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ROCKFI​END PUBLICATIONS SCOTLAND

Keeping Rock Alive


LIVE GIG & CD REVIEWS

Skid Row

Enuff Z ‘Nuff

Pretty Maids

Massive Wagons

Cattail Brew

Promethium

Haymaker

Sons of Liberty 

Dan Baird and Homemade Sin

Darkness Divine

Voodoo Blood

Hollywood Vampires

The Darkness

The Damned

RUSHfest Scotland

TREMONTI

THE FALLEN STATE

ANCHOR LANE

THE RADIO SUN 

Massive Wagons

❤ 

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Massive Wagons

“Full Nelson”

Album Review by

Neil Thomson

As a fan of Massive Wagons I was expecting a lot from this album and I wasn't disappointed. It is a rare occasion that an album like this comes along, everything I heard just blew me away. It kicks off with 'Under No Illusion' which made me want to turn the volume right up and put it on repeat...It's that good. When you follow this with 'China Plates' and 'Billy Balloon Head' you are ready to rock out the air guitar. The ending of 'China Plates' makes me smile every time, it's a great way to finish a song. For me every track on this album is full of energy, even when the pace is slowed down for 'Northern Boy.' By the second time I listened to the tracks I was singing along to these rock anthems. Lancaster should be proud of these boys and the British Rock scene should stand up and take notice.

Please don't ask me to pick a favourite track from this album, it's impossible!

For me Full Nelson rates 10/10

NT

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THE RADIO SUN

“Beautiful Strange”

Released 24/08/2018

Album Review by

Simon Furness

Three years ago I was doing what I always do ahead of Hard Rock Hell AOR, I gathered the line ups and day splits and with all the band lists in front of me proceeded to do a little homework to help me decipher who I would put on my list to watch over the busy musical weekend in Wales.

Apart from the obvious inclusions of bands with a long track record one band really stood out for me and as I listened to what was the bands second album “Heaven Or Heartbreak” I knew I had a winner for the weekend away.

I have to say I was totally new to the band at this point even though they were already established back in their home country of Australia, the reaction to them that year at the festival was great and over the last few years their following has gathered momentum.

So to “Beautiful Strange”, their fifth album in as many years, Rockfiend Publications Scotland talked at length with Jason and Steve at this years HRH event and it was there they revealed the new album detail and also release date, it was great even at that point to feel their enthusiasm for the new material and having now heard it in it's entirety I know why.

Album opener ‘Hold On Tight’ is the first to show the bands intent and right now I'm hearing a slightly heavier version of the band, melodic and dynamic...what's not to like? There's a sense of the familiar but at the same time also a real feeling of progression.

Jason Old has never sounded better handling vocal duties, Steve Janevski effortlessly peeling off platinum coated guitar solos and riffs, Gilbert Annese laying down solid drums and Anthony Wong providing the flowing bass lines that bring together the magic of the band, the fact that they all sing is evident too and obviously this makes the transition between studio production and the live environment an easier journey.

Of the 12 tracks on offer here the band have chosen the tracks that belong with each other if you get what I mean, ‘Should Have Listened To My Heart’ opens and I'm hearing keys that remind me of Cheap Trick in their golden era, it's upbeat and rolls along at a relentless pace.

‘As Long As You Want Me’ hints at melodic 80's radio hit, Jason talks of magical chemistry through multi layered vocals and I find myself singing along with it.

‘Miss Wonderful’ has a different groove and I hear Anthony's bass all over it, an atmospheric mature track, ‘Have You Got What It Takes’ again taking the band in a heavier direction and I can already hear this played live, always a good sign believe me.

‘Hearts On Fire’ continues the theme, familiar heavy hook laden melodies with a production that's second to none.

‘Standing Tall United’ closes out the album, it's upbeat and is destined to be a surefire live favourite...anthemic and guaranteed to get you nodding along, horns held high!

There is not a filler on the entire album and also no need to go deeply into each track, the proof is in the listening.

Paul Laine has done a wonderful job in production alongside ex Danger Danger bandmate Bruno Ravel mastering the release, it's a winning formula and I see no signs of this fine band from down under slowing down anytime soon, great news for us punters.

Be sure to catch The Radio Sun at HRH AOR 2019 and also on tour around the UK, March cannot come around soon enough!

SF

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TREMONTI

THE FALLEN STATE

ANCHOR LANE

O2 Academy

Glasgow

28/06/18

Review & Photos

by Gus Darroch

Mark Tremonti is back in Glasgow with his self titled side project as he tours the album “A Dying Machine”, newly released on the 8th June.

“A Dying Machine” is Tremonti’s fourth album and is a concept album which will be accompanied by a book of the same name, which should be available some time over the next few months.

Last time in Glasgow 2016, Tremonti played the O2 ABC as he toured third album “Dust”.

Tonight’s gig should also have been at the same venue, but as it was recently damaged by fire, the show was transferred to the larger capacity O2 Academy.

First up on stage this evening were the excellent Glasgow band Anchor Lane, freshly back from Download and The Isle of Wight Festival.

I last caught these boys in February at King Tut’s and you can see that their trajectory since then which has seen them playing on bigger stages to larger crowds is really starting to pay off as they look very much at home here at the Academy.

