Category Archives: Music

New music – MEGSON

Megson are a husband and wife duo – Debbie (vocals, accordian) and Stu (vocals, mandolin, mandola, banjo, fliddle, guitars) – who are about to release their ninth studio album ‘con-tra-dic-shun’.

It is a lively mix of traditional songs and their own songwriting, which covers everyday tales be it ‘Barrington Judo Club’, (where said club battles with other local clubs for a place in the village hall) or ‘A Week Away In The Caravan’ (where one half of a couple is less than willing to go but both end up with cherished memories).

The album’s theme as the title suggests is about conversations and contradictions. Nice touch with the note on the inlay sleeve that states ‘Everything written in this booklet is a lie’.

A delightful album of folk tunes that don’t always take themselves too seriously. The album is released on February 8th via http://www.megsonmusic.co.uk

19 JAN CAMBRIDGE, Junction (Album Launch Party)

31 JAN MALDON, MAC Theatre Maldon Essex

01 FEB THAMES DITTON, The Ram Club

02 FEB WHITCHURCH, The Talbot Theatre

06 FEB LONDON, Kings Place (Album Launch Party)

07 FEB UPWOOD, Upwood Village Hall

21 FEB MANCHESTER, Band On The Wall

22 FEB KENDAL, Brewery Arts

23 FEB BARNSLEY, The Civic

08 MAR CHESTERFIELD, Library Theatre

21 MAR SALISBURY, Arts Centre

22 MAR LINGFIELD, VSS Club

11 APR SADBERGE, Darlington, Village Hall

12 APR HEBDEN BRIDGE, Wadsworth Com. Centre

13 APR GATESHEAD, The Sage

14 APR SALTAIRE, The Live Room

26 APR ALVESTON, St Helens Church

27 APR BROMGSGROVE, Burcot Village Hall

10 MAY DORCHESTER, Arts Centre

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DANDELION CHARM perform free-entry acoustic gig in support of music therapy charity

Venue: The Brunswick, 1 Holland Rd, Hove BN3 1JF

Date: Friday February 8th 2019, 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm. Free entry.

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Prog folk duo Dandelion Charm will be performing a free-entry acoustic gig as part of Fifty Gigs In A Day, which is taking place world-wide on 8th February 2019 to support the work of the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity. They will be joined by singer-songwriter duo Milton Hide.

Newhaven-based Dandelion Charm are John and Clare Fowler. They combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics. Dandelion Charm’s debut album ‘Tiny Drop’ was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP ‘Riding The Flood’ in February 2018. The duo’s exquisite studio work has received plaudits from across a range of genres – from prog to hard-rock to folk. Clare and John will be joined on stage by guitarist/vocalist Bob Burke.

We are absolutely passionate about the power of music and this gig is a wonderful opportunity to support the work of Nordoff Robbins. Their music therapy work can be life-changing for so many people,“ says Dandelion Charm’s Clare Fowler.

Opening the evening will be Milton Hide who are husband and wife team, Jim and Josie Tipler. Natural storytellers with material that is rooted in folk traditions, they write and perform songs that are strong in melody and full of hooks. Sometimes personal, sometimes amusing, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes making a point – but always memorable.

Fifty Gigs In A Day is the brain-child of Jason Ritchie. “The idea was to create a whole host of gigs, events and social media posts mentioning Nordoff Robbins on and around the 8 February. As it was such a success last year I thought why not make it an annual event. This year it will be hopefully 51 gigs and the focus this time will be on up-and-coming bands, artists, comedians and authors – all supporting and plugging the work of Nordoff Robbins,” says Jason.

Nordoff Robins are the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable and isolated people. They support thousands of people in their own centres as well as care homes, schools and hospitals. When delivered by a trained practitioner, music therapy can be used to support people living with a wide range of needs.

Donations – for those wishing to support the work of Nordoff Robbins through Fifty Gigs In A Day a Just Giving page has been set up here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fiftygigsinaday2019

Find out more here about Fifty Gigs In A Day here: https://therockinchairblog.wordpress.com/fifty-gigs-in-a-day-2019/

Find out more about Nordoff Robbins here: www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson

darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Website: https://www.dandelioncharm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dandelioncharmmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dandelion_Charm

New music – THIRD LUNG

Only just discovered Third Lung, a Reading based four piece, who have a new EP ‘Sooner Or Later’ out on March 1 (reviewed here). Big tunes, big anthems and all being well, a big future for them.

