Oh She was a Self Made Man comes to Glasgow

Oh She was a Self Made Man comes to Glasgow

May 1st 2022 marked the day Larkin Poe were finally able to return to Glasgow and play the dates originally booked for 2020 but having to be postponed because of the pandemic. I found out about Larkin Poe after Self Made Man released and pretty quickly grew to love their music and ended up listening to their complete back catalogue. Their interpretation of the Blues sends shivers up and down my spine. And I’m a bit of a sucker where slide guitar is concerned. So Larkin Poe really won me over pretty quickly. Many fans loyal to the band held on to their tickets for the show and while I won’t speak for them, in my eyes they were well worth the wait.

Larkin Poe is a duo of sisters based in Nashville Tennesee Rebecca and Megan Lovell. Rebecca taking the job of electric guitar and lead vocals. Megan playing Slide Guitar and contributing backing vocals. On the drums for the band is Kevin McGowan and on the Bass and keyboards as well as some backing vocals Tarka Layman.

I knew they were touring the U.K in April/May of 2022 and had planned to get tickets but ended up not getting a ticket for a while. With a lot of bands announcing dates and it slipped my mind to get tickets and eventually I was going to give it a miss worrying of not being able to afford it. However it was always my intention to get a ticket and go knowing it would be a show I would enjoy and be a night to remember. So about a month ago I decided I wasn’t about to pass up on seeing Larkin Poe coming to Glasgow and bought my dad and I a ticket to see them. I bought my dad and I a copy of Self Made Man the latest Larkin Poe album on vinyl knowing he would appreciate their southern blues sound. And I was correct he loves them too and so I knew it was a night the both of us would enjoy and not want to miss. And boy am I glad I made the decision to get some tickets because it was a fantastic night of southern American Blues. And the band were on fire the whole night.

Before getting there I had no idea who was going to be supporting and opening up the night so it was a total surprise. And a pleasant surprise at that hailing from Belfast Ireland by the name of Ryan McMullan. Performing a set all on his own just him and his acoustic guitar. A great set and a song called Belfast City was the highlight for me, a song that stuck in my mind and truly won me over as a fan. He did a spectacular job of warming up the Glasgow audience for the night of rock and roll that was to follow shortly after. A perfect example of why I always show up early to check out the supports apart from securing a good spot for the show. If I didn’t turn up early I’d have missed this great support act. And even better he’s coming back in September on his own show and I think it’s safe to say if I can make it I’ll be there. Won over a fan in me Ryan, fantastic performance. It was a great night out in Glasgow City. Ryan’s music is absolutely worth a listen. For just him and his guitar it felt like he could have played for hours and kept your attention. Excite for what the future holds and a fantastic support act.

The house lights go down and some intro music plays as Larkin Poe make their way to the stage, the atmosphere in the room is unbelievable and you just know you are in for a treat with what you are about to witness. And what made it even better for the band, they were playing to a full house a sold out show. And they delivered a show to remember as thanks for selling out their show at SWG3 Galvanizers room. From the first song of the set Self Made Man all the way to a closing song a cover troibute to Robert Johnson of Come On In My Kitchen they held the audiences attention every song from start to finish. The chemistry between the two sisters Rebecca and Megan is obvious watching them on stage exchanging looks, smiling and looking as if they truly love what they are doing. Drummer Kevin providing the swinf to make it rockin and rollin every song. I’m not ashamed to say they had me shaking my hips. When you hear the Blues played the way Larkin Poe do you can’t help but move your hips to the rhythm of the music. The atmosphere and energy of the show just carries you. Even slipping in two brand new tracks. And even though they were completely new they sounded like they fit perfectly in to the set and like they’d been playing them for years. The sign of a great rock and roll song and makes me even more excited for the new album which they happily announced is finished before treating us to be the first people to hear some of the new stuff. A pleasure to be among the first people to hear their brand new material. And let me just say that the show was worth every penny and more. The girls had a massive smile on their faces the whole show and it’s obvious from watching them just how grateful they are to be touring playing music they love. And to audiences that love what it is they do. Playing this beautiful southern rock and roll music all the way from Nashville Tennessee to Glasgow Scotland. A pleasure to be in attendance and I can happily say I’ll be back anytime they are in town. I had a smile on my face throughout the whole show. And it’s a rare treat watching Megan play her heart out on the Slide guitar making a sensational noise with it.

A song which was a highlight to hear was one of their biggest songs and coming off of their Grammy nominated album Venom and Faith it was Bleach Bond Bottle Blues. A treat for all in attendance to hear this old school southern rock tune. A song that Rebecca mentioned she’d written for her sister Megan during the time when she was bleaching her hair white. A fantastic song and like so many in the set sounding even better played live and raw. The way rock and roll should be heard live and in your face. It’s got a real stomping groove to it that makes you want to stamp your feet and clap along to the rhythm.

Another highlight was Holy Ghost Fire coming off of the Self Made Man album. A song written about how music brings us all together. And Rebecca also mentioned how music will save the world and bring us all together. A thought which I too share. And then playing Holy Ghost Fire a song that is itself fantastic. And played live how it was intended. A fantastic song, great to hear these songs I’ve listened to so much played live. And Larkin Poe on stage where they belong.

The whole night they commanded the stage not being afraid to use the space moving about the stage interacting with the crowd. Making the crowd a part of the show. Larkin Poe are gifted performers and believe me. If they roll through your town, go see them I guarantee they will win you over and have a smile on your face the whole way through their set. An experience I won’t forget in a hurry. And seeing them live is something I didn’t take for granted. An experience that I very nearly missed out on by holding off on buying tickets.

2021 in the rear-view part 2

2021 in the rear-view part 2

After having a lot of fun composing 2021 in the rear view and writing about releases in 2021. This was a topic I felt appropriate to follow up with as a second part to 2021 in the rear-view.

2021 in the tail end of the year welcomed back live music to Scotland which is something I was certainly very excited about. Live music was very much something I had taken for granted I have to admit, ever since December 4th of 2014 when I was given my introduction to live music by going to see Slash Ft Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators live at the SSE Hydro now called the OVO Hydro it ignited something inside of me. This hunger to want to see more bands performing live and experience the music the way it should be standing shoulder to shoulder with someone you have potentially never met and may never meet again but this one thing brings you together. The love of an artist and going to witness it live in the church of rock n’ roll. Since 2014 I have been lucky getting to see artists I wanted to see and ticking a lot off of my list. AC/DC, Slipknot, Alter Bridge, Tremonti, Nina Nesbitt, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes to name a few. To name them all would be a big big list. And some people may read this and see Nina Nesbitt and think it’s out of place with the other artists mentioned. However if you have read the previous blog and read to the end where I do a light review of Doja Cat and Kylie Minogue you will know I also like pop music, my musical taste is very varied and I pride myself on having an open mind to try anything to see if I like it. After all if we all had the same taste it would be rather boring an repetitive. Yeah I love Slipknot as much as the next fan and they mean a lot to me, but when Kylie Minogue Your Disco Needs You Starts playing I can’t help but to sing along. I grew up listening to that song and it holds good memories for me. Onto the shows I was lucky enough to attend in 2021 and here is a spoiler they were all out of this world, I think the lack of shows during the pandemic added to the energy bands were bringing being as excited as us the fans to return to playing live for us, feeding off of the energy and excitement once again.

The first show I attended in 2021 was Biffy Clyro headlining Glasgow Green, September 9th 2021. Along with Biffy they brought along three supports Porridge Radio, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes and Yungblud. When it was announced Frank would be supporting I jumped at the chance for a ticket to finally get to see Frank live, don’t get me wrong I like Biffy but I’m not a massive fan although I did like the album they were touring A Celebration of Endings released during the pandemic in 2020. Frank Carter is a group I’d been wanting to see ever since I seen a live video of Frank on stage with Prophets Of Rage at a festival in Europe performing Killing In The Name, after watching that I had to know who Frank was and if he was in a band and discovered Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes. First on the bill and first to take the stage was porridge radio an alternative group, I was there early enough to catch their set and it was pretty good although I’m going from memory and remember enjoying the set, not much more than that though. Second band on the bill was the band I’d been waiting to see Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes and it would prove to be well worth the wait. Before their set kicked off my dad and I got talking to a girl in the crowd who was a fan and chatted away I think she was with her boyfriend I can’t remember her name though, always good to chat to someone who is also a fan at the show. Like me she was there to see Frank and the Rattlesnakes more so than Biffy. That’s not a bad thing though I’m a massive fan of Frank and The Rattlesnakes is all and the excitement after hearing about the live performances and finally experiencing it for myself was fantastic. I missed an opportunity to see them supporting Foo Fighters last time they rolled through Glasgow I wasn’t about to make the same mistake, spoiler I am very happy I didn’t. Franks set although being shorter, they were third on the bill after all, left a lasting impression on me. One of the things that left a lasting impression was finally witnessing for myself the womans only mosh pit that Frank makes sure to happen during Wild Flowers, giving the girls at the show a chance to get in a pit and feel safe. Such a cool thing to watch as the guys in the crowd take a step back and let the girls of the crowd have their moment. To date they are the only band I’ve seen that do anything like that. rank burst into the set with the lead single from their upcoming album at the time, My Town the song that features a guest spot from the one and only Joe Talbot from the Idles. then straight into Wild Flowers and giving the girls their chance to take part in the women’s only Mosh.After that it was time for a debut performance of the single from the album of the same name Sticky, getting to among the first audience to hear this played live was a special treat. Then on to Lullaby a favourite from the Modern Ruin album. Afterwards in to Devil Inside Me a real great track for crowd participation and to get the crowd fired up. After that it was time for Kitty Sucker followed by Go Get A Tattoo the last of the songs for that night from the Sticky album and a treat. 3 songs to go in the set and with no signs of slowing down it was time for Tyrant Lizard King which Frank had a little speech before playing the track. 2 more tracks to go and no time to slow down Frank & The Rattlesnakes pull out a cover the only one of the set, a tribute to Motorhead with Ace Of Spades a moment that was a real highlight for me having never got to see Motorhead before Lemmy passed away. Last song of their ten song set that for me went by in a flash and had already given me my moneys worth for the ticket and it had to be a good one so naturally it was time for Crowbar to close out their set. Frank and the boys had left a lasting impression for me in their ten song set and made me even more excited to see them again in November on their Sticky tour headlining. If You ever get the opportunity to see Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes for yourself jump at it, one of the best bands to come from the U.K in the past ten years and I believe they are destined for big things. However I will come back to that later on talking about their own show.

After the Rattlesnakes it was Yungblud. I don’t believe in slandering a band or artist simply because I don’t like them and I don’t intend to start now. Other people around me in the crowd were getting off on his energy and loved the performance so he must have made a lasting impression on them. Not my cup of tea personally but certainly a showman. If it were my choice I would have given Frank the lead support slot and put Yungblud on before Frank. Just my opinion though. After Yungblud it was time for the headliners Biffy Clyro. A band I confess are not one I am a massive fan of. I have given a couple of their albums a listen and remember buying their Ellipsis album in a two for £10 deal in HMV and enjoying it. I liked their latest album at the time which was A Celebration Of Endings, in particular enjoying North Of No South the album opener. As well as the slower ballad Space which actually helped through a sad time when I heard it both great tracks. The whole album is great in fact it is one I would recommend. This being the first live show I was getting to in 2021 I was excited to finally be back witnessing live music again, seeing Frank for the first time and getting to see Biffy who I’d heard very good things about their live show not just in terms of the performance but their visuals meaning the video screens showing different things to go with each song and the pyrotechnics going off at times between the show. Biffy also debuted a song at this show being the single off of their at the time upcoming album The Myth Of The Happily Ever After being Unknown Male 01. Perfect place for the Scottish natives to debut in their native Glasgow Scotland. Overall it was definitely a fantastic show, one that I will remember. Hearing North f No South, Space and Bubbles were three highlights for me of the experience. And the show was immortalised by being filmed and aired on BBC not long after the show to re live and for the folks that couldn’t be there. They get the chance to watch the show from the comfort of their living rooms and witness Biffy playing a great set in the heart of Glasgow to an audience hungry for the return of live music after what felt like forever. Thank you to Biffy Clyro for bringing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes along and for being the 1st show I was at since Covid destroyed the live entertainment industry. If you get the chance to see Biffy Clyro go, they put on a great show and give the audience a great time and place to escape from the day to day for a couple of hours and be in the moment. And so that was the first show for me of 2021 and a good one to kick things off.

On to the second show of the year and another great one. A show special for me because it was the first time I ever faced the fear of going to a concert alone, left wondering why I was ever scared I had a fantastic time. And the band in question Swedish alternate rockers Normandie live from the Cathouse in Glasgow on October 22nd 2021, a day that was special to me for another reason as well. A bit of backstory of how I was introduced to Normandie and grew to love their music. One of the members of Bleed From Within shared on their Instagram story the Normandie song Chemicals, I tend to give a chance to bands that are listened to by the bands I like. So naturally I checked Normandie out listening to their latest album Dark & Beautiful Secrets which is a journey from cover to cover, from Babylon the opening track all the way to Chemicals the closer. I was torn between going to see Normandie or another group called Exploring Birdsong as my first time flying solo to a show. And I picked Normandie. The supports for the show were a band called Thousand Below and Caskets. I remember as I walked in the first band had already started their set I think it was Caskets that were on first. I enjoyed their set and it did the job of warming the crowd up in time for the main event while also gaining some new fans in the process hopefully. Second band on Thousand Below american metal band who I had heard prior to the show and liked what heard. They did a fantastic set, the crowd was well and truly warmed up and ready to embrace Normandie when they took the stage.

