Tag Archives: Iron Maiden

The Neon Knight Bows Out

The much-admired Woking, Surrey music producer and sound engineer MARTIN BIRCH died on 9 August 2020.

Martin “the farmer” Birch was closely associated with British rock acts such as Deep Purple, Rainbow, Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath,, and especially Iron Maiden.

BIRCH a.k.a. “the headmaster” is considered to have been (along with Tom Allom) a pioneering Metal producer.

Beck ola
Birch gained his first recognition for his work on The Faces 1970 album “The First Step” (producer/engineer.)

He produced ten Iron Maiden albums, from Killers (1981) through to Fear of the Dark (1992).

His “Piece of Mind” by Iron Maiden (1983) is often cited as the best produced metal record of all time.

He began his career as an audio engineer with Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple, and went on to produce and engineer eleven albums for Deep Purple. In fact, he gained his first recognition for his work on The Faces 1970 album “The First Step” (producer/engineer.)

He began at the old De Lane Lea Studios in London where Deep Purple’s Fireball (1971) was recorded (he worked as an engineer on the project) and later worked at the Battery Studios in Willesden, London (aka Zomba) where he worked on Killers, Iron Maiden (1981) among many other projects.

As a musician, Birch played rhythm guitar on Adam Faith’s “I Survive” (1974) , and he provided backing vocals for Roger Glover’s “Elements” (1978) and tape techniques for Maiden’s “Somewhere In Time” in 1986. He earned writing & arrangement credits for several recordings including: Maiden’s “Live After Death” (1985) and Whitesnake’s “Don’t Break My Heart Again” (1981).

Iron Maiden’s first album to feature vocalist Bruce DickinsonThe Number of the Beast” ( recorded in 1982, at Battery Studios) is often described, by rock ‘n’ metal cognoscenti, as “Metal’s Sergeant Pepper”. During the recording,      Birch was involved in a collision with a mini-bus transporting a group of nuns. According to legend, after the crash he was presented with a repair bill for £666!

Since his semi-retirement in 1992, and after producing Maiden’s Fear of the Dark, Birch had been mainly working on preparing box sets and re-releases.

Engineer & Producer Martin Birch
Engineer & Producer Martin Birch

Selected discography

1969 – Beck-Ola, Jeff Beck (engineer)
1970 – In Rock, Deep Purple (engineer)
1972 – Argus, Wishbone Ash (engineer)
1973 – Penguin, Fleetwood Mac (producer, engineer, mixing)
1975 – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (co-producer, engineer, mixing)
1980 – Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath (producer, engineer)
1982 – Saints & Sinners, Whitesnake (producer, engineer, mixing)
1982 – Assault Attack, Michael Schenker Group (producer, engineer)
1983 – Piece of Mind, Iron Maiden (producer)
1984 – Powerslave, Iron Maiden (producer, engineer, mixing)
1992 – Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden (producer, engineer, mixing)

Hollow Limit – The Hob, Staines 25th Oct

HollowLimit1Sweet and frothy on top – dark and mysterious when you delve deeper – stained and smeared with a light bloom of self-belief and a love-of-life, Hollow Limit is a joyful and optimistic young band – not doom laden and nihilistic like many of their melodic metalcore compatriots.

I was fortunate enough to see their recent performance at The Hob, Staines Sunday 25th October. Sharing the finesse of Avenged Sevenfold together with the egotistical majesty of Iron Maiden, these local lads have grand aspirations and tip-top musical talent to boot.

I loved the clean vocals (not too many metalcore growls) from Dan, the dual guitar symphonies from the twin guitar maestros of Tommy Goodrick and Mike Lidiard, the rattling rapid-fire drum notes  (with plenty of radiating blast beats) from Luke Veryard and, not forgetting, the exquisite bass patterns from George Pardoe.

Yes, hardcore Hanworth head-bangers Hollow Limit nail their symphonic intentions firmly to the mast right from the outset.

Their twin lead guitars take turns to tango, the shrieking breaks and rippin’ and searing solos tending to lacerate your eardrums. It soon becomes clear that the cruel intention of this lively and lucid band is  to frizzle your brain hair,  slap a smile upon your chops and twist your insides inside-out,  whilst simultaneously demolishing your ear-drums,  in an all-out tactical assault on your mind and body.

I particularly enjoyed the ‘Bon Jovi’ sounding shallow snarling low-points and well positioned breakdowns on ‘The Devils Hour’ but my favourite Hollow Limit number has to be ‘Our Desperate Story’ with its complex metal basslines, carved and exquisitely handcrafted riffs and inventive, adventurous, twisting leads.

Dan Evans is the band’s fresh cheeky-faced ‘cockney looking’ front-man (he looks like a character from those 1970’s ‘Confessions of a Window Cleaner’ type films – you can just imagine Dan shinning down the drainpipe with his shirt-tails flapping between his legs, because the headmistress’s husband –  known to us as ‘the colonel’   – has just arrived home unexpectedly …  you can then picture him having to hastily make off in the nearest possible vehicle – in this case a milk float – just before the Colonel appears blustering and red-faced at the door, weilding a shotgun.) His charmingly fresh
vocals tend to add clarity and counter-points to the intricate musical compositions whilst his cheeky boyish grin, mop of golden hair, and innocent smile adds to the bizarre sense of ‘Britishness’ that pervades the overall style of this group.

If you like metal and you are looking for an authentic British equivalent to Avenged Sevenfold, with a capacity to produce astonishing, twisting and turning aural landscapes where grungy gravely low chords are cut through by exciting high points, then your are gonna just lurve Hollow Limit.

See ‘em now before they become too old!

© Neil_Mach
October 2009

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/hollowlimit

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The James Warner Prophecies – Hob Staines

the James Warner PropheciesThe quixotic charm of The James Warner Prophecies is that their music contains a myriad of styles, oeuvres and impressions – much like J-Rock –  but theirs is less disposable pop in style and more harmonic indie in ambition. Thus we get thick slices of American Punk (i.e. think ‘Bad Religion’) laced generously with Brit indie folk sound reminiscent of ‘The Magic Numbers’.

