Posts Tagged ‘Kim Fletcher’
Pop’s Benefit Rock ’n’ Roll Show at The Purple Space Monkey on 12th February 2012
At 12 Noon on Sunday 12th February, a Caravan of Vehicles left the Nova Gold / Jameson’s Car Park. Led by our Rock ’n’ Roll leader Captain Steve Ponter, who had heard of the plight of one of our fine fellows Popsxl Joralee, known locally by the shortened Pop.
Leader of Pop’s Pattaya All Stars, Lead Guitarist to, among others, The Band of Smiles, admired by the Stars themselves and general all round good bloke. Never mind that, one of the finest Lead Guitarists I have ever witnessed, (This writer has witnessed Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Page, Kim Simmonds, Jeff Beck and all in their prime, Pop’s up there. Don’t believe me? Go and see him in Concert.) who for the last twenty years has been helping Charities himself with his Devil may Care attitude, generous smile and giving nature. On New Year’s Eve, Pop’s wife had been hospitalized with kidney failure. Large hospital bills have been run up, and the man we all went to for help, needed help himself. Of course no rightful mind would deny it. So there we all were in Jomtien.
The Purple Space Monkey’s stage was ready and proceedings were started off by Tom Rosetti with some homely acoustic guitar including a great re-working of Elton John’s Rocket Man.
The tone of the day was rapidly changed by the arrival of Darryl Read and Band (left). To a charged atmosphere, pumping fists, wind milling arms and pointing elbows, Darryl rampaged through some Seventies charged Rock as if playing to Wembley Arena and got the crowds attention.
Coming on after this was an Electric Tom Rossetti and Friends who treated the crowd to their own rather special version of Americana Music, bringing the audience to their feet with their versions of Simple Man, The Loner and Hot Rod Heart.
This was quickly followed by Mexican Suicide, a great band made up of locals from Pattaya including some who had been playing Cricket for the town the previous day. Great versions of Hey Joe, Around the World and Love Me Two Times came out of the speakers, keeping the atmosphere high and, more importantly, the Donation Boxes and Raffle Tickets going round the room.
Now the atmosphere was great in the Purple Space Monkey and the Stage Hands were doing a great job of keeping all the equipment firing on all six.
Next up, receiving a loud local reception, Stalwarts of the Pattaya Blues and Rock Scene and a welcome addition to any Rock Card were Scott Ecie and The Leo’s Blues Band. They immediately had everybody tapping their feet, clapping their hands, stomping, singing along and thumping the tables while pulling on the Beer Bottles (You try doing all that in one go!) playing a great selection of classic songs. Opening up with some Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Cold Shot, before revving up into Statesboro Blues when, if you closed your eyes, you could have been whisked off to the Southern tip of the United States, before bringing us up to date with some Kenny Wayne Shepherd and then lighting the fires by closing with the Allman Brothers Classic, from the album Eat a Peach, One Way Out.
To riotous applause and hollers the first appearance of Pop was seen on stage as he took to the Boards with The Band of Smiles. This is what we had come to see and the band did not disappoint. Opening with a rocked up version of Drop The Pilot with Pop ripping the chords out to the packed audiences delight. The Band took it up a notch with their own take on The Who’s Baba O’Riley with Pop bringing the song to a roaring crescendo playing the recorded violin solo on lead guitar to devastating effect. Professor Jerry Stewart then gladly forfeited a Thousand Baht for the cause to hear the Band of Smiles signature tune Zombie which raised the roof of the Purple Space Monkey a foot closer to the Sky.
Another quick change around saw B.B.L.T. take the stage to thunderous applause from the crowd who by now were baying for more excitement….and they got in Spades. The Band features Brian Thomas at the Front of the stage, previously with the Helen Reddy Band and Ike and Tina Turner , Leonard Tuckey of The Nashville Teens and Suzi Quatro and Tony Stevens, formerly of Savoy Brown, founding member of Foghat and member of Midnight Flyer who were on the Led Zeppelin Swansong label managed by Peter Grant making this a legendary band. Launching straight into Crossfire the band handled themselves with the smooth confidence that only comes with great knowledge of their craft and mastery of stage work. The band are so tight they could be one and with only a slight hand gesture or nod of the head, would change the tempo or key according to requirements. Quite a lesson in stage craft was witnessed by those there enjoying every second. B.B.L.T. flitted through a bombastic set swapping in the blink of an eye from Black Magic Woman and Walking the Dog to the Thrill Of It All before the crowd even knew it, such was the smoothness of music which could only be called Raunch and Roll, however hypocritical it sounds. Even with the tight schedule the crowd demanded three encores including versions of Leave Your Hat On, Bring It On Home and The Weight. All agreed that this was really a high class set.
