Category Archives: rock

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:
The Finsbury Pub (Finsbury, London) – 12th Feb:
West Street Live (Sheffield) – 20th Feb:
Dublin Castle (Camden, London) – 28th Feb:
Oakford Social Club (Reading) – 1st Mar: (EP launch show)



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 – 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:

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:

Music News – Original SURVIVOR vocalist DAVE BICKLER has confirmed a short run of UK dates in March

Original SURVIVOR vocalist DAVE BICKLER has confirmed a short run of UK dates in March. The voice of the worldwide hit ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ will play LONDON The Garage 11, BRISTOL Thekla 12, NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms 13, PRESTATYN HRH AOR 14.
Tickets on sale now here
CHROME MOLLY have been announced as Special Guests for all shows except Prestatyn.
In 2018 Dave Bickler released his long anticipated solo album Darklight on all digital platforms.The album has been a labour of love and his main focus for many years. Its release was accompanied by a simple statement which said “Remember, there’s no light without dark, and there’s more to light than meets the eye! Happy listening!”
As the original singer in the band Survivor, Dave Bickler had his biggest hit with the double platinum 1982 hit Eye of the Tiger, the theme song for the motion picture Rocky III. The song, which topped the US, British and Australian charts, became an international hit, selling millions of copies around the world.The song won Bickler and the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, was voted Best New Song by the People’s Choice Awards and received an Academy Award nomination.In subsequent years the song continues to be an influence, featuring in a variety of spheres including sporting events, electronic games such as Guitar Hero, and numerous Best of charts.
(Original SURVIVOR vocalist)
plus special guests
Chrome Molly
UK – MARCH 2019
11 LONDON, The Garage
12 BRISTOL, Thekla
13 NOTTINGAM, Rescue Rooms
* Dave Bickler only

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.

Music review – MAGNUM Live at the Symphony Hall


SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 18.01.19]

Magnum are one of the few bands I have seen live over ten times, mainly back in their commercial peak of the late 80’s and they always put on a good live show. This live double CD was recorded in their hometown of Birmingham, with Avantasia’s Tobias Samett reprising his duet with Bob Catley on ‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’. Also adding backing vocals at various stages throughout the night were Rebecca Downs and Lee Small (Lionheart/Shy/Phenomena).

The set list is a good mix of newer songs and Magnum classics such as ‘The Spirit’ and the finale ‘When The World Comes Down’. Bob Catley’s voice may sound a little huskier at times, notably on ‘All England’s Eyes’, however he still puts the emotion into his singing and you can imagine him doing his trademark hand movements throughout the gig! Keyboards player Rick Benton is firmly established now, adapting the keys parts on the epic ‘Don’t Wake The Lion’ and ‘How Far Jerusalem’. Drummer Lee Morris certainly adds some power to the drumming, fitting in nicely with Al Barrow’s steady bass lines. Great to hear ‘Vigilante’, although like any veteran band Magnum have the unenviable decision of what songs to leave out and still keep the fans happy. Personally I’d love to see ‘Back To Earth’ and ‘Changes’ given another live outing.

Magnum will always be one of my favorite bands, both live and on album, and it is heartening to see they show no signs of slowing down, indeed relative new boys Benton and Morris have given the band a real energy boost.