Monday, 28 October 2019

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Album Review: Tanith 'In Another Time'

Inspired by the sounds of the '70s, heavy rockers Tanith release their full-length debut album!


Tanith seemed to appear from out of nowhere with the Citadel single in late 2017, presenting an unsuspecting public with something new and exciting with little initial hype. The largely-NYC-and-also-Newcastle Upon Tyne four-piece have as clear an idea of what they're about as any band I've encountered.  Their own promotional material invokes Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep and Blue Oyster Cult as inspiration, and it's easy to detect some early Rush lurking around in the grandiose, fantastical vision they offer.  Their debut full-length, 'In Another Time', communicates this clearly from the vivid, cosmic cover work by Brooklyn based artist Luke Cantarella to the wealth of melody, riffs and atmosphere contained therein.

Opener Citadel (Galantia Pt 1) pushes the listener straight into the world that Tanith have created with this record.  The key features of the their sound are quickly given prominence here: dual guitar leads supplied by Russ Tippins (Satan, Blind Fury, Pariah, Russ Tippins Electric Band) and Charles Newton, powerful riffs in a lush, over driven sound and the interplay and harmony of Tippins' and bassist Cindy Maynard's vocals.  The pacey bombast of Citadel is immediately followed by the more sinister-sounding, traditionally 'heavy' Book Of Changes.  This reinforces the band's effortless command of dynamics and atmosphere with stately-sounding dual leads giving way to a surprisingly heavy main riff played at a marching pace.  Melodic, harmonising vocals reinforce the heavier atmosphere through contrast.

This well-honed sound continues with minor variations throughout the album, lyrics chiefly keeping a studied focus on fantasy themes with a generally positive bent. The chief example of this comes with album highlight Under The Stars, a paean to confronting a world of cynicism and materialism with childlike wonderEleven Years provides something of a break from the 'Wishbone Ash with more bite' formula, this song's tale of a man afflicted with ennui lent an almost 1960s psych-pop quality and allows for some low-key showing off by drummer Keith Robinson.

By the album's conclusion (a short instrumental reprise of Under The Stars), the listener can be sure of a band greater than the sum of its' parts.  In the songwriting, the vocal harmonies and the overall musicianship this band is a force to be reckoned with.  Do yourself a favour and see them on tour this Autumn!

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Listen to and purchase Tanith's music from Metal Blade.  For upcoming news and tour dates follow the band on Facebook.





Writer: Craig Stewart

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Live Review: Idle Hands @ Keep It True Festival, The Black Heart & Metalheadz Open Air

There’s been a buzz around Idle Hands for some time now and it only intensified as they embarked on their recently concluded, European mega-tour. 50 dates across 12 countries allowed the band to live up to the excitement their debut EP Don’t Waste Your Time had been creating since its release one year ago.  

Image result for idle hands don't waste your time

Some of us were lucky enough to catch several shows and witness exactly why Idle Hands are being touted as the next big thing. Keep It True Festival was our first of three. Early on a rainy Saturday, only a few short hours since the finale of Friday’s after party and the crowd of damp, headache ridden fans couldn’t have been more aware that this might not have been the best time for a heavy metal show. The explosive opening to 'Nightfall' turned that atmosphere around instantly, the band launching in as though they were in the midst of a headline set. The energy was infectious and it did not let up. For the next 45 minutes it didn’t have to be a rainy Saturday morning in Baden-Württemberg. A Friday night in a sweaty club, the ending of a huge outdoor festival, wherever this performance took you, that’s where you were staying until the end.  

Two weeks later and it’s London’s turn, this time in a venue a fraction of the size of Tauberfrankenhalle - Camden's The Black Heart. Idle Hands have been playing their debut album Mana throughout the tour but today, the official release date, feels a bit special. From start to finish there is passion spilling from everyone on the tiny stage. Brandon Hill and Colin Vranizan form a crystal clear and super tight rhythm section, quite the feat in a tiny box room above a bar. Sebastian Silva and Cory Boyd on guitar are a joy to watch as well as listen to. Silva and Gabriel Franco on vocals bring heaps of attitude and charisma in equal measure. As things close out with ‘Dragon, Why Do You Cry?’, I notice that despite any melancholy in the music, I've been grinning like a child at Christmas through most of the set, totally captivated.

Metalheadz Open Air brings another special occasion - the very last tour date. Each of these guys has been through 73 days of trailing back and forth across Europe, but not one of them shows any sign of fatigue or lack of enthusiasm. It's nearing 40°C on stage and Metalheadz is living up to its reputation of having a crowd who can tend to favour campsite parties over watching bands. And yet, Idle Hands do it again and give their all.

