Category Archives: Music

Music news – Jamie Freeman announces new album ‘Dreams About Falling’ out May 17th via Union Music Label

“‘Dreams About Falling’ alludes to the fine line between flying and falling, succeeding or failing. Some of the songs are about childhood or upbringing, how that shapes an adult and how they remember and deal with those memories. That feeling of doing something exciting and scary, or waking from a dream just before you hit the ground.”
Jamie Freeman, 2019

Jamie Freeman returns with perhaps his most startlingly honest and remarkably vulnerable album yet, with the release of ‘Dreams About Falling’, in May 2019 via Union Music Label. Freeman skillfully tackles subjects such as parental expectations, childhood potential, and facing up to the possibility of falling short of those aspirations. These themes may be further understood when the context of Freeman’s talented family is brought into the picture. With a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning brother, Martin, and Frazier Chorus indie-dance musician (signed to 4AD, Virgin) brother, Tim, one can imagine that the family outlook has always been to ‘aim high’.

Jamie Freeman has found his own path, however, and become a respected figure within the Americana music scene after releasing his debut record ‘Just You’ in 2011, follow-up ‘100 Miles From Town’ in 2013 (under the name The Jamie Freeman Agreement) and EP ‘Hasia Dreams’ in 2017, all to critical acclaim from the likes of Americana UK, RnR, Maverick, FATEA, and more. A testament to the reputation Freeman has built is the impressive roster of collaborators and producers that have lent themselves to his projects; most recently Jamie has worked with the likes of Angaleena Presley, Mark Chadwick, Larkin Poe, Wild Ponies, Ben Glover, and Michael Logen.

Freeman’s list of co-writers and contributors on ‘Dreams About Falling’ reads like a who’s who of Nashville’s finest. One particular highlight is ‘Down Range’, a heartbreaking tale of a Gulf War veteran returning to his wife that the Pistol Annies singer and solo artist Angaleena Presley duetted with Freeman on especially for this album. Presley actually co-wrote one of the final tracks on the record ‘I Miss Those Bars’, which Freeman explains is, “about the fear of having to fend for oneself, even if that freedom is what we desire. If we attain that freedom how will we cope? She has written and talked about hardships in her family to do with the opioid epidemic leading to addiction and prison. I had my own second-hand experience with alcohol.”

‘Down Range’ is swiftly followed by the equally poignant track ‘The Fire’, a song co-written by Ben Glover whose latest release ‘Shorebound’ won UK Album of the Year at the UK Americana Awards 2019. The track itself was written after the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in 2017 and uses powerful imagery to invoke moving scenes of spirits, smoke, and betrayal. On its creation, Freeman has said, “I didn’t want to write a political song, and I didn’t feel I had the authority to write *specifically* about Grenfell, but I wanted to honour the event and the people, so we wrote about the physical being of the fire itself; an unfeeling force that simply does what it does.”

Jamie’s commitment to music doesn’t end with his own releases. Freeman produced the critically-acclaimed ‘Not Waving But Drowning’ and ‘Dead Stars’ by The Self Help Group along with many other projects including the Noble Jacks debut ‘What The Hammer’ as well as taking on the role of drummer for Sam Outlaw and MD for Angaleena Presley’s UK touring band. He’s also a member of the Americana Music Association UK – working as their designer and volunteer, something that takes up a lot of his time and energy, but that Freeman is extremely dedicated to. “I like to take a ‘high tide floats all boats’ attitude to helping fellow musicians”, he explains.

“The last line in the closing song (Match Among The Ashes) says, ‘You’d believe that you can fly, because she told you, so you try.’ This is a direct reference to my own upbringing and the faith and belief that my mother instilled in me. The title is perhaps a reference to that, coupled with the fear of not living up to it.”

We Came To Rock! with Mark ‘Mad Dog’ Shaw

What was the song, album and/or band that got you into  music?

I developed a keen interest in music at the age of about 10 and, of course, at that stage, pocket money was limited. So, I engrossed myself in my Dad’s record collection (one of those all Stones/no Beatles collections) so there were actually a number of albums that turned me onto what was out there. Big Brother and The Holding Company with Janis Joplin (very psychedelic colored disc – as a kid, I wondered as the rainbow-colored record span around……little did I know the true significance), the first Led Zeppelin album, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, early Clapton (“Live” with the girl’s back on the cover was a favorite for its version of Further On Down The Road), Crosby, Stills and Nash, Moby Grape…..old beyond my years musically ? Yep – Dad’s fault but he had a great collection. Then Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention’s Freak Out! album was a whole new revelation – not that I liked it much, but I just remember being fascinated by what this guy was doing.

