
27 Oct 06 :: Vreren, BE
28 Oct 06 :: Gent, BE
29 Oct 06 :: Rotterdam, NL
05 Nov 06 :: Birmingham, UK

Please get in touch if you can help - otherwise hope to see you at one of the shows!

Cheers,
Season's End

GIG NEWS

JOURNEY
01 Mar Sheffield City Hall
02 Mar Newcastle City Hall
05 Mar Nottingham Royal Centre
06 Mar Manchester Apollo Theatre
09 Mar Cardiff International Arena
10 Mar Bournemouth International Centre
13 Mar Birmingham NIA
14 Mar London Hammersmith Apollo

JON ANDERSON & RICK WAKEMAN’s UK tour is still on although the dates for Glasgow & Doncaster have been cancelled.

DREAM EVIL
Dec 5th Underworld, London

ROCK WITH LAUGHTER
Dec 20th -23rd Birmingham NEC (features JASPER CARROTT, LENNY HENRY, SUZI QUATRO & ROY WOOD amongst others)

REVIEWS

THE LEVELLERS ‘Chaos Theory’ Eagle Rock (DVD 2006)

The first disc is a complete concert - a 23 song set – recorded with a very good sound quality throughout and decent camera angles that don’t seem shaky or far away like some concert DVD’s. A good mix of classics like ‘One Way’ segues seamlessly with the newer material like the storming ‘Last Man Alive’. A very enjoyable live set and one that will please both fans old and new.
The second disc features the Levellers acoustic show highlights at Buxton Opera House with guests Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), Nick Burbridge, Rev Hammer and Nick Harper. Songs include 'Julie', 'Boatman' and 'Dirty Davey' plus a tour diary and fans cam. The acoustic numbers take on a whole new life and Maddy Prior in particular is on her usual good vocal form.
A well packaged and thought out DVD – a ‘must have’ for all fans of this wonderful band.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

Disc 1: A complete concert recorded in stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
Tracklist:
1. England My Home
2. 15 Years
3. Last Man Alive
4. The Road
5. For Us All
6. 61 Minutes Of Pleading
7. Wheels
8. Belarus
9. Beautiful Day
10. Elation
11. Men-An-Tol
12. Confess
13. Forgotten Ground
14. Carry Me
15. Dirty Davey
16. The Game
17. Come On
18. Riverflow
19. 3 Friends
20. One Way
21. Liberty
22. Another Man's Cause
23. What You Know

Ed ALLEYNE-JOHNSON
Reflections
Wingspan Records

This guy is a talented multi-instrumentalist – and here takes on 5-string electric violin, mandolin, bass, guitar, keyboards and computer programming. Fine indeed, but not all will appreciate his take on these 9 well known 70s rock tracks.
There’s nearly 4 minutes of ambience on track 1 before we get the classic opening chords of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” – done like you’ve never heard it before.
Bowie’s “Life On Mars” and Led Zep’s “Kashmir” get a similar instrumental work out. And Skynyrd’s “Freebird” takes a few bars before I recognised it. But an interesting take on a beautiful and moving song. A little heavier in the second part too when the keyboards and programming come in.
“Parisienne Walkways” is another great track, shame he can’t quite replicate Moore’s guitar sound. Worth a listen anyway.
“Child In Time” gets a 10 minute arrangement and the riff to Focus’ “Sylvia” should bring back memories if you were a rock fan at the time.
Some good music and some definite talent but really not sure if many will appreciate these arrangements.

3/5
Joe Geesin

MOB RULES
Ethnolution AD
SPV 80001062

Melodic German metal, with keyboards and twin guitar combining well to give a full, tuneful, solid and well polished metal.
This is a kind of a concept album, with a look at modern politics (quite a lot of ammunition there, then).
The opening title track is a lengthy six part job, coving both the Ku Klux Klan and the middle-east conflict.
Very melodic but solid as hell too, riffs aplenty, and catchy too. The vocals are a breath of fresh air, the keyboards intricate, guitars chunky. The opening guitars in “River Of Pain” are great, a sound that continues throughout the song making it an uptempo classic.
Not as operatic as Freedom Call or Rhapsody, but classic melodic metal. Who cares if it’s cliché if it’s this good.

4/5
Joe Geesin

SKID ROW
Revolutions Per Minute
SPV80001014

Million selling American metal band are back with their 5th album, and they’re definitely a lot more metal with new vocalist Johnny Solinger, who replaced Bach a few years back.
Full on American metal, they’ve lost most of the sleaze, and without any grunge or thrash it’s just good guitar led rocking material.
“Another Dick In The System” (politics, music industry, could be anything) keeps up the high octane catchy metal, with the guitars taking turns to avoid cluttering.

“When God Can’t Wait” is fun celtic rock’n’roll with a touch of the Pogues.
A good metal set and better than expected. Fans and more will love this.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

JOHN MEYER ‘Continuum’ Sony/BMG (2006)

John Mayer is a great singer and is here at work with some great musicians (his trio, plus guests such as Charlie Hunter). That said, for me, it stops short of being a great album. I think perhaps it all just sounds a little too good, too polished – my taste is for a harder, earthier blues. An example of this is the first track (‘Waiting on the World to Change’) opening with a rocky guitar backed by glockenspiel like vibes – for me that’s just not the blues. The sound is best for me when most stripped down on such tracks as ‘Stop the Train’ – a wonderful song, Mayer coming close to the sweet soul-like voices of Curtis Mayfield and even Sam Cooke. Mayer’s cover of Hendrix’s ‘Bold as Love’ is also a great track, raw, impassioned and rocky, adding to the appreciation of the song. Other songs on the album, while being accomplished enough, just don’t really do it for me. Though tracks can at times remind you of Mayfield, Peter Green and Cooke but at other times they can remind you of Jack Johnson, James Blunt and even…ughh…Curtis Stigers. Please move to a harder sound!
My recommendation is to give this album a go – it’s quality certainly merits it, and though you may find the sound too light and middle of the road, you may love it. Many do!

***
Steven Lenton

FELONY ‘First Works’ Escape Music (2006) www.escape-music.com

Swiss based pomp/power metal band unleash their debut album and the twist is the female vocals which rather than take the operatic route of many female metal singers goes down the melodic rock route. The music is suitably grandiose (amazingly so given that only one band members plays all the keyboards!) and the vocals are very accessible and melodic. The only downside is that a couple of tunes sound a bit too similar although they are still worth listening too! Fans of Saga, A.C.T. (Felony have that quirkiness of A.C.T. at times) and Voyager will lap this album up.
A very assured debut album by a band that with the right push could become a power/pomp metal favourate for years to come.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

THE BLACKOUT (CD mini-album 2006) Fierce Panda www.fiercepanda.co.uk

Six-piece band from Wales who mix punk pop riffs with some modern metal riffery. They have some catchy hooks and a screamer on the choruses but they sound like Lostprophets wannabes and the aforementioned band do it so much better. That said ‘Hard Slammin’ and the melodic refrains of ‘It’s High Tide Baby’ are worth grabbing.
Some will like it but doubt anyone will be playing it in a couple or more year’s time…

**1/2
Jason Ritchie

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