Now it was time for the main event the band we were all there to see Normandie playing to a sold out Cathouse. They opened the show with Babylon and straight away had the crowd won over and feeding off of our energy. One of the moments I remember well from the show was the wall of death the lead singer Philip Strand encouraged the crowd to start. This was a first for me I’d been to a lot of shows but never once seen a wall of death with my own eyes until then. It’s a truly amazing thing to witness watching the room split in two and the open space in the middle appearing. Preparing for what is to come moment later when the two sides collide together and at the same time look after each other. Rule number one of the pit if someone goes down pick them up, we are all there to enjoy the show and no one band or crowd wants to see anyone hurt or going home in a worse state than they appeared. I’m glad that I faced the fear of going alone because it turned out to be not scary at all and a really rewarding experience not having to rely on someone to tag along that may not enjoy the show as much as me. This will be the first of many and am glad it was for Normandie I had a great time on my own and got to see a band who I grew to love more and more. The Dark & Beautiful Secrets album is one I have played a lot and contains many great songs Babylon, Jericho and Chemicals to name a few. When they roll back around to Glasgow I’ll be back for more. Great band that sound even better live than on the record. If you get the opportunity go see them. Show them some love they deserve it. And so that was the second show of 2021 and another fantastic moment of Live music something I was truly grateful to be able to see again. Something I will never again take for granted.

November 22nd 2021 a show I’d wanted to see ever since hearing their Blossom album, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes headline the Barrowlands in Glasgow and this is a concert that I’ll remember for a long time for many reasons so lets explore some of that. The Rattlesnakes brought two supports along on the Sticky U.K headline tour U.K based punk rocker Cassyette and U.K alt pop artist Lynks. And before I get in to memories and my thoughts of the show. A shout out to the Barrowlands bouncers for looking after us all, keeping the crowd surfers safe and above all being one of the highlights of the night. That was the happiest bouncers that I have ever seen at a show, they looked like they were enjoying it just as much as the fans of the band were so props to the security for helping make the night enjoyable for everyone. First act on was the fantastic Cassyette. Prior to the show I’d heard a little bit of Cassyettes music and of course she featured on a track from Sticky being Off With His Head so she was a name familiar to fans of the Rattlesnakes running up to the show. Being the first of three bands on the bill Cassyette did a great job of warming the crowd up and winning me over as a new fan. For only having three people on stage singer, guitarist and keyboard player they still managed to have a big sound. Cassyette was a joy to watch and her music so far has been very enjoyable it will be very interesting to keep an eye on and watch her grow as an artist and hopefully catch her again live at some point.

Second on was the Alt synth pop Lynks. I had previously seen Rattlesnakes fans saying go into the Lynks set with an open mind so I was excited to see what they had in store. And it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. Lynks similar to Cassyette in that he featured on two tracks on Sticky being Go Get A Tattoo and Bang Bang so he was a name that was familiar to fans at the show. I hadn’t heard any of Lynks music before the show, when I heard other fans mentioning to have an open mind I wanted to go in blind and see what it was all about. And they were right an open mind was required because Lynks was definitely the safe choice as a support act for Frank & The Rattlesnakes. Lynks took to the stage along with three backing dancers. Lynks was wearing something that made him resemble Sackboy from Little Big Planet which he mentioned during the set. From the first song in the set I was thoroughly enjoying what Lynks had to offer, good songs with some amazing choreography courtesy of as he called them Lynks Shower gel. It was fun and Lynks doesn’t take himself too seriously and clearly has a lot of fun performing and making music. One of the songs in the set Lynks played a song called Chaise Lounge, at a point in the song they chose to look into the eyes of a member of the audience on the barrier and invite them backstage for a Chaise Lounge. And if you are wondering which audience member it was, well it was me. And it didn’t click straight away that Lynks and Lynks shower gel were all looking straight at me and singing directly to me. Then the shock and fear set in, all in good fun though and it’s given me a lasting memory of the show. All in I rated Lynks performance highly and it did the job nicely of setting up for what was to come with Frank & The Rattlesnakes. And fair play to the Rattlesnakes for bringing Lynks out on the tour because they have such a different sound and vibe to the Rattlesnakes but it worked so well. And Lynks gained a fan in me. Well worth checking out. And that wasn’t to be the last that we seen of Lynks for the night either.

Now it was time for what we’d all payed to see. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. I was beyond excited waiting for them to take the stage and get to finally witness the madness that accompanies a Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes show. To date one of the most fun crowds that I have had the privilege to be a part of. Seeing them at Glasgow Green supporting Biffy Clyro was cool but it was a mere taster for what was about to unfold in Glasgow inside the Barrowlands. Seeing them in a big outdoor setting was cool and all, but in a small sweaty Barrowlands is where it’s at. My favourite venue seeing one of my favourite bands. Already I was having the time of my life after Cassyette and Lynks and the Main event was yet to come. The lights go down the crowd starts to scream as the Intro to My Town plays and each band member starts to take their place on the stage, it was time to hold on to the barrier for dear life as I was about to experience first hand what the Rattlesnakes crowds are all about. Straight from the first note of My Town Frank, Dean, Tom, Gareth and Elliot had won me over and the atmosphere in the room was electric. This was what live music is all about. Frank had his arm in a sling but this wasn’t about to stop him getting in the crowd participating and crowd surfing not for a minute. It didn’t make one difference to his performance at all. Another cool thing was Dean getting involved and Crowd surfing, him and Frank have this insane ability to crowd surf and not miss a beat it’s a truly magnificent thing to witness. It was obvious to me that this show meant a lot to them and they love and appreciate the fans, feeding off of our energy for the performance and using it to fuel them. Again second song in was Wild Flowers and Frank gives the order look after the girls and let them have their moment in the pit however after that song it was every man and woman for themselves. The rules of the pit apply though if someone falls down pick them up and look after each other. Something that is important to the Rattlesnakes is the fan base. And from Wild Flowers onward the hits just kept on coming. Into Tyrant Lizard King and the energy of the crowd was amazing, truly one of the best crowds that I have been lucky enough to be a part of. From Tyrant Lizard King into fan favourite from End Of Suffering which went down as an absolute treat and the crowd responded with lots of enthusiasm and energy for the band to feed off of. After that it was four songs from Sticky being the title track Sticky followed by Rat Race and into Cupids Arrow. Afterwards we see the return of Cassyette to the stage to perform Off With His head with the Rattlesnakes, Frank and Cassyette rub well on each other and I hope rank takes them out on tour again it was amazing to witness. Now it was time for Devil Inside Me and on the Sticky tour Frank has been inviting a member of the crowd up on the stage to sing the song. For Glasgow there was a guy called Callum that had made a sign to get Franks attention to hopefully be the lucky fan to be brought on stage to duet and it was his lucky day. So the song starts and straight away Callum embraces this moment his moment in the spotlight and he handles it very well. Cue the breakdown part of the song and he gives a speech about living in the moment and asking the crowd to put their phones away and just be in the moment. And then when the breakdown ends and they break back in to the song Callum does the unthinkable and stage dives into the crowd. A moment I’m glad I was on the barrier for even if my head was part of the landing pad I will remember that moment forever. After the song Frank throws Callum a setlist and someone else catches it first. Frank has a back and forth with the audience member having a bit of a joke but asking him to give the setlist to Callum. He gets the set list in the end. Callum what a legend I’ll remember that moment for a long time and it was among the highlights of the gig for sure. After that it was time to bring Lynks back to the stage for Bang Bang followed by one of my favourites from the album Go Get a Tattoo. And Lynks jumped in with the crowd having a crowd surf embracing the atmosphere in the room, two great tracks and Lynks adds so much to them, giving them a bit of that alt pop attitude and a bit of fun. This is followed up by Acid Veins from the Modern Ruin album and Cobra Queen. Now it’s time To Take It To The Brink, rank addresses the crowd about his previous show in Glasgow and how at the time he wasn’t having a good time so this song was for him to let him give Glasgow his all. Now it was time for Lullaby a great song for crowd participation and it was an absolute joy to hear live. The band were in full swing of the show and playing their hearts out, they were definitely planning to leave it all on the stage for the Barrowlands. Now we have one of my favourite moments a song that I was very excited to hear from the Blossom album and fianlly get to scream out I FUCKING HATE YOU. Yes that’s right it was time for I Hate You the closing track of the Blossom album, this was a special father and son moment for my dad and I. Getting to hear this song played live we had sand along to many times playing the vinyl and now we got to experience it live for ourselves. Worth the wait. And that was it for the main set, time for the encores. As the crowd continued to chant one more tune we were ready for more Frank and the rattlesnakes and not ready to go home just yet. And out they come announcing they had not one more tune, not two more tunes but three more tunes to play for us. First of the encores was Angel Wings a great start for the last three songs and then into Crowbar. Crowbar went down incredibly the energy for the crowd was still high and eager for more. And was that it? No that’s right one more song. My dad made a sign to Frank reminding him we had one song left. And Frank handed my dad one of the set lists for the night. So the final song was album closer for Sticky, Original Sin marking the full Sticky album played that night. This isn’t a show I will forget in a hurry. One of the best shows I’ve been to so far and I can’t wait to see them again to experience it all over again. Thank You Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes for helping to create an amazing memory and for bringing along two fantastic supports that I am now a proud fan of. After the show finished my dad spotted two of the girls from Lynks shower gel his backing singers/dancers and I just had to get a photo to cement the memory of the concert for me.

Me and two of the girls from Lynks
You can see me just above Franks head to the left

November 27th 2021 Bleed From Within headline a sold out homecoming show at the Garage in Glasgow. Throughout 2020 I had become somewhat of a massive fan of Bleed From Within by accident. I came across them through a friend that had heard The End Of All We Know and the more I heard that song the more interested I got. Fracture released and at first I liked the album but it hadn’t fully taken a grip of me and made Bleed From Within one of my favourite bands. Upon more listening to the album and their previous releases I became hooked. And I mean it when I say I believe they are in my eyes one of the best metal bands on the planet at the moment. So naturally when they announced the Fracture U.K tour I jumped at the chance to go and see them live. Finally getting to experience what the Bleed From Within live show was like. And well I’m glad I did. Quite simply the show blew my mind. They had a back wall with a screen on it with different backdrops for all of the different song in the set which was so cool and added a lot to the show and I think the band got off on it as well. Along with the main event there was two supports. An up and coming metal band called Kill The Lights. They had a fantastic support set that I enjoyed and I’m a fan of theirs thanks to that, it’ll be interesting to watch them grow as a band and see where they go. And the other band was a death metal band called Ingested. They too put on a fantastic set and had the crowd well and truly warmed up for Bleed From Within to take to the stage, the crowd were ready for what was to come. Something that sticks out in my mind about the Ingested show was at one point the vocalist of the band coming off of the stage and to the barrier and high fiving and or fistbumbing everyone in the front on the barrier. Which was cool there’s something so special about a band that is down for getting down and dirty and truly connecting with the fans. This was also my first experience of hearing Death Metal performed live and there’s something so wonderful about watching a death metal band perform live and I’m glad I came to see them because it was a great experience and something I hope I can get along to again. I love experiencing different live atmospheres because something I’ve noticed going to shows from different genres is how similar crowds react to music they are being connected to. So thank you Kill The Lights and Ingested for putting on a fantastic supporting slot and warming us up for the main event. The one and only Bleed From Within.

Now this was a first for me. Before even getting in to the venue outside and waiting for the doors to open, I was in the queue at the alley where the back entrance to the garage is. And I noticed Ali the drummer hanging around and eventually coming out to do something before the show. Which is a first for me I’ve never seen the band hanging around and coming out and seeing the crowd before the show so that was a pretty cool thing. And showed just how down to earth the guys are. The two band members I remember walking by as we were in the queue were the drummer Ali Richardson and singer Scott Kennedy. Scott had something wrong with his voice some sort of throat infection I think, so he wasn’t talking much in order to save his voice for the show. Not being one to let a sore throat get in the way of him having a good time and dare I say it putting on a world class homecoming performance. And after chatting a little to the crowd they went on their way to do whatever it is they wanted to do before the show. And to think only hours later Ali would be behind the kit showing why he is one of the best drummers in metal right now. I said to my dad before the show prepare yourself you’re about to get to see one of the best metal drummers in the world right now. And when we were talking about the show afterwards he agreed and was impressed by Ali’s skills behind the kit, as was I completely blown away by the performance. Not to mention just how good a band Bleed From Within are live.

