About Me

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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Anneke Van Giersbergen - Drive Album Review

Now somebody tell me please, how can you not be taken in by that face? Just look at her will ya, looking all gorgeous and stuff. Ok that’s my stalking moment over and done with. I first came across AVG fronting The Gathering a few years back and was particularly entranced by the ‘Mandylion’ track ‘Leaves’. I’ve followed her work closely ever since - from guesting as one of Arjen Lucassen’s muses on his Ayreon project, and more recently on her solo work and duet with Danny Cavanagh and as Agua De Annique

The woman has the voice of an angel. I’m not religious at all, but if I were then this is what the Angels would sound/sing like!!

On this follow-up to 2012’s 'Everything is Changing', Anneke collaborated with Dutch songwriter and producer Arno Krabman, enlisting the help of her live band to lay down the new tracks. In a time when bands are creating entire albums by transferring files online, Anneke explains that she was keen to do things the old-fashioned way: “I really wanted to record an album together with a group of musicians in a studio. Having toured extensively with the same tight-knit group of musicians, the result is an organic sound that perfectly captures our chemistry as a band.”

Having proven her credentials and immense vocal talent for 13 years as front woman of The Gathering, in 2007 Anneke felt it was time to begin her own solo career. Along with her new band Agua de Annique the charismatic singer quickly established herself as a solo artist, releasing several albums to critical and popular acclaim.

Anneke also found time to collaborate with some of her long-time friends and musical peers, lending her honey-sweet, yet powerful voice to the likes of Anathema (Falling Deeper), the eccentric Devin Townsend (Addicted!, Epicloud) and fellow Dutchmen Within Temptation (Black Symphony). 2012’s Everything is Changing was something of a milestone in Anneke’s solo career. The album, which was the first to be released under her own name without the Agua de Annique moniker, got her nominated for two Edison awards – Holland’s most prestigious music prize – in the categories ‘Best Female Artist’ and ‘Best Album’. Not only was it a success in her home country, Everything is Changing took Anneke all over the world as she toured over 25 different countries including the UK, Germany, France and throughout Latin America.

So what does 'Drive' behold? Well its certainly a mix of tracks to be honest. If its prog, or heavy rock you’re after than you’re looking in the wrong place. I suppose I could class it as radio friendly Euro pop rock, and there definitely are a couple of radio anthems in the waiting. Last years 'Everything is Changing' was a wonderful release, full of emotion and frailty, whereas 'Drive' has a more fun approach.  The first anthem is the opener ‘We Live On’ and really gives AVG chance to show off that vocal range. ‘Treat Me Like A Lady;’ has more of a meatier riff and is delivered with a bit of ‘oomph!’. ‘She’ starts off a little subtle, before again kicking in with a forceful chorus (a pattern is emerging). Onto the title track 'Drive' – Now, if there’s a more catchier song than this anywhere in Europe this year I sware I’ll refund the money for this album myself (just kidding!), but it is a killer of a track that deserves to be heard my millions, and that chorus is just instantly memorable.

‘My Mother Said’ is a beautiful number, just a piano and her, proving that AVG needs nothing more than her voice as a superb instrument. 'You Will Never Change' falls into the uplifting bracket of songs on 'Drive', before she takes a tangent for the Arabic influenced 'Mental Jungle' and is one of the interesting songs from her to date.

This has been made with essentially what is AVGs touring band and the writing together in an studio and as a band has paid dividends. Whilst is isn’t all excellent, its an album that I will always go back to for a very pleasurable listen…mainly down to THAT voice!


Track Listing:
1 We Live On (03:41)
2 Treat Me Like A Lady (04:00)
3 She (03:08)
4 Drive (03:43)
5 My Mother Said (03:21)
6 Forgive Me (03:11)
7 You Will Never Change (04:03)
8 Mental Jungle (03:44)
9 Shooting For The Stars (04:33)
10 The Best Is Yet To Come (04:04)

Anneke van Giersbergen - vocals, guitar
Gijs Coolen – guitar
Ferry Duijsens – guitar
Joost van Haaren – bass
Annelies Kuijsters - keyboards, backing vocals
Rob Snijders - drums

Gary Moore - Back On The Streets Album Review

Gary Moore is one of the underrated good guys. His tenure in Thin Lizzy was relatively short, but very, very sweet, yielding classics such as Do Anything You Want To, Waiting For An Alibi and the very underrated classic Black Rose.

