Saturday, 31 January 2009

Saturday

The new Cannibal Corpse is kicking my fat arse badly. First Place Vendome and now the Corpse with their monstrous new album. You can see I like anything. The new Corpse long player is seriously brutal and still catchy as all hell. There are grooves on that thing heavy enough to move mountains.

The new Dark Moor CD is great. It is the CD that Rhapsody should have made instead of their last album which was very dissapointing indeed being far too slow. Dark Moor's new opus is pure symphonic magic with great orchestral swathes. Really enjoyable stuff indeed.

Man City have just lost to Stoke and Stoke were down to ten men. Man City in complete disarray at the moment. Absolute shambles. All that money and they play like a complete bunch of wankers. Makes you laugh really. United go marching on although we have a tough game against Everton later on which we must win to put the pressure on Chelsea and Liverpool who battle it out tomorrow.

My bets are doing really badly. I won a bit last week and then lost it all again. Useless. I am trying again today and hoping for a win of some description. No gigs on the horizon till Priest Feast at Wembley. Hate Eternal play tomorrow night but damn they're boring. I just can't get into them at all. Aeon supports and I really like them but I'm not venturing forth just for them plus it's freezing! Might go to Lordi on the 12th just for a laugh to see how they sound live and how they play their instruments with all that crap on plus they are pretty cool anyway.

Will go to the pub later to watch the footie. Hopefully not to drown my sorrows!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

The first magical CD from 2009 has arrived

Well it had to happen sooner or later and finally one has lent one's ears to the much anticipated Place Vendome disk, Streets of Fire. To say that I was blown away would be an understatement of monumental proportions! This is the mother of all AOR disks of recent times. This disk is absolute perfection. I cannot find one millisecond of boredom on this album and I look forward to many repeated plays in the days and months to come.

The first Place Vendome disk was already great, but the new one is really something special indeed. The production is top notch as expected but you have to have the tunes and despite the songs being written by a number of different melodic rock song writers, the quality never wains for even a second. You will have noticed I haven't mentioned the vocals yet. I think this effort by Herr Kiske is just out of this world. This guy is just born to sing Melodic Rock/AOR!!! What a voice this man has and what wonderful melodies he sings. Amazing. I can't even say I have a favourite song as of yet but after 2 plays I am still digesting it. All I can say is that I enjoyed every single second and the album was over in a flash.

Thank you Frontiers Records for creating this project and persuading Kiske to sing on it. This is a pure masterpiece of melodic rock/AOR bliss. I look forward to getting hold of the original CD when it's officially released.

On another note, United just beat Spuds 2-1 in the Cup. First of our cup meetings with the spuddies of White Hart Lane is under our belt. They took the lead but did fuck all afterwards and United strolled to a win. Roll on the Carling cup final and another beating for them I hope. Of course there are more important league games to worry about before then, like West Brom away midweek. Exciting days and nights ahead.

Ronaldo's just not having a great season this year and I hope he has a much better second half of the season. Good job that some of the players are coming into their own and we are not really a one man team anymore.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Shinedown Report

Well I am a tiny bit underwhelmed by the live Shinedown experience. Maybe I am just expecting too much but the record sounds so amazing that the live sound is bound to be a touch dissapointing. Not to say that the band are very good at what they do but I just didn't get that massive wow factor that I got from the record.

Brent Smith is an amiable and very crowd involving frontman but his 'save the world, stand up for what you believe in, unity in numbers, life is hard, we love you' rhetoric gets a little tiresome from the audiences point of view. Many times I was thinking just shut the fuck up dude and sing the songs will yer! When he did sing, Brent was in fine voice although again I can't say he sounds as good live as he does on the record. I don't know what he was on in the studio, but the live arena doesn't quite live up to that billing. He also has this mannerism where he pulls the mic away from his mouth at the end of lines and the note trails off under an avalanche of guitars and bass. It's a little bit annoying!

