Twenty years since their last visit to Manchester, Pearl Jam have returned, this time to the Arena for the first of a two night residency. Packed out, long hair and flannel shirts (yes really) it is clear there is anticipation in the air. Pearl Jam were one of the key bands to kick off the Seattle grunge scene of the 90s and it is amazing so many years on to see so many people still loving every single moment of it.
The group take to the stage in complete darkness, as the lights become brighter the cheers become louder. Eddie Vedder is unmistakeable and barely looks aged, he leads the band into Release, the beautiful closing track from first album Ten. He screams the lines, the crowd screams them back, it is enough to send shivers up your spine.
The one thing throughout the show that is remarkable is not only the sheer adoration of the crowd but also the pure energy of the band. They still spin and bounce around the stage with as much gusto as ever, Vedder still throwing himself around during a solo, but thankfully not climbing the rigs like the old days.
The set this evening covers all aspects of the bands career so far. Often well known for the variety of their sets, this evening all the ‘hits’ so to speak get an outing, to a rapturous reception. Classics such as Even Flow, Why Go, Got Some and Porch sound great, amongst a ton of other tracks that leave the crowd stunned in places. The bound sound brilliant, and the passion for what they do still shines through.
The night begins to draw to a close with two encores that end up running as long as the main set. The first begins with an acoustic Just Breathe, then into Black which is stunning, followed by State of Love and Trust, a personal favourite of mine. The second encore brought a huge sing a long of Better Man, a fantastic rendition of Jeremy and the ever epic Alive. The house lights come up and the band keep on going, bursting through a near 10 minute version of Neil Youngs Rockin’ In The Free World. The whole arena singing and dancing, along with the band, its an amazing site.
Tonight, Pearl Jam showed that despite not playing together regularly anymore, they still have the ability to mesmerise with their music. A group of exceptional musicians with a collection of fantastic songs and an adoring crowd, tonight is special, very special indeed.
Forming in 2010, Texas trio Mothership have just released their self titled debut album containing their blend of heavy rock and blues.
With a slightly eerie and dramatic opening, the record kicks off with Hallucination, an instrumental with plenty of shredding guitar solos backed by a heavy blues riff. It’s not often that you get a full instrumental as the opening track anymore, and it is a welcome change before introducing Kells Juett’s soulful, yet gravely, vocals in Cosmic Rain. The groups riffs ooze blues charm and really draw you in, yet the heavy metal edge from influences such Black Sabbath and Motorhead is still noticeable. Angel Of Death boasts a killer guitar solo to open followed by a highly addictive riff which gets a shining moment on the bass. Luring you into a false sense of security, Win or Lose's soft beginning doesn't prepare you for the huge rhythms that follow. Taking inspiration from the 60s, 70s and 80s, Mothership have got a great balance of what made each period of music great, an attribute recogniseable in Lunar Master. A strong debut album, the only thing missing is a slower track; but that’s not always necessary when there’s plenty of compelling, upbeat tracks to be enjoyed!
Southern America is known for it’s blues heritage, and Mothership are further proof that they still do it best. And with a tagline of ‘The gleam of the Mothership in the distant galaxy promised a future to music and mankind alike. Without the intergalactic journey, the legacy of rock music dies,’ how can you doubt it!
Back with their 9th studio album, the powerhouse that is Smashing Pumpkins bring us Oceania. An ‘album within an album’, a ‘non-album’, a ‘concept album’, it has been called many things and has been highly anticipated by fans everywhere.
The many devoted followers and most others will truly know that Oceania is the work of one man, Billy Corgan. He writes all the songs, plays most of the instruments in recording and he is in complete control over who he lets into the band, and they are well known for line up changes. Only Corgan remains from the bands original line up that brought them to fame. In recent times he has attempted a solo album with little success, stick the Smashing Pumpkins title on it however and it becomes a whole other story.
Oceania is laden with electronica, but doesn’t seem to go too overboard, it doesn’t sound overproduced, more sort of stripped back. The path chosen seems to compliment Corgan’s voice extremely well and his signature nasally sound shins through the melody.
Opener Quasar is one of the heavier tracks on the album which is very welcome, it is powerful from the very beginning. Title track Oceania is an epic piece of music running at just over 9 minutes long, definitely the stand out track on the album, full of twists and turns, Corgan should be proud of this one.
