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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

LILLIAN AXE will now release their new album on 17th July.

The Kinks are to have the whole of their Pye back catalogue made available digitally from May 28 in the UK and Europe. This includes classics such as 'You Really Got Me', 'Tired Of Waiting For You', 'Sunny Afternoon', 'Waterloo Sunset' 'Days' 'Apeman' and 'Lola'.

The Smashing Pumpkins have a new line-up. Joining original members Billy Corgan (vocals/guitar) and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) are guitarist Jeff Shroeder, bassist Ginger Reyes and keyborad player Lisa Harrington.

DEBBIE HARRY has announced that she will release a new solo album, 'Necessary Evil', on August 7th.

Former Blind Faith band-mates Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood have played together again for the first time in decades. Clapton made a guest appearance during Winwood’s set at the Countryside Rocks festival at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, performing Presence Of The Lord and Can’t Find My Way Home from Blind Faith’s 1969 self-titled debut.

Rose Tattoo have parted company with bassist Steve King.

PRESS RELEASES

Press Release / It is with great pleasure that we announce that Toby Jepson, ex-lead singer of the chart topping British rock band Little Angels and current solo artist has been invited to join the ranks as lead vocalist of the 2007 version of Fastway.
Fastway was the brainchild of ex-Motorhead Guitar legend 'Fast' Eddie Clarke who achieved huge success in the mid eighties releasing 3 albums to popular acclaim both in Europe and the US. Having had a rest from the business, Eddie has re-surfaced with fresh intent, a new line up featuring bass player John McManus (ex-Mamas Boys) and drummer Steve Strange, and a series of open air festival dates (listed below).
This invitation has come as a surprise to Toby and I'm sure to all of you, but never the less Toby has accepted the challenge and had the following to say about the situation "I'm very excited to be asked to do this, I owned a copy of the first Fastway record and have a lot of respect for Eddie, it is a great opportunity and one I simply couldn't turn down…it will see me as part of a great band treading the stages of Europe's biggest festival this year and who know what else in the future..."
When pushed about how it will affect Tobes solo career he said "not at all is the answer! I have had detailed discussions with the management of the Fastway camp and have let them know that I have a solo career in development that I have commitment to and will continue to pursue. I see this project with Fastway as a great second string, it allows me to work with other musicians on material that isn't mine and so stretches me as a vocalist and allows me to simply concentrate on the singing...it looks like it will be a lot of fun and I intend to enjoy it...we have already had a couple of rehearsals and it sounded great, Eddie is on top form so I think the shows will be very cool, however, the Chepstow show and the September tour is still of the highest priority for me and I cant wait to get back in the studio in July to record the next EP so all is as it should be."
The events are as followed:
Sweden Rocks 9th June
Download Tuborg Stage 10th June
Fields of Rock Holland 16th June
Grass pop Belgium 22nd June
Wakken Open Air Germany 3rd August
www.tobyjepson.com


Hi everyone,

Most people familiar with me know that I'm never usually stuck for words, whether written or spoken, many think I talk too much and others listen and then ignore everything I've just said (those in that category have stopped reading already, haha). It's strange then that I'm struggling to write about the position I find myself in at the minute, mostly because recent decisions have been exceptionally hard to make, but also because I know many will wonder if those I've made are the right ones. OK, I may as well tell you what I'm talking about to keep you from dozing off and the crux of the matter is that after six months as Fastway singer it has been mutually agreed by both the band and myself that I should relinquish that position. I'm devastated at not being able to join the guys on the summer festival tour and I was genuinely excited about the prospect of playing with the legendary 'Fast' Eddie Clarke at Sweden Rock and Donington amongst many other huge shows, but for the good of both myself and Fastway it was decided in an amicable fashion that the logistics involved in having a singer based in Ireland and all three other band members in London made things too difficult to co-ordinate and I wasn't in a position to fix the problem by, as suggested, moving to London.

