Friday 27 April 2012

Tracer Manchester Academy3 26.04.12

It may have been a cold rainy night in Manchester but Australian rock trio TRACER sure brought some Aussie warmth to the Academy last night

Nicely warmed up by female-fronted indie-rock opening act LittleCrazy, Tracer arrived onstage to cheers from a crowd who were without doubt READY to ROCK. 

Tracer who hail from Adelaide in South Australia are Michael Brown (guitar & vocals) brother Leigh Brown (bass & vocals) and Andre Wise (drums)

This isn't Tracer's first visit to the UK,they have played over here before but it has been their first nationwide headline tour and they have obviously put the hard graft in and built up a  rapidly growing following of eager fans of all ages who certainly sing along enthusiastically and provide the extra backup vocals

The crowd lapped it up along with the cheeky good ol' aussie banter thrown in – there were certainly plenty of notable tracks in their set which included The Bitch, Devil Rides, Voice in The Rain and Too Much –from their debut album Spaces In Between (Cool Green Recordings)

Their entire set was full of infectious enthusiasm and energy. Their obvious love of playing live drips from their pores as much as their sweat, and work up a sweat they certainly did.

Some call it grunge rock, but I would hesitate to pigeon-hole Tracer, frankly they are full of surprises, it's certainly a buffet of different styles, loud gritty raw rock with blues stirred in and a sense of what the 70s must have sounded like live all served up on a platter, go ahead and feast your ears on them. For more information see 

Thanks to Tracer TM/Photographer Benon Koebsch for the photos, you can see more great photos at his website

 Words (c) Marilyn Michaels 2012

Photos (c) Benon Koebsch 2012


Thursday 26 April 2012

Album Of The Day: Queen A Night At The Opera

Album Of The Day: Queen A Night At The Opera

  1. Released in November 1975 the fourth Queen album takes its name from the Marx Brothers film of the same name. The band was watching the film one night whilst recording the album and decided to name the album after the film. The album reached the number one position in the UK album charts for four non consecutive weeks. In America whilst it did not make the number one position (It reached number 4) it did go on to become a triple pl...atinum seller becoming one of Queen’s biggest selling albums in America.

    For many fans of the band myself included and indeed most of the UK this album was the one that really broke the band. The fact that the album also contained the massively successful and highly influential single Bohemian Rhapsody obviously has some bearing on the sales of the album but in reality Queen had worked long and hard to get to this point in their career. The opening track Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...) was a direct attack on the bands previous management and Freddie Mercury who wrote the song was completely unapologetic even when Norman Sheffield who incidentally wasn’t even directly mentioned ,sued for defamation. The song was a popular one however as it managed to stay in the bands live set well into 1980

    Other less controversial songs are you’re My Best Friend John Deacon’s first single for Queen which also went on to become a sizeable hit, the folksy 39 from Brian May and the rather raucous I’m In Love With My Car from Roger Taylor. The nostalgic Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon was another facet of Freddie’s varied taste and the song has a vaguely vaudeville feel which Freddie would explore on the next album with the song Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy. The rock fans were also catered for with The Prophet’s Song one of Brian May’s songs which started life when he was recovering from hepatitis during the recording of the bands previous album Sheer heart Attack. Another key song in the Queen canon is also featured on A Night At The Opera and that is Love Of My Life which when performed live would become a massive audience participation song

    Having already mentioned it I guess there is no escaping from Bohemian Rhapsody and if there is only one Queen Song that you know the odds are it will be this one. Possibly unfairly overshadowing everything on the album the song has now become considered THE Queen Song and has been discussed by many people including fans and music scholars over the years. There is of course no denying the strength of the song which had its origins in the late sixties and early seventies in what Freddie used to call his “Cowboy Song” which contained the lyric “Mama.....Just Killed A Man”. The track is a master class in how to construct and multi track a song and make it into something rather special. When the decision to make the track the lead single many people scoffed due to the length of the song but in very short order the single became the bands most successful single reaching number one in the UK singles chart and staying there for an astonishing nine weeks. It would also reach number one again in early 1991 following the death of Freddie Mercury.