In many ways this new record is the best Pumpkins have done for a long time, quite new sounding, but also very much in tune with their original sound. Although at the same time it doesn’t really leave you with a lasting impression, its an easy one to take or leave. However Pale Horse is gorgeous as is My Love Is Winter, you cannot question Billy’s ability to write a great song.
The thing with Oceania I there has been far too focus on the ‘concept’ of it all, or lack of, it takes it all away from the music a little too much. Truth it, it is too boring to concentrate on all of that, just listen to the music and let it speak for itself.
Check out the new video from Five Finger Death Punch for new single Coming Down. The video has been created in conjunction with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which the band proudly support.
“Through support and awareness, suicide can be prevented. We’re promoting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to build awareness that there is support out there for those in need through the lifeline’s service,” says guitarist Zoltan Bathory. “You are not alone when you’re in need. Don’t ignore the chance to get help for you or someone you know who might be in crisis.”
Bournemouth based Voodoo Vegas are the last of our features for the first upcoming Home Grown Rock gig at the 100 club this August!
Jam packed with blues riffs and slide guitar, Voodoo Vegas have tapped in to that classic rock n roll foundation that is so compelling. With riffs reminiscent to AC/DC, Lawrence Case’s gravelly vocals sit perfectly on top with a charismatic tone similar to that of Cormac Neeson in track King Without A Crown. With the influence of blues rock greats such as Aerosmith, the sliding tones of So Unkind are so irresistible that you can’t sit still. Their blend of catchy drum rhythms, blues hooks, captivating vocals and a snarly edge draws you and leaves you wanting more.
Another great unsigned UK rock act, show your support by heading to the 100 club on 11th August for a night of brilliant new bands!
Last weekend saw the 10th annual Download Festival, one of the biggest rock and metal music festivals in the world. Seeing as it was a special anniversary they pulled out all the stops in a bid to make it one to remember. Well we went along and battled the rain and the mud in order to bring you a little taste of Donington at its finest!
Well, Friday got off to a wet start. After a very muddy couple of the days in the campsite we were looking forward to seeing some actual grass in the arena, nevermind the bands. This was not the case. All lined up and ready to go, the crowds descended upon the arena gates only to learn they were delayed in being opened due to the conditions inside, not really what you wish to hear. Sadly, due to this delay, the opening bands on each stage had to be cancelled as they were running approx. 2 hours behind.
Again, due to this delay, we missed the first band on our hitlist, The Quireboys. We could hear them perfectly as we queued and queued to get inside, and they sounded fantastic, but well it isn’t really the same is it? Same again with Terrorvision on the second stage, by the time we got in the set was nearly over. I am guessing these delays left a lot of fans very saddened but I guess that is mother nature. Another bout of bad luck saw pioneers Europe also having to cancel their set. Delays on the road in caused them to run extremely behind. Boos were heard from the crowd as the announcement was made, shame really as we were looking forward to checking them out!
Next up on the Zippo Encore stage were the recently reunited Little Angels, who were pretty fantastic I have to say. Singer Toby Jepson looked nothing but delighted by the reception the band received, and despite not playing together for 18 years, you would think not even a day had passed. Following on, things took a more progressive twist when Opeth hit the stage. Not being huge fan may have hindered by experience of them sadly, as I couldn’t truly appreciate their presence on stage. Great musicians, but not the most exciting of the weekend lets say. The same can be said for Nightwish who played next. Completing their line up with new singer Anette Olzon, the band played a set which really seemed to please the majority of the crowd, but sadly it all sounded a little too Eurovision for me. Olzon is that little bit too caberet, and at times the songs just seem bizarre.
The headliner on Download’s second stage this evening is the legendary Slash with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. As the rain continues to fall they blast through a set complete with Snakepit tunes, Velvet Revolver, classic Guns N’ Roses and of course a handful of tracks from the bands latest album. There is something quite magical about the evening, the band are on fire and the crowd loving every second. Hearing hundreds of thousands of people singing the words to Paradise City is one of lifes great moments. Despite the weather, Slash and the guys did the job and made everyone forget we were in a rainy field in Donington, well until we had to return to the swamp in the campsite afterwards that is.
