If you only by a few albums this month…

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Blues rock, hard rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Hard to pick one single ‘must have’ album from the April releases as there are a lot…

Tax The Heat released their debut on Nuclear Blast and it is chock full of catchy blues/hard rocking tunes with a modern edge.

The Dowling Poole return with their second album ‘One Hyde Park’, a delight from start to finish. If you like quirky pop with a message – think XTC, Squeeze, the instant appeal of ELO songs – this is for you.

Left With Pictures new album ‘Afterlife’ took me by surprise, with its sparse, yet melodic arrangements and haunting vocals. Not for everyone but if like me you love  music regardless of its ‘genre’, have a listen.

And finally the new Cheap Trick ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’…the band have continued their fine run of form since 1997’s self-titled album (I still can’t get into their 1992 release ‘Woke Up With A Monster’), with their first new album since 2009. It really does hark back at times to their classic 70’s/early 80’s sound. If you are a fan doubtless you will already have this, if not try this album and then work your way back through their fine back catalogue.

Recent CD bargains…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, Melodic rock, Modern rock, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Some recent charity shop finds including last year’s album ‘Brain Waves’ from Eureka Machines. Great album full of catchy pop rock/punk tunes and features Chris Catalyst (Ginger/Sisters Of Mercy etc). Only a pound and a signed copy as well! Also for a pound was the two CD version of Silver Ginger 5’s ‘Black Leather Mojo’. I love this album and one of the first I downloaded on iTunes. It features Ginger of the Wildhearts, plus various Wildhearts in the band and Conny Bloom of the Electric Boys. Not one filler, all are glorious slabs of glam infused pop rock. Darn shame they never made another album.

Whilst up in Stoke recently and browsing in the rather good record store Music Mania, I picked up Dogs Die In Hot Cars ‘Please Describe Yourself’ album – perhaps best known for their hit ‘Godhopping’. Bizarrely the band hail from my dad’s birthplace, St. Andrews and most of the band went to the same college as him, Madras College. Album full of quirky pop, recalling bands like Talking Heads, Arcade Fire and XTC. At the same time picked up the best of Hootie & the Blowfish. One of those bands I can cover with a just a best of by in my collection. Vocalist Darius Rucker has recently embarked on a more country/Americana path in his music.

74 injuries and Tuncay is back!

Posted in Football, News, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

An interesting article in the Sentinel showed we have had 74 injuries this season to date – compare that to just 18 for Champions in waiting Leicester. That is an enormous number and could go some way to explaining our inconsistent form this season, the latest being a disappointing 4-0 defeat away at Man City at the weekend. Another factor is the team performance, or more precisely the lack of team performance, as few players seem to be battling and working as a team on the pitch of late. Wollscheid hits the nail on the head in his interview here.

We need to finish our last three games with some of that old battling Stoke spirit as three more losses will carry on into next season and with a summer that could see Arnie leave, possibly followed by others like Crouch?

Afellay is out for what looks like the remainder of the year, so Mark Hughes will definitely need some summer signings as cover. Better news in that Marc Wilson played a behind closed doors friendly against Crewe as he continues his comeback from injury.

Tony Pulis and his current side West Brom all but dented Spurs title hopes last night and paved the way for Leicester to be crowned champions – in Pulis we trust😉

Tuncay will be back at the Brit! He’s the latest player to be confirmed for Andy Wilkinson’s testimonial game on Monday 16 May at 7:45pm. Others set to feature include Mama Sidibe, Ricardo Fuller, James Beattie, Danny Higginbotham, Liam Lawrence, Mark Stein, Peter Crouch and Asmir Begovic.

Five bands I would love to see reform…

Posted in AOR, hard rock, Melodic rock, Modern rock, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I was thinking with all these recent big name musicians passing away it must make sense for some of these bands to make-up and do at least one more show.

Top of that list for me has to be Journey reuniting with Steve Perry. Perry has changed his stance to ‘never say never’ and Carlos Santana could prove a unlikely catalyst to this happening.

Slade, one of the few 70’s rock bands with all the original members still with us. Not likely I know and we do have Dave Hill and Don Powell touring as Slade II, but wouldn’t Noddy Holder and Jim Lea fancy just one more gig maybe? I doubt it sadly.

