Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WinterStorm rock weekender review 2017

Tyketto - a highlight for me
 The brilliantly organised and attended rock weekender, WinterStorm took place in November for the second time. The event was the vision of one man from the area, Ian McCaig and saw Troon Concert Hall in Scotland, which overlooks a glorious beach taken over for a rock weekend. WinterStorm 2017 had a great atmosphere, an awesome bill and was a sellout. I was lucky enough to go last year too and both years have been a real success. The format of this family-friendly festival (it was great to see plenty of youngsters there!) was 9 bands on Friday and 11 on the Saturday. Here are my highlights.


Bigfoot delivered a set full of power and melody
Despite the early start, many people turned out to see Bigfoot. I recently reviewed their self-titled debut album and having seen the band a couple of years ago at the Steelhouse Festival in Wales, I was really looking forward to their slot. The guys powered through a brilliant set including tracks such as Freak Show with a hard yet melodic sound, to the glorious ballad, Forever Alone which sees singer, Antony Ellis shine.

Twin guitar duo Mick McCullagh and Sam Millar work so well together, delivering shredding riffs and tasteful solos. It was just a shame that as the guys were settling into the groove of their final song, The Fear, an unexpected pyrotechnic set the fire alarm off, causing the building to be evacuated. However the staff and crew dealt with the situation brilliantly, and everyone was soon back inside. Check out my interview with Mick and Sam.

Next up for me was Stone Broken. I had heard great things about these guys, and they've had an amazing year, so I was looking forward to seeing them live for the first time. 
Stone Broken got a great reaction from the WinterStorm audience
The crowd were certainly pleased to see them too, singing along throughout! The 4-piece rocked their way through a fabulous set, with a sound reminiscent of Black Stone Cherry. The highlight for me had to be the cracking, Wait For You which included some brilliant crowd participation which the band clearly loved! Stone Broken have an exciting time ahead - check out what Rich and Chris had to say just as they came off stage.

Due to interviewing commitments, I did not manage to catch all of Bernie Marsden's set, but I did get in just in time to hear the Whitesnake classics, with the legendary Neil Murray on bass!

Bernie Marsden, back onstage with Neil Murray
As you can imagine this had the crowd right onside with everyone singing along. In fact, the audience couldn't get enough of him, starting a chant to get him back on stage after the set came to an end. Due to a tight schedule, an encore wasn't possible, but Bernie seemed very humbled by the enthusiasm from the audience.

The band I was most excited to see was Tyketto. I have been a fan for ages, but saw them for the first time 3 years ago at the Steelhouse Festival and they blew me away.

Danny Vaughn was in fine form at WinterStorm
Their set was my highlight of the entire weekend. It was brilliant to hear songs from the latest album Reach, as well as Wings and Forever Young from the iconic Don't Come Easy album and everything in between!
The band were in brilliant form, and Danny Vaughn's vocals were astonishing as always! Guitarist, Chris Green did a marvellous job playing those wonderfully melodic guitar parts you hear on the original recordings. Check out my interview with Danny here.

Bringing the night to a close was Heavy Pettin' (reformed especially for the event) who's brief set went down a treat with the crowd. Day 1 - a big success!


Massive Wagons explode on to the stage at WinterStorm 
Massive Wagons have been building a great live reputation and the band delivered a set at WinterStorm full of energy and enthusiasm. Frontman Baz Mills was a blur, covering the whole stage and blasting the band through a set full of catchy, feelgood tracks such as Back To The Stack (a tribute to Rick Parfitt) and Tokyo, along with the heavier, Nails. They went down a treat and were a joy to watch. See what Baz had to say, when we spoke after the show.

The girls from the recently reformed Rock Goddess were next up. and hit the audience with their classic sound. I caught a word with the lovely Jody, Julie and Tracey after their set, check out our interview.

Another of my Winterstorm favourites had to be the brilliant Mason Hill. This young Scottish band made waves when they appeared at the festival last year. They returned with a new record deal in the bag, more confidence, and a big following.  

