Thursday, August 24, 2006


Bass player Phil Soussan has just released a very enjoyable solo album 'Vibrate' that feaures members of Toto amongst others. Previously he has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Beggers & Thieves, French rock 'n' roll legend Johnny Hallyday and he started out with Wildlife the UK band that featured ex-Bad Company drummer and future members of FM.


1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

I am currently preparing for some solo gigs, writing/producing Trev Lukather's album, getting ready to go to Nashville to start a very hush hush "supergroup" (I HATE that word!), hum... waiting here at home for my new guitar to show up from MusicMan and typing.

2. Could you take us through the songs (e.g. ideas behind the songs) on your solo album, 'Vibrate' please...

Human Race - one of the last songs that I wrote on the album. It is about being patronized and propagandad (is that a word?) and having people manipulate the truth and thinking that they can pull the wool over your eyes. I am not going to share my politics here, but it is not what you might expect!

Open Your Eyes - This is about trying to help a friend out of depression.

Friend By My Side - Funky, funky funk! This is about funk! I like funk an' funky thangs. I like songs that sound like you have a room full of relatives in the background singin' along. I mean, I used to listen to a lot of 70's funk and so this was a little taste - a hitcherino if you will. I also had much fun playing recently with Richie Kotzen - who is the bomb when it comes to funk/rock and I wanted to include this aspect to my playing - Richie is also playing on this. (Oh.... lyrically it is about trusting your instincts!)

Elderberry Trees - This is a love song (no shit!). It's about the feeling you get when you meet your soul mate! It is also about gardening.

In America - America; land of hope and the Ancient Greeks (sorry TH !). Everyone rags on this place yet everyone wants to live here. A good place to come to if you want to find opportunity. Even when you don't find what you want there is always another stone to turn over.

No Regrets - This is a Petty type storyteller ballad about people compromising themselves. It is about accountability.

Smile - Trying to help out a friend who had more than their share of shit shoveled upon them.

Killing Time - I was pissed off at a girlfriend who was extremely negative. This goes out to all the negative people out there - you know who you aren't!

Long As You Live - This is a positive song written with my friend Joe Brucato, one of the most beautiful souls out there although he has the tact of a mountain! (Sorry joe!). Written a long time ago I wanted to include it as I love the message that it presents.

Haunted - This is a reflection on how your experiences carry forward into the rest of your life - there is a lesson that I had to learn here and that was to enter each new experience innocently and as new...

She Couldn't Cry - Another storyteller about a girl who reached the lowest low.

Water's Edge - This has nothing to do with Roger Waters! Although it is a tribute to one of my favorite artists ever... I wrote this for someone who was very lonely.

3. How did you get some top draw musicians on your album such as the Toto guys? Any plans to play some gigs on the back of the album's release in Europe?

I have been fortunate enough to work regularly with these musicians for quite some time. When it became time for me to do this they contacted me and wanted to be involved. If things go well with this album I would love to come to europe to tour.

4. Beggers & Thieves were a very underated band - was there ever a second studio album made by the band? Any chance the band would get back together again?

They made a second album after I left. There is no reason that we wouldn't get together again. We would need it to be financially viable .. and Louis would need to return the guitar he took!

5. You've appeared on many albums by the French legend musical Johnny Hallyday. How did you hook-up with him and why do you think he's never really has success here in the UK and even the US?

I played on the demo of a track that he covered on his Rough Town" album and his producer - my long time friend Chris Kimsey - fell in love with the part. Chris asked me to come and play it on the actual record and we all hit it off from that point. Johnny called me up and asked me to be in his band; what a band! Shane Fontayne, Jim Prime, Ian Wallace, Tim Moore and Robin Le Mesurier. I think that the French market has always been very intrinsic - nothing comes in and nothing goes out and that is why he has never been heard of in many other countries. Despite that, he remains the 4th biggest selling artist in music history for the world!! Fuckin' unbelievable, huh. We call him the Grand Fromage!

6. You played on Ozzy's 'Ultimate Sin' album. What was it like at the time working with Ozzy who wasn't at his most sober during this album! Why did you leave the band?

It was an amazing time. Metal had never been so big, Ozzy's gigs had never been so well attended and I had major success with a song that I wrote. My closest friend was in the band with me and I liked Ozzy very much and we became good friends even out of the workplace. I think that Ozzy drinks because he is bored but I never liked people making fun of that. Ultimately (!) I had business disagreements with Sharon regarding future publishing arrangements and I decided to move on. I think that she took that really personally and she has certainly never forgiven me for that. I was close with her at the time and I have no hard feelings. I had a great time with them. It seems that they either really like people or they really dislike people and there is no ground inbetween. Maybe one day we will all just get along again.

