Archive for melodic rock

Oh dear Survivor…

Posted in AOR, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, Melodic rock, News with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Seems original vocalist Dave Bickler is out of Survivor and he found out via Twitter.

From Dave Bickler’s Facebook page:
“To all my dear fans, Bitter sweet news that I am no longer a member of Survivor. Just wanted to share that with you. There is no longer a place for me in the band. So I’ll be moving on and direct all my energies to my solo project. And thank you for all your support. Peace. Dave……”

Now the band are down to just one original member guitarist Frankie Sullivan (next longest serving member is bassist Billy Ozzello who has been in the band on and off since 1995). Cameron Barton is now the sole vocalist – he replaced Jimi Jamison who sadly passed away. Wish the band would call it a day as no chance of any new material and they just seem to be playing smaller gigs each time. Plus what a dreadful way to treat Dave Bickler, the man who sang on their biggest hit ‘Eye Of The Tiger’.

You could argue Foreigner are in a similar state with one original member, guitarist Mick Jones, who due to ill health has not been appearing at all their shows or playing a full set. However, they have released one new studio album in the past decade and in Kelly Hansen have a livewire vocalist. It is a tough call for these bands I guess as the fans want to hear the classics and sales of new albums are not great, unless you are say Journey. Hence a band like Foreigner release a series of live hits albums, much like REO Speedwagon and Styx did throughout the 90’s. Heck Molly Hatchett tour and they have no original members at all or any from their classic late 70’s/early 80’s period.

I love my classic bands releasing new albums, but I guess I am in the minority and these band’s key market is the US where the audience just want to hear the hits and not much more.

Music for 2016: VEGA announce new album

Posted in gigs, hard rock, Melodic rock, Music for 2016 with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

VEGA wwa COVER.jpg

(Another album I am looking forward to hearing, Vega are consistently good in their musical endeavors)

VEGA is really one of the few bands who successfully manage to mix in their music the heritage of the great Melodic Rock bands of the 80’s and 90’s with a very contemporary approach to songwriting and production. VEGA is indeed one of the few bands that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and give you that butterflies in your stomach excitement as you listen to the songs on an album for the first time. And with their fourth studio album, “Who We Are”, once again for the Frontiers label, VEGA manage again to create a magic formula with 11 concise and riveting songs that rock from start to finish and will leave you wanting more!

We always try to push the envelope with each record that we do and this one is no different. We have put in all of our different musical influences into every song and what has come out of it is undoubtedly VEGA but a VEGA that is bigger than ever!” says singer Nick Workman.

Brothers Tom and James Martin say: “We’re thrilled with how this record came out. We were in a fortunate position where we could fly Harry Hess over from Canada to produce the record. We spent the best part of 3 weeks with Harry at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales perfecting this record. There was laughter, blood, sweat and tears along the way and even a hospital visit, but what a great time we had! And to be recording where the likes of Queen, Led Zeppelin Official, Oasis and Black Sabbath have recorded was incredibly inspiring.”

The ballad ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ is a stand out for me,” adds keyboard player James Martin. ”It’s a huge piano ballad with Queen and The Beatles influences and Harry really went to town on the production of this song.”

Tom Martin says: “This is probably our most diverse record and that’s what we tried for when choosing the songs. Each song has its own identity and we probably have the heaviest and softest songs we have ever recorded and everything in between. That gives you an idea of how strong the material is on this record.”

VEGA will embark on a tour upon the new album’s release with UK Rock veterans MAGNUM. “Who We Are” truly sees the band taking their song writing and performance to the next level. Be sure to catch the guys on tour!

“Who We Are” tracklisting includes: Explode; We Got It All; Every Little Monster; Nothing Is Forever; White Flag; For Our Sins; Generation Now; Ignite; Savin’ Grace; If Not You; Hurts So Bad.

