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.    



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Stevie from Bad Touch tells us what's next for the band (but don't ask him for the dates!)

Whilst at the King King Aberdeen show on Sunday night (review here), I caught up with singer and guitarist Alan Nimmo (watch the vid here), but I also had a quick chat with Stevie Westwood, singer from the amazing support band Bad Touch. Check it out! A big thanks to both bands.

Monday, May 15, 2017

King King's Alan Nimmo talks new album, his voice, and playing the Glasgow Armadillo with Thunder!

Watch my exclusive chat with Alan Nimmo from King King, right after the band's brilliant show in Aberdeen. We talk about how his amazing voice after recent surgery, playing the venue of his dreams, and plans for a new album! A huge thanks to Alan for talking to me . 

King King + Bad Touch live review - The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, 14/5/17

King King, the soulful, blues-rockers hit the stage in Aberdeen last night, showcasing their incredible musical talent.The 4 piece marched on stage to a cheering, packed out venue, which welcomed singer and guitarist, Alan Nimmo back onto Scottish home turf, wearing his signature kilt. This was clearly appreciated by the Aberdeen fans.
Alan Nimmo of King King
 The band played a fabulous set featuring cracking new single, She Don’t Gimme No Loving which is very reminiscent of the classic Thunder sound, as well as firm favourites Waking Up and Rush Hour. Nimmo’s rich voice sounded outstanding throughout, despite his recent throat surgery. And what a great guitarist he is too! Lighting up the set, his marvellous playing added a great bluesy and groovy feel, which really enhanced the songs. Highly impressive.
Bad Touch
 Opening the night were up and coming 5 piece, Bad Touch - bluesy rockers with a Southern feel. Formed in Norfolk, these guys have certainly progressed since I last saw them supporting The Answer a couple of years ago. Delivering a lively performance in support of their recently released record, Truth Be Told, singer Stevie Westwood and his band did a marvellous job in getting the whole crowd warmed up. Included in their 40 minute set was new track 99% which had a great Black Crowes vibe and has been heavily played on Planet Rock. The crowd were very impressed by the young talent, which was clearly shown through the ovation they received at the end of their set – something rarely seen for a support band.

All in all, a fabulous night full of rock n roll with a bluesy touch, which made a nice change. Both bands were on excellent form, check them out when you get the chance!