Just before Black Rose, Moore released this lettuce (I mean little gem!). Back On The Streets saw Gary Moore collaborate with the Lizzy frontman, Phillip Lynott (bass guitar, double bass, acoustic guitar, percussion, backing vocals, vocals - Tracks 2, 3, 8, 9). Not only that, he surrounded himself with a quality set of musicians, such as Brian Downey , Thin Lizzy(Drums – tracks 2,3,8,9), Don Airey, Colosseum II (Keys tracks 1, 4-7), Simon Phillips, shitloads (Drums – tracks 1, 4-7), John Mole, Colosseum II – (Bass – tracks 4-7)

Opening track 'Back On The Streets' would have been good enough to grace any of the superior Thin Lizzy albums, and sees Moore ripping into a killer riff, with Lynott’s unmistakable vocals filing in the chorus, and it sees Moore throwing in all but the kitchen sink into his guitar playing. 'Don’t Believe a Word' is a very nice surprise, a slower more intimate version compared to the one on 'Johnny The Fox', with Moore and Lynott sharing the vocals. It works just as well at this slower blues pace as the heavier original, with the solo similar to 'Still in Love With You', proving Moore had the Blues at a very early stage in his career.

'Fanatical Fascists' is more of a rock/punk ditty that still holds up some 35 years later. Like many a guitar players solo albums, Moore is no different with the of the 8 being instrumentals, and out of these 3, the comically titled 'What Would You Rather Bee or A Wasp' shines above the rest, and has more of a jazz funk feel to it, and sees Moore shredding the arse off of his Gibson Les Paul.

'Song For Donna', is a little too laid back and slow ballad for my liking, but the album ends on an absolute killer and it quickly became THE Gary Moore tune of choice, 'Parisienne Walkways'. Anyone who has heard this live has probably never heard it better than the original with Lynnot’s vocals. Moore has a fine set of pipes, but can be a bit Marmite and screamy for some, but this is the definitive version that got unto the UK charts (No.8 in 1979), a haunting melody that was probably played at every Gary Moore encore since 1978

Whilst Universal have nailed the extended version series somewhat recently, it’s good to see that there’s some bonus material still available. Whilst not huge, it’s  essentially 2 songs ('Track Nine' and 'Spanish Guitar'), of which the latter is covered 3 times – version with Lynott, Moore and an instrumental version just so you can sing along in the shower

Yes, Moore had one of those faces that only a mother could love, but f*ck me, he was an excellent guitar player. I later likened him to the Lee Evans of Rock Music, as he was the only man who matched Evans in the sweat department.

'Back On The Streets' is a mighty fine album and one deserving of the re-release treatment for one of the finest guitarists ever produced


Tracklisting -
Back On The Streets
Dont Believe A Word
Fanatical Fascists
Flight Of The Snow Moose
Song For Donna
What Would You Rather Bee Or A Wasp
Parisienne Walkways

Track Nine
Spanish Guitar (Lynott vocals)
Spanish Guitar (Moore Vocals) 
Spanish Guitar (Instrumental)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Arc Angel - Harlequins Of Light

Following a chance meeting with Paul on a Welsh mountain top;  cold and wet but certainly having a good time at the Steelhouse Festival , I am pleased to submit my first album review  - Arc Angel's Harlequins of Light.

The names of Jeff Cannata and Arc Angel are both synonymous and legendary within AOR circles and Frontiers must be delighted to have them on their roster of artists. Whilst being fully aware of both names, I was not overly familiar with their work and so was able to listen to the Harlequins of Light album with open ears and no preconceptions. Having now heard it 2 or 3 times I can say this : Jeff and Arc Angel have produced an aural banquet, but have still left room for improvement.