Then I heard the opening bars of Caroline by Status Quo in 1973 and that was it – life had meaning, the future was denim, my Fender Tennis racket was Parfitt’s white Telecaster, the mirror was the audience and my hair crept below my collar for the first time !!

First album you bought and the latest…

The first album was Status Quo – Live (Woolworth’s…5.99 if I recall). Absolutely wore the grooves out…..

The latest – well, of course, in this streaming era, its been a while since I bought anything but I reckon DeWollf’s excellent Thrust was the last actual purchase (you gotta use up those Amazon vouchers on hardware !).

First gig you went to and the latest…

You guessed it – Status Quo at Sheffield City Hall in 1974. Aged only 11 at the time, I optimistically asked my Dad if he’d drop me outside and pick me up afterwards. When he knew who was playing, he got two tickets – bear in mind, my Dad was only 29 at the time and still playing in local bands so not even really a generation apart musically. I couldn’t believe the intensity of the live experience from the dry ice and opening drone to Bye Bye Johnny – it was life-changing. I recall walking down the winding staircase from the balcony after the gig, shuffling along with the masses like denim and leather clad sheep, when some guy yelled tongue-in-cheek from the top of the stairs to his mate at the bottom “hey up Stan, it’s Ten C.C. tomorrow night – does tha’ fancy it ?”. Boos and laughter ensued…it was one of those “from-the-terraces” moments that just floored everyone.

Moved to Northampton in around 1975 and used to go regularly to Northampton County Cricket ground to watch Budgie and Frankie Miller. More sensory assaults but some brilliant hot and sweaty gigs. I remember Frankie Miller used to walk on saluting the fans by holding his pint pot up in greeting – I’d never seen armpits that hairy….this is rock and roll, I thought. Thing is, the gigs were held in the purposely-designed narrow cricket practice hall so the crowds were shoulder-to-shoulder maybe 6 people wide but when you looked behind you, the room was so long, there was mist at the end of it. My old man used to sneak in for the encores on the premise of “picking up my son”….

The latest gig was Blackberry Smoke in Brum last November – no armpits showing but it’s still rock and roll and I like it. Ask me about my next gig because I’m buzzing…..Saturday night, Northampton Roadmender Club for a teary-eyed farewell to the magnificent UFO.

Vinyl, CD or streaming/download which do you prefer and why?

Streaming because its basically limitless, CDs because sometimes I do want that whole package of lyrics, pictures, liner notes and can’t always be arsed to research that stuff on the internet. I don’t own a record player so vinyl is out but I respect the “revolution” – niche as it maybe. If I bought a player, I wouldn’t know where to start buying albums….

Favourite festival you have been to and why?

It was far cry from my first – Donnington Monsters of Rock 1981 (Blackfoot, Slade, Blue Oyster Cult, Whitesnake, AC/DC and 3 toilets) to my last – High Voltage in London, both of them. The latter I thought were very well done, catering as they did to true Classic rockers…mostly of a certain age. Plenty of bar space so you never waited to drink, plenty of great food, plenty of toilets for the crusty, ageing, prostate-challenged rockers, easy in and out….sorry that festival fell by the wayside.

A lost gem of an album you’d recommend to fellow rock fans and why?

It’s not so much a lost gem as a just real gem that people perhaps have never bothered with – Joe Cocker and The Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Live. Outstanding album and film – a must-see. Rock and roll with big band, big brass, big vocals – still one of my favorite albums of all time. 

If you could be in any band who would it be and why?

Good question – the Stones or Motley Crue for the partying, Parfitt’s replacement in Quo for the memories. Fantasy confession from my younger days – my fictitious band line-up (really because of their individual cool factor) was Gary Barden vocals, me on guitar (obviously), TM Stevens (ex-Cocker) on bass, either Ted McKenna or Phil Rudd on drums and Chris Stainton on keys. In the mirror of my bedroom, we were great……

A band you loved back in the day but don’t now…

Right – like every kid who embraced rock music as his direction in life, naturally I thought Deep Purple were the mutt’s nuts. I mean anyone could pick up a guitar and play “Smoke….”. Machinehead was played to death. I’m not sure if it was seeing Ian Gillan about three years ago on stage in baggy pyjama-like pants and one of those sleeveless t-shirts which let his 70-year old bingo-wings dangle free or the fact that no-one knew the first five songs they played or the fact that there were long drawn-out renditions of just about everything or whether it was that Gillan just can’t cut it anymore…but I’ve gone off them big-time. Love Steve Morse and Ian Paice, of course, but as a unit, they don’t flop my mop anymore at all.