So with The James Warner Prophecies you get melodic singing together with hardcore drum beats and haunting flute.  Yeah, I know it shouldn’t work. But it does.  Just.  Sometimes you feel poised on the edge of something a little too grand and opulent to be really honest …  but then the twinkle-in-the-eye  gentle humour of the band shines through,  and the result is an agreeable love fest of sound and virtue.

Benign Rasputin-like figure Joe Brown is the mighty front-man power-house lead singer/guitar of the band. Striding about the stage looking like a kindly ginger version of Edward Teach (the notorious pirate) – with an enormous burning red beard and a savage glint in his cruel eye. Instead of cutlass and sword, though, we get electric mandolin & guitar – but the results are similarly battle hardened with an abundance of inventive fireworks from the fret-boards and vindictive encounters with the spiteful strings of the mandolin.

Bringing some calm and beauty to the proceedings, Kate Rounding plays a mournful flute on many songs, plus the haunting chords on Korg. I understand Kate also adds violin to the mix – but we didn’t see her fiddle at The Hob. Lanky long-haired hippy Matt Anthony adds some low inventive and, ultimately, reassuring bass to the songs and the ‘Noel Fielding’ look-alike Dan Williams in assured and competent on drums.

The band moved ruthlessly from song-to-song keeping up the pressure and starting with an appropriately named tune ‘Braincell Piracy’ before launching into ‘King of The Killers’, then onto ‘Judas Stone’ and ‘The Itch’. The big end to the show was their ‘Set The World on Fire’ track (the unimaginatively named) ‘Mandolin Song’. This song has some fierce fretting from Joe (on mandolin) with audacious flares of light and fire from Kate and plenty of pounding crashing percussion from Dan and Matt. A truly exciting and heart pummelling joy of a song.

From my own point of view, I would prefer something a bit more languid and soulfully helpful from Kate (at times it seemed like her contributions were repetitive and almost go through-the-motions routine in content) and I would also like a little less sympathy from the band for the folk-country traditions of their home county (Derbyshire) and a little more hard driving rock from the ensemble … but that is just my personal taste.

Overall, though, the band makes a positive contribution to the Rock / Folk Rock scene. The band members are a jolly hardworking crew with a capable and naturally talented energy. I Strongly recommend that you see their live show soon.

© Neil_Mach
October 2009

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/thejameswarnerprophecies

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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Rock Out at Staines

Overthrow at Staines

Overthrow
Feb 12 2009
Hobgoblin
Staines
With: MR KAMIKAZE + THE NEW ASSASSINS


Overthrow are a 4 piece band from Guildford in the UK. They have been playing together for about two and a half years. Throughout the last year they have been gigging across the country, and also recording a new six track EP “So Much Power, So Little Time” which is OUT NOW!!

Lots of energy and motivation is guaranteed… so come and see ’em!

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See the ADPONTES Review of the NEW ASSASSINS here…one of STAINES favourite bands!

2.

Classic Rock & Heavy Metal – Staines

Raw Glory at Shepperton

Raw Glory
Feb 15 2009
Dog & Partridge
Staines


Raw Glory is Ronnie Garrity (bass), Paul Manzi (vocals), Mick Underwood
(drums), Cosmo (guitar)…

Over many years Mick Underwood has played, toured and recorded with a host of artists as diverse as  Paul Rodgers (Free and Bad Company). Some of the bands he was a member of include The Outlaws, The Herd (with Peter Frampton), Episode Six, Quatermass, Peace, Strapps, Gillan (with 4 Top 20 albums, 2 of which were Top 3), Quatermass II and so on… as well as far too many recording sessions to remember, let alone list in their entirety.

Cosmo toured extensively in the UK and US with The Heavy Metal Kids, and then Curtis Knight & the Squires (a former member of Jimi Hendrix’ pre-Experience band). He has also worked with Frankie Miller, Andy Fraser (Free), Lionel Morton (The Four Pennies), David Jack (East Of Eden), Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Brian Connolly (Sweet) and the legendary Jordanaires (Elvis’ backing group) – the list is endless!

www.myspace.com/rawgloryrock


3.

Rock, Soul & Country  – Shepperton

Micky Kemp Band Shepperton


Micky Kemp
Band

Feb 14 2009
Barley Mow
Shepperton


Micky Kemp writes the songs, plays rythmn geetar and sings,

His devastating good looks and charm have made him a big hit with the over 70’s and under 5’s, it seems to have failed miserably on all points between.

He is ably assisted by One of the UK’S great guitarists, Ex Ian Hunter etc etc Darrell Bath. Darrell sings a bit too and plays lead guitar, a master of understated playing and tone perfection, Dazza loves playing guitar, drinking and british sitcoms, he can be found most evenings watching George and Mildred.

Link:

www.myspace.com/mickykempband

4.

Stunning Jazz & Latin Singer – Live in Ascot

Trudy Kerr Jagz Ascot

Trudy Kerr
Feb 15 2009
Jagz
Ascot

Trudy has been singing at JAGZ for more than ten years. A very versatile singer who has entertained our Saturday revellers as well as the more serious jazzers on a Sunday. She now prefers the more serious side of the business and is only working the major jazz clubs in town or on tour.

Her musicians with her at the JAGZ show are Michael Garrick, piano, Geoff Gascoyne, bass, and Sebastion De Krom, drums.

Sunday, 15th February
Show will start at 1pm to 3.30pm
Ticket cost: £6.00
Special offer, entrance and roast lunch £12

Link:

www.myspace.com/trudykerr




5.

