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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

RIP – DJ ALAN ‘Fluff’ FREEMAN, one of the greats in rock radio. Not ‘arf!

Muse, David Gilmour, Iron Maiden, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews, Dr John and The Goo Goo Dolls all appear in a new 12-part TV series called Live From Abbey Road. Premiering on More4 on January 12 at 11pm, and repeated on Channel 4 each following Monday, the 60-minute programmes feature three artists per show, combining exclusive live performance with interviews.

Rose Tattoo release a new album called Once In A Lifetime through Armageddon Music in February. It includes a track called Black Eyed Bruiser that was penned by AC/DC’s original production team, Vanda and Young. Vocalist Angry Anderson is urging men to have prostate checks after the death of slide guitarist Pete Wells in March.

Singer/songwriter Russ Ballard has a new studio album available via his website: www.russ-ballard.com
Book Of Love features the following tracks: It's My Life (Stand In My Shoes) . Crazy World . In The Dark . When You Sleep . Love Works In Strange Ways . Like Father Like Son . Is There Anybody Out There . I'm Just Not Made For This World . Just Like Me . On To The Next . This Is Not A Love Song . The Road Has No Turning . In My Darkest Hour . Book Of Love . In To The Light . Wonderful World

The reissue of the Electric Light Orchestra’s catalogue continues in February with a 30th anniversary limited edition hardback cover version of Out Of The Blue among its next batch. Jeff Lynne’s pre-ELO band The Move will also be the subject of a boxed set in 2007.

Riff's Bar in Swindon on Saturday 27th January 2007 sees Mick Pointer teaming up with Nick Barrett (Pendragon) on guitar, Ian Salmon (Arena) on bass, Mike Varty (Credo & Landmarq) on keys and John Dexter Jones (Jump) on vocals, performing the whole of Marillion's debut album Script For A Jester's Tear.

The new Man studio album (the first since 2000) Diamonds and Coal will be released in February 2007. The album will initially come as a limited edition Digi Pack. This edition of the album will be limited to just 1,000 copies. 500 of these copies will also be signed by the band. This is the first new studio album from the new line up of Man featuring Martin Ace, Bob Richards, George Jones and Josh Ace and represents a whole new era for the band that celebrates its fortieth anniversary in 2008. The band hopes to play a high profile date to launch the album around the release date. To purchase their new album go to www.diamondsandcoal.com

PRESS RELEASES

Te Rolling Stones have re-captured the "top-grossing tour ever" mantle from U2 with their $437 million A Bigger Bang trek.
From March 28, 2005, to March 2, 2006, U2's Vertigo tour rang up grosses of more than $333 million. That put U2 ahead of the Stones' $320 million Voodoo Lounge tour of 1994-95, and the band's 10 stadium makeup shows this month will take the total to 121 shows and a gross of about $377 million.
But the Stones' numbers from A Bigger Bang shatter that mark. Since the fall of 2005, the band has drawn 3.5 million people to 113 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. In addition, an estimated crowd of 2 million saw the band perform at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro back in February.
Though nothing's official, it appears likely the band will stretch the tour into 2007, making the $500 million mark easily within reach. "I don't think we're done," Cohl tells Billboard.com. "There are still a lot of cancellations in Europe that the band the band feel obligated to try and make up. So I wouldn't be surprised if it keeps going next year."


LOST WEEKEND TO HEADLINE SHOW IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE. ..

LOST WEEKEND have been asked to headline a show at The Burgess Hall in Cambridgeshire. The bill will also include DRYAD plus one other, doors will be open from 7:30pm and the event will close at 12am. Tickets are priced at £8 and can be purchased from St.Ivo Leisure Centre, Terrys Heel Bar, Foundry Walk, St.Ives, Cambs. Simply Music, Chequers Court, Huntingdon, Cambs. or Tel : 01480 493768. The whole event is Promoted by : LIQUID METAL PROMOTIONS with backing from BBC RADIO CAMBRIDGESHIRE.

More dates will be added for next year, so keep checking out the SHOWS section of www.lostweekend. org.uk for more information! !!

Current Dates Are :
2nd December 2006 - Turkey & Tinsel Xmas Show @ The Sportman's
Hotel, Halifax
3rd February 2007 - Mexborough Civic, nr Sheffield
10th February 2007 - Gasworks Bar, Bradford
16th February 2007 - The Burgess Hall, Cambridgeshire

GIG NEWS

BLITZKRIEG, SINNER and POWER QUEST have been confirmed for the Bloodstock Indoor Festival, set to take place Saturday, September 1, 2007 at the Derby Assembly Rooms, Market Square, Derby, England.
www.bloodstock.uk.com

GINGER
Jan. 18 - London, UK @ Mean Fiddler
Jan. 19 - Nottingham, UK @ Junktion 7
Jan. 20 - Blackpool, UK @ Riffs
Jan. 21 - Glasgow, UK @ Barfly

FROST have pulled out of next year’s Rosfest.