XTC were down just to Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding by the time they called it a day. A falling out between the two seemingly put paid to any more XTC, however with Steven Wilson adding his sonic magic to the XTC back catalogue could the two make-up?

Semisonic – great band on album and live. Made a brief splash in the late 90’s/early 00’s then stopped. Dan Wilson does his solo thing, maybe time for a new Semisonic album/tour? Please:)

Skagarack, okay not top of may people’s lists being a relative obscure Danish melodic rock band. But given the interest in 80’s rock and recent reunions the time is right! Frontiers Records make it so😉

Britannia no more…Bet 365

Posted in Football, News, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , on April 21, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Stoke City have announced that the Britannia stadium will now be renamed as the bet365 Stadium from the start of the 2016/17 Premier League season.

It is an initial six-year stadium naming rights agreement with the club’s owners bet365, who have also extended their shirt sponsorship of the Potters for a further three years. But maybe of more interest to fans the club are finally ‘filling in’ the corner between the DPD and Marston’s Pedigree Stands. Hurrah! Mind you what will some fans moan about now on the Oatcake message board?

This will add an extra 1,800 seats and increase the capacity to 30,000. The work will be completed in time for the start of the 2017/18 season.

Stoke City Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: “As supporters are no doubt aware the Britannia brand no longer exists and it was important that we attracted a new stadium naming rights partner.

The Premier League is watched around the world and bet365 are a truly global company. We are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with them over the stadium naming rights for an initial six year period, along with the extension of their shirt sponsorship agreement.”

John Coates, Joint Group Chief Executive of bet365 and Vice-Chairman of Stoke City, said: “bet365 have been pleased with the global brand exposure from our sports sponsorship agreement and we are always looking at ways to increase this. Entering into a stadium naming rights agreement with Stoke City seemed a natural fit, especially as the city of Stoke-on-Trent is home to bet365’s corporate headquarters.

We are delighted about the plans to fill in the corner of the stadium and are looking forward to what we hope will be a successful future for both the Club and bet365 with both organisations continuing to work closely together.”

Injury news Shaqiri is out of Saturday’s game against Man City, however Super Johnny Walters looks set to be available.

Sparky’s back running for the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre

Posted in Fundraising, Just Giving, News, Paul Strickland Scanner Centre, Running with tags , , , , , on April 20, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Yes I was taking a year off fundraising, but then my virtual trainer (they have kept my running going despite actually never having a run with me!) told me how their partner was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. They are coming through that now and hopefully will be okay.

They went through a neck dissection, tonsillectomy, two weeks of chemo and six weeks daily radiotherapy. During this time they used the scanning facilities provided by the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre.

pssc

Any donation is most welcome and even if you can’t donate please do spread the word of the great work done at this centre.

Oh and the Sparky nickname comes from a work colleague who gave me that being a Stoke supporter. I ran the 2014 Ealing Half Marathon in my Sparky top:

sparky

Axl/DC

Posted in Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, News with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

There is one way to get rock fans in a tizzy and that is to change a vocalist in a long established band. Rumours became fact as Guns N Roses vocalist Axl Rose was confirmed as the replacement for Brian Johnson in AC/DC. Johnson was forced to step down from the band on medical advice or risk losing his hearing entirely. This then started the rumour mill that he had been dismissed by the band, fueled further when the band said they would fulfill this year’s love shows with a guest vocalist.

Pictures emerged recently showing AC/DC members and Axl Rose emerging from a rehearsal studio. There was no comment from the band, until it was announced officially on Saturday 16 April that Axl would be fronting the band. A massive social media storm ensued as many fans of AC/DC did not take overly well to the announcement, plus the elephant in the room was the lack of comment from the band or Brian Johnson himself over if he was out of the band on a permanent basis.

Johnson has now explained his version of events with a statement released today. He stated that that he has no choice but to leave the band for now, hoping continued medical treatment allows his hearing to improve enough to perform live. In the meantime he plans to carry on singing, “I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that.”

For now it all looks stable in the AC/DC camp. The next big test will be of course the upcoming live shows, including two here in the UK. Will Axl be up to his usual tricks like late appearances on the stage? One things for sure Axl and AC/DC will certainly keep each other in the headlines.

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