This is where Idle Hands are going so right. They perform in every situation as though it is exactly where they are meant to be. Making sure their audience knows that they were made for this as they command the stage with total consistency across venues, crowds, and settings. They know what they are here to do and they’re going to continue doing just that.


Born Again's Louise had the chance to sit down with Gabriel Franco at Metalheadz Open Air for a detailed interview which will follow shortly... keep your eyes peeled!




Writer: Louise Dornan

Friday, 7 June 2019

Album Review: Rock Goddess 'This Time'

The South London trio have released their first full length album since 1987's 'Young And Free'!


A comeback album will usually fall into one of two camps. There are those where the artist has attempted to revisit former glories, writing material that borrows from their earlier work. Not ideal, obviously, but at least it's somewhat safe. Then there's the more problematic approach, where the artist tries to keep up with the contemporary scene, drawing influence from younger acts. This is invariably an embarrassing exercise, simply because in the process a group tends to lose whatever it was that endeared them to the public in the first place.

Occasionally, a band returns from a lengthy period away with a recording that avoids either of these scenarios. This Time is one such album. Those who love the records that Rock Goddess made in the 1980s should have no trouble relating to the songs on offer here. The Turner sisters still sing and play with the same verve, but they have been confident enough to take their music forward. And throughout, we hear the stylistic elements that made their original output so vital.

By way of introduction, the listener is greeted with the unmistakable voices of Jody and Julie, previewing the chorus of opener 'Are You Ready?' in striking harmony. It's a marvellous sound, and one that we are to hear plenty of during the next thirty-six minutes or so. Then we plunge into a different realm with 'Obsession'. It's dark, edgy, ambitious - and it works. Next, 'Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right' takes us back to the Goddess style of the early years. If anything on the album recalls the raw energy of the band's debut, it is this.

As a trio, Rock Goddess have always thrived on great ensemble playing. But individually there is a lot to dwell on, too. Julie Turner's drum performance is supremely confident, and Tracey Lamb - recently departed, to be replaced by Jenny Lane - delivers bass lines that are as adventurous as her earlier work. Best of all, the voice of Jody Turner has lost none of its authority, unafraid to traverse the full emotional range from tender to furious.

One of the strongest moments must surely be 'Calling To Space', a hooky, dynamic and immaculately arranged composition that boasts impressive vocal variation. But then there's 'Flying To See You', a slow burner with yet more thrilling harmonies, or the anthemic title track, or indeed the outstanding closer, 'Drive Me Away'. What is clear is that despite the enormous changes in recording technology since Young And Free in 1987, Goddess have managed to retain their integrity. This album was some time in the making, and the results speak for themselves.


Pre-order This Time on vinyl here at Cargo Records - due out 06/09/19.


Upcoming Gigs:

*Saturday 31st August - The Tivoli Venue, Buckley
*Sunday 1st September - Exchange, Bristol
*Wednesday 4th September - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
*Thursday 5th September - The Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
*Friday 6th September - Òran Mór, Glasgow
*Saturday 7th September - Yardbirds, Grimsby
*Sunday 8th September - The Robin 2, Bilston
Saturday 21st September - Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival 2019, Netherlands
Friday 4th October - Fatfest 2019, Swindon

*With Heavy Pettin'


Keep up-to-date with Rock Goddess news at: www.facebook.com/Rockgoddessrocks





Writer: George Colwan

Thursday, 31 January 2019

UFO 'Last Orders' 50th Anniversary Tour Dates

 Image result for ufo last orders

English rock legends UFO need no introduction and we most certainly don't need to persuade you to ensure that you are in attendance at the band's upcoming 50th Anniversary UK Tour...we like to think that it's more a question of how many dates can you get to?

UFO have already sold out a number of shows and it's no surprise considering that the aptly named 'Last Orders' tour is not only to commemorate 50 phenomenal years in music, but will also be the last dates with the only constant member, front man and gentleman Phil Mogg.


You can (and must!) catch Phil, Paul Raymond, Vinnie Moore, Rob De Luca and co-founding member Andy Parker on the dates below: 


MARCH

Thu 07 - O2 Academy, Bristol
Fri 08 - The Assembly, Leamington Spa
Sat 09 - O2 Academy, Oxford     
Sun 10 - O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Tue 12 - Tramshed, Cardiff  SOLD OUT
Thu 14 - Town Hall, Birmingham  SOLD OUT
Fri 15 - Hard Rock Hell AOR Fest *, Prestatyn
Sat 16 - O2 Ritz, Manchester  SOLD OUT
Sun 17 - O2 Academy, Leeds
Tue 19 - Academy, Dublin
Wed 20 - The Limelight 1, Belfast
Fri 22 - The Junction, Cambridge
Sat 23 - Roadmender, Northampton
Sun 24 - The Waterfront, Norwich
Tue 26 - Rock City, Nottingham
Thu 28 - O2 Academy, Newcastle
Fri 29 - Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh  SOLD OUT
Sat 30 - Ironworks, Inverness                   
Sun 31 - O2 Academy, Glasgow

