Category Archives: pop rock


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.



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

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….

Music matters with…JOSH TAERK

I have been a fan of Josh Taerk since his early days and it is a real delight to see him gaining popularity for his heartfelt and moving songs. If he plays near to you go see him live and drop by on his socials as I am sure he would love to connect and here from you.

It’s all about making connections…

Music is everything to me because music is my way of communicating with the world. I feel like we as people are the most honest, heartfelt and emotionally raw we can be through the music we listen to and the music we write. Our stories go way beyond language barriers, national boarders and even personal experience when told through music. It all boils down to how something makes you feel, and when I listen to some of my favorite songs, knowing that other people are thinking and feeling the same things that I am.

Lately, I can’t stop listening to John Mayer’s album The Search For Everything, specifically his song “In The Blood.” I love how uncomplicated the music is, how simple the chord structure is, and how complicated the emotions he is talking about are. It’s such a perfect song for a record called, The Search For Everything because it feels he’s trying to figure out who he is in relation to where he came from, something I think everyone can relate to. Does our past make us who we are, or do we have a say in who we become? In life and in the song, it seems to come down to the choices we make.

‘How much like my brothers, do my brothers wanna be? Does a broken home become another broken family? Or will we be there for each other, like nobody ever could? Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need But it’s never gonna come the way I am Could I change it if I wanted, could I rise above the flood? Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?’

I also use music as motivation to continue following my dreams and making those dreams a reality. I listen to The Script’s song “Hall Of Fame” featuring when I work out, I’m a bit of a fitness nut on and off the road, as well as the day of a show. This song just gets my heart pumping, that fire going in my chest, and gets me into that make it happen mindset.

I love Zac Brown Band’s song “Remedy” on their Jekyll + Hyde album. The message is so powerful and speaks to me as a musician and performer. My goal when I get up onstage, or release a song is, again, to connect with people, let them know they are not alone in how they are thinking and feeling, and try and leave this world a little better than how I found it. That is exactly what Zac Brown Band talks about in the Lyrics to “Remedy.” It’s not about what you believe in, or the specific details of your day to day. It’s about getting to the root of what we as people can do for each other and for ourselves, it’s about how everything boils down to love and how powerful love can be.

(Love is the remedy) We’re all in this world together Life’s a gift that we have to treasure Happiness, now that is the measure Love is the remedy

(Love is the remedy) Everyone can be forgiven One love and one religion Open up your heart and listen Love is the remedy Pray to be stronger and wiser And know you get what you give God is love one another Amen (amen), amen, amen (amen)

Music review – NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA re-issues

A band formed by members of Soilwork and Arch Enemy to perform their love of 80’s AOR/melodic rock doesn’t sound like it should work but it does and after forming in 2007, the Night Flight Orchestra are going from strength to strength, including a recent packed out UK debut show.

Nuclear Blast have recently re-issued the band’s first two albums, ‘Internal Affairs’ (2012) and ‘Skyline Whispers’ (2015), both previously released on the independent label Coroner Records.

Both albums have the band’s distinctive 80’s AOR/melodic rock feel of the likes of Survivor, REO Speedwagon and those mid-tempo rock songs that featured on 80’s movies. ‘Glowing City Madness’ off ‘Internal Affairs’ is a real stand out, shades of ELO on the harmony vocals and a melody to lift you out of a dark mood.

‘Skyline Whispers’ has the band using female backing vocals more and nowadays the band have two permanent female backing singers in their line-up. The epic nine minutes plus of ‘The Heather Report’ has a distinct 70’s West Coast AOR feel at the start before the guitars kick in and we have a John Miles approved epic on our hands.

Personally I prefer their most recent two albums as they have a slicker sound and feel, however both of these are worth owning if you are a newcomer to the band and/or love all things melodic rock with an 80’s sound.


Back in 2002 I used to run a Yahoo Group (remember them?!) called the Classic Rock Newswire which gathered together news & press releases on all things rock & metal. This led to Get Ready To Rock! being launched in November 2002 and I thought why not do a Rockin’ Chair Newswire? It will cover music & artists I like so not much coverage on say Slayer but it will include rock, metal, prog, folk, AOR, country, blues and more.

THE POODLES have announced they are splitting-up after twelve years together.

TERRA NOVA release their new album ‘Raise Your Voice’ on MelodicRock Records on Jan 30.

Two box sets due soon are a 12CD one from the PRETTY MAIDS, entitled ‘A Blast From The Past’, on Feb 22 via Frontiers. MIKE OLDFIELD has a box set of ‘The Killing Fields’ album due out on May 2.

