Melodic Rock / AOR round up – July 2013


By Woody

HRH AOR 2 has announced some of the bands lined up for next year’s festival at Hafan Y Mor, Pwlhelli in North Wales on the 20-23 March. The first few bands announced for the three day event are Graham Bonnett, Tyketto, Love/Hate, Kee Marcello, Bonfire, Pink Cream 69, Tigertailz, Chasing Violets, White Widdow, Summers and Hell to Pay. Looks pretty tasty to me so far and all being well I’ll be there! Prior to this announcement tickets were already 40% sold out so the festival is cruising towards a healthy attendance. You can purchase tickets via or via the HRH box office on 08700 110034.


FM have just announced their special guest for their one off summer headline show at The River Rooms in Stourbridge on the 28th July! It’s is none other than Toby Jepson, who will be performing an acoustic set. Toby Jepson is probably best known for been the lead singer of Little Angels but has also enjoyed a solo career and a stint with Gun!

Tickets can be purchased directly from the venue at the following link

Check out the new video from FM below. ‘Story Of My Life’ is taken from the band’s latest opus Rockville and is currently on the Radio 2 playlist, so enjoy!


Ultra melodic Finnish rockers Reckless Love have announced a batch of UK tour dates in October. I shall be popping my Reckless Love live cherry as the glamsters hit the West Midlands for the very first time when they play The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on Sunday the 6th October! Check out the video for their recently released song ‘Night On Fire’ below…


Cult AOR hero Jeff Cannata has resurrected his eighties band Arc Angel! The new album Harlequins of Light will be released via Frontiers Records on August 24th. Check out some samples in the video below!


Skid Row return to the UK this autumn after the success of their spring tour and headline show at HRH AOR! This time they are co-headlining with Ugly Kid Joe and are playing at Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on Saturday the 2nd of November! Looks like the Youth will be going wild once again in the Black Country! Not that they need an excuse round here….

Blackmore’s Night have released a new video clip for the song ‘The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over The Sea)’ which is taken from the Dancer and the Moon album which is out now on Frontiers Records. Although I’m a big fan of Ritchie Blackmore I do struggle with his latest offerings and the medieval costumes. That said after watching this video I want a double necked lute and a bad ass hat like that dude. I’ll be beating the ladies off with a stick whilst screaming ‘GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY LUTE’! seriously enjoy the video…

A new British melodic rock band hailing from North Staffordshire Lawless are promising their debut album Rock Savage will be chock full of anthemic melodic rock songs. The band features members of Demon, Persian Risk and Headrush and we have been told to except live dates to support this release later in the year! It’ll be out on Escape Music in July! They have announced an album launch show at The Green Star in Stoke on August 15th.


Find Me is a new collaboration between vocalist Robbie La Blanc and multi instrumentalist / producer Daniel Flores and the album Wings Of Love will be released in August via Frontiers Records. The album also features plenty of songs written by outside writers including Erik Martensson (W.E.T/Eclipse) Alessendro Del Vecchio, Soren Kronqvist and Tom & James Martin (VEGA). I have to say based purely on the samples I’m quite excited about this release, which sounds right up my alley! Check out some samples in the video below.


You can also view the official video for the lead track from the album ‘Road To Nowhere’ below.


Romeo’s Daughter are slowly announcing live shows in the autumn, we’ve already heard about shows in Bolton and London. Well now we have one in the Midlands! Leigh Matty and co will be bringing heaven in the backseat to Birmingham’s O2 Academy on the 6th of October! Unfortunately for me it’s also the same night as Reckless Love in Wolvo, so tough decisions need to be made – unless the powers of be join forces and bring us a co-headline show at The Slade Rooms….Hint Hint! Support will come from Dante Fox on all dates.


The Darkness have just assembled an extremely extensive and people pleasing tour for the end of the year – most notably a show at Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on the 2nd of December – but they are also hitting the Engine Shed in Lincoln, The Assembly in Leamington Spa, O2 Academy in Oxford, Roadmender in Northampton and the O2 Academy in Leicester!


I’ve just discovered a few live dates that will interest you guys at a relatively new venue in Stourbridge called Moochers. You can check out Faster Pussycat on the 10th of July, Tygers Of Pan Tang on the 4th of October, Sister Sin on the 9th of October, King Lizard on the 18th of October and Knock Out Kaine on the 25th of October. Moochers is a 250 Capacity live venue with separate bar areas and is situated in Stourbridge town centre!


One of my favourite UK melodic rock bands Newman return with a new album Siren due out on the 19th July via AOR Heaven. A teaser video with a couple of samples on can be viewed below. I’ve always been a big fan of Newman and the buzz surrounding this album is that it is even better than the last with a fresher sound, so I’m very excited to hear this one in full! In related news Steve Newman and Shaun Beassant will be supporting Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch as part of his special Acoustic performances at this year’s Firefest, the show has moved venues and will now be in the Basement at Rock City after Firefest finishes at 10 pm. Don’t ask for tickets as they have all gone, there was a limited number offered to those buying Firefest tickets early. So it’s a nice bonus for those with after show tickets!