APRIL

Tue 02 - City Hall, Hull
Wed 03 - The Brook, Southampton  SOLD OUT
Thu 04 - Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London  SOLD OUT
 Fri 05 - Kentish Town Forum, London  EXTRA DATE ADDED

Special guest on the March/April tour is TARA LYNCH
*except the HRH AOR Festival





Writer: Kayleigh MG

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Glenn Hughes 'Classic Deep Purple' 2019 UK Tour Dates

Glenn Hughes is a man who just keeps on giving and this year is no different as he continues his 'Classic Deep Purple Live' Tour across the UK starting this May.

The UK 2019 part of the tour promises to be a 2-hour classic homage to Glenn's time with the MK 3 and MK 4 incarnations of Deep Purple!

If you managed to catch any of the 2018 tour dates, you'll know that you're in for a real treat with a set list to fantasize over. Glenn Hughes is one of the biggest voices in rock and although a large handful of rock and heavy metal vocalists have inevitably lost a lot of the power and emotion that they once had in their pipes, Glenn's skill seems to be aging like a fine wine. His vocal and performance are increasingly impressive with each tour. 

Special guest this time around will be British blues rock guitarist Laurence Jones who is tipped as the future of Blues Rock having previously supported the likes of Status Quo, Gary Clark Jr, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, James Bay, Van Morrison, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Joe Bonamassa, Jools Holland, Eric Burdon, and many more.

So don't delay! Glenn Hughes is set to take a short break after this tour so it might be your last chance to catch this Classic Deep Purple set. 


Not familiar with the rest of Glenn's back catalogue? Head over to our Connoisseur's Choice piece on Glenn, where we celebrate some of our favourites in his discography right here! 






Writer: Kayleigh M Griffin

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Interview: Q5

Having never graced British soil before, we grab some time with Seattle's phenomenal Q5 before they bring the light to the Camden Underworld, London with their first ever UK performance before moving onto Edinburgh to continue their European Tour!













Everybody has that list of 'must-see' bands and tonight it's definitely time for one of ours. We feel privileged to welcome Q5 as they prepare for their first show in the UK! It's clearly been one hell of a tour already as we step backstage to a tranquil room set with a sea of sleeping bodies.

However, clearly running on adrenaline and excitement, we are greeted by a very tired but elated Jonathan Scott K (vocals), Jeffrey A. McCormack (drums) and Dennis Turner (guitar). After a long and somewhat troublesome journey from Germany's Trveheim Festival, the lads are here and ready to give many London fans what they have been waiting for, for a very long time. 


Kayleigh:
Welcome to London- show number three of the tour! There's a long road ahead but how's the tour treating you so far?

Jonathan Scott K: 
 Oh it's very tiring but so so great, really great. Especially last night...wow. Last night was absolutely brilliant.

Michelle: At Trveheim?

Jonathan: Yes- Trveheim Festival in Germany!

Kayleigh:
 What with it being a relatively new festival, we are curious to know what you think...

Jonathan: It was perfect. No other way to describe it really. They were so kind. They are doing it all just right and that's why they're successful. We really enjoyed it.
Jeffrey A. McCormack: Yeah, seriously so good- they made us feel right at home. What a brilliant festival.
Dennis Turner: One of those shows you'll always remember.

Kayleigh: ...And sold out! The reception must have been great?

Jonathan: Oh you know, I wish I had my phone- would have loved to have filmed a video. The reception was incredible!

Kayleigh: That’s so great- and nothing more than you deserve.

How does it feel to look out and not only see fans that have stayed loyal over the decades but also many fans who are clearly very young, yet so dedicated and knowledgeable when it comes to Q5's history?

Jonathan: It’s awesome, I mean when I look at someone, I don’t think about their age, I think "that’s someone who loves music!”
Jeffrey: It’s a family thing and that's what's so great. Everyone together. Age doesn't matter. Where you're from doesn’t matter. All the music, all the classic bands. It’s a family.

Kayleigh: After Headbangers Festival in 2009, Q5 didn't remain as active as people expected them to after such a successful show. Was there a reason why?

Jonathan: We were doing stuff semi-steadily but just in the States. You have to know how hard it is, I mean we went from playing huge venues, packed out with large crowds to… well, no one. 
After we started, people only cared about this new music coming from the underground, 'grunge' and what have you. Which was occurring in the very tiny clubs…everyone was focused on that. Bands like ours weren't getting a look in. But then you also had bands like KISS. They came along and would perform to 20,000 people each night. Lots of bands crashed and burned. 