MAN
Wednesday December 27 - The Rhondda Hotel, Rhondda
Friday December 29 - The 100 Club, London
Friday January 26 - Blaengarw Workmen's Hall, Bridgend
Saturday March 31 - Blues Garage, Hannover, Germany
Wednesday April 4 - Downtown Blues Club, Hamburg, Germany
Thursday April 5 - Alte Stadhalle, Melle, Germany
Friday April 6 - Charly's, Oldenburg, Germany
Saturday April 7 - Music Hall, Worpswede, Germany
Sunday April 8 - Alte Piesel, Fulda, Germany
Thursday April 12 - Bastion, Kirchheim/Teck, Germany
Friday April 13 - Cafe Hahn, Koblenz, Germany
Thursday July 19 - Herzberg Festival, Breitenbach/Hessen, Germany

REVIEWS

JORN ‘Unlocking the Past’ Frontiers (2007) www.frontiers.it

Jorn Lande releases two albums in January, a ‘Best Of’ with re-recorded and re-mixed tracks from his earlier work and this, a covers set of bands who’ve been a big influence on him musically. If you’ve not heard Jorn Lande (Masterplan/Ark/Millenium/Allen & Lande) then you have been missing a real treat as he has one of the best vocals in rock and an awesome range. Ten tracks on here (with some covers having been released previously on his earlier albums) and only the Kiss cover ‘Naked City’ fails to get the old adrenalin going, although that’s personal choice as I am not a big fan of kiss!
MSG’s ‘On And On’ is simply wonderful and has a very melodic chorus, whilst Lande slips seamlessly into Coverdale mode on ‘Fool For Your Livin’ (another song involving Coverdale, ‘Burn’ also features on here). Hey there’s a thought a Coverdale/Lande partnership – nice… On Thin Lizzy’s ‘Cold Sweat’ there is a superb guitar solo and Lande puts in a fitting vocal performance worthy of the late, great Phil Lynott. Back-up musicians are top draw including TNT’s Morty Balck and Ronnie Le Tekro, plus Ralph Santolla and Deep Purple’s Don Airey.
There are a lot of covers albums out there but this one is well worth getting and a good introduction for anyone not familiar with Jorn Lande’s voice.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

ANGEL ‘Live Without A Net’ BGO records (2006) www.bgo-records.com

Angel are one of the 70’s bands, like Starz, that get rave critical reviews but failed to really make it sales wise. Angel, in their all white outfits and a guitarist with the cool name of Punky Meadows, were expected to be as big as Kiss. Sadly they never made it that big despite some truly great pomp rock moments such as ‘Tower’ and ‘Feeling Right’ (both on this double live CD). This re-release is digitally re-mastered although sadly no bonus tracks and the sound quality is very good throughout. Highlights have to be Punky Meadows wild guitar solos and the grandiose keys of Greg Giuffria and they even do a very respectable cover of ‘All The Young Dudes’.
After the band split only Greg Giuffria had any notable success with first his solo band Giuffria and then in the late 80’s/early 90’s with House of Lords. Well worth getting for fans of 70’s rock, with a pomp edge.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

SPOCK'S BEARD - "SPOCK'S BEARD" INSIDE OUT (2007) www.insideout.de

Looking back into the history of rock music one can compile a long list of bands who used their name as a title for one of their releases - there is nothing unusual about that. What is slightly unusual is for a band to make such a decision having already released eight studio albums. Was it simply lack of inspiration, or is there some sort of hidden message behind Spock's Beard's decision to add their name to the previously mentioned list? The answers will surely vary, but one thing's for certain: Spock's Beard is not by any means an ordinary band, and their latest self-titled release proves it without any doubt.
Having listened to the album more times than I can possibly remember, I begun constructing the plan for my review. Half way through, I felt very familiar with the ideas that I was trying to present, and I felt a strange urge to check on the review that I prepared back in 2005 for the band's previous release "Octane". It was really interesting to discover how many similarities I managed to find between the two albums, yet I am inclined to say that "Spock's Beard" feels more confident than its predecessor.
It may be true that most Spock's Beard fans are still not used to the idea of Neal Morse's departure, but the members of the 'new' line up, with Nick D'Virgilio (vocals/drums/guitar) as the leading figure, seem to be more than happy in continuing their musical quest, in a slightly more straight-forward/melodic direction than the one used in progressive albums such as "Snow" and "V". That means that, with the exception of "Skeletons at the Feast" and the 17-minute opus "As Far as the Mind Can See", both of which will please old-school Spock's Beard and Dream Theater fans alike, the remaining compositions on this new effort will be more fitting to a AOR/Blues/Funk fan, myself included.
One thing that definitely needs clarification is that, in this specific case, melodic should not be interpreted as less impressive/challenging, and there is no better example of the band's ability to compose melodic yet quite multi-layered compositions than the opening track "On A Perfect Day", where Nick D'Virgilio's vocals are simply divine, supported by a very inspirational orchestral theme consisting of violins, cellos and flutes. Having developed an appreciation towards the music of bands like Deep Purple and Whitesnake from an early age, I found no trouble in enjoying the groovy/funky tunes of "Is This Love" (gotcha), "Sometimes they Say", Sometimes They Go" and "Wherever you stand", but I admit feeling completely blown away by two songs - "The Slow Crash Landing Man", whose beautiful organ theme makes it irresistible, and the quite melancholic "Hereafter" where Ryo Okumoto's piano tunes and Nick D'Virgilio's breathtaking vocal result in making this, in my humble opinion, the most inspirational moment of the whole album.
I have often been asked by fellow-Spock's Beard fans as to why I am so supportive over the band's new direction, but to me the answer is quite simple: their music is really good!!! Do you want to spend the rest of your life waiting for Neal Morse's return to the band, or enjoy what an album such as "Spock's Beard" has to offer? Well, I really hope that you will choose the latter - I know I will!

John Stefanis
****

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