Cart & Horses (Stratford, London) – 9th Feb: https://www.facebook.com/events/2279074932346297/
The Finsbury Pub (Finsbury, London) – 12th Feb: https://www.facebook.com/events/592744141146448/
West Street Live (Sheffield) – 20th Feb: https://www.facebook.com/events/2219912814707734/
Dublin Castle (Camden, London) – 28th Feb: https://www.facebook.com/events/990805787796963/
Oakford Social Club (Reading) – 1st Mar: https://www.facebook.com/events/1928306813951082/ (EP launch show)

New music – HEAVY FEATHER, CATS IN SPACE, EMPIRE CIRCUS

HEAVY FEATHER have signed with The Sign records for their debut album ‘Débris & Rubble’ due out on 5 April.

CATS IN SPACE release a new song of their upcoming album ‘Day Trip To Narnia’ (out Mar 8) and it is a disco floor filler 🙂

Excited by the Cats In Space new album and also the second album from EMPIRE CIRCUS. Entitled ‘Ti‘ it is released on Feb 1.

 

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – MARK STAY book launch for ‘The End of Magic’

Facebook event page

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM at Harbour Books, 21 Harbour Street, CT5 1AQ Whitstable

A very exciting event indeed! On the 15th February we’ll be celebrating the publication of ‘The End of Magic’ by Mark Stay! We’ve been expanding our sci-fi and fantasy section in the last year or so, and with this we’ve seen new faces, found some fabulous new titles, and now we get to host our first fantasy event with a fantastic author!

You know the drill, right? But this time we’re switching it up a little bit, because The End of Magic takes you back to a time when magic collapsed, and to celebrate this book the right way we’re encouraging all guests to give it their best shot and get into their magic-inspired costumes! Mark himself will be greeted by a special visitor (which you will not want to miss), and for every copy purchased on the night Mark will be donating £1 to Nordoff Robbins – a brilliant charity changing lives through music. We’ll be kicking off the evening at 6.30pm, and it’s all completely free as always! Be there, be in costume, and be ready for a truly magical evening!

‘There are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again…

This is not one of those stories.

The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose…

Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.

Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone.

Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever.

Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

The End of Magic is an exhilarating wild ride, by turns epic and intimate, funny and dark, and perfect for fans of Jen Williams, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.’

Music news – DEVIN TOWNSEND announces new album ‘Empath’

Canadian heavy music artist Devin Townsend has officially announced the release of his forthcoming new album ‘EMPATH’ for the 29th March 2019.

In the lead up to the album’s release, Devin will walk fans through how Empath came together with a series of documentary episodes recorded as phone conversations during the course of the albums recording. Watch him explain more in this video:

Devin comments: “Hello everybody, this is Devin Townsend and I would like to formally announce that after almost a year and a half of working, I have finished Empath. Now this record has taken me down a lot of very interesting psychological and technical avenues and the process was documented from the very get-go by a series of documentary videos that I have done, that outline everything from the gestation of the idea to the actualisation of it, through all the existential ups and downs that went on. As such this record is different to any record that I have released thus far, and trying to get people on board for what it is versus what it isn’t, I think needs to be dealt with in a different way.

Stay tuned for the making of Empath – the video series.”

Over the past few years, the success that Devin has slowly worked for has fortunately come with the power to control his own creative destiny. The recent successes with the DVD from a sold-out Royal Albert hall, or his 2012 ‘Retinal Circus’, or last year’s ‘Ocean Machine’ live DVD with the Orchestra and Choir of State Opera Plovdiv has put him in a position where with the new album ‘EMPATH’, he will once and for all define himself as a musical force outside of any particular genre classification.

