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Saturday, December 11, 2010

E.L.O. Live - The Early Years DVD review

Electric Light Orchestra Live - The Early Years DVD review
Released through: Eagle Vision (Eagle Rock). Release date: Available now.

I personally think that the release of this DVD set, ‘Electric Light Orchestra – Live – The Early Years’ is great when I think of how much crap mates of mine back home used to give me for liking ‘that pop band ELO,' during the 70’s and 80’s.

This really shows anyone that only ever thought of the Electric Light Orchestra for their pop hit singles such as 'Mr. Blue Sky,' 'The Diary of Horace Wimp' and even sad stuff like ‘Shine a Little Love’ as being it.

Without doubt this shows where ELO originated as a contemporary progressive rock band without a shadow of a doubt and those poppy years were a million miles away.
It can’t be forgotten though that although Roy Wood did not remain with ELO for long, it was his and Jeff Lynne’s joint dream to create the Electric Light Orchestra, along with drummer Bev Bevan, merging rock with classical sounds, in a new way, when the three of them called time on their previous band The Move.
Roy Wood then left to form his own somewhat whacky Wizzard band.

Starting with a performance at Brunel University in 1973, of just four tracks, the band opens with 'King of the Universe' from their at the time new album, ‘On the Third Day.’
The thing about live performances back in the early seventies was that there was none of the gadgetry that bands or artists have available today to make live shows so much more than they really are.

This was seriously a rough and ready performance, yet there’s no question that even back in those days, Jeff Lynne was totally the perfectionist and the band seriously must have rehearsed this stuff to death before these performances. Let’s face it, the Electric Light Orchestra was seriously a new concept of rock merging with orchestral abilities.
'Ma-Ma-Ma Belle' is next up and was the hit single at the time and as basic as this was back in the day, simply the addition of a violin and cellists to a rock band, was something else it really was.

The band then provides their interpretation of Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ which OK, starts to get a little repetitive but it was certainly a well recognized tune to take and transform into the bands own piece of music.
It also includes violinist Mik Kaminski giving us an excellent solo performance midway through. Great stuff!

You know with as much initiative put forward by Jeff Lynne to come up with the idea of rock meets orchestra to be taken seriously, with next and final track from this performance, a song that Jerry Lee Lewis probably made the most famous, ‘Great Balls of Fire’ shows a light hearted yet, genuine love of true rock and roll music from the man.

The line up on from the 1973 Brunel show, is the same as for the next installment from 1974, Live at Rockpalast, consisting of: Jeff Lynne – Guitar / Vocals, Bev Bevan – Drums, Richard Tandy – Keyboards, Mike De Albuquerque – Bass / Vocals, Mik Kaminski – Violin, Hugh McDowell – Cello and the late Mike Edwards also on Cello.

1974’s performance from Rockpalast, opens with the excellent contemporary rock instrumental ‘Daybreaker’ from the ‘On the Third Day’ release and starts the set well, but the audience seem totally subdued?
It’s almost as if they recorded say their sound-check as the song is greeted with nothing but silence!

The hit single ‘Showdown’ is next and sounds good although I see and hear now why bassist Mike De Albuquerque didn’t last too much longer with the band. I must say his backing vocals come across a little rough for what Jeff Lynne was trying to present with ELO. Again, the audience response here is next to non-existent.

Mik Kaminski gets to showcase his piece, ‘Orange Blossom Special’ which although starting sounding a little rough perhaps, soon warms up with the band backing him in a hoedown type performance, great fun!
A stronger version – than the Brunel one – of 'Ma-Ma-Ma Belle' is next and you can sense the band is moving forward.

What’s particularly great to see, is the way that the classically trained Hugh McDowell, Mik Kaminski and Mike Edwards get into rocking around the stage with their cellos and violin and don’t just sit there. I love it!
Shame that Jeff Lynne chose to drop that during the 80’s, as I always thought that surely that was what ELO was all about.

As on the Brunel live material, ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ follows 'Ma-Ma-Ma Belle' next in the set, with it’s eerie intro from Richard Tandy on keys, before the whole band dives in.
‘Great Balls of Fire’ again closes the set and there is slight applause evident …, but you almost wonder if it was simply down to the way the whole band was miked up with their performance that maybe didn’t catch the crowd?