7. Apart from your new solo album ,what album(s) that you have appeared on are you most proud of musically and why?

That has to be Steve Lukather's "Luke" album. I consider Steve to be one of the greats and we have a great friendship and writing relationship. I wrote half of this record and of that I was an incredibly proud. The tour that followed became the most fun I have ever had on the road in terms of musical quality and just fun. Gregg and Brett were fantastic and every night we would take all those songs and see how far we could improvise and "stretch" them, completely pushing the limits of our musical ability. I grew as a musician and as a bass player.

8. How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

I answered every bass player wanted ad in the back of the Melody Maker! Learn as much as you can about your instrument and other instruments and learn to be tasteful!! Don't give up and realize that the first project that you leave marks the beginning of your musical journey!

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I like to ride motorcycles, take photographs, drink with friends. I like to have sex and honk at pedestrians. If you honk twice and really short they will think that you know them and it will leave them wondering the rest of the day.

10. Message to your fans...

Thanks for being there and being interested, thanks for letting someone else into your head. Write me and tell me what you think - I try to respond to all of my fans!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Singer/songwriter Chris Singelton releases his debut solo album in September and it is a damn fine album (read the review here ). Check out the extremely catchy 'Get Up' for proof (you can listen to this song and two other songs at Last FM). Over to Chris...

What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

I’m about to start rehearsing the live stuff again with my band. We’re doing some shows in London during September and October to promote the album.

Brief history of how you got into the music business and the style of music you play

Got into the music industry at the age of 11 when I figured out how a record player worked. Found “Revolver” by the Beatles in my dad’s record collection and it was downhill from there! Or uphill, depending on your point of view…but that’s how I got into music. I play a lot of retro-rock and pop tinged with a bit of electronica. In recent reviews they’ve described my voice as a mix of John Lennon and George Harrison, and my songwriting as McCartney-esque. 75% of the Beatles. Could be worse, although I must say that I do have a lot of time for Ringo.

Could you take us through the songs on your excellent debut album 'Twisted City' and where the lyrical/musical ideas came from?
The basic idea behind “Twisted City” is that it’s a tube journey through London - each song is a stop on the journey. I wrote a lot of it on the move, as I was travelling frequently between Dublin and London for two years. I’d jot down ideas for songs on old tube tickets, boarding cards, you name it. I’d even record myself singing onto my mobile phone’s voicemail. Looked like a nutter when I did that. In the end I had this mad collection of musical bits and bobs on various bits of travelling paraphernalia, and I eventually put them all down properly in my little studio…and that’s how the album came about. Lyrical and musical ideas? The lyrics are about two things really – firstly, relationships (love, loss, the usual) and secondly, trying to ‘make it’ as a musician in London. I see the album as a bit of a documentary of what was going on in my life for two years. Musically it’s influenced by a lot of things. The Beatles loom large in it I think, as does Bowie and a bit of the Stones. It’s all influenced by old 60s and 70s acts really, but because I’ve got a room full of contemporary music equipment - samplers, synths and computers etc., I think all my influences got a bit warped and hopefully the album sounds fresh as a result.

How do you view the current live scene as regards new bands/artists getting exposure?

Don’t know much about the live scene really as I’ve been concentrating primarily on recording. As for bands getting exposure, I think the exposure you get is directly proportional to the marketing spend!

How has the Internet helped spread the word about yourself? Do you think downloading is helping or killing music?

The Internet has been very useful for me, I’ve used Myspace quite extensively to get my songs out there and the feedback’s been very positive. I think on the whole downloading is good for singles, but not necessarily so good for albums, as people get into the habit of picking and choosing individual tracks and don’t necessarily hear albums as the artists intended.

Who would you ideally like to go out and tour with?

Supergrass – I think they’re great.

What bands/artists do you admire and/or are an influence?

I like so many different acts that it’s hard to list all the ones I admire. Obviously I’m a big fan of 60s and 70s acts like Beatles, Kinks, Bowie, Pink Floyd and so on – that period really was a golden era for music. In terms of contemporary acts, I’ve got a lot of time for Supergrass, Aimee Mann , Belle and Sebastian and Primal Scream.

What have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

Hard to say really, because I feel like with this record I’m just starting out! I guess the low points have been the times when I’ve got a lot of ‘nos’ from record companies, and the high has definitely been getting the opportunity to release this record.

What ideally would you like to achieve ideally by this time next year?

I’d like to have sold a truckload of copies of Twisted City, and have my next album recorded ready for a September 2007 release!

What's the most rock 'n' roll moment you have had so far?

This interview…no, I guess getting the album mastered at Abbey Road was fairly rock and roll. Certainly one of the most expensive moments I’ve had so far…

What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

My album “Twisted City” is out on 19th September, and my single, “Worry Number One” is out on 12th September. You should be able to buy them from all good record shops, but if you live near a bad one, you’ll be able to get it on iTunes, and various other online retailers.

