Cool Britannia festival

Feeder and Razorlight have been confirmed to play the new music festival Cool Britannia. The festival will take place at Knebworth — the stately home of rock – from Friday 31st August–Sunday 2nd September.


The bands join the stellar line-up including headliners Happy Mondays and Ocean Colour Scene as well as supporting artists Embrace, The Lightning Seeds, Peter Hook & The Light, Cast, Heather Small, Dodgy, Space, Toploader and The South on the main stage.

The festival will also see the premier of ‘Britpop Classical’ which will feature a full orchestra together with rock band and guest soloists including The Farm’s Peter Hooton, Republica’s Saffron and Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, with others to be announced, performing unique versions of Britpop classics.

Cool Britannia has also teamed up with the legendary Ministry of Sound. Housed in the Big Top, they will feature some of the best club DJs of the era including Todd Terry, Brandon Block, Jazzie B and Alfredo.

Outside the rocking arena, Cool Britannia will be tending to the needs of rock & dance music fans with camping, glamping, street food, themed bars, street entertainers, funfairs, kid-zone, fireworks, trade stands, karaoke and much more.

Tickets are on sale via the official festival website


Fifty Gigs In A Day – tomorrow 8 February :)

The idea started back in May last year when I was thinking of how to celebrate turning fifty and raise some money for charity. I wanted to involve my love of music, but not do another gig like I did for my fortieth as that has special memories and I doubt it would be topped. So by harnessing the modern age of social media Fifty Gigs was born! I am very grateful to all the artists taking place, be they performing live and/or posting on social media. Please do support them where you can and if you are going to a one of the gigs below do get in touch as would love to hear from you and about the gig.

Online now is Michael Armstrong’s re-recording of Love Affair’s ‘Everlasting Love’, which was number one on 8 February 1968. You can have a sneak preview below before it goes live at the weekend…

Everlasting Love (2018) –

Award yourself bonus points if you were at any of the live events shown in the video – I was at Hyde Park to see Jeff Lynne’s ELO 🙂

From the Darker My Horizon

On Thursday 8th February at 8pm (UK time) we are streaming a live acoustic performance by Paul Stead from our official The Darker my Horizon Facebook page.

It’s for the Nordoff Robbins charity.


It’s free to watch, and your support – and knowing you are tuned in – would mean the world to us.

Paul will be playing songs from #Acquiesce, #NoSuperhero and#PhoenixVol1.

Watching & interacting would be extremely cool of you, but if you could donate just a couple of £€$ to the cause as your concert ticket price we’d be extremely grateful, as would Nordoff Robins. Thank you kindly. #TDmHfamily#NordoffRobbins

The gigs –

8 February 2018

Cruise to the Edge (3-8 Feb) featuring Yes, Steve Hackett, Marillion, Moon Safari & Lifesigns – all kindly plugging the work of Nordoff Robbins on 8 February

Accept – KOKO London

Bill Bailey – Victoria Hall, Hanley (also on the 7 February)

Black Moth – Boston Music Room, London

Ed Byrne – Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

The Darker My Horizon – live Facebook gig

Dorja – The Lounge, London

Erasure – Manchester Apollo *SOLD OUT*

Fairport Convention – Gala Theatre, Durham

Fisherman’s Friends – Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Half Man, Half Biscuit – Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton

Richard Herring – Chorley Little Theatre

King’s Singers – Theaterhaus, Stuttgart, Germany

Will Lawton – Grapevine, Norwich Guildhall

Mama playing the music of Genesis – The Cavern Club, Liverpool

Eddi Reader – Hawk’s Well theatre, Ireland

Josh Smith – Under the Bridge, Chelsea FC

Tannahill Weavers – Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

Rufus Wainwright – Walt Disney Theater, Dr Phillips Center, Orlando

Adam Wakeman & Damian Wilson – Falmouth on Feb 9

Dan Walsh – 4th Wall, New Plymouth, New Zealand 7:30pm

9 February 2018

India Electric Co – The Greytones, Sheffield

The Jive Aces – Princes Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea

Massive Wagons – Rockmantic weekend in Carlisle

John Coughlan’s Quo – Sub 89, Reading

10 February 2018

Josh Taerk – Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta

Fifty Gigs In A Day: MICHAEL ARMSTRONG’s cover of ‘Everlasting Love’

