- 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!!!
Thursday, 12 May 2016
April 2016 saw Frontiers put out The Defiants, and excellent album by Danger Danger members Bruno Ravel, Rob Marchello, and sometime singer Paul Laine. Well, May 2016 sees the turn of Ted Poley. Rock stars have to make a living you know, and one album every seven years (9 if you go off his last solo album) doesn’t cut the mustard. I’m guessing D2 broke a huge fucking mirror and have waited for 7 years of potential bad luck to subside before getting back in the studio(s). Danger Danger were one of my bands of the festival when they played the inaugural Frontiers festival in Milan back in 2014, so it’s a mystery why they haven’t recorded on the back of this. At least if you’re a D2 fan, its bonus time, as you get not one, but two albums from the guys in a matter of a few weeks. I’m also guessing that Serafino has another album due out in June by Andy Timmons and Steve West?!
Hands up as to who is the most prolific writer in rock history? Elton John, Jagger/Richards, McCartney? I doubt it, as I reckon its Alessandro del Vecchio. He is the Frontiers ‘go to’ guy for writing and producing, along with the brothers Martin. I honestly think Ale writes a song before he has a crap every morning, he’s that prolific!
Has Ted come to the part with the attitude ‘Screw It!’ or has he ‘Get His Shit Together’ and about to ‘Rock America’? Gladly it’s the latter, as the Martin Bros / Del Vecchio combination has come up trumps and Ted has delivered an album true to his brand, style and personality!
The album starts with a ‘Bang Bang’, with ‘Let’s Start Something’, ‘Everything We Are’, and ‘Hands Of Love’, with the latter coming straight out of the debut Danger Danger songbook, and it has JLT as a writing credit. James Martin keeps it all in the family for ‘The Perfect Crime’ as Issa pops in for duet, and it proves to be a great choice as they fit each other like a studded leather glove. ‘Starts’ sees Ted up the ante a fair bit and it is one of the best on offer here with its pacey chorus. ‘Higher’ proves to be no less catch and has a chorus that just screams ‘get the top down on the car’. ‘You Won’t See Me Crying’ has some proper fist pumping moments, just dog out your hair brush or ‘air mic’ of your choice and sing along, and is followed by a heart-breaking ballad, the excellent ‘We Are Young’. Its up and down in tempo for the last two song, the bouncy ‘Sirens’ and the wind down of the lengthy, melancholic power ballad ‘Beneath The Stars’ with its cool out solo by Percudani. You just want to hear more!
It aint ‘Danger Danger’ or ‘Screw It,!’ (what is?), but its probably the best Ted Poley solo album and you cannot say fairer than that. Poley basically sings his arse off on ‘BTF’. Whether he needs to record or tour remains to be seen, but Ted Poley is just the guy needed at the likes of HRH AOR or Rockingham.
I have to doff my cap to all concerned here, especially the songwriting and production. I’ll forgive Ted if it takes him another 7 yrs to deliver an album if they all prove to be as good as this one. ‘Beyond The Fade’ is a polished, accomplished and very worthy addition to any AOR fans CD collection.
Lets Start Something
Everything We Are
Hands Of Love
The Perfect Crime
Where I Lost You
You Won’t See Me Cryin’
We Are Young
Beneath The Stars
Ted Poley – Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, and probably
Mario Percudani – Guitars
Anna Portalupi - Bass
Sunday, 8 May 2016
In any other World (1985), or any other time (also 1985), or any other dimension (also also 1985) Vega would be huge, HUUUUGE I tell ya! Unfortunately the Earth is on a collision course. Donald Trump is looking for World domination, by wanting to wipe out anyone other than American (including illegal aliens, and the real aliens should they ever appear)! Our UK president when not hiding his money in Panama, is taking the UK down to oblivion by pissing on the poor, needy and working classes. So, in a world like this today, its good to know that some people such as the Vegaboys (TM pending) are still striving to be the best they can possibly be, and in the process giving enjoyment to many a disaffected voter – old, young and in-between
May 13th sees the release of Vega’s fourth album entitled “Who We Are’’, and, looking at the cover they really couldn’t give a toss about what people think about them – with booze, fags, and not exactly flattering caricatures adorning the cover. And that’s Vega for you! They’ve courted discussion, last years Memorex-gate dig at HEAT for using tapes’ and also been (and still are) at the forefront of European and World AOR, with the Martin’s writing not only for Vega but also a lot of other bands, and they will always give you a great opinion on their own music and direction.
I think Vega have a formulae, which is ‘every song an anthem’, and this mantra has certainly seen them through the last three albums, and has woven its way into ‘WWA’. ‘Explode’ is Vega’s Ronseal opener. Its part ‘Waiting For The Big One’ 80s MTV for the masses with a modern Vega ‘twist’, and Workman has never sounded better. ‘We Got It All’ is certainly an autobiographical mission statement for Vega, and is certainly powerful. ‘Every Little Monster’ is going for the ‘every song exceeds the last’ approach and is as catchy as Joe Pasquale’s ‘I know a song that’ll get on your nerves’, its an instant implant. So far it’s melody, melody, melody, all the way. With ‘Nothing Is Forever’ we hit a ballad that could be a contender for Eurovision. White Flag’ is Vega’s first single from WWA, and have a video to accompany it. It’s the no brainer choice – power, melody, groove, andAORsomeness.
‘Generation Now’ has a more menacing opening, and huge chorus. You could get bored typing ‘huge chorus’ constantly but that’s what we continuously have here. Where bands may put fillers towards the back end, not Vega, If anything two of their strongest come back to back in ‘Ignite’, and ‘Saving Grace’, with the latter sounding a bit Diving For Pearls-like and for me is the best song on the album.
Vega have done themselves proud here. As ‘Who We Are’ will be on many a fan’s Top 10 lists of 2016, for certain.
Vega should be huge, but whether or not their upcoming tour will change fans perceptions remain to be seen. I don’t think a tour with Magnum will bring a lot of new attention, whereas a support on the ‘Heart’ tour would have done. If I were Vega, and Frontiers, I’d try to get them some airtime and gig time in the States. The double denim and layered hair brigade should go nuts over one of our finest rock exports
So, is ‘Who We Are’ better than their debut? I think so. The only thing stopping Vega is themselves. For me, FM have always been the pinnacle of British melodic rock, but now the younger generation are hard on their tails…..and about to overtake!
Score – 95/100
We Got It All
Every Little Monster
Nothing Is Forever
For Our Sins
If Not You
Hurt So Bad
Out May 13th