Mason Hill showed confidence and class
 There is something about this band that I love. Their sound is a great blend of classic hard, melodic rock with a modern feel. Their set included songs from their self-titled EP such as Now You See Me and Where I Belong (a personal favourite of mine) along with some brand new songs from their forthcoming debut album. Singer, Scott Taylor showcased his marvellous vocals whilst talented guitarist James Bird treated us to some wonderful solos (particularly impressive on Where I Belong), along with the rest of the band who were tremendous. Watch my interview with James, Craig and Marc here:

Dare delivered some of the best songs of the weekend 
DARE brought a wonderful contrast to the weekend, with some gorgeous melodic/AOR, and with a back catalogue like theirs, it's easy to play a set of great tunes!  It was fab to hear tracks such as Abandon and Into The Fire from the classic Out Of The Silence album. Darren Wharton's vocals sounded brilliant and Vinny Burns delivered those gloriously melodic guitar parts like no one else can - perhaps one of the most underrated guitarists in the business.

I had a great chat with Darren and Vinny right after their set. Watch it to hear what the band has planned for next year.

The Quireboys brought their party to Troon
The Quireboys are always sure to spice up the night with their bluesy rock n roll, and that is exactly what they did! The guys started off with tracks from their latest album, White Trash Blues before hitting the classics such as 7 O'Clock, Sex Party and I Don't Love You Anymore. The band always deliver a brilliant show and the audience loved them. A perfect act for Saturday night. 

Bringing the festival to a close was the supergroup lineup of Chris Glen, Doogie White, Paul McManus and friends (including James Bird from Mason Hill for two of the songs) playing a mixture of tracks from each of their back catalogues. Everyone enjoyed the set, but the real surprise came when Jools and Tommy from GUN appeared, to perform Better Days and Word Up. A fabulous end to a brilliant weekend.

This was the only time organiser, Ian McCaig sat down all weekend!
Huge congratulations to Ian and his team of helpers and volunteers who made the weekend such a success. Everyone played a huge part in making the event happen, and were all so smiley - a credit to the festival!

That's two years now that the brilliant WinterStorm and all of it's visitors have invaded Troon. I feel very lucky to have been a part of it and can't wait for next year. Get the dates in your diary; Nov 23 & 24 2018. Tickets and line up info coming soon! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sam and Mick from Bigfoot talk new album and 'Chug' Rock! Interview WinterStorm (video)

They've just released their excellent s/t titled debut album (review here), so it was great catch up with Bigfoot guitarists, Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh after their eventful set at WinterStorm in Troon. We talked album, their influences and fire alarms!

Danny Vaughn of Tyketto talks Don't Come Easy - interview WinterStorm

Here's a real treat for you! Tyketto frontman, Danny Vaughn kindly took some time to chat just before he hit the stage at WinterStorm. Danny told me all about the band's hefty tour schedule, and why Jon Bon Jovi, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen were all in earshot when he recorded the classic Don't Come Easy album! A massive thanks to Danny for his time.     

Darren Wharton & Vinny Burns from Dare talk classic tracks & new material - Interview at WinterStorm (video)

It was a real treat to chat with Darren Wharton and Vinny Burns from Dare, shortly after they came offstage after a tremendous set at Winter Storm in Troon, Scotland. Watch, as the guys talk about their setlist, how the music business has changed, and the upcoming re-recording of their classic Out Of The Silence album. A big thanks to Darren and Vinny for their time.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mason Hill on their debut album, touring, and Justin Bieber! - WinterStorm interview (video)

James, Craig and Marc from Scottish rockers Mason Hill tell us what to expect when they release their debut album in 2018, why they will be touring heavily, but won't be supporting Justin Bieber!

Baz from Massive Wagons on gigs, the 'lairy' new album, and Malcolm Young - WinterStorm interview (video)

I was delighted to talk with Massive Wagons frontman Baz Mills, right after the band had stunned the audience with a cracking set at WinterStorm in Troon. Watch as Baz talks about the band's new record deal, missing Malcolm Young, and just why he loves WinterStorm. Thanks to Baz for his time.   