As Saturday came, again did the rain. Not ideal, but as the song says, the show must go on. The mighty Saxon kick off the day for us on the main stage, pulling quite the crowd which is pleasing to see. They to me are a fantastic metal band who don’t get as much credit as they deserve, and Biff Byford, what a legend eh? Wheels of Steel was a highlight of their short but rocking set.
Next up we trekked back to the second stage to catch an extremely short but very satisfying set from the one and only Ginger Wildheart. Playing a smattering of bizarre but brilliant tracks from his new triple album, he made the crowd laugh, he made them sing and he made the rain go away, pretty awesome. Turbonegro followed with their own brand of glam punk. Make up, sailor outfits and glitter tinted punk rock, hilarious and excellent all at once.
Back over to the mainstage for the highly amusing Steel Panther. Now, it may be exactly the same set we have seen from them time and time again, but it doesn’t make it less funny. I don’t think I have ever seen so many ‘boobies’ on the main screen. The Treatment were next on our hitlist over in the Pepsi Max tent. As always they were solid and sounded brilliant. They work hard and it clearly pays off as the crowd sway and sing along, they deserve to be on a bigger stage.
Something special from Corey Taylor this evening, again in the Pepsi Max tent with an acoustic set from the Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman. Aswell as some amazing sounding unplugged Stone Sour tracks, he attempted the ‘Knots Spit It Out and it weirdly works. Aswell as a few covers of Nine Inch Nails and Alice in Chains, it made for a very interesting set. And onto tonights headliners, Metallica. I have to say I had been looking forward to this very much, as The Black Album is probably my favourite of all the ‘tallica albums. Worth it simply for The Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters and Sad But True. One word, epic. I can’t say much else, apart from I definitely lost my voice after singing long.
Onto the last day, the Sabbath, and the day Sabbath were playing, coincidentally. Or not. Weirdly the sun came out, typical on the last day. But as the mud began to dry, and our skin began to burn, we headed over the second stage to see our chums Rival Sons. Unfortunately their set was cut short due to technical issues but they were fantastic. Although a little different to some of the other acts on the bill today, the impressed the crowd, and Jay blew us away with his voice. Looking every inch the rockstars they reminded everyone what real rock and roll sounds like.
Sebastian Bach took the stage next and I can report the pipes are still intact! He blasted his way through some old Skid Row tunes aswell as some tracks of his brilliant Kicking and Screaming album and made a lot of women in the crowd very happy with his rendition of I Remember You. Afterwards Ugly Kid Joe played another great set which ensured mass sing alongs in the sunshine.
Megadeath impress as usual, even if Dave Mustaine has made a few choice words in the press lately, you cannot deny the power that Megadeath bring to the stage. The same can be said for Soundgarden. Although slightly out of place with all the metal on the main stage today, the grunge pioneers were incredible. Black Hole Sun was simply beautiful in the dull sunshine, and classics like Outshined, Jesus Christ Pose and Fell on Black Days had the crowd in awe at Chris Cornells voice.
And then, then the mighty Black Sabbath took to the stage to close the 10th year of Download. Truly inspirational performance. Thankfully, the naysayers were hidden away tonight and the crowd embraced the band alongside drummer Tommy Clufetos and made this the highlight of the weekend. You have not heard a crowd sing until you have heard them sing to Iron Man.Tony Iommi looked humble and his name was chanted over and over, and Geezer played it cool as ever. Ozzy looked like an excitable child onstage and sounded in great shape. It really was a moment to behold as the sun went down and the fireworks went off left right and centre. They wanted it to be special, and special it was. Here’s to next year!
Slash with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators- Hammersmith Apollo, 06.06.2012
Fresh from the release of Apocalyptic Love, Slash was back in London with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators in tow for a special show at the Hammersmith Apollo. Such a legendary venue, it was the perfect place for the guitar legend to debut some of his new material.
Opening the evening with new track One Last Thrill, the guys get the evening off to a flying start. It is pretty clear the crowd know most of the words, and when Myles asks who has the new album the cheers are deafening. The band treat us to six songs from Apocalyptic Love tonight, all of which receive a roaring reception. After delivering such a brilliant record, it is great to finally hear some of the material live. Particularly brilliant is Halo, a song which Myles admits can be a struggle live, but he does a perfect job this evening. However, the surprise of the evening is the performance of Anastasia, its first live outing ever. Cited as many fans favourite from the album, it is truly a masterpiece. Epic sounding, and highlighting just what a legend Slash is on guitar.