Making the assumption that (unfortunately) we will not see Harlequins of Light in any shops, there will be no casual acquisitions and  all purchasers will have sought the album out deliberately, confident in what they are investing in by virtue of their own tastes, and knowledge of the body of Jeff Cannata's work.  Thus - no-one buying the album will be disappointed - and the opening title track immediately justifies the purchase and grasps the listener with a great hook, (although for those of us on the British Isles, Mr. Cannata's pronounciation of the H-word does seem strange. Harleykins anyone ?)

Regardless of this minor quibble - and who is to say that JC isn't right -  the whole album has been truly beautifully produced, with a great guitar sound, magical keyboard flourishes on As Far as the Eye Can See amongst other tracks, and overall we are given a sumptuous AOR soundscape. The band Jeff has surrounded himself with can truly play, but as expected he burdens himself with drum, bass, keys, guitars and all of the vocals, which makes the album's all the more remarkable. One can hear musical nods to other great bands within the pomp/melodic rock sphere - particularly the mighty Styx - and even to the 1988 Arc Angel, with a re-recording of Fortune Teller.


The album could have been even better. Jeff is a good singer, but not a great singer - and the songs could benefit from a stronger voice with a greater range - I'm thinking Danny Vaughan here. The album is also somewhat one-paced, with the pieces blending into one another rendering it difficult to distinguish one from another. This may be a deliberate attempt to make the whole album a piece in itself, but IMHO the impact is diminished. The lyrics - there's nothing truly wrong with them - but they do seem contrived. Uriah Heep do the magical, mysterious and meaningless in a more believable manner.

There is no need for a 'caveat emptor' here, as ultimately, no owner of Harlequins of Light will be left disillusioned with what they HAVE acquired, only with what they have not - the missing pieces of 'what could have been'. What could have been is a 10/10 AOR-Pomp classic, what it is is a very solid 

Hugh Braddock


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Alter Bridge - Fortress Album Review

Well! That bloody lasted about 4 days. Less than a week ago I (wrongly) predicted that the debut album by The Temperance Movement was probably my album of the year. Damn you Alter Bridge for topping a fine debut album.

Fortress is the 4th album from the US quartet, who have now firmly shaken the Creed tag away for good. What I mean to say is that Creed was always hanging around the guys, but now that tag can be removed as Fortress is 100% Alter Bridge and is 100 miles removed from them (Creed). 

All I can say as an intro is that anyone of a slightly nervous disposition must undertake stringent medical tests from their doctor before proceeding to listen as this beast will make you look like an extra from World War Z / Walking Dead, as the ferocity of the riffs will splay your entrails for all to see. Yes it’s a brutal statement, but I didn’t think they would top ‘Blackbird’, but its been surpassed and then some’

Alter Bridge have definitely gone for the jugular this time around. The songs are fiercer, much heavier than all before, and downright pulverizing. You’re lulled into a nice sense of security with the opening classical/flamenco guitar on ‘Cry Of Achilles’ before Tremonti steps in and removes the wax from your ears. The bloke is a veritable riff machine. Its definitely Alter Bridge, but on steroids, and at six and a half minutes it feels like a three minute single. Tremonti and Marshall trade pounding licks with Kennedy’s multi octave wail playing a vocal fiddle to the metal orchestra.

‘Addicted To Pain’, is the first video and single, and sounds like it wouldn’t have been amiss if it was on Tremonti’s ‘All I Was’. ‘Bleed It Dry’ continues in the same  chugging style, before they tame it down slightly for ‘Lover.’ ‘Calm The Fire’ has the sound of a collaboration with Matt Bellamy of Muse as it has that pompous and overblown into that is a Muse trademark. Top marks to Marshall as his bass playing is really at the front of this album, and along with Phillips drives this album on at such a pace, I feel knackered just listening to it.

