‘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

 

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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.

Ireland new contract, Johnson off?

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Stephen Ireland is set to sign a six month contract taking him to the end of the season. It is believed to be on reduced terms and follows on from his current six month deal which expires in January.

Berahino has apparently met with the Stoke board to discuss his future who have told him he won’t be offered out on loan in January. He has yet to score for us in the league since signing in January. Glen Johnson looks set to leave in January despite signing a one year contract extension in the summer.

West Ham at home this Saturday and if we lose could it be Hughes’s last game in charge? Looks as though both Hughes and Coates don’t see any need to panic, however a loss on Saturday and if the crowd turns then it could be taxi for Hughes after the game…

Hedgerow in the snow 

Posted in birdlife, Didcot, Family life, wildlife with tags , , , on December 10, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Had a blue tit on the feeder…

…and then this morning the hedgerow was covered in snow! We’ve had a robin, long tail tits, blackbird and the usual sparrow group. Record so far for sparrows is twenty in one go.

Yesterday to add to the bird species tally seen in this hedgerow was a chaffinch. Hopefully will see more of this brightly coloured little fella.

Save Loyd Fields update

Posted in Didcot, News with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Although the planning permission for the proposed housing development on Loyd Fields was turned down by South Oxfordshire Council, the developer has appealed. You can get more updates at their Facebook page Save Loyd Fields 

More proposed development this time by Taylor Wimpey at Hagbourne Fields. There is a campaign page here Hands Off Hagbourne Fields to keep up to date.

On a more local level, we have a lovely little bit of hedgerow next to a local footpath which has just been closed Taylor Wimpey as part of their ongoing GWP development.

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They used a digger to move a small pile of earth and in the process removed some hedgerow – sledgehammer to crack a nut springs to mind! This patch of hedgerow/brambles is home to nesting wood pigeons, a pair of magpies and we have regular visits from sparrows, starlings, blue tits, wrens, dunocks and great tits. Hopefully it will survive Taylor Wimpey’s construction although understandably it will disturb the local bird life and wildlife.

Albums of the Year 2017

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Folk, Folk rock, hard rock, indie, Melodic rock, metal, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

1  CATS IN SPACE Scarecrow
Their debut was pretty damn fine, so high expectations and they delivered! A marvellous mix of 70s’ rock, pomp, pop and more melodies than you can shake a stick at.

2  THRESHOLD Legends of the Shires
Returning vocalist Glynn Morgan helps the band to make one of the finest albums to date. A real return to form.

3  LONELY ROBOT The Big Dream
Part two of the trilogy and another fine set of musical adventures. No name guests this time as John Mitchell does it all bar the drums and some backing vocals.

4  BOULEVARD IV
Finally we get a new album from Boulevard. Fantastic tunes and production, deserves a place in every melodic rock/AOR fans collection.

5  THE YOUNG ‘UNS Strangers
Folk acapella from this talented three piece. Each song is based on a true story and the songs are all positive and uplifting.

STEVE WALSH Black Butterfly former Kansas vocalist returns with an album chock full of melodic rock treats.

7 SONS OF APOLLO supergroup featuring Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinan and Billy Sheenhan. Fantastic joining of music talents and the music lives up to expectations.

8 LIONHEART only 20 odd years since their last album…with Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on vocals, Lionheart deserve a place in any melodic rock fans collection.

9 IT Home thought provoking and timely progressive rock backed by oodles of melody.

10= H.E.A.T. Into The Great Unknown they have changed their sound a bit which may upset some fans, but for me they are heading onwards and upwards.

10= PUGWASH Silverlake the power pop album of the year. If you like ELO, Duckworth Lewis grab a copy of this.

Honorable mentions…

HAREM SCAREM United they keep on churning out classy melodic hard rock and long may that continue.

THE BITERS plenty of retro on this one, with the T Rex sounding songs

JEFF SCOTT SOTO Retribution not as instant but stick with it

BIGFOOT one of the debuts of the year. Modern hard rock and the singer doesn’t half sound like Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn at times!

THE NIGHTS more classy Scandi melodic rock with hook filled choruses big enough to land a whale.

THE NEW ROSES One More For The Road good time hard rock, no frills and plenty of riffs.

NIGHT RANGER Don’t Let Up they show no sign of letting up quality wise, another ‘must have’ for fans.

DANKO JONES Wild Cat if you like 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy and foot tapping tunes look no further.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Amber Galactic like Brother Firetribe their ‘day bands’ are heavy yet here they show their love of 80’s melodic rock and AOR.

Fellow GRTR! reviewers choices can be found here

Crouch signs one year contract extension

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Peter Crouch has signed a one year extension to his current contract taking him up to 2019 at the club. At 36 he still has a few years and goals in him and one of the best Stoke signings in recent years.

January we could see Charlie Adam and Glen Johnson shown the door, whilst Stephen Ireland, who’s current short term deal finishes in January, could also leave after being offered a reduced terms contract until next summer. Lets hope Johnson goes absolute waste signing him for another year as he is way past his best.

 

The Darker My Horizon – Acoustic Couch, Bracknell

Posted in gigs, Melodic rock, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Second time seeing the Darker My Horizon this year and like February’s gig, again at the Acoustic Couch in Bracknell. Joining the core duo of Paul Stead and guitarist Mark Stephenson are drummer Steve Hauxwell (ex-Marshall Law/Winter In Eden) and bass player Paul Hamilton, who was in a previous line-up of Sacred Heart with Paul and Mark.

A nice, up-tempo and hard rocking set for a Saturday night, with a little acoustic interlude from Paul Stead as the support band never materialised. Plenty of riffs to be had in ‘Perfect’, ‘No Superhero Part 1’ and ‘Closure’, and it is always good to hear ‘Dear Olivia’ played live.

The new boys slotted nicely into the band’s sound, a steady bass from Paul Hamilton and as for drummer Steve Hauxwell, he had the flash and style more associated with American drummers like Eric Singer and Tommy Aldridge. Impressive to watch and a great addition to TDMH.

Two new songs were aired from the band’s new album ‘Seize The Day’ due next year – ‘Carpe Diem’ in acoustic mode and ‘Sleaze’, a nice and loud hard rocking tune. Bryan Adams’s ‘Summer Of 69’ was given an enthusiastic run through and the other cover as Bob Dylan’s ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ (popularised by Guns ‘N’ Roses), which will form part of an EP ‘Phoenix’ due out in January. The other songs on the EP are re-workings of Sacred Herat songs with this new line-up.