There is something for everyone tonight. As well as the new stuff, the band cover all bases. We hear some tracks from Slash's previous album, including Back From Cali and Starlight, the songs which started his relationship with Kennedy, and Dr. Alibi, originally sung by Lemmy but tonight conquered by bassist Todd Kerns who steps up and nails it. Also included tonight are a couple of Snakepit tracks and of course the Guns N’ Roses staples, Rocket Queen, Nightrain etc.
The band are on top form, and sound tighter than ever, and rather than Slash being singled out whilst the others fade into the background, they are presented more as a band, the way it should be. What started out as just a live project quickly grew into a full time band, and it is great to see. In Kennedy, Slash has the perfect frontman. The voice, the look and the ability to work the crowd. And in The Conspirators he has a fantastic set of musicians all doing a killer job.
The night rounds off with a cracking version of Velvet Revolver classic Slither, always a crowd pleaser, before the band return for an encore of Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown which sees Myles in fine voice, and of course they close with Paradise city, a real anthem, and looking round at the thousands of beaming faces, i’d say the people of Hammersmith just witnessed one of the best gigs they’ll see all year.
After teasing Stone Sour fans with the initials of the new album, frontman Corey Taylor has finally let slip the new album title along with extra nuggets of information. Named House Of Gold And Blues, the record will be split into 2 parts with the first to be released in October this year. Taylor also revealed it is a concept album that will be accompanied by a comic book and song titles of Absolute Hero, RU486, A Rumour Of Skin and Taciturn.
With the recent free download of The Pessimist, a Slipknot festival and a new film production company, Corey Taylor is a busy man but never one to disappoint!
We caught up with new girl in town Mia Klose about her move to London, her forthcoming album, and what her plans for the future are!
You hail from Sweden originally, why the move to London?
Sweden is great and beautiful, but it’s very small compared to London. There is not a lot going on there. I wanted to live the big city life so I moved! In London you can really explore your creativity, you can be who you are without having anyone judging you! I think that’s what I like most about London!
Was it a concious choice in order to further your music career?
Initially I only planned to stay for a few months, but I quickly built music contacts that made it convenient for me to stay!
How did you become a singer? What brought you into the world of music?
A major part of my family is working with music professionally in one way or the other so I’m pretty much born in to it! I was standing on a stage the first time when I was only three years old and I have played many different instruments through the years. I started to sing in bands and take singing lessons when I was about 13 years old and since then it has been my main focus!
What music/bands do you take influence from?
I take influences from a lot of different sources. I’m not necessarily tied to one genre of music, as long as the quality is good I can appreciate almost all kinds. Though my strongest passion lies in the classic rock and metal from its golden era of the 80s and 90s! I like music that is expressive, makes you feel something and doesn’t leave you blank!
Which female singers/bands inspire you?
Janis Joplin, Gwen Stefani, Joan Jett, Lita Ford to mention a few!
How does in feel being a woman in the world of rock/metal? Do you think it is more tough?
I don’t think the feeling you get from being a rock musician is depending on your gender! I love what I do and that’s all that matters in the end! J
You have yourself some killer tracks, can we expect an album anytime soon?
Thank you very much I’m glad to hear you like the tracks! My debut album LONDON is set to be released on the 1st of August this year! It will be available at miaklose.com and at iTunes. I love all the tracks on the album, and I’m confident if you like what you have heard online so far you won’t be disappointed! I’m very happy and proud of it!
Do you have any plans to head out on tour?
The intention is to plan a tour as soon as the album is out. In the U.K to start with, but we want to come and play for all our fans out there, so we will do it as soon as we get the opportunity! My favourite part of being a musician is playing live so expect to see us on the road near you soon!
Review of Ginger Wildheart, Manchester Club Academy 02/06/12
The first act of the night was the not very well known Baby Godzilla. First impressions had them as a “regular” bunch of guys - but that was before the music started. Well, “exploded into life” is perhaps a better term. So, the music exploded into life and various band members took to ditching the stage and going just a bit mad amongst the small audience, and when I say “just a bit mad” I mean insane: hopscotching over upturned equipment they’d dragged from the stage onto the floor, dancing chaotically around a megaphone or throwing guitars about inside the circle of audience members. I suppose they would’ve been your run-of-the-mill noisy band if they hadn’t been on a mini rampage (a baby godzilla sized one, right?), but because of this they really stick out from the masses of other bands out there.