 ‘Waters Rising’ sees a nice change for Fortress with Tremonti taking over lead vocals in its entirety, and Kennedy chipping in on BVs. It sounds more vintage/classic rock Alter Bridge than the rest. A cool game change, but Alter Bridge wouldn’t be Alter Bridge without the vocal powerhouse of Myles Kennedy who just exceeds himself (and excels) with every passing album. Just when I think he’s peaked, he packs in another stellar performance. ‘Farther Than The Sun’ is a proper chest pounder and when played live will be an absolute tour de force. ‘Fortress’ is this albums ‘Blackbird’, with Alter Bridge ending on an all-conquering bombastic high. ‘All Ends Well’ is the one which sounds most like the Alter Bridge we have all come to love on the previous 3 albums. But music is about change and development, and Alter Bridge have definitely hit the ground running with ‘Fortress.’ I loved ‘ABIII’ and really thought the peak was with ‘Blackbird’, but Alter Bridge have an album here of such power and face melting force that it will undoubtedly be at the very top of many a magazine and reviewer’s lists come the end of the year.

2013 sees them become masters of their own destiny and the Creed references of the past have well and truly been terminated and laid to rest. With Fortress they simply can’t fail to bring in new fans, and drive on to become a huge band over the course of the next year or so. All the cards are firmly in place for metal domination. All hail Plankton! Er, I mean Alter Bridge!!!!

Its not very often I give an album full marks, but in this instance its fully deserving!! 


Tracklisting - 

Cry Of Achilles
Addicted To Pain
Bleed It Dry
The Uninvited
Peace Is Broken
Calm The Fire
Water's Rising
Father Than The Sun
Cry A River
All Ends Well

Upcoming UK Tour

The dates are: 
Wed 16th Oct - NOTTINGHAM Arena, 
Thu 17th Oct - BIRMINGHAM NIA, 
Fri 18th Oct - LONDON Wembley Arena, 
Sun 20th Oct - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena, 
Mon 21st Oct - GLASGOW Hydro, and 
Tue 22nd Oct - MANCHESTER Arena.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

1980 - The best year in Metal!!!

One thing that stands out to me more than anything else is the year 1980. OK, so most of you are too young to appreciate this stellar year in heavy metal. But let me set my stall out here. In 1980 I was 13, and not long introduced into Rock and Metal. I had inadvertently been introduced to Rock N Roll at an early age from my dad, (apart from Liverpool FC, Music is the one thing I can’t do without) Elvis, Bill Hailey, Eddie Cochran, Tommy Steele, Dave Clark Five; just for starters, who were the very same to the public of the 50s and 60s as the likes of rock and metal is seen (not only in 1980) but ever since and to the present day.

Looking back, as a young kid, I’d liked Clapton, City Boy, and bands like Deep Purple that had appeared on my dads compilation albums in the early to mid 70s, and in 78-79 you had only one of two ways to go as an impressionable 11 or 12 year old as I was – to be a Mod or a Rocker. I didn’t really care much for my so called friends from where I lived, so I went the opposite way to most of them and chose Metal. Thank fucking GOD!

So, can you imaging what a year 1980 was to behold as a very musically absorbent 13 year old? Fucking HUGE. It was just one classic album after another all the way thru the year, albums that many of the bands would ever struggle to replicate 30 years later. I’ll publish the full list of 1980 albums at the end, but just look at a few for starters….

AC/DC – Back In Black
Judas Priest – British Steel
Ozzy Osbourne– Blizzard of Ozz
Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell
Diamond Head – Lightning To The Nations
Gillan – Glory Road
Iron Maiden – ST
Saxon had two albums out in 1980 – Wheels Of Steel and Strong Arm Of The Law
Whitesnake – Ready An Willin’
Scorps – Animal Magnetism
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades

You see, it’s not a bad shortlist. And to this day, most if not all of the bands still play something from the above in their live shows. For me personally, three albums in particular stand out from the above list.