Rock Goddess on Kiss, Led Zep, and reforming - interview at WinterStorm (video)

It was a real pleasure to talk with Jodie, Tracey and Julie from Rock Goddess, just after their storming set at Winter Storm in Troon. Watch as we chat about their influences, what brought them together, and why they reformed. Thanks girls!  

Rich & Chris from Stone Broken talk new album, tour and Scottish weather! - Interview at WinterStorm

Watch my chat with Rich and Chris from Stone Broken, just after their cracking set at the Winter Storm festival in Troon. A big thanks to the guys for their time. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Winter Storm rock weekender about to shake Scotland again!

Winter Storm, the rock weekender in Troon, Scotland returns this Fri & Sat (Nov 24 & 25) for its second year. I was there last November and I am really looking forward to heading down to Troon again this week.

Winter Storm is a brilliant event. It is run by fans, is family friendly (please take note other festivals!) and boasts a great bill of new talent and established acts. This year fast rising bands such as Stone Broken, Mason Hill, Massive Wagons and Bigfoot are joined by Tyketto, Dare and The Quireboys amongst many others. Winter Storm 2017 also sees 80's Scottish rockers, Heavy Pettin reforming and hitting the stage for the first time in 30 years.

It is great to hear that the event is sold out - there may be a few tix left for the Fri so check here. but be quick!   

Check back next week for my full review, along with lots of interviews with the acts! Here are the main stage running times (although I understand since being published by the organisers, Florence Black will NOT now be performing, so some adjustments may have to be made to this. Please check the event facebook page for any updates ).

Friday 24th November

1430 - 1505 | Florence Black  
1515 - 1555 | Bigfoot  
1610 - 1650 | Syteria
1705 - 1745 | Attica Rage  
1800 - 1840 | Stone Broken  
1905 - 1955 | Praying Mantis
2015 - 2115 | Bernie Marsden
2135 - 2245 | Tyketto
2300 - 2345 | Heavy Pettin’

Saturday 25th November

  1200  | Doors Open  
1230 - 1300 | Black King Cobra
1310 - 1340 | Anchor Lane  
1355 - 1435 | The King Lot  
1450 - 1530 | Massive Wagons
1545 - 1635 | Rock Goddess
1650 - 1730 | Mason Hill
1745 - 1835 | Tygers of Pan Tang 
1855 - 1955 | DARE
2015 - 2115 | Graham Bonnet Band 
2135 - 2245 | The Quireboys 
2300 - 2345 | Glen White McManus    

Official Winter Storm website

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Swedish melodic rockers Degreed talk new album, touring with H.E.A.T, & sounding like Toto meets the Sex Pistols!

One of the best modern melodic rock bands out there are Sweden's Degreed. Before a blinding set in Glasgow, supporting H.E.A.T (review here) I caught up with Robin Ericsson and Micke Jansson to talk about their excellent new album, why they love Scotland, and what they might have in common with Toto and the Sex Pistols! A big thanks to the guys for their time.     

Monday, November 20, 2017

H.E.A.T - Erik & Dave talk new album, tour, and just what they get up to during Swedish winters! Exclusive interview

I was lucky enough (and very excited!) to catch a word with Erik Grönwall and Dave Dalone of H.E.A.T for an exclusive chat, just before their incredible show at the Cathouse in Glasgow (read my full review here). See what Erik and Dave told me about being away for 3 years, their comeback album, and why they knew some fans would feel strongly about their new material! A huge thanks to the guys for their time.