Awesome Classic Rock Covers Band – in Windsor

Netherworld at Old Ticket Hall Windsor

Netherworld
Feb 13 2009
Old Ticket
Hall
Windsor


Fronted by the amazingly talented Jason Stretch on vocals and guitar, backed by the brilliant bass playing and vocals of Paul Smith and the dynamic drumming of Ian Roberts, NETHERWORLD ROCKS. Covering the best classic rock songs known to this planet, you will not fail to be impressed by the superbly tight musicianship of these three heavyweight players … Previous gigging and recording credits include; Steve Harris(Iron Maiden) Hal Lindes(Dire Straits) Neil Murray (Whitesnake/Black Sabath/Queen)… check the ADPONTES-STAINES live review here.

THE OLD TICKET HALL, WINDSOR, SL4
Cost: £3
+ DJ PLAYING 80’s & 90’s HITS – BAR OPEN TILL 2AM

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/netherworldrock

Other local dates for NETHERWORLD fans:

Mar 1 2009      5:00P The Dog & Partridge     Staines
Mar 7 2009      8:00P  Hounslow Staff Social Club    

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2 Sick Monkeys

STAINES  HOBGOBLIN
Thursday 29th January 2009

2 Sick Monkeys

2 Sick Monkeys

When the strange character (looking like the spurned son of 70’s comic Bobby Ball- I piggin’ hate you, Tommy) burst onto the stage and screamed “Hello, Goodbye! We are havin’ a party… you’ll f**** love it!” the audience automatically started to protect their softer nether regions whilst backing carefully and slowly away in a wide-eyed and anxious state of alarm. Groomed hair was about to become dangerously ruffled, unsullied minds were about to be torn up and messed with, and the pretensions and mediocrities of living a comfortable and predictable life in Staines were about to be pushed violently aside in an anarchic attack upon our precious Surrey/Berkshire claims and soft eardrums. Then the chattering, rolling, thundering onslaught upon nerves and ears proceeded. And what a pleasure the pain truly was.

Pete Tower is the bass playing virtuoso mad-monkey frontman…a highly volatile incarnation of Ian Dury, combustible and highly unpredictable. He should be marked ‘danger UXB’ and placed in a lead-lined box for safety. Instead he is whirling around our pub like an out-of-control firecracker spitting and hissing like some cross between a banshee and a venomous python. He is smiling one minute- snarling and grimacing the next. He is up. He is down. He is enraged, he is calm. Hello, goodbye… he is all the things you hate and everything you love. He is like a one-man chemical reaction to everything you have to endure in this filthy world -releasing a spontaneous spume of exothermic energy into the cold night air.

Accompanying him on the drums is the one-man percussive army of Fred Nus whose style is so self-confident and aggressive that he would have triumphed single-handedly against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 BC and would have told the 300 that they
were ‘as soft as shite’ and to ‘sod off back to Sparta’ because he has got it ‘all in hand’.

The band played a rollicking selection of what Pete called ‘jazz songs’ and he continued to insist (because nobody dared to argue with this profane mad-hatter mentalist, no matter how tongue-in-cheek) that 2 Sick Monkeys were a West Country Jazz band. But the rapid street level gutter punk-politics of threatening, gesturing and gurning were always there like a bad smell in the kitchen sink.

My favourite song in the 2 monkeys scrapbook was “Why” as in…”Why are we always making bombs? Why do we have to suck so much American cock? Why? Why Why?”  Pete is like the Banksy of punk rock. Many of the 2 songs are nice n’ easy to follow … 2-bit 2-word choruses 2-chord riffs and 2 part formulas.  But these stencilled 2-dimensional guerilla songs disguise an anti-establishment, anti-war and anti-capitalist profusion of rage and hysteria…albeit nicely packaged into neat and carefully presented tasty titbits for the world-weary consumer.

Pete is like the intellectually superior wino-vagrant that you see (but try to ignore) each morning in the shop doorway. Moist, dishevelled, smelly, rotten, revolting even; But he is genuine in a way that you are not. He is contented in a way that you will never be and- most importantly- he can chat his way out of things and rat his way into things in a way that you will never be able to copy. He uses an astonishing display of erudition that leaves you way, way behind …you are completely out of your class with this grinning , gymnastic, gold-winning, mindgaming street athlete and the mental stunts that he can perform.

I absolutely loved it that the 2 Sick Monkeys ripped apart the entrails of Green Day’s “American Hero” before flinging the remains of this ‘sacred song’ unceremoniously onto the dancefloor for the grovelling masses to recoil from in feign horror. The band interpreted this song ‘as played by Slipknot’ but I noticed that Fred Nus provided the true and clear Green Day chorus towards the end of the number. This was a tried-and-tested theatrical device that helped to alleviate the unconcealed pressure that was building up in the minds of  loyalist punks everywhere and was successful in restoring the song back into the hearts of the punters as a worthy punk anthem.

The bass attack of Pete has to be seen to be believed. I am sure that I have never witnessed such competent, confident and yet furious bass-playing before. In normal circumstances virtuosity is frowned upon in the world of punk rock. But the credentials of this worthy band are intact because it is a two-piece and so, you tell yourself, Pete has to be a remarkable player…just to get the most from this limited set-up. The band bill themselves as ‘A small outfit with a big sound’ but this doesn’t do justice to the mighty accomplishments of these two West Country performers. The cider with rosie, wooden skittles and smell of sawdust is never far away- not surprising for a band from Wootton Bassett, Swindon but the two punksters-extraordinaire also project an authentic and very urban sound and style- almost as alienating and as it is intense
-feelgood punk sound as it should be.

A tactical assault on your sensibilities… walk the fine line between hope and despair with 2 Sick Monkeys as soon as you can… it is essential.

© Neil_Mach
Jan 2009


Link:

www.myspace.com/2sickmonkeys

Feb 13 2009     8:00P The Victoria         Swindon
Feb 14 2009     8:00P F*** Valentine     The Grosvenor     Stockwell
Feb 21 2009     8:00P The Victoria         Deptford
Feb 27 2009     8:00P The Gaff              London
Feb 28 2009     8:00P New Cross Inn     London

Keep checking AdPontes-Staines for news, reviews, articles and gig-guide

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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

‘Jam’ with everything – Guildford

Jam DRC

Jam DRC (The Jam Tribute)
Jan 10 2009      8:00P The Boileroom     Guildford. Surrey

Jam DRC is the foremost Jam covers band and this week you have a chance to catch the band at Guildford.

