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!!!

Sunday 27 November 2011

Voodoo Six - Falling Knives EP

Well its been quite a while since I last reviewed Voodoo Six, 2008 to be precise, for the First Hit For Free album. Boy has a lot changed since then. Gone is the original vocalist and half Venetian mask toting Henry Rundell, and in is the powerful Luke Purdie who seems to have given them an added ‘kick’. Anyone who has heard ‘Fluke?' will back me up.

Voodoo Six are set to release much‐anticipated new EP entitled ‘Falling Knives’ in digital format on November 28. The EP, which will be a special limited edition release, will be available to fans until the end of February. The band will precede the EP release by kicking off their 14‐date UK tour in Leicester on November 17. The tour will finish with a set at this year’s sold‐out Hard Rock Hell V Festival in Prestatyn.

The new EP will feature three brand new tracks, the eponymous 'Falling Knives', 'Sharp Sand', and 'Stop', as well as three re‐worked and re‐recorded versions of tracks from the band’s debut album ‘First Hit For Free’.

First to the re-jigged versions. ‘One More Day has come on leaps and bounds from the original. Heavier, chunkier, and with added welly, Purdie’s, vocals now giving the song an extra dimension. The exact same can be said of the other two reworked songs, with ‘No Friend Of Mine’ being the pick of the three

The new songs on the EP, opening track’ Falling Knives’ goes from 0-60 in 3 seconds. It contains one of the best riffs I’ve heard these guys do, and Purdies style fits this Southern/Classic Rock vibe perfectly. ‘Sharp Sand’ brings together the best of Foo Fighters with C-4  enhanced riffs to rip through your speakers (or headphones). ‘Stop’ is a decent enough track but is probably my least favourite of the three. But in saying that, all of the new stick, kicks some serious ass over the re-jigged versions. One thing I will say is that the production values are absolutely first class and make the debut cd I have sound like it was recorded in a shoe box

Similar to what I stated in 2008, the future of British rock is STILL in good hands, only this time they have a much better chance of becoming one of the big boys

The download is available from Amazon or itunes from the 28th

Thursday 24 November 2011

Thin Lizzy - At The BBC

Forget the current travelling circus that are gigging under the Thin Lizzy Moniker. I don’t know if this is great legacy to keep passing on to new generations, or a way of generating money for those involved as a pension ready for that great old musicians home, on the back of the great man himself Philip Parris Lynott

I’m a big fan of Lizzy and have witnessed the Thunder & Lightning tour, when they were on fire, the non-Lynott version with Sykes at the helm, and I’ve even witnessed the best tribute band, Limehouse Lizzy, although you could say that the current Lizzy touring band is the best current tribute band. For me there is only one Lizzy and that’s with Lynott at the helm. All the album line-ups had something to offer in their own way, even the Chinatown-era Lizzy

This version up for review is the 2 disc version, but for Lizzy aficionados, there is either the 6 CD (+DVD), or 5 LP version, or buy both! The songs are collated from all of the BBC owned Thin Lizzy recordings. Such was the BBCs propensity to wipe tapes, some of the recordings have been supplied by the general public, and a couple of gems have found their way onto this collection. The CD basically brings together a raft of sessions and live recordings from throughout their whole career

As a 2 disc version, there are some fine moments indeed, with a number of previously unreleased recordings which makes the purchase worthwhile, as its not just another regurgitation of Lizzy numbers.

To be honest it’s a cd of change and their metamorphosis into the Classic Rock act that Thin Lizzy became. There’s some of the early Eric Bell (including a rather nice ‘’poptastic’’ DJ BBC intro) stuff which comes across as being very dated, moving onto the writing force that was Phil Lynott and his command of language and phrasing that became the signature sound of Lizzy from the late 70s onwards