ACDC – Back In Black

AC/DC had just lost their talismanic singer, Bon Scott to a drink related death, and lets face, most people thought they were well and truly bolloxed. After an audition recommended to AC/DC by their management that they try out Brian Johnson (formally of 70s glam rockers Geordie) and the rest is history with AC/DC making probably the next album of their career and one of the best rock albums of all time

Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell

Sabbath approached Ronnie James Dio after their relationship with Ozzy went a tad South, again drink in particular playing its part. The gang could take no more and Ozzy was rejected. In came Dio and for once the writing didn’t fall in the hands of one Geezer Butler. In Dio they have a guy who could write and more importantly, sing some of the epic numbers the way that they were meant to be sung. More importantly, Dio gave them a new opportunity, a chance to take Sabbath in a slightly different direction. They hit the charts with ‘Neon Knights’, and the likes of ‘Heaven & Hell’, and ‘Children Of The Sea’ became instant classics

Ozzy – Blizzard Of Ozz

Most people thought that Ozzy had well and truly pissed on his chips. He retreated to drink, drugs and occasional cross-dressing (oh and pissing on the Alamo). Don Arden’s daughter Sharon Arden (yes, that Sharon!) was given the opportunity to look after this new band, and boy did he stick his two fingers up to Sabbath. He gave Randy Rhoads (ex Quiet Riot) a chance and he was the absolute starlet on the guitar, totally talented and extremely gifted with hic neo-classical style. Rhoads and Ozzy proved the perfect foil for each other and were complete opposites. Also, by bringing in old hands such as Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, added to the fire, with songs like ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Crazy Train’ and ‘Mr Crowley’ kicking off a new style and flair that only (probably) a certain Mr.Van Halen could match at the time

The NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) was founded late 70s, and Sounds editor Alan Lewis coined the term, journalist Geoff Barton first used it in the May 1979 issue of Sounds magazine as a way of describing a second wave of heavy metal bands that emerged in the late 1970s during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of New Wave music. But it was 1980 where a lot of these bands coined in NWOBHM came to the fore…

Tygers Of Pan Tang
Def Leppard

Rather than highlighting just a few, here’s some more of the best from 1980…

Judas Priest – British Steel

One of the pioneers of British Heavy Metal and fronted by the Godfather Rob Halford. The cover adorned many a denim jacket in the early 80s and what with killer tracks like ‘Grinder’, ‘United’, ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Breaking The Law’, and ‘Living After Midnight’, messers Downing, Tipton and Halford were on fire, and British Steel is still fresh as it was in 1980.

Motorhead – Ace Of Spades

Title track ‘Ace Of Spades’ is considered to be THE definitive Motorhead anthems, and one of the most famous metal anthems ever. Weighing in at a mere 2:49 the song kicks you in the nads immediately with Lemmy‘s ferocious bass riff intro. Watching this on TOTP proved that Heavy Metal could make an appearance in the UK charts, and many followed suit. Not content with Ace of Spades, they collaborated with Girlschool for the St Valentines Day Massacre which hit the charts in December

Saxon – Strong Arm Of The Law

Out of the two albums this year, SAOTL remains a firm favourite for me. Saxon were about to take on the world and who could stop them with songs like the title track and ‘Dallas 1PM’. They played the first ever Monsters Of Rock at Castle Donington in 1980

Diamond head – Lightning To The Nation

Could have been huge, probably should have been huge. A much sought after album, and became copied and covered by many (Metallica & Megadeth) but the success of the latter should also have followed for the former. ‘Am I Evil ‘(which has one of the most killer riffs ever), ‘Lighting…’ and ‘Its Electric’, stand out for this unlucky bunch

Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

Maidens only album with Dennis Stratton, and reached the heady heights of No.4 in the UK album charts. The single Running Free hit No.34 and when performed on TOTP in the UK, Maiden were the first band in 8 yrs since The Who to perform live. ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ (Later used for a Lucozade ad in the UK), ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Running Free’ and ‘Iron Maiden’ make up the stand out tracks of this great debut. Oh, and it also introduced the world to Eddie!

Gillan -Glory Road

This was Gillan at his finest (well away from Purple anyway!). Notable for the bonus album ‘For Gillan Fans Only’ it shows the band at their greatest and probably maddest – Arthur Guitar and the Amazing Hamster Ensemble, Cosmo Toons and the Split Knee Loons, it remains a classic. Oh and it included ‘Unchain Your Brain’, ‘Running, White Face, City Boy’, and ‘No Easy Way’. ‘Higher & Higher’ was a strange omission

Whitesnake – Ready & Willing

Forget the 1987 Elnett version, THIS was Cov and Whitesnake at their  Bluesiest and shit hot rock best. The classic lineup of Coverdale, Moody, Marsden, Murray, Paice & Lord never ever sounded better. ‘Blindman’ was sublime, ‘Aint Gonna Cry No More’ showed Coverdale at his grandest, S’weet Talker’ was a live fave at the time, and the cock-quaking ‘Ready & Willing’. ‘Fool For Your Loving’ is the definite version, and not the Mr Sheened 1987 poodle permed one!

