Monday, July 17, 2017

Bryan Adams rocks Inverness – live review, 16/7/17

Me outside the dressing room!

Bryan Adams rounded off his UK Get Up! Tour, with a sole Scottish date, in Bught Park Inverness. Thousands of fans rocked to a 2 hour set full of hits performed by Adams and his incredible 4-piece band, featuring legendary long-serving guitarist Keith Scott.

Kicking off the night however was Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Canadian singer-songwriter, who started the show well with his energetic approach and catchy material.
Star of the show was of course Mr Adams who fed the crowd hit after hit with his distinctive, glorious vocals, which sounded mighty good live! The talented Canadian opened with one of his newer tracks, Do What You Gotta Do, before getting to the brilliant Run To You and the lush piano that signified the start of Heaven, which had the whole park singing their hearts out.
Bryan Adams and Keith Scott rocking
Summer Of 69 had the place going mad too of course, with almost everyone filming on their phones at some point, before Adams delivered a marvellous acoustic version of When You’re Gone.

Adding brilliant melodies throughout the whole night, was the incredible guitarist Keith Scott. His iconic riffs and rhythms truly added to the unmistakeable tunes that the band were blasting out all night. Paired with a sound that would put many other professional bands to shame, the band really did create a night to remember.
I was very lucky to meet Bryan Adams!!
Bryan Adams also received great applause and respect from those in the crowd after halting the set mid-song twice in order to tell a security guard to go easy on a fan having fun.

The night was rounded off with the beautiful All For Love, which saw the whole of Bught Park lit up by a sea of smartphone torches held aloft – a truly magical scene.

All I can say is that the incredible Bryan Adams and his band played an amazing set packed full of classics and favourites which the whole crowd thoroughly enjoyed. A wonderful night from one of the most talented men in rock.
Myself and the incredibly talented Keith Scott!
I was lucky enough to spend some time backstage with Keith Scott before the show, check out my interview here. Look out for a surprise appearance from Bryan too!

Watch as Bryan Adams photobombs my Keith Scott interview !

I was delighted to meet another superb rock guitarist last night, when I had the pleasure of talking backstage with Keith Scott from Bryan Adams' band, ahead of their outdoor show in Inverness, Scotland (live review here). Creator of some of the most iconic guitar riffs and solos ever, see what Keith had to say - and watch out for his boss joining in the fun!

My huge thanks to Keith, Bryan and Cee for their help.      

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blink-182 storm into Aberdeen - Live review 12/7/17

Last night saw American punk-rock trio Blink-182 hit Aberdeen’s AECC.
Travis Barker
Opening the show were indie rockers, The Front Bottoms (I would have chosen a different name!) who after their short set won over the fair-sized crowd of Aberdonians. Next up was Frank Turner and his band The Sleeping Souls who, if I hadn’t known better, could have fooled me into believing they were the headliners. With Turner’s humorous banter and energetic performance, he certainly seemed to have the crowd on side (a lot of whom appeared to know the material), a great way to start the show.
Matt Skiba showed he has fitted in really well
With a curtain drop and an explosion of pyros, the headlining trio were revealed on stage. Playing a set of old and new material, Blink-182 began their brief show (which didn’t feel short due to the amount of material packed into it!) with Feeling This, before roaring through 18 more tracks to bring them to the encore! Marching back on stage, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba soaked up the warm applause from the crowd as they reached their biggest hit, All The Small Things. Despite most of the venue having sung along through the whole set, it was really this song which had everyone going wild. To finish the night, Barker’s young son Landon, completed an impressive drum solo warming the hearts of everyone.
Mark Hoppus
Having been with the band 2 years now, it was great to see that guitarist and vocalist, Matt Skiba seemed to have gelled nicely with the other 2 members. A great night of fiery pyros, wild singing and just straight-up punk rock music! 3 well-received bands and a night of fun.
Big thanks to the brilliant Dod Morrison for the photos. Check out his work here!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Amplified Festival set to rock Gloucestershire

I'm super excited to be heading down to Gloucestershire in just a couple of weeks for the brand new, family-friendly Amplified Festival (21-23 July). This looks like it's going to be a cracking event, with over 90 bands to see across the weekend! Headliners are Puddle Of Mudd on Friday, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons (ex Motorhead) on Saturday, with Reef closing the show on Sunday night. Some of the other acts that I'm also really looking forward to catching are VEGA, The Amorettes, Massive Wagons and Fragile Things (featuring Richie Hevanz, formerly of Heaven's Basement).