…and a band you used to detest but have mellowed to over the years…

I used to have a major aversion to Counting Crows but then I heard Somewhere Under Wonderland and thought it was great. I think at one stage, Joan Osborn had a big pop hit I didn’t like and I didn’t even bother allowing her on my radar – put her in the same basket as Norah Jones, etc. Boy, did I get that wrong. Discovered her through the Hippy Trigger album/project (with Steve Gorman/Jacky Greene from the Crowes)…now that is a good record. I’ve never looked back – sorry Joan for being a narrow-minded ignoramus – won’t happen again and can I buy all your records as an apology….?

By the way, I used to hate Sting….I still do but I used to too 🙂

Any ‘guilty pleasures’ in your music collection…

I reckon everyone loves a good melody, wherever it comes from – if its a good tune, its a good tune, whether its in your genre of choice or not. My iPod has a couple of Brittany Spears tracks, I always thought Wet Wet Wet were a good band and I even have some Lisa Stansfield – had the hots for her big-time until she opened her mouth – a Rochdale lass through and through bless her. Her accent just didn’t fit her classy, sexy appearance. Used to like Kim Wilde too (Kids in America)…approached her once at Heathrow to get an autograph. Nice gal, bad skin.


You can purchase the new single on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon Music and more. The band’s back catalogue is also now available to purchase and stream digitally.

Directed by Red Empire Media, Voyager’s Perth-fect music video encompasses the quintessential nature of  Western Australia, displaying the relationship between science, art, and nature. With a montage of drone footage taken from Parkes, CSIRO and MRO Space Satellite sites across Western Australia, Voyager explores the synergy of how science and creative expression go hand in hand.

Danny Estrin, frontman for Voyager says this about the allegory behind his lyrics

“Brightstar is about the power of rationality, of the importance of science as an art, of facts, of the demise of empirical evidence in favour of blind belief in idols who spit forth a torrent of nonsense and generally about not believing in something or someone because it’s shiny and bright and promises a warm blanket of comfort.”

“It’s so refreshing to be playing in such wide open spaces and to use technology to create art… There was definitely something magical about the beauty of this blisteringly hot part of the country and I think this clip will capture that magic. We are proud to be from Perth and we want our fans to see what we see. We also want them to know that we almost burnt to a crisp on 40c heat to bring them this visual treat!”

The new single comes the day before Voyager embark on Australian dates with Twelve Foot Ninja and also a performance at Download Festival Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), dates below.

Ash Doodkorte, Voyager’s drummer, says this about the tour

“We’ve whispered it among ourselves for years and it’s finally happening: Voyager and Twelve Foot Ninja on the road together around Australia! We can’t wait to bring the heaviness, grooves, and singalongs. The only thing that could make it even better is an appearance or two at a huge heavy festival like, say, Download Festival Australia. Wait, what? FARK YEAH!!!”


Friday 8th March – ANU, Canberra

Saturday 9th March – Download Festival Sydney

Monday 11th March – Download Festival Melbourne

Friday 15th March – Miami Tavern, Gold Coast

Saturday 16th March – The Valley Drive in, Brisbane

Saturday 23rd March – The Gov, Adelaide


I recently picked up Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights 2010 album ‘Pardon Me’ for a bargain 99p in a local charity shop. I can’t find anywhere that he is related to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, yet he has a little of that man’s vocal in his. An album full of classy blues/southern rock with a nice curveball in the a capella on Ladybird, simply magnificent.

Since this album’s release Jonathan Tyler has gone solo and in a more country/Americana direction.

Go seek out a copy now!


Thought I’d ramble on a bit about music I have picked up in CD format (I am very lucky to get new music/releases as part of the Get Ready To Rock! team). I picked up a copy of Massive Wagons’ ‘Full Nelson’ album (which won the GRTR! Readers Album of the Year poll). Having seen them live (go see them live they are excellent) and heard a few songs via Spotify the album is barnstormer. Plenty of no frills hard rock and as GRTR! Live Ed Dave Wilson wiselyt noted they could be the new Slade, not so much in their sound but their appeal to wide audience and love of a good melodic riff.

A recent charity shop bargain was Bastille’s ‘Bad Blood’, bit slow on catching-up on this one as it came out six years ago but hey we get there. Bastille have a knack, like Imagine Dragons, of mixing catchy melodies backed by varied percussion and backing vocal arrangements. Pop prog anyone?! One my children like as well, so a win win.

Last one for now is 100 Hits – The Best Soft Rock Album. Now if you frequent your local Sainsburys you will see a never ending array of 100 Hits, Now and various eras compilations. Despite CD sales falling overall, the rise of compilation CD sales seems to march onwards. Many music fans regard these as they would tribute bands, ones to be avoided, however this soft rock one has a good selection with the usual staples of REO Speedwagon, Survivor, Air Supply plus some more modern choices from the Calling, Train and the Script. It does lose a point for Jennifer Rush though! Shame you can’t scrub a song of an CD. All in all not bad for under a fiver for five CDs.

