Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Last FM

Just found this wonderful online radio station thanks to Kurt's Krap. Its free to join - simply download a player and then play music! You can listen to an artist or as I prefer select music similar to an artist (for example mine is currently set at bands similar to Night Ranger) and it will play tunes by and similar to the artist/band.
There is a very wide choice of music on there plus you ca join discussion groups, add friends and share their playlists etc.
You can add you recent playlists to your site (see top of this site) - very anorak :)
Go have a look at Last FM

Monday, June 26, 2006

ELO ‘The Harvest Years 1970-73’ (3 CD set 2006) EMI

EMI don’t half like releasing their ELO material in various shapes and forms. EMI only had ELO for the band’s first tow albums and these were much more progressive and experimental than the 70’s hits that followed once Roy Wood left and ELO signed to Sony. Indeed this version of ELO was a joint partnership between Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood (with Bev Bevan on drums) and the sound features much more cello and French horn than latter day ELO where the strings were much more melodic and less harsh. ELO started out as a Move offshoot and the Move was kept going to produce hit singles to fund the ELO concept.
This three CD set just about covers it all featuring the two albums, the single versions released off these albums plus a host of demo and outtake versions. The early ELO is very interesting as the band had a much more progressive leaning especially on tracks such as the spoken word ‘The Battle of Marston Moor’ and the extended workouts on ‘Roll Over Beethoven’. Having said that you can see early signs of Jeff Lynne’s hit single writing in ‘10538 Overture’ (the guitar riff from this track was famously lifted by Paul Weller on his hit ‘Changing Man’ plus Def Leppard have just covered it) and ‘Showdown’.
Many ELO fans will have these tunes as they have been released under various guises but this three CD set gathers them together nicely. A definate ‘must have’ for any EL fan and fans of 70’s progressive music in general.

CD 1:
10538 Overture
Look At Me Now
Nellie Takes Her Bow
The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)
First Movement (Jumping Biz)
Mr Radio
Rumble (49th Street Massacre)
Queen Of The Hours
Whisper In The Night
ELO First Album Sessions (1970-1971)
10538 Overture (Take 1 Recorded 12/7/70)
The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644) (Take 1 Recorded 28/4/71)
Whisper In The Night (Take 1/Take 2 Edit Recorded 28/4/71)
Mr Radio (Take 9 Recorded 18/11/70)
CD 2:
In Old England Town (Boogie No 2)
Roll Over Beethoven
From The Sun To The World (Boogie No.1)
Harvest Sessions (1972-1973)
In Old England Town (Boogie No 2) (Take 1 Quad SQ Mix)
Roll Over Beethoven (Take 1) (Session Master 8 September)
Mambo (Dreaming Of 4000 Take 1)
Wilf's Solo (Instrumental)
Baby I Apologise (Session Outtake 1 June 1973)
Showdown (Take 1)
CD 3:
10538 Overture (Single Version)
Mr Radio (7'' Single Version)
Roll Over Beethoven (Single Version)
In Old England Town (Instrumental)
The Electric Light Orchestra Alternate Album Mix
10538 Overture (Quad SQ Mix)
Look At Me Now (Quad Mix)
Nellie Takes Her Bow (Quad Mix)
The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644) (Quad Mix)
First Movement (Jumping Biz) (Quad Mix)
Mr Radio (Quad SQ Mix)
Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre) (Quad Mix)
Queen Of The Hours (Quad Mix)
Whisper In The Night (Quad Mix)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Stoke KO the season against Southend

The 2006/07 fixtures are out today and Stoke kick off on August 5th away to the newly promoted Southend. Weather permitting it should be a good day out by the seaside!
Final game of the season is away at QPR on Saturday May 6th. Be an interesting Championship this year with Sunderland, Birmingham, West Brom, Crystal Palace and Leeds bound to be the tipped teams for success. Newboys Colchester may struugle especially as their manager has left, whilst Barnsley and Southend will doubltess be picked out as potential strugglers.
As for Stoke...depebds who we get in during the summer. Pericard seems a good addition especially as he was a free transfer and if we can add a decent left back, an attacking midfielder and a striker who scores more than once every ten matches we will be in with a chance!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Shooting Star are a band who never quite achieved the success or recognition they deserve, having released a real gem of an album, `Silent Scream' back in 1985. Their last album was released back in 2000 and since then they have recruited one of melodic rock's vocal giants, former 707/Storm vocalist Kevin Chalfant. He joins the original members Van McLain (guitar/vocals), Steve Thomas (drums) and Ron Verlin (bass) with the line-up completed by keyboards player Dennis Laffoon and violinist Shane Michaels. Happy to report that that the band has produced an album worthy of their name. `Runaway' and `Trouble In Paradise' really rock, with Laffoon's Hammond runs sounding not unlike former Uriah Heep man Ken Hensley. The band even have a progressive track in the shape of `We're Not Alone', where the violin and keys mix nicely, to create a sound like classic Kansas. The AOR is still here though and `Without Love' would certainly see of many latter day AOR wannabes.

Definitely one for fans of the band and those who enjoy well played and catchy AOR mixed wit classic rock. Also in vocalist Kevin Chalfant they have the voice to really bring these songs to life, a very wise move on the band's part.

Friday, June 16, 2006

FROST ‘Milliontown’

Inside Out (2006) Inside Out

Songwriter/keyboards player Jem Godfrey (he’s written many a hit including ones for Atomic Kitten and Ronan Keating) has a love of prog rock and in Frost he wants to explore this along with handpicked musicians. The line-up is completed by guitarist John Mitchell (Arena/Kino/The Urbane/John Wetton) and IQ’s rhythm section – John Jowitt and Andy Edwards. Rather than rehash classic 70’s sounds or mimic the 80’s prog bands Frost do progress in their music. Highlights are many and like any good album in this genre it takes awhile to discover all the musical delights on offer. ‘Snowman’ is a wonderful ballad and the most hook filled tune on here. Conversely the title track clocks in at over 26 minutes and features some amazing keys and guitar work. The opening instrumental ‘Hyperventilate’ starts quietly with gentle piano before it kicks off big time with guitar solos and layers of keys – superb! Slight hints of Kino and It Bites in the mix as well. For straight ahead rock, albeit played with dazzling prowess, ‘No me No You’ hits the psot nicely.
One for fans of damn fine music – Frost do deserve the progressive music tag as they push themselves musically and its not all been done before. If you enjoy music by Kino, Porcupine Tree, IQ and Arena this is an album to own. Be very interesting to see where they go musically on their next album.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tony Pulis returns as Stoke manager

Stoke City have appointed Tony Pulis as their new manager on a 12-month rolling contract.

In a statement on the club's website, Potters chairman Peter Coates said: "Tony knows the club, knows the area, knows the passion our fans have for Stoke City and - most importantly - understands the potential we have at the club.
"He wants to come back because he truly believes he can bring the club success and I'm absolutely convinced he can.

"I did not make a £10million investment in the club for us to remain a mid-table Championship side.

"I made it to bring success to a club I've supported all my life and I believe the appointment of Tony Pulis will help us achieve that."

New interview with SHINETH

SHINETH are a Swedish based AOR band and their debut CD is a real must have for fans of TNT, Treat, Enuff Z Nuff et al.


Friday, June 09, 2006

GLENN HUGHES Music For The Divine Frontiers (2006)

Glenn Hughes has really hit a purple patch of late and this new album moves on nicely from where 'Soul Mover' left off.

Red Hot Chilli Pepper's (RHCP) drummer Chad Smith is again behind the drum kit and this time is joined by RHCP guitarist John Frusciante (regular Hughes' guitar slinger JJ Marsh is still very much involved).

The main difference between this new album and the last one is the use of string arrangements and these work very well. Pick of the album? Has to be 'Monkey Man' with its falsetto chorus and big funky backline - Hughes has never sounded so good!

'Too High' and 'The Valiant Denial' both blend funk and hard rock seamlessly (and it has to said better than the RHCP on their latest album). Some nice curveballs as well with closer 'The Divine' - a very mellow, acoustic number and again Hughes is on top form vocally.

Only 'Black Light' lets the side down, whilst the bonus track of a cover of Moody Blues' 'Nights In White Satin' certainly deserves its place on the album.

Possibly Hughes' best album to date in that it has hard rock to keep his fans happy whilst allowing Hughes to revel in his love of funk and soulful vocals. Be interesting to see how he plans to top this one!

Gig review - Former ELO Part 2 members

Shepherd's Bush Empire, 23 May 2006

Or Orchestra or any other concoction of names that doesn't use ELO solely in the band title! It may not feature Jeff Lynne but his influence is felt not only in the songs but the fact that he owns the name.

From ELO in the 1970's you've got Kelly Groucutt, Mik Kaminski and strings arranger Louis Clark plus founder member of ELO Part 2 Eric Troyer (ex-Meat Loaf/Billy Joel). Joining these four are guitarist/vocalist Parthenon Huxley and drummer Gordan Townsend. So you've got members from all eras of ELO's colourful history bar any true original member!

But before the band take to the stage singer/songwriter Don Howard does a decent set of original material with some covers including the Beatles 'Get Back' which finds favour with the crowd.

Orchestra (it is easier to call them this!) play a set cram full of ELO classics including 'Mr Blue Sky', 'Turn to Stone', 'Telephone Line', 'Ma Ma Belle' and 'Wild West Hero' to name but a few.

Groucutt, Troyer and Huxley all share lead vocals across the set list and a few rarely heard tunes get an airing including a wonderful 'Ticket to the Moon'. The band are very tight and know their stuff (although Louis Clark seems underemployed often standing by his string synth not playing at all).

They play a few numbers of the Orchestra's latest album, 'No Rewind', which is very hard to get in any shops and even these go down well but nothing like the ELO classics.

It is a near sell out crowd as well just proving that ELO's music is back in demand especially after the success of last year's 'Greatest Hits' compilation both here and in the US.

Closing the night with 'Last Train to London' and 'Don't Bring Me Down' bought to an end a night of great, timeless music. Go and see this band as they are keeping the sound of ELO live in the concert halls.

If only Jeff Lynne would reunite with the classic 70's line-up - that would easily sell out Wembley Arena and get the 'Out of the Blue' spaceship stage show back as well. Ah well, I can but dream!
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