iCon Trilogy re-released with bonus tracks – out now

The John Wetton Estate and Geoffrey Downes are pleased to announce the re-release of the iCon Trilogy of albums, now remastered with bonus tracks in six panel digipacks.

The re-releases have been personally overseen by Geoff Downes and are intended to be a return to the marketplace of individual albums for fans who may wish to purchase a definitive edition.

Of his song-writing relationship and the formation of iCon, Geoff Downes says, “Throughout my entire career, there is no doubt in my mind, that some of my proudest achievements have been the songs that I wrote with the late John Wetton. Not only were we great friends, but also blood brothers in the song-writing department. His magic rubbed off on me immensely, and outside of the hugely successful Asia template, we decided to step out together with our Icon project. It was a ‘bromance’ made in heaven, because here we had the chance to expand our innermost thoughts and variety of influences, without interference. It was effectively ‘us’. We also had the luxury of working with some of the finest musicians in the world who were willing participants in the project.”

For fans of the whole iCon legacy, a box set is being planned out featuring these albums and all the other recordings of the iCon duo, including previously unreleased material.

Geoff Downes continues,“The Wetton Downes Icon catalogue spans across some 4 studio albums, this trilogy plus a prequel album called Zero and various live releases, and incorporates some of our greatest collaborations I firmly believe, and I am happy to impart the news that this entire body of work is being re-released with all of the bonus tracks and some previously unheard renditions of our classic songs. It is in fact Icon in its entirety. If you appreciate the music of John & I, then I sincerely hope you will appreciate these re-issues. Please sit back and enjoy. I know John would be equally proud to see these projects back on the market. All of these recordings mark special periods in our personal and creative lives.  

“’Icon 1′ was the foundation of the Asia reunion. ‘Rubicon’ is thronged with the mysticism, symbolism and multi layers that illuminate John’s lyrical prowess, virtually unrivaled in any era of creativity. John married events occurring in both our personal lives with Classical events in Roman History, crossing the Rubicon, the die is cast and some intensely personal reflections. His vocal performance is astounding. I look forward to discussing this amazing period in our lives at greater length in the box set planned for Christmas 2019.

“’Icon 3′ was a further milestone for us, with Dave Kilminster reuniting with John, a Japanese tour and possibly the most fulfilling DVD I have ever been involved in, Urban Psalm, filmed in St Mary Le Bow Church. I could reflect for hours and hours, take up the entire booklet, but for now…May our music live on forever.”

The albums are OUT NOW on the duo’s own Epicon Records via Cherry Red.

To purchase John Wetton & Geoff Downes iCon Zero:

iCon: http://geni.us/iCon1
iCon II Rubicon: http://geni.us/iCon2
iCon 3: http://geni.us/iCon3

A previous re-release of the Wetton/Downes recordings of the 1980s, re-vitalised and re-packaged as iCon Zero continues to be available on Amazon (http://geni.us/icon0) and iTunes (http://geni.us/icon0dig).

Official Websites: www.johnwetton.com and www.geoffdownes.com

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BAD TOUCH SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH MARSHALL RECORDS

BAD TOUCH ANNOUNCE ‘SHAKE A LEG’ OCTOBER 2018 UK TOUR

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS AARON BUCHANAN & THE CULT CLASSICS AND DAXX & ROXANNE

Bad Touch are pleased to announce they have signed a worldwide album deal with Marshall Records. Their new album, “Shake A Leg”, will be released on Friday 5th October 2018. The band will support the release with their “Shake A Leg” 18-date UK headline tour that starts on Wednesday 14th October at Newcastle University Union.

Planet Rock will start a 48-hour ticket pre-sale for the tour on Wednesday 20th June via www.planetrocktickets.co.uk. Tickets will then go on sale to the general public on Friday 22nd June from www.badtouchrocks.co.uk/gigs-tours and www.seetickets.com.

The band’s highly anticipated third album, “Shake A Leg”, was recorded in their home county of Norfolk at Orange Tree Studios. Engineered, produced and mixed by Andy Hodgson, the new album follows the critically acclaimed 2016 release “Truth Be Told” which featured the rock radio hit “99%”.

