Archive for music

‘Let Nature Sing’ makes the Uk singles chart

Posted in birdlife, Family life, News with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake
Let’s celebrate bird song’s chart-topping success! Join the chorus
You did it! We’re sending you a huge, heartfelt thanks for helping get our pure bird song track Let Nature Sing into the charts at #18. What a feeling! It’s such a thrill to see what’s possible when people who love nature come together.

Keep nature’s music alive We released Let Nature Sing to make more people aware that there are 40 million fewer birds in the UK today than 50 years ago. You helped the track create a sensation – and now everyone is talking about it, and what needs to change. This is a real success.

Keep the chorus going!
Join the Chorus Hub to get exclusive articles on Let Nature Sing and nature’s rock stars.
You’ll also get our fortnightly email – the perfect way to tune in to what’s happening.
Join in the #LetNatureSing conversation on social media and let everyone know what bird song means to you.
You helped make history!
Everyone needs to listen to this. Every year fewer birds are singing Adrian Tissier, Facebook
Played this to my grandsons. Lots of smiles and laughter Elizabeth J, Twitter
It’s lovely. It’s quite the rave at some points Donna Quinnie Quinn, Facebook
 
This party’s just getting started… Let Nature Sing is coming back for an encore this summer. We can’t wait to tell you about it. Be the first to know by signing up for the Chorus Hub now. Join the chorus

Book review – Let The Good Times Roll: My Life in Small Faces, Faces and The Who by Kenney Jones

Posted in Authors, Books, Pop rock, rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Blink Publishing [Publication date 31.05.18]

Drummer Kenney Jones has penned an entertaining memoir, that covers his time in the Small Faces right up to the present with the Jones Gang, a collection of seasoned musicians who do the occasional gig, often for charity. He has a light touch, only really getting serious when discussing his two brushes with cancer and how important it is for men to get checked for possible prostrate cancer.

As the sole surviving member of the Small Faces he continues his lifelong quest to get the rights back to their songs, as like many bands back in the day they made great music but were very naive on the business side of things and often got royally screwed by managers and record labels.

The Small Faces parts of the book will be of interest to their fans, although the Faces period is run through quite quickly. The chapter where he deals with the passing of his band mates is sobering, especially as he remained very close to Ronnie Lane after the Small Faces/Faces disbanded. Keeping it in the musical family Kenney Jones has taken Steve Marriott’s daughter Mollie under his wing and she is now making a name for herself in the musical world.

Of his days in the Who he mentions the ongoing issues with Roger Daltrey, which eventually led to him leaving the band. The main problem seemed to be he was replacing the irreplaceable in Keith Moon.

Also a brief mention about the Law, the one-off album he recorded with Paul Rodgers (an album well worth tracking down).

Outside of music his passion for horses and polo gets a mention. He runs his own polo club in Surrey, which has been used by Prince Charles in the past, although in-keeping with his east End of London upbringing the polo club is all inclusive and encourages people of all ages and walks of life to give it a go.

An enjoyable read as Kenney Jones gives an insight into the world of rock ‘n’ roll from the view of the drum stool. It doesn’t dish the dirt, but then he has no real axe to grind bar getting the rights back to the Small Faces music.

 

 

Jeff Lynne’s ELO Birmingham Arena, 13 October 2018

Posted in ELO, gigs, Jeff Lynne, pop, Pop rock, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

To say I was excited at seeing Jeff Lynne and ELO play his home town of Birmingham would be an understatement! I have only see the Jeff Lynne fronted ELO once back at his comeback gig at Hyde Park in 2014. But first we had a wander around the local area near the Arena which has changed a lot since I was last in Birmingham back in the late 1980’s. The area has changed a lot needless to say with the canals area restored and plenty of restaurants and bars nearby, along with the impressive new Birmingham Rep/library building. Mind you avoid the library cafe as it is overpriced. This fella was outside the Legoland Experience…

Billy Lockett was the support, an up and coming singer/songwriter who I had not heard of prior to tonight. Backed by a guitarist and a drummer, with himself centre stage on keyboards, Billy Lockett was impressive with his songs going from the grandiose, to more reflective songs. He has a great ear for melody and impressed the arena crowd, most of whom had taken their seats unlike many rock gigs where the audience prop up the bars during a support act. ‘Fading Into Gray’ was a stand out and I am off to hear more from this artist who is on the up and up.

Jeff Lynne was backed by twelve highly talented musicians, led by musical director Mike Stevens (10CC, Take That), although sadly no Richard Tandy on piano this time around. Most of the band were at the Hyde Park show in 2014, bar a new string trio and keyboards player Jo Webb.

Opening with ‘Standin’ In The Rain’ and what a way to start with an orchestral piece full of strings, keys, guitar and Jeff Lynne’s distinctive vocals that are still sounding good. Added to that the first look at the wondrous light and visuals, an integral part of any ELO performance.

It was a hit filled set including ‘Telephone Line’, ‘Wild West Hero’, ‘Do Ya’, ‘Turn To Stone’ and being a Saturday night, a little disco in ‘Last Train To London’. The only time the spotlight literally fell on Jeff Lynne was on the ‘comeback’ single ‘When I Was A Boy’ – the only ELO song since 1980 played this evening.

A personal highlight was hearing ‘Rockaria!’ performed live with backing vocalist Melanie Lewis-McDonald hitting those operatic high notes perfectly.

