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!

Fifty Gigs In A Day…Bread Over Bombs

Really pleased that Brad Mitchell and Bread Over Bombs are supporting Fifty Gigs In A Day. They not only make catchy, thought provoking music but help food banks in their native Los Angeles & other cities and are very charitable souls.

Fifty Gigs In A Day

UK tour dates:

30 June / Green Room / Perth
02 July / Keynsham Music Festival /Bristol
07 July / Clutha Bar / Glasgow
10 July / The Cavern Club / Liverpool
12th July / Hope and Anchor/ London

PictureHouse to release summer hit “Sunburst” this July

PictureHouse have announced plans to release their smash hit single “Sunburst” internationally on their PHRC label in the summer of 2017.

For two years in a row this summer song was the most played song on Irish radio, used in a national TV advertising campaign for a major retailer and was used in the soundtrack to a film. It propelled the band to stardom and brought them on tours with the likes of The Corrs, Meatloaf, The Divine Comedy, Mel C from Spice Girls, Texas, Ronan Keating, their own tours and festivals which saw them headline Dublin’s Big Day Out in Marley Park to 35,000 people.

A dispute with their then record company ultimately contributed to the band breaking up, meaning the track never got released properly in the UK. They reformed, releasing 2014’s “Evolution” (which spawned the hit single “Rules of Science” which was playlisted on BBC Radio 2 as well as countless other stations across Europe.)

PictureHouse have now digitally remastered a number of their songs in a package that’s not meant to be a greatest hits – but instead be a “best bits” including some previously unreleased material. The record is called “How Can I Explain How This Came To Be?” and is due for release in August 2017. More details to follow.

The band hope to confirm a tour in Winter 2017.

Gig review: BOOTLEG BEATLES – Royal Albert Hall, 1 June 2017

The Bootleg Beatles were performing tonight with the Liverpool Philharmonic to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic albums of all time, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The sold out Royal Albert Hall provides a suitably grandiose setting for the evening.

The poet Roger McGough started the evening off with a potted history of the Beatles and their musical influences which led up to the making of the album. Of course Roger McGough is no stranger himself to the pop charts having been a member of the Scaffold (who also featured Paul McCartney’s brother Mike in their ranks). He had an easy storytelling style adding in a few one liners and some of his poetry.

The Bootleg Beatles have been touring since 1980 and feature none of the original members – perhaps that makes them a tribute act of themselves?!

Having a full orchestra was a master stroke as they played a series of snippets from songs that influenced the Beatles. After this the Bootleg Beatles took to the stage, each one dressed as the Beatles appeared on the album cover. Strange to think that for such a classic album the original band never performed it live.

Read the full review here

JOCASTA – NO COINCIDENCE – TIM ARNOLD’S LOST ALBUM

Before the release of his 16th album ‘I Am for You’ this autumn, UK solo artist Tim Arnold will re-release his first album: Jocasta – No Coincidence. The album was produced by Bruce Lampcov (Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Peter Gabriel) with all music, lyrics and string arrangements by Arnold, featuring The London Symphony Orchestra.  Whilst the band only performed live as a four piece, the album became a sonic canvas for the creative ideas Arnold had been developing since he was 17 and has continued to explore ever since as a solo artist.  Last year, Iggy Pop compared Arnold’s recent work to David Bowie.  

After a string of hit singles in the ‘90s, Jocasta were dropped by Sony on the day the album was released.  ‘No Coincidence’ remains one of the only albums released by Sony during that period not to have been added to iTunes or any other digital platforms for download or streaming, and never before released in North America. The album is now available for the first time in 20 years.

NME’s Roger Morton wrote of Jocasta in 1996:

‘Jocasta pour molten American rock guitar over peaking, clever-clever Anglo pop tunes, forging the kind of deep-grooved, glider high, everyman/woman heart-burst pop songs that everyone forgot existed.  Like a Thom Yorke or a Billy Corgan, Arnold is at the helm of a distended, inflated, killer melody machine, robust enough to skim right across the Atlantic and bed in deep’

Q Magazine’s Nick Duerden wrote of No Coincidence in 1997:

“Fronted by Tim Arnold, this is a highly impressive debut whose breadth of vision suggests an ambition not easily sated”

‘No Coincidence’ will be released through TA Music on 2nd June 2017 – exactly 20 years to the day of the original release. The album is accompanied by a video for opening song ‘Laughing’.

The video places Arnold’s song about the British parliamentary system (written in 1995) onto an apocalyptic take on the special relationship between Theresa May and Donald Trump.

The Rockin’ Chair forum now open :)

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