Another quick turnaround saw no let up in the entertainment as Pop’s Pattaya All Stars took to the Stage. Lots of thumping Rock came belting out with plenty of room for each musician to show their undoubted skills in the solos. This was a wonderful show in itself (A show within a show!) as most of the musicians at one time or another had cut their musical young teeth by being given a chance to show off their wares in Pop’s Band, often leaving to form new bands and returning when the needs must. It was with a warm heart that you actually saw all the different generations of Pattaya musicians lining up beside the stage to pay homage to their Friend and Mentor. If Pop was their teacher, he was a good one as the music simply rampaged out across the floor as the musicians came and went on stage.
This was a hard act to follow, but the Purple Space Monkey House Band were more than a match for it ,and came out and gave the crowd more of what they were by now craving for. Also giving everybody a good reason to go back to the Purple Space Monkey on another night.
Headlining the show, taking a night out of their heavy Asian touring Schedule and after the night before having headlined the Burapha Bike Week, were none other than Goober Gun. ‘Pattaya Regulars’ having played the City often over the last three years, they certainly gained more friends this fine Sunday.
It’s hard to come onto the stage after such a fine display of music from Bands that have been playing songs already familiar with the crowd. Then to come on playing original songs which only some of the audience know, can be quite a task, especially whilst still trying to break in a new member of the band. But you would of known none of this last Sunday as Goober Gun took to the stage to an appreciative crowd and the band soon had the whole audience in the palms of their hands. The Rhythm Section of Goober Gun stalwarts and brothers Tim Hardwick on Drums/Vocals and Front man Ian Hardwick on Bass/Vocals were as solid and entertaining as ever. It’s the first time I have seen the band with New Guitarist Paul Dymott. Yes there is a difference, but certainly for the better with Dymott’s choppy guitar licks suiting the Goober Gun sound perfectly, especially on some of the older more established Goober Gun songs such as 1979, as well as brand new songs like the high pristine Rock and Roll of new song Rock in Bangkok (Co-written by Pattaya’s own Barry Upton).
Goober Gun also played some crowd pleasing covers with their own versions of The Knack’s My Sharona, as well as a souped up version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax. Goober Gun were the second band of the day that the crowd would just not let go home until they heard some more songs and were brought back three times for more music. The Purple Space Monkey has never been hotter.
Of course a huge thanks has to go out to the Purple Space Monkey for hosting the event, the Stage Managers from all across Pattaya, including Leo’s Blues Bar and where would we be without the Bryant Family. The Python Motor Bike Club turned up in their pomp to show solidarity with Pop whilst Paige Bryant and the Dogman worked tirelessly collecting money for the Donation Boxes and the Raffles. Many Businesses, Restaurants and Bars in the area generously donating prizes.
So far We have raised over One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Baht towards helping Pop pay off his Hospital bills but more money is still needed, and the Donation Boxes are still open at The Purple Space Monkey, Leo’s Blues Bar, Tahitian Queen and Jameson’s.
Love to all of you that have contributed so far.
Here is the Full Goober Gun Set list in all its glory:
Sick Of This
Jumping Jack Flash – Rolling Stones
Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Love Love Love
Time After Time – Cindy Luper
On The Beaches
You Really Got Me – Kinks
Rock N Bangkok
My Sharona / Baby / Right Now
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
We Are The Kids
Hard To Handle – Otis Reading
Judas Priest w/ Lamb Of God at Fort Canning, Singapore 20th February 2012
Judas Priest over the last nine months having been touring round the World taking their Epitaph Tour across the Boards to their fans in every corner of the planet. The Epitaph Tour is so called because it has been acknowledged as their last ever World Tour. Well it only seems fair as all the original members left in the Band are now in their Mid-Sixties and touring doesn’t get any easier as you get older.
As the tour was being set up in early 2011 an almighty spanner was hurled into the works by the sudden announcement that one of the founding members of Judas Priest, K.K. Downing having been in the Band for four decades was throwing in the towel, and doing what very few Rock stars have ever done…retire. Of course like many Rock Bands Judas Priest are not totally unused to Line up changes having gone through a Spinal Tap’s worth of drummers before settling on Scott Travis in the Eighties, and Lead Singer Rob Halford left for over a decade in the early 90’s before coming home.
Could the Mighty Priest still Rock without one half of their dual lead guitar line up? The other being Glenn Tipton, who had shared all the Headbangin’ Heavy Metal guitar riffs with K.K. Downing. The remaining members of Judas Priest recruited young hot shot guitar slinger Richie Faulkner and never missed a beat going on for better things.
This Writer was lucky enough to catch Judas Priest at the High Voltage Festival London in 2011. They headlined and easily took credit as the best Band of the first day, playing over the likes of Slash, Thin Lizzy and Queensryche. But this was early days with the new line up and led one to suspect that with a bit more time, greater things were achievable.