“Shake A Leg” takes a more personal and ambitious approach in song-writing and production due to the bands choice to write more spontaneously within the studio itself resulting in more emotional ‘in-the-moment’ performances. The new album features hand-picked songs that originate from a collective of all the members influences which they proudly wear on their sleeve.

BAD TOUCH – ‘SHAKE A LEG’ OCTOBER 2018 UK TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS AARON BUCHANAN & THE CULT CLASSICS AND DAXX & ROXANNE

TICKETS: www.planetrocktickets.co.uk

Newcastle, University Union     Wednesday 17 October

Glasgow, Classic Grand                 Thursday 18 October

Inverness, Ironworks                     Friday 19 October

Edinburgh, Bannerman’s              Saturday 20 October

Manchester, Academy 3               Wednesday 31 October

Derby, The Flowerpot                   Thursday 1 November

Hull, Früit                                           Friday 2 November

Sheffield, Corporation                  Saturday 3 November

Leeds, The Wardrobe                    Monday 5 November

Stockton-on-Tees, ARC                 Tuesday 6 November

Stoke-On-Trent, Eleven                Thursday 8 November

Norwich, The Waterfront            Friday 9 November

London, ULU Live                            Saturday 10 November

Southampton, The 1865                Thursday 15 November

Bridgewater, Cobblestones        Friday 16 November

Saltash, Livewire                             Saturday 17 November

Oxford, The Bullingdon                Sunday 18 November

Wolverhampton, The Robin 2    Monday 19 November

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA new song ‘Lovers In The Rain’

After taking the world of rock music by storm with last year’s surprise hit Amber Galactic (which was also nominated for a Swedish Grammy in the process), and leaving people speechless after a breath-taking first European tour in November/December, Swedish classic/progressive rock supergroup THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA have announced the release of their impatiently awaited next album, Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough – out June 29th via Nuclear Blast.

Today, they are releasing the second single off the upcoming album, entitled ‘Lovers in the Rain’. It’s accompanied by an animated music video, which you can watch here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7zcmpdg0so&t=140s

ICYMI, you can watch the video for the first single, ‘This Time‘, here: https://youtu.be/9QdHI0if_xk
Pre-order the album here in a variety of formats: http://nblast.de/TNFOWorldAintEnough

Just like 2017’s Amber Galactic the album will feature two different cover artworks for the regular and limited edition versions.

The album is set for release on June 29, 2018 via Nuclear Blast and will contain 12 brand new songs. The limited first edition digipack CD as well as the vinyl will also feature an exclusive bonus track. The Japanese version will also feature an additional bonus track.

Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough
01. This Time
02. Turn To Miami
03. Paralyzed
04. Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough
05. Moments Of Thunder
06. Speedwagon
07. Lovers In The Rain
08. Can’t Be That Bad
09. Pretty Thing Closing In
10. Barcelona
11. Winged And Serpentine
12. The Last Of The Independent Romantics
Limited edition digipack CD & Vinyl bonus track
13. Marjorie
Japanese Bonus Track
14. Pacific Priestess

Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough was again produced by the band themselves and was recorded at Handsome Hard Music / Larsson Music Studio as well as Nordic Sound Lab in Skara, Sweden. Mixing duties were taken on by the band’s guitarist/percussionist Sebastian Forslund and mastering was done by Thomas ”Plec” Johansson at The Panic Room.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA
– Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough –
European Tour 2018
+ Special Guests BLACK MIRRORS