VEGA

Nick Workman – Vocals

Tom Martin – Guitars

Dan Chantrey – Drums

James Martin – Keyboards

Marcus Thurston – Guitars

TOUR DATES

May 11, 2016 The Brook, Southampton (with MAGNUM)

May 12, 2016 The Tramshed, Cardiff (with MAGNUM)

May 13, 2016 Assembly Hall, Islington (with MAGNUM)

May 14, 2016 O2 Academy, Oxford (with MAGNUM)

May 16, 2016 The Waterfront, Norwich (with MAGNUM)

May 17, 2016 Rock City, Nottingham (with MAGNUM)

May 19, 2016 The Institute, Birmingham (with MAGNUM)

May 20, 2016 Picturedrome, Holmfirth (with MAGNUM)

May 21, 2016 O2 Academy 2, Manchester (with MAGNUM)

May 22, 2016 O2 Academy, Newcastle (with MAGNUM)

May 24, 2016 Garage, Aberdeen (with MAGNUM)

May 25, 2016 Garage, Glasgow (with MAGNUM)

May 27, 2016 Limelight, Belfast (with MAGNUM)

May 28, 2016 O2 Academy 2, Islington (only headline show)

May 29, 2016 O2 Academy, Bristol (with MAGNUM)

May 30, 2016 Assembly Rooms, Leamington Spa (with MAGNUM)

Jul 23, 2016 Steelhouse Festival 2016 (with Blues Pills, Fastway, The Darkness, etc.)

Music for 2016: STAR CHASE

Posted in Melodic rock, Modern rock, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , on February 17, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

STAR CHASE Make Their Debut on MelodicRock Records Feb 26th

In keeping with MelodicRock Records’ commitment to supporting new talent, the label is proud to announce the signing of another great new artist and their debut album – this time it’s from Melbourne melodic rockers STAR CHASE.
Star Chase is a new 5 piece melodic rock band featuring a very familiar name on lead vocals/guitars –Jason Old from The Radio Sun (and previously Safire, Square one, Someone Elses Life).
Joining Jason in Star Chase are:
Steve Martret – lead guitars/vocals (Safire); Gilbert Annese – drums (Square One,Someone Elses Life);Aaron Suter – keyboards/vocals (Safire); and Anthony Wong – bass/vocals (Someone Elses Life)
After the 15th anniversary of the original Safire EP, Steve and Jase began writing together initially for fun, with no other plan other than to write as many songs as they could. This eventually led to having over 20 songs written in a few months. After putting the band together it was clear there was a chemistry so the next step was to record an album with no real expectation. The resulting, The new day is collection of 11 rocking tunes for fans of “two guitar & keyboard“ rock with huge harmonies.
This band has their own unique sound. The New Day is an album that will delight fans of Jason and The Radio Sun, but also fans of classic feel good melodic rock, Australian style AOR and songswith big hooks and even bigger harmonies.
Star Chase’s debut album will be released via MRR on February 26.
Pre-order here

Albums of the Year – My Top 25 :-)

Posted in AOR, Best of 2015, Classic rock, ELO, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, Heavy metal, Jeff Lynne, Melodic rock, Modern rock, Music for 2015, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, rock n roll, Singer songwriter with tags , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Not in any order as it was hard enough whittling it down to 25. Honourable mentions to WASP (a real return to form), Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train, Joel Hoekstra’s 13, Jorn Lande & Trond Holter, Adrenaline Mob and PowerWolf.

1. Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Alone In The Universe (Colombia/Sony)

2. Lonely Robot – Please Come Home (Inside Out)

3. Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses (Spinefarm Records)

4. Five Grand Stereo – Sex & Money (indie)

5. Thunder – Wonder Years (earMusic)

6. Cats In Space – Too Many Gods (indie)

7. FM – Heroes & Villains (Frontiers)

8. Michael Monroe – Blackout States (Spinefarm Records)

9. The Radio Sun – Heaven Or Heartbreak (Melodic Rock Records)

10. Dennis Churchill Dries (ex-White Sister/Tatoo Rodeo) – I (AOR Heaven)

11. Ozone – Self Defence (Escape Music)

12. Neal Morse – The Grand Experiment (Inside Out)

13. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead (AFM Records)

14. Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall – Kingdom Of Rock (Frontiers)

15. Revolution Saints (Frontiers)

16. Phantasma – The Deviant Hearts (Napalm)

17. Toto – XIV (Frontiers)

18. Third Eye Blind – Dopamine

19. Lifeline – Scream (Escape Music)

20. Tim Arnold – The Soho Hobo (indie)

21. Josh Taerk – Here’s To Change (Misty Creek Records)

22. Kamelot – Haven (Napalm)

23. The Darker My Horizon – Acquiesce (indie)

24. Khymera – The Grand Design (Frontiers)

25. Queensryche – Condition Human (Century Media)

Disappointing albums for me were Gloryhammer (not as good as the previous album), Eclipse and House Of Lords (bring back the pomp keyboards one more time please!).