Music news – TOTO To Perform at LIVE AT CHELSEA 2019



Pre-Sale Date: Thursday 6th December 10am General On Sale Date: Friday 7th December 10am

Toto have been announced as one of the first artists to perform at the Live At Chelsea Concert Series 2019, which is celebrating its 5th year of bringing live music to the spectacular outdoor grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea – home of the Chelsea Pensioners.

Toto will headline the Live At Chelsea Concert Series 2019 on Thursday 13th June, whilst The Gypsy Kings will headline the event on Friday 14th June.

Currently celebrating 40 years since the release of their debut album, Toto are one of the world’s foremost rock bands. With their current line-up of Joseph Williams (Lead Vocals), Steve Porcaro (Keyboards), and Steve Lukather (Guitars, Vocals), the group are celebrating an incredible legacy of unparalleled hits and accolades.

With ubiquitous hits including ‘Africa’, ‘Hold The Line’, and ‘Rosanna’, the band have won an incredible 6 GRAMMY Awards, including Best Record in 1983. Inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009, Toto continue to sell out huge shows to audiences the world over.

The London show is part of Toto’s world tour 40 Trips Around The Sun which celebrates their 40th Anniversary. They recently released an album of the same name, which contains a selection of their best and biggest songs plus three previously unreleased tracks. Steve Lukather recently published his autobiography entitled “The Gospel According to Luke.”

The Live At Chelsea Concert Series returns for its 5th year in 2019, having established itself firmly as a welcome fixture in the summer calendar for many. This is in no small part due to the eclectic range of artists who have been featured previously, including Rufus Wainwright, Simply Red, Ludovico Einaudi, Belle & Sebastian, and the Kaiser Chiefs, amongst many more. As well as this, the warm welcome to audiences from the Chelsea Pensioners themselves into their home of the immaculate grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Every year a portion of the ticket sales from the event is donated towards the care of the Chelsea Pensioners, as well as the maintenance of the Grade I listed site which has provided care and comradeship to ex-military personnel since 1682 when it was founded by King Charles II. For more information on the Chelsea Pensioners and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, please visit:

Live At Chelsea Showreel

Tickets: Start from £45 Royal Hospital Chelsea Royal Hospital Road, London. SW3 4SR

Toto at the Live At Chelsea Concert Series 2019– Friday 13th June 2019

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – The Gigs!

Many of the artists kindly taking part in Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 on February 8th are performing on or around that date, with a couple actually hosting gigs especially for the Nordoff Robbins charity.

Please support them if you are able either by attending or spreading the word.

Thank you

(All on February 8th unless stated)

ADRIAN BELEW, who has worked with the likes of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, appears with his Power Trio at the Cruise to the Edge 4-9 February 2019

PAUL CARRACK plays Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre

DANDELION CHARM will be playing a free entry gig in support of Nordoff Robbins at the Brunswick, Hove

JARROD DICKENSON, the well dressed singer songwriter, will be playing Birmingham

BARBARA DICKSON who plays a show at Eden Court, Inverness

DODGY  play Newcastle Riverside

FAIRPORT CONVENTION play the Sage Gateshead

FROST* who will be appearing on Cruise to the Edge 2019 between the 4 and 9 February 2019

FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS play Nottingham Rock City on Feb 8

STEVE HACKETT takes part in the Yes Cruise to the Edge between 4-9 February 2019

HANSON ASIEDU plays at the Revival City Church, Mitcham on Saturday 19 January with support from Ché Sampson and Ogo Ajala

ROBB JOHNSON (with guests Daria Kulesh & Jonny Dyer) is kindly hosting a gig on February 7th at the Railway Roots Night at the Railway Inn, Portslade

KAISER CHIEFS play London’s Brixton Academy

KING KING play Bournemouth O2 Old Fire Station

LETZ ZEP play Vitoria in Spain

LITTLE RED KINGS will be sending messages on their socials on the day about Nordoff Robbins

LOST VOICE GUY winner of this year’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, will be performing at the Palace Theatre, Southend

NINEBARROW play North Ferriby Village Hall 

THE SMYTHS play in Adelaide

SPACE ELEVATOR play the Haven Club at the Bullingdon, Oxford on January 30

MARK STAY author and screenwriter has a signing session for his new book ‘The End Of Magic‘ which is published on 7 February, where he will donate £1 to Nordoff Robbins for every book signed or sold on the day

STONE BROKEN play Unit 51 in Aberdeen

THOSE DAMN CROWS play Unit 51 in Aberdeen

THUNDER play in Glasgow

YES headline their own cruise Cruise to the Edge 2019 between 4-9 February 2019

THE YOUNG ‘UNS play Middlesbrough on February 8

Just Giving page is here if you’d kindly like to donate and support the work of Nordoff Robbins