H.E.A.T turn up the temperature - Live review, Glasgow 18/11/17

I am just 15, but have been lucky enough to see a lot of bands so far, but I do have a list tucked in a drawer that I like to call my bucket list bands; acts that I have never seen live but would really like to before the chance is gone. I have ticked a fair few off, but one band that has been on it for years is H.E.A.T . Last night I nearly burst with excitement as I finally got the chance to see the talented Swedish rockers in action….in the flesh!!
 Erik had the crowd in the palm of his hand all night
Fans were still filing into the venue as the night began with an energetic, powerful set from Swiss band Black Diamonds. The guys delivered some classic, feel-good hard-rock and are well worth checking out.
Black Diamonds did a fab job kicking off the night
Taking the stage next were another Swedish band, Degreed – another band I love! These guys have a melodic, edgy modern heavy rock sound which is enhanced by amazing keyboards from Micke Johanssen. They delivered a great set, from power ballads, to heavy rockers. Vocalist, Robin Ericsson wowed the crowd with his stunning powerful, versatile voice. They went down a treat and did a brilliant job preparing the venue for the headliners.
Degreed really rocked the venue!
I had waited a long time for this moment, and after a 3 year break away from the live scene, H.E.A.T. were back. The packed venue went mental as killer new track Bastard Of Society blasted from the  speakers and charismatic frontman, Erik Grönwall exploded onto the stage.
H.E.A.T blew the roof off!
The fast paced opener had everyone jumping and singing along which was so special to be a part of. The guys stormed through a best of set featuring tracks from all 5 of their studio albums.
Particularly well received tracks were epic power ballad Eye Of The Storm (from latest album, Into The Great Unknown), A Shot At Redemption (Tearing Down The Walls, 2014), Living On The Run, In And Out Of Trouble and the aptly named, Breaking The Silence (all taken from Address The Nation, 2012). But if I’m being honest, there weren’t any tracks that the crowd didn’t go mad for – all killer, no filler!

Recently returned original guitarist, Dave Dalone did a wonderful job delivering gigantic riffs and solos, whilst Keyboard player, Jona Tee added great melodies and clever harmonies throughout.
I love Erik's voice!
I have seen a lot of bands and many amazing frontmen, and I had very high expectations for Erik, and he did not disappoint! Combining high energy with a stunning vocal range, Erik was regularly in with the crowd, even singing on top of the bar at one stage. He even orchestrated a marriage proposal between two fans on stage; thankfully accepted ! This was an incredible performance, and it may seem high praise, but Erik Grönwall truly is the best frontman I have ever seen.
Erik even made an unexpected trip to the bar via a crowd surf!
This gig was every bit as amazing as I had hoped and the 9 year wait was so worth it! I think this has to be my best/favourite gig of the year and possibly of all time. I’m very glad these boys are back in action, I just hope that they don’t leave it too long before they are back in the UK!  Another bucket list tick for me.
I was over the moon to get to meet Erik (and to shoot an interview with him and guitarist Dave Dalone, keep your eyes out for that) - one very happy 15 year old!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bigfoot deliver a monster! Album review

5-piece melodic rockers Bigfoot emerged from Wigan, UK in 2014 and since then have been making their mark in the music scene. I first caught these guys live 2 years ago at the Steelhouse Festival in Wales, UK. They clearly showed promise and after releasing 2 EPs, the time has finally come for the guys to deliver their self-titled debut album.
The 11-track album released on Frontiers Records, features some wonderfully chunky, dual guitar riffing from Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh along with a glorious blend of melody throughout. Opener Karma, leaps to life with a heavy, industrial riff before exploding into a tuneful chorus. Most albums come with a ballad and this one has two. Forever Alone sees singer Antony Ellis deliver some glorious vocals, reminiscent of Steve Perry particularly at the beginning. It builds beautifully and includes a haunting guitar solo from Millar which I feel really makes the song. A well-crafted track – one of my favorites.

Something which really impressed me is the variety of sounds and styles which the guys create. The songs range from heavy but melodic rock tunes, to powerful ballads and even a brief touch of Reggae in I Dare You (sounds mad I know, but it really works!). Clever tempo changes throughout also help to create an album which is full of depth, making it interesting to listen to throughout.

Tell Me A Lie, another stand-out track with its catchy sing-along chorus and fast paced guitar has a fun melody and I can hear traces of Tyketto in places (no complaints from me on that note!). The Fear, with its more staccato rhythm is another well-honed song. The album closes with Yours, an anthemic power ballad which just grows and grows into an eight-minute epic.

