We’re fully embedded in the new year now, so it must be time for music fans to get back into the UK’s fine music venues. In fact we are close to the ever important, Independent Venue Week, so it’s great to start the year at one such venue – Epic Studios in Norwich.
The versatile venue can host events of all sorts but on this bitterly cold January evening, it hosts lots of denim and leather rockers as British Lion come to town!
The final night of a full UK Tour, the band led by the legendary Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, attract a very healthy crowd tonight. Those in attendance are treated to not one but two accomplished support acts with the first of those, Airforce, in full effect as most attendees enter the venue.
Musically very suitable to supporting a member of Maiden, Airforce make the most of their short time on stage with a succinct and vociferous performance which no doubt wins over any uninitiated in the audience.
Next up is Voodoo Six, a band that Maiden/Lion fans will be very familiar with. The band stepped in on short notice to fill the void left by Canadian group Coney Hatch being unable to fulfil the tour.
Disappointing for some, for others like myself, this was actually an upgrade. Voodoo Six have consistently put out quality music and put on great shows for two decades now. Numerous line-up changes haven’t prevented the band putting out six albums and playing shows all over the world.
Tonight, they are on top form once again with an assured performance, mixing tracks old and new, to the delight of the crowd. Perennially tipped for bigger things, perhaps that ship has sailed but the constant of quality music and great shows doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as Voodoo Six once again show themselves to be criminally underrated.
Finally the time arrives for British Lion to take to the stage and they naturally receive a hero’s welcome. It’s the last show of the tour but also a (close to) hometown show for a number of the members, so the atmosphere is relaxed and the band let the music do the bulk of the talking.
The group have two albums in the bank at this point and the set list is a good mix of the two. Harris and co are able to give a good account of themselves, with singer Richard Taylor even acknowledging the apparent identity crisis that the band often have thrust upon them by others.
Long since dispelled as a mere solo project for Harris, since their inception in 2012 the group has evolved and that’s evident tonight with the stage presence of Taylor as exhibit A. This is a package now and not a vessel for Harris alone.
That makes the spectacle greater as far as the live show goes and places more emphasis on the music as opposed to the “oh look there’s Steve Harris” feeling for their early shows. It’s great to see and will hopefully lead to greater longevity from the project.
As this tour draws to a close with ‘Eyes of the Young’, British Lion may take a step back to Iron Maiden once again, but with performances like tonight you know it won’t be long before the band are reunited onstage again.
Download Festival reveals 20th Anniversary line-up
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with festival announcements and where else could we start other than the monster 20th Anniversary line-up announcement from Download Festival!
Extended to four days this year the event will feature two unique headline sets from Metallica, the return of Donington icons Slipknot and a well deserved top billing for Bring Me The Horizon.
Other big slots are taken by the likes of Alexisonfire, Architects, The Distillers, Disturbed, Evanescence, Ghost, I Prevail, Parkway Drive, Pendulum, Placebo, Simple Plan, Ville Valo and Within Temptation.
It doesn’t stop there and also playing will be the likes of The Blackout, Fever 333, Kid Kapichi, Nova Twins, Seether and Witch Fever.
In celebration of their 40th Anniversary, James have announced a new UK ‘James Lasted’ Tour complete with 22-piece orchestra and gospel choir!
Tim Booth says “There are a number of great bands who have been around for 40. But to get here and to be having the best time of our lives. To be part of a supportive loving family that still has something to say and new ways to say it. To be turned on by every gig and song. To fall in love over and over again, Groundhog Day, with our bandmates and audience. Damn. That’s time well spent.
We should have recorded the orchestra tour first time round, as many of you have reminded us. Well, we’ve done it now. And here comes the tour. The Orchestra and Gospel singers expand our palette, heighten the tenderness, heighten the celebration and, despite their numbers, somehow leave us feeling more naked and raw. It will be different, probably each night, because we are James and Joe knows how to dance with us. And because you are different, each night. Please leave your phones behind, come and play in the moment.”
Jim Glennie says “Has it really been 40 years? In some ways it feels like yesterday and in others, many lifetimes. I’ve lived a blessed existence, being in a band I’m supremely proud of with musicians that would grace any stage. A family of brothers and sisters, willing to support each other musically and emotionally. We are bloody minded and independent to the core. Uniquely challenging, always pushing ourselves into the new and taking risks collectively and individually, looking for transcendence. With love, trust, and acceptance we grow. Somewhere in a parallel universe, James are the biggest band on the planet. Here’s to another 40 years.”
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris will once again be taking British Lion on the road in the UK next January. Joining them for these shows will be Coney Hatch and Airforce.
Steve Harris comments, “We’re excited to be touring the UK again especially as we’ll be visiting many places we’ve not had a chance to play before. It’s fantastic that we’ve got long-time friends Coney Hatch coming over from Canada to join us. We had great fun when they were our special guests on the British Lion Canadian shows in 2018. And we’re happy to have our old mates Airforce back out on the road with us too. Everyone is really looking forward to this tour and we can’t wait to see everyone.”
