Albums of the Year 2017…to date!

I am going to keep a rolling top 10 – no more as otherwise I end up with at least a top 40! So up to June (and including Cats In Space’s ‘Scarecrow’ which I have ben luckily enough to have a promo for review) here are my top 10 albums of 2017 to date:

  1. CATS IN SPACE ‘Scarecrow’
  2. NIGHT RANGER ‘Don’t Let Up’ Frontiers
  3. BIG BIG TRAIN ‘Grimspound’
  4. NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA ‘Amber Galactic’ Nuclear Blast
  5. BITERS ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To be’ Earache Records
  6. HAREM SCAREM ‘United’ Frontiers
  7. ORDEN OGEN ‘Gunmen’ AFM Records
  8. DON BARNES ‘Ride The Storm’ MelodicRock Records
  9. LONELY ROBOT ‘The Big Dream’ Inside Out
  10. IT ‘We’re All In This Together’ Progressive Gears Records

I have yet to hear fully the new Styx and Cheap Trick albums which based on reviews could challenge for a top 10 spot once I have listened to them.

Fifty Gigs In A Day – TIM ARNOLD

Delighted to have the talented singer/songwriter Tim Arnold involved. He has a new album ‘I Am For You’ due out on August 4.

Fifty Gigs In A Day: ERASURE

Delighted to have Erasure support this fundraising idea and they will be sending a Tweet/Facebook post on the day of their sold out Manchester gig.

They have an extensive UK & European tour next year:

JANUARY 2018
29 – Dublin Olympia [TICKETS]
30 – Dublin Olympia [SOLD OUT]
31 – Dublin Olympia [SOLD OUT]

FEBRUARY 2018
2 – Dundee Caird Hall [SOLD OUT]
3 – Edinburgh Usher Hall [SOLD OUT]
4 – Newcastle City Hall [SOLD OUT]
6 – Liverpool Philharmonic [SOLD OUT]
7 – Hull City Hall [SOLD OUT]
8 – Manchester O2 Apollo [SOLD OUT]
10 – Cambridge Corn Exchange [SOLD OUT]
11 – Birmingham O2 Academy [SOLD OUT]
12 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall [SOLD OUT]
14 – Ipswich Regent [TICKETS]
15 – Southampton O2 Guildhall [SOLD OUT]
16 – Cardiff St David’s Hall [SOLD OUT]
18 – Aylesbury Friars Waterside Theatre [TICKETS]
19 – Brighton Dome [TICKETS]
20 – Guildford G Live [TICKETS]
22 – Norwich UEA [TICKETS]
23 – London Eventim Apollo [TICKETS]
24 – London Eventim Apollo [TICKETS]
27 – Cologne E-Werk [TICKETS]
28 – Hamburg Mehr Theater [TICKETS]

MARCH 2018
1 – Berlin Columbiahalle [TICKETS]
3 – Leipzig Haus Auensee [TICKETS]
4 – Munich Tonhalle [TICKETS]
5 – Frankfurt Batschkapp [TICKETS]
7 – Hanover Capitol [TICKETS]

 

GINGER WILDHEART solo shows & MUTATION gigs

Ginger Solo
Sat 24th June, Worcester Marrs Bar
Sat 15th July, Sheffield Leadmill, supporting The Levellers
Sat 19th August, London Union Chapel – Songs & Words

Mutation
To celebrate the release of Dark Black, the new album from Mutation, Ginger will be joined by Scott Lee Andrews (Exit_International) and Denzil (Ginger Wildheart Band, Young Legionnaire) to take the Mutation show out on it’s debut tour of the UK, in the following towns:
Fri 27th October, Leeds Brudenell Social Club (Tickets)
Sun 29th October, Manchester Deaf Institute (Tickets)
Mon 30th October, Glasgow Stereo (Tickets)
Tue 31st October, Newcastle Riverside (Tickets)
Wed 01st November, London Underworld (Tickets)
Thu 02nd November, Cardiff The Globe (Tickets)
Fri 03rd November, Brighton Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar (Tickets)
Mon 13th November, Osaka Fanj Twice
Tue 14th November, Nagoya Tight Rope
Wed 15th November, Tokyo O-Nest
Thu 16th November, Tokyo O-Nest

Hallowe’en Hootenanny
Sat 28th October, Wolverhampton Slade Rooms

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.