    More importantly the video for the song was a groundbreaker and while there had been promo films before Bohemian Rhapsody record companies really picked up on just how important a promotional tool the video was and many claim i9t ushered in the MTV age although MTV were not to launch for more than 6 years. Filmed in Elstree studios over a four hour session the video cost just £4,500 and remains possibly one of the most famous promotional videos bay any band.

    When the single came out I like many others bought the single and waited for the album and the tour. We were not to be disappointed when the album came out and as a Queen fan I had already booked my tickets to see the band at the Liverpool Empire. The support band Mr. Big were another EMI band who would go on some 18 months later to enjoy their own big hit with Romeo although at the time of the Queen tour they were a little more rocky than the future single might suggest. The tour was the bands most successful tour the band had undertaken up to that point and many were disappointed when the tour sold out very quickly and they were unable to buy tickets. They like many had to make do with the televised concert performance on the Old Grey Whistle Test on Christmas Eve in 1975.

    Since the original album came out there has been the thirtieth anniversary edition which came complete with a DVD containing the two videos for Bohemian Rhapsody and You’re My Best Friend and specially made videos for all the remaining songs on the album. If you can get a copy of this I would recommend it because it is now exceedingly rare. We have more recently had the remastered version which contains a bonus EP containing outtakes and backing tracks from songs recorded at the time.

    So there it is one of my favourite Queen albums and I guess that is the case for many others too I am playing it now and am immediately transported back to the winter of 1975 when Queen really did seem to be everywhere not just a landmark album for Queen but a landmark album for rock music :) JK

    You can request Queen tracks on Classic Rock radio by going to the website and clicking on the Request Icon Here:

Asia Celebrate Thirtieth Anniversary With New Studio Album Entitled XXX and UK Tour

Thirty years after its eponymous debut album, ASIA ascended to the top of the Billboard Top 100 chart (where the album remained No.1 for 9 consecutive weeks). The legendary British classic rock band returns with a new studio album, a 30th Anniversary edition of their debut album, 2 DVDs, and a world tour that includes UK, Europe, Japan and America.

ASIA will release their new studio album “XXX” (pronounced Triple X) via Frontiers Records, on Monday July 2nd. The new album, produced by Mike Paxman, has been hailed as ASIA’s best album since its classic early 80s releases. The album will be released on CD, collector’s edition CD/DVD (featuring new music videos and behind the scenes footage), and on a limited edition vinyl.

“We’re very pleased with, and confident about, XXX,” says John Wetton. “It encapsulates, lyrically and instrumentally, the essence of the band today. However, it is the very same four people that gave you the original, iconic album 30 years ago.  If you loved it then, you will love it now.”

Says Asia’s guitarist, Steve Howe; “We wanted to recapture the energy of the first album, ASIA has always been about great songs, fantastic musicianship and I am sure fans of the first album, will fall in love with XXX.”

The first single taken from the highly anticipated new album is entitled “Face On The Bridge”, released digitally worldwide on Monday May 14th.

More details can be found at the bands official website Here:


Tickets on sale to the general public from Friday 27th April
24 Hour Ticket Hotline: 0844 478 0898
Book Online:
VIP Tickets will be available from
Tavistock The Wharf
Saturday 15th December

Tickets £22.50, £25.00 / Doors 8pm
Box Office: 01822 611166
Canal Road, Tavistock, PL19 8AT
Holmfirth Picturedrome
Sunday 16th December

Tickets £22.50, £25.00 / Doors 7:30pm
Box Office: 0844 478 0898, 0871 230 1101
Market Walk, Holmfirth, HD9 7DA
Edinburgh Queen’s Hall
Monday 17th December

Tickets £25.00 / Doors 7pm
Box Office: 0844 478 0898, 0131 668 2019
85-89 Clerk Street, Newington, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Salisbury City Hall
Wednesday 19th December

Tickets £25.00 / Doors 7.30pm
Box Office: 01722 434434
Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, SP2 7TU
Birmingham Town Hall
Thursday 20th December