The house lights go down and the band come out first song in, Into Nothing great choice for an opener gets to the point and lets the crowd know they’re in for a wild ride. From listening to Viral Hysteria over and over I knew how good Into Nothing sounded as a live raw performance but nothing prepared me for just how intense this show would be. The crowd went crazy from start to finish the atmosphere was electric the crowd were getting off on the bands energy and the band were feeding off of our energy. Second song in Fall Away keeping the pace going and the energy high, not daring to slow down for a second. Third song in and the crowd were treated to the first of five songs from the Era album Afterlife. Afterlife is one of my favourite Bleed From Within songs and getting to hear it live made it all the more special and it sounds fantastic performed live. Afterlife was followed on by Pathfinder keeping the momentum high and the show was well and truly rolling along, it was proving to be a show to remember and one that was well worth the wait. Afterwards it’s back to the Era album with Crown Of Misery great choice. And from there we go into the only song from the night off of Uprising with the track of the same name, the show was crazy and the crowd was intense with crowd surfers coming overhead and Mosh pits all around, a truly amazing thing to experience. After that it’s back to the Era album for two tracks, Ruina followed by Cast Down followed by Night Crossing a track I was very excited to hear live in person and experience it for myself. I was having the time of my life watching a band that had grown to be one of my favourite metal bands right in front of me. Now we have Fracture one of my favourites from the album of the same name a song that means a lot to me and being in person to watch it performed was nothing short of Spectacular. And for the last song before the Encores we have Ascend a great choice to close the main set and keep the crowd going and wanting more. The band leave the stage and the crowd are hungry chanting for the band to come back and give us more. Not feeling ready to go home just yet. And the band delivered with another three songs. First of the three encores was latest single I Am Damnation, the intro tape starts to play and the visuals start to play of the song on the screens behind the band. They take the stage and go straight into the first riff, and they had fought tooth and nail to get there. Headlining a sell out show homecoming at the Garage and a great show to prove why I think they are one of the best up and coming metal bands now. For the second Encore we get the last of the songs from the Era album Alive. And to close the set fan favourite lead single from the Fracture album The End Of All We Know the song that as great as it is you don’t want to hear. And that’s because it’s their current choice for set closer. And what a set it was. A show I won’t forget in a hurry and one of the greatest live bands I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of seeing live. If they roll in to your town go see them because you won’t regret it. And see them while they’re playing smaller venues if you can because this band are destined for bigger things mark my words.

December 13th 2021 Myles Kennedy and company live at the 02 Academy Glasgow, Cardinal Black supporting. Touring in support of his second solo album The Ides Of March when Myles announced the U.K tour I jumped at the chance to buy a ticket, having missed Myles the last time he played in Glasgow on The Year Of The Tiger tour. Tickets for that show at The Garage sold out very quickly and afterwards the re sell prices were too much for me to justify so I missed out seeing him first time round. This time I was not making the same mistake I was determined to get tickets. The Ides Of March is a great rock n’ roll record. A departure from the sound of Alter Bridge. While also standing out from the music he makes with Slash & The Conspirators. I wasn’t sure who the support was until a day or two before the show and it was a Welsh band called Cardinal Black that were given the support slot for the full U.K run. I had seen the name about but never heard them before. And hadn’t checked them out before the show. That all changed as a result of their performance they won me over and I’ve listened to the EP they released in 2021 many times since then. Chris Buck the guitarist makes it look so effortless while sounding fantastic. Tell Me How It Feels was a highlight as well as Jump In. The set went by in a flash it was so good. And set up for Myles perfectly. At that point I already felt I’d gotten my moneys worth out of the ticket Cardinal Black were that good. Look forward to being able to watch them grow as a band and catch them live when they come back to Glasgow.

Now It was time for what I’d come to see. A moment I had been looking forward to since the day I purchased my tickets. Finally getting to see Myles Kennedy performing solo. The lights go down and the intro tape loop for Wake Me When It’s Over begins playing, Myles and his band Tim Tournier on Bass guitar and the thunderous Zia Uddin take the stage with Myles and get straight into the first song of the set. Straight away I felt I was witnessing something special, Myles first solo show with his band in Glasgow and marking Zias first time performing in front of the Glasgow audience. And it’s fair to say he made a lasting impression and did himself proud. One of mt favourite memories from the night was Zia threw his drum stick somewhere near my dad and I. My dad dives to get the drumstick and so I have one of Zias sticks as a momento to remember the night by. Something I will treasure, not every day you get one of his stage played drum sticks. Watching Myles performing on stage it was clear he had been missing the connection of the live shows and was making up for lost time in spectacular fashion. He sounded great and looked like he was having the time of his life back in Glasgow again, let me tell you it was worth the wait. I enjoyed every minute of the show Myles being one of my favourite musicians. Also getting to hear some of my favourites off of the new album, stuff from Year Of The Tiger, Mayfield Four song and Alter Bridge All Ends Well thrown in for good measure. All Ends Well was a highlight for me being an Alter Bridge song that means a lot to me and seeing Myles sing it live brought the song to life in a way I never thought could happen. Connecting with me on a deep level like only Myles can. With it being Zias first time in Glasgow the crowd had to show him the special chant of “here we here we here we fucking go” which was a cool moment to be a part of, not expecting the chant to break out with Myles material being softer than that of Alter Bridge. It worked though and it looked like they loved it as much as we did. This brought home to me how much I missed live music and how I’ll never take it for granted again, this was something Myles touched on when introducing Moonshot how they didn’t exactly take the fans or shows for granted. But got used to the cycle of album, tour, album, tour. And then all of a sudden it was swept away and shows couldn’t happen anymore. This was the last show I was at in 2021 and a great show to go out on. And if that was the last show I ever got to go to, I’d go out happy and grateful because Myles and company left it all on the stage and gave it their absolute all. And put on a show that I will remember for a long time to come yet.

Royal Blood Live from the Ovo Hydro, Glasgow April 10th 2022

Royal Blood Live from the Ovo Hydro, Glasgow April 10th 2022

Sometime in 2021 not long after the release of Royal Bloods album Typhoons they announced an arena tour sweeping across the U.K. Here was the catch. You had to wait a whole year for the shows sadly. Although with the wait came the hope that Covid would have eased and wouldn’t have any effect on the tour going forward. Sadly this wasn’t to be. The show in Glasgow was originally scheduled to take place Sunday April 4th 2022. Unfortunately Bass player and lead singer for the Brighton Duo Mike Kerr had a bout with Covid causing the last dates of the run to be postponed and some unfortunately cancelled. However it wasn’t all bad news because the Glasgow show went ahead exactly a week after it was originally scheduled to. It was also to be the first show since Mikes recovery from his Covid. Thankfully his voice was in impressive shape for the show. He wasn’t going to let a bit of that get in the way of putting on an unforgettable evening of entertainment for the fans that had come out. And let me say it was well worth the wait and the new material sounds even better live.

Poster advertising the U.K tour

Royal Blood brought along with them as special guests on the tour fellow U.K rockers The Amazons. And let me say thank you Royal Blood for helping me find a great band that I am now subsequently also a fan of. Black Magic has quickly become a favourite. Fantastic band, look forward to getting to see them again on their own headlining show. Royal Blood pick their supports well, the last time I seen them it was U.K punk band Black Honey who were also a great live draw and I was hoping might be brought out again.

The Amazons, Special guest for the U.K tour in support of Typhoons

Around about 8 o’clock the lights go down for the first band of the night and only support The Amazons that blazed their way through a blink and you’ll miss it 40 minute or so support set. For a support band that haven’t yet themselves broken into arenas they took it in their stride and seemed to thrive in the larger setting. Putting on a memorable set and winning over some new fans in the process of entertaining some old ones as well. A fantastic example of why I always make the effort to show up early and check out a support band, you never know where or when you might discover your new obsession or a new artist to check out. Prior to the show I chose to listen to their albums to get the songs familiar for seeing them. Pretty quickly they grabbed hold of my interest and their first album has been on my radar since. Black Magic, In my mind and Ultraviolet becoming favourites from the album. Although straight away when the Amazons began their set it was apparent these are not songs intended to just be listened to with earphones. They’re destined to be played live and they sound even better live than on the album. As part of the set they played latest single from their upcoming album Bloodrush, fantastic track and well fitted with their short but sweet set. Closing the set with Black Magic was the perfect closer leaving the crowd on a high note and displaying one of their best songs while they were at it. As support sets go they were the absolute perfect choice for supporting Royal Blood on this run. It was obvious as they were playing they were grateful for the opportunity to play in front of these larger crowds and before a band that they respect. What a set and even if I already was a fan they’d have won me over regardless. Set the mood perfectly for what was about to come on the stage.

A photo of my own from the Amazons support slot

Before I get into the set Royal Blood are Mike Kerr on the Bass guitar and Vocals. Ben Thatcher on the drums. And joining them on the keyboards for this run is Darren James Watts a welcome addition to the touring lineup complimenting the duo and beefing the sound out providing the keyboard parts from Typhoons and looking like he was having the time of his life in the process. I’m not sure who had a better time Darren or the crowd he was getting right into the groove up there on stage left.

Despite throughout the set Mike having some technical difficulties with a faulty microphone Glasgow wouldn’t let that get in the way of us having a good time. Mikes microphone cut out during Lights Out and in one of those perfect moments that went from bad to good, the crowd continued singing while a new microphone was sorted and in perfect harmony the band jumped straight back in where the crowd had left off. That’s a moment that is a highlight of many concerts I’ve been too and what a feeling being able to help the band out while at the same time creating an amazing unique moment for everyone at the show. I’d think that would certainly be a part many will look back non and smile about as a memory from the show. Sadly these weren’t to be the end of the technical difficulties from the show. But Mike and Ben being the professionals that they are powered through the only way they know how. And let me say it didn’t spoil the show at all from a fans perspective and they were on fire despite it being Mikes first show back from illness. By the end of the show it looked like Mike and Ben had enough of the technical difficulties and weren’t thrilled over it. However they still put on a memorable show for us all that spent hard earned money on a ticket. Talk about value for money as well, and I’m not the only one to say this but Ben and Mike could have quite happily had the night off and leave it to the Amazons. The impression was that good of the Amazons. Truly value for money seeing two bands at the top of their game.

Around 9 o’clock the lights go down again and the crowd goes wild we were ready for what was about to take place. An hour and a half of the finest rock music going at the moment. I was wondering what they would open with and for some reason I was thinking Lights Out from their 2nd album How Did We Get So Dark. However I would have been wrong. First song of the night came off of latest album Typhoons and it was to be the title track Typhoons, what a way to make an entrance. A fantastic choice for an opener and setting the way for what was to come. Playing some of the new stuff and some of the old stuff not forgetting their hits it is an arena tour after all. Royal Blood are one of those bands that with a song like Figure It Out one of their bigger singles. It would work incredibly well anywhere in the set, opener, Encore or somewhere in the middle to keep the momentum going. But straight away being treated to what quickly became a Royal Blood song I loved Typhoons. And if you were worried about Mikes performance after being ill, worry no more he was on fire and ready to bring the noise to Glasgow. Typhoons also gave new guy Darren his introduction to the Glasgow Royal Blood crowd and he looked as if he was enjoying every minute of it. A welcome addition to the touring setup to provide some of the parts from the new albums like the keyboards and I think triggering some tracks as well. One song in and already showing to be one to remember. Song number two and they made it a good one coming again from the Typhoons album it was Boilermaker, a great song to get the crowd moving. 2 Songs in and they had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands like only Royal Blood could. Boilermaker is a particular favourite from Typhoons with a bit of a faster pace and a good beat to it for the crowd to move along to. Song number three of the evening and they pull out another fantastic one from their arsenal coming off of the How Did We Get So Dark album It was Lights Out. During Lights out was one of the most amazing moments that really make it such a joy to get to see live music, the band having a technical difficulty with Mikes microphone not working properly and for some groups that would be the song stopping while sorting the issue. However Mike stopped playing and Ben kept the beat going on the drums while the crowd continued singing the words while the issue was sorted. And as if it was part of the show without missing a beat Royal Blood join straight back in where the crowd left off. One of those moment that fans that are lucky to be there will remember for a long while to come. I know I certainly will. three songs in and already created one of those fantastic memories. Taking what could have been a moment that ruins the mood and pace of a show and instead making it a great memory. Fourth song of the night and we were treated to the first song from the self titled debut and it was Come On Over, another one of those songs great to keep the set moving along and not slowing down for a second. Come On Over was followed by Troubles Coming and this was when the technical difficulties started to really mess with the show. They played the first 30 seconds or so of the song and then they stopped playing and the crowd kept singing the lyrics however this time the band didn’t jump straight back in. The band left the stage and I was thinking if they can’t sort this it could be shows over and rescheduled again or cancelled. Thankfully they returned and continued the song starting it again and playing through with no issues this time. Troubles Coming was followed by the second of three songs from How Did We Get So Dark ? being Hook, Line And Sinker keeping the show moving along nicely at a fantastic pace sounding great despite the sound issues but not letting that ruin a good time. The band were on fire. Moving swiftly on to the bands most recent single Honeybrains and even though it’s brand new and sometimes playing something brand new can be a bit risky, this sits in perfectly in the set. A song that returns to the raw roots of the first album while incorporating more modern styles as well fantastic track and a welcome addition. Then it was moving in to a fan favourite Little Monster and at the end it was proceeded by Bens drum solo for the evening, while the solo was going on a photo of Ben and the late great Taylor Hawkins was put up on the screens. Bens drum solo sounding absolutely fantastic and just letting it rip even getting some gong action while he was at it. The set was in full swing and there was no time to slow down yet. Moving in to the last song From How Did We Get So Dark ? with the title track from the album which is also one of my favourites so I did get a little excited when Ben started the drum intro, love the song. It was time for a bit of a slower pace in the show with Blood Hands a nice slower heavier number to keep the show rolling along and sounding great. Followed by Million and One a song that holds a big emotional attachment to me for many reasons so I did have a bit of a tear in my eye while the band were playing and it sounded great, Darren doing a marvellous job providing the keyboard parts for the Typhoons stuff. And then another from Typhoons with Limbo which is kind of Royal Blood going a bit disco and it was great live, even better than on the record like many of the songs played on the evening. Now it was time for the last two songs of the main set list with two more songs from the self titled album, Loose Change followed by crowd pleaser Figure It Out. Figure It Out was the perfect choice to end the set before coming back for the encores, keeping the energy hight in the room and the crowd hunry for some more. Not quite ready to go home yet. As much as if it ended there I’d have definitely had my moneys worth and more already. The first encore brings just Mike back out on to the stage playing not his signature Bass this time but instead moving over to the piano for Typhoons album closer All We Have Is Now, a great choice for first encore bringing the mood down a notch before kicking it back into gear with a song I was waiting for. Ten Tonne Skeleton. Mike teased us with the riff at first and I was thinking is he going to play it ? or use the intro riff and mix it into another track, but then they went straight in to it playing a fantastic version of Ten Tonne Skeleton. One of my all time favourite Royal Blood tracks and a true pleasure to witness. One last song of the evening and what could it be I wonder. What favourite haven’t they played yet ? That’s right Out Of The Black, however unfortunately the sound issues returned. The band played the intro to the song and then were about to get right into the track when it sounded as if Mikes Bass sound was off, again retreating to the side of the stage to fix the issue and they returned pretty quickly and got straight back into the song. Even with the sound issues you just can’t stop Royal Blood. show to remember and it was well worth the wait for them to come.

At the front where the action was, image is my own

There are two songs that if I were able to choose two on the setlist I would have loved if they played Mad Visions from Typhoons, I think that would have been a fine addition to the live set. And I would have loved for Hole In Your Heart to have been played. But to be fair to them the set they picked was fantastic and you can’t fault them. I’m sure they’ll get around to Mad Visions before the end of the Typhoons touring cycle.

So all that’s left to say really is if you’ve not seen Royal Blood yet. What are you waiting for ? Next time they roll into near where you live, go see them. They’re well worth the ticker and I can vouch that it will be an evening to remember for sure.

This photo is my own

Thank you to Ben, Mike and Darren for putting on a fantastic show and not letting some sound issues get in the way of having a fantastic time. Until next time.

A photo from Bens drum solo, with a backdrop of a photo of Ben and Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters. A lovely tribute to a fallen friend.

A night with Nina Nesbitt

March 18th 2022 marked Nina Nesbitts return to Glasgow and to perform an intimate show at the amazing King Tuts Wah Wah Hut. This was to be Ninas first show of 2022 and her first proper live shows since Covid shut the world down.

Nina announced in February that she would be doing two intimate shows in the U.K one in London followed by one in Glasgow the show I was at. When I seen it announced Nina doing an intimate setting in King Tuts I just had to get a ticket. I’ve already seen Nina once before on April 10th 2019 at SWG3 a bigger show. So to have the opportunity to see Nina play King Tuts in a smaller room was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The moment tickets went on sale I jumped at the chance to see Nina in the intimate set. I knew this would be something special not to be missed. Nina would be playing some old stuff as well as some new stuff not released. Which was definitely exciting being among the first to get to hear and react to music from Nina’s upcoming 3rd album.

This was a special night for two reasons. The first being it marked the first time my brother and I would go to together. The second reason because it was Nina Nesbitt we were seeing. My second time and his fourth time, he’d seen Nina twice supporting Kylie Minogue and once more somewhere else. It was also his first time going to King Tuts, so a first for both of us going to this iconic Glasgow venue. And and exciting night ahead.

The night of the 18th arrives and it’s time to get ready for Nina, in anticipation of the show I had refreshed my mind and been listening to the second album The Sun Will Come Up The Seasons Will Change to make the songs fresh in my mind again in preparation. The excitement was building. I wasn’t sure who the support act was before getting to the venue. And it was a fantastic surprise an artist by the name of Kings Elliot. I think she said during her set only her second time performing in front of an audience and she smashed it with a fantastic performance. I checked the EP out the morning after the show and can’t recommend it enough it’s fantastic. An exciting future ahead for Kings Elliot I think and more great material to come. She was well worth showing up early for. Set the mood right up for what was to come when soon after Nina Nesbitt would be taking the stage. However Kings Elliot had left her mark on me and it made me want to listen to the music more, something about it hit home especially the song The Outside which was a favourite from her short set. Fantastic set and looking forward to hearing her grow as an artist. Another show with a great support. My brother and I both agreed she put on a great set.

Now comes time for Nina Nesbitt to take the stage. I was excited to see Nina again and this time without her touring band, this time it was just her all on her own with her acoustic guitars and keyboard. The best way to see Nina if you ask me, the songs really come through on a different level when stripped to the bare bones without the production. There’s something special about seeing an artist perform their songs acoustic and stripped back to the bare essentials of the tracks and that’s exactly what was in store for the night ahead. Nina opens the set with one of my favourites a track special to me being the track that won me over as a fan, Colder. And hearing it just Nina herself playing it on the keyboard made it even more special, the crowd singing along and from track one Nina had the crowd. She didn’t have to warm us up. Fantastic choice for an opener and set the tone for the set ahead. Second song Loyal To Me. A song about Fuckboys and a real fun song to sing along to, you can’t help but sing along the the chorus it is so catchy. Two songs in and already this was shaping to be a special night. Third song in and it was the first of the new songs to come a song called Dinner Table and I can confidently say this was a favourite from the set and it’s definitely made me even more excited for the album to come from Nina, great job on the new material. Afterwards it’s another older one Is It Really Me You’re Missing another fantastic addition for the set. Now the set is in full swing and Nina treats us to preview some of the new material for the next few songs, something I was excited to get to witness and every song tells a fantastic story and they are all incredibly relatable. So into a song called Colours Of You great little track and I can’t wait to get to listen and relate it to me and my meaning. Followed by another new one called Pressure Makes Diamonds which I think was about how from a bad situation can come something beautiful, another good new track from Nina. Now it’s time for a track called Older Guys from Nina writing about when she was younger wanting to date Older Guys. Now it comes to my favourite of the newer tracks played a track called Heirlooms which I think was written about when potentially you have kids, wanting to pass on the good parts of your experience while shielding them from the band. And only passing on the good things and holding on to bad things. A cool track very relatable making an observation of today’s generations and how a lot of us are working on ourselves every single day. Where older generations wouldn’t have had the opportunities to speak up about struggles that are out there today. And that track hit home because we are all fighting battles that no one else knows about and working hard every day to Better ourselves so thank you Nina for such a beautiful track and I’m looking forward to being able to listen to it on repeat when it’s released. Following Heirlooms it was Nina’s most recent single When You Love Someone a song about love and loss, grief losing someone and what that feels like and the stages of grief. A song that was emotional to hear live and I’m sure everyone there was thinking of someone that the song brings to mind. And to close off the set for the night fan favourite song The Best You Had what else could it be. Marking the end of the setlist for the evening.

The house lights hadn’t gone up so Nina was coming back for some encores, the crowd chanted for more and we got what we wished for. For the first encore we had all been handed a card and a balloon to blow up and release in memory of a big fan of Nina that sadly lost his life so in memory of him the crowd released the balloons for The Sun Will Come Up The Seasons Will Change. A sad moment remembering the loss of a fan but turned into a cool thing to witness and what a wonderful thing for Nina to do in memorial for a big fan that attended many of her shows, Nina really cares and connects with the fans. This actually prompted one of the best memories of the night for me watching my brother try to blow up the balloon. I’m not much good at blowing up balloons so I passed it to him to have a shot and it ended up being tiny and when he let it fly all the air came straight back out a funny moment to share together. A moment that will be remembered I’m sure for many that attended the show. One more song to go and to end the night Nina plays Last December. As an intro to the song she mentions how originally she wasn’t going to release it but fans heard the song and urged her to release it. And thankfully she did because what a shame if she never released this fantastic song in her catalogue. An emotional close to a fantastic set. And a fantastic way to mark my first time visiting King Tuts.

Spend The Evening With Halestorm

Spend The Evening With Halestorm

In 2021 Halestorm announced a run of shows as an Evening with Halestorm. No support bands required just non stop Halestorm all night long, playing in smaller venues than when they last hit the U.K. The last time I seen them before this show was in the Hydro in Glasgow, with them finally and deservedly breaking in to arenas in the U.K. I was happy that Halestorm were reaching a larger audince and getting well deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication to music, they’d have toured every day of the year in the beginning if they could have pulled it off. So finally their hard work pays off and it’s great to see. But the sad part to it I first seen Halestorm in 2015 at the Barrowlands in Glasgow not long before Into The Wild Life came out and it blew my mind and was a fantastic introduction to one of the best live music venues the Glasgow Barrowlands and it fulled my early love of live music as well as winning me over as a massive fan of Halestorm. I’ve now been fortunate enough to have seen Halestorm perform four times, twice in the Barrowlands and twice in the Hydro, once headlining and once supporting on the Carnival Of Madness Tour. So Naturally when Halestorm announced the more intimate Evening with tour I just had to get a ticket for their return to the Barrowlands knowing that would be a show not to be missed and I was right.

First time round in 2015 when I saw Halestorm first time at the Barrowlands they brought along as support bands a fantastic band called Wilson that sadly are no longer together a fantastic band their set made a lasting impression on me. So much so that while purchasing merchandise after the show I purchased their CD and a hoodie and had them both signed. The band were so cool and were happy to have a chat. My lasting memory of their set was them covering Scottish band Nazareths song Hair Of The Dog. And second Support was a band called Nothing More. I don’t remember much about their set, I wasn’t a fan of that style of music at the time, I am now and quite like Nothing More a shame I didn’t appreciate it more at the time really. They put on a high energy performance and it was an impressive stage presence for sure. So that’s a bit about the first time I seen Halestorm and how it made a lasting impression and put me on the path of wanting to see more and more live music.

Fast Forward to November 24th 2019 Halestorms first time headlining the Hydro in Glasgow and they rose to the occasion proving that they were able to smash the glass ceiling and take the next step into being an arena rock act, even though it wasn’t as personal and intimate as the 2015 show at the Barrowlands it was a fantastic show and one of the last I got to see before the world shutdown in 2020. It brought back my love for Halestorm the show at the Hydro. And they brought along two great support acts, New Years Day and In This Moment. New Years Day were fantastic Epidemic was a real highlight of that set. And of course Halestorm rose to the occasion of arena headliner and blew the roof off the place.

Halestorm announced they were doing shows as an Evening with Halestorm with no support acts, going at it alone and trying something fresh and different. And when I seen they were playing the Barrowlands March 7th 2022 I couldn’t not be there. Not only were they coming back to my favourite music venue but it was an opportunity to see Halestorm in a more intimate setting with less than 2,000 people. A lot less than the Hydros 15,000 person capacity. So when the tickets went on sale and I managed to secure tickets I was filled with excitement. Halestorm as a band are always going to be very special to me, it was the 2nd ever live show I ever went to and for a period of time Into The Wild Life was the soundtrack to my life. So the excitement was building. I also thought they would have some new material to bring along and play. Not a full new album yet but two fantastic singles Back From The Dead and The Steeple. And there was also the possibility Halestorm would play one of the new tracks from the upcoming album. I was getting to go back to where my real love of live music started with the band that helped start it. Halestorm were coming back bringing their church of rock n’ roll to the Barrowlands.

March 7th 2022 show day. I had been binging all of the albums as well as the two new singles building my anticipation for the show wondering what they would play, what they would choose to do, how the show would go with it being their own show. And the cool thing was that because they didn’t have any supports it wasn’t like the crowd was split between fans of the headliner and some there to see the support and not as big a fan of the headliner. We were all there to spend the night with Halestorm. And what better way to spend a Monday night with Halestorm, I know a night with Halestorm ? On a school night but it can’t be helped and what an excellent Monday night it was leading up to be.

7 o’clock the doors open. What the band were doing on this tour was an acoustic set of around 40 minutes first of all playing stripped down versions of tracks, truly making it a special night for all in attendance. I was incredibly excited this was the first time I’d ever got to see a band I loved and followed taking their songs stripping them back to their acoustic roots and playing the set like that. After the acoustic set the band left the stage and around 20 minutes later returned to get straight back into it with the fully plugged in electric set. And as a special part of the acoustic set the band learned the Proclaimers 500 Miles and covered that especially for Glasgow, each show of the tour the band have learned a song by a band from the city they were playing in that night.

The house lights go down and Lzzy Hale makes her way to the stage. To start off the stripped back acoustic set Lzzy plays a few songs on her own just her singing and playing along on the piano. She opened the set with Break In the piano ballad coming from The Strange Case Of album, afterwards into Dear Daughter from Into The Wild Life. Dear Daughter is always an emotional special part of any Halestorm set, written from the perspective of a conversation between Lzzy and her mother being incredibly supportive and being behind her 100%. It’s a beautiful song and sung with so much raw power and emotion and only two songs in to the night with Halestorm the crowd was won over and eager for more. More we shall get moving in to an unreleased Halestorm song and a treat to hear God Bless The Beast, fantastic song and it sounds amazing stripped back so I think it would be an even better track plugged in with the band. Hopefully one day it will be released. Followed by a song called Raise Your Horns and that was an end to Lzzys solo piano set. Lzzy comfortably owned her time on the stage, setting up for what was to follow. There was an exciting intimate feeling to Lzzy being up there on her own without the band and she owned every moment, setting up for a wonderful Evening With Halestorm and evening that was to remember. Now being joined by lead guitarist Joe Hottinger on the stage. So now with Joe accompanying on acoustic guitar a treat to listen to a stripped back version of the Silence from the Vicious album. Now the rest of the band come and join them on the stage for the rest of the acoustic set, Josh Smith on Bass guitar and Arejay Hale on drums. Now we had Familiar Taste Of Poison with Lzzy introducing the song talking about how she had written a lot of the song when she was 19 but didn’t complete it. And so it sat on the shelf unfinished until years later. And the moral of the story was don’t get rid of anything you will eventually find your way to finishing the project in time. Thank goodness Lzzy persevered because it’s such a good track and it would be a shame if it had never been finished and left behind. Lzzy introduces the next song telling the story of how at first the band didn’t like this song as much because it was a lot softer than what they wanted to put out, but they put it out anyway and it is I Bet You Wish You Had Me Back. Sounded amazing stripped back on the acoustic, a welcome addition to the acoustic set. The next song Lzzy introduced saying that each place they go on this tour they make an effort to learn a song by a band from there. So I immediately thought of AC/DC with Angus, Malcolm and Bon being native to Scotland originally. I was wrong they covered the famous Scottish Proclaimers song I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles and points for effort, they looked as if they had so much fun covering the song and it was a pleasure to sing along with them and be part of that moment. Ticking off something I thought I would never see, Halestorm covering the Proclaimers and what a choice the crowd loved it and it looked like the band did too. Nice touch Halestorm. One more song left of the acoustic set and naturally it was a stripped back version of Mz Hyde sounding just as good stripped back without the big electric sound and Lzzy still screaming and pushing her voice to the limits. Halestorm sure know how to make the acoustic set rock and it was already shaping up to be the best I’ve seen them in my four times seeing the band. The band leave the stage and Arejay stays for a little bit longer to tell some jokes and then also leave to let the crew set the stage for the plugged in electric set. Already I had my moneys worth out of the ticket, Halestorm are one of those special bands that make any time seeing them one to remember. And it wasn’t over yet, they were just getting started.

Around 20 minutes later the House lights go down again and it’s time for the electric portion of spending the night with Halestorm. Coming straight out of the gate with single from the upcoming album of the same name Back From The Dead. A great start to the set and a track with a lot of meaning behind it, great start to a fantastic set to come. Followed by Uncomfortable from the Vicious album a great track for the crowd to get off on and sing along to jump around and lose themselves in the moment. Already they’ve grabbed my attention again and sucked me into the moment of live music connection between band and crowd a feeling like no other. And into I Get Off from the self titled debut album about Halestrom getting off on the crowd getting off on them feeding off of each others energy which was absolutely true of this performance. Followed up by a song for all the girls in the room Daughters Of Darkness with a great part for crowd participation at the beginning of the song. The we go into a song that can’t help but raise you up and feel like you can take on the world with I Am The Fire from the Into The Wild Life album, a song challenging anyone to believe in themselves and never lose sight of who they are a special song and a favourite of mine from the Halestorm catalogue. Moving forward into Amen and the band have a jam to extend the song having a lot of fun with it,being a night with Halestorm they can do things they couldn’t normally get away with and it was my pleasure to be witness to it, Amen another song for crowd participation and keeping the set moving along at a great pace not stopping for a second to catch their breath. Afterwards Arejay gets his moment in the spotlight it was the part of the set for his drum solo which is always a highlight. He has these massive sticks that he breaks out for the drum solo and it’s amazing to watch him go with them. Arejay just gets better and better at playing constantly pushing himself to try harder and get better. Always a favourite moment the drum solo. After the drum solo it’s time for the rally cry Freak Like Me, for all the Freaks in the house it was time for our moment to shine our part in the set to truly let yourself go and enjoy it and be yourself. If You’re a Freak Like Me that is, and let’s face it we’re all Freaks at the Halestorm show and proud to be waving our Freak flag every single time. Now it’s time for a taste of a new track from the upcoming album Back From The Dead in the form of track Boneshaker and what a treat it was to bear witness, I love my Halestorm heavy so for them to break out this heavier track I was so excited to hear them playing sonething on the heavier side from the new album, great track with a welcome place in the set anytime. A treat to hear it before the albums release. Now it’s fan favourite Love Bites and So Do I, always a great moment in any Halestorm set hearing this staple track. And to finish the main set before the encores we have newest single The Steeple. A song which finds Lzzy wearing her heart on her sleeve and thank you for that track Lzzy it helped me a lot and it was a pleasure and a treat to hear it played live.

Encore time. First track Heres To Us, great start to the four track encore. Get thew crowd going and keep the momentum and energy high. Closely followed by Apocalyptic keeping the energy high and a real treat to hear live. Time for some Mayhem not daring to slow down at the end of the set, Halestorm were definitely leaving it all on the stage for Glasgow and we thank them for it. Mayhem a nice fast heavy number to have as the second last song of the set. And to round off the whole night on a perfect finish with I Miss The Misery a track that we all wanted to hear and Halestorm would grant that wish. Extended with a jam at the end of the song and Lzzy having a call and response with the fans. What a way to end the night on a high note. Truly the best I’ve seen Halestorm so far. They looked like they enjoyed every second of performing and looked to be having so much fun on stage. As the years go by with Halestorm they get even more solid as a band unit honing their craft and getting better and better and better with time. And they were amazing when I first saw them in 2015 so to see them still be hungry after headlining arenas and coming back to switch it up on a smaller run of venues on their own is magnificent. And they’re not done by a long shot they have so much left to give. Still clearly love performing with each other as a band and have no intentions of going anywhere, long may it continue. Always a pleasure Halestorm until next time.

Each time I see Halestorm I always leave feeling so much better for seeing them and this was no exception. Again they proved why I love them so much and why they will fly the flag for rock and roll music for years to come. A band that care so much about their fans. So much that they pointed out a group of fans on the barrier who were attending their 100th Halestorm show. Happy 100 and many more. They just get better every time. Lzzys vocal ability continues to amaze me the way she can hold a scream and hold it for so long and keep going. Truly a legend of rock. A band that deserve to go down in the history books. They deserve all the success they have they’ve worked so hard for it.

Long Live Halestorm from one Freak To Another.

Smith/Kotzen live in Glasgow March 2nd 2022

Smith/Kotzen live in Glasgow March 2nd 2022

Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden and Richie Kotzen of the Winery Dogs and solo as well as many other endeavours such as Poison. Smith Kotzen booked a short tour of the US for earlier on in 2022 and I recall seeing videos of some fans commenting on their cover of the Iron Maiden song Wasted Years and this immediately caught my attention. After watching a video of the first show they did and the cover drawing my own conclusions I liked it and thought it was respectable to the original whilst allowing Adrian and Richie to have some fun with it, after all they don’t have that air raid siren voice like Bruce Dickinson but boy can Richie Kotzen belt out a tune. A voice very similar to Chris Cornells and that’s a very high compliment to give. Shortly after announcing their first U.K tour as a band I wasn’t sure about getting tickets and was on the fence. After hearing the song Better Days from their EP of the same name that was my mind made up I wanted to go see them live to experience it for myself and I’m glad I did. Incredibly grateful to Smith Kotzen for putting on an incredible performance and doing themselves and the fans proud. Now on to my thoughts of the show.

Smith/Kotzen brought along with them as support for the show at the Garage in Glasgow a band called The Dust Coda. I’d heard the name before but wasn’t familiar with any of their stuff so I was excited to watch their set to see if they’d win me over as a fan. To cut a long story short they put on a great set and it was obvious to me watching that they were having a great time performing on stage opening up for the main event. It was a great hard rocking set that was most enjoyable and has definitely made me want to get to know their stuff better. Great support and done the job well of warming the crowd up well for what was to come shortly after with the rock n’ roll juggernaut that is Smith/Kotzen. After The Dust Coda finished their set and left the stage was filled with excitement knowing that soon enough just feet away I’d get to see Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden performing in a much more intimate setting than Iron Maiden have for years.

The lights go down and an intro plays to welcome the band to the stage. The excitement is upon me first out to the stage is Bass player for the band Julia Lage who is also Richies wife, great Bass player and one half of a solid rhythm section. Completing the rhythm section on drums and accompanying Julia first to the stage is the man, the myth the machine from Brazil Mr Bruno Valverde an awesome drummer that played out his skin for the show. And of course on stage left on the guitar and the vocals we have Adrian Smith. On stage right also on the guitar and vocals we have the fantastic Richie Kotzen. Considering both Adrian and Richie both have an impressive vast amount of music in each of their respective back catalogues you could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps they would have a few cover songs to pad up the set with them only currently having one album and an EP. But no they chose to only play their own songs aside from two covers as encores one being a Richie Kotzen song, You Can’t Save Me and the other being the Iron Maiden song Wasted Years.

I was thinking the set would break open with Better Days but I was wrong. Instead they chose the opener of Taking My Chances track one off the self titled debut, great opener letting the crowd know that they mean business and hold on tight for a great performance ahead. Richie and Adrian play like two guys that have been playing together for years both more than happy to share the spotlight and trade back and forth with the guitar lead parts, both players complimenting each others styles well. Richies vocals are outstanding and I’d say he is an incredibly under rated singer. Let’s not forget Adrians singing as well with both sharing vocal duties and it working so well. On stage the chemistry between the band is clear, it’s not just a group of four players thrown together and going through the motions. It’s a band of people that play off of each other well and get a whole lot of enjoyment from what they are privileged to be able to do as a job in a touring band. From Taking My Chances they go straight into another great rock n’ roll track Better Days off of the EP of the same name, the perfect track for showcasing Smith and Kotzen taking their turns on the vocal duties and lead guitar duties. This was already shaping up to be a show to remember and we were only two songs in. It just got better and better from there. 3rd song of the set a solid song called Some People a song which can be incredibly relatable which for me is about some people are always going to take advantage. From there we go into a song called Glory Road and the is rocking the band are firing on all cylinders and well warmed up. Afterwards it slows down a bit for You Don’t Know Me. Followed By Hate And Love and then I wanna Stay followed by Til Tomorrow. Next song was a special one and I think a clear fan favourite from the reaction of the crowd a song called Scars a favourite of my own from the self titled album. After Scars it’s a song called Got A Hold On Me which Adrian introduces as a song about the perils of alcohol and then laughed saying but don’t let that spoil your night, this is a fast paced song and one which I enjoyed very much experiencing live.Next was Rise again followed by the last song of the set Solar Fire which was extended with guitar solos from both Richie and Adrian trading off solos on each other and encouraging crowd participation with Richie starting a call and response with the audience singing Fire and then handing it over to the crowd. Afterwards the band leave the stage coming back a few minutes after with three encores to offer. First of the Encores was the Richie Kotzen song You Can’t Save Me, off to a good start with the encores. Followed by the Iron Maiden cover Wasted Years which generated a great crowd response when Adrian started playing the intro, it was truly a joy to sing along to the song. One song left and they brought out Running from the self titled album which Richie mentioned was the first song that Adrian and Richie wrote together when they got together two years ago. Ending the night on a high note.

There were some small sound problems but the show was still one to remember and one I will hold the memory of dearly for a long time.

Truly a joy to watch this band perform because it’s obvious they were enjoying themselves and they’re doing it for the love of music and performing together and nothing else. Julia was owning her place on the stage not afraid to use the space and move around, many times throughout the night Julia and Adrian sharing moment connecting with each other and clearly loving getting to play together. Julia especially on Wasted Years performed great on the Bass taking parts that Steve Harris made famous and adding her own spin to it and not just copying, having fun and making it enjoyable to perform for them. And also let’s not forget the bands secret weapon on the drums holding the rhythm section together and doing a fantastic job of keeping the beat Bruno Valverde a fantastic choice to be behind the drums for the tour and I hope is kept on for future tours of Smith/Kotzen. And I can’t forget the two guys that made it all possible the reason we all bought a ticket Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen both playing off of each other, being happy to let each other have their moment in the spotlight to show off their skills on the guitar. And believe me they are both incredible rock players and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to see them live.

Truly the highlight of my day and with it being the first concert my dad and I attended together in 2022 it is definitely not one we will forget anytime soon. Smith/Kotzen you’d already won me with the songs on the album. Now you’ve won me over as a fan for life. Anytime these guys are in town I will be there.

All that’s left to write is if you haven’t listened to Smith/Kotzen yet. What on earth are you waiting for ? You will not regret it. Check out their self titled album and EP Better Days. And if they roll in to your town on tour buy a ticket and show them some love. It’s a night you will remember and believe me you will have the time of your life.

Meaning behind the song, to me?

Meaning behind the song, to me?

I enjoyed writing a piece for Heavy Metal Therapy and exploring Tremonti Marching In Time so much that I’ve decided to keep going with other songs. Hopefully this will encourage some of the readers to share what songs mean to them as well. A line, A lyric even a full song. Here is the link to the post I worked on for Heavy Metal Therapy https://heavymetaltherapy.co.uk/2022/02/05/marching-in-time/

Thank you to Heavy Metal Therapy for giving me the opportunity to write something on your platform, which gave me the idea for this.

The song I have chosen for this blog is Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Not For Me. Coming off of the first Slash ft Myles & The Conspirators album Apocalyptic Love. This song is very close to my heart and very important to my life.

Apocalyptic Love Album Cover

Not For Me is very important to me because it was the first song I listened to when I decided enough was enough, something needed to change I’d made my mind up and decided I wanted to be sober. The first line in the song perfectly gives a soundtrack to what I was feeling when I woke up with a hangover and a mindset telling me this had to change. With that horrible feeling of not remembering the night before. And not for the first time either. Thankfully I used it as the catalyst for a positive change and decided to give being sober a try. And so here we are this blog is helping me celebrate six months of being sober.

Studio version of Not For Me

“Dirty sunrise creeping in broken bottles gilled within the room is black the blinds are drawn, I don’t remember anything what I’ve done or where I’ve been Another night has come and gone”As I sat and listened to the song it connected with me on a deep level and spoke to my heart and soul making me see is enough it’s time to stop. But let me discuss the first two lines and how they helped me to process all of this. And it’s the line in particular about not remembering and another night coming and going. Anything could have happened and I wouldn’t have known and that line hit home about that, helped to guide me through it. However how I take the song is the feeling of waking up after another night of over indulging and lying there feeling awful and wondering why have I done this to myself. And that’s how it connected with me I was feeling awful wondering why did I let myself get that far. Another night wasted doing something that wasn’t benefiting me physically or mental health wise, in fact over time it was detrimental to my mental Health. I had always misheard this line as “Broken bottles Guilt within” which related to me often waking up feeling guilty and the symbol of looking around seeing broken bottles around after another night drinking too much and suffering the effects the morning after the night before.

So another lyric that spoke to me was this one “This is not for me, no, Anymore” And why that line connected with me was it put to words a conversation I was having within myself inside my head. Feeling a lot like an imposter pretending to be something I wasn’t. And the game was up with a two choices. Continue to drink even though I couldn’t handle it anymore. Or make the hard choice of real change and stop drinking which was what I chose to do. which is where the line comes in reflected above, I realised that going out and drinking too much just wasn’t for me anymore. I was trying to fit in but it just wasn’t for me. A lot of it was nostalgia thinking back to nights I did have a good time and I liked the nightlife going out having a bit to much to drink and having a good time. Until the good times stopped and A lot of the time the morning after I was faced with a feeling of dread telling myself this Is Not For Me but not feeling like I had the strength to do it. I didn’t believe in myself enough that I had the willpower. Glad to have proved myself wrong.

Another line I’d like to add in and discuss is this “The Devil smiles and laughs at me says you’ll be back just wait and see you know I’ve heard this all before”This part relates to the doubters that want to see you fail, to say I told you so and I knew you couldn’t do it. This lyric jumps out because it’s something I’d tried previously and never followed through with. Woken up and said never again, and a friend says to you we’ll see. And then next weekend I was out again not having followed through. And it is something I’d said to people before I’m giving up drinking and always gave in again. However this time was different.

“You can keep your high life and the hills your cocaine lies and whiskey thrills I don’t need you anymore” This line is about when you wake up and realise you’re doing it. Perhaps the moent you relaise you no longer crave the thing you’ve given up. Made the decision to stop and change yourself and when offered to go back to that, no thanks. You stand strong and keep on the path. This for me was after October. Originally my goal was to get to the end of October sober and re-evaluate, a little over 2 months sober and wait and see. End of October came and I decided I liked it. And kept going. Didn’t miss the hangovers. I’d had my fair share of good nights and fond memories.

The last line I want to add in ” I’ll keep runnin to the very end for the life I lived is not the life I want” This for me is when I reflected on being sober and realised that getting through the week to drink it all away wasn’t for me anymore. I’d found out I didn’t need it and I didn’t miss it. And here I am six months down the line feeling comfortable enough to publish this blog about it. I feel a lot better for being sober and it’s given me a lot of clarity over my own life and my own decisions. One of the best choices I ever made. This lyric relates to my wanting something different and not wanting the horrible feeling of hangovers anymore. This wasn’t the life I wanted anymore. I couldn’t continue down that road any longer.

Now I wanted to add this in at the end. A few things contributed to my decision to remain sober. How alcohol makes me feel is a big one and there’s others in there too. It’s been very rewarding for me. However I don’t ask anyone to change their habits for me. This decision was for me and me alone to benefit myself and no one else should adapt because of me. There may come a time where I drink again in time and maybe not. I chose to go sober for me and continue to remain so for myself, it’s what is best for me.

If you relate to this story and some of what I felt, reach out to someone and ask for help. Don’t go through it alone.

Live Acoustic version of Not For Me performed by Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators

Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators 4

Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators 4

February 11th 2022 Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators unleashed to the world the aptly named album 4. An album I was very excited to hear. Slash Ft Myles & The Conspirators was how I got introduced to Alter Bridge who are now one of my favourite bands. However SMKC still hold a special place for me with Slash being one of my favourite guitar players. I love the tight but loose style he has.4 is the follow up to Livin The Dream released 21st September 2018 marking a 4 year gap between releases. The same gap in time between the release of World On Fire in 2014 and Livin The Dream and if you ask me worth the wait. However in between Slash been with his other band Guns N’ Roses touring the world for the Not In This Lifetime tour and Myles has been with Alter Bridge and touring solo. Frank Sidoris Rhythm guitar player for the band has joined Mammoth WVH as a guitar player and Todd Kerns Bass guitar player and Brent Fitz drummer have been busy with Toque and other projects. And there was also Covid shutting the world down that well and truly threw a spanner into the machine. I have to say though I think time off was a blessing in disguise giving Myles some proper downtime to rest his voice and a break from his jam packed schedule of record and release album Tour to promote album between SMKC, Alter Bridge and his solo career.

As well as being the 4th album in the SMKC discography it also helps to celebrate ten years of Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Officially the band formed in 2012. Although Slash has been working with Myles Todd and Brent since 2010 touring the release of his self titled solo album. Slash asked Myles if he would do the tour knowing Myles voice would be able to cover all bases for the different styles requires to sing the songs in the setlist. From Guns N’ Roses to Snakepit and Velvet Revolver as well as the tracks off of the self titled album. Who would have thought 12 years later they would be 4 albums in with a fantastic discography and band with amazing chemistry. After bringing Myles on board Todd Kerns was next to come on board and also introducing to Slash drummer Brent Fitz. For the self titled album tour taking on rhythm guitar duty was Bobby Shneck. Shneck was replaced by Frank Sidoris for the Apocalyptic Love tour and Sidoris has been with the band ever since. He became an official member of Slash Ft Myles & The Conspirators in 2018 making his studio debut with the band on Livin The Dream.

April 2021 Slash Myles & The Conspirators got a tour bus and drove across the country to Nashville to work with famed country producer Dave Cobb. Dave was finally going to let Slash tick something off his list of things he’s wanted to do. Being recording an album raw, live and capturing the essence of the rock n’ roll band. I think he done a pretty good job with that style of production. After hearing lead single The River is Rising when that was released back in 2021 that was what immediately caught my attention the raw live feel of the song, gave me the feeling of being in the room listening to a live rock band. It’s great Slash has finally been able to tick that off of his list of things to do. It’s definitely a technique that lends itself well to The Conspirators and made for an album with a real live atmosphere. The day of the album release SMKC streamed a free show on Facebook and youtube live from Studio 60 playing 4 in full from front to back live and adding in some extras at the end as well. I remember World On Fire and Anastasia being played and sounding great. The band are on fire and on the road are going to do great. They sound as hungry as ever in the live setting and that’s without an audience. And so let’s get into the album and I’ll give my thoughts. Spoiler I’m a big fan of the album.

Album cover for 4, simplistic and to the point

Track 1. The River Is Rising

The River Is Rising as well as being the first track on the album was the first of three singles selected to promote the albums release. A fantastic choice for a first single showcasing that they aren’t just going through the motions and still actively pursuing new material that will sound great in the live set. From the first listen of the single what immediately grabbed me was the real raw live feel of the song, which made me even more excited to hear the album. I love when a rock record has that raw old school feel to it. And River Is Rising sounds like it could have been written in the rock n’ roll heyday. Myles voice sounds great and I like the lyrics. “All in the name of nothing, have we been hypnotised, No doubt the end is coming We’re out of time”. It almost sounds like an observation of the state of the world and how much misinformation is being spread to divide us apart. A great lyric. As always Todds backing vocals compliment Myles well and add so much to the song, Brent Driving the rhythm with a solid drum beat. Frank keeping the rhythm of the song moving along while Slash does what he does best. Great track.

River is Rising live from studio 60

Track 2. Whatever Gets You By

Whatever Gets You By

What grabbed my attention straight away with this track was that intro with Brent on the drums with no accompaniment for the first part of the track. And then when the band kicks in and joins in. Slash with a great riff that grabs me and almost makes me want to dance. A track that will be a fine addition to the set list. For Me this track feels almost like the follow up to Serve You Right from the previous album Livin The Dream. It’s got a great groove to the track. Straight forward Rock N’ Roll song. Signature Slash really.

Track 3. C’est la vie

Now I’m a sucker for a good talkbox on a track so even after I heard the little teaser of this track on the behind the scenes making of 4 clip I had a feeling this was going to be a highlight from the album for me. And I was right it’s one of my favourites from the album and a track I hope is played live when they get over to Europe in 2023. The track opens with Slash on the talkbox, Frank playing a great rhythm line to let Slash have room to breathe. Then we get into the song. The lyrics almost tell the story of a lover that’s been burned and trying to move on with their life. Pick up the pieces and move on. And for track 3 it had already made the album for me.

Track 4. The Path Less Followed

Time to bring it down a bit for the Path Less Followed opening with a slightly melancholy riff and a song that for me is the story of someone struggling and trying to find their way. A great track and I liked it.

Track 5. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Halfway point for the album and not daring to slow down. Here we have Actions Speak Louder Than Words, a saying that everyone will be familiar with. Something I think we all get tired of hearing because of how true and close to home it can be. However Myles takes it and makes it into a great set of lyrics. Sounding like the story of someone that says they will do a lot of things but never do, talk the talk but not follow through with what they say. I love the Guitar work on the track. This track has a simplistic AC/DC type of quality just straight forward rock n, roll and I love it.

Track 6. Spirit Love

This is up there with C’est la vie as one of my favourites from the album. And staright from the opening of the song where it sounds like slash is playing the riff through the indian instrument the Sitar and it sounds great I loved it. It put me in mind of the opening of Metallica’s Wherever I May Roam where Kirk is playing the Sitar. Great introduction to the track that won me over straight away without having to even hear the rest of the track.

Track 7. Fill My World

Second Single released from the album. And when I heard it the riff gave me a similar feeling to the Sweet Child riff. While retaining it’s own identity and living in it’s own space. The tracks lyrics are written from the perspective of Myles dog Mozart. While Myles was on tour and he had to leave the dog at home he has a camera set up so he can check in on the dog and see how he’s doing make sure things are ok. And the song is written from the perspective of how Mozart felt being home alone during a storm while Myles and his wife Selena were away and wanting them to come home and be with him during the traumatic storm for Mozart. A well written song and very enjoyable. Great ballad for the album and it will fit well into the setlist.

Track 8. April Fool

Nearing the end of the album and no time to slow down yet. Keeping the momentum going and the listener engaged with the album. The lyrics from my interpretation of someone who’s been treated like a clown and used. And when they realise they have been used telling the story of what that entails. Great guitar work again from Slash

Track 9. Call Off The Dogs

Third and last single from the album before release. For me this is a typical Slash riff full of fun and straight to the point which will sound great live. Nice fun fast riff. Reminds me of Mind Your Manners off of Livin the Dream. Will be a fine addition to the set and one that hopefully gets the crowd moving.

Track 10. Fall Back To Earth

The epic conclusion to the album. Straight from the off Slash has a fantastic lead riff that sucks the listener in. Bringing you into the moment and almost telling a story before the lyrics themselves kick in. With this track Myles was paying tribute to some of the fallen greats of the music industry that paved the way for bands like Guns N’ Roses back in the day. David Bowie in particular it was a tribute to. A great conclusion to a great solid Rock album.

I would say the album lived up to my expectations. Slash is one of the reasons I got into Rock music and I’ll always have a soft spot for Slash. That doesn’t mean that SMKC aren’t a great band. It’s a band of five people all confident in what they bring to the band. Todds background vocals are a real treat on the album sounding very like they do in the live set which was a nice touch to be on the album. The closest they’ve sounded to the way the band are live. Dave Cobb done a terrific job of capturing the spirit of the band and giving 4 a raw live energy to it. Which from lead single River Is Rising already had me wanting more.

Overall I’d give the album an 8 out of 10. A fine addition to the Slash Ft Myles & The Conspirators catalogue. And what a way to celebrate 10 years as a band releasing a straight forward no messing around Rock album.