Anchor Lane are scheduled to take the stage at 7:15pm, and with the doors only opening at 7pm there has barely been enough time for tonight’s crowd to pack into the venue. This however doesn’t deter Anchor Lane from ripping into their set with a gusto and performance befitting of a full venue.

It’s apparent from the response they get that Anchor Lane are building a decent fan base here in their hometown and every song brings more cheers from the steadily growing audience.

They close their six song set with ‘Finished for Twelve’ from their excellent debut EP “New Beginnings” and if the crowd reaction is anything to go by, they have increased their fanbase tonight.

Main support of the evening were South West based The Fallen State, these guys have also been tirelessly gigging and honing their craft in recent times with support slots with Halestorm and Black Stone Cherry among others.

The hook up with BSC resulted in the recording of a version of the song ‘Nova’ featuring Chris Robertson on vocal duties.

Recently they have completed their own 11 date headline U.K. tour as well as playing at Winters End and Camden Rocks Festivals.

A one off support with Seether last month brought them up to the point of entering the studio to record their debut album but for now they are back out on the road with Tremonti for six dates across the U.K. and Ireland.

This is a first visit to Glasgow for The Fallen State and the audience response seems to drop a little after Anchor Lane, this is surely down to Glasgow not being as familiar with The Fallen State as they are with Anchor Lane, however this five piece band are here to warm up the crowd for Tremonti and they set about giving it their all.

The engine room of Greg Butler (bass), Dan Oke (Rhythm guitar) and Rich Walker (drums) drive everything forward with precision, especially Walker who is a joy to watch laying down the beat. The quintet is completed by Jon Price (lead guitar) whose solos and lead guitar work complements the energetic performance of vocalist Ben Stenning who barely stands still throughout as he bounces around the big Glasgow stage.

The aforementioned ‘Nova’ slows things down a little, though it is still delivered with emotion as Glasgow really starts to warm to The Fallen State.

They bring their set to a close with the appropriately named ‘You Want It’ as the audience are now ready after two great bands who set out to warm up the crowd for the main reason that everyone is here tonight.

Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Keegan take the stage to a raucous welcome from the Glasgow crowd with the biggest cheer reserved for Mr Tremonti himself.

He has a hardcore following and a longstanding relationship with Glasgow and Scotland that dates all the way back to his first visit in 2004 with Alter Bridge.

In the years since then he has been a regular visitor to Scotland with Alter Bridge and Tremonti.

Mark Tremonti is loved and admired by his fans for being one of rock music’s nicest men who always has time for them, and tonight is no exception as young guitar playing fan Fraser Cummings gets to watch his hero from side of stage.

They race through the first three songs, ‘Cauterize’, ‘Another Heart’ and ‘You Waste Your time’ without barely a word, which is followed by debut album title track ‘All I Was’.

This ensures the crowd is suitably prepped for the first new song of the evening ‘As The Silence Becomes Me’.

The remainder of the set sees another four songs from the new 14 track album “A Dying Machine”, so it is well represented for fans wanting to hear the new material played live.

Tonight is also Friedman’s birthday and Glasgow duly obliges with a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ for the birthday boy.

Tremonti teases the crowd by saying that they should record a live DVD right here in Glasgow, which I’m sure would ensure a sell out crowd for that gig.

They close the ‘no encore’ show with ‘Radical Change’ and ‘Wish You Well’ to send the Glasgow crowd home happy from an awesome night of rock from three great bands.

SETLIST:

Cauterize

Another Heart

You Waste Your Time

All I Was

As The Silence Becomes Me

My Last Mistake

Take You With Me

Betray Me

The Things I’ve Seen

Bringer Of War

So You’re Afraid

Flying Monkeys

Throw Them To The Lions

A Dying Machine

Dust

Radical Change

Wish You Well

This was the opening night on this U.K. and Ireland tour and if tonight is anything to go by, fans are going to be in for a treat over the remainder of the tour as Tremonti and his fellow bandmates Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Keegan deliver a blistering set of songs from A Dying Machine and the rest of their back catalogue.

Tremonti are planning to return to these shores in November, so if you have missed them this time around, make sure that you catch them then.

GD

28/06 - O2 Academy, Glasgow.

29/06 - Shepherds Bush Empire, London.

30/06 - O2 Institute, Birmingham.

02/07 - Limelight 1, Belfast.

03/07 - Academy, Dublin.

05/07 - The Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth.

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RUSHfest Scotland

Dreadnought Rock

Bathgate

12/05/2018

Review & Photos by Simon Furness

So here I am at my first RUSHfest Scotland, the annual event now five years old in which time it has raised over £30,000 for cancer charities, a cause close to organiser/founder Steve Brown's heart.

On arrival to the town I immediately clock many people in Rush regalia shuffling around the town centre on this warm spring day, all waiting for The Dreadnought to open it's doors and the meeting of friends and

enthusiasts to ensue.

People have travelled from all over the globe to be here and there is a true sense of friendship inside the venue, it's hot outside and the bar doesn't take long to be at full steam as the event fires up with Steve

saying a few words.

First up we have a Bass clinic with Paul Livingstone and William Winsborough playing 4 and 5 string basses respectively and running through a few old classics with the opportunity to let us here what Geddy's

instrument may sound like without the guitar track in the mix, the songs instantly recognisable as the crowd hum along in unison.

