1 CATS IN SPACE Scarecrow
Their debut was pretty damn fine, so high expectations and they delivered! A marvellous mix of 70s’ rock, pomp, pop and more melodies than you can shake a stick at.
2 THRESHOLD Legends of the Shires
Returning vocalist Glynn Morgan helps the band to make one of the finest albums to date. A real return to form.
3 LONELY ROBOT The Big Dream
Part two of the trilogy and another fine set of musical adventures. No name guests this time as John Mitchell does it all bar the drums and some backing vocals.
4 BOULEVARD IV
Finally we get a new album from Boulevard. Fantastic tunes and production, deserves a place in every melodic rock/AOR fans collection.
5 THE YOUNG ‘UNS Strangers
Folk acapella from this talented three piece. Each song is based on a true story and the songs are all positive and uplifting.
6 STEVE WALSH Black Butterfly former Kansas vocalist returns with an album chock full of melodic rock treats.
7 SONS OF APOLLO supergroup featuring Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinan and Billy Sheenhan. Fantastic joining of music talents and the music lives up to expectations.
8 LIONHEART only 20 odd years since their last album…with Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on vocals, Lionheart deserve a place in any melodic rock fans collection.
9 IT Home thought provoking and timely progressive rock backed by oodles of melody.
10= H.E.A.T. Into The Great Unknown they have changed their sound a bit which may upset some fans, but for me they are heading onwards and upwards.
10= PUGWASH Silverlake the power pop album of the year. If you like ELO, Duckworth Lewis grab a copy of this.
10= BARENAKED LADIES Fake Nudes another set of memorable melodies and lyrics that don’t always take themselves too seriously…
HAREM SCAREM United they keep on churning out classy melodic hard rock and long may that continue.
THE BITERS plenty of retro on this one, with the T Rex sounding songs
JEFF SCOTT SOTO Retribution not as instant but stick with it
BIGFOOT one of the debuts of the year. Modern hard rock and the singer doesn’t half sound like Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn at times!
THE NIGHTS more classy Scandi melodic rock with hook filled choruses big enough to land a whale.
THE NEW ROSES One More For The Road good time hard rock, no frills and plenty of riffs.
NIGHT RANGER Don’t Let Up they show no sign of letting up quality wise, another ‘must have’ for fans.
DANKO JONES Wild Cat if you like 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy and foot tapping tunes look no further.
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Amber Galactic like Brother Firetribe their ‘day bands’ are heavy yet here they show their love of 80’s melodic rock and AOR.
Fellow GRTR! reviewers choices can be found here
Delighted that progressive band IT will be involved. Do check out their debut album released earlier this year, well worth a listen and they are currently lining-up gigs for the end of February. Also IT’s record label Progressive Gears are kindly donating some signed items for eBay auction to raise funds for the Nordoff Robbins charity.
Second time seeing the Darker My Horizon this year and like February’s gig, again at the Acoustic Couch in Bracknell. Joining the core duo of Paul Stead and guitarist Mark Stephenson are drummer Steve Hauxwell (ex-Marshall Law/Winter In Eden) and bass player Paul Hamilton, who was in a previous line-up of Sacred Heart with Paul and Mark.
A nice, up-tempo and hard rocking set for a Saturday night, with a little acoustic interlude from Paul Stead as the support band never materialised. Plenty of riffs to be had in ‘Perfect’, ‘No Superhero Part 1’ and ‘Closure’, and it is always good to hear ‘Dear Olivia’ played live.
The new boys slotted nicely into the band’s sound, a steady bass from Paul Hamilton and as for drummer Steve Hauxwell, he had the flash and style more associated with American drummers like Eric Singer and Tommy Aldridge. Impressive to watch and a great addition to TDMH.
Two new songs were aired from the band’s new album ‘Seize The Day’ due next year – ‘Carpe Diem’ in acoustic mode and ‘Sleaze’, a nice and loud hard rocking tune. Bryan Adams’s ‘Summer Of 69’ was given an enthusiastic run through and the other cover as Bob Dylan’s ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ (popularised by Guns ‘N’ Roses), which will form part of an EP ‘Phoenix’ due out in January. The other songs on the EP are re-workings of Sacred Herat songs with this new line-up.
Honoured to have legendary hard rockers Y&T involved and they are kindly donating some signed items for an eBay auction to raise funds for the Nordoff Robbins charity.