The track is brilliantly performed and recorded by Michael Armstrong and Warren Bennett and is a fab cover of Love Affair’s No. 1 hit of 50 years ago this month, namely ‘Everlasting Love’, especially recorded for #50GigsInADay for #NordoffRobbins #MusicTherapy. Bonus points if you attended any of the fifty events mentioned in the video…


Up and coming singer songwriter Alex James Brierley is kindly supporting Fifty Gigs with social media posts on the day. His new EP ‘Listen’ is reviewed here.

Here Is The News…040118 Toto, Voodoo Vegas, Robin George

I did say these news updates would be weekly(ish), however so much good music coming our way, including this new song from Toto, from their upcoming best of ’40 Trips Around the Sun’ due out in February…

Axe are back with a new album ‘The Last Offering’ in the summer via Escape Music.

Voodoo Vegas are working on their third album for release later this year and Robin George has a blues rock flavoured album ready to go very soon.

Five Grand Stereo release their new album ‘Sex & Money’ on 26 January – highly recommended album for lovers of power pop.

In a recent interview with ‘Classic Rock’ magazine Carl Palmer said there would be news on a new Asia line-up. Following the sad death of John Wetton in January last year, Yes bassist Billy Sherwood covered the band’s US dates, although he may be unlikely to be a full-time member. Geoff Downes will doubtless be involved and possibly guitarist Sam Coulson. Meanwhile, former Asia member John Payne has a new album out in February with Erik Norlander under the moniker Dukes of the Orient.


Here Is The News…030118

Danger Danger guitarist Rob Marcello has joined the Poodles, replacing Henrik Bergqvist. The band release a covers album later this month.

Deep Purple’s Don Airey has a new album due this spring via earMUSIC.

Credo are planning to complete their new studio album for release this year, along with live dates. Vocalist Mark Colton’s previous band Casual Affair are reforming for Danfest which takes place in the autumn.

John Otway tour dates – he is well worth seeing…

Jan 05 Norwich Arts Centre Norwich, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Jan 21 The Greystones Sheffield, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Feb 03 CLUB 85 Hitchin, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Feb 16 Marr’s Bar Worcester, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Feb 22 Hare & Hounds Birmingham, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Feb 23 The Borderline London, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Mar 02 The Flowerpot Derby, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Mar 04 The Moon Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Mar 11 The Tea Tray Portsmouth, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Mar 16 The Maze Nottingham, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Mar 24 Gullivers Manchester, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Mar 29 Mirth, Marvel & Maud London, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Apr 14 The Continental Preston, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Jun 14 The Horn St. Albans, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Dec 06 Old Cinema Launderette Durham, United Kingdom Tickets & More
Dec 08 The Citadel St Helens, United Kingdom

Here Is The News…010118

Back in 2002 I used to run a Yahoo Group the Classic Rock Newswire, a daily summary of rock news. Now I am doing something similar to draw together news from bands/musicians I like and using the title of the classic ELO song for a name for it. Not overly original but hey… It will be occasional this time around, not daily!

First off happy new year 🙂

Andy Poole is leaving Big Big Train. The band will continue with the 7-piece line-up of D’Virgilio / Gregory / Hall / Longdon / Manners / Sjöblom / Spawton alongside our brass band. An 8th Train will join us for live work. We will announce a UK warm-up gig ahead of the Loreley show soon.

The Darker My Horizon release a five song EP ‘Phoenix’ later this month. It features four re-recorded songs from Sacred Heart (the band Paul Stead and Mark Stephenson were in before TDHM), plus a cover of ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’.

Voodoo Vegas start work on their third studio album due for release later this year.

The artist formerly known as Holmes (now called Roy) has a rather good new EP out.

The ever busy Tim Arnold has another new release coming soon… Sounds To Pictures, Volume Two: