Catch up on all the latest news and views from the Melodic Rock scene.
So it’s been a while since my last update on all the news in the melodic rock world, so here’s a few things that we can look forward to in 2013 that you may have missed!
Here’s one for your diaries the return of Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) to the region with a rare solo show @ The Robin in Bilston on April 8th. It’s great to see Danny come back to the region. It is sure to be a blinding show, Danny never disappoints and The Robin is a pretty damn awesome venue!
More rare still is an English show from vocalist extraordinaire Jeff Scott Soto who’s hitting the Asylum in Birmingham on the 5th April as part of his ‘Damage Control’ tour. Last time JSS played UK tour was way back in 2008, when he played JB’s Dudley (Where else?! And of course I was there!), so I think five years later this gig should be a high priority for all melodic rock fans! Nice to see the Asylum having a few Melodic acts on recently, fingers crossed there’s more to come!
I suppose most talk this year regarding live entertainment in melodic rock circles will revolve around this year’s new HRH AOR Festival and the 10th Firefest!
HRH AOR takes place at the Magna Centre in Rotherham and will feature multiple stages featuring 30 acts over the 2 days of April 6th and 7th. So who’s playing? Check out this lot and decide if you’re going to come join me in the northern tundra for a great weekend of melodic rock!
April 6th – Tesla, FM, Danny Vaughn, Romeo’s Daughter, VEGA, Dante Fox, Jettblack, Dynazty, Miss Behaviour, Escape, Estrella, Mia Klose, The Morning After, Worldsend, Spill Sixteen
April 7th – Skid Row, Kip Winger, Jeff Scott Soto, Uli Jon Roth, Moritz, Ten, H.E.A.T, Serpentine, Nubian Rose, Osukaru, Stampede, Barbe-Q-Barbies, Newman, Knock Out Kaine, Summers, Buffalo Summer
I hope to see a few familiar faces up t’north!
Firefest celebrates its 10th anniversary and as it has been for the past nine years, it returns to Nottingham’s Rock City. With ticket sales already at 50% sold for the entire weekend, it would seem a sell out come October looks certain, so I suggest you get your tickets sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.
October 18th – Harem Scarem, Dare, Work Of Art, Eden’s Curse, The Magnificent
October 19th – Hardline, Shooting Star, Trixter, Treat, Heavens Edge, Von Groove, Nation
October 20th – Legends (feat. Eric Martin, Joe Lynn Turner & Fergie Frederiksen), JSRG (ex-Vixen), Baton Rouge, Alien, Prophet, Brighton Rock, Eclipse
Other live shows already announced for a pretty tasty looking 2013 in Melodic Rock circles include –
Dan Reed @ O2 Academy 3, Birmingham – 8th March
FM @ Wolverhampton Slade Rooms – 16th March
Steve Lukather @ The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton – 30th March
Crashdiet + Jettblack @ O2 Academy 3, Birmingham – 25th April
Journey + Whitesnake + Thunder @ LG Arena, Birmingham – 28th May
The new date for the rescheduled SHY – a tribute to Steve Harris show has been announced for 19th July @ The Asylum in Birmingham. Of course all the money raised goes to the Brain Tumour UK charity and all bodes well for an enjoyable night albeit a rather emotional one. I have to say I’m glad they have chosen a summertime date!
Anyone who remembers Swedish melodic rockers Covered Call’s 2009 debut album ‘Money Never Sleeps’ will be pleased to learn the band will return with a new album, called ‘Impact’, early this year. Whilst few details have been released, we do know they have a new front man in the much loved AOR singer Goran Edman while Lion’s Share’s Lars Chriss has been drafted in to mix the album.
Rock Candy have worked their magic on a quartet of Eddie Money albums. You can pick up ‘Eddie Money’, ‘Life For The Taking’, ‘Playing For Keeps’ & ‘No Control’ in full remastered glory at www.rockcandyrecords.com
‘Ten Tangerine Tales’ the latest and tenth studio album from prolific Swedish AOR-sters Last Autumns Dream was released at the end of January via their new European label Bad Reputation.
UK AOR legends FM have announced their official supports for their upcoming tour in March, VEGA! And on selected dates Serpentine and IT Bites will also be on the bill. So if, like me, you’re going to the best gig on the list, that’ll be The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on 16th March, we will be entertained by VEGA and Serpentine. If you’re heading out to the Nuneaton Queens Hall show you’ll see VEGA and Prog legends It Bites! That’s good to see FM have their finger firmly on the pulse of the melodic rock community by inviting VEGA and the Serp’s along for these shows! It’s bitterly disappointing when totally inappropriate bands are slotted in for support when so many quality acts are out there screaming for the opportunity to support bands of their genre! FM’s latest album ‘Rockville’ will be released on March 11th to coincide with this tour!