Van Halen – Women & Children First

A lost classic! Hidden amongst the first four VH albums is this little belter (and it came with a crackin’ poster!). For me it was downhill after this, until 1984, what with sonic mastery on ‘The Cradle Will Rock’ was VH to a tee. Everybody Wants Some is one of the finest they ever produces, and the hilarity came courtesy of Could This Be Magic.  There’s hardly a duff moment on this which cant be said of other VH albums (except the debut – faultless!), and its in my top 3 VH albums, and it probably shades 1984 to hit 2nd place

Events of 1980
·      Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC, dies at 33 on February 19 after a binge of heavy drinking.
·      John Bonham, drummer for Led Zeppelin dies at 32 on September 25, after a binge of heavy drinking. His death was similar to Bon Scott's, and caused Led Zeppelin to disband.
·      ‘Metal For Muthas’ compilation of NWOBHM bands is released, with a supporting British tour.
·      Rainbow headlines the initial Donington Festival. Judas Priest, Scorpions, April Wine, Saxon, Riot, and Touch also play, with 35,000 in attendance.
·      April 1: Brian Johnson joins AC/DC replacing Bon Scott as lead singer.
·      Mike Varney founds Shrapnel Records. This guy helped launch the careers of many a technical guitar player – Malmsteen, Friedman, Kotzen, Becker, Chastain, Gilbert, Moore etc
·      Iron Maiden lead guitarist Dennis Stratton leaves and is replaced by Adrian Smith.

1980s Albums

·      AC/DC - Back in Black
·      Accept - I'm a Rebel
·      Alice Cooper - Flush the Fashion
·      The Angels aka Angel City - Dark Room
·      Angel Witch - Angel Witch
·      Blackfoot - Tomcattin'
·      Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
·      Blue Öyster Cult - Cultösaurus Erectus
·      Budgie - If Swallowed Do Not Induce Vomiting (EP)
·      Budgie - Power Supply
·      Def Leppard - On Through the Night
·      Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations
·      Ethel The Frog - Ethel the Frog
·      Fist - Turn The Hell On
·      Gamma - Gamma 2
·      Gillan - Glory Road
·      Girl - Sheer Greed
·      Girlschool - Demolition
·      Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
·      Judas Priest - British Steel
·      Kiss - Unmasked
·      Krokus - Metal Rendez-vous
·      Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - What's Next
·      Michael Schenker Group - The Michael Schenker Group
·      Molly Hatchet - Beatin' the Odds
·      Gary Moore - G-Force
·      Motorhead - Ace of Spades
·      Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz
·      Quartz - Stand Up and Fight
·      Queen - The Game
·      Rush - Permanent Waves
·      Samson - Head On
·      Saxon - Wheels of Steel
·      Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law
·      Scorpions - Animal Magnetism
·      Shakin' Street - Shakin' Street
·      Ted Nugent - Scream Dream
·      Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
·      Triumph - Progressions of Power
·      Trust - Repression
·      Tygers Of Pan Tang - Wild Cat
·      UFO - No Place to Run
·      Van Halen - Women and Children First
·      Whitesnake - Ready An' Willing
·      White Spirit - White Spirit
·      Wild Horses - The First Album
·      Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell
·      Witchfynde - Stage fright

 So there you have it, 1980, the best year ever? Definitely! Maybe I’m a little blinkered as all this took place in a time when music was in the ascendency, particularly Metal and NWOBHM. It’s a testament to the bands mentioned that all are still alive and well and very much active some 33 years later and more importantly, they are not just making up the numbers. You can’t or hopefully won’t be able to say that of any of Cowell’s puppets come 2036!