On this album Devin has decided to see what would happen if all the styles that make up his current interests were finally represented in one place. To finally shake the fear of expectation, and just do what it is he was meant to do creatively, EMPATH, true to the name, is about allowing the audience a feeling for a variety of musical emotions. The musical dynamics represented on this single album are broad, challenging, and immense. To approach this sort of work with a long history of what makes heavy music ‘heavy’, allows this to be done with a type of power rarely heard.

Joining Devin on this album is Frank Zappa alumni Mike Keneally as music director, as well as Morgan Ågren (Mats And Morgan, Frank Zappa, Fredrik Thordendal), Anup Sastry (Monuments, Periphery), Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, Abigail Williams), Nathan Navarro, Elliot Desagnes, Steve Vai, Chad Kroeger, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Ché Aimee Dorval, Ryan Dhale and the Elektra Women’s Choir.

A bold statement with massive production values and dynamic, uncompromised musicality. This is a statement about not only pursuing creative freedom in a conservative scene, but also trying to show that heavy music is truly a valid musical tool.

‘EMPATH’ will be released on Limited 2 CD Digipak (including an entire disc of bonus material), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180G 2LP Vinyl + CD + LP-booklet & as digital album. The full track-listing is as follows:

  1. Castaway
  2. Genesis
  3. Spirits Will Collide
  4. Evermore
  5. Sprite
  6. Hear Me
  7. Why
  8. Borderlands
  9. Requiem
  10. Singularity Part 1 – Adrift
  11. Singularity Part 2 – I Am I
  12. Singularity Part 3 – There Be Monsters
  13. Singularity Part 4 – Curious Gods
  14. Singularity Part 5 – Silicon Scientists
  15. Singularity Part 6 – Here Comes The Sun

Last year Devin announced a special ‘An Evening With’ tour that would see him performing acoustically, as well as taking part in a fan Q&A at each show.

The full list of dates are as follows, many of which are already sold out:

7th March – The Piano Man Jazz Club, New Delhi, India SOLD OUT

8th March – Levi’s Lounge, Mumbai, India SOLD OUT

29th March – Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland SOLD OUT

30th March – Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland SOLD OUT

31st March – Sodra Teatern, Stockholm, Sweden SOLD OUT

1st April – Edderkoppen, Oslo, Norway SOLD OUT

2nd April – Bremen Theater, Copenhagen, Denmark

4th April – PassionKirchhe, Berlin, Germany

5th April – Stodola, Warsaw, Poland

6th April – La Fabrica, Prague, Czech Republic SOLD OUT

7th April – Freiheiz, Munich, Germany SOLD OUT

9th April – Kulturkirche, Cologne, Germany SOLD OUT

10th April – Grunspan, Hamburg, Germany

11th April – Bravo Kerk, Haarlem, Netherlands SOLD OUT

13th April – Reading 3, Tel Aviv, Israel

24th April – Bush Hall, London, UK SOLD OUT

25th April – Bush Hall, London, UK SOLD OUT

26th April – St George’s, Bristol, UK SOLD OUT

27th April – City Varieties, Leeds, UK SOLD OUT

29th April – Jam House, Edinburgh, UK SOLD OUT

30th April – Glee Club, Birmingham, UK SOLD OUT

Remaining tickets can be found here: https://bnds.us/hotp9q

Devin’s varied back catalogue is also being celebrated with lavish vinyl box-sets under the name of ERAS. Having already released parts 1 and 2 earlier in early 2018, the end of the year saw the release of part 3, which features some of his most recent work with Devin Townsend Project, including the albums ‘Accelerated Evolution’, ‘Epicloud’, ‘Sky Blue’, ‘Transcendence’ & the first ever vinyl release of the second part of the DTP’s now legendary Royal Albert Hall show. Order your copy of this deluxe 10 LP box-set here: https://devintownsendproject.lnk.to/ErasIII

Music News – Gold Dust’, the stunning new Love Song by Michael Armstrong – 15th February

The ultimate love song… ‘Gold Dust’ Released 15th February 2019

Gold Dust may well be the ultimate love song. An honest and heartfelt gift to his wife and children, the song has been counted by many as amongst their favourites on #LookingForTheWorld, the 5 * album described as an ‘homage to music’.