Before we know it after a fairly swift change around on this small stage we are watching The RFS Allstars, the tribute band fronted by Canada's Terry Hill handling vocal duties, Steve Brown on guitar, Mark Bray on drums, Paul Livingstone on bass

and William Winsborough on keyboards and bass. With the band made up of different Rush tribute acts coming from far and wide they managed a day of rehearsals in Edinburgh the day before just to iron out any last minute glitches.

I'm not about to go through each set track by track but as you can imagine every song rolled out was a classic, highlights for me were ‘Limelight’, ‘Passage to Bangkok’, ‘Freewill’, ‘Xanadu’ and ‘The Spirit of Radio’.

Terry's voice cutting through mix and providing a perfect platform for the others to lay down their respective contributions, you could see she was loving the energy and enthusiasm in the room and you wouldn’t believe this band only had one practice,

any of you that know these guys will also know what devotee's they are to Canada's finest.

‘Xanadu’ was the first Rush song I ever heard thanks to The Friday Rock Show and Tommy Vance way back when, so is always going to be a favourite and it's played out to perfection as Steve cracks out his Double Neck Gibson to make it as authentic as possible

but it's ‘The Spirit of Radio’ which really sees this most loyal group of fans get animated as Terry conducts us all in a mass sing along, it's all over too quickly and we collectively shuffle upstairs in search of more refreshments and a seat for what's next.

It's fair to say this next series of events are a bit of a blur as while there is an acoustic set with David King, Maurice Pickles, Micky Kerrigan and William Winsborough at one end of the room beside the bar there is a Whisky tasting provided by The Green Welly Stop

at the other end, dangerous to say the least, I have to say I did participate also as it's only right to get into the Spirit of things!

The set from the acoustic band was without vocal but as you can image with a few libations on board nobody in the room was on the shy side and we all sang along, a definite winner.

There was a quiz next hosted by Paul Beaulieu from The Canadian Music Scene, Paul has been a major participant and organiser since the first RFS, most definitely an honorary scot!

I thought I knew a thing or two about the band but I'm clearly still in kindergarten compared to some here, think I need to stay home and read up more!

What followed was a live Skype conversation with Tony Geranios AKA Jack Secret-Geddy's keyboard tech since the very early days, a little bit lost in the mix as it's not easy to hear over a room full of people when not everybody is silent.

The whole interview will be posted on the RFS YouTube channel soon, here's a link to their live interview in person with Terry Brown who was the VIP in 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67rp3tyOOO8&t=140s

It was good to hear parts of the conversation at least and before we know it the time has come to get some much needed food, unfortunately there are a few that choose to stay face down in the upholstery due to a few too many rounds with the whisky man!

The evening kicks off with an auction and raffle which raise a shed load of cash for St Columba's Hospice then we all head downstairs for the final act of the day.

The Rushians are here from Holland to headline the event, formed in 2016 and continuing to gather momentum on the live circuit.

All I can say is Wow, you forget at times basically what you are seeing is a tribute act as your heart and soul get wrapped up in the music we've all spent a lifetime of listening to.

We get a fabulous 2 part set including many of the days favourites as well as Natural Science, Jacobs Ladder, Caravan and a stunning version of The Garden.

As far as my clouded mind can remember there was only one request and it was all mine, I shouted the loudest and asked for Subdivisions and the drummer shot up and pointed straight at me, they didn't even so much as look at each other just launched straight into the synth heavy

intro and the room sang it's collective heart out, absolutely magical is the only way I can describe it.

A couple of hours flew by and before we know it the event is all over, many weary punters disappear into the night and I make my way back to my hotel...encountering only one individual in a 40 minute walk, he high fives me as we pass and I wander towards my bed for the night.

RUSHfest Scotland reminded me that although the band appear to have hung up their tour outfits the music they created is still loved and adored by many, what better way to celebrate than to come together yearly with friends to raise a glass to them.

Sláinte Mhaith

Simon Furness

The official total raised for St.Columba's Hospice from RFS 2018 was a massive £6,500

For more info, including some great merchandise [with all profits going to charity] visit http://www.RUSHfestScotland.co.uk

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Hollywood Vampires

The Darkness

The Damned

Glasgow Hydro

19/06/2018

Here we are at Glasgow's very own Spaceship Earth/ The Hydro to witness what is bound to be a special evening of excessive rock n roll, with the Hollywood Vampires playing only a few shows in the UK it seemed only fitting that they stop by at Scotland's biggest shed to play a few tunes.

Starting the evening off nicely we have The Damned, never being blessed or lucky enough to witness this legendary punk band back in the day I was more than eager and excited to see them on this huge stage...they did not disappoint.

It's easy to see why they have stood the test of time whilst others have fallen by the wayside over the years, 42 years strong, that's worth celebrating.

Captain Sensible joked there will be no "Happy Talk" tonight...no sign of a parrot either, that was reserved for someone much later!

Launching into their first song of the evening ‘Street of Dreams’ Goth God Dave Vanian's voice on top form as they raced through ‘Neat,Neat,Neat’ and ‘Love Song’ before playing newie ‘Standing on the edge of Tomorrow’from the

album "Evil Spirits", not forgetting their rich past they play crowd favourites ‘Eloise’ and ‘New Rose’ before disappearing into the night.