A mutual love for The Jam is the driving force behind The Jam DRC. Named after the 5CD box set, which gathers together pretty much everything the Jam ever recorded, The Jam DRC are Jam fans playing Jam songs.

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/jamdrc

The Boileroom, 13 Stokefields, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4LS

http://www.theboileroom.net/

2.

MONKEYSUIT MUSIC- WITH DJ Mark is Egg

Tripwires


10 Jan 7:00 Firestation Arts Centre, Windsor – The Tripwires

You know MONKEYSUIT for their outstanding events at The Oakford Social Club and so we are very happy to have them nearby at WINDSOR

The Monekysuit headliners have yet to be confirmed but Tripwires and The Good Natured are all on board, as are Monkeysuit’s resident DJ’s DJ Mark Is Egg and The Plundercats, so pretty convinced this is going to smash it!

Links:

http://www. myspace. com/monkeysuitmusic

http://www. myspace. com/tripwires

http://www. myspace. com/thegoodnatured

Tickets £5 (all ages) and more info from http://www. firestationartscentre. com


3.

Classic Rock, Funk and Soul –  Windsor

Double JD

10 Jan 2009 9:00P  DOUBLE JD at THE OLD TICKET HALL, WINDSOR  £3


Double JD are one of the premier covers bands in the south of England. Too many bands play what they want to play – they play what you want to hear! Their brand of high energy Rock, Soul, Funk and Blues covers will have you singing and dancing from the start.

You can’t beat variety. These boys will ensure that you will never be more than a song or two away from one you know and love. How many bands play Wilson Picket, then Elvis? Or Cream then Stevie Wonder? They will want you to have a good time and to do that, they will keep the set fresh, upbeat, dancable and full of huge sing-alongs.

If you miss ’em at Windsor – try to catch ’em here:

Fri 23 Jan – The Stag, Farnham Common 9:00P

Sat 7 Feb  – Wooburn Club, Wooburn Green 9:00P

Sat 28 Feb – The Walnut Tree, Bourne End 9:00P

Sat 28 Mar – The Horns, Watford 8:00P

Fri 10 Apr – The Stag, Farnham Common 9:00P

Links:

http,//www.doublejd.com/

4.

Local Indie Rock Legends – in Windsor

Disco

09 JAN 2009 09:00P – AUDIO VIDEO DISCO at OLD TICKET HALL WINDSOR
with fiN

Old Ticket Hall – Windsor
01753 854554

Audio.Video.Disco. are a new breath of fresh air to the indie, pop genre, not afraid of writing catchy melodies and annoyingly difficult to pigeon-hole, they are a cut-above the norm.Formed mid-way through 2007 when duo Matt O’Daly and Richard Berkshire moved away from their acoustic roots and decided to start a proper band. In stepped Adam Linton (bass) and Tom Smith (drums). The line-up was complete.

Now having already played alongside Alphabeat, a set at the illustrious Clapham Grand and a headline show at the Astoria 2, this band have already attracted the attention of producer/engineer Phil English. The band recorded their current EP at
Phil’s Alexander Sound Studio in Milton Keynes.

Their EP launch was a huge sell out success and the band sold more tickets than when Hard-Fi played the same venue. Now with a solid fan base built up over the past year the band are set to make some serious waves amongst the current crop of bands coming out of the West-London area.are a new breath of fresh air to the indie, pop genre, not afraid of writing catchy melodies and annoyingly difficult to pigeon-hole, they are a cut-above the norm. Formed mid-way through 2007 when duo Matt O’Daly and Richard Berkshire moved away from their acoustic roots and decided to start a proper band. In stepped Adam Linton (bass) and Tom Smith (drums). The line-up was complete. Now having already played alongside Alphabeat, a set at the illustrious Clapham Grand and a headline show at the Astoria 2, this band have already attracted the attention of producer/engineer Phil English. The band recorded their current EP at Phil’s Alexander Sound Studio in Milton Keynes. Their EP launch was a huge sell out success and the band
sold more tickets than when Hard-Fi played the same venue.

Now with a solid fan base built up over the past year the band are set to make some serious waves amongst the current crop of bands coming out of the West-London area.

About fiN – Extract from Staines Blog – for full review click here

The fiN song-book is replete with the kind of discordant harmonic treasures born from a day of muted pleasures out on the Bedfont Lakes. Their sounds contain a heartfelt diet of melodic instrumentation and a fullness and roundness of experimental rhythm, jarred in all the right places by periodic gusts of sheer power – broken up by sudden unexplained lulls. In fact, their music is, at  times, like that most treasured of all things – an almost perfect English summer’s day – in that it is menacingly fragile and always on the verge of predictable heartaching tragedy.
[ © Neil_Mach 2009 ]

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/audiovideodiscouk

http://uk.youtube.com/fintelevision


5.

Plug in to ‘AC/DC’ live at Rising Sun, Slough

The Donkeys

THE DONKEYS Sat 10 Jan: Rising Sun, Slough

The Donkeys are a four-piece rock covers band from Essex featuring tracks by Ac/Dc. Led Zep. Metallica. Free. Bad company. Iron Maiden. Ect. + many more.
The band is in it’s 15th year and cover some 70 gigs a year.

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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Heavy Classic Rock Masters – in Staines

Netherworld at Staines

Netherworld Nov 28 2008      8:00P Staines Riverside Club     Staines £3

Fronted by the awesomely talented Jason Stretch on vocals and guitar, backed by the brilliant bass playing and vocals of Paul Smith and the dynamic drumming of Ian Roberts, NETHERWORLD ROCKS. Covering the best classic rock songs known to this planet, this three-piece bring their wealth of professional talents together for this new project.

