Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Jon Anderson To Play Select Summer Concerts In Support Of New CD Release

Music legend and original YES vocalist Jon Anderson
will be playing select concert dates this summer in support of his critically
acclaimed new CD release 'Survival & Other Stories'.

Jon Anderson, who has one of the most recognisable voices in music, and is best known for his work with YES, Vangelis and Kitaro, as well as his innovative solo efforts, recently completed a successful tour of the East Coast in the US.

The new leg of the tour will concentrate on the North West US and several dates in Canada (listed below), and promises to deliver an exciting mixture of material from Jon Anderson's prolific solo career, collaborations with Vangelis and classic YES songs, along with new compositions from his new CD 'Survival & Other Stories'.

Jon Anderson North American Summer Tour Dates:

July 9 - Courtenay, BC Vancouver, Canada - Island Musicfest at Exhibition Grounds
July 10 - Courtenay, BC Vancouver, Canada - Island MusicFest at Exhibition Grounds
July 12 - Seattle, WA - The Triple Door
July 14 - Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
July 31 – Vernon, BC, Canada – Komasket Music Festival Komasket Park
Aug 3 - Lincolnshire, IL - Viper Alley
Aug 5 - Saint Charles, IL -Arcada Theatre
Aug 7 - Jerseyville, ON - Festival Of Friends Ancaster Fairgrounds (with America)
Aug 11 - Shirley, MA - Bull Run Restaurant

Jon's recently released CD 'Survival & Other Stories' has been garnering rave
reviews worldwide Reviews and is available to buy directly from the Gonzo Multimedia Website Here:

For tour dates please visit

Publicity Inquiries: Billy James, Glass Onyon PR,

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Gary Wright :The Dreamweaver In Conversation With Jon Kirkman on Classic Rock Radio

Gary Wright has been a mainstay on the music scene for more than forty years both with the band Spooky Tooth and Wonderwheel and as a solo perfromer. In 1975 he released an album that would become the biggest of his career; Dream Weaver.

In 2011 Gary is on tour in Europe with the Ringo Starr All Starr Band.
Classic Rock radio's Jon Kirkman spoke to Gary Wright Backstage at the Liverpool Empire on the All Starr Band's current tour. gary talked about Spooky Tooth his time working with both George Harrison and Ringo Starr and of course Dream Weaver and his new album Connected

You can hear Gary in converstaion with Jon Kirkman on Classic Rock radio

The feature goes out at
11am,8pm and 4am UK time Wednesday 29th June Thursday 30th June and Friday and Friday 1st July.

Gary Wright's latest album is Connected and available to buy directly from his website

Monday, 20 June 2011

Journey: Eclipse

Here we are now in 2011 and the latest album from Journey entitled Eclipse, the second studio album to feature not so new singer Arnel Pineda. I have to say that Journey have now reclaimed a lot of ground that they lost over recent years with the singer situation becoming a problem for the band. Arnel Pineda however has integrated into the band extremely well and on this his second album he sounds like he has been there forever and certainly more of a band member than he did on Revelation some three years ago.

Whilst the debut album, Revelation was a little bit of what you would expect from Journey Eclipse is a little more daring. There is no obvious big ballad. On Eclipse Journey prove that they can and do rock with the best of them. The album has I am presuming been written with performance in mind rather than radio although there are a few radio friendly tracks here with the opener City of Hope being the obvious track to fill that gap. Whilst there are no typical Journey ballads here To Whom It May Concern comes closest although the guitar is more upfront than the keyboards. In fact the whole album is very guitar dominated and for lovers of Neal Schon’s blistering style then this is no bad thing.

Having seen the way this band work live I just know that many of the tracks from this album will find their way into the set list including City Of Hope, Edge Of The Moment and resonate being the obvious contenders.

Eclipse is an excellent melodic rock album and in fact it is probably Journey’s most hard rocking album since departure in 1979. The band were certainly under Neal Schon’s tutelage on this album as the guitar is well to the fore in the mix and Kevin Shirley has come up with a very good sounding rock album.

So two albums in for Arnel Pineda and I think it is safe to say that he has earned his wings and the band are now set to go on to bigger and brighter things and leave the more recent troubled past behind them

Black Sabbath Born Again: Deluxe Edition

When Born again turned up in 1983 I wasn’t sure whether I was more surprised that Ian Gillan had joined Black Sabbath or that they had actually managed to get it together enough to record an album. Of course there was the thought at the back of my mind that a large amount of money was involved and I am sure that the band when they headed off for a year long tour made quite a bit of it. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to the album however and in fact over the years I think Born Again has proved its worth as part of the Black Sabbath catalogue.