Next up was the Guns. Their whole demenour was a bit aggressive, with tonnes and tonnes of swearing and too much spitting. The music its self was pretty good but not good enough to disguise the bad attitude of this band.
But on to the main act of the night: Ginger Wildheart (and band). The set starts with “Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow” - one of the best tracks from the pledge project “555%”. Nearly everyone in the room had paid towards 555% (plenty were sporting “I pledged” tshirts), so you could feel the excitement at hearing one of the songs live. It didn’t have the same kick as the recording (perhaps due to some technical issues), but the groove of that song (aswell as the bit of craziness in there) definitely made for a great opener.
The setlist was a good mix of much of Ginger’s work including The Wildhearts (from classics such as “Do the Channel Bop” to the more modern “Mazel Tov Cocktail”), Silver Ginger 5 (“Anyway but Maybe”, “Girls are Better than Boys”) and choice picks from the 555% album (“Confusion”, “Taste Aversion”, “Very Very Slow”) - a mixture sure to please both the diehards and the newer fans who were packed into the small Manchester Club Academy that night. It’s shows like this (and plenty more) that just show Ginger’s success and development over the years: for the encore, Ginger began playing “Just Another Song About Someone” alone onstage, which is something he has said in the past he’d hate to do.
So, the weather may have been terrible, there may have been a tribute band playing in a bigger room at the same venue, there may have been a few sound issues, but the ‘witty banter’, great music and alcohol were flowing freely - and you can’t go wrong with that mixture.
This year, The Cult are heading back to the UK for a week of tour dates with The Mission and Killing Joke. If you are going to see The Cult this autumn, you may need to have a look at the dates again - the tour has been downsized from arenas to academy-sized venues.
New dates are as follows:
Mon 10th Sept o2 Apollo Manchester Tues 11th Sept o2 Academy Newcastle Wed 12th Sept o2 Academy Sheffield Sat 15th Sept o2 Academy Birmingham Sun 16th Sept HMV Hammersmith Apollo London
Next up in our Home Grown Rock features are trio Dollface. A band of few words biography wise, they let their music do the talking, and rightly so. Realising that English music in the mainstream is being over taken by indie, they have made it their mission to bring back rock n roll to the masses!
A mixture of snappy drums, quirky guitars and punk style British vocals, Dollface have you instantly hooked and wanting more. You To Lose has elements of The Cult, especially in the guitar tones but with Joe Strummer type vocals over the top.
Using the line ‘catchier than chicken pox,’ head over to the Facebook page to hear their latest offerings. And of course, don’t forget they are at the Home Grown Rock night on the 11th of August. Get involved!
Londoners Jettblack have burst into life with the release of their second album Raining Rock. After an electric debut and extensive touring, the quartet have built up a dedicated fan base, one very excited about their follow up, including us!
An explosive intro gets you settled in for their mix of heavy riffs, fast rhythms and punchy vocals. First single and title track Raining Rock delighted Jettblack fans and added to the album anticipation with its anthemic feel and catchy licks. Prison Of Love has the grandeur of an epic Whitesnake hit whereas Sunshine displays a more Van Halen influence from the group. Will Stapleton has an impressive vocal range that doesn’t lose control or strength in any octave and Jon Dow’s shredding guitar skills add extra energy and power. Temptation and Never Gonna Give It Up showcase brilliant vocal harmonies and give Jon a chance to show off his own vocal skills. Inbetween Lovers is reminiscent of the group’s first album which allows you to see how much the group have progressed with this second record.
Raining Rock proves Jettblack have the musical talent to grow and keep creating music bigger and better than before! With their first headline tour this winter, Jettblack is a name you are going to hear a lot about!
Songs I’d Recommend:Prison Of Love, Black Gold, Temptation
Dischord are new punk band hailing from Blackpool with a hell of a lot to say.
On this day, our Queens Jubilee, what better time to premier their new song Recession. I’ll give you one guess what its all about…
A few words from the band…
jubilee (j `bĭlē) Original Biblical Definition: a year when alienated property and land were restored, slaves were manumitted, debts were forgiven, and a general sabbatical year was observed in agriculture.
