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Monday, September 19, 2011

Brief Update for Monday 19th September, 2011

UK Firefest event - Big announcement

It's all change for the UK's Firefest festival, that happens at the end of next month, read on ...

It is with great sadness and not an inconsiderable amount of anger that we have to announce that

Warrant will not be playing Firefest
Despite us having a signed contract with the band since last January, and the band having been paid in full some months ago for their performance, we were advised by their agent via Email just this this week that Warrant would not be playing the show. Needless to say we made contact with their agents (with whom we have an excellent relationship for many years) who explained to us that Warrant’s management had just informed them that the band would not be travelling. We immediately sought an explanation from the band and/or their management with regard to their cancellation of the Firefest performance, and to date we have not had the courtesy of a reply despite us requesting one via Email and by phone.

At the time we booked Warrant we were expressly requested not to book flights for the band as they wished to play extra European shows around the Firefest date and would like to route flights around a full tour schedule with Firefest as the sole U.K. date. It is our opinion that the band was unable to confirm any extra shows in the time-frame and they then decided that it was not a worthwhile exercise to travel from the U.S.A. to play a single show. At no time over the past number of months did any extra European shows appear on the tour schedule on their web site, which further reinforces our opinion that the lack of other shows is ultimately the reason that Warrant have chosen to cancel. Once again we would like to reiterate that this is our opinion as repeated requests for an explanation from Warrant’s management remain unanswered.

It seems to us that a signed contract is not worth the paper it is written on when a band can simply decide not to travel to play a show a mere five weeks before they are scheduled to perform. Their booking agency have been totally professional and offered to assist us in any way in finding a replacement act, and we in no way bear any ill will towards them. However we do find the behaviour of an international multi-platinum act leaves us with a sour taste as over the past seven years every act that has been scheduled to play Firefest had done so with the notable exception of Tony Harnell due to a serious illness to an immediate family member and Saracen at FF2 due to guitarist Rob Bendelow’s illness. Work visas for Warrant had been applied for, passport copies for the Warrant party were sent to us in order to do this and book flights for the band, something which we agreed to do even though flights would have cost a lot more this week than we would have paid for them at the time we booked the band.
We, as you are extremely disappointed that we will not be able to see the band perform, as I’m sure everybody was looking forward to it, but it does appear that Warrant are not interested in playing for you.
With the Warrant cancellation happening late this week, the search for a suitable replacement began. Kieran spent hours on the phone and Email looking for a suitable replacement, but given the short notice (5 weeks and a day or two) of the 14 bands he spoke with no one was available to play due to some having previous engagements, some on vacation, some members playing solo shows and one or two asking extortionate amounts to “help you out”. Thanks, but no thanks.

As luck would have it one of our good friends got wind of the situation and immediately contacted us to see if he could help. And this was a genuine offer, so following discussions that started in the UK, and finished in Madrid last night, we do have a rather nice surprise in store.
Firstly the headline slot on Saturday night will now feature the Steve Augeri band. Steve and his merry men are stepping up to deliver a set list full of hits and instantly recognisable anthems. Whilst not wanting to give the game away, Steve will be featuring many tracks from his rich past and debuting some tracks from his forthcoming solo album. Need we tell you that he was the lead singer in Journey for over a decade? And also managed to be a part of Tyketto and Tall Stories. We have seen the set list and we can tell you Saturday night in Nottingham will be R-O-C-K-I-N-G!!!!!
Strangeways will move to the Special Guest slot, Ian and Terry having been beaten with a big stick to make them play longer. In fact we have considered calling it ‘Walk in the Fire ......and more’ Expect Native Sons to be plundered for a lot of the extras (and especially the tracks they didn’t play last year...shhh....don’t tell them we told you!) Strangeways will also look to release their new studio album at Firefest assuming it is completed on time, which according to Ian, they are bang on schedule.

So to the other important piece of news, who is joining the Saturday night line up? Well, we told you he was a good friend, in fact they all are. For the first time playing live ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD is ..... W.E.T. Jeff Scott Soto, Eric Martenson and Robert Sall released one of the best selling albums of 2009 within the melodic rock genre. Loaded full of melodic hard rockin’ anthems such as ‘Brothers in Arms’ ‘Invincible’ and ‘One Love’, W.E.T. have been on almost every wish list sent to Firefest over the past three years. Firefest would like to publically thank all the guys in the band for literally dropping everything and offering to jump on board to play for us. We would also like to thank the one and only JSS for the call proving indeed that we are all ‘Brothers in Arms’. W.E.T. will play just before Strangeways in the revised schedule and most definitely are a band NOT TO MISSED.
Check out W.E.T. here:
and here:

And so to the second line up change. Farcry will not be joining us at Firefest for the reasons outlined by Kivel Records boss John Kivel and Farcry’s own Pete Fry
Hello to All,
It is with regret and disappointment that Farcry will not be able to attend this year's FIREFEST event. Both the band and label are honoured that there was such an interest in them to perform. For that we sincerely thank you. I wish that I could lie to you and say someone is unable to attend due to - insert cliché press reason here - or blame it on a "disagreement" etc., etc. I wish it was that easy. However, both myself and the band have far too much respect for the fine folks at the Firefest organization, not to mention, YOU. The faithful fans that attend each year, and show your support for our modest genre/scene.
So the bottom line? Why? Who? Well, the buck, so to speak, stops and lands with ME. Unfortunately the expense of 5-6 international plane tickets has proven way too expensive. We had hoped that the price would drop, and they were starting to show promise to a somewhat "reasonable" price. However, time was not on our side. Firefest needed Visas in this week and could not take the chance that the airfare would be procured. So it was agreed that we had passed the deadline. Fault does not lay with the band, or anyone associated with Firefest (Maybe the Oil Co. perhaps? LOL.) Both I and Pete Fry have looked into every possible idea and suggestion conceivable. In the end FARCRY is a 5 piece band, and no one was going to be left behind. We weren't going to find a local "fill in" guy to sit in, or play as a 4 piece, just so I could save $$$. If we all couldn't go, then none of us would go.
Let's look at this as a delay for the UK fans to see FARCRY in concert, and hopefully, FARCRY will be asked to play next year. I would like to thank Kieran, Bruce and Co. for offering Farcry the chance to play their shindig. It truly was met with great appreciation, and we sincerely thank them. We are sure the weekend of Oct 22nd will be a blast!
Now please allow me to get on my soap box for a second. Please, if you haven't purchased your tickets for FIREFEST yet, then I strongly suggest you do just that. Please get out there and show support for this scene. These websites, Labels, Bands and Promoters. Don't assume that you'll just go to the "next" Firefest. Go to Firefest NOW. Like a Plant needing sunlight to grow, our genre and scene needs positive support to grow as well. Be well my friends and enjoy music, as it’s the soundtrack to our lives.
  Sincerely, John Kivel

From Pete Fry - FARCRY
I would just like to sincerely echo John's appreciation for all parties involved in giving us the honour of a spot on the bill. I really can't even put into words how it feels to get that kind of support. We are truly sorry to disappoint all of you by not being able to perform. Please don't take any of this as a lack of appreciation on our part. Believe me, like John said we looked at this from every angle and we just couldn't make it happen. I and everyone else in the band knows that the label did everything they could, sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to. As John mentioned we hope to have the opportunity to play Firefest again!
On a slightly more positive note, being as I had already purchased my airfare, I will be attending the show and staying in Nottingham the entire weekend.

And so the search was on for a second act to join the Sunday line up. Call it fate; perfect timing, luck or whatever you wish to, but on the end of the phone was another good friend of ours who called to say that he had just finished production on his brand new live album. The voice on the end of the phone was that of none other than Mr. Steve Newman and in the space of approximately 30 seconds it was agreed that Newman would open the show on Sunday. Remembering last year’s Newman performance you are reminded just why Steve is so highly thought of and respected by fans and fellow musicians alike. Steve will of course be promoting his new album ‘Under Southern Skies’ along with playing a selection of Newman fan favourites from his long career. Steve will also be happy to sign copies of his brand new live album recorded live at Firefest 2010 ‘Another Step Closer’ which will be available to pre order shortly from both the Firefest and Newman web sites. This is Newman’s first live recording of his 20 year career and is indeed a little bit special. Limited numbers will be available and details of how to pre order will be advised shortly.

FIREFEST would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any disappointment caused by the non appearance of Warrant and Farcry, both of these decisions were completely out of our hands as explained in detail above. There was simply nothing we could do about it. It has been an unbelievably stressful few days for all the Firefest crew as we worked around the clock (literally) endeavouring to bring you the absolute best we could in nigh on impossible circumstances given the timeframe we had to work in. Find extra flights, book them, change hotel rooms, add some subtract more, change transport arrangements a few times, process more work visas, and all the time cursing the rock and roll gods for making life even more difficult than it already is dealing with 17 bands on a daily basis and making sure that every other aspect of the show goes to plan.
The last thing any of wanted was to be typing this press release a mere five weeks before the show. It goes to show you how the less than responsible and professional attitudes of some make life unnecessarily difficult for some and bring disappointment to all.
We hope that you will continue to support us and the bands that have graciously stepped up to the plate as late replacements. Knowing you are on our side as always gives both Firefest and the bands that come to play a massive boost. We have always said it openly, YOU are the best fans in the world and for the bands that are not travelling, and it is their loss NOT to play in front if you
The Crew
Official site:


British rockers UFO are kicking off the West Coast leg of their North American tour today - Editors note: Sorry folks, this was last Thursday! - in Santa Rosa, CA. The band is touring North America in support of their greatest hits collection "Best of a Decade" which is out now on SPV/Steamhammer.
UFO is also in the process of working on a new studio album which is scheduled for release in early 2012.