You can find out more about Y&T here
Jan 06, 2018 Grand Theatre Center for the Arts Tracy, CA
Jan 19, 2018 Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts Fresno, CA
Jan 20, 2018 The Catalyst Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 26, 2018 Vamp’d Las Vegas, NV
Jan 27, 2018 Club Red Mesa, AZ
Jan 28, 2018 Club XS Tucson, AZ
Feb 01, 2018 Proof Rooftop Lounge Houston, TX
Feb 02, 2018 3Ten @ ACL Live Austin, TX
Feb 03, 2018 Gas Monkey Dallas, TX
Feb 06, 2018 New Daisy Theatre Memphis, TN
Feb 07, 2018 Mercy Lounge Nashville, TN
Feb 11, 2018 Monsters of Rock Cruise Miami, FL
Feb 18, 2018 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC
Feb 20, 2018 Sellersville Theater Sellersville, PA
Feb 21, 2018 BB King Blues Club New York, NY
Feb 23, 2018 The Chance Theater Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 24, 2018 Tupelo Music Hall Derry, NH
Feb 27, 2018 Jergel’s Rhythm Grille Warrendale, PA
Mar 01, 2018 Agora Ballroom Cleveland, OH
Mar 02, 2018 The Machine Shop Flint, MI
Mar 03, 2018 Arcada Theatre Saint Charles, IL
Mar 06, 2018 Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI
Mar 08, 2018 VooDoo Lounge @ Harrah’s Kansas City, MO
Mar 10, 2018 The Black Sheep Colorado Springs, CO
Mar 13, 2018 Liquid joe’s Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 16, 2018 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
Mar 17, 2018 Rogue Theatre Grants Pass, OR
Apr 13, 2018 Cargo Concert Hall Reno, NV
Apr 14, 2018 Thunder Valley Casino Resort Lincoln, CA
Apr 19, 2018 The Rose Pasadena, CA
Apr 20, 2018 The Canyon Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, CA
Apr 21, 2018 THE COACH HOUSE San Juan Capistrano, CA
Apr 22, 2018 The Canyon Agoura Hills, CA
Delighted to add pianist/singer Will Lawton who is kindly supporting Fifty Gigs In A Day and plays in Norwich on February 8 next year. Do check out his music, the Led Zeppelin classic below is rather good.
Jan 20 Sat Will Lawton & Weasel Howlett LIVE @ Bristol Acoustic Music Festival
Jan 27 Sat Fossils Of The Mind Album Release @ Pound Arts Centre, Corsham
Feb 8 Thu Will Lawton & Weasel Howlett LIVE @ Grapevine, Norwich Guildhall
Mar 2 Fri Will Lawton & Weasel Howlett LIVE @ St James Wine Vaults, Bath
Three times Progressive Music Award winning band, Big Big Train, will be releasing their first Christmas single on December 8th 2017.
The single is called Merry Christmas and will be released on 8th December on 7-inch snow white vinyl (with a gatefold cover), digipack CD, high-resolution and standard-resolution download and streaming. The vinyl, CD and high-resolution download versions of the release will feature a ‘b’ side called Snowfalls.
The artwork for Merry Christmas has been painted by Sarah Louise Ewing and will also feature on a new range of Christmas cards.
A donation to the Night Stop homelessness charity will be made for every copy of the vinyl, CD, download and Christmas card sold.
Merry Christmas is available to pre-order now from the band’s official stores:
https://www.burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain/ (for vinyl and CD pre-orders)
http://www.themerchdesk.com (for vinyl, CD, Christmas cards and other merchandise)
Merry Christmas is also available to pre-order from Amazon, HMV and other good online and high-street record stores.
The high-resolution (24/96) download version of Merry Christmas will be available to buy on Big Big Train’s Bandcamp shop on the 8th December:
Big Big Train vocalist David Longdon says: ‘Merry Christmas is a song about rediscovering our childlike belief in the magic of Christmas, despite living in an over commercial and sometimes cynical world. After all, what wouldn’t you give to believe again, like you believed back then?’
Alongside Big Big Train’s full line-up which performed recently at the band’s three sold-out shows at Cadogan Hall in London, Merry Christmas features the beautiful singing of The Chapel Choir Choristers of Jesus College, Cambridge.
Bass player Greg Spawton: ‘We wanted Merry Christmas to be a proper Christmas song. Christmas music needs a choir, a brass band and, of course, sleigh bells’.
The promotional film for Merry Christmas features Mark Benton and will premiere on 1st December.
Andy, Danny, Dave, David, Greg, Nick, Rachel & Rikard