Reuben Archer’s Personal Sin is a new solo album from the Stampede front man and it will be released on August 19th via the Toxic Arrow record label. Reuben is joined by partner in crime guitarist Rob Wolverson and a whole host of well known guest musicians from bands like UFO, Y&T, Magnum, Thunder & Whitesnake.


Legion return with their fifth album V this September the album will again be released via Z Records. The band which features Black Country guitarist Vince O’Regan once again teams up with American vocalist Phil Vincent for what is been touted as their best album yet!


Chicago based pop rockers 7th Heaven have a new album out new called Synergy. The hard gigging band who are extremely popular in the Chicago area welcome a new singer Anthony Fedorov for his first album with the band.


Color Three features members of Boston and they’ll be coming to The River Rooms in Stourbridge this summer. Not only will they be playing original material you can also expect a few Boston classics in the Set-list. Tickets are available now from the River Rooms website so mark the 6th August in your dairy!


Legendary Scottish rockers Big Country are also hitting the Black Country this autumn. They play The River Rooms on the 6th November and tickets are now on sale from the website – the band are now fronted by Mike Peters of The Alarm, if you didn’t already know!

Rockageddon festival taking place at Lucy’s Bar on the 17th November have now finalised the line-up after adding Swedish glamsters Bai Bang. The full line-up reads as Shotgun + Bai Bang + Escape + Chase The Ace + Curran + Scream Arena and tickets are now available from the Rockageddon website –

Osukaru have just released a video clip for their song ‘Prisoner of The Night’ which is taken from their forthcoming album Triumphant.


Fergie Frederiksen has also released a video clip for ‘This Is The Last Battle of My War’ from his forthcoming album Any Given Moment which is due out on Frontiers Records in August. Check it out below.

Anette Olzon is hard at work on her first solo album; the ex-Nightwish singer is back working with her Alyson Avenue partner in crime Niclas Olsson. I’ve always been a massive fan of Anette and I’m hoping her solo album see’s her return to melodic rock!


A new Greek band Farraday have their debut album Shade of Love scheduled for release in mid July via AOR Heaven.

Swedish melodic metallers Nation are back with a video for an all new song ‘Throw The Dice’ check it out below. I hope this is a sign that the band are hard at work on a new album after a very long hiatus! Remember you can see Nation at this year’s Firefest!


After the annual Thunder Christmas live shows left Rock City last year after a five year stint for Manchester the PR indicated that for as long as the shows continued they would move location to reach as many fans as possible every time. This year sees the turn of Wolverhampton Civic Hall, perhaps one of the most successful destinations on Thunder’s regular tours since the mid nineties even with falling record sales right up until the bands official ‘retirement’ in 2009 they continued to regularly sell out the near 3,000 capacity venue with ease! Thunder are my all time favourite band so this unique opportunity to see them after four years (probably my longest gap without a Thunder fix!) is very exciting and I’m planning on partying the night away in Wolvo! So Thunder will be coming to the Black Country on the 20th and 21st December!


Sadly due to health issues Shooting Star vocalist Keith Mitchell will not be fronting the band at this year’s Firefest. He will be replaced by Todd Pettygrove for this highly anticipated show.


The legendary Yes are back on tour next spring; they have three shows in the Midlands, Oxford, Leicester and Symphony Hall in Birmingham on the 4th of May.


Firehouse guitarist Bill Leverty has released a new song called ‘Ace Bandage’ you can download it at the following links –

CD Baby:

Night X Night release a new download single ‘The Moment’ on the 5th of August. You can see them supporting Y&T in the Autumn, including a show at The Robin in Bilston!


Aussie AOR-sters Little River Band have a new album out Cuts Like a Diamond via Frontiers Records on August 24th. A Digital single ‘The Lost & The Lonely’ will be released on July 8th. This is another soft rock goodie I’m looking forward to! Check out some samples below.


Tigertailz are currently working hard on a new EP entitled ‘Knives’ which is due out later in the year. Matt Blackout has returned to the Tailz drum kit and he re-joins Jay Pepper and new boys Jules Millis and Rob Wylde. The Tailz have also announced some live shows for the Autumn including a return to The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on the 27th November.


Legendary vocalist Robert Hart has been confirmed as one of the special guests lined up for Rage Of Angels headline show at Skyfest in September! Also it has just been announced that American vocalist David Reed Watson will be joining the Angels on all dates on their European tour.


Initial details for a new album from Sammy Hagar are filtering through from Frontiers Records who will be releasing it. Sammy Hagar & friends will be released in September and as the title implies Sammy will be joined by a whole host of guest musicians. The album features 10 new songs and a couple of covers.


Midlands’s melodic rockers Magnum have revealed the title of their new album Escape From The Shadow Garden. It’s slated for a release in early 2014 alongside a European tour.


Rock Candy Records have just released another handful of re-mastered classics including 4 from southern rockers Blackfoot. So look out for Blackfoot’s – Strikes, Tomcattin’, Marauder and Highway Song Live albums and also Billy Thorpe East Of Eden’s Gate and Stan Bush & Barrage’s self titled album.


Catch you next month!