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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Elton John has recorded a version of the classic single 'Blueberry Hill' on a forthcoming Fats Domino tribute album. Bruce Springsteen and Willy Nelson are other artists rumoured to be on the tribute album, which is set for release later this year.

PASSION STREET are planning on reforming, with an album and tour dates planned. The UK AOR band released the critically acclaimed "Million Miles Away" in 1996 and toured with the likes of Danger Danger and Danny Vaughn - the band's guitarist Pat Heath is currently a member of Danny Vaughn's band.

The reformed RATT will consist of vocalist Stephen Pearcy, guitarist Warren DeMartini and drummer Bobby Blotzer. Joining the band onstage will be bassist Robbie Crane and guitarist John Corabi.

A 2-CD The Police Anthology is set for a June 4 release to coincide the band's world reunion tour. The new compilation will be the bands third best-of release following 'Every Breath You Take - The Singles' in 1986 and 'Greatest Hits' in 1992.

Travis plan to give away over a hundred previously unreleased tracks on their MySpace website. Lead singer Fran Healy explains: "We've released 130 songs in A-sides, B-sides and album tracks since we started out. Now there's finally a place where we can put up four brand new tracks a week that people haven't heard before."
The band release a new album called The Boy With No Name on Monday May 7th.


***Ordinary Boys, Morcheeba, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Toots & The Maytalls, Saw Doctors, Richard Thompson & Uriah Heep added to GuilFest July 13/14/15***

GuilFest, the UK's Best Family Festival (UK Festival Awards 2006) rolls confidently into its 16th year, with an as vibrant and eclectic a line up as ever. Established legends are joined by rising stars and bands of the moment as more names are added to the three day, Unison sponsored event, held in Stoke Park Guilford over the 13th, 14th and 15th of July.

Supporting Friday headliners Supergrass on the BBC Radio Two Main Stage will be Indie rock leading lights The Ordinary Boys, fronted by Sam Preston, whose recent infamous appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks reflected the punk attitude and confidence that has helped make this band such an energising live act.

Fresh from a sell out US tour will be the critically acclaimed Dublin based Mexican duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela, who will display their unique talent at playing unbelievably fast, rhythmic electro acoustic guitar – something that has already made them a major festival attraction throughout Europe and given them a number 1 album.

Saturday's BBC Radio Two Main Stage, headlined by the reunited Squeeze, sees the category defying, globally successful Morcheeba take the penultimate slot with their unique blend of soul, hip hop, blues, country and electronica. Their million plus selling 'Big Calm' album started a string of gold selling albums in the UK and set the precedence for a whole new genre in the late1990's. Festival organisers are sure that the ambient musical dreamscapes they weave will be perfect for GuilFest's rich mix of followers.

Bringing the BBC Radio Two Main Stage to a close on Sunday will be Madness, who are back with their unique brand of nutty boy ska for a welcome return. Supporting is undoubtedly one of today's most successful acts The Magic Numbers. Having won a string of musical accolades, including Best New Act award in 2005 (MOJO), this tight knit quartet hasn't put a commercial or artistic foot wrong since bursting on the scene and GuilFest are very pleased to have them for one of only a few UK dates this summer.

Perennial favourites The Saw Doctors make a welcome return to headline the Ents24 Stage on Friday while folk legend Richard Thompson, founder member of Fairport Convention tops the bill Saturday. There will be a former Spider From Mars on stage when Prog-rock legends Uriah Heep make a rare UK festival appearance, to close proceedings on the Ents24 Stage on Sunday evening.

GuilFest prides itself on rediscovering lost gems, this year that act is the utterly unique, three times Grammy nominated soul reggae rock steady stars Toots and The Maytals. Led by Toots Hibbert, one of the great voices of Jamaica, this group, formed in 1962, is cited by an endless list of famous peers, young and old, including Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and No Doubt - all of whom have collaborated on the latest album True Love - as a hugely important and influential outfit in the history of funk, roots, reggae, rave, disco and gospel music. With no less than 31 number 1 hits under their belt in their homeland, GuilFest tips this group to be one of the festival’s highlights. Toots and The Maytals will perform on the BBC Radio Two Main Stage on Sunday the 15th.