Drummer Andy Parker commented on the start of the tour and the recording process of their new studio album:
"I recorded fifteen drum tracks while I was in Germany, not sure which ones will make the final cut. Basses are done; Vinnie (Moore) and Phil (Mogg) start work when we get back. I am really looking forward to playing these next shows.
The West Coast has always been great for us, plus Reno, Vegas, Tempe, Tucson and finishing up in Texas means I get to ride the tour bus home, couldn't be better!! Will we be seeing you?"
True rock legends such as UFO are characterized not only by the fact that they have added several classic anthems to the annals of rock history, but that their musical output, after many years, still remains at such a consistently high level and they always have something new and fresh coming up. With classic albums such as "Phenomenon", "Force it" and "No Heavy Pettin" Phil Mogg, Vinnie Moore, Andy Parker and Paul Raymond still sound vital and imaginative to this day.
Providing direct support on the tour with be Brazilian rockers MINDFLOW. Their latest release "With Bare Hands" is available now on Nightmare Records. Heavy metal, hard rock, modern rock...try to put MINDFLOW's music into a category and you either don't know where to stop or you can't find the words. It's all there - the compelling energy of the rhythm section - drums and bass pounding relentless power.
9/15: Santa Rosa, CA @ Last Day Saloon
9/16: Sacramento/Orangevale, CA @ Boardwalk
9/17: Santa Clara, CA @ Avalon
9/19: Portland, OR @ The Aladdin Theater
9/21: Modesto, CA @ The Fat Cat
9/22: Reno, NV @ The Knitting Factory
9/23: Las Vegas, NV @ Boulder Station Casino (NO MINDFLOW)
9/24: Los Angeles, CA @The Key Club
9/26: Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theater
9/27: Fresno, CA @ Warnor's Center For The Performing Arts
9/29: San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
9/30: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
10/1: Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
10/4: Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
10/5: El Paso, TX @ The House of Rock
10/6: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
10/7: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio
10/8: San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
For more info visit:
Van Halen rumour on Columbia Records deal, posted at
Get this folks, read into it what you will ... It seems, if the rumours are to be believed that Van Halen have removed the shackles on them from Warner Brothers to sign a deal with Columbia Records.
This posted yesterday at

Van Halen/Columbia Records Rumor

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Industry insiders at Hits Daily Double are reporting that the band has split with Warner Bros., after three decades and has partnered with Sony by signing a brand new deal with Columbia Records.

“After spending its entire 35-year career at WB, Van Halen, with David Lee Roth back in the fold, recently completed work on its first album for new label Columbia, coming early next year…”

This marks the first rumor of Van Halen signing a new record deal. Hits Daily Double is known for being a reliable source for record industry news, but there has been no confirmation on this rumor yet from Van Halen or Columbia.

An inside source tells that there have indeed been serious talks between the parties, but that, as of today, there is no signed deal.

If this deal goes through, this would be a great match. Columbia has a good reputation for promoting “legacy” artists, such as AC/DC, whose last album was released to Walmart through Columbia (for those who don’t know, Columbia is a subsidiary of Sony).

A new Van Halen studio album with David Lee Roth will be a HUGE deal, as it would be one of the most anticipated rock albums in many years. (It will be the band’s first full album since Van Halen 3 in 1998, and their first with Roth since 1984). If Hits Daily Double is correct about the album coming out in early 2012, that would make sense, as they’ve got to have enough lead in time to get all their ducks in a row (ie: promotions, lead single, interviews, tour planning). The importance of doing this right is paramount.
Mastering should be completed very soon, and then it’s only a matter of time before we get a new, full album and tour!
Story source right here:

'Under Southern Skies' the forthcoming new release from
UK Rockers
Heaven and most online retailers such as Play and