The punk veterans put on a great show and must have loved playing to such a large and enthusiastic crowd.

The Darkness are up next, you wouldn't have put money on seeing Lowestoft's finest back treading the arena boards a few years ago but here they are and they aren't about to allow the crowd the time to stare at feet either.

The sound mix is perfect as Justin takes the crowd by the scruff of the neck, he's an entertainer with bags full of energy and enthusiasm and the crowd respond as you'd expect, he even tells the crowd Mr Depp had never heard of The Darkness

but had admired his hair.

Opening with ‘Solid Gold’ from the album "Pinewood Studio" and then straight into ‘Growing on Me’, more favourites follow...’Love is Only a Feeling’ ‘One Way Ticket’ ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’ and finishing up with the inevitable

‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’

It's a dynamic performance and most definately FUN.

So, to the reason the majority of this crowd is here tonight...

As the Hollywood Vampires hit the stage I'm a little unsure what to expect, parody? pantomime? cash in? with celebrity meets rockstar it could go either way but there really were no need for such reservations as Depp, Cooper and Perry backed by a

more than credible group of musicians gave us a night of pure celebration of rock n roll.

The Glasgow crowd eager from the off, cheering loudy with arms and horns raised high.

Opening with ‘I Want My Now’ followed by ‘Raise The Dead’

Next they play ‘My Dead Drunk Friends’ and the words "We drink and we fight and we puke and we puke and then we die" flash up on the background screen followed by many black and white pictures of rock legends, the whole night feels like a home to the excesses of the industry

and the crowd respond accordingly.

The Doors are represented with two numbers ‘Five to One’ and ‘Break on Through’ quickly followed by AC/DC live favourite ‘The Jack’ gets the whole room singing along, as does Motorhead classic ‘Ace Of Spades’ Depp looking every bit the rocker strutting the stage and throwing all the right shapes, he appears to be enjoying every second.

Depp takes the lead vocal on an emotional tribute to Bowie with ‘Heroes’ which went down very well with the crowd, again with images across the large backdrop to accompany the poignant nod to the British legend.

All to soon we’re in finale territory and it's a bit obvious what were going to get, Alice with cane in hand conducts the masses in a singalong to ‘Schools Out’, he might be a few weeks premature of the real summer break but it feels like New Years Eve in here and nobody is in the mood for it to end.

So what appeared as a bit of a project at first really did have the grit to succeed in the live arena, the blood suckers from Hollywood really did rule and brought a little LA glamour to a Tuesday night in Glasgow.


🦇❤❤🦇

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Voodoo Blood

“Fresh Hell”

EP Review by Simon Furness

More and more these days we find ourselves looking for the next big thing, there is little that has not gone before but there is new music out there tinged with the past but pointing to a bright future, Manchester's Voodoo Blood could very well be that.

With many live appearances under their belts since forming in 2015 this band have been building momentum for some time, not just through the press either as word of mouth goes a long way in these circles.

In “Fresh Hell” we have 4 brand spanking new tunes all served up in typically over the top fashion, this is honestly the first time I have sat down and listened to them and from the off there are similarities to be drawn, imagine a very British gritty Blues Pills and you won't be far from the mark.

First up is ‘Mean’ totally at home in it's fuzzy psychedelic groove laden melodies, throw in a few full on death metal growls and you have something here that has plenty of substance, the band aren't scared to allow the song the time to breathe...a great opener.

Next up we have ‘Brain’, "I am a god within a god, you know my name" Kim "the voodoo woman" speaks before the song drops into an almost dancey rhythm, its simple enough to get into and at the same time there is a lot going on, as I listen with headphones cranked every bit of it is required to build the track to its massive crescendo.

‘Dirt’ opens like Tony Iommi had a day out in the North West and couldn't resist the urge to throw a few shapes, it's as heavy as a heavy thing and I imagine will have heads bobbing everywhere it gets heard, it's the bluesiest heaviest thing I've heard in quite sometime and I love it.

Finally ‘I go to bed (when the sun comes up)’ closes the EP with very upbeat style, Sean soloing all over the place while Chris on Bass and Will on Drums perfectly nail down the ever quickening backbone of the song as it lifts off and leaves you hanging, I'm guessing this is exactly how they want you to feel, like I said it is the first time I have heard the band and already I am suitably impressed and looking to find out more.

Do yourselves a favour and try them out, if the recorded output is this good then the live spectacle must be mighty impressive.

They have a string of live dates already booked in for the rest of the year so head on over to their website and check them out.

If you like what you read I'd start off with a trip to the smoke and catch the hometown show coming up

Ep launch - 30th June - The Bread Shed Manchester - supports from Twisted Illusion and The New Breed - tickets £7 from skiddle

SF

DARKNESS DIVINE

“Digression”

Review by Simon Furness

Single Release date 29/06/18

Formed in Glasgow in 2017 this five piece make their intentions clear with this debut single "Digression"

I'm totally new to this band and what strikes me first is that this feels very familiar but at the same time offers up enough elements to keep the listener interested,

they have spent their time wisely and literally thrown the kitchen sink at this, coupled with a great balanced production it leaves me wanting to hear more.