In other very exciting VEGA news we finally learn that their forthcoming album ‘What The Hell’ will be officially released on March 11th via Spinefarm records in the UK! The band will be supporting the mighty FM before heading to Rotherham to play at the first ever HRH AOR! With more live shows promised later in the year!
Brummie Tony Mills, ex SHY front man and current TNT vocalist, has recently launched his new website http://www.tonymills-official.com/ Go check it out! Tony is currently working on a new solo album, which is set to feature many guest musicians and he is currently working with the hardest working man in AOR, Tommy Denander!
Great White celebrate their 30th anniversary by releasing a new live album ‘30 Years – Live from the Sunset Strip’ in February via Frontiers Records. I still have my fingers crossed for a return of Great White to our shores, but it doesn’t seem on the cards sadly!
Guitarist Steve Howe has recently left Asia in order to concentrate on other projects and his solo work. The band plan to announce Howe’s replacement in due course.
Just announced UK melodic rockers TEN, with support from young AOR-sters Serpentine, are to play Lucy’s Bar in Hednesford on 27th March. I’m really looking forward to this gig at this brand new 300 capacity West Midlands venue!
Daylight Robbery are set to play Lucy’s Bar in Hednesford on 24th May. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time there over the coming months!
Popular Christian melodic rockers Stryper have recently signed a multi album deal with Frontiers Records. The first release will be an album featuring re-recorded versions of songs from the early days of the band, with two brand new songs, entitled Second Coming. It’s due out in late March in the UK.
Check out the video for Snakecharmer’s ‘Accident Prone’ below. It’s lifted from the British super group’s self titled debut album which is OUT NOW!
French rockers Shannon have their third album out now, it’s called Circus of Lost Souls and features guest appearances from Harry Hess, Tony Mills and Paul Sabu. Their video for ‘Forever Now’ can be seen below.
Check out the new video from Diamond Dawn ‘Take Me Higher’ below. The song is lifted from their debut album ‘Overdrive’ due for release at the end of February.
Black Country AOR heroes Dante Fox are scheduled to make a headline appearance at Lucy’s Bar in Hednesford on 19th April! I’m really excited about seeing the Fox again – shockingly this will be the first time I see them at their own headline show! I’m thinking I’m going to really like this new venue…
Danish melodic metal stalwarts Pretty Maids have a new album out this March, entitled Motherland. They have just released a video to accompany their new digital single ‘Mother Of All Lies’ check it out here –
Rising UK AOR rockers Escape whose debut album Unbreakable came out to much critical acclaim last year are hard at work on their follow up album Borderline which is pencilled in for a late March release date to tie in with their appearance at HRH AOR. The band have also announced some live shows in early May including one right here in the Midlands at Lucy’s Bar in Hednesford on the 6th May!
Sebastian Bach’s new LIVE CD/DVD package ‘Abachlypse Now’ will be released via Frontiers Records at the end of March. It features live shows from France, Belgium and the USA and also bonus promotional videos!
Tainted Nation have just released a video of ‘Loser’, it’s from the bands recently released album F.E.A.R. Those of you who listen carefully will recognise this song a re-working of Lambretta’s ‘Bimbo’ check the video out here…
Serpentine have just released a free download EP entitled Living and Dying in Acoustic Definition. The acoustic versions of ‘Whatever Heartache’ and ‘For The Love Of It All’ feature new vocalist Matt Black and can be download at the bands website http://www.planetserpentine.com
In related Serp’s news it’s already been announced the third album will feature songs co-written by TEN front man Gary Hughes and now it has been revealed The Serp’s will include a song written by Tom & James Martin of VEGA! Sounds very intriguing to me!
Drummer Tommy Aldridge is back in Whitesnake again! He replaces Brian Tichy who left the band last year. Tommy will be the drummer for the ‘snakes 2013 UK tour with Journey and Thunder, including the LG Arena in Brum!
80’s inspired Australian rockers De La Cruz release their debut album Street Level on March 22nd via Frontiers Records. There is a bit of buzz surrounding these guys heralding them as the new H.E.A.T!
Fellow Ozzie’s Baby Jane have just signed a deal with Z Records to release their album Make It Stick in March. These guys are a lot harder and are more akin to a Guns & Roses style of rock, check out their video for ‘My Behaviour’ to hear what I mean.
Firehouse guitarist Bill Leverty releases a new solo album ‘Drive’ in early February. The album features Bill covering 10 of his favourite songs and can be brought direct from his official website. http://www.leverty.com/
And finally, I don’t have much in the way of details in the moment, but it seems Jean Beauvoir and Micki Free have joined forces again. Beauvoir/Free will be performing at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on the 10th April, I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty of Crown Of Thorns classics!
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