Jeff Lynne doesn’t really do much in between song chat, even leaving the band introductions to Mike Stevens. He did however give an introduction to his ‘other band’ the Travelling Wilburys, before launching into ‘Handle With Care’, with Iain Hornal taking on the lead vocals.

The whole band seemed to be having a great time, none more so than bassist Lee Pomeroy (It Bites, Take That) who seemed to be performing the dying fly on stage at one point!

‘Mr Blue Sky’ closed the show in style with every person in the arena singing along, even some of the arena staff. To hear that live is a real musical high point.

Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ was the encore which allowed the band to have an extended rock ‘n’ roll jam session.

Jeff Lynne was suitably humbled by the reception he received from the audience tonight and long may he continue touring ELO. A wonderful night of classic ELO songs played by a talented set of musicians, with lights and visuals to dazzle and of course, Jeff Lynne at the centre of it all, navigating the ELO spaceship.

Setlist –
Standin’ In The Rain
Evil Woman
All Over The World
Showdown
Do Ya
When I Was A Boy
Livin’ Thing
Handle With Care (The Travellng Wilburys)
Last Train to London
10538 Overture
Shine A Little Love
Wild West Hero
Sweet Talkin’ Woman
Don’t Bring Me Down
Turn To Stone
Mr Blue Sky

Encore
Roll Over Beethoven

What does music mean to you?

Posted in ELO, Jeff Lynne, Queen, rock with tags , , , on October 1, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

‘A good song never lets you down’

Music has been and always will be a big part of my life. My musical tastes have changed a little down the years and I am more eclectic in my tastes now than I was back in my teens and 20’s. One thing that always makes a song got me is the melody is king, although you do need a good lyric to make it that extra bit special. It can lift you up in tough times, although when Freddie Mercury died back in November 1991 I didn’t listen to much music for a few months. To quote the Don McLean song it was ‘the day the music died’ for me as Queen were, and still are, one of the major musical impacts on my listening, along with Jeff Lynne and ELO.

Music therapy can do wonderful things to help people with confidence/learning issues, long term illness as the wonderful work done by the Nordoff Robbins charity and others shows.

Music can be and should be enjoyed by all. There are a lot of musical snobs about and more genres than you can shake a stick at, however if you like a song then that is what counts. I would add though do explore music more, don’t go by radio playlists or the streaming sites playlists – look beyond as there is plenty of amazing and enjoyable music out there and some still to be made in the future…

STEELEYE SPAN UK tour dates

Posted in Folk, Folk rock, gigs, News with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Tonight’s performance is the best I’ve seen from the band in several years. Let’s hope the current line-up will be around for a whileThe Stinger – Darren Johnson

Steeleye Span are fast approaching their 50th anniversary 2019, with a work rate to put many younger artists to shame.  The bands’ eighth album in twelve years – 2016’s Dodgy Bastards – saw them return to the folk tales and characters that have always been at the heart of the Steeleye sound.  Dodgy Bastards saw the folk-rock pioneers continue drawing stories of murder, religion, incest, skulls, honour killings and tormented spirit.  They once more create an inspired and dark take on the music of the British Isles.

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Steeleye Span are an English Folk Rock band formed in 1969. Still active today, along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British Folk Revival and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles Gaudette” and “All Around My Hat”. They had four Top 40 albums and achieved a certified gold record with sales of “All Around My Hat”.

The present Steeleye line-up is:  The Legendary Maddy Prior (vocals), with long term member Liam Genockey(drums), Julian Littman (guitar/keyboards and vocals)Andrew Sinclair (guitar), Jesse Mae Smart (violin and backing vocals), Benji Kirkpatrick (guitar and backing vocals), (whose father John Kirkpatrick played with the band in 1977-1978) and Roger Carey (bass)

Steeleye are working on their new studio album for their 2019, 50th Celebration,  some of the new tracks will feature in the set list for the up and coming UK tour.

“STEELEYE Span cross the folk rock divide like no other act in the UK”. Andrew Riley (Quay News.net).

Steeleye Span

Tour Dates 2018

Mon 1st October       Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen

Tues 2nd October    The Subscription Rooms, Stroud

Wed 3rd October      The Stables, Milton Keynes

Thurs 4th October    Swan Theatre, Worcester

Sat 6th October        Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne

Sun 7th October       Chelmsford Theatre, Chelmsford

Mon 8th October      Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Tues 9th October     Opera House, Buxton

Wed 10th October    Palace Theatre, Mansfield

Fri 12th October       The Core at Corby Cube, Corby

Sat 13th October      Holy Trinity Church, Sudbury

Sun 14th October    Theatre Royal, Margate

Mon 15th October    Hexagon,  Reading

Wed 17th October    Royal Philharmonic,  Liverpool

Thurs 18th October The Courtyard,  Hereford

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.

Stoke makes the UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist

Posted in News, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival, theatre with tags , , , , , , , on July 17, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Coventry, Paisley, Sunderland, Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent will compete to host a year-long celebration of art and performance as UK City of Culture 2021.

The final bid has to be submitted by September and the winning city is announced in November/December time.

Really hope Stoke wins this as it would be amazing for the city and a real boost to the area. Unlike the Garden festival back in 1986, this will have longer term benefits for the area as it is city/area wide and not just focused on one site.