01.11. SE Malmö KB*
02.11. DE Weissenhäuser Strand METAL HAMMER PARADISE*
03.11. SE Skövde Skövde in Rock*
08.11. SE Stockholm Kägelbanan*
10.11. SE Göteborg Sticky Fingers*
11.11. NO Oslo John Dee*
16.11. FI Helsinki On The Rocks*
23.11. DE Cologne Luxor
24.11. DE Osnabrück Rosenhof
25.11. NL Zoetermeer Boerderij
26.11. NL Arnhem Willemeen
27.11. BE Vosselaar Biebob
28.11. FR Nantes Le Ferrailleur
30.11. UK London Underworld
01.12. FR Paris Petit Bain
02.12. FR Toulouse Le Rex
03.12. ES Madrid Caracol
04.12. ES Barcelona Bóveda
05.12. FR Lýon Warmaudio
06.12. IT Milano Legend Club
08.12. CH Zurich Dynamo
09.12. DE Mannheim MS Connection
10.12. AT Salzburg Rockhouse
11.12. HU Budapest A38
12.12. AT Vienna Szene
13.12. AT Graz Dom im Berg
14.12. DE Munich Backstage
15.12. CZ Prague Nova Chmelnice
16.12. DE Nürnberg Hirsch
17.12. DE Saarbrücken Garage
18.12. DE Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal
19.12. DE Berlin Bi Nuu
20.12. DE Jena F-Haus
21.12. DE Dresden Eventwerk Studio
22.12. DE Bochum Matrix
* = without BLACK MIRRORS

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA members:
Björn Strid – vocals
Sharlee D’ Angelo – bass
David Andersson – guitars
Richard Larsson – keyboards
Jonas Källsbäck – drums
Sebastian Forslund – guitars, percussion

www.facebook.com/thenightflightorchestraofficial | www.nuclearblast.de/thenightflightorchestra

SKERRYVORE new album ‘Evo’

Highly recommended album and you can read my review here

Skerryvore, one of Scotland’s finest musical exports, are gearing up to release their sixth studio album this weekend.

The multi award-winning eight piece male line-up, firm favourites on the festival scene, will launch Evo at their own signature festival, Oban Live, on Saturday June 9th just days before its official June 11 release on the Tyree Records label.

Skerryvore

Full of their trademark fusion of folk, trad, rock and Americana this heady brew of musicians hails from all corners of Scotland, each one bringing something different to the mix. Glasgow-based, Livingston-born lead singer and guitarist Alec Dalglish has penned five new songs that contrast with the belting tunes spread liberally across the 11 track release.

As with the definition of Evo, Skerryvore – named after a remote reef in western Scotland – have stealthily evolved their driving Celt-rock sound over the past 12 years. Formed in 2005 by Isle of Tiree-born Gillespie brothers Daniel (accordion) and Martin (Highland bagpipes), the band now boasts newest member Scott Wood on pipes and whistles, Ayrshire’s Craig Espie (fiddle) and Alan Scobie (keys), Aberdeenshire’s Jodie Bremaneson on bass and West Lothian’s Fraser West (drums).

No blade of grass stands a chance of growing under the feet of this energetic line-up. Twice winners of Scotland’s Traditional Music Awards coveted ‘Live Act of the Year’ (2016 and 2011) their upward trajectory has taken them from a small Hebridean island on a global journey often away from the well-trodden gig circuit for prestigious milestone performances in New York’s Central Park, at the Ryder Cup in Louisville and the Shanghai Expo, China.

Recorded at the renowned Castlesound Studios in East Lothian and Carriage House Studios in Conneticut, Evo is instantly engaging. An expectant drone kicks in for the haunting tour de force opening number – Martin Gillespie’s tongue-in-cheek tune The Exorcists, triggered by the band’s exorcising of spirits of a different kind from promoter Gordon MacKenzie’s Oman home in his absence. Mackenzie remarked: “If you want spirits removed from your house, call in the Skerries!” It segues into Scott Wood’s tune Donnie’s.

Opening at full throttle with that big emphatic sound of thundering drums and pipes, as rich as a Scottish single malt, it lays down the gauntlet for this captivating album that for 45 minutes draws you into another world that is vibrant and emotive in equal measures.

Dalglish’s songs start with At the End of the Line, with its opening keyboard refrain. With his engaging, clear voice he ponders the global touring shuttle “4000 miles in the sky till the wheels hit the ground” and the location of Paradise and concludes it is “where your people are”, totally changing the mood created in the opening number.

And this is what Skerryvore is so good at – migrating from the big blast numbers to the heartfelt reflective tracks.