JEFF LYNNE’S ELO UK tour dates announced :-)

Posted in ELO, Jeff Lynne, Melodic rock, Music for 2015 with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

It’s all go with ELO at the moment! The new album is out this Friday, the same day as the UK dates go on pre-sale. A decent run of arena dates here, although only one in Scotland and no Welsh date. The live line-up is set to include long time ELO member Richard Tandy along with Gary Barlow’s backing band again, although this has yet to be confirmed.

April 2016
Tue 05 Liverpool Echo Arena
Thu 07 Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Sat 09 Leeds First Direct Arena
Sun 10 Manchester Arena
Tue 12 Glasgow The SSE Hydro
Thu 14 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Sat 16 Birmingham Genting Arena
Sun 17 Birmingham Genting Arena
Wed 20 London The O2
Fri 22 London The O2

elo tour

Jeff Lynne’s ELO ‘When I Was A Boy’ official video

Posted in Classic rock, ELO, Melodic rock, Music for 2015 with tags , , , , on October 27, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

The official video for ‘When I Was A Boy’ is released and a clever one that gives a timeline, albeit briefly, through Jeff Lynne’s musical career. The new album ‘Alone In The Universe’ is due out on November 13th.

An interview with Jeff Lynne on Ian Dainter’s My Planet Rocks show, can be heard again on UK digital radio station Planet Rock.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO has been added to the bill for this year’s Royal Variety Performance, at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 13th November (album release day).

There is a strong possibility that there will be live dates in the UK next spring. No confirmation as yet and the only past member of ELO to be involved is Richard Tandy. The rest of the band is likely to be Gary Barlow’s backing band which was used in the Hyde Park show.

New music for 2015….Talk-Show

Posted in Melodic rock, Music for 2015, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , on October 26, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Discovered Talk-Show in my latest pile of CD’s to review and like Cats In Space, Talk-Show have a love and ear for that 70’s and early 80’s pop rock sound beloved of Squeeze, Badfinger, 10CC et al. Their EP is out in November and you can grab a listen over on their website http://www.talkshowmusic.com

Here is a little about Talk-Show…

‘A major, if slightly off-kilter, talent.’
Trevor Jones, Miracle Mile

All Messed Up (And Nowhere To Go) is the title track of the debut EP from Talk-Show, a front for Maidstone-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lawrence O’Shea.

The song was written by Lawrence with music industry stalwart Boo Hewerdine, who also produced the EP.

Talk-Show take elements of sixties and seventies classic pop – driving guitars with elegant melodies and harmonies – and marry them to new wave synthesisers and bitter-sweet lyrics to create literate indie pop.

Before Talk-Show, Lawrence plied his trade as front man for London live circuit act The Imaginary Friends, and latterly as a one-man-and-guitar act playing festival bills alongside the likes of Squeeze and Frank Turner. Explaining the switch back to a band format, Lawrence said: ‘I had songs stockpiled I felt needed the full treatment. As soon as Boo suggested great old Moog keyboards he had, the die was cast.’

Lawrence came to Boo’s attention at one of his songwriting workshops where Boo offered him a production deal: ‘I was struck with not only with the strength of Lawrence’s writing but his unique voice – not just the vocal but a singular way with words and melody. It was clear we should make a record.’

Boo many will know as an acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right and former front man of eighties cult act The Bible. As writer or producer for others he has been behind successes for KD Lang, Natalie Imbruglia, Chris Difford and Eddi Reader, among others.

Decanting to Hub Sound Studios in Cambridge, the pair teamed with studio owner and drummer Chris Pepper. Handling instruments between them and farming some saxophone arrangements out to session player Gustaf Llunggren, the first EP was recorded with a second to follow later this year.

Talk-Show will tour in 2016.