Message to your fans...

Hello to both of you!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

EDEN - Open Minds

Majestic Rock (2006)

Vince O'Regan is one busy man! He produced and wrote for Bob Catley's latest solo album, he has another band Alibi ready to release their new album on Escape Music and now we have Eden formed with Kick vocalist Nick Workman. Don't expect an AOR/melodic rock album by numbers though as Eden have successfully added a real hard edge to their music whilst still keeping the melodies intact. `Close Your Eyes' and `Chase the Sun' have superb guitar riffs coupled with a very heavy rhythm section – not quite metal but near enough! The sought of tracks TNT are so good at when they are on form. `Fools Parade' is quite simply one of the best tunes I have heard all year, from its anthemic chorus to the stunning harmony vocal section towards the end of the song. Again the guitars are high in the mix and riffing away. Only one ballad on the whole album and it is a good `un, `How Far Are You' allows Nick Workman to take the spotlight.

One of the strongest debuts by a UK rock band in many a year and all the better as they seemed to have found that winning formula of having a big guitar sound without comprising the melodies. Hopefully Eden will prove to be a long term band and not just a one-off.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The season starts with an away loss

Stoke City started their season away at Southend on Saturday with a 1-0 loss and judging by the match reports despite some hard work in midfield never looked like scoring.

We have signed defender Danny Higginbotham from Southampton who seems to be a good player but we are lacking a decent central midfielder and a proven goal scorer. Hopefully Tony Pulis will sign a few players before the August transfer window deadline.

Other good news is that AWOL striker Sammy Bangora finally turned-up on Friday (4th Aug) a mere five weeks late! Be interesting to see if we play him or sell him quickly as he is very unreliable at returning from international games.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

TOM PETTY `Highway Companion' American Recordings (2006)

The follow-up the disappointing `The Last DJ' album sees ELO's Jeff Lynne back on board both production and playing wise. The only other musician involved is Mike Campbell, a member of Tom Petty's long time band the Heartbreakers. The sound is very crisp and clear as you'd expect with Jeff Lynne at the helm and the songs hark back to some of Petty's best albums namely `Full Moon Fever' and `Into the Great Wide Open'. Listen to `Big Weekend' and you'd swear it was from one of these albums. `Saving Grace' bizarrely brings to mind Canned Heat's `On the Road Again', mainly due to the background riff and again is crystal clear slice of Petty genius. Petty is in reflective mood on much of the album on tracks such as `Turn This Car Around' and ` Flirting With Time' (he recently stated he had given his last interview) perhaps suggesting he is winding down his career (hopefully not though!). The jangly guitars and crystal clear percussion are back as well I am happy to report. Only `Night Driver' fails to hit the spot being a bit too mellow.

If you like Petty's solo albums then you are in for a treat and hopefully Jeff Lynne will be involved again next time around. It is not as instant as say listening to `Full Moon Fever' but repeated plays open up delights each time, surely the sign of good music.

JOURNEY `Evolution'/'Escape' Legacy/Sony (2006)

Now reviewing these two little gems is a real treat! Both have been re-mastered with added booklets containing rare and previously unseen photos (and looking at Neal Schon's bouffant hair I am not surprised!) plus in the case of `Escape' you get bonus tracks.1979's `Evolution' starts with the short intro `Majestic' where the band's trademark harmonies come to the fore. Track wise there are some certifiable classics such as `Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' and the stop/start vocals on `City of the Angels'. You want more? Try `Just the Same Way' or Steve Perry excelling vocally on `Lovin' You Is Easy'.

There isn't a filler track on this album at all but for me the best album Journey have made so far is 1981's `Escape', which saw former Babys member Jon Cain take over from Gregg Rolie on the keyboards. Again not a filler in sight (although I have never personally been a fan of `Who's Crying Now' as it has been used too often on compilations and radio) and if anything the guitars are ramped up – check out `Lay It Down' or the title track for proof. `Mother, Father' is a real goose bumps tune as Perry pours his heart and soul into the song, whilst `Don't Stop Believin' is one of those feel good anthems the band do so well. Bonus wise you get the B-side to `Still They Ride', the track `La Raza Del Sol', which is not bad but you can see why it was a B-side! Add to these three live tracks from the recently released `Live In Houston' CD/DVD, namely `Don't Stop Believin', `Who's Crying Now' and `Open

Long time fans of the band will enjoy these I am sure and hopefully they can pick up new fans, who should start with either (or preferably both) of these albums and then go from there. Truly one of the best bands of all time who had the musical ability, the voice in Steve Perry and the songs.

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