Dalglish has these songs down to a fine art, from the infectious Hold On to the hopefulness of Waiting on the Sun and the catchy mainstream-nudging love song Take My Hand, released as a single.

Another stand out number is his life-affirming Live Forever, a remixed version of the original song recorded in Conneticut. It provided the soundtrack for Scottish Tourism’s ‘Wild About Argyll’ campaign and hit No 1 in the iTunes World music chart last year, followed by a 70-date Live Forever tour of UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark, The Netherlands and USA.

Craig Espie’s Mile High tune set apparently recalls his fainting episode on board a flight home from Spain, with little sympathy from his bandmates. But there’s nothing light-headed about this number which is fast and furious -Mile High Header being followed by the aptly-titled Momentum, with the pipes let loose.

Elsewhere there are covers of the late Aberdeenshire piper-composer Gordon Duncan’s lively and intricate tune Trip to Modera and Glaswegian songwriter Alex Wayt’s rocky song Borderline.

Soraidh Slan, a slow, respectful air composed and performed by Martin Gillespie, is the poignant penultimate track – a farewell to loved ones lost in 2017 before The Rise, also written by Martin, ends on an optimistic, upbeat note with all musicians at full pelt to bring the music full circle.

Skerryvore marked their 10th anniversary in 2016 with a “Decade” concert at Mossfield Stadium, Oban, selling 3,000 tickets in 90 minutes. The capacity was increased and 6,000 visitors enjoyed the event with guests including Dougie MacLean and Ireland’s Sharon Shannon.

Image result for oban Live logoIts success led to the creation of the band’s own annual festival Oban Live that has now attracted over 10,000 festivalgoers and become the biggest live music event in Argyll and Bute. The 2018 event (June 8 & 9) will witness the launch of Evo. http://obanlive.com/

This year sees Skerryvore embarking on another world tour that will include a headline performance at the famous Tonder Festival in Denmark and a date at the Brooklyn Bowl. In the UK they will be appearing at festivals including Shrewsbury, Wychwood and Moonbeams.

Classy and confident, this tight, talented line-up continue to set the bar high. Skerryvore -The Evolution – continues.

http://skerryvore.com/

ELO ‘Secret Messages’ vinyl only re-issue plus six added songs

The secret messages are calling to me endlessly
They call to me across the air
The messages across the atmosphere
They whisper in your ear, they’re calling everywhere…

Today, June 5, marks the 35th anniversary of Secret Messages. To celebrate, here’s a “secret message”:

For the first time ever, ELO’s Secret Messages will be released as a double album on August 3rd! This 2LP release adds six tracks to its running order, all with cutting-edge synthesizers and up-front guitar mastery. Listen as Jeff Lynne’s eclectic creation of self-written, self-produced songs come to life as originally conceived in 1983.

Pre-order here: https://lnk.to/SecretMessages

Note: This is a vinyl LP release. It will go up on streaming services on release day.

New music – STEVE HILL, SIMON KENT, CANSHAKER PI & ANDREW WK

The one man blues rock band Steve Hill has a new live album out, ‘The One Man Blues Rock Band’. Crank it up loud! Love the way he plays the cymbals with the end of his guitar…

If you like a little bit of mellow pop rock Simon Kent’s latest album ‘In Another Life’ is well worth a listen…

Got to love a bit of Andrew WK and what a powerful and uplifting tune. Enjoy!

Not overly taken by Canshaker PI, however if a little indie rock (like the Pixies at times) is your thing their new album ‘Naughty Naughty Violence’ is out this month…

New music…BIRD PEN, WEEZER & EMPIRE CIRCUS

Southampton based alt/prog rock duo BirdPen will release their new studio album, ‘There’s Something Wrong With Everything’, in the early autumn. It is preceded by a single, ‘This Is Your Life’, a synth led tune which you can hear below…

Weezer nail a superb cover of Toto’s ‘Africa’

Plenty of good music out there and really looking forward to hearing more from Empire Circus, who have just released a new song ‘A Day In The Life Of A Superhero’ with a new album due later this year.