The ninth studio album from one of the UK’s top melodic rock acts is to be released on 23rd October in Europe via AOR Heaven and Japan via Rubicon Music.
Available now for pre-order from:
Recorded between March & June 2011 at “The Blue Room”, Sussex, England
Produced By Steve Newman
Steve Newman : Vocals, Guitar, and Keyboards
Rob McEwen : Drums & Percussion
Shaun Bessant : Lead Guitar on If He Loves You
Track Details:
01 Killing Me
02 If He Loves You
03 Under Southern Skies
04 Strength To Carry On
05 Ghost In The Night
06 Without Warning
07 She’s Gone
08 Fire With Fire
09 Save No Prisoners
10 Wish You Were Here
11 Montserrat
 Total running time : 55:25
Soundbytes from all the above songs are available from:
Live Band left to right
Paul Boyle : Keyboards
Shaun Bessant : Guitar
Steve Newman : Vocals
Nic Lipscombe : Drums
Dave Bartlett : Bass
After an initial few years playing in bands and being disillusioned by record company interest and band conflicts Newman was formed in 1997 by Singer/Guitarist Steve Newman. He enlisted the help of Mark Mulholland (Drums) and William Marshall (Bass) for the first self titled album which was subsequently released through Point Music in Germany that following year.
In 1999 Newman signed to Escape Music for a four album deal which spawned the albums One Step Closer”, “Dance In The Fire”, “Sign Of The Modern Times and Heaven Knows”. The first of which saw the title track “One Step Closer” chart in Japan.
Those albums established Newman as one of the top UK rock bands with a reputation for producing well crafted melodic rock.
In 2006 Steve parted ways with Escape Music and formed his own label Chrome Dome. Later in 2007Primitive Soul was released to great reviews around the globe and was followed in 2008 with the double CDDecade”. The first CD charting the bands career so far and adding a second CD of unreleased material. Steve then worked towards re-establishing the live band by recruiting Neil Richardson (Guitar), Paul Boyle (Keyboards), Nic Lipscombe (Drums), and Terry Horne (Bass). In 2009 the band played Z Rock Festival and supported John Waite on his UK Tour.

2010 saw the release of "The Art Of Balance", which not only raised the bar sonically it also proved again that Steve Newman has a talent for producing quality hook laden, melodic rock. This release went on to become one of the most successful albums of Steve’s career receiving high praise and spending a great deal of time in the top ten of most AOR and Melodic Rock mail order sites.
The band, with new bassist Dave Bartlett played various shows to support the new album including the Cambridge Rock Festival and after enlisting the talents of a new Guitarist in Shaun Bessant the band were asked to play at the prestigious Firefest Festival that year and a CD/DVD was recorded for future release.
During this time Steve has also been very busy as a writer/producer/engineer for the following artists. Frozen Rain, WildKard, Eden, Atlantic, House Of Lords, Robin Beck, Terry Brock, Crunch, Frederik Slama’s AOR Project, Steve Overland, Far Cry, and Phenomena.
This brings us to 2011 and after the signing and release of the much acclaimed Big Life album featuring Steve Newman and Mark Thompson-Smith the relationship between AOR Heaven and Steve Newman continues with the release of Newman’s brand new studio album Under Southern Skies
The new album, recorded and produced once again at Steve’s Blue Room Studios features 11 songs much in the style of Newman’s earlier work but taking in modern influences present in the crisp up to date production. The album once again features Steve Newman on Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, and Rob McEwen taking on Drum responsibilities. There is also an appearance by Shaun Bessant playing Lead Guitar on the track If He Loves You
Newman Discography:
S/T 1998
One Step Closer 1999
Dance In The Fire 2000
Sign Of The Modern Times 2003
Heaven Knows 2006
Primitive Soul 2007
Decade 2008
The Art Of Balance 2010
For more information on Newman, go to:

Foreigner to perform on 'Fox & Friends' as Part of Fox News 15th Anniversary Special!

Foreigner will be making a special appearance on 'Fox & Friends' on Monday, September 19, 2011, as part of the Fox News Channel (FNC) 15th Anniversary Special!

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, FNC is kicking off a nationwide tour in Orlando (The Villages, Florida) beginning with the live broadcast of 'Fox & Friends'!
The live interview will be at 8:20 AM ET with the a live performance at 8:50 AM ET!
Foreigner will be joined by members of the Villages High School Choir as they perform I Want To Know What Love Is!
Be sure to tune in! The video should be available shortly after the broadcast. We will post here for all to view!
More details about the show can be found here. Fans in the area are encouraged to go!
Story source:

 Michael Schenker statement on 'social networks'

I'm just wondering if Michael Schenker is going through more issues from his ex-wife, as I understand she was previously running or controlling both the Michael Schenker Facebook and MySpace pages and a statement had been issued previously addressing the fact that he had absolutely nothing to do with those sites.
I seem to recall this came about due to her selling albums and merchandise through them.
Reading the message posted this weekend at the official Michael Schenker website, one might be led to believe that foul games are indeed afoot again!

Michael would like all his fans to know that he does not having any social network accounts. He is NOT on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or any other sites.

The only official Michael Schenker page is:

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