Anyhow it was an ok gig and plenty of people enjoyed it and I'm glad I went. The best songs where the ballads which allowed us to hear Brent's voice much better than the rockers. The Crow and the Butterfly was absolutely mesmeric as was If you only knew. I enjoyed Fly on the Inside and 45 from earlier albums.

The sound from where I was standing was sometimes really good and other times really quite muddy. Last time for the Edguy gig at the Islington Academy, the sound was pretty good. The sound could have been better for Shinedown though I am being a bit picky. Sometimes a band really comes to the fore in the live setting but I don't know if Shinedown really managed that last night. Although it was the first night of their first headlining European tour so you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. They are still a great band, emitting loads of pent up energy with anthemic, ballsy rock tunes and a great vocalist who in future might wanna talk a bit less in between the songs? :-P

Monday, 19 January 2009

Shinedown gig

Off to see the almighty Shinedown on Wednesday down at the Islington Academy again. Seem to be visiting that place more and more these days and since the demise of the Astoria, the visits will only increase. Anyway I am looking forward to this gig immensely - it should be a corker. The Sound of Madness is an amazing CD and I can't wait to finally catch these guys live. I have been reading one or two remours that they are perhaps not as good live as they are on plastic. We will see.

On another note, the new Place Vendome is out soon. Should be a cracker and no doubt my first big favourite of 2009, when I finally get round to playing it. The self titled debut was a great disk with Kiske sounding brilliant. Liverpool just got held 1-1 by Everton at home. Nice one Timmy Cahill. Great result for United that and now with a victory in the game in hand United will be 3 points clear at the top with level games. Long, long way to go no doubt but United are on the march to glory again...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

My Favourite 20 songs from 2008

This was really quite a hard choice and I had 100s to pick from but I managed to narrow it down in the end. Obviously this is clearly a subjective choice based on my tastes but I think these songs are very cool and could appeal to the more open minded melodic metal/rock music fan. So if you haven't heard any of these tunes, do yourself a favour and seek them out. You never know what you might like.

In reverse order:

20. H.e.a.t. - Cry
19. Firewind - Head Up High
18. Shinedown - The Crow and the Butterfly
17. Rick Springfield - What's Victoria's Secret
16. Axel Rudi Pell - Ain't Gonna Win
15. Brainstorm - Frozen
14. Shadowkeep - Leviathan Rising
13. Trev Lukather - Tonight
12. Asia - Never Again
11. Sabaton - 40-1
10. H.e.a.t. - Keep on Dreaming
9. House of Lords - Come to my Kingdom
8. Her Whisper - Their Finest Hour
7. Jorn - Night City
6. Journey - Where did I lose your love
5. Shinedown - What a Shame
4. Eclipse - Hometown Calling
3. Eyefear - Always Reasons
2. Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire
1. Sabaton - Cliffs of Gallipoli

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Don Airey live

Keyboard legend Don Airey was in town last night at the Underworld to start off a European tour and I ventured along not really sure of what to expect to be honest. I was expecting a support as advertised in the poster outside, but it turns out there was none. So thank god for a pint of beer and the mp3 player as I hung around 2 hours till 9pm waiting for the show to start. The turnout was low to begin with but gradually the venue filled out a little but still a very poorly attended gig, but I guess this was always going to be the case. Possibly 100-140 or so hardy old school rock fans gathered to pay homage to keyboard wiz, Mr. Airey and his gang of hired hands.



Well I can safely say he didn't dissapoint and his band are super cool to boot. On the drum stool was legendary Jethro Tull skinsman Clive Bunker and he whipped up a storm despite being even older than Don. On bass, Lawrence Cottle and on guitars Rob Harris, interestingly enough the lead guitarist with Jamiroquai no less. On vox was of course Carl Sentance. I have come across Carl's vocals quite recently on another album and was suitably impressed on record and was expecting to be impressed live and once again I wasn't let down one bit. The band was very enthusiastic and they are super professional players of course and this showed in how they delivered the songs. Mr. Airey himself shredded the keys as only he knows how.