Previous gigging and recording credits include ; Bad II The Bone, British Lion, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden),Hal Lindes(Dire Straits) Neil Murray(Whitesnake,Black Sabath) Reload, The Dhogie Band and Phil Mogg (UFO).

You will not fail to be impressed by the superbly tight musicianship of these three heavyweight players

Links

www.myspace.com/netherworldrock

Also check them at:

Nov 29 2008     8:00P The Cardinal Wolsey     East Molesey Surrey
Nov 30 2008     6:00P The Dog & Partridge     Middlesex, London and South East
Dec 5 2008       8:00P Ye Old Swan     Burnham, Berkshire,

2.

Big Rock/Punk Sounds – in Staines

Her Enemy


HER: ENEMY Nov 27 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin *with nixa*     Staines £3


Links

http://www.myspace.com/herenemy


3.

Hot Dance – Latin and Jazz – Live at Ascot

palenke at Ascot

Palenke      Saturday, 29th November  8:45P   Jagz Ascot £8

Columbian band with a passionate Latin repertoire. Back by incredible popular demand, Adrianna and her fellow Salsa partners are back and ready to shake Jagz from its very foundations! Palenke, Londons leading Latin American Dance band, was born in 1990 to the collective talents of Fernando Suarez – Kinacho and Lisandro Zapata from Colombia. Both are highly professional performers and are widely experienced in the Latin and Jazz scene. The Bands eclectic repertoire is passionate, dynamic and eminently danceable: from the characteristically hot blooded tempos of Cuban Salsa and Brazilian Lambada, the traditional folk rhythms of Colombian cumbia and Dominican Merengue, to the latest Caribbean Reggae and universally popular Spanish style Gypsy Kings.

Saturday, 29th November
Show will start at 8.45
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub

Links:

http://www.palenke.co.uk/

4.

Smooth Jazz Piano at Ascot

John Donaldson Quartet

John Donaldson Quartet Sunday, 30th November    Lunchtime     Jagz Ascot

The winner of the piano category at the 2006 British Jazz Awards

Jazz gigs began when he was a student in 1978. He was part of the Cambridge Modern Jazz Club’s resident trio, backing visiting guest soloists in the city. In 1980 he won the prize for best soloist at the San Sebastian International Jazz Competition.

In 1982 he moved to California . He worked there and gigged with local notables including Eddie Henderson, Red Holloway, John Handy, Richie Cole, Paul Jackson and David Baker as well as working in groups alongside Larry Grenadier, Jeff Ballard, Donny McCaslin, and Louis Romero.

Since returning to England in 1993 he has worked with many of the leading musicians on the British scene including groups led by Iain Ballamy, Art Themen, Clark Tracy, Alan Barnes, Don Weller, Dick Pearce and Norma Winstone.

Sunday, 30th November
Show will start at 1pm to 3.30pm
Ticket cost: £6.00
Special – entrance and roast lunch £12.

‘With remarkably little publicity or fuss John Donaldson has emerged as one of Britain’s most exciting jazz pianists with his own distinctive style’
Dave Gelly. The Observer.



5.

Top Unsigned Act of  the Year- at Staines

Nixa at Staines

Nov 27 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin *with HER:ENEMY*     Staines £3

“One of the top 10 unsigned acts in the UK”
Metro National Newspaper

Rock / Tropical

Nixa are rock. They’re here to remind you that despite reality TV, plastic indie tat, the cult of celebrity, and production-line pop, ultimately it’s still all about the music. They write great songs, and have a lot of fun while they’re doing it – and that’s their manifesto. Fundamentally, they just love music and want music to love them back, and as a result they have so many riffs that they’re currently being investigated by The Monopolies Commission. Multi-layered and yet accessible to anyone who’s ever felt adrenaline surge through their veins, Nixa songs combine addictive melodies, intertwining vocals, riotous screaming, ferocious guitars, pulsing drums, and dirty bass to create an energetic morass that climbs the walls and rips the roof off. Nixa was born in the summer of 2006 after a massive gangbang involving Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Soulwax and Death Cab for Cutie: the custody battle still rages…

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/nixaspace

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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Purge and Bloodloss at Staines

Purge at Staines

Oct 31 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin (Halloween Fancy Dress!)

SPECIAL HALLOWEEN SHOW

Purge is a furious mix of distortion-fueled guitar accompanied by seat-tearing bass and knockout percussion is shot at with a colt 45 of gravelly chants and rhyme delivering glory. Crushing heavy rock. Never a better solution

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/purgeuk

BLOODLOSS

2.

Get some Latin Voice – Georgia Mancio

georgia mancio at Ascot


Nov 2 2008      1:00P Jagz Ascot,  Georgia Mancio

Georgia Mancio is a London-based jazz singer and has been working professionally since 2000 – fortunate enough to have collaborated with many inspiring musicians including the amazing experience of performing at the London Jazz Festival as part of an acapella choir led by Bobby McFerrin. She recorded her first album, PEACEFUL PLACE, in 2003 and have just released TRAPEZE, a mix of jazz standards and songs from Chile, Italy, Cuba and Brazil. Both albums are on indie label, Roomspin Records and distributed in the U.K. by Proper. The accompanying 23 date tour for Trapeze began with a support slot at Ronnie Scott’s opposite Cedar Walton and included: The Pizza Express Jazz Club, Wakefield, Ipswich, Swanage Jazz Festival, The Hawth, the 606, Harri’s and The Fleece

Sunday, 2nd November
Show will start at 1pm to 3.30pm
Ticket cost: £6.00
Special entrance and roast lunch £12

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/georgiamancio


3.