Whether or not you choose to believe the hype over our ‘current economic climate’, the media certainly seems to. Yet in the same breath they can bombard us with the miseries of a country ‘on its knees’ and both rally us to spend an estimated £823m on Jubilee products alone.Special community lottery grants, called The Jubilee People’s Millions, are being offered by the Big Lottery Fund and ITV simply to help us throw street parties– of course there is no other way to spend such money, quite ridiculous and unpatriotic to think of using it to support trifling causes like hospitals, schools, etc.
British Retail Consortium economist Richard Lim has said: 'The Jubilee has the potential to create a feel good factor that lifts consumer confidence and persuades people to put their concerns to one side, even if only temporarily. Perhaps most importantly, the extra bank holiday will give many people an extra day to shop for goods, whether they’re related to the occasion or not.’
Well that’s ok then, what a relief! For a moment we thought the Jubilee was simply a money making ruse orchestrated to sedate the nation with a fake sense of patriotism and bleed us dry for every fictitious penny we have or haven’t got. What? Wait, that’s exactly what he didsay…….ah.
Oh well, at least our lovely Queen can enjoy a spiffing tea party with her hand picked special guests, including despotic tyrant Al Khalifa the king of Bahrain and Swaziland’s King Mswati III, who is accused of living in luxury while his people go hungry – so Lizzy and him will have a lot to talk about. What fun!
Next up in our Home Grown Rock features comes a blues trio from the South East. Forming in 2010, The Dead Stray have a very mature and well built sound, especially considering that they haven’t yet been together 2 years.
Their hazy, distorted guitar and vocals mixed with blues licks gives them a kind of Black Keys meets Kasabian effect. Taking what made rock n roll great but with a modern edge, The Dead Stray are here to remind us just how great blues rock is. Brad King’s nonchalant yet addictive vocals float over the top of powerful guitar work and a steady rhythm section. The fuzzy overtones of Three Years contrasting with the sharp rhythms of I Don’t Need You, present the many different musical elements the band tap in to.
The mellow, intricate sounds of The Dead Stray make a perfect soundtrack for the sunshine and are sure to be a hit at the first Home Grown Rock event on 11th August. Get your tickets here and support the British rock scene!
Let me start by saying this, if you buy tickets to a Guns N’ Roses show in 2012 you have to know what you are expecting. I don’t believe that anyone that is a fan doesn’t know about a certain Mr Axl Rose and his notorious lateness. Believe me, I am not condoning it, as I do think it is unfair to a lot of fans who miss out on the gigs because he can’t make a stage on time, but it has been happening for years. Recent news stories or reviews of the band’s latest UK tour seem to have concentrated on this fact and nothing else, like it is something new when it really really isn’t. Well, we went along to the show, fully expectant of a late night, and truthfully it was full of surprises…
At around 23.05 the lights of the Manchester Arena went down, the placed drowned in darkness as the sounds of Massive Attack rung through. The lights come up and the band storms the stage to the sounds of Chinese Democracy. The crowd, or what’s left of them get into a frenzy as a trio of Welcome to the Jungle, It’s So Easy and Mr Brownstone follow. It is great to see and hear these songs sung live by the voice that makes them so distinctive, and he sounds in good nick too, still hitting the notes and reaching the screams.
The highlight of the evening for me is getting to hear Estranged live. Always one of my favourite Guns N’ Roses songs it was definitely something brilliant. Along with Don’t Cry and November Rain which were particularly great. Dizzy Reed also delivered a blinding piano solo, playing Baba O’Reilly by The Who, cueing mass sing-along. I honestly can’t help but feel a little bored in some parts of the show however. One too many ‘jams’ and guitar solos for my liking. The decision to let Tommy Stinson and Bumblefoot perform their own tracks was a good idea, something a little different, and I think a good move at showing fans how they are fully fledged members of the band etc, but everything in between was just time filling as Axl took one of his many costume changes.
He may not look the same and he may be getting on a little, but that doesn’t stop Axl Rose from running around that stage like he is still in his heyday, which was refreshing to see, especially as he has a leg injury after falling on stage a few nights previous. The other guys do a great job also; they play well and know how to get the crowd going.