“A cool, confident collection of original songs which honour the golden years of songwriting brilliance.  No airy-fairy pussyfooting – he tackles life’s big subjects with grit and guts, sporting his heart on two bare arms and gargling with courage. His vast vocal ability and blatant inclination to love overflow. Sharp and infectious  #LookingForTheWorld defies age, eras and genres in homage to music…an album with everything.”

– Lesley-Ann Jones (Sunday  Times Bestselling Author of Bohemian Rhapsody: The Freddie Mercury Story)

“This is a constantly impressive collection on which, while wearing his influences very much on his sleeve, he nevertheless establishes his own mark on the material. It’s quality fare throughout, skilfully delivered.”

– ***** RnR Magazine

www.michaelarmstrongmusic.co.uk

About Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong was born in South London in November 1973. His parents were not in the slightest bit musical, although they did listen to music frequently. Michael remembers car journeys singing along and harmonising with his brother to The Beatles Greatest Hits. He knew from a very early age that he wanted to express himself through music and song.

At around the age of 11 he began to seriously tackle learning the guitar and as soon as he was able to play 3 chords he had written his first song. Once he had mastered the guitar he taught himself to play the piano during Games lessons at school stating ‘I just couldn’t hack Rugby, not in the cold wet weather’. Luckily his lack of interest and ability in the sport was confirmed by his teachers who were happy to leave him tinkering away in the music room.

At the age of 15 he entered a song writing competition on BBC’s Pebble Mill At One, coming in second place to a 16 year old Mancunian called Gary Barlow. Take that! By 18, he had his own band and performed his original material across the country eventually playing several nights at The Shepherds Bush Empire in London.

By the age of 23, having toured incessantly, Michael became disillusioned with the music business and joined his father at the family construction company. For 15 years they grew the company to huge success and Michael lived a happy and fruitful life with his wife and three children.

In 2011 a string of events suddenly sent Michael on a new but familiar path. His father’s health led him to retirement and Michael’s own health scare led him to assess his situation. Some might call it a mid-life crisis! Coupled with the failing UK economy and a chance encounter with music biz guru Lisa Davies, Michael felt the world of showbiz beckoning him again. He had also amassed some 200 songs that had never been released. Seeing his talent, and amazed by his music, Lisa became Michael’s manager and set about raising his profile across the business.

After receiving great reactions to an EP, Michael set about recording his debut album ‘Michael Armstrong’ which was eventually released on 29th June 2015. It was met with resounding success, championed by the late Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 and gaining airplay across the globe. The album featured guitar giants Albert Lee (2 x Grammy Award Winner), Elliott Randall (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers) and Phil Palmer (Bob Dylan, Robbie Williams) and was produced by Keith Bessey (10cc, Cliff Richard, The Ramones).

As a result of the album’s success, Michael has since been interviewed and has performed on just about every radio station in the land several times over. He has additionally gained major airplay across the globe including the UK’s BBC Radio 2, and mainstream stations all over Europe, USA, Australia and South America, where his single ‘The Radio Years’ was a Top 10 hit. This has further led to numerous appearances on national TV such as ITV’s Lorraine, Sky News, BBC News, ITN plus he is a regular on Vintage TV.

A dedicated touring artist, Michael has performed with some of the biggest names in the business. He has spent over two years ‘on the road’ headlining his own shows as well as appearing as a special guest on major tours with Leo Sayer, Vonda Shepard, T’Pau, Beverley Craven, Dean Friedman & The Hollies’ Peter Howarth. He has also collaborated and worked alongside massive global stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Mark Knopfler, Glenn Frey, Chris de Burgh, Russell Watson, Hank Marvin, Michael Ball and countless others.

In 2016 Michael released the official 60th Anniversary commemorative single for Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club and performed it on stage at the venue during a very special celebratory party which included many associated local and national dignitaries. That same year he was invited to open the Great British Radio Reunion with his anthem ‘The Radio Years’ and was selected by his local authority to perform and present an award at their Annual Local Heroes Awards Ceremony in conjunction with BBC radio.

Since completing his latest album earlier this year, Michael has spent time in Los Angeles writing new material with US singer-songwriter Ben Folds, and back home in the UK collaborating again with producer Warren Bennett. Watch this space….

www.michaelarmstrongmusic.co.uk