Archive for the Get Ready To Rock! Category

From the archives…2006 interview with NEIL CARTER (UFO/GARY MOORE)

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, rock with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

10 Q’s with NEIL CARTER (UFO/GARY MOORE)

Originally published back in 2006 and when Neil Carter was no longer active in the music scene. However, after the sad death of Paul Raymond last month, Neil has now rejoined his old band mates in UFO who have US dates of their farewell tour starting next month.

Neil Carter was the keyboards/guitar/sax player with UFO during the band’s early 80’s period and he then went onto join Gary Moore’s band for a series of classic hard rock albums. Now he is a well respected music teacher. Visit his his rather good Website and read on…

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

Well as far as any of the ‘previous life’ activities go, none at all but I am about to go to Malaysia to examine and next year New Zealand and the USA. Otherwise it is business as usual with tons of teaching and examining.

2. Since leaving Gary Moore’s band you have been a music teacher. What was it like to teach at first and have any of your past pupils gone onto being full time musicians?

Actually I admit I was lousy at first but as ever, enthusiastic, so I got by. No one had ever taught me how to teach so I had to find my way and discover the tools of the trade and get used to preparing candidates for exams etc. I think I know my stuff these days but it took me a couple of years, and also a while to understand how to interact with children and teenagers. I really love it now but for a long time it was hell on earth! I have taught a few that have gone on and in fact one of my past pupils now teaches some kids from my school. So many really talented kids have passed through the College but become doctors/lawyers etc. It is the way of the public school I’m afraid!

3. UFO What were the musical and live highlights of your time in the band?

Musically I suppose the initial album ‘Wild and Willing’ as I really liked such a lot of the songs on that and it was all ‘new’. ‘Making Contact’, I felt responsible for a lot of that album and am pleased with it on the whole. Live I suppose some of the headlining shows in the USA and Reading in 1980 of course. I had a bootleg sent to me of the Chicago show in 1981 and it is really good. Never thought I’d say that!

4. Gary Moore You played on what many Gary Moore fans would regard as his classic hard rock albums in the 80s. What was it like playing with musicians like Bob Daisley and the late, great Cozy Powell? How did the bands camaraderie differ from UFO?

With Gary I was always aware that ultimately it was his show although it did feel like a band on stage. I suppose my position was a little different as I had the longest serving term and I wrote with Gary. I like to think it was a good partnership. The strange thing is that when I joined his band all the musicians, Ian, Neil and myself had come from much bigger acts but you could tell Gary was on the ‘up’ and he was always so well respected by other musicians. Working with Bob was always great and Cozy was a fine drummer (albeit rather briefly with us!). Working with Gary was so different to UFO, much more professional and well organized but perhaps not quite so unpredictable!

5. Did you get other band offers after you left Gary Moore and would you be tempted back into working with say Gary Moore or Paul Chapman if the chance arose?

Strangely no…..I wonder why? I suppose it was left ‘open’ for almost a year afterwards and no one actually said ‘that’s it, no more rock tours’ so I was in limbo, but getting on with life. I did some writing and recording of my own but somehow I had no real desire to carry on. Which, looking back now, I find strange but understandable in a way. I had done such a lot and we had finished on a real high. Why go downwards or start again and I would have had to. I think you would really have to want it badly to do that and I didn’t. Added to which money was still coming in from royalties so I wasn’t exactly destitute! I have had the odd ‘what about it’ from both Paul and Gary over the years and I never rule it out but I think I am so far out of the loop now I don’t know if I would be any good!

6. Who/what made you want to be a musician?

I wanted to be on the ‘stage’ I knew that, but I loved music and played instruments (piano, recorder) from a very early age. My Mum was heavily involved in am dram and I used to ache to be involved in those productions when I was very little. I did so much playing in those things which gave me a good grounding and helped my sight reading immensely. Then one day Bowie came along and that was it. I wanted to be Mick Ronson!

7. How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

My first break was with Gilbert O’ Sullivan when I was 19, until then I had been in semi-pro bands although technically I was ‘pro’ ˜cos I didn’t work and my parents supported me! That came about from our bands guitarist answering an advert as he wanted a ‘rock’ band to back him. I was the singer but usefully I could play other instruments so I think it helped to ‘sell’ us. In the course of a 45 minute set I played 7 instruments for him. Slave labour. As far as ‘advice’ goes I suppose something I have learnt is in order to be successful at anything in life you need supreme self motivation and above all, self belief. It doesn’t necessarily take supreme talent!