From start to finish the rhythm section drives the songs forwards, whilst both guitarists complement each other providing often a fast paced melodic, chunky hard rock sound with soaring solos. Ellis showcases an impressive vocal range throughout the record, going from the deep soulful intro of Forever Alone to a grittier delivery on the rockers.

The band say they are influenced by everything from Pantera and Guns N Roses, to The Eagles and this mix can certainly be heard throughout the album. To my ears the record gives a nod to bands such as TEN, Tyketto/Danny Vaughn and Lionville.

Bigfoot have certainly stamped their mark with their debut album. It is a well-produced record with depth and variation, of which the band should be proud. If the sound of a modern rock band playing classic hard rock appeals, this is one for you. A monster!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

H.E.A.T and Degreed set to tear down the walls in the UK

Swedish melodic rockers H.E.A.T arrive in the UK next week as part of their European tour, promoting their fab new album Into The Great Unknown (read my review here). Away from the scene for the last 3 years, the band are certainly back with a bang. Fellow Scandinavians Degreed are also on the tour, along with Black Diamond.

Degreed recently released their brilliant self titled fifth album and are set to win more friends out on the road. I will be chatting to both bands at the Glasgow show next weekend - check the blog soon for that and full review of the gig! Don't miss this tour - ticket details for all of the dates here.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Midnite City - bringing back feelgood rock and roll

*Watch Midnite City's debut performance!  
 As if there wasn't enough great bands at the brilliant Rockingham festival in Nottingham, kicking off the weekend were melodic rockers Midnite City, who performed their debut show in local venue the Tap n Tumbler, to launch their self-titled debut album (out now on AOR Heaven).

I love this band! They have a real goodtime, Danger Danger sound, and Rob Wylde (Tigertailz) did a great job, fronting the band and interacting with the audience. I even got to see the guys for a second time at the special Rockingham after party that night and was blown away again, as Rob and drummer Pete Nudek performed acoustically. Keep an eye on these guys, they are definitely ones to watch out for.

It was great to meet Rob Wylde at the show
Video courtesy of Robert Shaw

Friday, October 27, 2017

Rockingham Festival, Nottingham 20-22 Oct 2017 - live review

Headlined by Americans Kix and Vince Neil (the voice of Motley Crue) along with Canadians, Loverboy (playing their first UK date for decades!), The Rockingham Festival in Nottingham UK was a huge success. Three days of the finest melodic rock from all over the globe attracted hundreds to Nottingham Trent University for the weekend.
Rockingham went mad as Vince Neil belted out the Motley Crue classics live in Nottingham
Maverick from Ireland kicked off the event arriving on stage full of energy and clearly pleased to be a part of the weekend. Next up were the terrific Blanc Faces who were visibly moved by the positive reception they received from the crowd.They proved their versatility when frontman Robbie LeBlanc along with bassist (and brother), Brian effortlessly kept the crowd entertained whilst guitarist Philip Lindstrand rushed off stage to repair a broken string - true professionalism!
Maverick did a great job kicking off the weekend.
John Parr was next up, his voice sounding great, but he only performed three of his own songs with the rest of the set being made up of covers. I felt this was a little disappointing, and would have preferred to have heard a few more originals.
It was great to meet John Parr
Headline act Kix closed the night in great style. With a slick set of well choreographed moves and great tunes, these guys owned the stage. Frontman, Steve Whiteman didn't stop grooving all night and had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the whole set. A fab way to end the first night.
Kix brought the first night to a close.
Saturday saw a few bleary eyes from those lucky enough to gain entry to the exclusive opening night  aftershow party. This featured acts from across the weekend (and others) performing fun, short acoustic sets which was enjoyed by those lucky enough to get tickets. 
Dennis from Cruzh
Swedish rockers, Cruzh woke everybody up and got things off  to a great start with their riffy, catchy sound. Watching these guys was great fun as they worked their way through material from their debut album. Ones to watch out for.