The Fastway shows over the summer, although fantastic opportunities for a lad from East Belfast, were low-key in the great scheme of festivals and the appearance fees didn't justify the huge amounts it would take to accommodate my travelling expenses for rehearsals and shows. This would also have greatly affected future arrangements as Fastway was generating enough attention to alert promoters to the new line-up and it was inevitable that the festival shows would lead to greater things, including lengthy tours. This would have affected a very important part of my life and the main reason the decision was made to bow out at this point because I just couldn't walk away from my responsibilities with my comrades in 'Stormzone'. That's why I mentioned at the beginning that there were those who questioned my sanity, including some of those in my band, but we've worked long and hard in putting Stormzone together and having just released our debut album and (during the Fastway schedule) done some fantastic shows in promotion of the CD I just couldn't throw away what we've built over the past couple of years, especially as it's a vehicle through which I can honestly express myself in my own style with my own band and not be simply looked on as a replacement singer in an already established act.

The guys in Fastway have been fantastic and understanding about all this and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity they gave me in reaching a wider audience as their singer. Eddie Clarke, John McManus and Steve Strange are all superb musicians and friends and were capable at the beginning of the Fastway reunion of recruiting a vocalist of their stature and standing in the world of rock but chose to give me a shot. Things were working out very well and Fastway sounded great, and maybe if the band hadn't have looked as if it had the potential to be big again events wouldn't have led to this decision of mine being so damn hard, but it's been made and I have to live with it. I have so many commitments which were made at the start of the year with Stormzone that I just couldn't allow success with Fastway to put me in a position of disappointing my own band and those to whom promises had been made to perform later on in the year after the Fastway summer shows were supposed to have finished. The record deal we made with Escape Music also had to be considered as it was for 3 albums and it would have been very difficult meeting the schedule required to record and release our second album this year. It also wouldn't have been feasible for me to move over to London and then put Stormzone in the position I was in travelling for rehearsals and gigs etc.

For those who feel I've missed out on a great life-changing opportunity, yes, it would have been brilliant performing this summer in front of thousands of people, but it's actually more important to me to ensure I'm playing for people as promised with Stormzone as well, and bearing in mind we're performing at this years Firefest in Nottingham (with plans to do some small shows in the USA shortly after that) I comfort myself in the knowledge that I get to play in front of a huge audience at Firefest living and dying with our own songs and performance, and although I realise that even this time next year Stormzone may not be playing every European festival, I'd still like to think we'll have progressed enough to be invited to some of them and therefore this opportunity is only a delayed one rather than a missed one!

For those who feel I've maybe let Fastway down, mmmm, maybe to a certain extent, but my decision was based on a number of factors, most of which have been covered above and it was (very amicably) agreed by everyone involved that this was the best outcome if I felt the way I did and they've certainly got time to get an established singer able to front Fastway in time for Sweden and certainly beyond. I had to be loyal to those I felt strongest about, and that loyalty lay totally with my family, band and friends and each of those elements equates to the other as my family are also friends and band treated as family. My love for them all made the hardest decision in my life more straightforward than it might have otherwise been.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully you'll understand the whirlwind of emotions I'm going through at the minute, but just think, now I've double (or treble) the time to devote to Stormzone. Oh dear I hear the other guys in the band saying, that's going to make him double (or treble) the complete pain in the ass he already is, haha! Did I say at the start of this I was stuck for words? Dear God I wouldn't like to see me in full voice then! Take care everyone and stay tuned for updates,

Kindest regards,
Harv

GIG NEWS

SAXON
Jun. 02 - SWI Winterthur Spirit Of Rock Festival
Jun. 29 - GER Dischingen Rock am Härtsfeldsee
Aug. 02 - GER Wacken Wacken Open Air
Aug. 11 - GER Balve Rock am Schloß
Sep. 14 - GER Nürnberg Löwensaal
Sep. 15 - F Strasbourg La Laiterie
Sep. 16 - AUT Hohenems Eventcenter
Sep. 18 - AUT Salzburg Rockhouse
Sep. 19 - CZ Praha Retro Music Hall
Sep. 20 - HUN Budapest Petofi Hall
Sep. 21 - SER Beograd SKC
Sep. 22 - CRO Zagreb Boogaloo Club