For me, the real treat of this set was the truly excellent set the band plays on the third installment on this set, ‘Fusion – 1976,’ in support of the then current album ‘Face the Music.’ This line up also including a couple of changes in the more upfront performance and clearly a stronger vocal, by late bassist / vocalist with the band, Kelly Groucutt which allowed Jeff Lynne to let Groucutt take the lead vocals on a number of songs and also new cellist Melvyn Gale who was a much better shall we say ‘foil’ for Hugh McDowell as they both seemed to get more into the stage movement.
This performance was recorded in London’s New Victoria Theatre with a very welcoming crowd indeed.

This was a much more cohesive and strong band line up that went on the record the now classic ELO albums, after ‘Face the Music’ in ‘A New World Record’ and the huge seller ‘Out of the Blue,’ which although it contained the perhaps somewhat cheesy ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ also contained some killer songs and musical masterpieces.

Anyway, I’m getting off track here, the live performance here starts with the band kicking in with the excellent ‘Poker’ with lead vocals shared jointed with both Lynne and Groucutt and the band in top form!

‘Nightrider’ another excellent track is next and boy! What I’d give to see these songs performed by Jeff Lynne and as many of his old ELO band mates together again today! The song has such a strong vocal presentation and backed by a band that is completely in sync is just great.
Time to go back to a previous hit next in ‘Showdown’ which put simply sounds as good as it gets here!

Then ‘Eldorado Overture’ / ‘Can’t Get it Out of My Head,’ initially next shows the pure blend of classical and rock at it’s peak and then a sure sign of how Jeff Lynne was to start writing big hit singles in ‘Can’t Get it Out of My Head.’

It’s still a sound though that doesn’t say ‘sellout’ as perhaps his later material tended to say, not to say that it was ever really bad, which perhaps a few tracks off ‘Discovery,’ but again, that was all to come later. I’m enjoying this performance of the Electric Light Orchestra in their prime.

‘Poor Boy (The Greenwood)’ Jeff Lynne’s nod towards Robin Hood perhaps, a great song from the ‘Eldorado’ album, closely followed by my favorite track on that release, ‘Illusions in ‘G’ Major’ which rocks like a good ‘un!
To perhaps their best known pop ballad, introduced here by Bev Bevan, from that period next in ‘Strange Magic’ which was a classic in it’s own right, again showing the mans ability to write great songs in so many different styles, which of course started to draw comparisons and even claims of plagiarism of the way John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote in as the Beatles. I say if the guy had the talent to write in such a successful and well written way, good luck to him! How many of ELO’s songs really sounded like the Beatles? It really wasn’t that many.

Another song that did well in being brought up to date, even just from 1972 - where the whole orchestral sound then, was perhaps not so finely tuned / tweaked was given a new lease of life, when performed later live, here in 1976, was ‘10538 Overture’ even benefiting from the pace being picked up a little. No bad thing at all!

Next up is the excellent ‘Do Ya,’ a song Jeff Lynne first played in The Move and then it appeared on the album that followed this performance, ‘A New World Record.’ Great stuff!

Then it’s ‘Evil Woman,’ which is as classic an ELO song as you can get, before the band close the performance with ‘Ma-Ma-Ma Belle’ with the complete audience clapping as they kick it in.

A great set closer to be sure and as mentioned before Hugh McDowell on the cello, really starts getting the band into partying on stage on this extended version of the song and all of them appear to be loving it!
There’s also the bonus interview feature from the 1974 Rockpalast show.
It’s actually quite amusing in places, although very short.

Overall, this DVD is a mix in terms of quality, when you think of how slick Jeff Lynne got ELO to be, through albums that followed such as ‘Out of the Blue,’ ‘Time,’ ‘Secret Messages,’ ‘Balance of Power’ and the underrated ‘Zoom.’

I think ‘Discovery’ has some merits of it's own and I recognize that Jeff Lynne, the power behind and all that is ELO has wanted to experiment along the way and was trying to keep the band current. Sadly in the eyes of many people, most of the ELO audience, not to mention the media in general and any rock fans that might’ve previously given ELO a chance, took it as an opportunity to knock the band more. Shame …

This DVD shows where ELO got past their beginnings and were really starting to make things happen, even if not too slick with the Brunel performance here, the Fusion show certainly shows a great deal of the magic that put simply, WAS the Electric Light Orchestra.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Official site:
Official Fan site - More up to date:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rock News for Friday 10th December, 2010

HURTSMILE: The latest from Gary Cherone
and his band of “brothers” to release their debut album

HOLLYWOOD, CA (December 9, 2011) - Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of HURTSMILE self-titled debut album on January 21, 2011 in Europe and February 8, 2011 in the US.