The Amorettes followed, rocking their way through a set of some of their best tracks. It is always a pleasure to see this powerhouse trio doing their thing. There's a new album on its way too!
Great to see The Amorettes in action again.
VEGA are always outstanding!
Taking the stage next, one of my favourite bands (you guessed it) - VEGA! This six piece ALWAYS deliver a killer set and perform with infectious energy. With so many amazing tunes to choose from, it must be difficult to put together a short set for a festival slot, but they chose wisely and had the crowd singing along to their anthems.
I always have great fun hanging out with the guys from VEGA
I unfortunately had to miss 80's US AORsters Fortune, but from what I have heard, they delivered a great set.
I was lucky enough to meet Dave Bickler!
It was however, an absolute pleasure to hear Dave Bickler (the original voice of Survivor) sounding mighty fine, belting out a mix of classic Survivor and cover tracks. Needless to say, the venue went mad for classics  I Can't Hold Back (in homage to the late  Jimi Jamison), and of course Eye Of The Tiger.
It was an honour to bump into the phenomenal Harry Hess!
Canadian rockers, Harem Scarem needed little introduction to the packed venue. This powerful four-piece, absolutely blew the roof off, and have to be, musically one of the best bands I have seen live. The powerful vocals of front man Harry Hess, along with the agile fingers of guitarist Pete Lesperance and cracking backing vocals, particularly from drummer, Darren Smith created a very full sound, which I have rarely heard done so well. A truly class act, it was an honour to see them live. I was lucky enough to catch a word with Pete prior to the set too - watch our interview here.
Pete Lesperance and I after our interview.
Vince Neil conducting the crowd.
It fell to Vince Neil, the voice of Motley Crue to bring the night to a close. There was a real sense of excitement and anticipation felt throughout the venue as people awaited his arrival on stage. Opening with Dr Feelgood, Vince worked his way through a selection of Motley classics, including Kickstart My Heart, Girls Girls Girls and Same Ol' Situation. The crowd relished the opportunity to see Vince performing these hits in a mid size venue. He was ably accompanied by his band, Dana Strum on bass, Jeff Blando on guitar and the astonishing drummer that is Zoltan Chaney. I have watched a lot of bands but have never witnessed anyone play quite like Zoltan does. Check him out! A fabulous end to the second day.
I was lucky to catch a few words with Zoltan Chaney, a very special musician indeed!
Sunday kicked off with Bailey (Nigel Bailey) followed by Moritz. Both bands were thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd.
Great to catch Laurie from Airrace.
Airrace were next up, and they delivered a fab set of well-crafted, riffy material, including their latest single, Eyes Like Ice, which was very wellreceived. New vocalist Adam Payne did a marvellous job delivering the tracks, old and new alike. I really enjoyed them, and would love to catch them again!
Brother Firetribe's set really took me back in time!
Taking the spotlight next were Finnish melodic rockers, Brother Firetribe. I have been listening to this band since the age of four/five, but hadn't ever seen them live until Rockingham. They blew. Me. Away! Hearing tracks from my early childhood played live really took me back in time - one of my favourite bands on the bill. The guys were genuinely surprised and humbled by the reception that they got here in the UK, joking that they may have to do a UK tour (yes please guys). I was lucky enough to interview Pekka and the guys right after the show - watch it here.
Brother Firetribe after our interview!
Next up were the forever popular, Dare. When you play songs loved by everyone in the melodic rock world such as Abandon, you can't really go wrong! The whole venue loved the set - Vinny's guitar and Darren's vocals really brought the songs to life. It was great to see the guys live for the first time, I can't wait to catch them at the Winter Storm festival next month in Troon.
Vinny and Dare working their magic
Great White were next up, and performed a fab set for the energetic crowd. The loudest applause of course came when they played their version of Once Bitten Twice Shy - such a classic and great to hear live!
Great White
Finally, it fell to Loverboy to close the festival. Not having been to the UK for over 30 years, there was a lot of excitement when Mike Reno and his band stepped out on stage. They kicked the set off with Notorious, and the adoring crowd loved every minute of it (see what I did there!) going mad for the final three songs which of course were, Turn Me Loose, Working For The Weekend and, er,  Lovin Every Minute Of It. I was lucky enough to catch a word with Mike just minutes before he hit the stage, watch what he had to say here!
I was so lucky to get to meet and interview Mike Reno from Loverboy!
Highlight for me had to be VEGA (of course!), Blanc Faces, Brother Firetribe and Harem Scarem.