The line up over GuilFest’s seven music stages will continue to grow over the next few weeks and along with top performers for both the comedy and theatre tent, great facilities across the board including the Kidzone, mammoth bar, clean toilets and huge variety of stalls selling everything you could ever hope to find at a festival, organisers are determined to make this year’s festival the best GuilFest-ival ever.

GuilFest will be setting the precedent yet again for a family event with its relaxed vibe and friendly atmosphere. Tickets are now on sale and are available on-line at or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0871 424 0050

Alex Skolnick Jams With Rodrigo Y Gabriela At New York´s Webster Hall

By Alex Skolnick:

Last Monday, the amazing guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela invited me to be
their special guest at their sold out show at Webster Hall in NYC.

It was an honor and a real treat for me.

Anytime someone is influenced by your guitar playing, it is touching, but
when I see what they have done with it, I am blown away. They sound like
several musicians at once and have the power of a full rock band.
Rodrigo’s playing is on a level of my favorite work by Al Di Meola, who was
a big early influence of mine that opened me up to jazz and world music.
Gabriela has developed a rhythm style that is one of the most unique I’ve
heard, at times sounding like an Afro-Cuban conga player, middle eastern
frame drummer or Indian tabla player while playing chords at the same time.

Together they have created a whole new sound that combines the energy of
metal with the grace of Spanish guitar. It is exciting to see it connecting
to so many people worldwide, via sold out tours and appearances on David
Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel etc…They are warm, special people. We hung
out for a lot of time before the show, and it feels as if I’ve known them
for a long time. I look forward to hanging/playing with them again. For
more info on them, please visit their website


ORANGE GOBLIN ‘Healing Through Fire’ Sanctuary (2007)

Orange Goblin have now signed to the big indie label Sanctuary for this their fifth studio album. They have been building a growing following here in the UK particularly after relentless gigging up and down the country. Sound wise they take the riffs of Sabbath and add this to straight for your throat metal tunes. ‘The Ballad of Solomon Eagle’ and ‘The Ale House Braves’ are no nonsense headbanging tunes. It is only towards the end of the album that the band start to spread their musical wings with an acoustic instrumental ‘Mortlake (Dead Winter)’ and the album closer, ‘Beginners Guide To Suicide’ which starts off like Led Zep and then ends up in a frenzy of guitar soloing with a nod to 70’s bands like the Groundhogs.
This band play to their strengths and are streets ahead of similar bands like Viking Skull or 3 Inches Of Blood as they have the songs and some mean guitar solos. Hopefully the band can now get heard by a much wider audience with the backing of a bigger label.

Jason Ritchie

CAGE ‘Hell Destroyer’ MTM (2007)

Cage will give Manowar a run for their money with this album as it features lots of spoken word interval pieces and some serious pounding metal music. With bands like this and their lyrics you will either love or loathe them, take for example ‘Christhammer’, which follows the spoken intro proclaiming this hammer to be the one that nailed Christ to the cross and is now the weapon to destroy hell! I love Manowar and Cage aren’t bad but for me there are too many similar sounding songs and they vocals of Sean Peck are very Rob Halford sounding at times, although no-one can match the mighty metal god! That said the title track and ‘Legion Of Demons’ are good, solid metal anthems. Musically they are very tight and the guitars unleash a metal fury and if you like Manowar, Primal Fear, HammerFall etc you should check this band out. But for me I will stick with Manowar…

Jason Ritchie

MANTICORA ‘The Black Circus Part 2 – Disclosure’ Locomotive Records (2007)

Prog metal bands seem to be springing out all over the place and Manticora are now on their fifth album. Sadly though this band are peddling metal by numbers as despite some fine musicianship they have forget the basics – a good, strong melody. It just lacks any hook to pull the listener in which is a shame as they can certainly play and the rhythm section is very tight.
Approach with caution although I am sure existing fans of the band will enjoy this new release.

Jason Ritchie


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