Rockers Dirty Honey have announced a UK/EU Tour taking place early next year.
Prior to the tour, in January 2023, the band are set to release a brand new, re-recorded version of album track ‘Heartbreaker’.
“Some songs really come to life after they’ve been performed a bunch of times. You can really see an audience react to a line being sung a certain way or a riff grooving that you didn’t think of while recording in the studio. Over time we realized the song took on a new life on the road in both North America and Europe and we wanted to capture that energy….” – Marc Labelle, vocalist of Dirty Honey, talking about Heartbreaker 2.0
We move our News Report on now to the best new releases from the past week and we begin with Skindred!
The group this week announced new album, ‘Smile’, will be released August 4th. The band also shared new single, ‘GIMME THAT BOOM’, which you can check out above.
The track is based on a frustrating encounter lead singer Benji Webbe had with an overfamiliar fan.
“I was out shopping one day and I could hear someone building up asking me for a picture,” Webbe recalls. “The person didn’t care who I was with or what I was doing – they just wanted their picture. In this day and age, people want you and they expect to get you on tap, constantly giving you that ‘boom’ so they can get their Instagram Likes up. It’s important to remember that people can’t give you that ‘boom’ all the time. People think because they follow you on social media, they own you.”
Ahead of their UK Tour next month, The Dead Daisies have released new single, ‘Born To Fly’, which you can listen to above.
“Doug & I got together in New York earlier in the year and worked on a riff that I had written previously. Doug had a chorus that just fitted, we messed around with the melody and came up with the name ‘Born To Fly’. This is a straight-up rock song. For me it’s literal, I was born to fly. However we’re all born to fly in our own way.” – David Lowy
This week saw REWS share new single, ‘The World That Left You Behind’, which you can check out above.
“Ah! I’m ecstatic about finally releasing this song!! It’s got so much energy, riff’s for days and a great message!! I wrote it with a great friend of mine from NI, Cahir O’Doherty (New Pagans). It is a song that journey’s through how we can support those people in our lives who get carried away with negative thoughts and feel utterly lost and alone. Hopefully the song will provide a nice audio net for people to fall into at times of need, so they know they aren’t alone!” – Shauna
Dissonants have shared their huge new single ‘Grave Mind’.
‘Lyrically, Grave Mind is more conceptual than our previous work. I wrote the track from the viewpoint of someone on their deathbed looking back on their life and wondering if, now that it’s over and coming to a close, they can be happy and at peace. For this track we wanted to draw less from our own experiences and look at concepts such as mortality and happiness, and how one can affect the other’. – Frontman Benjie Allen.
M(h)aol – ‘Asking For It’
M(h)aol will release debut album, ‘Attachment Styles’ on February 3rd. This week they shared new single, ‘Asking For It’.
On the track singer Róisín said, “I wrote it initially in 2016 then revisited it in 2020. I was shocked by how much internalised victim blaming there was in the lyrics. I rewrote it, then we recorded it and it was released to raise money for Women’s Aid in 2021. The album version is a lot angrier than the 2021 one and almost satirical insofar as it’s highlighting how ludicrous the notion of anyone ‘asking for it’ is.”
Chasing Kites – ‘Shiver’
Bath-based indie-rock four-piece Chasing Kites return with their fourth single ‘Shiver’.
Speaking about the writing process, vocalist and lyricist Matt Donnelly explains, ‘’Shiver came together extremely quickly. I’d had the lyrics lying around for a very long time and felt they fit perfectly with the sonic side of the track when the melody was written. As we built on the skeleton of the song, our aim was to take us back into the realms of indie rock through powerful injections of energy in the choruses, while maintaining our commercial sound throughout.’’
Watch Episode 21 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Dissonants
Welcome to another edition of our weekly music News Report. We start this week with a line-up update from Slam Dunk Festival. The event has added the likes of The Story So Far, The Amity Affliction, Dream State and Spanish Love Songs.
They join the likes of the already announced Alexisonfire, Rancid and The Used. Slam Dunk takes place in Leeds and Hatfield over the weekend of 3rd and 4th June next year.
Tour news now and up first is Yonaka. The band will finally head out on a headline UK Tour in 2022, following the release of their latest record ‘Seize the Power’. The tour will finish up at the Forum in Kentish Town and includes nine other stops around the UK and Ireland.
Plenty of tours have had to reschedule due to the pandemic, and Trivium have announced that their tour will now take place in 2023. The tour which runs through Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Brixton Academy in London will see Heaven Shall Burn and Malevolence in support.
Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators announce album number four!
New music releases now in our News Report. This week saw Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators announce the release of their fourth studio album, named aptly ‘4’. The album is set for release on February 11th 2022.
Preceding the album is their brand new single, ‘The River Is Rising’, which you can listen to above.