Archive for the Classic albums Category

‘So Here It Is’ by Dave Hill

Posted in Authors, Books, Classic albums, Classic rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

 

dh

Unbound Books [Published date 16.11.17]

Noddy Holder has written a couple of books and drummer Don Powell has published his memoir, now it is the turn of guitarist Dave Hill.

Dave Hill was born in a castle in Devon, the son of a mechanic, and moved back with his parents to Wolverhampton when he was a year old. Much of the book involves his family and the facts he uncovered including that his parents weren’t married for their early years and how his mum’s depression impacted on the family. He touches upon this throughout the book, including how he didn’t cry when his mum died, and is very open and honest about how his mum affected and shaped his life. His wife Jan, who he married in 1973, remained his rock throughout the trails of life, be it with Slade or more personal aspects of his life.

Slade fans will be interested to read about the band’s origins as Dave Hill originally played with drummer Don Powell in a band called The Vendors, which became the The N’ Betweens. When Jim Lea and singer Noddy Holder later joined, the band renamed itself Slade, after an album came out under the Ambrose Slade name. In the 1970s, Slade were the biggest band in the UK, racking up 23 Top 20 hits, including six number one singles. That is some achievement and of course their Christmas single ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, still makes the singles charts every Christmas season.

There isn’t much in the way of rock ‘n’ roll tales about other band members as they didn’t seem to socialise much on the road. The Reading comeback is covered, along with their failed attempt to break the US market – something that nearly broke the band. The mid-80’s to early 90’s period doesn’t get covered much, mainly as the band had stopped touring and when Noddy Holder left the band in 1992, Jim Lea also retired from the band. Hill and Powell formed Slade II in 1992, which again isn’t touched upon much in the book, and that band’s current line-up has bene together and touring since 2005. Slade II have released one studio album to date (much of the album was written by Hill and former Wizzard member Bill Hunt).

Recommended read for the band’s many fans as you get to see behind the showmanship, and at times outrageous costumes, of Dave Hill. Frank and honest about his own personal life, plus he still keeps the band’s music alive by still touring today as Slade II with fellow founder member Don Powell.

Some Fantastic Place by Chris Difford

Posted in Authors, Books, Classic albums, Netgalley, pop, Pop rock with tags , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

cd.png

W&N [Publication date 31.08.17]

Chris Difford is the lyricist to Glen Tilbrook’s music and arranging in Squeeze, a band who have split up twice and now since reforming again in 2007 seem to be enjoying a purple patch both in terms of touring and making new music.

Chris’s memoir is very much written from the heart as he describes his struggle with alcohol and bouts of depression, and the effect this had on his personal life. However, he comes across as a positive soul and one that is grateful for what he has. There are of course plenty of tales of Squeeze and how they rose to fame in the late 70’s and early 80’s with a string of hit singles.

His musical life outside of Squeeze is given insight including his time as helping coral the lyrics for Bryan Ferry. He also felt like Bryan Ferry’s chauffer at the time! He also worked on lyrics with Elton John and became good friends with him, which helped a band Chris was mentoring the Strypes, who signed to Elton’s Rocket Music Management in their early days. His solo career is covered, although not as extensively as Squeeze.

You do get a little insight into the relationship between him and Glen Tilbrook, something that has remained constant throughout the years since when they first met back in 1973.

Reading about Squeeze it is pretty amazing they are still going, as at one time in the 90’s they seemingly had a revolving door on drummers and keyboard players. Luckily for music fans the Difford and Tilbrook axis on which Squeeze turns remained and the Squeeze story continues as they have a new album ‘The Knowledge’ out in October.

Chris Difford has penned an honest account of his life in and out of Squeeze, where he is very honest about his past mistakes and his struggles with depression and drinking. Highly recommended for both fans of the band and anyone wanting to see how the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle isn’t all glitz and glamour.

Review by Jason Ritchie

 

Rockin’ Chair forum

Posted in Books, Classic albums, Classic rock, Melodic rock, metal, News, pop, theatre, theatre royal hanley on September 1, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

New faces always welcome over on the Rockin’ Chair forum – a place for music and books, plus a board dedicated to memories of the Theatre Royal, Hanley.

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.

Virgin Radio is back on air

Posted in Classic albums, hard rock, indie, News, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , on April 5, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I was a regular listener to Virgin Radio when it first launched back in 1993 as it played a wider range of music and a lot of indie rock. Back then the choice of radio stations was still very limited, not like the overwhelming choice of digital and online radio stations we have now.

It was taken over by new owners and re-branded as Absolute Radio. Since then I have not been a big fan of that station, you can set your watch on the time of day a song would be played each day.

So I was surprised to see Virgin Radio back and part of the revamped group of radio stations owned by the Wireless Group (Talk Sport/Talk Radio). The demographic they are aiming for is 25-44 year olds and it has already been dubbed Radio 1 1/2 as it aims to sit between Radio 1 and Radio 2’s audience. It is online and digital only, no MW or FM presence this time around.

You can see the playlist below, a mix of indie and mainstream rock, plus some more dance/beat orientated tunes. The Stereophonics still make the playlist – a staple of the original Virgin Radio:

http://virginradio.co.uk/highlights/playing-now-check-out-virgin-radio-playlist-1603251950

I will give it a listen and be nice to alternate between this and online rock radio stations for a bit of musical variety.

Slowly the giants of rock stop touring…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, tours with tags , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

First we had the sad passing of Lemmy which meant no more Motorhead, a band that lived to be on the road touring and playing to their fans.

Now we have the news that AC/DC have had to postpone their remaining US tour dates as vocalist Brian Johnson has been advised to stop performing live to save his hearing. The band have said they will be rescheduled later in the year with a guest vocalist. But it won’t be the same without Brian Johnson plus of course illness forced Malcolm Young to leave the band.

Age is catching up fast with the rock giants of the 1970’s sadly, even the mighty Status Quo have said no more electric gigs and their UK tour later this year will be their last.

The latest band to call time on touring has been Rush. Guitarist Alex Lifeson confirmed in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine that the band won’t tour again due to the pain that drummer Neil Peart goes through.

When rock bands started way back in the 60’s and 70’s, they would not imagined the longevity many of them would have and now we are way into the twilight years for them sadly. But hey, they will still be drawn back to the stage I am sure for one-off shows and it is not all bad as Motley Crue have stopped as well 😉

Roy Harper’s song sums up the passing of this era, albeit about cricket it does work on many levels:

 

Radio show for fans of classic rock…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Melodic rock, metal, News with tags , , , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

https://www.mixcloud.com/discover/bill-leslie/

There are loads of online radio shows out there, but this weekly one hour shows presented by rock fan Bill Leslie is well worth a listen. The show is called ‘Rock That Time Forgot’, it broadcasts on Astro Radio and covers new and old songs across the rock and metal genres. He also takes requests and if you are a fan of Thunder he did a highly recommended one hour special on them a fortnight ago.