From mainstream to old school thrash and all areas inbetween, even moments that point to progressive metal influences it covers all the bases.

In frontwoman Toni they have someone who sounds at home nailing down a commercial sound and also not being afraid to go for the full on growl as the song draws to an end, this backed up by a solid backline and twin guitars

ensure that there is plenty of substance to this release for any listener to get their teeth into.

All in all I have to say it's a fully entertaining 5 minutes 26 seconds and any supporter of independent music will be rewarded by a track they will be singing along to in no time.

The band are venturing to new locations this year, from Aberdeen to Leicestershire in June and with view to having an album to accompany touring through 2019 the future looks bright indeed, catch them now and get on board.

SF

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Dan Baird and Homemade Sin

Kinross

27/05/18

Review & photos by Simon Furness

Any of you that know anything about the band will know that they have been on quite a journey since late July last year, I last saw the band on the 26th of July last year in Kendal, little did I know at the time that within 24 hours Dan would be in hospital.

What followed were months of treatment and recovery from a form of Leukemia which sidelined the frontman while the band honoured touring commitments with Joe Blanton from The Bluefields and The Royal Court of China handling Dan's duties within the band.

So here we are in May 2018 in Kinross at an unlikely location for a gig of this nature, The Green Hotel as it turns out has a fabulous venue "Backstage" tucked away along one of its many corridors.

Dan by his own admission is not fully game fit just yet, only a few shows into the tour which is also his first with recently acquired bassist Sean Savacool.

I have to say even if he questions how he is doing it's not obvious one bit, with Warner on guitar and Mauro hitting the skins he is surrounded by band members that know the legendary frontman inside out.

So does this mean they play it safe with a setlist? no way, as has always been the case Dan calls the shots and this keeps everyone on their toes including him.

No need for a track by track description of the set but safe to say it covered all bases from The Satellites, earlier solo material and all parts of Homemade Sin recorded output, with a smattering of covers here and there, Zeppelin, Bill Haley & The Comets and The Grateful Dead to name but a few.

Plenty of audience favourites flowed like the beer from the bar on this scorching hot day in Scotland, ‘Licka Sense’, ‘I Love You Period’, ‘Shake it Til its Sore’, ‘Crooked Smile’, ‘Knocked Out Cold’, ‘Fall Apart on Me’, ‘Out Livin', lots more beside these but every one of them greeted and cheered by this sell out crowd, we might have been seated but it was hotter than hades in there.

I could feel the energy in the room notch up with each track, each of the band members playing like their lives depended on it, the biggest reactions of the night reserved for ‘Keep Your Hands to Yourself’ and finally ‘Railroad Steel’, the latter extended as each of the band forced home their own moment in the spotlight.

Speaking to people in the crowd it was suprising to hear a number of them had never seen DBHMS before, one man said "I get what you mean now" to me as we left the room, job most definitely done it appears.

Normal service has indeed resumed and with several more visits to the UK this year and with a new album ready to go this band show no signs of slowing down.

Many thanks for the memories of yet another incredible show gentlemen, is it September yet?

Simon Furness

Proud Danorak and Reviewer!


SONS OF LIBERTY

"Shinola" EP

Review by Simon Furness

A southern flavoured rock band pulled together with members from both Bristol and South Wales, not necessarily what you'd expect right?

How's about I tell you that this actually works.

The 5 piece have been gigging since 2014 initially playing Southern Rock covers on the circuit, in 2017 they decided that it was time for some original material and set about writing and recording this EP.

"Shinola" comprises of 5 original tracks, all with a very distinct flavour.

Think Blackfoot meets Molly Hatchet and you'll be somewhere in the vicinity of where this band are, they wear their influences on their sleeve.

First up is ‘Brotherhood’ and its a great intro to the band to be honest, a full on "driving down the highway” number, great musicianship with a rich and powerful sound to match. Of all the tracks on show this is the most immediate.

‘Fools Gold’ lurches along like an old rock classic, or is that classic rock?....let me here you shout "Hell Yeah"

Next up we have the melancholy intro of ‘Free Man’, before the cowbell signals a southern boogie workout, I bet this goes down a storm live.

‘Looking For A Good Time’ has all the swagger of a radio friendly hit, albeit wedged firmly in its 70's splendour.

The EP closes with the epic ‘The Brave’, clocking in at 7 minutes 13 seconds there is time to allow the music to become familiar, after only a few listens I found myself humming the melodies long beyond the cd ending on the deck at home.

I have to say I admire any band that can write its own original material and come up with something as well put together as this, the true test of any band is to go beyond covering others and become something in their own right.

You can see why they've been busy sharing stages with the likes of Skinny Molly and Stone Broken.

If you like what you read head over to https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shinola-Sons-Liberty/ and order it.

SF

Haymaker - Rocking in a free world (Neil Young cover)

 

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Haymaker - Stoke On Trent – Lymedale Bar - Saturday 5th May

Thirteen

Prisoners Of War

Fat Albert

​Wasted Life

Haymaker

Gig Review

by Christopher Cochrane & Fiona West

Most of these bands were a first for us both, Haymaker especially. As both long term fans of frontman Tim Steinfort's previous band Discharger and his solo career this was a gig that we were eagerly excited for.