So my next encounter with Judas Priest was set for Monday 20th February 2012 at Fort Canning in Singapore. This was going to be Judas Priest’s first ever concert in Singapore and of course quite sadly, probably their last. Fort Canning is a wonderful place to see any show with its lush grass, natural Amphitheatre and wonderful rows of bars and shops surrounding it. So no shortage of provisions there then or getting a good place to watch proceedings. Since High Voltage in London over Six months previously, the Band have toured all over the United States of America, South America and then a series of Asian Concerts concentrating on one the Priest’s strongholds, Japan. But luckily for us they arranged to drop off and headline Fort Canning in Singapore before going for one final crusade around Europe.
Supporting Judas Priest at Fort Canning were Lamb Of God, not a Band I was familiar with and although a fair section of the crowd seemed to be enjoying it, it all seemed very repetitive to these ears. Speedy Thrash metal with very shouty vocals. Randy Blythe is a very energetic shouter and charges around the stage like a young bull. But when he asked the crowd to sing-a-long with them I thought I would do myself a mischief if I tried, so retired to the Jagermeister , the main Sponsors tent to prepare for the onslaught of Judas Priest.
The Epitaph Curtains were in place and it was not long before the battle cry of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs was coming out of the speakers. The Curtain dropped and with an almighty musical explosion the Band came rockin’ onto the stage going straight into Rapid Fire a perfect opener as it allows each Band member to stretch out his musical muscle, giving the sound crew the chance to get everything into balance as the Band launch themselves at the 8,000 strong audience of which many had travelled from all over Asia to catch Judas Priest live.
Since High Voltage, the Band have really gelled and now Rock like the proverbial hurricane. I was lucky enough to catch the Band in England many times in the late 70’s and early 80’s after which a huge gap until 2011. But without a shadow of a doubt this was the top of the list Judas Priest experience. The big difference between High Voltage and Fort Canning was the completion of the Band. At High Voltage only new boy Richie Faulkner really playing to the crowd (It was still a great performance) but this was something else.
Rob Halford was as animated as I have ever seen him moving about the stage, climbing the ramps, and using many costume changes especially effective was the Gold Priest’s outfit for Nostradamus’s Prophecy which was one of the stand out tracks for the Evening which is quite extraordinary, as I have never been that impressed with the double album itself. But tonight Prophecy shook Singapore to its very core and sent the audience wild. Rob Halford was also continually milking the audience for a response, which he got back in spades and with relaxed and informative introductions to each piece of new music. Explaining to the audience that the next song comes from their first album from 1974 ‘Rocka Rolla’ before the Band broke into Never Satisfied. Half the audience probably were not even born then! But for all his years fronting one of the World’s greatest Heavy Metal Bands, Rob Halford was in fine voice all night long. Leading the Band from the front with his dominant vocals hitting all the higher notes with what seemed like consummate ease.
Glenn Tipton this time around seemed much keener to get on with the ripping guitar solos himself rather than leaving the flash work to his younger colleague, and he too was challenging the front rows of the crowd with machine gun motions, whilst strutting his stuff in his bright red leather pants. Ian Hill’s bass playing was the anvil around which the Judas Priest sound centralizes on and his fluid runs kept the Band thundering along. For Singapore Ian Hill had a smile on his face which you could only sometimes be seen as he was enveloped in dry ice whilst smashing his head back and forth to the heavy beat. Scott Travis drummed with the energy of a demented man, leaning into his Drum kit all the while driving the Band upwards and onwards.
Although the set list was exactly the same as High Voltage, it was played with far more energy and power. Being the same set is quite right, what do you expect from a tour going under one title. Epitaph. If you could only get to see Judas Priest once on the tour imagine your disappointment if they had left your favorite song off, just for the sake of change. Who could complain with a song off every Priest album (with of course the exception of albums done without Rob Halford) and a healthy four off ‘British Steel’ , a real greatest hits tour. Thankfully omitting the rather tedious ‘United’.
Painkiller finally came in with all guns blazing to bring the set to a perfect close, but there was still more to come. The Band jumped back onto the stage to kick straight into Electric Eye, before Rob Halford leaves stage left for one more costume change, as you can hear the mighty Gold Harley Davidson being revved into action for the singer to roar back into the arena astride the two wheeled monster and delivers Hell Bent for Leather’s vocals from the comfort of the bike’s seat. To top this we are whisked into the world of Richie Faulkner, who has taken the old Judas Priest chestnut You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ and made the song all his own, indulging himself and the more than appreciative audience with a widdly extended guitar solo delivered from on top of the stacks. Then in a quick turnaround of tradition, abandoning his drum stool, Scott Travis comes down to the front of the stage with drum sticks held aloft demanding that the crowd call for more as the Band return to finish off Singapore with the Priest anthem Living After Midnight, finally leaving Rob Halford to take a final bow whilst leading the audience through several chants from the football terraces.
Mention must be made of the Lighting and Stage production during the set, which helped to enhance the music. The stage being bathed in different coloured lights for different songs, with the cover of the album the song came from up on the big screen. The Pumping Turbines on the big screens during Turbo Lover being particularly amusing, as well as the bright fluorescent green in which the Fleetwood Mac cover ‘The Green Manalishi’ (with the Two Pronged Crown) was played. There also cannot be much dry ice left in Singapore after this evening. Put all together it was a night of triumph for Judas Priest.