My only gripe is that the 2 disc set lacks any decent stuff from Moore’s tenure (Black Rose), even the golden era of Robertson/Gorham isn’t that well represented here (Fighting/Johnny The Fox/Jailbreak/Bad Reputation). I suspect that you can’t fit such a wealth of this period onto a 2 cd set. Hence why there is the ultimate edition available for purchase. The second cd is the highlight for me as it covers my era, the Thin Lizzy I fell in love with as a spotty teenager. There’s also some very interesting music on the first half of this collection, and it’s great to see the development of Thin Lizzy over a 12 year period
If he was alive today I’m sure that Thin Lizzy would be huge, giving Lynott the mega success he craved (and deserved). This collection is surely the next best thing, reminding us all of what a huge talent, amazing songwriter, and all round genius he was. Essential for any Lizzy fan

As much as I like this 2 disc set, I’m saving my hard earned pennies for the mega edition (£60-65 approx - see below)


  • 01 - Look What The Wind Blew In
  • 02 - Whiskey In The Jar
  • 03 - Saga Of The Aging Orphan
  • 04 - Things Aint Working Out Down On The Farm
  • 05 - Suicide
  • 06 - Vagabond Of The Western World
  • 07 - Gonna Creep Up On You
  • 08 - Randolphs Tango
  • 09 - Slow Blues
  • 10 - The Rocker
  • 11 - Little Girl In Bloom
  • 12 - Showdown
  • 13 - Little darling
  • 14 - Black Boys On The Corner
  • 15 - Sitamoia
  • 16 - Its Only Money
  • 17 - She Knows
  • 18 - Sha La La
  • 19 - Philomena
  • 20 - Still In Love With You
  • 21 - Baby Drives Me Crazy
  • 22 - Rosalie
  • 23 - Half Caste
  • 24 - Jailbreak
  • 25 - Cowboy Song
  • 26 - Dont Believe A Word
  • 27 - Johnny
  • 28 - Bad Reputation
  • 29 - Dancing In The Moonlight
  • 30 - Renegade
  • 31 - Killer On The Loose
  • 32 - Cold Sweat
  • 33 - The Boys Are Back In Town

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland DVD

FACT: Rush has sold more than 40 million records worldwide.
DOUBLE FACT: According to the RIAA, Rush’s sales stats place them third after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or Platinum studio albums by a rock band. All this, and they never have to call themselves ‘The’ Rush to do it.

It was all captured in April at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans (an utter shite stadium sponsor name if ever I heard it), and it mark’s the bands first live concert to be filmed in the US of A. The choice of city being a deliberate nod of gratitude to the first city to support Rush on its airwaves.

‘Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland’ is the band's 7th (I think) live album release, and are probably the most prolific live album exponents of the last 30+ years. The Time Machine DVD is the 5th live DVD release in the last 8 years, 6 if you include the live compilation ‘Working Man’. Now I’m not complaining, far from it in fact  I totally love this band, and each live release gives the avid Rush fan something different. In this case, they had fans queuing up in their droves to see the entirety of Moving Pictures being played out before our balding heads (and eyes). Well those who could afford to buy a ticket (mine cost me £70 a piece). If you couldn't attend the shows then the DVD is the next best thing

Also present if you caught the shows are the concept tour videos, ‘’The ‘Real’ History of Rush ‘Don’t Be Rash’, Episode No.2’’, and the opening video to the second set ‘’The ‘Real’ History of Rush’’’and Rock ‘N Roll is My Name, Episode No. 17’’ and I tell ya, the price of the dvd is worth shelling out for, just for these two alone. If you haven’t seen them I wont spoil the fun. The bonus material includes outtakes from the two short videos (and proves that Alex Lifeson could have made it as a comedian if the music career had never have taken off!), an alternate film version video for ‘Tom Sawyer’, and two rare pieces of live footage – ‘Need Some Love’ from Laura Second Secondary School, and ‘Anthem’ from Passaic New Jersey in good ‘ol black & white.  

So what of the quality on offer. The dvds filming goes to Banger Films again ( who also did the excellent Beyond The Lighted Stage, and Rush’s mate Richard Chycki proves his worth yet again with a mighty fine mix). The sound is utterly awesome, especially if you have an external decoder. The DTS soundtrack will just melt your sofa. 

Musically, Rush have probably gotten better over the years. Sonically Lee’s voice is nowhere near the 2112 wail he once had, but hey, I still wish I had his range now, and certain songs really still continue to ‘pop!’ Rush hit the ground running with ‘The Spirit of Radio’. The Moving Pictures segment lives up to expectations: Longtime live staples “Red Barchetta”, “Limelight”, and “Tom Sawyer” are paired with “The Camera Eye”, “Vital Signs”, and “Witch Hunt”, three tracks far less familiar to the concert stage. What’s remarkable about the songs are how well they have aged. Guitarist Alex Lifeson even dons period clothing for the segment!  The two tracks from 2012’s Clockwork Angels appear (Caravan & BU2B), and prove that they have not lost their rocking touch. Whilst good, they struggle to hold their ground against the staple bethemoths such as ‘Closer To The Heart’, ‘2112’, ‘Marathon’, and my personal fave ‘ Subdivisions’.

Peart performs his solo masterpiece and is probably only one of a small handful of drummers that can still hold an audience in the palm of his hands for a drum solo, it all proves that even after all these years, he is still improving and excelling. He is still the master of the skins. ‘2112/The temples of Syrinx’ pretty much top off the evening, and the encore is awesome, with he magnificent ‘ La Villa Strangiato’ and ‘Working Man’

All in all its probably the best live compilation of Rush’s that will ever produce or perform. To top it all off there are even women in the audience. Boys it only took you 35years, you’ve finally cracked it

Live bands don't come any better than this. Oh Boy! Sausage Time anyone???


Thursday 10 November 2011

Fergie Frederiksen - Happiness Is The Road

Lets face it, Dennis isn’t the most metallest of names, so no wonder he chose the moniker Fergie. Even though Dennis “Fergie” Frederiksen is mostly known for being the former vocalist of TOTO (in the “Isolation” era), he has been involved in a lot of other outstanding musical projects too. Trillion, LeRoux, Frederiksen/Philips, Mecca, Frederiksen/Denander and David London (solo album, under pseudonym) are simply a few worthy of mention. In 1999 he debuted as a solo artist with “Equilibrium”, an album which garnered great reviews in Europe and Japan.

Following a few busy years, where he played live and released albums with the Mecca Project and with Swedish musician/producer Tommy Denander, Fergie is now back with a very special new album entitled “Happiness is the Road”.

There is a story to be told surrounding this album:

In June 2010, Frederiksen announced he had been diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer. The following months were obviously very difficult for the singer who used music and the recording sessions of this album as a therapy to regain confidence in himself and his strengths. He also found the time and energy to collaborate with Jim Peterik (ex Survivor) on the songwriting of  the album’s title track, a real motivational manifesto for a positive approach to life.

About one year later, in the summer 2011, Fergie had two great things to share with the World: the first being the completion of the recording of the new album and the second is the positive results to the cures he was under, with the cancer now being defeated.

“Happiness is the Road” is a story of love and passion to tell and of course of so many great songs expertly produced by Dennis Ward (House of Lords, Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome and Angra). The bloke (Ward) is German, and has the precision of a 7 series BMW, his production never falters below excellent.

The good news is that ‘HITR’ finds Frederiksen in the heaviest sound of his career to date. Even though it’s not classed as a ‘project’ this certainly has all the hallmarks of yet another Frontier’s project album. Considering his health issues, the opening track alone is an uplifiting one, when the tone of the album could have been so different. ‘Angel (Mirror To Your Soul)’ is a song you'll just want to repeat before you even get onto track 2! Eric Ragno proves why he is in such demand as a keyboard player, his luscious playing is a key part of the albums sound. The opening four tracks are of the highest quality indeed. ‘First To Cry’ has a Bon Jovi ‘whoo-o-oa’ feel to it. Title track ‘HITR’ written with Jim Peterik has all the hallmarks of a Survivor track as you’d naturally expect it to.

Thankfully it’s a little gem of an album, full of upbeat and positive songs, when the opposite could well have been expected, and thankfully its not the swan song album that could easily have been produced by Fergie. The future now looks like its to be a very bright one

Label: Frontiers Records
Music Style: Melodic Rock
Cat #: FR CD 531
Cod: 8024391053126

Release date:
EUROPE: October 14th 2011
NORTH AMERICA: October 18th 2011

Tracklisting: Angel (Mirror To Your Soul); Elaine; First To Cry; Follow Your Heart; Happiness Is The Road; I Still Believe In Love; Lyin’ Eyes; Love Waits For No One; Writing On The Wall; The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be; The One; The Saviour.

Fergie Frederiksen - Vocals
Dennis Ward - Bass Guitar, Guitars, Keyboards and Background Vocals
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums
Nathan Eshman - Guitars
Eric Ragno - Keyboards

Produced by Dennis Ward

Kimball Jamison - ST

To be totally honest with you, I just don’t know! Despite recent sterling efforts from the likes of Lionville, Toby Hitchclock and a few others this year, the concept of a ‘project’ album is a strange one indeed. Usually it’s the whim of the record label boss (in this case the powerful Serafino Perugino – who obviously LOVES his melodic rock) who then brings in a bunch of hugely talented musicians and writers to work around a star, in this case its two of them – Jimi Jamison (ex Cobra & Survivor) and Bobby Kimball (ex Toto). See what I mean - Richard Page (Mr Mister), Jim Peterik (Survivor), Randy Goodrum (Steve Perry, Toto), John Waite, Erik Martensson (W.E.T.) and Robert Sall (Work of Art), among others, and directed by the expert hands of German producer Mat Sinner. All I will say on the material is that this combination of players and writers has paid off in huge dividends!

Now I don’t begrudge anyone the chance to earn a few bob, but these ‘projects’ have little chance of being turned into viable tours for us AOR lovin’ fans. But - I am very happy to get two giants together and hear the resultant forces that they both bring to the table

The chances for a cataclysmic opposition of personalities is a huge one. Bur Messrs Kimball and Jamison are not only good friends they have been around the block on more than one occasion to let any friction get in the way of a good opportunity. For the first time in their career, Bobby and Jimi have joined forces together in a “duets” album, which features their signature vocal style in a familiar musical environment. Musically the direction is naturally and intentionally driven towards the pomp that both Survivor and Toto excelled at and became household names upon (well they are household names at my place).

Opening track ‘Worth Fighting For’ encompasses everything that ‘To-vivor’ stood for, catchy choruses, great hooks,  all tied together with a big dollop of POMPUS MAXIMUS. None more so than the likes of ‘Chasing Euphoria’, ‘Hearts Beat Again’ and ‘I Did Everything Wrong’. These four tracks alone justify Signore Perugino’s desire for this collusion. Both Kimball’s and Jamison’s voices are still in excellent shape, and play off each other perfectly. It could have easily gone a bit ‘tit’s up’ if one had more ‘oomph’ than the other, thankfully both are in fine fettle and have the desire (and the money that Frontiers will thrust upon them) to do it a second time in the future

I just don’t know how many more times these ‘projects’ can keep being thrown at us. It will only take one or two poorly received albums to put the brakes on. No doubt Frontiers have a few more up their sleeves
Obviously it’s for fans of Toto and Survivor, but any melodic rock fan should enjoy the interplay and quality on offer from these two giants

Label: Frontiers Records
Music Style: Melodic Rock
Cat #: FR CD 530
Cod: 8024391053027

Release date:
EUROPE: October 14th 2011
NORTH AMERICA: October 18th 2011

Tracklisting: Worth Fighting For; Can't Wait For Love; Sail Away; Chasing Euphoria; Find Another Way; Get Back In The Game; I Did Everything Wrong; Shadows Of Love; Hearts Beat Again; We Gotta Believe; Kicking And Screaming; Your Photograph.

DVD:The Making of the Album (approx. 30 mins. Documentary); Worth Fighting For (videoclip); Can’t Wait for Love (videoclip)

Lead & Background Vocals: Bobby Kimball & Jimi Jamison
Guitars & Lead Guitar: Alex Beyrodt
Bass Guitar: Mat Sinner
Keyboards: Jimmy Kresic
Drums & Percussion: Martin Schmidt

PRODUCED BY : Mat Sinner, co-produced by Jimmy Kresic