HURTSMILE is a new band featuring singer Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen) who has teamed up with his brother Mark (Cherone) to write his most succinct record to date. The self-titled, HURTSMILE is a raw sonic sucker punch in the face! From the opening buzz saw riff of “Just War Theory” to the epic finale of ”Slave” and “Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against the Goads”, Gary continues to push and poke you in the ear with his lyrically provocative themes.

“Hurtsmile was a long time coming… I always wanted to write a record with my brother,” says Gary. "I'm a big fan of Mark’s song writing and his snarling guitar riffs." The timing was right as Extreme was in-between their touring and record cycle, leaving Gary the freedom. They recruited Joe Pessia (bass) an alumnus of Nuno Bettencourt’s Dramagods as well as the guitar player for Tantric. Joe also engineered, and co-produced the record with Gary. To round off the lineup they enlisted heavy hitter Dana Spellman on drums “It’s an east coast-Boston thing,” states Gary. “Mark, my brother, was in a band with Nuno’s brother… Joe was in Nuno’s band and Dana was a friend, and student of Mike Mangini (former Extreme drummer) … we like to keep it in the family.”

The lineup is not the only thing familiar with the band. In true Cherone fashion, the record is chock full of swaggering guitar, soaring vocals and the trademark Cherone eclecticism on tracks such as “Jesus Would You Meet Me”, the reggae-tinged “Just War Reprise” and the Dylanesq “The Murder of Daniel Faulkner (4699)”.
“Hurtsmile was about returning to my roots, writing a record in my basement, a straight up rock ‘n’ roll record… but it turned out to be more diverse and ambitious than I expected.”

Gary is no stranger to taking on intense topics, and Hurtsmile is no exception. The first half of the record is a group of more loosely knit songs such as the cynically inquisitive "Just War Theory", the limit's of free speech "Tolerance Song (edit)" and the disturbingly mesmerizing “Kaffur (Infidel)”, inspired by the beheading of Daniel Pearl.

The 2nd half of the record is more conceptually cohesive; an introspective look at the nature of man and the condition of the human heart. “Stillborn" introduced earlier, and "Set Me Free" both touch on mans inclination toward darkness, culminating with an epic journey from sin to salvation… "Slave" to "Beyond the Garden/Kicking Against the Goads".

For the most part both themes are represented as 2 sides of a record. A concept familiar to Extreme fans but make no mistake, whether reading between the lines or just moved by the visceral power of the music, this is a completely different type of record. Gary adds, "All the boys in the band have brought something new to the table, and you'll never know what hit you!"

“Hurtsmile” tracklisting includes:
Just War Theory; Stillborn; Love Thy Neighbor; Kaffur (Infidel); Painter Paint; Tolerance Song (Edit); Set Me Free; Jesus Would You Meet Me; Slave; Beyond The Garden / Kicking Against The Goads; Just War Reprise; The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699).

The songs “Just War Theory” and “Love Thy Neighbor” can exclusively be listened in full in streaming on the Frontiers Web radio. Tune in at:

Hurtsmile is:
Gary Cherone – Vocals
Mark Cherone - Guitars
Joe Pessia - Bass, Mandolin
Dana Spellman – Drums, Percussion
Produced by Gary Cherone, Joe Pessia - I think it's been a while since the band updated their MySpace (Before they signed a deal with Frontiers, by the looks of things!

Meantime, check out some soundbytes at

Mr. Big - What If... (Super Luxury Edition)

Yes, the album is not even out yet and there's a special, really special edition of the forthcoming 'What If ...' album from Mr. Big.

The BOX includes:
CD + DVD + LP + Poster (size 63x63cm), Lithograph of cover art (numbered, size 31.5x31.5cm), sticker logo art (size 12x12cm)

Tracklisting: Undertow; American Beauty; Stranger In My Life; Nobody Left to Blame; Still Ain’t Enough for Me; Once Upon a Time; As Far As I Can See; All The Way Up; I Won’t Get In My Way; Around The World; I Get The Feeling; Unforgiven (exclusive bonus track, not on vinyl edition).