Judas Priest now have a month to catch their breath before invading Europe, then in May the Epitaph Tour comes to an end at Hammersmith Odeon (or whatever it’s called now). In this form Judas Priest will blow the roof off the home of London’s rock scene. You have been warned.
Judas Priest are:
Rob Halford – Vocals, Costume Changes, and Motor Cycle riding.
Ian Hill – Bass Guitar.
Glenn Tipton – Lead Guitar.
Scott Travis -Drums and Rabble Rousing.
Ritchie Faulkner – Lead Guitar.
War Pigs – Black Sabbath song Intro track
Heading Out to the Highway
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds and Rust (Joan Baez cover)
Beyond the Realms of Death
Blood Red Skies
The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown – Fleetwood Mac cover)
Breaking the Law Instrumental (with the Crowd singing all the words)
Drum Solo leading into Painkiller
The Hellion (Intro)
Motor Bike entrance
Hell Bent For Leather
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Living After Midnight
By Kim Fletcher
There is some marvelous news for all you people who like a nice Roger Dean cover to go with your album when you purchase your music. The new album by Yes does not let you down. A beautiful painting in pastel colors of an idyllic scene depicting a waterfall, in a jungle with glamorous trees and shrubs set out. In the foreground is a startled exotic bird in mid-flight. With a great new Yes logo in the shape of several cobra’s its quite eye catching. It’s just a pity that these days when you splash out on an album all you get is a scrap of paper with the Artwork on it, not much bigger than some Country’s postage stamps.
When it comes to reviewing albums I always go for the most positive aspects I can and put them in at the beginning to try and grab some attention. Sadly from the positive aspect that is the only thing I have got to say about this album, as the music is simply atrocious. If this recording had been submitted to a record company by an unknown band it would most certainly never of seen the light of day, especially in these times with so many new young groups plying their trade of Progressive Rock like Amplifier, Pineapple Thief, Porcupine Tree, and Anathema to name but the tip of the Iceberg.
This is a sad fact as many moons ago when I started out in an attempt to find some more music to listen to rather than just the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, or whoever else was on with Pans People on Top of the Pops. I discovered Yes by being intrigued by the album cover; a huge great big Yes in bright red on a black background, and to my delight on this their debut album, a Beatles song Every Little Thing She Does. I bought it and was blown away by this new sound I had discovered. I even managed to get to see them live at the legendary original Marquee Club in Wardour Street, London and was most impressed. The second album in 1970-Time and a Word 1970- was equally impressive, incorporating more cover songs amongst their own compositions and augmenting orchestra on some tracks.
Then disaster as usual reared its ugly head, as immediately after the albums release lead guitarist Peter Banks was pushed/jumped from the band. Yes carried on by replacing him with Steve Howe, who had to learn Peter Banks entire repertoire to keep the band on the road. And since then Howe has spent the last forty years copying Banks, making a very nice career out of it. Peter Banks went onto form Flash; a great hard rock version of Yes and then pursued a solo career.
The Yes Album was released in 1971 using a lot of ideas left over from Peter Banks days. By now the band had their business eyes on The Strawbs keyboard player Rick Wakeman, and so very quickly keyboardist Tony Kaye got the proverbial boot, and in came Wakeman with all his many Keyboards, Moog’s, Squelchers etc. . One more album was recorded, and then Bill Bruford the drummer’s drummer had enough and jumped ship leaving Yes to join King Crimson with Robert Fripp (talk about out of the frying pan into the fire!).
Since then Yes have had sixteen players in and out of the band, with only bassist Chris Squires appearing in every incarnation. Many people have been in the band four or five times, some have been fired an equal amount of times. Once there were even two versions of Yes on the circuit (they merged as an eleven piece with disastrous consequences).
Yes released their last album –Magnification-ten years ago. A horrible album it was a musical equivalent to a heavyweight boxer well past his prime.
Sadly now ten years after Magnification they have released this album Fly From Here and the only question can be- why?
What is the line up I hear you ask. Chris Squire is still there on bass. Steve Howe has been recalled again on guitar duty. Then do you remember one hit wonders Buggles? Well their keyboard player –Geoff Downes- is now in along with his partner Trevor Horn, who produced this insipid specimen as well as helping write some of it. On drums Bill Bruford’s replacement Alan White is having another go while the icing on the cake is the new boy Benoit David, who was discovered in a Yes tribute band when poor old Jon Anderson was indisposed.