Twickenham Locals- Marner Brown

Marner Brown - Filthys Twickenham at Westfield Opening

Oct 29 2008      9:00P Filthys     Twickenham Marner Brown

Formed in 2004, Marner Brown are the next phase of Twickenham’s Rock and Roll Legacy. Fiachra Kerrigan (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Aaron A Grimes (Lead Guitar), Jacob Hollebon (Bass Guitar), John Wildgoose (Keyboards, Backing Vocals) and James Irving (Drums) are making music exciting, energetic and raw again. Over the past three years they have played with and supported some great acts. In 2006 alone they were on a UK tour with The Feeling, supported Whitesnake (Hammersmith Apollo, May) and The Towers of London (ULU and 100 Club) as well as headlining the T4 Popworld Promotes Tour (Madame JoJos). 2007 has been fantastic for the guys. They supported Babyshambles in January, have a nationwide tour planned for Autumn 07 and won VIRGIN XTREME Best Indie Band at the INDY awards in May out of 40,000 live acts.

It is apparent almost immediately that these guys are destined for greatness. They are an extremely tight outfit, both musically and visually. With such influences as: Led Zeppelin; The Rolling Stones; Jimi Hendrix; The Faces; Supergrass; The Stone Roses and Kula Shaker, Marner Brown have a lot to live up to. However, with these five collaborating to produce the Marner sound, they’re more than capable. John Wildgoose is an accomplished keyboard player whose pitch perfect ear makes him an invaluable member of the group and his harmonies add a strong flavour to the bands sound. Jacob Hollebon and James Irving (22-20’s), provide a tight and energetic rhythm section. Both accomplished musicians in their own right, they are the backbone of the group. To describe Aaron A Grimes as simply a guitarist would be doing him a great injustice, he is one of the brightest young stars emerging from the UK music scene. Both he and Fiachra are all round musicians. With a voice likened to Rod Stewart and an amazing talent for song writing, Fiachra Kerrigan is a future superstar fronting one of the future great rock and roll bands!

Also see them at the WESTFIELD opening:

Oct 30 2008     7:00P Westfield Centre – Showcase Stage     Shepherds Bush

Oct 31 2008     7:15P Westfield Centre – Showcase Stage     Shepherds Bush

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/marnerbrownband

4.

Hardcore Rock at Shepherds Bush

Without Thought at Shepherds Bush Empire

Oct 31 2008      8:00P shepherds bush empire w/ The Wonder Stuff

Without Thought

An intense blend of galloping rhythms, intelligent melodies and vocals that flow from touching harmonies to savage screams epitomise Guildford-based five piece Without Thought.

The quintet’s technical ability combines with heartfelt lyrics to create an edgy, aggressive sound – mixing the brutal intensity of hardcore acts like Give Up The Ghost with Jimmy Eat World-style melodies and quiet sections comparable to
Explosions in The Sky.

After four years of regular touring, the band have built up an army of loyal fans and continue to attract admirers with every show. Taking to the the stage with acts including Sikth, Hurt Process, Days In December, Hondo Maclean, Million Dead,
Enter Shikari and Exit Ten the band are becoming a regular fixture on line-ups across the south east.Heralded as one of the best new rock bands to come out of the UK, the quintet’s admirers already include Matt Pinfield of MTV/Sony USA and Bruce Dickinson who championed their debut single Grey Matter on his 6 Music show.

Without Thought are now set to release their debut album Get Down and Give Me Infinity. Bursting with punishing melodies, beautiful breakdowns and truly innovative songwriting, the record will soon be at the top of every rock fan’s wishlist.

Also catch them at:

Nov 20 2008      7:30P the boileroom w/ In Case Of Fire     Guildford

Dec 20 2008     8:00P the boileroom ***xmas show***      Guildford

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/withoutthought



5.

Amazing Emotional Based Rock

Mann Friday at Kingston Peel

Oct 30 2008      7:30P The Peel, Kingston     Mann Friday

A London based band that has emerged as a force revered for producing an emotionally charged, melodic and captivating sound. Mann Friday music has also been noted for its provoking lyrical technique.

Extremely ambitious, Mann Friday have gained a loyal fan base from the London gig-circuit and have also released a riveting current independent album, ‘Blue Sky Science’. The Mann Friday appreciation is a beast that continues to grow worldwide and things are all a-go!

Having ‘Gone Fishing’ in the Summer of 2007, the Menn are currently working on their follow up album to ‘Blue Sky Science’ called ‘Sunburn And Wonder’, so get those taste buds ready.Their live performances, predominantly rock and emotive lyrics also lead to an award winning featured appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They have gone on to headline various famous London venues such as The Borderline, Bull & Gate, Halfmoon Putney (sold out five times in a row so far), Camden Barfly (broken record), the Clapham Grand & the Marquee Club.

The band was also invited to perform the topically controversial rock-show at the prestigious Riverside Studios in Hammersmith for a prime ten-day summer run.

Their ability to produce sounds ranging from big melodic rock to acoustic sets, plus being able to pen tunes gently mixed with African rhythms right through to smooth Electronica has also caught the eye of the media. A sample of their delicately crafted electronic track ‘Counting Down’ was used on Sky News’ Year in Review.

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/mannfriday

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IRON MAIDEN & AVENGED SEVENFOLD

TWICKENHAM – JULY 5th 2008

Iron Maiden's Steve Harris
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris


You have to admire the geezer who placed Avenged Sevenfold on the Twickers bill with headlining brit-rock gods Iron Maiden. For a start you have got the whole book of Revelations thing going on… “The Number of the Beast” versus “The Beast and the Harlot”. Then you have got the twin-lead guitar sounds of Gates/Vengeance versus Smith/Murray. Finally you get the blatant hero worship of Shadows & co for Dickenson & co that warms the very cockles of your sad old heart. “Maiden are by far the best live band in the world and their music is timeless” says Shadows, as A7X prepares to cover the song ‘Flash of the Blade’ for Kerrang’s “Maiden Heaven” as a free tribute album [available Kerrang! Issue 1219]. Butf you think the similarities end there then just give the track ‘M.I.A’ off of the City of Evil album a woosh. Yes, the track has a bit of Wishbone Ash about it [is that why they played
the Wishbone track Warrior off Argus on the tape during the interval at Twickenham?] and even a bit of Pink Floyd about it… but M.I.A. is, in essence, a very nicely turned piece of homage artwork dedicated by those skull-winged songsters to their favourite sounds i.e. the sounds of Maiden. Just listen to those Nicko McBrain tom-toms thumping – oops – no it was the Rev.