8. Which song(s) do you enjoy performing most live and why?

Always with UFO the classics especially ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Only you can Rock me because they are such classic rock songs. Gary, hmmmm, I could say the entire set list of the ‘Wild Frontier’ tour as that really has to have been my favourite period I was with him. If you look at the Sweden live video we were having such a good time and it worked so well live. I have a bootleg of the ‘After the War’ tour and we look terrified and miserable! (Mind you that was right at the start of the tour with Chris Slade who just about new the songs….just!)

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Well it has been documented before, but I am a Judge of pedigree cats and that is my hobby. I go all over Europe judging although not quite as much nowadays as I am so busy with work. I enjoy it, although I am not sure whether it’s cool to say so! I also do a fair amount of arranging these days and enjoy that a lot too!

10. Message to your fans…

For those that hold memories of the things I did in the past and have the albums, thanks for your support and feel free to check out the website as there will be some new stuff appearing from time to time. I really enjoy hearing from you all and thanks to those who have emailed me. Have fun!

This blog celebrates ten years & tops 100,000 hits :)

Posted in Books, Family life, Football, Get Ready To Rock!, metal, News, pop, Queen, Stoke City FC, theatre royal hanley on March 11, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Yes ten years ago this month back in 2008 I started off this blog the Rock N Roll Oatcake to cover music, books, my lifelong support of Stoke City FC and family life. I think over the ten years it has covered these topics, with in recent years a little less on Stoke City and music (this is covered in my music blog the Rockin’ Chair), plus I have finally made a seperate page for memories of the Theatre Royal Hanley as the page on here was getting lost and there are some wonderful memories from people’s time at the theatre to good to be lost.

There have been book reviews and some very good author interviews, which I will repost the best of over the coming months. Plus on the side bar you can see various archive interviews with musicians that didn’t feature on Get Ready To Rock!

Thank you for all your views, comments and hopefully you find something on here of interest. Right, lets get ready for more…

Recommended reading –

Get Ready To Rock!

The Rockin’ Chair (music)

Memories of the Theatre Royal Hanley (finally made a blog for this after hosting a page on this site since 2008)

Keep On Fundraising

Book review: Overkill The Untold Story of Motörhead by Joel McIver

Posted in Books, Get Ready To Rock!, Netgalley, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Omnibus Press [Publication date 21.08.17]

The original book was published in 2011, however since Lemmy’s death back in December 2015 the book has been re-issued as an enhanced eBook. Basically it adds a newly written chapter covering Motorhead from 2011 to date, plus you can click on links within the book to Spotify playlists of Motorhead classics and band’s influenced by them. A pretty neat idea, although if reading off a Kindle you’d need Wi-Fi access for Spotify.

The book gives a potted history of Motorhead, covering all their albums – although once you hit the mid-90’s onwards not much is said about the recording process, an album’s reception etc. Joel McIver is a big fan of the band and draws on three of his interviews with main man Lemmy for much of the text, along with fellow writer’s interviews with Lemmy and past and former bandmates including Phil Campbell, Mikkey Dee and Eddie Clarke. There is some repetition of themes, particularly Lemmy’s collection of Nazi war memorabilia and his lifelong hate of heroin. The band’s history is only touched upon briefly in many parts and you do want to read more at some stages, although the band’s interviews give a good idea of what they thought about a particular album and the various record labels the band has been on. Like many 70’s bands Motorhead were royally screwed by record labels in their early days and suffered from endless rehashed live and compilation albums  that often detracted from the band’s newer albums and songs.

For a concise overview of Motorhead this book does the job and do make sure you read Lemmy’s ‘White Line Fever’ as well.

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.

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.

Music for 2016: BIG BIG TRAIN

Posted in Get Ready To Rock!, Music for 2016, News, Progressive rock with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Really looking forward to hearing this one as Big Big Train are one of the best and most consistent progressive music bands out there at the moment.

Big Big Train have released a teaser video for their upcoming album ‘Folklore’. The album is released on May 27 and is available for pre-order now in CD, 2LP and digital formats.

Folklore tracklist:
  • Folklore
  • London Plane
  • Along The Ridgeway
  • Salisbury Giant
  • The Transit Of Venus Across The Sun
  • Wassail
  • Winkie
  • Brooklands
  • Telling The Bees

Music for 2016: POWER QUEST are back!

Posted in Get Ready To Rock!, metal, Music for 2016, News, Power metal with tags , , , , , on April 1, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Oh yes one of my favorite bands are back…Power Quest!

The band split-up back in 2013 and founding member Steve Williams was in Eden’s Curse, who he has recently left to start Power Quest off again.

The line-up features Steve Williams joined by three members from the band’s last line-up, namely guitarist Gavin Owen, bass player Paul Finnie and drummer Rich Smith. The two new members are Dan Owen on guitars and Ashley Edison on vocals, who also fronts the rather good Dendera.

The band headline a comeback show at the Underworld, Camden on September 10th.

The Quest must go on!