The night started off young with varying punk rock n roll and oi! music from support bands Thirteen, Prisoners of War, Fat Albert and Wasted Life. These bands all delivered a tight hard hitting set which got the Lymedale Bar atmosphere going, a great build up of what was to come.

So the reason we are all here, well most of us anyway, has finally arrived...WE ARE HAYMAKER WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU! (p.s this is Haymaker's best used saying)

Haymaker are one of those bands that you can't help but sing along to. Tim works the crowd by getting the legendary chant going before delving into the first song ‘We Are Haymaker’. The crowd responds with getting a pit on the go and of course we were both front and centre in amongst the glorious chaos. Tim hands out some beers to the crowd before getting back into it. Songs that followed all came from both their new album “We Apologize to Nobody” and their EP “We Are Haymaker”. This included songs such as ‘Too Drunk to Fight’, ‘Skinhead Rock n Roll’, ‘Hold On to Your Dreams’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘We Apologize to Nobody’. The crowd were alive for the full set, bassist Tomas Ashtar even hands over his mic to the crowd mid song for everyone to join in (when I say everyone I mean us, especially Chris). The band ended on a high by singing an unreleased cover of Neil Young's ‘keep on rocking in the free world’ a sneak peak at what is to come. Since coming home the music video for this cover has been released, it features footage taken at the Lymedale gig which both of us feature in, obviously making this the cherry on the cake. Overall this night was one we will both never forget for many reasons, the great music and getting to spend time with the band afterwards (TimSteinfort / frontman and Christian Stobi / drums) hearing some of their main influences and more of what’s hopefully to come in the future.

“WE ARE HAYMAKER WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!”

CC & FW

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Promethium

“Faces of War”

Album Review

by Simon Furness

With their third full length album release since their birth in 2007 Lancaster based metallers Promethium have elected to write a concept album with each track telling stories of war from different viewpoints.

In all honesty it's the first time I've heard this band and it's taken me a while to get my head around the release, of the 10 tracks on offer the overall sound is that hailing back to the early mid 80's, that's no bad thing by the way.

It's clear to hear where their influences lie in much of the work here, a little bit of Megadeth, Slayer, Sabbath,Danzig, like I said it's doomy stuff but not everyday is full of rays of sunshine right!

Opening with ‘Enemies Fate’, a full on riff fest building until we get an anthemic singalong towards the end of the track.

Another standout for me is ‘Shell Shock’, I enjoyed the melancholy verses inter spread with solid and catchy as hell chorus, yes I was humming this one way beyond spinning it on my deck.

Onto ‘20,21,15’ worthy of mention as we get to hear Barry Mills from Massive Wagons getting all gnarly in the microphone.

‘Stolen Valour’ keeps up the aggression while still providing a groove thats difficult not to sway to.

‘Kill On Demand’ is another winner for me, reminding me of Anthrax circa Among the Living, riffs a plenty and some fine soloing.

The title track is the last on offer, ‘Faces of War’ lurches along relentless in its pace as I'm again reminded of some fine moments from my metal past.

This five piece from the North West have done a good job, there are enough moments on offer here that make for repeated spins and after all that's what it's about.

Try and catch them live at venues throughout the North West between now and the end of the year.

SF



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​CATTAIL BREW

“It's a Bit Difficult Really”

Album Review by Andrew West

Imagine if you could take a large cooking pot and add some Lynard Skynard, The Rolling Stones a touch of Black Stone Cherry and a wee dash of Waysted. What you would cook up would be a special brew and that brew would be Cattail Brew.

This album has been in the making in various formats and guises for around 5 years but its been worth the wait. The sound is bluesy southern rock, combined with the unmistakable sound of Fin on vocals, you end up with a fun catchy blast of an album.

The songs are full of big crunching riffs and the grizzly Scottish tones of Fin sit perfectly within the songs. The opening two tracks really set the tone with huge guitars and melodies. We have a blues feel running through some tracks as well and ‘Fishbowl Blues’ is a highlight sounding like the Stones on steroids.

Steve Theados guitar work is superb throughout with some ear splitting solo work coupled with slide guitar on songs like ‘Fools Gold’ and the cover of Tommy Bolin's ‘Jump Back’.

Highlight of the album for me though is the moody and darker ‘Glitter’. This has Fin at his best and the track builds slowly to a thunderous crescendo and blistering Theado solo.

The band are completed by Keith Pickens on drums, plus Snowblynd bassist Joe Viers and have a few gigs lined up in the states soon but lets hope that we can have the chance to enjoy a Brew on this side of the pond sooner rather than later.

 AW 


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Massive Wagons

Cathouse Glasgow

08/04/18

Gig Review & Photos by Andrew West 


I have to admit I have come late to the Massive Wagons party. I had not had much exposure to the band prior to seeing them at Troon's WinterStorm festival last year and found myself mighty pleased I had, superb catchy classic rock tunes and immense fun into the bargain.

Tonight at the Cathouse in Glasgow was going to be a real test as to how far the band had come. With The Dead Daises at the Garage and Toto at the SECC it was a busy night in Glasgow for rock fans but any fears could be put aside as a packed Cathouse bounced and sang along to another hot and sweaty night of rockin fun.

