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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New interviews with SACRED HEART, EVIDENCE ONE & ERIC RAGNO

New interview with KEN HENSLEY (ex-URIAH HEEP/BLACKFOOT)

According to Ray Waddell of Billboard.com, sources say a Hollywood press conference in one week will announce a 50-date American arena tour by VAN HALEN to begin in early October. The tour will feature founding VAN HALEN members David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass.

The Wildhearts release the single 'New Flesh' on October 1.

Texas are to release 'The Complete BBC Sessions' on September 24 with the following 24 tracks:
'Thrill Has Gone', 'Everyday Now', 'Future Is Promises', 'Prayer For You', 'It Hurts Me Too', 'Dream Hotel', 'Alone With You, Fade Away', 'You Owe It All To Me', 'I Want To Go To Heaven', 'I've Got A Feeling', 'I Don't Want A Lover', 'So In Love With You', 'Tired Of Being Alone', 'Insane', 'Say What You Want', 'You're All I Need To Get By', 'Black Eyed Boy', 'Halo', 'Tell Me The Answer', 'In Our Lifetime', 'Carnival Girl', 'Say What You Want' and 'I'll See It Through'.

The Goo Goo Dolls will release a greatest hits album on September 11.

Pearl Jam are to release a new DVD on September 24 called Picture in a Frame Live in Italy 2006.

Jimmy Eat World will release a brand album on October 15 called 'Chase the Light' with the following tracks:
'Big Casino', 'Carry You', 'Chase This Light', 'Be Sensible', 'Firefight', 'Distraction', 'Electable', 'Stop', 'Beautiful Is', 'Dizzy', 'Gotta Be Somebody's Blues', 'Here It Goes', 'Sunlight' and 'California'.

Frank Black's 'Bluefinger' is released on 3rd September.

ELBOW release a b-sides album due out on Sep 3rd. The band have hinted at a low key release to bridge the gap between 2005's Leaders of the Free World and their next studio album.

Current TNT and former Shy vocalist has begun work on a new solo album. The release is expected in spring 2008, fitting in with existing plans for TNT. The line-up for the release includes a current working team of Neil 'Shredder' Hibbs on guitar, Victor Borge on bass, Eric Ragno and Joe Basketts on keyboards and Bob Richards on drums. The album is planned to have a mainstream rock theme with traditional arrangements, leaning towards a heavier guitar base.

Ed Harcourt will release a greatest hits album on October 8 entitled 'Until Tomorrow Then'. The 16 tracks are:
'Born In The 70's', 'She Fell Into My Arms', 'Black Dress', 'All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed', 'This One's For You', 'Apple Of My Eye (Maplewood version)', 'Visit From The Dead Dog', 'Something In My Eye', 'Watching The Sun Come Up', 'Loneliness', 'Fireflies Take Flight', 'Shanghai', 'Shadowboxing', 'Whistle Of A Distant Train', 'Until Tomorrow Then' and 'You Put A Spell On Me'.

PRESS RELEASES
==============
JANI LIIMATAINEN OUT OF SONATA ARCTICA

Official statement from the band's website:

As many already know, our guitarist Jani Liimatainen has been absent from the line-up this spring and summer. The reason was his messing around with his compulsory military/civil/prison duty, or rather, complete failure to take care of it.

This matter, and everything that goes with it, caused a split between Jani and the other band members. This split was impossible to mend without Jani's help and co-operation.

Therefore we would like to make known the following: During fall of '06 and spring of '07, Jani's personal matters and actions drove us to a situation where we had no option but to ask Jani to leave the band.

Jani was notified of this in May, and the separation was amicable. We wanted to give Jani the chance to get his life together before making this public, which is why we didn't make this announcement earlier. We wish Jani well on his chosen path.

"Show must go on", so, facing the facts, we hereby humbly announce that Elias Viljanen is from this day forward a full and official member of Sonata Arctica.

Throughout this summer, on many occasions, Elias has shown himself to be able to fill the big boots Jani left behind.

We hope our friends and our fans understand that this was the only choice left for us to make so that our band could continue. Sonata Arctica has always been, and always will be, more than the sum of its parts. The band has become for us a way of life, a lifeline that simply can not be cut off.

A long "Unia" -tour lies in front of us. We extend Elias a warm welcome to the Sonata family, and we hope the fans will, too. Sonata Arctica is whole again.

See you on the road!
Best regards,
~Tony, Tommy, Marko, and Henrik
www.sonataarctica.info

GIG NEWS
=========
MSG cancelled their remaining UK dates as Michael Schenker is off to seek medical help again.

REVIEWS
========
Sacred Heart - Shake 31/7/07 Indie www.sacredheartband.com

There are not many albums recently, which have had me chomping at the bit, eagerly waiting for it to be released but due to having heard the samples from this album some weeks ago on myspace, this is one of them. Though not strictly their debut album with demo CDs A New Dawn (2003) and Lay It On The Line (2004) already having already been available through mail-order, this is their first with proper production and what an absolute belter it is!

Does your memory stretch back to the heady 80’s days when rock music was about boys being boys and having fun? One look at the scantily clad young lady on the cover and you know instantly those happy days are here again!
As Paul Stead explains “the "Shake" artwork really does get the message across of what many of the tracks theme is. And I can assure you, they are based on many real experiences” Indeed there is a nod to the past both lyrically and musically yet with enough current influences to make this a must have for rockers of at least two generations!

Afraid opens the proceedings with the invitation “wanna play with me?”
from a husky young lady. A catchy, slow, heavy number, two things immediately strike you, the excellent guitar solo from Mark Stephenson and Paul Stead’s unique vocal delivery. A crisp, clean delivery, something close to Joey Tempest, more refined, yet perfectly suited and a definite asset. Adding weight to their claim that this album really does have something for everyone, next up is the hook laden, upbeat Paradise followed by the simmering Tonight. On both tracks guitars feature heavily, though not overwhelming the outstanding vocal melodies. We’re now into the meat of the album with title track Shake, painting a fantastic picture of a wonderful sleazy encounter. Lost is the song which screams out for airplay, sure to be a great live favourite. Describing Maybe as a big ballad probably wouldn’t do it justice, this builds from acoustic beginnings into an absolute cracker, and it’s hard to remember one that has impressed me this much. Great bass lines from Darren Jhuboo litter the pop/rock of Natali, a song about love lost. Another, which is sure to be fantastic live, is Carry On a clever blend of old and newer styles, punchy and melodic in equal measure. Perfect has some wonderfully ironic lyrics, a guitar solo reminiscent of Brian May, whilst the piano outro comforts like a familiar old friend. A change of pace next with the slower, yet very catchy Lift You Up very passionate, you can almost hear the regret dripping from the words. Perhaps the heaviest track on here, 1000 Tears is saved for last but long before now the air guitar is firmly in hands head shaking, mind made up that this is indeed an essential purchase for every fan of Great British hard rock!

Through their own self-belief and sheer determination Sacred Heart have managed to get this album out. It’s easy to understand why they persevered when you hear the quality of the tracks and I am sure it won’t be long before the labels come sniffing. Let’s get ready to “Shake”

****1/2
Dave Hunter

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