Archive for pop

Music news – CORNBURY festival returns with headliners THE SPECIALS, KEANE and THE BEACH BOYS (5-7 July 2019)

Posted in Classic rock, Family life, festivals, Folk, Melodic rock, News, pop, Pop rock, Progressive rock, rock with tags , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

The sixteenth Cornbury Music Festival is held in The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire 5-7 July.

Joining headliners The Specials, Keane and The Beach Boys, artists include KT Tunstall, Elkie Brooks, Trevor Horn Band, Paul Cattack and Steeleye Span.

Amongst the sideshow events The Hairy Bikers return with their “pop up” wood-fired restaurant. There’s also an Edinburgh Fringe Festival preview featuring Lost Voice Guy and Rose Matafeo, top prize winner at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2018.  Whilst on the Caffe Nero stage Chris Difford (Squeeze), The Dunwells and are amongst the participants.

Cornbury is a truly “family-friendly” event where “music-lovers share pies and a glass of champagne with superstars, toffs, rockers, crooners, Morris dancers, farmers, urbanites, fashionistas, gourmet chefs and little old ladies who make exceptional cakes”.

More information

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

jones

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

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

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

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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

 

If you only by a few albums this month…

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Blues rock, hard rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Hard to pick one single ‘must have’ album from the April releases as there are a lot…

Tax The Heat released their debut on Nuclear Blast and it is chock full of catchy blues/hard rocking tunes with a modern edge.

The Dowling Poole return with their second album ‘One Hyde Park’, a delight from start to finish. If you like quirky pop with a message – think XTC, Squeeze, the instant appeal of ELO songs – this is for you.

Left With Pictures new album ‘Afterlife’ took me by surprise, with its sparse, yet melodic arrangements and haunting vocals. Not for everyone but if like me you love  music regardless of its ‘genre’, have a listen.

And finally the new Cheap Trick ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’…the band have continued their fine run of form since 1997’s self-titled album (I still can’t get into their 1992 release ‘Woke Up With A Monster’), with their first new album since 2009. It really does hark back at times to their classic 70’s/early 80’s sound. If you are a fan doubtless you will already have this, if not try this album and then work your way back through their fine back catalogue.

The music is out there…

Posted in Blues rock, Classic albums, Classic rock, Folk, Folk rock, Get Ready To Rock!, gigs, hard rock, Heavy metal, indie, Melodic rock, metal, Mix tape, Modern rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock with tags , , , , on February 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I love discovering and listening to new music, be it actual new music or older music that I listen to for the first time. I know many music fans my age or older get very set in their tastes and say nothing new is as good as the older, established bands, however that misses the point a little for me. Yes bands like say the Temperance Movement or Inglorious, to name but two, are nothing new musically yet they take the music they love and give it their own twist. Heck, bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple borrowed and were influenced by established artists in their day to create the music that still resonates today.

Just this week I picked up a Richard Hawley CD after reading a rave gig review on GRTR! On Twitter I have been picking up on new music and currently loving Broken Witt Rebels (their new EP is superb!) and the indie rock of Mountain Jam. The joy and thrill of hearing new music and championing the musicians is one of life’s great joys for me and many others.

Go on, listen to at least one new band/musician this week, be they new or old…