We spent 10 years or so going through some big changes….with name changes, line up changes, as well as keeping up with other things like social media, no one knew what to expect of it all. So, we carried on playing a lot in Seattle. With three albums over the years, we are so happy with what we have achieved but we couldn’t get that break because we refused to do the ‘grunge thing’.

We stayed true to what we are. Hard rock. And here we are where things are starting to look real good for us and most importantly of all, it’s so much fun.

Kayleigh: 2014 Sweden Rock must be implanted in your memory. Is that when it all exploded for you again?

Jonathan: Well our minds exploded, anyway (laughter). Although, we had an incomplete band then. We had to discuss how we were gonna go forward because we had such a good connection. Social media helped us a lot, and we went from there. However, it all takes time. I wish it could happen overnight but it doesn’t. Radio is dead now and back in the beginning, that was the real shaker and mover.

Kayleigh: So we’ve caught you today on the third date of your European tour- you’ve said you're feeling very tired but how do you feel about your first London show tonight?

Jonathan: Oh, tonight is very special. Tired or not,  this is a very special night. We’ve been waiting for this tour a long time and here we are now!

Kayleigh: Well we know there are a lot of fans just as excited to see you perform tonight.
So, now for an inevitable, albeit important question...we know founder and original guitarist Floyd Rose wishes Q5 well and supports you all in moving forward, however he chooses not to play live anymore. Do you still speak with him regularly? Any chance of any future collaborations?

Jonathan: I literally spoke to him the day before we left. I always call him, I told him to come here to London and asked him to do one song,  just one song, maybe… 'Steel the Light'. I said "come on Floyd!" but he said …."no" (laughter). He does wish us well though and we still talk a lot.
Jeffrey: We wanted to have the blessing of the other guys too...original drummer Gary Thompson for instance… he came to our album release party and said how he actually thought we were tighter than the original line up!

Kayleigh: Well that’s a compliment and a half!

Jeffrey: Sure is- hey, we’re a family!

Q5's first studio album Steel The Light (1984)
Kayleigh: So great! Moving on to discussing your first 2 releases. Steel the Light being the first with its classic, heavy, guitar driven sound making it hugely successful within the underground. How did you feel when releasing When the Mirror Cracks with its more melodic, AOR-esque vibe?

Jonathan: Q5 is Q5. We can do whatever we want! Back in the old days, we were told “great song- but we need a more commercial hit to be on the radio!” so we did write a few, although it always had that Q5 edge.  Our third album is back to that guitar driven sound- back to the heart and roots! It has some of the elements of the second album in there because we’re proud of what we've learnt and it brings it all together.

Kayleigh: Is there any news on your upcoming album? Still set for the end of 2018?

Jonathan: We’re gonna try for then, but when it does come it's going to be amazing!

Kayleigh: We don't doubt it! Any secrets you'd like to share?

Jonathan: Well, it's gonna be seriously guitar driven,  a touch melodic, classic vibe, very hard rock… We've got these two monster guitar players…
Jeffrey:  And what about me? laughter

Kayleigh: Oh you're a monster too, just on a different instrument!

Jeffrey: I've definitely been called worse!

Kayleigh: Any ideas for the album title yet? Or is that under wraps?

Jonathan: None yet!

Kayleigh: Well, we're looking forward to hearing it. Jonathan- have your vocal influences changed over the years?

Jonathan: Oh well I have loads of influences…Sabaton are a favourite. He is no Steve Perry but his vocals are unique and interesting. Different to other influences like Udo for example. I like a voice with a bit of the X-factor.

Kayleigh: And you guys? We always love hearing about people's influences.

Jeffrey: My earliest influence was Liberty DiVitto, also John Bonham, that's a token answer but nobody cannot dispute it. Tommy Aldrich too. When I was 9, I was taking piano lessons, my uncle (who was a professor of piano) knew I was into it as much. He knew I liked KISS so he took me to a concert and as from that moment I said  "I'M DOING THAT!" so thank you to Peter Criss.
James: Man, it's all about Zeppelin…I don’t play like Page, but every time you hear him, you get those goosebumps you know. Also, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch, Neal Schon… those are my faves for sure.

Kayleigh: So, what's in store for Q5 in the future? Do you have any dreams or goals or are you happy with living in the moment?

Jonathan: My dreams have never changed. I'm doing that right now by playing in London tonight. This, our first UK show is a dream. This is where it started, this a dream. Anything beyond this is something else.

Kayleigh: Well, we are beyond excited for tonight's show and we will be keeping our eyes and ears open and ready for news of a new album on the horizon! 


Visit Q5's offical page at www.q5official.com and on facebook for more band news!






Interview: Kayleigh M Griffin
Photo: M. Godding