For me what would have got the album up to a 9 out of 10 would be the debut of Todd Kerns on the lead vocals on an original SMKC track. To give him his own track to own in the set list when the band is touring. Although hearing him channel his inner Lemmy singing Dr Alibi is a real treat too. Todds got a great voice and I’d love to hear what he could do with his own song on an SMKC album to take the lead duty for a track. Although if it doesn’t ever happen Todd does a wonderful job at taking the songs he sings in the set and adding his own flavour to it. Like Todds take on Dr Alibi is totally different to the vocal that Lemmy put down on the album version. Todd pays respect to Lemmy while also bringing his own style to the song.

If you’ve not heard the album check it out it’s available on all streaming services. And all physical formats you would expect, CD, Vinyl and even an option on Cassette if that takes your interest.

Here’s to another 10 years of Slash Ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators showing no signs of slowing down just yet. Keep up the good work it’s a pleasure to be a fan loved every album so far and this one is no exception.

Get Back, The rooftop performance

Get Back, The rooftop performance

I went to see the Beatles Get Back Rooftop Performance in Imax. Ever since I got in to the Beatles I remember my dad mentioning the Rooftop performance and how it was their best ever live performance and ever since then anything about the Rooftop performance excited me. So naturally when it was announced it was releasing in cinema for a limited run in Imax I had to go and see it. Experience this event for myself with my own eyes and I don’t regret it. The film is fantastic and shows the Beatles at their best on the Rooftop performing as a band for what was to be the last time before they split up in 1970 never to reunite again going on their separate musical paths. At least they had one last fantastic performance in them before it all came to an end.

The Beatles in the process of recording Let It Be

Get Back takes the footage recorded of the Rooftop Performance and remasters it, doing a wonderful job of making it look so modern and up to date despite being filmed on the technology of 1969. Old cameras, old music recording equipment. The film starts by giving a brief overview of the Beatles career from forming as a band leading up to 1969 and the recording sessions of what we now know as Let It Be. For Let It Be the Beatles wanted to get back to do a live show and document the process and performance. They had different ideas of performances that were all scrapped. Eventually deciding to get up on top of the Apple Corps headquarters at 3 Saville row. For the performance The Beatles were joined on the Electric Piano by Billy Preston. Some of the performance from the rooftop was used for the album Let It Be. The first track the band played was Get Back and straight away on the video it’s clear this was four guys discovering what it was like to be in a band again and jam and have fun as a band, performing live for the first time since 1966 and it shows how much they loved it. There are moments in the performance that Paul and John are looking at each other and you see they are loving every moment of it, all the animosity and bad blood behind the scenes completely out the window. John, Paul, Ringo and what was the other ones name ? That’s right George, who is my favourite Beatle. I love how George was the more reserved quiet Beatle where the rest were a lot more outspoken George kept his thoughts to himself. But as much as George didn’t say as much as the other three what he said usually meant a lot. But back to the Rooftop for now. As the performance got on the film pans to downstairs at the Saville Row headquarters where the police have turned up, informing the staff that there have been noise complaints and if it isn’t stopped arrests will be made. So remember this when you’re having a bad day. At least you aren’t the cop that shut down the final Beatles performance.

As the performance goes on and it seems the band are getting in to the groove and the chemistry is well and truly flowing again, the police are finally let on to the rooftop to attempt to shut down the performance. In the film it shows the manager going over to John and Georges amplifiers and turning them off but John and George continue to play anyway. George looks annoyed that he can’t hear the guitar and plugs his amp back in followed by John. However the performance is nearing it’s end> They break in to the third version of Get Back that was part of the Rooftop performance with Paul changing some of the lyrics to mention the mother in the song getting angry that the boys have been up playing on the roof again and that they may be arrested for playing on the roofs again. Again they all look like they are having fun playing as a band in the live setting despite this being the last number and being told to cut the performance off. So they finish the performance and John jokes we hope we’ve passed the audition and that was that. The final Beatles performance coming to a close. And back down in to the studio they went to listen to what they had captured up on the rooftop. And they are all smiling as they listen to what they achieved and got down on tape.

And this is where it takes a different turn. As the credits start to roll the film has a few different clips of the band recording the song Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road and Two Of Us. And yes there is still some of the laughing and joking. But the chemistry that was present up on the rooftop looks like it’s gone and the subtle cracks appear for the viewers to witness. The final sessions of The Beatles which were documented and released in 2021 on Disney Plus as The Beatles Get Back, put together by Peter Jackson.

Throughout the film watching the Beatles on the rooftop I was smiling the whole way through. It was an amazing thing they achieved on the Rooftop and an even more amazing thing that it’s been released in full to the public now. There had been bootlegs but never anything official until now. And if you get the opportunity to go and experience the Rooftop Concert in Imax. Go see it, you won’t regret it. Watching the Beatles make Rock And Roll history.

2021 in the Rear-view

2021 in the Rear-view

I wanted to make a return to the blogging world and the idea of doing a review of some of my favourite releases from 2021 came to mind. I’ve selected 5 albums, 2 singles and an EP to go into more detail about. 2021 definitely wasn’t a year many were expecting however a great amount of fantastic music releases especially in the rock and metal world, for new music it was a great time to be a metal head with plenty of releases to get you through the hard times of the pandemic blues. With no live shows in sight at the beginning of 2021 it was looking to be a quiet period for music. However many artists took to the studio to write about the hard times and even serve as a beacon of hope to the fans that All Ends Well. Music again a saviour to many. Many artists opted to hold off releasing finished albums until being closer to return to the stage to be able to tour new music and present it to the fan bases of the world. Thankfully a lot of artists decided to get into the studio and make the best of the down time that was presented to them courtesy of worldwide shutdowns. A massive thank you to all the artists that released new music, done a live stream and even helped the fans out music definitely helped me a lot through the pandemic and continues to help every day.

One such band being Iron Maiden that managed to remain tight lipped about the highly sought after follow up to 2015s offering the progressive Book Of Souls that to date holds the longest Maiden track the Dickinson composition Empire of the Clouds clocking in at 18 minutes. At the time of release it was looking like Book Of Souls was going to be the last album for Maiden which would have been a fantastic way to end their recording career. However Maiden not being a band to rest on their laurels returned to the studio in early 2019 to record what is now called Senjiutsu. Of course there had been rumours in 2020 of Maidens return to the studio among the fan base but the band had kept a tight lip on the truth that they had already finished the album and it was in the can and ready to go, just waiting for an opportunity to be released in to the hands of the world. Teasers for the album were cleverly placed at the Download Pilot as posters for something called Balshazaarz feast with a cleverly placed date on there referencing the release of the first single. Still radio silence from the Maiden camp until a video surfaced of Bruce inviting the fans to come along to Balshazars feast on a specified date. The date came the countdown finished and we were greeted with the debut single from the album entitled Writing On The Wall a compisition written by guitarist Adrian Smith and singer Bruce Dickinson coming in at 6minutes and 13 seconds. Maiden coming again with the longer tracks not like in the past with Run To The Hills and The Trooper. Maiden maturing on longer and more preogressive offerings like on the past album Book Of Souls. Senjiutsu was the second double album by seasoned metal performers Iron Maiden in a row 10 tracks clocking in at 1 hour and 22 minutes. My favourite track from the album is 1st single Writing On The Wall helped by the build up of excitement to releasing the video. In a world where it’s so hard for bands to make an album release exciting and stand out in the digital age where we gave access to a massive library at our fingertips on Spotify and Apple Music. Maiden gave it a go with the interesting and exciting build up to the release of the Writing On The Wall. Maiden again showing that they afraid to try something different and give the fans a fun way to experience new music. As an album I would say Senjiutsu was a slow burner for me. Upon first listen a lot of the tracks felt similar and felt as if there wasn’t any standout tracks. However as I listened again to the album I started to understand and enjoy more of the tracks like Death Of The Celts and Stratego as well as Writing On The Wall. Overall I’d give Senjiutsu a 7/10 and would recommend the album to any Maiden fan new or old. And a worthy recommendation to any metal fan that likes their Maiden long and proggy this is the album for you of 2021. Link To The Writing On The Wall Music Video below.

2021 graced us with the release of Myles Kennedy’s follow up to his 1st solo album Year Of The Tiger entitled The Ides Of March released on May 14th through Napalm Records. Many will know Myles as the vocalist and one half of the guitars of Alter Bridge and vocalist for Slash Ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. So with 2 projects already on the go you might wonder what else could Myles have to offer. This is where Myles gets to show off his blues, rock and roll talent for songwriting he doesn’t display in Alter Bridge or with Slash. With his own personality shining through and standing on it’s own without relying on the already successful back catalogue he has built with his other bands. And you might ask does Myles ever stop working, every year for the past few years he’s released at least one album and then gone on tour. So the Pandemic was the first time Myles has had any proper length of time off the road so he dealt with it the only way he knows he took to the studio and recorded an album. It shows how versatile a songwriter Myles is that even when the touring is on hold what felt like forever he still delivers to the fans. Unlike Year Of The Tiger where it was more acoustic and the songs were more stripped down this time he decided to plug in and let rip. From Get Along through to Worried Mind it’s a joyful listen. Get Along is a fantastic observation into the world during the pandemic quite simply asking Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? This is an album I found myself constantly going back for more and each time the the tracks offering something new. My favourites from the album are In Stride, Wanderlust Begins and The Ides Of March. I love the starting slide guitar Riff from In Stride. The rating I’d give the album is an 8/10. And that’s not the last we heard from Myles in 2021 either, with Slash he released 2 singles from the upcoming album 4. River Is Rising and Fill My World. Releasing 11th of February.

Royal Blood Typhoons released 30th April 2021. An album fans had been eagerly waiting for since Boilermaker and Space had been played live at some shows in 2019. Recorded over 2019,2020 and released into the wild in 2021. Typhoons takes what Nike and Ben perfected on the Self titled album and How Did We Get So Dark and push themselves into new territory on this album. First single Troubles Coming released in 24th September 2020 was a perfect first single, giving the world a taste of what was to come with their latest offering. It was described as AC/DC meets disco by Mike in interviews and I couldn’t agree more. It’s got that rock and roll attitude with the disco feel that makes you want to get up and dance. Second single Typhoons wasn’t playing around. An amazing riff by Mike and a thunderous drum beat by Ben with some backing vocals, meaningful deep lyrics and we get Typhoons. Accompanying it is a fantastic music video. Third single Limbo leans into even more new sonic terrirory for the Brighton based duo and it was fantastic and a joy to listen to, not only that but they took to Abbey Road studios to record an orchestral version showing just how massive the song can sound. And it was a real treat to hear it with the orchestra taking the song and making it sound even better. If you were thinking after How Did We Get So Dark ? where can they go from there well Typhoons is the answer. Taking the rock sound they had established and showing they aren’t afraid to shake it up and try new things. Possibly their best album yet it is definitely my favourite and over the course of 2021 was played many times over and over. My favourite part on the album is Ad Visions followed by Hold on and with the mixing it flows straight from one into the other perfect like clockwork. A work of Art from Troubles Coming all the way to All We Have Is Now. I believe the songs will get even better as they get to tour the album and grow even more along the way. Well done to Royal Blood for creating such a wonderful album and for giving great stories in the lyrics. In the darker times of 2021 this was truly a beacon of hope for me. Favourites from the album would be Typhoons and Mad Visions but the whole album is a great work of art. I give it a 9/10

Spiritbox Eternal Blue released September 17th 2021. A special moment for Heavy metal in 2021. Up and coming Canadian Metal band Spiritbox appear on the map with their debut album Eternal Blue. Spiritbox a band that appeared on my musical radar by recommendation from a good friend of their single Holy Roller released in 2020. I remember when I first heard it what immediately caught my attention was the incorporation of a drum n bass beat at introduction of the song which immediately grabs your attention and draws you in. For anyone that wanted to check Spiritbox out for the first time Holy Roller is a good start, showing off the strengths of each of the band members Courtney Leplante on Vocals, Mike Stringer on the guitar, Bill Crook on the bass and Zev Rose on the drums. Spiritbox released a self titled EP in 2017 introducing themselves into the scene and giving a taste of what they are capable of as a band. And since then have continued to put out different singles experimenting with different sounds as a band. What I love about Spiritbox most is the ability for Courtney to go from full on screams one minute to beautiful relaxing vocals the next. All sides of her voice are accounted for on Eternal Blue to relaxed vocals on the Summit and Constance to metal screams on Holy Roller and Silk On The Strings. Constance is a sad song which gives a lot of food for thought for the listener. The accompanying video is heart wrenching to watch, following an elderly woman suffering with dementia and it gradually getting worse as the video goes on, a great piece of art and a tale that is all to familiar to many of us. It made me think of my gran that suffers with dimentia. Onto Eternal Blue first track Sun Killer grabs your attention and you know you are in for a treat. Fantastic Vocals and great instrumentals, straight away I knew this would be a highlight for me on the album. From sun killer we go into Hurt You. and Track 3 Yellowjacket features a well picked guest vocal appearance from UK metal band Architects frontman Sam Carter that does a fantastic job, Courtney and Sam compliment each others performance and it gives the track a Metalcore edge. Perhaps in the near future Architects could invite Spiritbox on a tour to get them more exposure, a bit of fantasy booking from me there although I think it would work well. Following on from Yellowjacket it goes into the first of the slower more melody driven materal and one of my favourites from the album The Summit. A wonderful track displaying just how good a voice Courtney has, amazing talent to be able to scream as well as she does and then tone it down for The Summit. my favourites from the album would be Sun Killer, Silk in the strings, Circle With Me and Constance although the whole album is so good and I would reccomend listening to it from start to finish as a body of art. The way the album picks up and slows doan and speeds up again and then the climax finish of Constance works so well. The future of heavy metal is in very safe hands with Spiritbox around. If you haven’t checked the album out yet well what are you waiting for. Album rating a solid 9/10. This band are destined for special things mark my words and it will be a pleasure to watch them grow as a band together. One of my best moments of 2021 was when I finally fell down the Spiritbox rabbit hole and they became one of my favourite metal bands. If I were able to book a tour as a fantasy booking it would definitely be a Spiritbox and Entheos tour, Courtney and Chaney on the same bill would be out of this world and I think it would be one of the best tours of that year if it ever happened.