Tickets £25.00 / Doors 7.30pm
Box Office: 0121 345 0600
Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ
Manchester Royal Northern College of Music
Friday 21st December

Tickets £25.00 / Doors 7pm
Box Office: 0161 907 5555,
124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD
London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Saturday 22nd December

Tickets £22.50, £25.00 / Doors 7pm
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Shepherds Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Thursday 12 April 2012

Greg Lake "Songs of A Lifetime" UK Tour In November

Greg Lake tours the UK with his Songs of A Lifetime Show. The dates below are a fully interactive show with the audience featuuring songs from Emerson Lake and Palmer, King Crimson and Greg's own solo career. There will be a Question and Answer session with the audience making each show a different and more personal experience for the fans. The tour which started this week in North America takes Greg the length and breadth of the UK (Dates Below)

It is hoped also to have new editions of Greg's solo albums and DVDs abavailable to purchase at the Merchandise Stall at each concert

November 15th The Queens Hall Edinburgh Scotland
November 17th Lomond Auditorium Glasgow Scotland
November 18th Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre Newcastle England
November 19th Alexandra Theatre Birmingham England
November 20th Philharmonic Hall Liverpool England
November 22nd Corn Exchange Cambridge England
November 23rd G Live Guildford England
November 24th Guildhall Southampton England
November 25th O2 Shepherds Bush Empire London England

More details can be found at Greg's website

Wednesday 11 April 2012



NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 11, 2012) –
Legendary rock band Rush have unveiled details of its highly anticipated, new album, “CLOCKWORK ANGELS.”   This is the renowned trio’s first new collection of original material in over five years and their first studio release via Anthem/Roadrunner Records. “CLOCKWORK ANGELS,” the band’s 20th studio album, will be released in the UK on June 11th (see attached track listing).

In the UK, the album will be released on June 11th in exclusive Classic Rock Fan Pack form – providing a unique collectible package containing the 12 track studio album alongside a specially created magazine with unseen behind-the-scenes content put together by Classic Rock. The Fan Pack cover will also feature brand new exclusive artwork from Rush’s longtime collaborator Hugh Syme (who also designed the Clockwork Angels artwork). The Fan Pack format will also come with free gifts including a  ltd ed Clockwork Angels keyring & artwork poster and will be available to buy via more than 2000 retail outlets on newsstands nationally as well as the traditional high street and online music retailer. The Fan Pack is available for pre-order now at, where all early bird orders will receive a personalised Rush poster.  Roadrunner Records will simultaneously release the record digitally. The standard physical release of the Rush album will follow through Roadrunner Records on July 9th 2012.
The recording of “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” began in April 2010 with Grammy Award winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Deftones) – who also collaborated with the band on their last studio album, 2007’s “SNAKES & ARROWS.”  Rush co-produced both records.  The first two songs, “Caravan” and “BU2B,” were completed during that first session at Nashville’s Blackbird studios and performed nightly during the wildly successful Time Machine Tour, which ran from June 2010 to June 2011.  Work on “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” resumed in the fall of 2011 at Revolution Recording in Toronto after the tour’s finale, with additional strings (arranged by David Campbell) recorded at Hollywood’s Ocean Way Studios earlier this year.  Lyrically, “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” chronicles a young man’s quest across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy as he attempts to follow his dreams.  The story features lost cities, pirates, anarchists, an exotic carnival, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.  The novelization of “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” is being written by science fiction writer Kevin J. Anderson in collaboration with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.

Rush will herald the release of “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” with a new single “Headlong Flight” landing at rock radio on April 19th.  Details of a full-scale North American tour to support the new album will be announced shortly.

Available June 11th

1.    Caravan
2.    BU2B
3.    Clockwork Angels
4.    The Anarchist
5.    Carnies
6.    Halo Effect
7.    Seven Cities Of Gold
8.    The Wreckers
9.    Headlong Flight
10.  BU2B2
11.  Wish Them Well
12.  The Garden