In a vain attempt to seem relevant the album opens with Fly From Here, a twenty-two minute Suite, which sounds like a two-minute piece Yes rejected for their 1980 album Drama. There is just no backbone to the music for two minutes let alone twenty-two. All the band members tinker away, tripping over each other, and when there is a final reprise of the opening lilt, your eyebrows fall off the back of your head. New boy Benoit David is lumbered with writing the lyrics and sounds like he wasn’t given much time. Fly From Here is then laughingly followed by The Man You Have Always Wanted To Be. Of course the only possible title for this should have been The Band You Have Always Wanted Us To Be! If you have not already turned the music off by then (I had to make it through the album in four goes!) the next thing up is Life On a Film Set, which is more of the same by numbers type of Pop/Progressive music hardly discernable from the previous pap. Next there is at least a change of pace as the rest of the band clear off down the pub and they leave Steve Howe to play his acoustic guitar for an overlong piece. I will say that many moons ago his little acoustic guitar interludes in a live setting worked quite well, but quite frankly these days it’s been over used and is boring.
The bands last chance of rectifying something from this mess is lost on final track In The Storm, which sounds like something you would have on in the background on one of those children’s shows when they ask an eight year old to build a computer with a roll of cotton, two elastic bands, a lolly stick, and an old tin. Perhaps Benoit David would have been better off staying in the tribute band.
Kim Fletcher says…
For more on Yes, visit their website HERE.
Kim Fletcher brings us something a little bit different, a retrospective look at the changing faces of Nutz. From Nutz to Rage and back again gives you the complete story on one of rock’s unsung heroes.
Starting out from the Heart of Liverpool -the birth place of some of England’s finest bands, most notably of course The Beatles (being a young four piece band from Liverpool this soon turned into more of an Albatross round the neck than a blessing.) Nutz were formed by talented Guitarist Mick Devonport and soon joined by bassist Keith Mulholland, Vocalist David Lloyd (He of the Cadbury’s Flake advert vocals) and powerhouse drummer John Mylett.
Cadbury’s Flake Advert 1985
First up they recorded a poppy single under the rather silly moniker of Jiminy Cricket. This rather mislead people who turned up at their gigs expecting a pleasant evening of Pop to find this Hendrix/Cream inspired band on stage. So came the first name change to Harpoon under which they earned a residency at the Star Club in Hamburg (Yes the same club as the Beatles!). When they returned to Liverpool as a tight Rock’n’Roll unit with their own identity. New management arrived in the shape of Mike Clifford and Chris Trendgrove (who were associated with Peter Grant no less) and a record deal with A&M Records was inked. It was A&M who decided another name change was in order and so it was, as Nutz this quartet became a living breathing Rock’n’Roll machine.
A residency was set up at the Cavern and during the day they recorded their debut album. It was released in 1974 and, quite frankly, did not live up to expectations. Apart from two songs Joke and Round & Round, it wasn’t representative of their stage show. A re-think was in order.
In 1975 the band went back into the studio to record Nutz Too and this time put the edge into the songs, right from the opening guitar break of opener Nature Intended (A Whispering’ Bob Harris of Old Grey Whistle Test favourite). It featured seven hard rockin’ Mick Devonport penned songs including the head banging Sinner, plus a cover of Pete Pizer’s Changes Coming and two David Lloyd Ballads, including the beautiful The Love That You Lost, with John Rabbit Bundrick (later of Free & The Who fame) on piano. Nutz Too got to the outer regions of the British Charts. Support tours were in abundance although often half way through the tours (undertaken with Johnny Winter, Status Quo, and even one tour as Co-Headliners with Queen (Same management) the headliners were putting restrictions on the length of their set, use of the lights, and even in some cases forbidding them for finishing with their tour de force rave up Wallbanger.
Things were going well until a couple of bad decisions put a spanner in the works. A tour of America was a disaster as the albums weren’t even out in the States due to complications with unions over printing rights. This diversion lost them impetuous in the UK and put the band heavily into debt. A & M Records stepped in and got the band a support on the Black Sabbath European tour of 1976, which gave them excellent exposure although it was not a happy tour as by now Black Sabbath had turned into warring factions and were about too implode. Salvation came in the form of a mid-afternoon time slot on Friday’s Reading Festival, at the time the major rock event of the year. They went on for their forty-five minutes set at the peak of their powers. When they came off, the crowd of 65,000 was chanting for more. However, the contract said forty-five minutes, no more, or they would be fined. Management for A & M records were there and told the boys not to go for an encore. In those circumstances who do you listen too? A suit from the record company or 65,000 screaming fans? They went back on playing two encores before the plug was pulled on them.
A & M Records were furious and the relationship between record company and band soured. Nutz went back into the studio to record a new album, recruiting Kenny Newton on keyboards to embellish the sound and Hard Nutz was released in 1977 with very little publicity. The band were sent out on the road with Welsh trio Budgie, label mates on A & M, but a combination of the headliners decline (Nutz were blowing them off stage every night) and the advent of the dreaded Punk Rock, it stood no chance. In 1978 A & M completed their recording contract with Nutz by releasing Nutz Live Cutz, an amazing album of pure raw hard rock ‘n’ roll including a great version of the Nutz anthem Wall Banger clocking in at 12 minutes, plus tracks spanning all three albums. But with no publicity, A & M holding a contract that would run another 2 years, no financial support to tour, the album, which should have been huge, flopped. The moral of the story: don’t upset the suits. So Nutz had to sit out their contract, but this was not the end.