You can get tickets for the festival here, and if you buy a weekend ticket you'll go into the draw to win an amazing prize. The organisers have teamed up with Blade Harley-Davidson Cheltenham to give away a custom built Harley Davidson motorbike
The ‘Iron Man’ themed Sportster XL833N up for grabs
 I'm will be covering the festival and catching a few words with some of the artists, so keep an eye on the blog!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mason Hill - Now You See me (new video)

Here's a Friday treat for for you. Brilliant, young Scottish rockers Mason Hill, with their new single Now You See Me, their first since signing to the mighty Frontiers Records

I had the pleasure of first seeing these guys at the Winterstorm Festival in Troon, Scotland last year and they are something special. They went down so well, they've been asked back this year too.  You'll be hearing a lot more of these boys!


Monday, June 19, 2017

The Dead Daisies and The Amorettes storm Edinburgh

On June 12 just 650 lucky fans had the pleasure of seeing the incredible supergroup, The Dead Daisies at a packed venue in Edinburgh, for their only UK headlining club date of the year with special guests, all-girl trio The Amorettes
Doug, John and Marco of The Dead Daisies
Having embarked on their World Tour, The Daisies, consisting of vocalist John Corabi (Motley Crue), bassist Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), drummer Brian Tichy (Foreigner, Whitesnake) and guitarists, Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) and David Lowy (Mink), made a stop in Edinburgh following a brief set at the Download Festival the day before, to play for all of their British fans. Although The Daisies were the main attraction, opening the special night were Scottish, hard rockers The Amorettes. Gill, Hannah and Heather sure know how to rock a venue, as they roared through a set including opener, Stealing Thunder, the catchy, Let The Neighbours Call The Cops before finishing with, Hot N Heavy. Their brief set was went down well and these girls definitely knew how to warm up the crowd for the headliners!
Gill and Heather of The Amorettes rocking out!
It was then time for The Dead Daisies to take centre stage, and boy did they rock! Promoting their new album, ‘Live & Louder’, the guys opened with popular single, ‘Long Way To Go’ before launching into songs old and new including ‘Make Some Noise’ and the extremely popular, ‘Lock ‘N’ Load’, originally recorded with Slash of Guns ‘N’ Roses. The guys delivered a rockin’ set with shredding guitar riffs and solos that got everyone jumping, dancing and having a great time. From the salsa dance moves and groovy bass lines from Marco Mendoza, to Doug Aldrich’s tasty guitar solos, the crowd were in complete an utter awe of the musical legends.
I was lucky enough to hold Doug's famous guitar!
There were many smiles as people received drumsticks and guitar picks during and after the set, as both bands patiently signed autographs and posed for photos with their supportive fans. An amazing night, and a pleasure to witness the only Dead Daisies headline show in the UK, with some of the nicest people in rock. Two astounding acts, be sure to catch them if you can! Check out my exclusive video interviews with The Dead Daisies here and The Amorettes here, from before the show!
I just adore Marco! I spent some time with all of the guys pre-show which was a real treat.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Amorettes chat backstage, ahead of supporting the The Dead Daisies in Edinburgh - video exclusive

I caught up with fast rising Scottish rockers, The Amorettes in Edinburgh, just before they hit the stage for a brilliant set supporting The Dead Daisies. Watch what Gill, Heather and Hannah had to say about their next album, and why they are so looking forward to playing at Amplified, The Rock and Blues Custom Show and Rockingham this year. A big thanks to the band for talking with me, and their management for kindly arranging. Review of the show on its way!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Dead Daisies chat in Edinburgh about Download, playing in Scotland and drumsticks! Video exclusive

Sitting in a top hotel in Edinburgh, for an awesome chat with three of my favourite rockers - what more could I want! Check out my exclusive video chat with Marco Mendoza, David Lowy and Brian Tichy from the outstanding Dead Daisies, just before they hit the stage last night. Massive thanks to the guys and their excellent team for making this happen.

Check back for my review of their amazing show in Edinburgh soon!  