So Many Lives Marching in Time move to the beat of the old and the blind. One of my favourite lyrics ever and it means a lot to me. The lyric comes from Tremonti Marching In Time off of the album of the same name released 24th September 2021. Following up 2018s concept album A Dying Machine was never going to be an easy task, it was their most ambitious effort so far and Mark Tremontis first venture into the art of telling a story with the songs collectively and that also gave him the idea and opportunity for his first novel of the same name, a very good read. Recommend it if you can get your hands on a copy of the book you won’t regret it, great story and good introduction for Mark into the literary world. After 2020 halted Alter Bridges touring cycle for Walk The Sky the schedulling was all up in the air. Unclear what was going to happen next If they would resume that tour once touring was able to happen agai. However Mark similar to AB band mate Myles wasn’t going to let a pandemic stop a new album being written. Mark penned some new songs for Tremonti and the collection would become Marching in Time.Michael “Elvis” Baskette again taking the reigns for production of the album a partnership that has worked for years and I suspect many more to come. Elvis knows how to make the tracks sound the best they can on the album and it’s a partnership that brings the best out in each other. Tremonti welcomed a new member into the recording lineup for this album welcoming Ryan Bennett as a full time member of the band, Garretts shoes were big shoes to fill but Ryan took the ball and hit it out of the park. Garrett is now playing drums in Mammoth WVH. First taste of Marching In Time came in the shape of single number 1 If Not For You, fantastic choice and it certainly did the job of building my excitement for Tremonti album 5. A slower heavier track showing just how far Mark has come as a singer. Each album he’s just gotten better and better although I bet working with one of the best in the business in Alter Bridge Myles has gave some pointers on improving vocal technique and how to preserve his voice. As well as Marks Stellar vocal performance on the track I must also mention Rhythm guitar player Eric Friedmans backing vocals because they add so much to the sound and his backing vocals elevate the track to even better sounds. Let’s not forget returning Bass Player Tanner Keegan and marking his first time being put down on tape with the band after being the touring bass player since the Cauterize tour. Tanner and Ryan provide a solid backbone rhythm section for Mark to play lead over. A formula that gets better and better. I’ve had the privilege of seeing Tremonti live three times so far each time the band just getting better and better, especially Marks vocal performance. The best time was the last time on the A Dying Machine run at the 02 Academy Glasgow, hearing the new songs at the time being put into the set and hearing A Dying Machine live was an experience, at the time I would have said one of Tremonti’s most ambitious tracks. However back to Marching In Time. Upon first listen the thing I noticed was the lack of speed metal on the tracks a departure from previous records, which at first was missed but by the end of the album isn’t at all. With tracks like Thrown Further on the heavier side of things which as a track feels almost like the spiritual follow up to Throw Them To The Lions off of A Dying Machine, which was maybe intentional maybe not but I love it, in the live set I think Lions followed by Thrown Further would be a good follow on to keep the energy up. The album starts off with faster heavier track A World Away where in the first minute Ryan is showing just how good a player and a fit he is for Tremonti the drum seat is in safe hands with Ryan on it. Great start to the album setting the tone straight away and getting things going for what is to come. Picking favourites from the album is hard because every track shines and has something special to it either in the lyrics, music or the theme. However one track exceeds at all three with the Lyrics shining through, the music perfect to back it and the theme of the song is wonderful and that is album closer Marching In Time which is right up there with Blackbird in terms of songwriting and quality, not to downplay the rest of the album Marchin In Time is very very special. I read in Marks interview with Metal Hammer prior to the album releasing that Marching In Time was a song for his kids to let them know not to let the world change them, what a beautiful thing and it shows in the lyrics. The opening line “So Many Lives Marching in Time” can have so many meanings, this is how I take it. We all get wrapped up in the day to day of our lives getting up, going to work, coming home then getting up and doing it all over again, sometimes making our problems seem so large bigger than anyone else when in fact we are all in the same storm learning to sail through and navigate it. Then there is “Don’t Let this cold world change you, Don’t ever go astray” and that I take as you are going to face hard ships and challenges in life but don’t let the world harden you don’t let it change who you are. I could go through the whole song and what I take it to mean to me it’s packed to the rafters with amazing songwriting. Mark as well as being one of the best guitarists around just now would like to be known as a songwriter above all else and with albums like this he’s creating a legacy that will last a very long time. From Creed to Alter Bridge and to Tremonti Mark learns more and more and pushes himself further and further and as a fan it is truly a privilege to be alive at a time where such great music is being released. Tremonti Marching In Time it is a 10/10 from me.

Cardinal Black EP released July 16th 2021. Welsh rockers Cardinal Black, this is a band I had seen the name on festival posters but knew nothing about and that was until they were selected as the support for Myles Kennedy’s 2021 U.K tour and I was there to see it in Glasgow at the 02 academy December 6th 2021, the night Tom singer for Cardinal Black decided he would keep his warm jacket on and under the warm stage lights regretted his decision, funny the little moments you remember. So when Cardinal Black took the stage for their support slot I waited with an open mind to see what was ahead and how they would be. And well they are outstanding, Chris Buck guitar player is widely admired by different rockers and Myles himself is a fan, thank you Myles for bringing them out on tour and putting them on my radar. After the show when I got home I wanted to check them out and knew they had an EP out. No word of a lie I couldn’t stop listening to it and it became quickly one of my favourite releases in 2021, and here I am writing about it. The band is a 5 piece group, Vocals, Guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Chris Buck is a legend on the guitar and has also been in another band called Buck and Evans a name which if you are an AC/DC fan may be familiar because on the drums is a man by the name of Bob Richards that was in the videos for Play Ball and Rock Or Bust check them out also. Chris Buck has that natural talent for playing that soulful blues sound on the guitar and it looks so natural from him. So the band is Tom Hollister on vocals, Chris Buck on the guitar, Adam Roberts on the drums, Sam Williams on the Bass and Greg Hollister rounds out the lineup on keyboard. Back to the EP now, it does a perfect job for clocking in at 19 minutes displaying what the band are capable of by establishing a sound as a band and also what the members strengths are, Tom and Chris both compliment each other very well and it’s a match well made. my favourite track from the EP is their debut single Tell Me How It Feels it is a perfect track, soulful guitar from Chris Buck and a wonderful guitar solo, the vocals and lyrics of Tom Hollister and the rhythm section backing them up all the way making the track even better. I very much hope the EP is merely a taster of things to come I’ll be watching with a close eye on Cardinal Black. definitely a highlight of 2021 discovering them, The EP gets a strong 7/10 from me.

Bleed From Within a Scottish metal band that just keep getting better and better, stronger and tighter as a unit. And they come from Bonny Scotland that is always a bonus a band from where I’m from becoming one of my favourites, Bleed From Within released the single I Am Damnation November 12th 2021, right in time for their UK tour supporting their 2020 release Fracture finally. I Am Damnation is the first taste of the upcoming album from Scottish metal heavyweights, the band is Scott Kennedy on vocals, Craig “Goonzie” Gowans on lead guitar, Steven Jones on rhythm guitar and clean vocals, Davie Provan on Bass Guitar and the mighty Ali Richardson on drums who is in my eyes one of the best metal drummers in the genre at the moment and only getting better. Steven Jones is also in metal band From Sorrow to Serenity and Ali also plays drums in metal band Sylosis. I Am Damnation is the sound of a band that are ready to rise to the top and push themselves further than ever before. The first line in the song “They can’t keep dragging us down, We fought tooth and nail to get here” this is a testament to the work ethic of the band to get to where they are now. Released just before a sold out UK tour in support of Fracture and it sounds even better live. This is the band saying we worked hard for this and here we are ready to fight another day. Then after the opening lines and music the first line of the song “Back again once more round the sun still breathing”. After Covid sidelined any chance of them touring Fracture upon release it’s like a welcome to the fans letting them know that they are here and eager to share the next chapter with us. With the release of I Am Damnation the band also announced they have signed to nuclear blast records a fantastic metal label who think will help Bleed From Within in the next level of their Metal journey. I Am Damnation is a taste of what’s to come and it has me intrigued straight away wanting to know what they will bring to the table with more new music. One of my favourite bands. Be sure to check out I Am Damnation.

2021 is a year that for this band marked the first new music released since 2008. Guns N’ Roses. Guns released two singles in the form of Absurd formerly known as Silkworms and played a few times in the early 2000s era of Guns, and they also released Hardskool. This marks the first new music to contain Slash and Duff since reuniting in 2016 for the Not In This Lifetime tour. Absurd is a more experimental sound taken from the Chinese Democracy sessions and also has Axl singing differently that what we are used to. Absurd was played first on August 3rd 2021 at Fenway park the first time Guns have played anything new and original since 2008s release of Chinese Democracy. Absurd split fans with some fans not liking it at all, some fans loving it. I like the track it’s different and it was nice to finally hear after all this time Slash and Duff on a Guns studio track. After debuting the track August 3rd they released the track on streaming services August 6th. This was not to be the last of the surprise Guns N’ Roses single releases in 2021. September 24th came and with it the release of Hard skool, this has more of a classic Guns sound to it and for fans that didn’t like Absurd perhaps this is a better choice. So 2021 the reunited Guns lineup finally gave us something new, granted it was tracks that Axl had lying around from the Chinese Democracy era but it shows they’ve been working on music and this could lead to new music, both new tracks are good tracks. I loved Hard Skool it’s got that classic guns feel to it that makes me happy. Absurd was different I loved it and I was happy to hear it after all these years finally being released. Could this be a taste of something more to come we will have to wait and see.

Honourable mentions

Gojira Fortitude

Orbit Culture Shaman EP

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes Sticky

Smith/Kotzen and Better Days EP

Mammoth WVH

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown Born Rockin single

Dirty Honey album

Me And That Man New man new songs same shit vol 2

Lilith Czar Created From Filth and Dust

Halestorm Back From The Dead single

Foo Fighters Medicine At Midnight

Volbeat Servant Of The Mind

Alice Cooper Detroit Stories

Tom Morello The Atlas Underground Fire and Flood

Oasis Live from Knebworth

Wolfmother Rock Out

Nothing But Thieves Moral Panic 2 EP

Greta Van Fleet The Battle At Gardens Gate

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Raise The Roof

Pretty Reckless Death By Rock & Roll

Lorna Shore And I Return to nothingness EP

An Honourable mention from the world of pop music Kylie Minogue A Second To Midnight featuring Years and Years, it’s got a great beat to it and the track flows so well. Makes you want to get up and dance the night away. Kylies past two albums Golden and Disco have made their way into my radar and quickly became albums I liked a lot. This track is no exception.

This is an album I found out about through asking someone else what their highlights of 2021 were of music releases and this was mentioned. The name Doja Cat caught my interest and made me intrigued. The album is Planet Her by Doja Cat. That’s right the secrets out as well as loving rock and roll, metal and hip hop I enjoy pop music as well. Straight from the first track Woman all the way to Why Why it got me hooked and there are a couple of the tracks on regular rotation. For all the pop fans out there it’s well worth checking out some very fun catchy songs on there. Beware once they get in your head it’s in there all day. Something that I love about Doja is the artistic vision in her music videos they add so much to the track while letting her have a lot of fun being an artist. Doja is not one to be pigeonholed and will try anything, evidenced by her 2020 MTV Ema performance of her song Say So and changing it up with a rock sound to it.

And the last honourable mention is The Beatles Get Back documentary series released in 3 parts on Disney Plus. Peter Jackson Produced the series and was given full access to the footage form the recording sessions of what was to become Let It Be. Still get chills watching them playing up on the rooftop. A shame that was to be the final performance together for the Beatles because they played so well and looked like they had remembered what it was like to be a band again. Smiles on faces all around. Sadly the rest is history and the band split up and all went on separate paths, what a way to go out though it’s a moment everyone talks about today. A moment for the music history books.

The Beatles performing up on the rooftop before the police pulled the plug.

Lastly to end, I’d like to thank two people that pushed me into doing a blog again and planted the seed in my mind that got me thinking let’s give it another go and see how I get on. So I owe this to those two, I won’t mention names but they know who they are and the support is something I am incredibly grateful for. Without them I’m not sure I’d have done this blog. So thank you. And thank you to anyone that takes the time to read this and supports the blog. This is Matts Rock N’ Roll stories and I hope you will all join me for what lies ahead.