Fifty Gigs In A Day…PictureHouse

So pleased to have PictureHouse involved. Hailing from Ireland they have an uncanny knack of producing wonderfully catchy power pop/pop rock tunes. They released a comeback album ‘Evolution’ back in 2014 and have re-released their summer song ‘Sunburst’ – see video below.

They play a rare gig at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on September 13.

Bat Out Of Hell musical

The musical Bat Out Of Hell follows Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost who has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian (basically a private tower block to keep the riff raff out!). It is written by Jim Steinman and of course features many of his songs sung by Meat Loaf on the legendary ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album and ‘Bat Out Of Hell 2’. The stage set is very inventive and impressive – I won’t give any spoilers! You don’t go to musicals like this for a plot, more to see the spectacle and hear the classic songs sung by a very talented cast. Being a Jim Steinman production you know it will be OTT and there are motorbikes, flames – all manner of audio and visual effects.

At times the show reminded me a little of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ (and of course Meat Loaf appeared and sang in the film) with some camp humour and various cast members in a state of undress. Songs like ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’ and ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’ worked particularly well on stage, plus of course the show’s title song was a literally show stopper. Simple really, go see the show as it has it all – the songs, the cast and the spectacle. One of the few shows I have come away from and immediately wished I could see it again.

Go see it before it closes its limited run on 22 August and then it is off to Canada.

Review: An Evening at the Bandstand

bandstand

After an afternoon seeing the excellent Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman musical ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ the evening was an entirely different yet still very enjoyable musical evening provided by the Didcot Choral Society and the Blewbury Brass Band.

The choral society started the evening off with a selection of mostly folk songs which sounded excellent in a choral setting, with ‘Alton Water’ and the Tyneside folk song ‘The Keel Row’. The remainder of the first half was taken up by the Blewsbury Brass Band and they opened the second part of the show. The band encouragingly included a lot of youngsters in their ranks, a couple of who did solos including a young lady on trombone on ‘The Acrobat’ in the second half. Very impressed by the soloists and indeed the band overall.

They chose a good mix of well know tunes including ‘Cruella de Vil’, a piece from ‘Carmen’ and ended their main set with ‘The Floral Dance’ (a song that made the singles chart twice – in 1977 with the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band and then in 1978 with Sir Terry Wogan).

The choral society came back for an ‘Oklahoma!’ medley which the choir seemed to have great fun performing. They were joined by the brass band for the evening’s finale of a Beach Boys medley. It sounds like it shouldn’t work but as the old adage says a good song can be performed in any style and so it proved with the four Beach Boys songs – ‘I Get Around’, ‘In My Room’, ‘California Girls’ and ‘Fun. Fun, Fun’. The choir and band worked well together and a great end to a very enjoyable evening’s music. You can’t beat live music, even more so when you have musicians gathered together showing their skills and love of music, impressive it certainly was and support live music folks!

BIG BIG TRAIN announce surprise summer album

Following the April release of “Grimspound”, Big Big Train are releasing a companion album, “The Second Brightest Star”, on Friday (June 23rd).

The album features 40 minutes of new songs and instrumentals which explore landscapes, rivers and meeting places and take the listener on voyages of discovery across the world and to the stars.

Alongside the new tracks, there is a bonus selection of 30 minutes of music where songs from the “Folklore” and “Grimspound” albums are presented in extended format.

You can hear the title track at: https://soundcloud.com/big-big-train/the-second-brightest-star/s-q7qZY

“The Second Brightest Star” is available to order now for delivery commencing on 23rd June from our official stores:

* Burning Shed – https://burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain
CD and limited edition double gatefold 180g seafoam green vinyl. (All vinyl copies will include a code for a complimentary hi-res download.)

* The Merch Desk – http://themerchdesk.com/merchdesk/index.php?route=product/category&path=87_115
CD

* Bandcamp – https://bigbigtrain.bandcamp.com/album/the-second-brightest-star
Hi-res download

The album will be released on Spotify and other download and streaming services in July.

Best wishes,
Andy, Danny, Dave, David, Greg, Nick, Rachel & Rikard

Fifty Gigs In A Day…DAN WALSH

He is a fantastic banjo player (an instrument my dad always wanted to play!) and Dan Walsh will kindly plug the Nordof Robbins charity at his gig on 8 February 2018 over in New Zealand. Go give him a listen and get along to one of his many gigs…