DVD contents (NTSC Region free): Undertow (videoclip); All the Way Up (videoclip); The Making of the Record (documentary)

Mr. Big are back with their first Studio album in 14 years by the original members. The new album entitled “What If...”was produced by Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Rush, Iron Maiden). The album is set to be release in early 2011 on Frontiers Records and will be followed by a World Tour beginning in South America in March.
“What If...” is the follow up to 2009's highly successful, “Back To Budokan” CD/DVD which marked the bands triumphant return to Japan with a sold out show at legendary Budokan!

Formed in 1988, Mr. Big forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark "shredding" musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original line-up – vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Pat Torpey. Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres – be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock.

Their hits included "To Be With You" (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), "Wild World", Green-Tinted sixties Mind", "Just Take My Heart", and a host of Heavy Metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy", "Addicted to that Rush", "Colorado Bulldog", and "Take Cover".

Each of the members of Mr. Big is also a reputable virtuoso in the music industry. Billy Sheehan has won dozens of “Best Bass Player” awards in numerous magazines, including an unprecedented 14 years in a row from Player Magazine, Japan’s number-one music magazine. Paul Gilbert is recognized as one of the top guitarists of this generation. Aside from the tons of albums he released since his departure from Mr. Big, he frequently holds clinics and designs guitars for Ibanez.

Pat Torpey has been conducting clinics for Tama drums and has been releasing instructional albums as well.

Eric Martin – lead vocals
Paul Gilbert – guitar and vocals
Billy Sheehan – bass guitar and vocals
Pat Torpey – drums and vocals
Produced by Kevin Shirley

Don't forget to check out Frontiers online Radio, right here:

Introducing Kindred Saint!

OK, who are Kindred Saint say you, well here's the thing, they are a band made up of three family members, a father and two sons. Dennis Pawlak (Armor) - Lead / Backing vocals, Lead / Rhythm guitar and Bass, Jason Pawlak (Singer / Songwriter JACE - - Has also written songs for Farcry and Goodbye Thrill) - and Trevor Pawlak - Lead / Rhythm Guitars and Backing vocals.

The music they play, is heavily influenced by 70's and 80's acts that have clearly influenced them, but more than that, they do sound great! They've written good songs and that's why I thought I'd bring them to your attention! 
Enough from me, here's their Biog!

Kindred Saint
Kindred Saint’s self titled debut is a collection of tunes penned by band founder Dennis Pawlak; joined by Trevor and Jason. Featuring dual lead vocals and stacked harmonies with driving rhythms that deliver more guitars than an ear can handle. The writing and production are influenced by the hard rock of the 70's and early 80's: Kiss, Night Ranger, Zeppelin, Grand Funk, Sammy Hagar, etc. From the layered harmonies of "Am I The One", and guitar saturated "Shotgun", through the hard driving "Be There Tonight", to the finale of "I'll Be Back, Someday (maybe)", Kindred Saint is solid hard rock.
Soundbytes of every track can be heard here:


Premieres at Milwaukee’s Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Bingo Casino
on January 20th with Select Dates Through February 26th.

New Event featuring The Rhythmic Noise Philharmonic Orchestra and Mind Choir in 4D in Collaboration with Butch Allen, Bello Nock and Jim Yukich.

More than thirty years after the release of the internationally acclaimed album Dream Police, Cheap Trick is staging a multi-date show featuring songs from the platinum record. The Rhythmic Noise Philharmonic Orchestra and Mind Choir will perform alongside these and other hits from Cheap Trick’s extensive catalog. The run kicks off January 20th, 2011 and includes 12 dates through February 26th.

For Dream Police, the band teamed up with sought after production designer Butch Allen (Paul McCartney, Metallica, No Doubt) and comic daredevil/producer Bello Nock. World-class video and film director and longtime Cheap Trick collaborator Jim Yukich also contributed.

“Dream Police was the first record where we felt the songs were well-suited for orchestration; that was a very expansive time for us musically,” says bassist Tom Petersson.

“Since then, we’ve been fortunate to work with several world-class orchestras – live and in the studio,” adds lead vocalist Robin Zander, “... and after 36 years together, our band is thrilled to have an opportunity to present our songs – both new and old – with an orchestra and a unique state-of-the-art production.”