This was such a great festival to attend, and I am so pleased that it was open to under 18s, meaning I could be a part of it. Besides the phenomenal bands which filled the bill and the friendly atmosphere, I have to say how well organised and run the event was. Everyone wearing an item of clothing emblazoned with 'Crew' was seen working their socks off, and forever had a smile on their face - a true credit to the festival. Everything ran like clockwork, and it was a pleasure to attend.

Congratulations to the organisers for pulling off such a fabulous festival, and special thanks to Rich, Martin and Steve for all of their help over the weekend. I can't wait to see what's in store for us all next year!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Harem Scarem's Pete Lesperance chats with me at Rockingham - exclusive video interview

I have chatted to some amazing guitarists this year including Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders), Keith Scott (Bryan Adams) band, and Dave Meniketti of Y&T. Add to that list one of Canada's finest, Pete Lesperance of Harem Scarem. Check out our cosy chat on the sofa, just before Pete led the band through an incredible set at the Rockingham Festival last weekend. A massive thanks to Pete for his time.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Brother Firetribe @ Rockingham Festival - exclusive interview (video)


Here's my exclusive chat with brilliant Finnish rockers, Brother Firetribe, which took place right after the guys stepped off stage at Rockingham on Sunday. Hear what the band had to say about the reaction they received, future tour plans and the next album! A big thanks to Mike and the the guys for their time.     

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rockingham Festival - Exclusive interview with Mike Reno of Loverboy!

I'm just back from a brilliant weekend at the Rockingham Festival in Nottingham and here's a real treat for you. Watch my exclusive backstage interview with Loverboy frontman, Mike Reno, recorded minutes before the band hit the stage for their incredible Sunday headline set - their first UK show for almost 30 years.

A huge thanks to Mike & Catherine, and also to the Rockingham team for all of their help over the weekend. More interviews and full festival review to come! 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

James Toseland rocks my school!

End of the school term - Maths? Chemistry? No! This Thursday, something very special happened!
I am lucky enough to have developed a friendship with the lovely James Toseland (professional musician and frontman of Toseland, as well as ex double World Superbike Champion!) through his generosity of helping me with my piano playing. I invited James to Scotland and this week he flew up to spend the day with me at my school, Alford Academy!
James and I outside of my school!
James and I conducted assemblies in front of the school where we talked about his racing and musical careers, and James also gave a musical and composition masterclass to some of my fellow music pupils!
It was a pleasure to see such intimate performances from James
 James even performed Just No Way and We'll Stop At Nothing on the baby grand piano donated to the school by our ex-pupil Emeli Sande. The night before, I spent some time with James, where he invited me to play We'll Stop At Nothing whilst he sang - so, that is exactly what we did on the day!
James was kind enough to give me a little lesson whilst we had a quiet few minutes!
I had such an amazing day with James inspiring my fellow pupils with his story and hearing him perform at my school!
I loved spending the day with such a special person!

You can read all about what we got up to in this article which ran in the Press and Journal

On a personal level, I would like to take the time to thank James for his kindness and generosity. From flying all the way up especially to spend the day with me, talking through his life story, giving me a little lesson on the piano and having me up to play his song in front of the whole school. He created a truly magical day and has inspired and helped me so much. For that, I can't thank him enough. I would also like to thank my headteacher and staff who were very supportive of the event I organised.

There will be some exclusive videos of me playing with James etc coming soon on the blog!