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Primal Scream's Simone Butler on her influences, touring, and the music biz - video exclusive

I was lucky enough to spend some time backstage at the Enjoy Music Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland with the wonderful Simone Butler, bass player with headliners Primal Scream. Speaking just after she came offstage, hear what Simone had to say about this new festival, her early influences, and just what it takes to get on in the music business. A huge thanks to Simone for taking the time to speak with me, and AVC Immedia for video production.
Simone onstage with the band at Enjoy Music 3/6/17 (pic courtesy Dod Morrison


Monday, June 05, 2017

Amplified Festival turns up the volume this Summer!

Amplified is packed with amazing acts!
This year is full of festivals, and another great one to add to the list is the brand new Amplified Festival in Gloucestershire, running 21st - 23rd July. This festival has a huge line-up and looks as though it's going to be amazing - headliners being Puddle Of Mudd, Reef, along with Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. I'm hoping to make it down for this one, and if I do, I know I'll also be looking forward to catching the likes of Vega, The Amorettes, Bad Touch and Fragile Things. There are going to be 4 stages and over 100 bands - do not miss this!

A great angle that the guys who have organised the event have, is the fact that there is no age limit! There are so many festivals around that seem to be 18+ and therefore prevent younger music lovers from attending. You should be encouraging the next generation of fans, not excluding us! So a big thanks to Amplified for making it a family-friendly event. Make sure you grab your tickets here!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

KISS/The Dives - live review, Hydro, Glasgow 27/5/17

From front row at Iron Maiden last week, on Sat night I was standing just a few rows back on the floor of The Hydro in Glasgow to see the mighty KISS!
Gene, Tommy and Paul rockin out!

Opening the show were power-pop rock band, The Dives, featuring talented vocalist and guitarist, Evan Stanley (son of Paul, from KISS). I question whether or not their sound really suited the occasion, but they certainly delivered a punchy set of original material, that pleased the crowd. 
Evan Stanley delivered some amazing vocals and guitar riffs!
Following the support act a humongous curtain bearing the iconic KISS logo was hung in front of the stage, until 9 o'clock when it dropped with a bang, as the headliners, of course dressed from head to toe in their highly impressive make-up and costumes, jumped right into Deuce, lead by bassist Gene Simmons. Next the band launched into Shout It Out Loud, before leading a touching minute's silence to honour the Manchester Arena victims.
The one and only Gene Simmons!
After tearing through 6 more songs, along with a bass and guitar solo, pyrotechnics left, right and centre and Gene spitting blood, fire and flying, the band eventually came to my personal favourite, Crazy Crazy Nights, which had the entire venue going wild!
The show also included Paul Stanley flying overhead to perform Psycho Circus from a small stage in the middle of the crowd.

I hate to imagine the cleaning cost for the venue, as during Rock And Roll All Nite, ticker tape fell  over the fans like rain, before the band returned to perform I Was Made For Lovin You and Detroit Rock City for the encore. The cheery crowd all left singing to God Gave Rock N Roll To You.
My first opportunity to see a KISS show, and what more could I want? Wild pyros, awesome outfits, fire and blood spitting, rising stages, flying band members - and Gene Simmons’ iconic tongue! The veteran rockers truly created one crazy night!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Snakecharmer vocalist Chris Ousey chats with me about the new album, tour, and Steve Overland - video exclusive

 Chris Ousey, the wonderful voice of Snakecharmer chatted exclusively with me before the band's recent gig in Alva, Scotland (review here). We talked about the excellent new album, Second Skin and the current tour. Chris also kindly shared his thoughts on Ozone, one of his previous projects that involved working with FM's Steve Overland. A big thanks to Chris for talking with me.     

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Snakecharmer, Alva 20/5/17 - live review

Snakecharmer rocking a packed house  
 The brainchild of local music fan Kev McCallum, a series of classic rock nights held in the local hall in Alva, near Stirling are gaining quite a reputation in Scotland. Last night Kev worked his magic to bring the excellent Snakecharmer to town, the 6 piece squeezing the show (and their gear) in, as an extra date on their  UK tour. 

Rather like a British version of The Dead Daisies concept, Snakecharmer is made up of current and ex-members of the likes of Whitesnake, Thunder, Magnum and Wishbone Ash. Last night the band crammed themselves into a sold out Masonic Hall in picturesque Alva, and got up close and personal with just 160 lucky souls.