The shows take place at Milwaukee’s recently renovated Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Bingo Casino, less than two hours away from Chicago. Retaining its intimate, up-close-and-personal atmosphere, the 500-seat theater ensures that there is not a bad seat in the house. The newly transformed, rich and modern space draws diverse internationally known musical and comedy acts with Dream Police being the premiere theatrical event in the venue.

Cheap Trick formed in the city of Rockford, IL in 1974. The multi-platinum band has sold over 20 million albums and had numerous hits including “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me” and “The Flame.”

Show Dates: Jan 20, 21, 28, 29 & Feb 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26
Tickets go on sale Friday, December 10th.
Prices: $85, $75, and $65
Theater Box Office: (414) 847-7922
Ticketmaster: (800) 745-3000 -
Official band website:

Steve Lukather Holiday message

Steve Lukather has just posted a message to all his fans and friends out there:

"I want to send massive thanks to you all out there for the amazing year we have had with the new Record "Alls Well That Ends Well"' and the success of the tour. I am nothing without you guys and I am humbled by the love and support you have shown. I am coming back starting in NYC in January and will be ALL over the world thru all of 2011 and dates will be posted and many surprises as well. I will keep you posted!

I wish you and all your families the best Holiday season ever and may 2011 find peace, love, health and prosperity for all.

See ya on the road.
Oxox, Luke,
December 2010
Keep up with Luke at and as more dates are added - Hopefully Toto in the US too! - you should be able to find them here:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Update for Thursday 9th December, 2010

Sorry folks, no new updates for Thursday, unless I get things finished early in the aftenoon ... Then I might get to something decent for you, but Wednesday night, I was just completely wiped out and couldn't get anything for you for today.
Stick with me folks there's a number of reviews coming anytime now, some DVD's reviews, CD reviews too, so they'll be some reading for you right there ... And yes, that big interview will be up very soon!
Hope your Thursday is a good one.
Cheers, Al :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rock News for Wednesday 8th December, 2010


The fans spoke and now they have gotten what they wanted. Canadian rock royalty has launched a brand new, completely overhauled website and online store, for all your Triumph needs!

The website will serve as both the band’s official website and as a community for Triumph’s devoted worldwide following.

The new site (whose URL will remain will feature streaming music, videos, classic interviews and memorabilia, as well as many other options for fans to learn the history behind one of Canada's greatest hard rocking bands.

Additionally by going to Triumph's new site, you'll be able to access the group's Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter pages, as well as the group's official YouTube page (comprised of kick-ass, vintage video clips), and the Triumph iLike page, where you can purchase downloads of Triumph music.

As the site content continues to grow, Triumph fans will be treated to exclusive free music downloads, a monthly newsletter, fan forum, and online store featuring rare merchandise bundles, including t-shirts, signed CDs, posters, videos, etc., among other goodies.

Right now, there are a total of four "bundles" for sale. There are three different bundles for the 'Greatest Hits' release (including a "digital bundle" , a "classic bundle" and a "deluxe bundle" ), as well as a "limited edition bundle" for the bands classic 1977 release, 'Rock and Roll Machine' (a release that celebrated its 33rd anniversary of release this past November).

On December 3, Frontier Records released, in Europe only, official reissues of Triumph's ten classic albums, in digipak version and with the original track listings.

These albums include 'In The Beginning' (1976), 'Rock and Roll Machine' (1977), 'Just a Game' (1979), 'Progressions of Power' (1980), 'Allied Forces' (1981), 'Never Surrender' (1983), 'Thunder Seven' (1984), 'Stages (Live)' (1985), 'The Sport of Kings' (1986), and 'Surveillance' (1987).

The CDs have been remastered and have an extensive booklet including lyrics. For the serious Triumph fan, Frontiers has released, also in Europe only, a very limited edition collector’s Box Set, entitled 'Diamond Collection,' which will include all the 10 albums in vinyl replica, featuring the artwork from the original vinyl editions of the albums.

By special arrangement, the Triumph online store has imported 300 Box Sets that are available for sale in North America. The Box Sets are numbered and will not be sold anywhere else.

Keep an eye on and visit it frequently, as you never know what surprises, exclusive content, and sales may lay in store for you.
And always remember ... FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!

Formed in 1975, TRIUMPH (whose classic line-up comprised of guitarist / vocalist Rik Emmett, bassist / keyboardist Mike Levine, and drummer / vocalist Gil Moore) continues to be one of the most successful rock acts of the 70’s and 80’s, selling out arenas and stadiums all across North America.