Gillan actually proved himself a very good member of Sabbath and Born Again is a really good album. Of course whether the Black Sabbath fan of old considers this is a debateable point. It cannot be denied however that Born Again is an extremely good rock album and there are some fine riffs from Tony Iommi throughout the album. Another good sign was that founder member and drummer Bill Ward was once again behind the drums although sadly by the time of the Reading Festival appearance which is featured as part of this package his place had been taken by former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan

In terms of material Born Again features some key songs including Disturbing The Priest, Thrashed and Zero the Hero with the latter being one of Iommi’s great riffs and one he occasionally revisited over subsequent years as part of his solo or worked into other songs in a live setting.

I think the problem for most Black Sabbath fans is that it was a former member of deep Purple that had joined and fans of bands can be extremely partisan at times. Of course for the Sabbath fan base it was only going to get worse with various singers coming and going over the next few years including another former Deep Purple man Glenn Hughes.

No Matter this deluxe edition of Born Again is a welcome release containing what in hindsight is a very solid album which has been fleshed out by two previously unreleased tracks the extended Stonehenge and an album session outtake The Fallen.

I do remember listening to the broadcast live from the Reading Festival in 1983 which now makes up the second disc of this set and was quite happy until the band launched into Smoke On the Water. Obviously because Gillan was in the band but to be honest IO don’t think Sabbath needed to perform this track. After all Gillan had joined Sabbath rather than the other way round So I would have preferred to hear another Ozzy era track perhaps or even a Ronnie James Dio era track but no mater it is carved in stone now to take its place in history.

Generally speaking this Deluxe Edition of Born Again is a worthy release and certainly one that I have enjoyed. The sleeve notes are interesting as well with Steve “Krusher” Joule explaining how he came up with the idea for the cover and also how initially he didn’t really want to do the job and conspired to do such a bad job that he wouldn’t get the commission; strange but true.

All this goes to make up the story of Born Again which seen with the hindsight of almost thirty years is an interesting chapter in the long and involved history of Black Sabbath

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Def Leppard Mirrorball : Live And More

Def Leppard: Mirrorball, (Live and More)
Bludgeon Riffola

At long last I hear you say we have a live album from Def Leppard. Of course there are those who would say that the band could have released a double live album of immense quality some twenty years ago. That would have been the easy and perhaps obvious course to take but fair play to Leppard they stuck it out and competed by releasing studio albums that in the main did extremely well for the band.

So how does this live offering shape up. Well in true rock style it is a double live album although like most modern live albums there are three studio cuts bolstering the contents. The three tracks here are Undefeated, It’s All About Believin' and Kings Of The World. Of the three,my favourite is Undefeated and it is a superb track and obvious singles material but in fairness It’s All About Believin’ is also as good as anything the band have produced in the last thirty years. Kings of The World is a touching tribute to Queen (a band high up in the likes list of the guys in Leppard) and one which I am sure is heartfelt. Personally I think the track is ok not the monster track it could have been but certainly not mawkish or anything to be embarrassed about

Now to the live tracks well you get exactly what you would imagine here a large dose of British rock delivered with a huge amount of style not to mention substance from the band. I can remember the days when Leppard were dismissed for having the cheek to aim for the American market. Oh how those critics must be pulling their hair out now. Def Leppard are quite rightly a British tradition and a fine addition to all those other great British rock bands that have gone before them and conquered America and listening to this you can see why. They have great songs by the box full. Check out this list Rock Rock (Till You Drop), Rocket, Animal, Love Bites, Hysteria, Armageddon It, Photograph, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Let’s Get Rocked you can see where I am coming from here can’t you?

Add a few newer numbers like C’mon C’Mon and Nine Lives and you can see that there is a lot to offer from this band and they cover all the bases as one should in a live performance. Part audience pleasing but also part band pleasing in that they are not an oldies band and still want to prove they have it.....Leppard certainly tick the box on that score

The triple package also includes a DVD featuring backstage footage from the bands Sparkle Lounge tour of 2008-2009 plus live performances of Rock Rock (Till You Drop),Armageddon It, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Hysteria and if that wasn’t enough the two videos for Nine Lives and C’Mon C’Mon

Truly a Def Leppard fans delight and of course anyone who is into well written and performed rock music. Def Leppard long ago earned their right to be seated at the top table; this album is merely a reminder of how they did it.

Highly recommended

Saxon Call To Arms

Saxon: Call To Arms
Militia Guard

For more years than I care to remember Saxon has been delivering excellent rock albums to a rather large fan base. Of course the critics do like to take the Mickey out of Saxon presenting them sometimes as some sort of cartoon band. Wholly incorrect and while it must irk Biff and the boys that at least in certain parts of the press they get no respect the band has a massive worldwide following who not only buy the albums but turn up at the concerts too. Long may this continue and while the band continue to release albums of a high standard then I can’t see why that shouldn’t be the case.