And so onto Maiden who (almost) filled the Twickenham RFU stadium [capacity 82,000] and admitted, on stage, that they were playing to the biggest crowd (in the UK) that they ever have. In fact, the East London Boys (OK, I know Bruce is from Nottingham) were keen to underline that 2008 is the biggest year for Iron Maiden yet. Yes, they have been ‘on the road’ for 25 years but they have now reached stellar proportions (although they promise they have not reached their zenith) claiming to be not only the biggest ‘metal’ band in the world but to be actually the biggest band in the world. And how many, in this millenium, can claim to travel to their venues in their own custom Boeing 757 ‘ed force one’ and play such grand stadiums? I would still like to say, on record, that Led Zep are probably still the worlds biggest band- but I have to admit that Maiden are more flamboyant and certainly more energetic. I cannot imagine Robert Plant jumping, running and wisecracking his way through a 69 date tour (Twickers was the 49th night of the tour and the Maiden boys were as fresh and presumptious as pair of Daisy Dukes box-fresh knickers ). Sorry Rob.

Lauren Harris band
Lauren Harris band- old gent on left

Well what did you get for your fifty pounds sterling? (By the way, I met several fans who had travelled for 5 or more hours to get to the Maiden concert and the general feeling was that you needed to spend about £230 per head to enjoy the day).Well the concert started nicely with the Lauren Harris band -Lauren is the daughter of Iron Maiden bassist and founder Steve Harris. I saw Lauren Harris on a smaller stage at last years Hard Rock Hell (Minehead) and I was quite impressed. Her band has toured with the Led Zep-esque Ulster group ‘The Answer’ and also with the Dutch goth-rockers ‘Within Temptation’ (about whom I shall come onto in a moment) and the band comes across as a gutsy and polished pub rock outfit. At Hard Rock Hell I was kinda surprised at how old Lauern’s team-mates were and especially Mr Tom McWilliams, the drummer, who has played with ‘Glorious’ Estafan back in the ‘90’s and is a multi-grammy winner in his own right. These ‘old geezers’ could certainly knock ‘em out and gave the band a slightly more experienced persona than they might otherwise have managed to achieve if they were a bunch of student musos. My only general moan, at the Iron Maiden show, was the tight-fisted attitude of the Twickenham promoter who decided that the support acts couldn’t have the use of the stage-side TV monitor screens. Now I know that Maiden deserved to have the biggest soundz, the biggest lightz and the biggest buzz but who decided that the punters in the 82,000 seater only need to see ant-size musicians on the stage prior to the big act? In a sports stadium, when the football is being played, all the spectators have an equal chance of catching some action close up because they are all equi-distant from the pitch-side action. But when the stadium is turned into an event arena and the stage is up one end, almost every one of the spectators ‘misses out’ on the intricate moments. That is why they invented big TV screens. So we, the lowly punters, can kind of match up the ant-antics onstage with the human drama via the telly-viewer. And with a group like Lauren Harris who, to be honest, are more-or-less a fancy pub-rock outfit, it was always going to be that they seemed lost in that size arena without the use of the screens. It was a shame. And it was a tight-fisted oversight.

Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation
Sharon den Adel- Within Temptation

And so onto Within Temptation. These are a dutch symphonic rock group who share a similar sound to Evenescence or Nightwish. Sharon den Adel – Vocals- is amply supported by experienced rock guitarist Ruud Jolie (who admits that Iron Maiden is his main influence- and thus the connection) and her long-time boyf, Robert Westerholt. The groups harmonies and symphonic mastery were not helped by the stadium acoustics which were, to say the least, sporadically awful. There was a nasty wind blowing into the East Stand and this helped to give the aural illusion that the spectators were a few crucial seconds behind the events on stage. This is the kind of problem you always get with any out-door event. My tip is to see Within Temptation in a purpose built venue with proper acoustics to get the real sound. But all-in-all Within Temptation were a triumph especially because the mezzo-soprano skills of Sharon den Adel managed to cut through the air and the blacker more gothier riffs were picked up by the crowd who clapped and thumped along with vigour. And it was genuinely nice to see so many younger. delicate and more indie-emo orientated fans, who had only come to see their heroes Within Temptation, mixing it large with the big, burly hell-raising bruisers who make up the majority of the Maiden fan-base.

The Somewhere Back In Time set itself was a satisfying confection of everything we love and admire about Maiden. The event is nicely packaged to include the best of years 1980-1989 (Aces High, The Trooper, The Number of the Beast, Run to the Hills, Can I Play With Madness) but there were also some moments of sheer brilliance and exhilaration and, for me, the high point both visually and musically was the Steve Harris penned number “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (with words by Samuel Taylor Coleridge) from the fifth Maiden album ‘Powerslave’. This was sumptuously staged and was an emotionally powerful piece of music. Obviously, we had the big screens running for the big band. The whole stage was used, with various backdrops and crowd-pleasing animatronics, lots of lights, fog, banner waving and all manner of fizzes, whooshes and bangs. It was hard rock luxury.

Pompous? Yes. Overplayed? Yes. Majestic? Yes.
But what the hell, that is what stadium rock is all about.

M Shadows - Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows

http://www.myspace.com/laurenharrisuk
http://www.myspace.com/withintemptation
http://www.myspace.com/avengedsevenfold
http://www.ironmaiden.com/


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5 Things- This week in Staines

1.

The Getaway Team in Staines

The getaway team- Staines

The Getaway Team, The Hobgblin, Staines May 29 2008


The Getaway Team from Guildford are here to write music and have the time of their lives!