Hitting the stage to one of their catchiest tunes the Wagons were rolling from the off. ‘Back to the Stack’ is one of those tunes that gets stuck inside your head and one that had the crowd in the palm of singer Baz's Mills hands. What followed was a night of energetic classic rock from a band who are clearly enjoying every minute of being on stage. Mills is the perfect frontman working every inch of the stage. The last album “Welcome to the World” features heavily in the set with songs like ‘Nails’, ‘Ratio’, ‘Jodie’ and ‘The Day We Fell’ all getting an airing, we also have a blast of the new single ‘Under No Illusion’ from the forthcoming album “Full Nelson” due out in August this year.

The crowd are left wanting more as the band finish up with a 100mph version of ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’ but with the curfew there can be no encore.

One thing for sure I will be at the Dreadnought Rock in Bathgate when the band return to Scotland on the 4th May to catch these guys again. This is what Rock and Rock is all about! If you do not have a ticket why not...get one now as bands like this will not be playing venues like this for long!

AW

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PRETTY MAIDS

L'EMPREINTE PARIS

21st March 2018

Review & Photos by

Andrew West

Like fine wine or malt whisky some things get better as they age and Pretty Maids are no exception. Formed in 1981 in Denmark the band are still going strong with founding members Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer still the driving force.

This set of dates are the last in support of 2016 thunderous Kingmaker album, and with several shows already sold out its clear the band still have a huge following on the continent. Paris tonight is one of those sold out gigs and the number of ticketless fans outside the venue looking for anyone with a spare shows the bands popularity, despite as Ronnie later said this being their first gig in the French capital in around 20 years, is in no way on the wane.

As the lights dimmed the opening intro to “Mother Of All Lies” kicked in and we were off. The song from 2013's Motherland album about political corruption and oppression is as relevant today as it was back then and the crowd waste no time in joining in.

Next up we are into the title track from the latest album Kingmaker, when the bands previous keyboard player Morten Sandager decided to move on just before recording of the album the band decided to produce a more guitar heavy record and the title track is no exception, the huge anthemic riff gets the crowd fist pumping along. We then have the first trip back to the 80's of the night with ‘We Came To Rock’ from 1987's Futureworld. This was the record that really set the bands sound throughout their career and became one of those classic 80's rock albums that everyone should own. Celebrating its 30th year the band have played a few shows recently where the entire album was played live and the final show on this current run in Zlin in the Czech republic will again see a full run through of Futureword that will be recorded and filmed for a forthcoming live CD and DVD release.

We move back to Motherland for another riff laden song in ‘I See Ghosts’ before slowing things down for ‘Walk Away’ from the 1994 album Scream, the first power ballad of the night. It features a huge sing along chorus and Ronnie works the crowd perfectly as they sing every word.

The sing along songs don’t stop as we have the first single from Kingmaker in ‘Face The World’ next followed by a trio of songs from Futureworld in ‘Yellow Rain’, the hugely catchy ‘Rodeo’ and as Ronnie states probably the first ballad the band ever wrote in ‘Eye Of The Storm’.

Speeding things back up with some balls out metal came ‘Pandemonium’ from the album of the same name from 2010 and another catchy song in ‘I.N.V.U .’ from the same album. We then move back to the latest album with ‘Bullseye’, another song with a huge chorus the crowd sings along word perfectly. Its hard to fathom out why success in the UK never really came to the band with such a wealth of classic songs but hopefully that will start to change

in the near future as they look to break back into the market over here.

We slow things down again with “Little Drops of Heaven”, with many older classic rock bands now gaining mainstream radio play on Radio 2 in the UK a song like Little Drops would be a sure fire addition to the play list nowadays, the band slow it down in the middle for a chance to work out the crowds vocal skills and Ronnie takes the time to tell everyone that they still do it because to put it simply "they love it" and it's clear they do with drummer Allan Sørensen thundering away behind his impressive red and white double bass kit, Keyboard player and rhythm guitarist Chris Laney smiles throughout and bassist Rene Shades is the most energetic of the bunch as he never stops the whole night bounding and jumping around the stage. Even despite obviously being in huge pain from an injury that leaves him struggling to get around lead guitarist Ken Hammer never stopped smiling the entire night and Ronnie Atkins is still the epitome of a rock front man with the crowd in the palm of his hand.

We close the set with a trip back to 1984 and the bands first official album Red Hot and Heavy, I remember buying this back when it was released, I had never heard of the band but was drawn to the record as it was then by the cover art of a women in chains, I was not disappointed as the album became a firm favourite and remains so to this day. First up we have the title track, full on heavy metal and then to close we have ‘Back to Back’ again huge riffs and full on metal and the crowd are jumping by now.

The band leave the stage for a few seconds and the intro to Futureworld heralds their return and the evening closes with a sing along to ‘Love Games’ again from Futurewold.

Nobody could ever come away from a Pretty Maids gig feeling short changed, the band are tight and know how to put on a show as the guys take their bows to the familiar outro of Monty Pythons Sit on Your Face the crowd disperses with faces beaming and sure in the knowledge it will not be another 20 years before Paris will see Pretty Maids again.