As the night draws to a close, it is hard not to notice the distinct lack of people left in the arena, but the ones that are left aren’t phased at all as they lap up every last second of the band. Closing with a cover of ACDC’s Whole Lotta Rosie, Patience which was lovely to hear and of course Paradise City, confetti cannons and steamers galore, the band proved tonight that they do have the ability to put on a great show, even into the wee small hours (it was after 2am when the lights came up) and a lot of very pleased fans left the arena with the sounds of GnR still ringing in their ears.
The top hatted front man returns to UK shores for a one off appearance at the legendary Hammersmith Apollo on June 6th. With Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators in tow and a brand spanking new album to show off, you don’t want to miss this! More here.
The Boss himself is back for a stadium tour this June after the recent release of his 17th studio album Wrecking Ball. With the trusty E Street Band joining him, the loss of the legendary Clarence Clemons will be huge, but no doubt they will make him proud! Dates and tickets here.
As part of their PJ20 world tour, Europe finally gets its turn when grunge pioneers Pearl Jam return for a couple of dates in Manchester. After their hugely successful and inspiring DVD, their visit is not one to be missed! Check it out here.
Now in it’s 10th year, Download has gone all out to celebrate this year and got some of the biggest names in rock on their bill including the mighty Sabbath and Metallica. As well as the big names, some of rocks future stars are also appearing giving a nice blend of new and old! Check out the website for more info.
The songstress, hailing from LA, hits UK shores this month for her own headline tour. Famed for her incredibly unique soulful voice and her work with the likes of Slash and Joe Bonamassa, you really should make the effort to witness her talent yourself! All info here.
A master of blues guitar, Joe Bonamassa is one of the hardest working musicians around. When he’s not focusing on his well acclaimed solo career, he is part of super group Black Country Communion.
Sticking to the typical blues singer-songwriter style, Driving Towards The Daylight is another strong album in Bonamassa’s collection. The majority of the album is covered material with a few exceptions, including opener Dislocated Boy. An echoing keyboard melody rings out before the song kicks in, a very catchy beginning with offbeat picks ups and a strong beat. Title track Driving Towards The Daylight had it’s live debut recently and is a very mellow, beautiful track. Bonamassa pays tribute to blues hero’s Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf with great covers that respect everything that made the originals amazing, but with his own twist to make the song his own. Heavenly Soul completes the trio of the guitarists own songs; featuring tight vocal harmonies and an interesting guitar breakdown, it proves Bonamassa still has brilliant writing capabilities.
As the saying goes, ‘no rest for the wicked,’ and we hope Joe Bonamassa is someone who carries on producing compelling blues albums!
Songs I’d recommend:Dislocated Boy, Lonely Town Lonely Street, New Coat Of Paint.
It was eight years ago that Scissor Sisters released their disco fuelled cover of Comfortably Numb, the song that turned them into both roaring success and household name practically overnight. And now they are back with their 4th album Magic Hour in which they describe as ‘future-pop’, quite what that means I don’t know but it certainly seems a move in the right direction, taking a couple of swerves on the way.
Packed full of big names like Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams and Azealia Banks some may say this is the New Yorkers jumping on the bandwagon of what is ‘current’ and new in an attempt to sound fresh, but, even if this may be the case the result is a good one.
Opener Baby Come Home is typical Scissor Sisters, likened to Take Your Mama Out with its honky tonk piano and clap along beat. Inevitable takes on a 70s slow down disco Bee Gees feel, and of course with Jake Shears distinctive voice, its a smooth track with a glittery feel. Lets Have A Kiki is a riot. In classic Scissters style, it’s a mental mash of beats, synth and Ana Matronics crazy lyrical spoutings over the top. If you have ever listened to any Scissters pre-debut album, its is very much in the same vain, think Electrobix etc. Shady Love and Only The Horses are chart fuelled anthems, great choices for singles. Self Control is most definitely an ode to 90s dance classics, probably the best single on the album.
There are a few misses, but too few to mention. What Scissor Sisters have done here is recreate some of the bite and playful magic that was lost on their previous album Night Work. It’s a little all over the place, in the sense it’s a lot of different styles thrown together rather than one continuous theme, but I think this gives the record a little more of a party feel, kind of covering all aspects. The closer F**k Yeah, again is classic Scissor Sisters, playful, funny, crazy. Reminds us of why we fell in love with them in the first place. Not you average pop act, thank god for that!