Music news – LONELY ROBOT announce third studio album ‘Under Stars’


Lonely Robot, the project masterminded by producer, guitarist and singer/songwriter John Mitchell (Kino, Frost*, Arena, It Bites), have announced the release of ‘Under Stars’ for the 26th April 2019.

John comments: “It is the final part in the astronaut trilogy, and was recorded over an intensive month and a half period. This time I wanted to reference my love of 80’s synthwave pop a little more, so beware the 808! The title is derived from belief that we as humans spend far too much time not noticing the beauty around us and far too much time tethered to technology.”

The album once again features drums by long-time collaborator Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson), plus bass contributions from Steve Vantsis (Fish), with all other instrumentation on the album delivered by Mitchell himself.

‘Under Stars’ will be released as a limited edition digipak CD (featuring 3 bonus tracks), gatefold 2LP + CD & as digital album.

The track-listing is as follows:

  1. Terminal Earth
  2. Ancient Ascendant
  3. Icarus
  4. Under Stars
  5. Authorship Of Our Lives
  6. The Signal
  7. The Only Time I Don’t Belong Is Now
  8. When Gravity Fails
  9. How Bright Is The Sun?
  10. Inside This Machine
  11. An Ending
  12. How Bright Is The Sun? (Cosmic Mix)* CD / digital bonus track
  13. Under Stars (Cosmic Mix)* CD / digital bonus track
  14. Lonely Robot – Chapter One – Airlock* CD / digital bonus track

‘Under Stars’ is the final album in a trilogy for Lonely Robot, John Mitchell’s visionary project. This began in 2015 with the ‘Please Come Home’ album and continued two years later with ”The Big Dream’.

“I always saw this as a trilogy, and it feels like the third part of the Lonely Robot master plan has reached a natural conclusion.”

As with the two previous albums, there is a theme running across the songs here, as Mitchell explains.

“On ‘Please Come Home’, the theme was about the idea that life on Earth didn’t originate from this planet, while for ‘The Big Dream’, I was really giving everyone the benefit of Zen musings according to John Mitchell. This time things are a little more down to earth. What I am doing is looking the millennial generation, and the fact that kids today are so tied to their phones and to technology. They really have no clue what is actually going on around them, and I find that worrying.”

John Mitchell is a man with a rich musical heritage and history – from musician and vocalist, to songwriter and producer. With bands like Arena, Frost*, Kino, It Bites and Lonely Robot, to name but a few, Mitchell has left his mark on the current progressive rock scene and has been involved in dozens of recordings. He is also a respected producer & mixer, running Outhouse Studios in the UK and working with artists as diverse as You Me At Six, Enter Shikari, Alter Bridge, Asia, Don Broco, Funeral For A Friend, McFly & much more.



Music news – SPACE ELEVATOR release new video for ‘Keep Waiting’

Consummate Classic Rock four-piece Space Elevator, who were formed by guitarist David Young and flamboyant lead singer The Duchess, have confirmed the release of their soaring new single and video ‘Keep Waiting’ on Steamhammer / SPV today.

‘Keep Waiting’, a powerful, perfectly performed, instantly memorable pop infused melodic rock composition, is the second single to be taken from the band’s sophomore album ‘Space Elevator II’.

You can watch the video here

Fireworks magazine’s Dave Bott stated “‘II’ has more of an edge than the debut and Young gets to flex his solo muscles a bit more, but it is the quality of the material that makes the biggest impact. Having said that, let’s not forget the vocals. I have seen the band perform live and can testify first hand that The Duchess is quality. She has the power, the passion and has the image to match. It is hard to pick highlights from this release and I find myself drawn to a different favourite with every play. From the rocky opener ‘Take The Pain’ through to the Queen-like closer ‘Queen For A Day’, (where Young channels his best Brian May) it really is a case of “all killer, no filler” and the energy levels are very high.”

Powerplay magazine’s Steve Swift raved “This has variety, it has expectation, it has a 70’s ethos, it has oddness. Just enough of all of these makes something very special. Messrs Young, Maguire (bass) Greene (drums) and Ms Duchess should all be proud of themselves. Elevator? Top floor, please.”

Classic Rock magazine’s Max Bell declared “Chucking in a steady stream of ABBA-esque arrangements and nods towards 60s girl groups, Curved Air, Whitesnake and Fabienne Shine’s badass ‘Shakin’ Street, this ultra-professional quartet don’t put a foot wrong.”

‘Keep Waiting’ is now all set to boost Space Elevator ever higher into rock’s heady stratosphere when released today.