They started writing together in mid 2006, and found a knack of producing some catchy pop songs, with some pop-punk and indie thrown in!

In the past few months they have started playing those songs in what has become an exciting, adrenaline-fueled live show. The band have recently finished recording a debut mini album titled ‘Haven’t You Heard’, out June 2nd.

The Debut single ‘Lost All Hope’ will hit shops on May 5th, available for download and on limited Green vinyl, with a postcard and stickers inside; so make sure you hook yourselves up!

See them live in Staines on the 29th at The Hob or on:

Jul 24 2008 8:00P The Boileroom, Guildford w/ Cut The Blue Wire

http://www.myspace.com/thegetawayteam

2.

Go see the Cadillac Kings at Jagz, Ascot

The Cadillac Kings at Ascot


Cadillac Kings – May 31 2008 8:00P Jagz Club, Ascot Berks

Featuring six of the UK’s top blues & roots musicians, The Cadillac Kings play music inspired by the sounds & styles of the 40s & 50s. A mix of mostly original songs with a few well-chosen covers from the likes of T-Bone Walker, Roy Brown & Champion Jack Dupree have made the band firm favourites on both the blues & jump-jive scenes. With their stunning musicianship & exciting stage act, this is a band that knows how to entertain audiences across the board, from arts centres to dance-halls, from intimate clubs to major festivals.

Influences: T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, Slim Harpo, Champion Jack Dupree, James Harman, Elmore James, Billy the Kid Emerson, William Clarke, Ray Charles, The Coasters, Professor Longhair, Boozoo Chavis, Jimmy Reed, Clifton Chenier, George Smith

Also catch them at:

Sep 20 2008 8:00P Blues at the Fort Festival Fort Purbrook, Hants

CLICK HERE for the acclaimed Cadillac Kings Allbum- Highway 17

http://www.myspace.com/thecadillackings


3.

Go rock with Netherworld, Staines

Netherworld at Staines

Netherworls May 30 2008 8:00P Staines Riverside Club Staines

Fronted by Jason Stretch on vocals and guitar, backed by the brilliant bass and vocals of Paul Smith and dynamic drumming of Ian Roberts- this rockin’ band will rock your (nether)world. Covering the best of classic rock songs, this three-piece bring their wealth of professional talent together for this new project.

Previous gigging and recording credits include ; Bad II The Bone, British Lion, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), Reload, The Dhogie Band and Phil Mogg (UFO).

You will not fail to be impressed by the superbly tight musicianship of these three heavyweight players …

Also catch them at:

Jun 14 2008 8:00P The Camphill Club Surrey

Jun 15 2008 8:00P The Six Bells Brentford

Jun 20 2008 8:00P The Shire Horse Hounslow

Jul 11 2008 8:00P The Running Horse Bracknell

Jul 26 2008 8:00P The Cardinal Wolsey

Aug 1 2008 8:00P The Red Lion Twickenham

http://www.myspace.com/netherworldrock

4.

Go experience Kakuzi at Staines

Kakuki - Photo by Mark Richardson

Kakuzi- The Hobgblin, Staines May 29 2008

Kakuzi (formally known as DARK-FiRE) formed with the current line up in September 2006, jamming out just a few of songs to enter their first gig as a band in the Mole Valley Battle of the Bands. Since then the band has been through a short phase of high energy raw punky rock music, to exploring new dimensions and styles of music. They have really honed in their live set, gigging regularly at the Grey Horse, Kingston and other venues around Guildford and Surrey. Their first E.P, “Senses” can be bought off them at any of their gigs for £5 each.

Currently the band are back in the studio recording a variety of tracks for an E.P. titled “Corridors”.

The Band:

Lucas (Luc) O’Neill, Isamu (Sam) Yoneda, Alastair (Ali) Lawrenson, Alexander-James (AJ) Fritsch, David (Dave) Medlicott

Influences:

Audioslave The Cardigans The Clash The Doors Faithless Foo Fighters Hendrix Incubus Kasabian Leftfield Led Zeppelin The Mars Volta Muse Nirvana Pendulum Pink Floyd Radiohead Red Hot Chilli Peppers R.E.M. Stone Roses

Also catch the band at:

Jun 18 2008 8:00P Grey Horse – Kingston, Battle of the Bands

http://www.myspace.com/kakuzi
5.

Wonder at Prog-Rock Legends ‘Haze’ at Kingston

Haze at The Peel (house of progression) Kingston

Haze -May 31 2008 8:00P The Peel (30th anniversary show) Kingston

Formed in 1978 by Chris and Paul McMahon, Haze were one of the founders of the neo-progressive revival of the early 1980s. The band went through a number of line-up changes until drummer Paul Chisnell joined in 1983, completing the classic line-up which was to remain unaltered until the band’s demise in 1988. On 31st May 1998 Haze reunited for a 20th anniversary concert in Sheffield and now you can be part of the history-of-haze by seeing them on their 30th anniversary reunion.

Although part of the 1980s “progressive” revival, Haze were always much more than just another Yes/Genesis clone, moving with ease across the spectrum from rock to funk, pop to progressive in their own distinctive style. World Turtle have continued in this tradition, bringing modern sounds and influences, as well as powerful, intelligent lyrics to the brothers’ undoubted musical and songwriting skills.

On 31st May 1998 Haze reunited for a 20th anniversary concert in Sheffield. The show was a great success and was recorded for a limited edition double live CD on Cyclops Records. Since then the band have headlined a number of shows in Sheffield, supported IQ and John Wetton at the Whitchurch Music Festival and toured Italy, Belgium & Switzerland twice.

The band are now planning a European tour, a new live CD, and the re-issue of their “Stoat & Bottle” album.

Paul Chisnell – percussion, vocals
Paul McMahon – guitars & vocals
Chris McMahon – keybords, bass & vocals

Influences Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rory Gallagher, Steve Hillage, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Moody Blues, Rush.

http://www.myspace.com/hazeuk

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