The power trio from Toronto toured relentlessly, selling over fifteen million albums worldwide in the process, and penning such all-time great arena anthems as “Rock ‘n Roll Machine,” "Hold On," "Magic Power," "Lay It on the Line," "Fight the Good Fight," "Allied Forces," “Never Surrender,” “Spellbound” and “I Live for the Weekend.”

Always purveyors of positive messages in their music, which continues to be a staple at Rock Radio, TRIUMPH headlined on some of the largest festivals of the era, including the 1983 US Festival in California in front of a throng of 500,000 screaming fans.

TRIUMPH was inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2008, and the group reunited for 2 show-stopping performances at the Sweden Rock Festival and the Rocklahoma Festival in 2008.

Most recently, their 1979 hit “Lay it on the Line” from the Greatest Hits Remixed package was featured in the summer blockbuster “Grown Ups” (starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and David Spade).

Robin Trower has a 'Playful Heart' he wants to share

Robin Trower is a celebrated guitar virtuoso who continues to create new music and expand his musical portfolio. Robin’s body of work ranges from the recently remastered, “Twice Removed From Yesterday” through "Bridge of Sighs" recognized by many as a groundbreaking collection, right up through 2010’s “The Playful Heart”.This catalog demonstrates not only his mastery of the instrument, but also a continuing determination to reach outside his comfort zone.
Influenced early by Scotty Moore, Hubert Sumlin, B B and Albert King, and of course, Jimi Hendrix, Robin has spent four decades refining his approach to the guitar. Today, his Fender Stratocaster and Marshall amplification combined with the vibrato touch of his hands and a couple of Fulltone effects, create aninstantly recognizable tone that is uniquely Robin Trower.

Robin’s songwriting began when he was a member of Procol Harum, and his collaborative efforts with his original vocalist, James Dewar are at the heart of his writing. Since Jimmy’s passing Robin’s poetry has become both more intensely personal, and interpretable. The lyrics on “The Playful Heart” demonstrate this exceptionally well.

Recent releases include the exhilarating 2008 live set “RT@RO.08”, 2009’s “What Lies Beneath” and now “The Playful Heart”. In these CDs Robin exhibits his ability to draw in new fans but hold true to what his loyal following loves so much, superb guitar playing, signature tone and creative songwriting which combined convey the power of Trower.

“The Playful Heart” was recorded in a small studio in England, with touring bandmates Davey Pattison on vocals, Glenn Letsch on bass and Pete Thompson on drums. It was produced by Livingstone Brown, who has collaborated with Robin on several previous collections, and once again captures the full-spectrum sound. The eleven songs reveal Robin’s introspective side, and the entire CD is full of tasty guitar parts, which point up the intensely personal lyrics.

It is, however, in concert that Robin Trower truly comes alive. Perpetual favorites “Bridge of Sighs", "Day Of The Eagle" "Too Rolling Stoned", "Shame The Devil", "Daydream", and "Long Misty Days" from the five Certified gold releases from 1973-1977, are staples in the live show. Each of these songs is revitalized by Trower’s inspired soloing, so that old friends become new again at each performance. Many fans attend more than one show on each tour, confident that Robin will not repeat “safe” solos, but will remap the emotional territory each night. In the current set three songs from “The Playful Heart” get their initial public airing. The European fans approved and Robin's US audience has seen previews on YouTube of the great performances to come.

The latest information has the band rehearsing several other songs that have never been seen live before.

There will be two legs on the 2011 tour. The first opens in Florida crosses Texas and turns right at California, to end in Seattle, the second begins in the heartland heads north and East to end in New England. For current information on tour dates please visit

This tour will be recorded for DVD release in early 2012.

Status Quo - various updates and competitions!


Universal Music are giving Status Quo fans the chance to WIN tickets, MEET the band and MANY more prizes on offer for the 'Quid Pro Quo tour' this Xmas. You can enter the competition by clicking on the link below.



Quo lead man Francis Rossi will go on a 7-date solo tour of the UK in February next year. Tickets are on sale now from Live Nation ( Also that month, ‘Live At St Luke’s’ (filmed earlier this year) will be released as a live album and DVD.

Unfortunately, German dates scheduled for February have been cancelled due to RECORDING OF THE FORTHCOMING STATUS QUO STUDIO ALBUM being brought forward.
The following are the tour dates that are going ahead.

