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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Former RATT (although the band may reform this year!) vocalist Stephen Pearcy has entered into a management agreement with the California-based Jeff Keller Management LLC (management home for HERMAN RAREBELL, Jaime St. James of BLACK 'N BLUE, AMERICAN HEARTBREAK, and OMEN). With this agreement, Jeff Keller will represent Pearcy for his solo endeavors, as well as assisting with development for Pearcy's label, Top Fuel Records. "I am extremely excited to be working with a rock 'n' roll icon like Stephen. His contributions to hard rock history are undeniable," Jeff Keller said in a statement.
Pearcy's upcoming plans include the release of a his historical box set, which will contain many previously unreleased rarities from the singer's history, including MICKEY RATT, RATT, ARCADE, VICIOUS DELITE, VERTEX, and solo material. A DVD will also be included. An early summer release is expected.

LILLIAN AXE release their new album, ‘Water’s Rising’ in April.

DAVE GILMOUR is rumoured to be starting work on new material very soon.

VELVET REVOLVER plan to release their new album in May.

RIP – SNAKE ex-TOBRUK vocalist.

Machine Head release new studio album, The Blackening, via Roadrunner on March 26.

Tom Hamilton reveals that Aerosmith are planning a European tour for the spring. “We haven’t been there in over 10 years so it will be an awesome experience,” says the bassist. They are strongly rumoured for UK dates in June…

GIG NEWS

DON McLEAN
7TH OCTOBER - ST DAVIDS HALL - CARDIFF
8TH OCTOBER - SYMPHONY HALL - BIRMINGHAM
11TH OCTOBER - NEWCASTLE CITY HALL - NEWCASTLE
13TH OCTOBER - PHILHARMONIC HALL - LIVERPOOL
14TH OCTOBER - CITY HALL - SHEFFIELD
23RD OCTOBER - BRIGHTON CENTRE - BRIGHTON
24TH OCTOBER - COLSTON HALL - BRISTOL
26TH OCTOBER - ROYAL ALBERT HALL – LONDON

PAUL STANLEY tours Australia during April.

REVIEWS

Benedictum: Uncreation

Classic metal as sung by a woman with the pipes more normally associated with people like Ronnie James Dio. While not a growler like Angela from Arch Enemy, this woman can deliver powerful low vocals with oodles of oomph. No singer songwriter style whine from this lady.
The CD is only 11 tracks long, and two of those are covers: decent versions of 'Heaven & Hell' & 'The Mob Rules', delivers the goods in great dollops. One can be in no doubt why people have been raving about the band. Ok, the lead singer makes for the perfect rock chick as well, which adds to the appeal. Much of the guitar work on this CD has a Zack Wylde feel about it, rather than a Tony Iommi feel. Granted the band wear their influences on their sleeves, but when the results are this good who gives a damn. I rather like the band-named track with its snatches of Latin. Another highlight is tribute to fallen witches called 'Wicca.'
Oh sod it, if you like good heavy metal and don't mind a woman on the vocals (I know some do), then this is a rather essential purchase.

Rating: 4/5
Marty Dodge

Joe Bonamassa: You & Me

Those in the know about blues have been lauding this chap for quite a few years now. Despite his young age, he has three albums and numerous tours under his belt. If you have tired of the Clapton-esque over the top/over-produced playing, then this guy is for you. He has a strong feel of Stevie Ray Vaughn or Gary Moore about him. More importantly the lad just lets his fingers do the talking; he has a great voice that really shines on tracks like 'Asking Around for You'.

This is blues played incredibly well delivered with oodles of class and talent.
It is an absolute pleasure to listen to and one that every blues lover will just adore. Whether you got 'em bad or just want to be reminded of what the blues are like, this is the CD for you. Not one duff track and certainly the blues album of the (last) year.

Rating: 5/5
Marty Dodge

Live reviews

Trivium & Iron Maiden
Earl's Court, London
23 Dec 2006

You know it's love when your betrothed gets you two tickets to Iron Maiden on the last night of their most recent tour in their home town. The fact the seats were some of the best in the house...ok, the best seats in the house made it even sweeter. The kicker comes later.
First up we had the upstarts Trivium who have just released their Metallica album (or rather album) where they demonstrated their true metal love. Opening for the legendary Iron Maiden must have been quite daunting and they tried to live up to it. The band are a damn good opener, but they still don't have all the elements they need to be a great headlining band.
For one thing they barely have enough good songs to fill a headline set. Their newer stuff like 'Anthem, We are the Fire' went down far better than some of their older material. Matt spent a bit too much time nattering on stage as well. Overall it was a pretty tight performance from a talented band.
Iron Maiden, on the other hand, had all guns blazing (quite literally at the end) and made the brave move of playing their most recent album, A Matter of Life & Death, in its entirety in proper order. This would be an idiotic move for all but a very few bands.
Besides making those who didn't have the new album feel a bit prat-like, it gave the Maiden masses a chance to see something other than a "greatest hits" show. The stage set was spectacular and the large screens allowed the entire audience to see the band doing their thing, including Nicko's bare footed drumming. (Imagine the calluses.)
As one has come to expect with Iron Maiden, the band were tight as a monkey's and delivered all the complexities of their later material without a single hitch. Despite the fact there was no 'Run to the Hills', 'Number of the Beast' or 'Bring Your Daughter' - they did less played tracks like 'Fear of the Dark' - the crowd left pleased as punch. Oh yes, and I was pleased to "catch" my non-metal betrothed head-banging like everyone else. She rather enjoyed herself and was duly impressed with Maiden (alas, less so in the case of Trivium).

Rating: 4.8/5
Marty Dodge

WAKING THE WITCH ‘Boys From The Abattoir’ (2007) www.wakingthewitch.co.uk

This band are one of the joys of discovering new music as their second album was a stunning mix of acoustic arrangements and divine vocals. How they are not better known is a mystery although this second album coupled with an award at the Classic Rock Society, namely Acoustic Roots Performer of the Year 2006, their profile is on the up. This time around they have nabbed Embrace’s producer Dave Creffield plus some name guests including Big Country’s Bruce Watson (he guests on ‘Me Leaving Me’, a sublime piece and his guitar parts weave well into the tune). There are so many delights from ‘Spring Song’ which reminds you of classic Joni Mitchell through to ‘Look Right Back’ where you can see where they get their ‘indie acoustic/folk’ tag from. But my personal pick is the album closer ‘Yorkshire Boy’, fun lyrics and mandolin – can’t go wrong! Sound wise it is perfect as it allows each of the four vocals to shine and you can pick out each instrument. Compared to the last album this one sees a wider range of instruments used and a slightly edgier sound.
Put simply if you like harmony filled acoustic music then BUY THIS NOW! If you like bands like Shaw/Blades, the Thorns and Joni Mitchell this will amaze and delight your ears. How they will beat this on album number four remains to be seen but it will be worth the wait.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

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