FIREWIND + KAMELOT
Oct. 10 – Tokyo, JPN - Shibuya O-East
Oct. 11 - Osaka, JPN - Shinsaibashi Club Quattro
Oct. 12 - Nagoya, JPN - Bottom Line
Oct. 14 - Yokohama, JPN - Yokohama Blitz

PINK CREAM 69
Jul. 19 - Saarbrücken, GER - Garage
Jul. 20 - Karlsruhe, GER - Das Fest
Jul. 21 - Aalen, GER - Greuthalle (Angeldays Festival)
Jul. 27 - Seebronn, GER - Rock of Ages Festival
with FREEDOM CALL and MAD MAX
Oct. 03 - Bochum, GER - Zeche
Oct. 04 - Memmingen. GER - Kaminwerk
Oct. 05 - Aschaffenburg, GER - Colos-Saal
Oct. 06 - Winterthur, Switzerland - Gaswerk
Oct. 07 - Nürnberg, GER - Hirsch
Oct. 08 - Fulda, GER - Kreuz

House of Progression Gigs 2007
Fri 25th May, JUMP +Whimwis
Sat16th June, Strangefish +Tim Burness
Sat 7th July, Tinyfish +Bard+Tree,
Sat 4th August, Darwins Radio+Mother Black Cap
Sat Sept 1st, Solstice +Also Eden,
Sat Oct 20th, Glass(USA)+Sphere3+The Resonance Association,
Sat Nov 3rd, Credo + Dead Heroes Club,
The House of Progression Christmas Party.
Sat Dec 1st, JADIS + Jo McCafferty (TBC)
More shows to be confirmed.

THE PEEL LIVE MUSIC VENUE: 160 CAMBRIDGE
RD, KINGSTON, SW LONDON.
TEL:020 8546 3516. www.myspace.com/houseofprogression www.myspace.com/thepeel www.peelmuzik.com
BUS: 131,213,281,85,65,N77-TRAIN:KINGSTON / NORBITON
(35 MINS FROM WATERLOO STN) TUBE:WIMBLEDON
then 131 BUS OUTSIDE VENUE.

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE support MUSE at the latter’s Wembley gigs.

DURAN DURAN will play a special show just for members of their fanclub at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom on June 17th.

REVIEWS

ALLIANCE ‘Destination Known’ Escape Music (2007) www.escape-music.com

Another lavish digipack re-issue of the two albums released so far by Alliance (their third album is due out later this year). Alliance feature vocalist/bass player Robert Berry (ex-Three/Ambrosia), keyboards player Alan Gerald (ex-Night Ranger), guitarist Gary Pihl (Boston) and drummer David Lauser – all bar Berry have also appeared with Sammy Hagar.
The music is classy AOR/melodic rock with the odd touch of progressive rock. The debut album is full of great tunes including the ultra catchy ‘True Meaning Of Love’, ‘Rosie’s Catina’ and the AOR-tastic ‘Best Of Me’. Four bonus songs on this CD including a Stevie Wonder cover ‘Tell Me Something Good’ and ‘My My My’, which has a strong chorus.
Their second album was more of the same although it did have fewer killer songs than the debut. That said ‘I’d Give Anything’ with its harmonies and the Sammy Hagar penned ‘Do It For Free’ are well worth hearing. Four more bonus songs on this CD of which only ‘Change’ and ‘The Gift’ get the foot tapping.
If you like harmony filled AOR/melodic rock than Alliance are worthy of a listen and in Robert Berry they have a very competent and melodic vocalist.

****
Jason Ritchie

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