February 2011
Tues 1 Birmingham Town Hall
Weds 2 Salford Lowry
Thurs 3 Glasgow O2 ABC
Sat 5 Oxford O2 Academy
Sun 6 Brighton Corn Exchange
Mon 7 Norwich Waterfront
Tues 8 London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Tickets are priced at £19.50 regional and £25 London [booking fees may apply]


PRS for Music, the organisation that collects and pays royalties to its 75,000 songwriting and composing members, are holding an auction of handwritten lyrics by some of the world's greatest songwriting talent in a bid to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Sir Paul McCartney, Gary Barlow, Brian May, Sting, Quo and Annie Lennox are among 27 songwriters who have contributed.

Included are the original handwritten lyrics for Down Down and Rain.

The 'art of the song' auction will be held at Bonhams Knightsbridge at 2pm on December 15th as part of the Entertainment & Memorabilia auction.



Quo drummer Matt Letley climbed Mount Snowdon for the 100th time before Quo’s gig in Warrington last month, but not only that, it was his second time that day!

Read all about it in his new blog at


Quo’s former bass player Alan Lancaster has recently set up his own page on Facebook, and made available songs that were recorded by Quo but went unused.


Season's greetings and best of luck to all you Quo fans out there over the coming month. See you all in 2011!!!

Other brief item updates ...

Looks like Journey will be playing some US dates in February 2011, with two dates confirmed at the moment:
02/23/11 - Las Vegas, NV - Planet Hollywood
02/25/11 - Reno, NV - Reno Events Center

April Wine will be playing a few shows in Canada in January and February 2011:
 January 2011
Jan 21/11 - Granada Theatre - Sherbrooke, QC
Jan 26/11 - Centre Cultural De Boloeil - Beloel, QC
Jan 27/11 - Theatre Lionel Grouix - Sainte-Therese, QC
Jan 28/11 - Hector-Charland - L'Assomption, QC
Jan 29/11 - The Colosseum at Caesars - Windsor, ON
February 2011
Feb 04/11 - ROI - Oshawa, ON
Feb 05/11 - Blue Water Park - Wiarton, ON
Feb 18/11 - Bronson Centre - Ottawa, ON
Feb 19/11 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
For more details on these and other dates:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rock News Update - Tuesday 7th December, 2010

I know, looks like I'm slacking again ....
Much going on right now, as I'm sure everyone has with the big "C" right around the corner and the day job is burying me more and more with business travel and heavy going days!
Roll on the weekend say I ...., yes, I know it's only Tuesday! LOL!

Stick with me folks, hope to get more on the site soon ....
Thanks for your patience and understanding music lovers!


After storming the world for nearly 40 years and taking their very special brand of heavy metal to all four corners of the planet, JUDAS PRIEST -one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, have announced this will be their final world tour!!

However, the mighty PRIEST will certainly be going out strong as they rock the planet starting in 2011 on the massive EPITAPH tour - hitting all the major cities throughout the world they will be playing the songs that helped make the name JUDAS PRIEST synonymous with heavy metal!

With all guns blazing and amps cranked to eleven, the band will be giving all their fans one last chance to witness the ultimate metal experience that is JUDAS PRIEST!

JUDAS PRIEST will be starting their world tour in Europe - we have just confirmed the following festivals for 2011:

9th June
Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden

11th June
Sauna Festival, Finland

17th June
Copenhell Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark

19th June
Hellfest, Nantes, France

22nd June
Gods of Metal Festival, Milan, Italy

25th June
Graspop Festival, Belgium

23rd July
HIgh Voltage Festival, London, UK

5th August
Wacken Festival, Germany
Stay tuned as we announce more dates - information will be forthcoming soon - so start getting prepared to rock one final time with the incomparable JUDAS PRIEST!!
Fore more information, visit

UK rock fans can indeed look forward to yet another 'High Voltage' rock festival in 2011, which is surprising considering the financial backers of this past years event, HMVapparently lost big money at the event ... Makes you wonder, eh?

Here's the HMV story:

Meanwhile, this announcement from the festival website:

Hello Everyone,

Here is some good news to blow away those winter blues…
Thanks for your patience and support over the months since High Voltage 2010, we hoped you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did.