With the forthcoming live album to come and a deal for another studio album in place the band are going to be around for a good while yet and along with a few summer festival appearances including Sweden Rock, they have just been confirmed for a long overdue return to UK shores at this years Rockingham Festival in Nottingham. If you are not planning on going yet then do yourself a favour and get those tickets booked up now. There are many great bands on the bill and one of them will be Pretty Maids.

AW

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Enuff Z ‘Nuff

HRH AOR

March 10th 2018

Review by Simon Furness

Photos by MB Photos Scotland

It’s quite a while since I last saw Enuff Z ‘Nuff. Over the years I’d seen them both with and without Donnie Vie and until tonight I would conclude that this band were better with than without. Like many gathered I’m thinking this could go either way obviously hoping for a great set.

The band took the stage. Only Chip remains from the original band along with long term lead guitarist Tory Stoffregen, and the newer members Tony Fenelle on rhythm guitar and Daniel B Hill on drums. Chip takes his place in all his Willy Wonka glory; his Cheap Trick bass strung with day glow strings. From the off, he and the band mean business as they launch into “Baby Loves You". What is obvious is that despite the fact Chip talks like he’s been gargling with razor blades, up in the spotlight his vocals work perfectly in recreating that famous bubble gum rock the band are best known for; all great melodies intact and suddenly we are back to being part of the late 80’s MTV boom that helped propel the band to stardom.

Whatever is going to happen tonight this band are tight and every song they roll out is done with professionalism and panache. It’s a refreshing sight and as they ease into my favourite Z’Nuff song “Kiss The Clown”, there’s more than just the band providing the harmonies, the crowd seriously loving it.

I couldn’t have picked a better set of songs for the set which is too short for a band on this kind of form, “Heaven or Hell”, the superbly heavy cover of “Bowie’s” “The Jean Genie” and the singalong of “Wheels”, all perfectly executed. By the time we get to “Fly High Michelle”, Chip reminds us that when the song came out there wasn’t a band to touch the popularity of this song for a long number of weeks. We sway and close our eyes, not just me missing this era of hair metal it seems.

“New Thing” appears too quickly and we savor every note and melody. The band close the set with “Dog on a Bone” from 2017’s “Clowns Lounge” release. It wraps up a great set and restores more than a few differing memories of the band.

Backed with a UK tour whilst they are over, I’m sure they will continue to tick boxes all over the country - I for one will be first in line the next time they visit our shores.

SF

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SKID ROW

HRH AOR

10/03/17

Review by Simon Furness

Photos by MB Photos Scotland

It’s a few years since Skid Row visited our shores, the two vocalists have been and gone and now we have ZP Theart at the helm, previously the frontman of Dragonforce.

The band’s position as headliners of the Saturday night earns a certain amount of anticipation, as Dave “The Snake” Sabo commented earlier in the day. “I embrace all that we’ve done over the years” and it is clear that some of the music from that 80’s golden era has stood the test of time.

As the intro tape kicks in with some familiar Ramones music, it suddenly gets a lot tighter near the stage, each person keen to catch the first glimpse of this iconic band and as air raid sirens drown out the backing track the band hit the stage with opener “Slave to the Grind”

It’s frantic and the band push the track down our throats; just how it was intended back in 1991. What’s great to see is that ZP isn’t intimidated by the position of filling some big “Bach” boots, but instead using the stage to make his own presence known commanding the crowd - judging by the capacity crowd it’s evident we will be singing along all night and participation is mandatory.

Next up is “Sweet Little Sister” from the 5X platinum ‘89 debut - has it aged? Not by a day. It’s delivered with all the over the top swagger that era was famous for. I didn’t hear anyone saying it would have been better with Sebastian, just happy to be in the room and participate in what will be the bands biggest show on this tour of the UK.

The majority of what the band offered up tonight was from the 89 debut and STTG with only one song from more recent recordings. “Big Guns” sounded fabulous as did the anthemic “18 and Life”. It’s hard to pick any low point here but far easier to sing the praises, original members Dave, Rachel and Scotti must be pretty happy they have a great frontman in ZP and I know from a brief catch up on Saturday afternoon he feels the same. “Makin a Mess” “Rattlensake Shake” and “Quicksand Jesus” all delivered perfectly, the latter causing the shedding of the odd tear in the crowd, it’s great to hear the band so tight and clearly loving the full room to roll out all these classics.

One final bow before the encores and they give us “Monkey Business”, it sounds huge and although I’ve now moved to a position mid-room there is no escaping the impact this has, just like 29 years never happened and right now is the only place we want to be.

Of the 3 encores the first is poignant, “Woke up to the sound of pouring rain”. ZP sings and a few thousand reply “the wind would whisper and I’d think of you”. “I Remember You” is truly stunning and by the time the song builds to the solo, it’s like watching something holy, a stonewall classic and the crowd sway in unison to the melody. Fairly obvious what’s coming now and as ZP throws his arm in the air “Youth Gone Wild” descends, delivered in typical over the top style including the usual singalong, with the frontman leading the way to get every last drop of energy we might have left out of our systems.

So did HRH get it right in putting faith in a band with a new frontman? I’d say 100% they did.

An engaging performance that will be spoken of for a long time.

SF