He had his old Hammond set up at one side and a more modern Yamaha on the other. The set list was a mix between the hard rock anthems of Don's previous bands and also the more progressive elements of his recent A Light in the Sky CD. The set list was roughly as below though I think I am missing two songs as I didn't quite catch the titles but I am sure they were Deep Purple tracks. Not being a massive fan of the Purple I can't say for certain what they were but they sounded familiar as most Purple tracks do.



I must say Don's band is very tight indeed. They are all so accomlished and play with such ease on their instruments without being showy or over the top in any way. I must admit I actually quite enjoyed some of the long instrumentals from the new album. They were progressive and still melodic yet very expansive, reflecting the subject matter of the album quite well. They somehow reminded me of the Polish band Riverside in the atmosphere created. In Carl Sentance the band has a rock solid vocalist, somewhere in between Ian Gillan and Graham Bonnet. His voice is sometimes a bit one dimensional but he has good power even if the delivery is sometimes a bit samey. The crowd pleasers in the set were delivered with glee and were greatfully lapped up by the 100 or so fans who turned up to watch. The audience were definitely happy with the performance and the band were recalled for two seperate encores before taking a final bow.

This gig was a surprise for me and the first time ever I have heard some of the Rainbow/Purple classics live and it was a real treat. An enjoyable night and well worth attending to hear top class musicians delivering top class songs.

Spotlight Kid
Bad Girl
A Light in the Sky
The Pale Blue Dot
Shooting Star
Endless Night
Rocket to the Moon
Misguided
2 long new instrumentals
Somewhere over the Raindbow
All Night Long
Since You've Been Gone
Black Night
So Glad We Made It

video

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Edguy Gig Report

Well the first gig of 2009 is safely under my belt and it was a good one!

Heat were absolutely amazing to tell the truth. What a band! Only played 30 minutes or so and it was all over far too quickly. Kenny, their real singer was back from his operation and the band is just amazingly tight and was blessed with a great sound thankfully. What songs they have! I would love to see them do a full set if possible with the whole CD and some covers one day soon.

Andre Matos was great actually. Only problem was that he had the worst sound of the night. Couldn't even hear his vocals a lot of the time. The songs were good, especially the Angra ones and the band though looking like a bunch of mexican bandits were very tight and pretty heavy. And who doesn't love the Journey cover Separate Ways. I liked them a lot all in all.

For Edguy I moved away from the front area that I occupied for the first two bands. I attended this gig mainly for Heat and Matos. Edguy were good though and this was the second time I had seen them. The sound was good most of the time being punchy and pretty clear. Tobi was Tobi. Doing his typical Germanic toilet humour at times and always the consumate pro vocal wise. They were entertaining indeed. Could have done without the lame drum solo but I guess poor Tobi needs a rest mid gig every night. They played a variety of songs concentrating mainly on the midpaced heavier songs with a few speedy songs mixed in to keep the old fans happy although a little begrudgingly, as Tobi mentioned that people should take Edguy for what they are now and stop telling them to write fast shit all the time. Here's one for you Tobes...WRITE SOME FAST SHIT NEXT TIME!!!!

Fun night and worth it for 30 minutes of Heat alone. What a band!I hope to see them again soon some day. Thanks for coming this time.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

1st live gig of 2009

Well I'm absolutely freezing my nuts off but I have to go and see Edguy with support from the amazing band H.e.a.t and Andre Matos. To be honest I am not so fussed about Edguy but I would like to see H.e.a.t. a lot. These guys are just amazing AOR with super cool vocals. Will be cool to see Matos as well and I'm sure Tobi and co will put on a cool show even though I'm not really a fan of theirs any more though they have their moments. I just hope that it will warm up a touch cause at the moment the thought of going outside is not a very pleasant one at all!! Even for a great show like this one...