Nutz – Nature Intended (The Old Grey Whistle Test)
So, with Nutz Live Cutz, their last album with A & M Records, languishing in the bargain bins of record shops, and A & M holding their recording contract over the band, the future was not exactly rosy. Keyboard player Kenny Newton left to form Nightwing, who carried on with their own brand of bombastic rock until 1984.
The only way that the remaining nucleus of the band could stay together and see out their two years of contract was to sing for their supper at the Savoy Hotel in Guernsey. So for two summer seasons these Scouse boys entertained the holidaymakers on this sunny tax free Isle.
But then fate took another turn when Carrere Records invited the band down to London for a showcase gig at the Greyhound in Croydon.
The band hit the stage at 8.30 p.m. to a packed hall and were still playing when the house lights came up, having been called back to encore so many times that the crowd had danced to two versions of Wall Banger, two versions of Sinner and a new song called Bootliggers.
Britain’s number one Hard Rock D.J. Neal Kay was in the crowd. He was putting together an album of tracks from all of London’s up and coming new bands and the album was actually complete, but he held release of the album and asked Nutz to quickly record their new track Bootliggers, and then added it on to his new album titled The New Wave Of Heavy Metal. The album was a smash hit and opened a whole new genre of hard rock.
The newly formed Carrere Records then signed the boys up to have a second stab at that elusive stardom. New clothes were bought and a new image designed (Lots of leather and bright colours) With more emphasis on David Lloyd as the front man with his mane of red hair and movie star looks, studio time was booked and the band given as much time as they needed to put down an album.
At this point a name change was thought to be a good idea (whether it was or not, who knows?). So after the years of frustration behind them, the title of Rage was decided to be very apt, and suitable for the times.
The bands first album Carrere- Out Of Control- was also given a five star rating by the new tome of Heavy Metal Kerrang and they were also given a full page spread in the very first edition with AC/DC of this once revered rock and roll bible.
Out Of Control was a perfect hard rock party album with every song rampaging along at full speed with a constant groove running through proceedings. The guitar solo on the opening track leaves you in no doubt that Mick Devonport had lost none of his chops during his sojourn in Guernsey.
The single from the album She’s On Fire went straight to number one on the Bandwagon Hard Rock chart, David Lloyd’s vocals putting him at the top of the Hard Rock vocalist pile. A showcase gig was set up at the world famous Marquee club in London and immediately sold out and another second date was swiftly arranged. In the audience were members of Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, and Angelwitch, all coming to see how this hard rockin music is done by the big boys. Needless to say the concerts were a huge success.
A tour of Britain’s smaller halls was lined up and the band gigged everywhere that people wanted to see them. Full of confidence the band added Terry Steers on rhythm guitar to fill out the live sound. Terry was also great at rabble rousing the crowd as John and Mick showed off at the front.
Rage were on a roll, so it was back in the studio to record the album that was perhaps the pinnacle of their career, Nice ‘n’ Dirty, with probably the most politically incorrect album cover of all time. As usual the boys wouldn’t back off by changing the cover, therefore most major record chain shops refused to stock the album. So whilst you could go to the concerts and hear all the great new songs such as American Radio Stations, Wasted Years and new live set open Silver And Gold, it was almost impossible to actually buy the album.
Then, once again, the world caved in on the boys. First they went out on nationwide tour with Uriah Heep on their Conquest tour, by which time all of the members of Uriah Heep hated each other and the tour had to be terminated halfway through due to the impossibility of getting the headliners on stage all at the same time. Dreadful reviews didn’t help either. A Sounds magazine headline read The Agony & The Ecstasy with a picture of Uriah Heep’s lead guitarist under agony and Mick Devonport under Ecstasy. The review went on to say the tour roles should be reversed and Rage should headline. This did not exactly help band relations on the tour bus.
With the tour finished and Carrere Records in financial trouble Rage were bundled back into the studio for another album, but after the experiences of the previous few months the boys weren’t ready and, quite honestly, the resulting album Run For The Hills is patchy at best. Carrere Records then collapsed in a financial heap. A final tour supporting Meatloaf found them playing to a very unsympathetic audience. This really was the end for Nutz / Rage.
John Mylett was tragically killed in a motorcar accident on Holiday two weeks after Rage were over.
At one time Mylett was so convinced that one day his band would make it he had had turned down the drum seat in AC/DC. When he went for the audition Angus Young asked him to play unaccompanied an AC/DC song. So John went to work thrashing everything in sight for five minutes of devastation. When he had finished Angus Young asked the drummer “Exactly which AC/DC song was that supposed to be?” To which Mylo replied “All of them!”
David Lloyd had at one time turned down an offer of lead singer with Uriah Heep. Now perhaps that was a better idea.