Many thanks for the overwhelming response to our customer survey, as we’ve said from the start High Voltage is a festival ‘Custom built by rock fans, for rock fans’, so we’ve listened and tried to take on board as many of your requests as possible.

We have brought the ticket price inline with other UK rock festivals
There is going be a big and never ending selection of real ales.

You loved the selection of food available – 2011 will have the same commitment to quality and choice.
Merchandise sales exceeded our expectations this year – in 2011 we will be prepared to meet demand on size and designs.

We will bring you another high quality line up of the best in rock and prog rock – all your artist suggestions are helping us build the line up you want to see.

These are just some of the changes we are making in preparation for High Voltage 2011, there are many more following your feedback that we will be working on.

In the meantime please watch this teaser video for HIGH VOLTAGE FESTIVAL 2011.

Sorry the blog site cuts the size of video player (Sucks!), click on the link (Above) to go to the official site of the video. 

We look forward to seeing you next year
Big thanks from the High Voltage Team
Also watch Classic Rock Magazine at 10am GMT:

High Voltage 2011 is Judas Priest’s UK Farewell Festival show

Judas Priest are one of the true classic heavy metal bands, who for three decades have travelled the world putting on spectacular stage shows and thrilling audiences worldwide. They have been making music that over the years has influenced many (including such bands as Metallica and Pantera) and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. They are a band who have shaped the music of generations with such landmark, genre defining albums as “British Steel”, “Painkiller” and “Screaming For Vengeance”.
Thirty one years after Judas Priest sealed their reputation as one of the world’s great festival acts with their legendary performance at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock event, the band have chosen High Voltage – the UK home of classic rock and metal – as the stage for their final festival show ever in the UK.

High Voltage will be a 2011 UK festival performance exclusive for the band

Dream Theater are one of the world’s leading progressive metal bands. In a 25-year career, they have sold over 10 million albums worldwide. Their most recent album, 2009’s critically acclaimed Black Clouds & Silver Linings, reached number six on the Billboard chart in the band’s native US, and went top ten in eight European countries.
Dream Theater’s headlining appearance at High Voltage 2011 will mark the first UK performance of their new line-up following the departure of drummer and founding member Mike Portnoy.

Yes announce plans to play UK Tour in November 2011

Not a whole lot of detail on this from Yes as yet, although claim a new album will be released in the summer 2011 on the Frontiers label:

As of now, the band's official site, simply says this and announces the dates:

UK Tour - Winter 2011
December 3, 2010 - Tickets are now on sale for UK appearances in late 2011. Dates are listed below, and tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Factory:

November 2011
Tues 8 Cambridge Corn Exchange
Wed 9 Sheffield City Hall
Fri 11 Birmingham Symphony
Sat 12 Clyde Auditorium
Sun 13 Manchester Apollo
Tue 15 Brighton Dome
Wed 16 Bristol Colston Hall
Thu 17 London Hammersmith Apollo


As a tribute to the US city that first played their music, Rush confirms that the Cleveland performance of their Time Machine show on April 15th at the Quicken Loans Arena will be filmed for full-length release. Cleveland is remarkable for being one of the very first US cities where the band performed, in addition to being the first city to provide American airplay. This will be a must-see event for Rush fans in Cleveland – and for everyone able to make the road trip as it is will also mark the first live full-length filming on US soil.

Tickets for Cleveland go on sale on Saturday, December 11th with pre-sales for Rush fan-club and CITI cardmembers beginning December 7th.
Shows for Ft Lauderdale, Greensboro, Nashville, Louisville, Toledo, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Hamilton and Montreal all go on-sale this week. Visit the tour section for all the details!
Official band website:

Thin Lizzy with FM Live in London January 2011
Just a brief plug, because I love both Thin Lizzy and FM and simply because I think the flyer looks great! :)

For more details on both bands go to:

ZZ Top going down under!

Nothing on the bands official site at this time, but it seems are laying claim that ZZ Top are to play shows down under in April 2011.
Dates at this time are:

April 2011:
Mon 04/18/11 West Melbourne, Australia Festival Hall
Wed 04/20/11 Newcastle, Australia Newcastle Entertainment Centre
Mon 04/25/11 Wollongong, Australia Win Entertainment Centre
Wed 04/27/11 Newtown, Australia Enmore Theatre
Thu 04/28/11 Newtown, Australia Enmore Theatre

Official band site (Kind of quiet for a while ...):