Call To Arms is the latest album to come from Biff Byford and the men of Saxon on their own Militia Guard label and a rather fine album it is too. No messing about for Saxon they just get right on with the job in hand and the album opener starts things off the way they mean to continue with Hammer of The Gods possibly an obvious title for a Saxon song but hey if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.

Saxon do what they do extremely well and are probably the embodiment of British heavy metal these days and call To Arms is an album packed to bursting point with extremely good examples of the genre. Other highlights include Back in ’79, Surviving The Odds and The Working Man all of which are applicable to Saxon. There is even a reprise of the title track in orchestrated form at the end of the album making for a majestic end to what I think is the bands 19th album.

That the band have continued under the leadership of Biff Byford and maintained a true course is admirable and this album really should fit the bill for the still massive Saxon fan base. So many of the songs here will also sound great in a live setting and I for one see these songs fitting in so well alongside other Saxon classics

Respect where it is due you know you are going to get an album that the band believe in when Saxon deliver a new release and Call To Arms is certainly another great album from the band and one that will almost definitely do good business both across the counter or however you decide to purchase the album; just buy it you won’t be disappointed!

Ringo Starr and The All Starr Band Liverpool Empire June 18th 2011

Set List
1.It Don't Come Easy
2.Honey Don't
3.Choose Love
4.Hang On Sloopy (Rick Derringer)
5.Free Ride (Edgar Winter)
6.Talking in Your Sleep (Wally Palmar)
7.I Wanna Be Your Man
8.Dream Weaver (Gary Wright)
9.Kyrie(Richard Page)
10.The Other Side Of Liverpool
11.Yellow Submarine
12.Frankenstein(Edgar Winter)
13.Peace Dream
14.Back Off Boogaloo
15.What I Like About You(Wally Palmar)
16.Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo (Derringer)
18.Love Is Alive (Gary Wright)
19.Broken Wings Richard Page)
21.Act Naturally
22.With a Little Help from My Friends
23.Give Peace a Chance

Saturday night in Liverpool and Ringo Starr returns to the Liverpool Empire with his 11th All Starr band for a sell out concert. Despite the press and some of the more vocal elements of Liverpool still creating a fuss over Ringo’s comments about Liverpool there was plenty of love in the building for him and his band tonight.

Ringo Loves Liverpool and Liverpool obviously loves him as well and as Ringo commented about Liverpool in connection to his song the Other Side of Liverpool his Aunty Ev knew what he was talking about in the song and she was in the audience as were Ringo’s wife Barbara and his daughter Lee. Both of whom enjoyed the evening and also no doubt catching up with all the Starkey family in the audience.

The concert kicked off in fine style with Ringo’s debut hit single from 1970 It Don’t Come Easy and from the outset it was obvious that Ringo and the entire band were really enjoying themselves onstage at the Liverpool Empire. In fact the guys in the band had huge smiles on their faces throughout the evening but then what’s not to like You are playing your biggest hits in front of an appreciative audience and also playing some Beatles songs with a Beatle. “A dream come true” as Richard Page and Edgar Winter both commented.

The set list is just amazing and there were so many highlights. For me Gary Wright’s Dream Weaver and Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein were up there but all the guys were fantastic and both the Mr Mister songs (Kyrie and Broken Wings) featuring Richard page were great. Rick Derringer proved just how good a guitarist he was during an extended solo in Rock n Roll Hoochie Coo and whilst the Romantics were never as big a band in the UK as they were back in America Wally Palmar really got the audience going with Talking In Your Sleep and What I Like About You both of which were massive hits back in the eighties for the Romantics. I must add a special mention for second drummer Greg Bissonette who just played and sang his heart out throughout the evening and looked as happy to be onstage with this amazing group of musicians as many were in the audience to see them.

Ringo however was on top form throughout enjoying a great rapport with the audience and chatting to individuals that caught his eye. Of course we wanted to hear the songs we knew him for and he didn’t disappoint with Boys, I Wanna Be Your Man, Act Naturally, Honey Don’t and of course Yellow Submarine all getting an airing; the latter with the entire audience on its feet singing along. The concert also featured some newer songs including Choose Love and Peace Dream which name checked John Lennon and also The Other Side of Liverpool which proves that Ringo still wants to record and promote new songs.

The concert however came to the end on a high note with the classic With A Little help From My Friends which then ran into Give Peace A Chance which was a touching and right end to the evening.

Once again Ringo Starr proved that The Beatles were something to be cherished and that Liverpool was also a place close to his heart despite what you may read in the press. The fact that the love for Ringo was reciprocated should come as no Surprise.