The Band as an epitaph recorded: So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, as a single under the name of Spitfire as they were convinced that certain elements of the press had it in for them. They tried to have a hit under the name of Spitfire………. Silly Fokker’s.
Later the remaining members of Rage gigged around the Liverpool scene with David Lloyd forming a band with Steve Morris called Sliced Bread. Steve Morris turns up again in Garth Rocket and the Moonshiners, which had a certain Ian Gillan on lead vocals and Keith Mulholland on bass. Keith Mulholland plays to this day with Mick Devonport in covers band the Space Cadets. Keith also plays in various Liverpool bands including Deep Purple tribute band, Cheap Purple, and covers band Red Rock. The Nutz/Rage story is one of a great band, great days, and a great shame they never became stars.
But there may still be one more pages to the story; at the beginning of this year David Lloyd, Keith Mulholland and Mick Devonport went back in the studio to see if that magic spark was still there. Four Tracks were laid down in three days and they sound magnificent.
So who knows maybe the story isn’t over yet.
Mick Devonport /Lead Guitar and Vocals.
Keith Mulholland/ Bass Guitar and Vocals.
John Mylett/ Drums.
David Lloyd/ Lead vocals.
(The last two with Kenny Newton on Keyboards)
Albums as Rage
Out Of Control.
Run For The Night.
(The last two with Terry Steers on Guitar and Vocals)
It was whilst browsing the shelves of our local Supermarket that I came across a Classic Rock presents Prog Magazine. On a whim I bought it and it turned to be the usual content – thirty percent articles on old bands from the late sixties and early seventies which are just rehashed words of facts and figures well trodden over the years, probably by the same Journalists, thirty percent on people you have never heard of before and are never likely to hear of ever again. The remaining forty percent, where basically the magazines interest lies, is in the colorful and informative adverts. I flicked through it and left it by the toilet for further reference. These magazines usually come with some form of free gift as an inducement to get you to part with your cash, in this case it was a CD whose content usually rivals those of the actual magazine itself, simply retreading old songs that are on every compilation album or contributions from aspiring stars who are tripping over themselves to be heard. So it was with some indifference that I slotted the offending item into the car player and headed off to the Pub. Just as I was arriving, there was the semblance of a decent song coming out of the speakers, and I thought that would be nice for the return journey, but did not exactly hold my breath during the ensuing hours.
Upon arrival home that night, I had already played the song five times and was proclaiming it to be the biggest discovery since Columbus said “Is that India I see?” Surprisingly, while rising in the morning and replaying the track, I was still just as impressed. The band is called Panic Room although I would hardly call them Progressive Rock, certainly the Classic Rock tag sticks. The track itself was on the Prognosis 19 album from Prog Magazine and was culled from Panic Room’s Second album ‘Satellite’ and was called Sandstorm. So I immediately got myself a copy and found it to be quite superbly stratospheric.
They are a female fronted band in the very shapely form of one Anne-Marie Helder. Now I have always been a bit of a fan of the girls getting out in front of a good rock band, but in recent years they have been in alarmingly short supply, and you have to think back to the early Seventies to when there were several lovely girls making the rock scene.
One has to only think back to the days of Elkie Brooks in Vinegar Joe, now there was a girl who could sing. She used to rush the front of the stage in tiny leather mini skirt, no bigger than a belt it was. Sonja Kristina was beauty at the front of Curved Air and sang like an Angel whilst oozing sex appeal from her shawl; Maggie Bell was a terrific front gal. These days, unless you watch that Simon Cowell program, there are not many of the fair sex actually rocking out down the front, but this girl is the real deal and where has she been hiding? Well she has been around for a few years releasing her own solo albums and was a member of Karnataka with three other members of this band, but that band is another story.
This is a far more rocking departure. The band are a Classic Rock quintet with Jonathan Edwards playing the Phantom of the Opera role on keyboards, never frightened to actually come out and dominate a song if the feel is there, and also available to lay a wall of sound down for the rest of the band to play round when the occasion calls. Guitarist Paul Davies is a revelation with a beautiful precise clear sound, attacking and yet melodic, switching his playing around, one minute playing well within himself before mid song blasting out in heroic fashion. The Rhythm section of Alun Vaughan on Bass and Gavin Griffiths on Drums are rock solid as required, spotting every note with precision and pace. This is not to say that the band is stuck in one sound although they are immediately recognizable from Anne-Marie Helder’s vocals which play to each song. The album Satellite comes in two delightful chapters. The first being the main body of work, eleven songs encompassing many stories. Opening with the striding Freedom To Breathe, which gives the entire band a chance to flex their musical muscle, and making the listener pay attention as the rhythm is driven into you. From here the album charges on until the third song which is the delightful I Am A Cat; complete with its front room piano, purrs, meows, scratches, smirks, giggles and tantrums bringing a pleasant levity to the album. Every song has its own qualities and strong points making it all a pleasant adventure at first before wrapping itself around you like a warm blanket. The whispered introduction to Sunshine by Anne-Marie Helder is by far sexier than anything sung by Marilyn Monroe to John Kennedy. Dark Star is as close as the band venture into actual heavy metal with its stomping beat and rocking chorus with searing guitars and keyboards. The first disc ends with the title track Satellite an epic power ballad in the Progressive Rock style with a huge dollop of emotive singing from Ms. Helder. If this song was set up as a showcase, it works in every division.
