A year ago, back at a time when live music was just a distant memory, Ricky Warwick delivered his stunning solo album, ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’. The album featured highly on our 2021 Album of the Year list but since then Warwick has been unable to tour the album.
That is until now, as with restrictions withdrawn Warwick and his band The Fighting Hearts are able to hit the road once again and tonight they find themselves at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich.
THE HOWLING TIDES
First on stage this evening are young rockers The Howling Tides who make the most of their time with a splendid performance. The four-piece get the crowd engaged early on with the likes of ‘White Crow’ and ‘Crack My Soul’.
They are followed by the criminally underrated The Virginmarys who are emerging from the pandemic as a two-piece. Having witnessed the band live many times, I was interested to see how this new dynamic would work and whether they’d maintain their power.
Thankfully that power is still there, as is a new layer of ferocity as the band plough through a setlist featuring many new songs. These new songs offer great promise, whilst older favourites such as ‘Running For My Life’ and ‘Just A Ride’ remind of just how good this band are.
RICKY WARWICK & THE FIGHTING HEARTS
It’s not long thereafter that Eminem’s iconic ‘Lose Yourself’ blasts out and Ricky Warwick and The Fighting Hearts grace the stage. They burst straight into life with ‘Gunslinger’, ‘Over the Edge’ and ‘The Road to Damascus Street’ riling the audience up.
As if fronting The Almighty, Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders wasn’t enough, Warwick has also established a successful solo career over the years. This was punctuated last year with the release of ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’. Tonight’s show is a mixture of each aspect of this unlikely career, including the likes of ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Finest Hour’ from “the day job” as Warwick terms it.
Whilst these big hitters a natural highlights, it’s telling that the true highlights come from ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’ including the title track, ‘You’re My Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Still Alive’. This just goes to show that at this stage of his career Warwick is perhaps tunnelling his experiences into producing his best work.
It helps tonight that he is backed by a tight band that helps bring his visions to life. There are a good number of The Almighty tracks in the set tonight and it’s ‘Free ‘n’ Easy’ that brings the evening to a close; a thoroughly enjoyable evening of the hard rock majesty that we’ve missed these past couple of years.
2021 has been another tough year to live through. There have been some signs of normal life, for example the return of live music, but we end it as we started with true normality a distant memory.
This year has however been a stunning year for new music releases. Yes, lockdown musicians and the odds are their creativity will take over. In Full Pelt Music’s first full year of existence we have reviewed 65 albums and the quality of those releases has been exceptional.
Last year we counted down our Top 20 albums of the year, with a special Advent Calendar countdown on our Twitter. This year we have expanded! Our 2021 countdown has taken place across all our social platforms, and has listed our Top 50 albums of the year!
With that social media countdown completed, it’s now time to compile our completed Top 50 in one place. So let’s get started!
What we said:
“there are stunning moments spread throughout the album”
The quality of this year’s releases has been truly phenomenal as our opening 30 albums attests. The competition is extremely tight for the coveted top spot and that is clear throughout the prestigious Top 20 that follows.
What we said:
“a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future”
Hundred Reasons return for tour team-up with Hell Is For Heroes
Welcome to another weekly News Report where we roundup the best music news from the past week. Starting proceedings this week is the news that Hundred Reasons are back!
The band has only played a handful of shows in the last twelve or so years, but now the band is set for nine shows in early 2022. Contemporaries and fellow rarities Hell Is For Heroes will provide support, making this an unmissable tour for fans of early 2000’s rock music.
Moving onto festivals now in our News Report and first up is Lincolnshire event Call of the Wild. The festival has announced the line-up for their 2022 edition set for 19th to 22nd of May at Lincolnshire Showground.
On the bill are Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts, The Treatment, Massive Wagons, Raging Speedhorn, Revival Black, The Dust Coda, King Creature, Florence Black, Howling Tides, Hollowstar, Empyre and many more.
Bullet For My Valentine also have a new album on the way. Their self-titled release will arrive October 22nd. This week the band continued to prepare for the new arrival with the debut of new single ‘Parasite’.
Ricky Warwick – When Life Was Hard And Fast – Album Review
Over the course of his career Ricky Warwick has kept himself very busy. Warwick has a CV boasting the likes of The Almighty, Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy among others. He has also found time for a prolific solo career when not otherwise occupied.
There have been times when Warwick has found himself disillusioned by music and his solo work has provided new focus. Since the inception of Black Star Riders however, Warwick is a man on a mission, fully rejuvenated and in love with music.
That trademark passion is found in abundance on ‘When Life Was Hard And Fast’, the latest solo effort from Warwick. From the opening title track through ‘You Don’t Love Me’ and ‘I’d Rather Be Hit’ it’s already clear that this is Warwick at his very best.
‘Gunslinger’ and ‘Never Corner A Rat’ keep the engine roaring as the album attacks your senses and gets your feet stomping and your head banging. Pandemic allowing, Warwick is due to tour this album with his own backing group ‘The Fighting Hearts’. Listening to these songs really whets the appetite for what will surely be a great tour.
As well as the hard rocking side of Warwick, the album also dabbles with his softer acoustic past. The beautiful ‘Time Don’t Seem To Matter’ adding a little melancholy to the middle of the album. That’s before ‘Fighting Heart’ and ‘I Don’t Feel At Home’ pick up the pace again and show a little more sheen.
‘Still Alive’ however is straight back to the classic hard rock sound that Warwick has perfected. It is then down to ‘Clown of Misery’ and ‘You’re My Rock ‘N Roll’ to close out the album and showcase the depth of talent that Warwick possesses.
Certain releases include a bonus album of covers – ‘Stairwell Troubadour’ which is also fantastic. The covers chosen are at times surprising, but they are a real treat. If you ever wanted to hear Warwick cover artists as diverse as Britney Spears and Iron Maiden, track this deluxe version down!
Americans Weezer have made good on their promises of new album ‘OK Human’. Only announced recently, the album arrived on Friday. We have, of course, already reviewed the album and it certainly doesn’t disappoint!
Ricky Warwick previews new album ‘When Life Was Hard & Fast’
Ricky Warwick is gearing up for the release of his new solo album ‘When Life Was Hard & Fast’ on February 19th. This week Warwick released the video for the albums title track, which you can view above.
As you can see above, The Flaming Lips recently played two special shows. The band and their fans enjoyed the gigs from inside giant inflatable balls. Whilst we hope and pray that this is not the future of live music, they certainly do look fun!
The Black Heart needs your help!
Speaking about the future of live music, many of our beloved music venues are still in desperate need of support. If we want live music to return to our grassroots venues we need to help them now.
One such venue is the iconic Black Heart in Camden. The venue has made an urgent appeal to raise funds in order to ensure its survival.