Chris Ousey at soundcheck in Alva
Vocalist Chris Ousey has an amazing rich, smoky voice that is perfectly suited to the Bad Company / early Whitesnake style material. I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris before the show - check back here soon to see my interview. Throughout their excellent set last night Simon McBride and Laurie Wisefield played gorgeous licks and solos, with bass legend Neil Murray (an original Whitesnake member) and Harry James (Thunder and Magnum) providing the groove. Adam Wakeman added clever keyboard and Hammond melodies, all of which created a sensational sound.

The excellent new album, Second Skin was featured heavily with I'll Take You As You Are and set opener Follow Me Under, real highlights for me.

As well as original songs from both Snakecharmer records, the band played brilliant versions of Whitesnake's Ready An' Willing, Crying In The Rain, and Here I Go Again which had the whole room singing. Neil Murray's wonderful bass playing really stood out,  reminding everyone just how important he was to the classic Whitesnake sound.

A brilliant night, made possible by Kev McCallum's vision and drive. A big thanks to Kev and the Snakecharmer guys for making me so welcome.

Kev runs the gigs through the Masonic Lodge St Servanus 771, Alva and has big plans for more rock nights.

Following Snakecharmer, and previous shows from the likes of Mick Ralphs, Bernie Marsden and FM's Jim Kirkpatrick, next up is ex-Georgia Satellite, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin on Sat Jun 17 

Another Whitesnake legend, Micky Moody along with Ali Maas, then visits Alva on Sat Oct 21 for what is sure to be a great gig.

Tickets for these shows are limited, so to find out more contact Kev, email or call 07539 118311    


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Snakecharmer release 'Second Skin' and are on the road in the UK

Hard rock supergroup, the brilliant Snakecharmer are currently on the road in the UK promoting their excellent new album, Second Skin. It is slightly harder edged compared to the 2013 debut, but with roots still firmly planted in the classic hard rock vibe.

I'm excited to be seeing the band in Scotland tonight before they head south, do catch them if you can. As well as reviewing the show I'll be chatting with the guys later, so check back for my interview soon!

Iron Maiden & Shinedown, AECC Aberdeen 17/5/17 - live review from the front row!!

Standing in the second row at a packed out venue, to see two of my bucket list bands on the same night, in my hometown was something I could only ever of dreamt of.  But sure enough that’s exactly where I was on Wednesday night.
Having queued for over 2 hours, I was so excited to be seeing the one and only Iron Maiden, with the mighty Shinedown. I was delighted to find myself a spot centre of the stage at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, which was soon packed with almost 9000 fans.I thought I was going to burst with excitement when Brent Smith and his band opened with the brilliant, Adrenaline. 

Having been a fan of music from a very young age, I was exposed to Second Chance when I was six years old and instantly fell in love.  Since then I have been desperate to see Shinedown live, and my wish finally came true.

  To top it off, I caught a pick from Zach Myers, a set list from bassist Eric Bass, and at the end of Second Chance , the most meaningful song in the set for me, singer Brent Smith noticed me singing my heart out and waved, before bending down and blowing me a kiss. Thank you Shinedown!

Still buzzing from the mind blowing support set I’d just witnessed, it was time for Iron Maiden.The first notes of UFO’s Doctor Doctor rang through the AECC, and the crowd went wild, knowing it was finally time for the legendary rockers to blast out their mighty tunes, new and old.It all started with singer Bruce Dickinson emerging from dry ice at the top of the amazing stage set (amazing being a huge understatement!), before launching into If Eternity Should Fail, the first track from their latest studio release, The Book Of Souls. 

 The band may have been in one of the smallest venues on their world tour, but they sure didn’t play like it! From Dickinson’s many costume changes to Steve Harris’s signature ‘machine gun’ bass guitar pose, the band created a night I will never forget. Being so close and able to see every small detail was a great pleasure and something I never imagined I’d be able to do. It was a brave move from the band was to drop certain classics like Run To The Hills, to make room for new material such as The Red And The Black. However favourites, Fear Of The Dark (which had everyone singing), The Trooper and set closer Iron Maiden were still included and the fans were  more than happy with what they heard. 

The band encored with The Number Of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years before leaving their adoring fans cheering for more. Seeing all the signature moves close up and hearing the classic songs made for a night I will remember for the rest of my life. Two stunning bands, and if I ever have the opportunity to see them again I would do so in a heartbeat.