The second disc titled Little Satellite features four equally impressive tracks and although I have to say I can’t see how they would have fitted in on the first one, they are a solid addition with the aforementioned introductory track Sandstorm played in its full length at over Ten minutes (the longest track on the album) simmering to its peak.
Since recording the album Alun Vaughan has already flown the band in pursuit of a solo career while his permanent replacement, Yatim Halimi, seems to have slotted in nicely with the band continuing without a blip if sightings of them at the Cambridge festival are anything to go on. Such a long time since something a little different pleased one.
The album itself was recorded over a two week period giving it a very immediate feel, keeping the spontaneity at its finger tips rather than letting the production clutter the basic instincts of the band. One wishes Panic Room all the best in the future as they take to the road in December of 2011 with a new album due in 2012.
Kim Fletcher says….
For more information on Panic Room, visit their official website HERE.
Whitesnake hit the stage at exactly nine o’clock and opened with a roaring ‘Best Years’ from ‘Good to be Bad’ from 2008. The band was fired up and immediately had the effect on the audience, a perfect match. Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach, the bands two Guitarists’, who are Whitesnake veterans, coming up for a decade in the band; showed off their prowess all night. Relative newcomers to the Snake’s line up are Michael Devin on Bass and Brian Tichy on Drums. (last time I had looked there had been a Thai man on Bass Guitar named after Uriah Heep). Needless to say as Whitesnake is definitely a working band they locked the rhythm section down tight. New boy on Keyboards Brian Ruedy added the necessary Whitesnake wall of sound even contributing two well-taken solos. As for the man himself, David Coverdale was in tremendous form, and commanded the stage imperiously, showboating all night long, doing things to the microphone stand that certainly made more than one girl look twice. After the third song Mr. Coverdale greeted Singapore with a cheerful “ Good Evening Singapore. Hmm, Hot and Sticky, just the way I like it”.
So what did we actually get? In over two hours of rock’n’roll we got almost twenty song; going back to one from ‘Ready and Willing’ from 1980 and then traveling through time from ‘Saints and Sinners’, two from ‘Slide it In’ to the most recent release‘ Forevermore’. The sound was pure rock’n’roll. Loud and crisp. The light show spectacular. The set was well paced. The crowd ecstatic. The mid set guitar duel between Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach was fun. The drum solo from Brian Tichy got one of the biggest cheers of the night. Starting out clattering away with his sticks, he soon switched to luminous sticks that were propelled into the crowd, once the last of these had disappeared he continued thrashing around his kit with his bare hands to many cheers from the crowd. If only all drum solos could be this entertaining.
The band then brought their set to a triumphant conclusion with the big Whitesnake hits, when even the grey haired and balding fraternity middle of the crowd could be seen dusting off their Air guitars and letting it all hang out, whilst the youngsters down the front were all in seventh heaven. As for where the female section of the crowd had learnt their dancing techniques, I shall have to leave that to your imagination.
There was no way the audience were going to let them go after that and the band bounced back with a hammering version of the Whitesnake classic ‘Still Of the Night’. Grins were splitting the Band and audience faces apart. From there we were lulled into David Coverdale dismissing the Band to go A Cappella into the old Deep Purple ballad ‘Soldier Of Fortune’. On their return the band tore into ‘Burn’, which turned into ‘Stormbringer‘ and then back to ‘Burn’ again. After this with the crowd cheering loudly the first strains of the usual closing ‘We Wish You Well’ could be heard coming from the PA. But still the band had not finished with Singapore. As they came back Coverdale could be heard shouting at his drummer “ I hope you remember this one!’’ as they launch into ‘Bad Boys’ which morphed into ‘Children Of the Night’. A brilliant finish.
David Coverdale -Throat and microphone stand.
Doug Aldrich -Lead Guitar.
Reb Beach – Lead Guitar.
Michael Devin -Bass Guitar.
Brian Tichy- Drums.
Brian Ruedy- Keyboards.
Entrance Song: My Generation by the Who.
Give me All Your Love.
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Is This Love?
Steal Your Heart Away.
Lonely Days Lonely Nights (Just a snippet sung by David Coverdale A Cappella.)
Guitar Duel with Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach.
Can You Hear The Wind Blow?
Love Will Set You free.
Drum Solo Brian Tichy.
Slow an Easy (short jam)
The Deeper The Love.
Fool For Your Loving.
Here I Go Again.
Still Of The Night.
Soldier Of Fortune.
Bad Boys/Children Of the Night.