24 Jun 2017
07:30 pm
with John Dowling Manley Village Hall, Cheshire
06 Jul 2017
08:00 pm
Solo Railway Roots, Portslade
08 Jul 2017 – 09 Jul 2017 with Alistair Anderson Furness Tradition Festival, Ulverston
09 Jul 2017
07:30 pm
with Alistair Anderson Coquetdale Music Hall, Thropton, Northumberland
14 Jul 2017 – 15 Jul 2017 Solo Folk On The Farm, Anglesey
21 Jul 2017
08:00 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Secret Garden Party, Huntingdon
22 Jul 2017
02:00 pm
Solo Folk And Maritime Festival, Hull
23 Jul 2017
01:00 pm
Solo Music On The Marr, Cumbria
23 Jul 2017
10:00 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Music On The Marr, Cumbria
28 Jul 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Touchstones, Rochdale
30 Jul 2017
07:30 pm
Solo with Frank Burkitt St Boswells Village Hall, Scottish Borders
01 Aug 2017
07:30 pm
Solo with Frank Burkitt Mining Institute, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
02 Aug 2017
08:00 pm
Solo with Frank Burkitt House Concert, Edinburgh (email for details)
08 Aug 2017
07:30 pm
Solo with Frank Burkitt Black Isle, Inverness
15 Aug 2017
08:00 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Broadstairs Folk Week
20 Aug 2017 with John Dowling Folkeast, Suffolk
26 Aug 2017
02:00 pm
with Chris Quinn Shrewsbury Folk Festival
27 Aug 2017
10:00 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Shambala Festival, Northants
01 Sep 2017 with John Dowling Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, Gloucestershire
02 Sep 2017 Solo Folk and Blues Festival, Fleetwood
07 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Arts Station, Fernie, BC, Canada
08 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Marmalade Cat Cafe, Kelowna, BC, Canada
09 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Tractorgrease Cafe, Chilliwack, BC, Canada
10 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Victoria Folk Society, Victoria, BC, Canada
11 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo House Concert, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada
12 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Hidden City, Vancouver, BC, Canada
13 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo Duncan Showroom, Duncan, BC, Canada
14 Sep 2017
07:30 pm
Solo House Concert, Victoria, BC, Canada
17 Sep 2017
08:00 pm
Solo Folk On The Moor, Ivybridge
06 Oct 2017
08:00 pm
Solo Woodman Folk Club, Kingswinford
19 Oct 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet The Stables, Milton Keynes
02 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Unit 23, Totnes
10 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Atkinson Centre, Southport
15 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Eyemouth Hippodrome, Scottish Borders
16 Nov 2017
08:00 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Cumberland Arms, Newcastle
18 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
22 Nov 2017
08:00 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Old Queen’s Head, London
23 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
24 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet The Atrix, Bromsgrove
25 Nov 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Stop Cafe, Shrewsbury
08 Dec 2017
07:30 pm
Urban Folk Quartet Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford
02 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Katikati Folk Club, Katikati, New Zealand
04 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Hop House, Tauranga, New Zealand
05 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Nikau Cave, Nikau, New Zealand
07 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Sound Lounge, Te Pahu, New Zealand
08 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo 4th Wall, New Plymouth, New Zealand
09 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Bowling Club, Himatangi Beach, New Zealand
10 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Bluegrass Society, Wellington, New Zealand
12 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Mussel Inn, Onekaka, New Zealand
15 Feb 2018
07:30 pm
Solo Le Cafe, Picton, New Zealand

New album from Jan Akersson’s Shadow Rain

MelodicRock Records is very pleased to announce an extension of the relationship with S.A.Y mastermind Jan Akesson, working with the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/producer on his debut solo album ‘Ascension’, set to be released August 26 under the moniker Jan Akersson’s Shadow Rain.

Jan Akesson’s Shadow Rain is an intense, in your face hard rocking rollercoaster that is both unique and melodic as well as very familiar to fans of the debut S.A.Y album, released on MRR in 2015. Guitars and menace run through the album’s 10 tracks, whilst each throws in a hook and melody that draws you back in for more.

Tracklist:
01. I Can’t Tell You No
02. The Promised Land
03. City Of Light
04. Into The Fire
05. Sound Of A Broken Heart
06. A Sound For Death
07. After The Love Is Gone
08. Cross The Universe
09. Love On The Run
10. Fool For Your Loving

Jan Akesson’s Shadow Rain is:
Jan Akesson: Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Sven Svantesson – Lead Guitars
Lasse Johansson – Bass
Jens Westberg – Drums

Produced, Mixed Mastered by: Jan Akesson
Recorded at Ump Unlimited Music Production

Official url: www.facebook.com/janakessonsshadowrain

QUEEN UNSEEN by Peter Hince

qu

Peter Hince, or ‘Ratty’ as his road name was, was roadie to Queen’s Freddie Mercury and John Deacon from the mid-70’s until Queen stopped touring in 1986. Hince is now a photographer, something he became interested in whilst on the road with Queen. His photos are used in the book and show various member of Queen usually at leisure in between shows or recording.

Peter Hince is very honest about being a roadie, so there is a lot of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, plus as he states at the start of the book those after a history of the band would not find it in his book. Instead you get his memories of life on the road, including a lot about the US and fascinating insights into his daily life working with Queen, in particular Freddie Mercury and John Deacon.

You get a little more insight into Freddie Mercury’s character, in particular his wicked sense of humour and the sense of loneliness he seemed to have as he always wanted to be with people. John Deacon we know was the quiet one in Queen and it seems that was true on the road with Freddie and Roger Taylor being the party animals of the band!

The book does jump around time wise and his down to earth writing style may offend the more delicate reader, however if like me you are a big Queen fan this is one of the better books about the band out there. Well worth a read.