Sunday 29 November 2015

White Raven - Thirteen Stars 2015 album soars.

This weekend Thirteen Stars have released their new album "The White Raven"  a genuine milestone for fans of Southern Style Rock  but this is not a homegrown Southern US band  Hoss and the band are "good old boys" from the very North of England.  Geographically they may not be American but when they turn on the licks they certainly channel the south of the Mason Dixon line. The new outing is even  tighter than the previous  the  highly rated ` "Way Dyu" and it is a tad heavier in the bass line too.

Jax and Matt without their customary headgear

 Showing his true blues roots guitarist Jax Sedgewick slips in Keef Richards style   riffage  giving a very tasty vintage Rolling Stones  feel particularly on "Fools Heart" .  On other songs showing  a different style he's throwing in Ted Nugent southern fried  power chordage before delving deep into his gig bag for some decidedly funky riffs on "Breadline".  The percussion  and bass are taken care of  by Andy Bates and Matt Eden working very tight together  hitting the groove right down the middle, really great to hear two guys who are bolstering each others performance rather than competing . Hoss Thompson gruff vocals sound  those of a guy who has been smoking Marlboro for at  maybe forty some years ( I don't think he has really), deep melodic without pushing it to comic book American he treads the line of not sounding "too British" as the bands core content obviously demands and while he's doing that he plays some mean riffs on a still very new Les Paul.

 Hoss and that tasty Les Paul

Andy secure in his drum castle

 Though generally Thirteen Stars are bluesy they are often faster paced and certainly will tackle much more complex composition than traditional blues while still keeping quite light on the instrumental solos.  I've had 'White Raven' on heavy rotation and after around a thousand road miles I can set it firmly into the class of driving music I'll be hitting the road with it loaded come Monday morning . I regularly found myself tapping along  and it certainly does eat up the Motorway miles so I'd certainly recommend it for a Xmas gift . It is bound to please whether you want it for a friend who enjoys the styles of  Skynyrd or ZZ Top or The Stones or for yourself  dammed fine idea. Remember when Johnny Van Zant got together to form his band they wanted to be the US's Stones now the circle has come back round and we have a  band  that you might easily describe as England's Skynyrd in the same way a bit different but right on the money.
 News for our friends in the US that Thirteen Stars are planning a pilgrimage to the US in 2016 so you could just get a chance to be the first to catch them rocking  in the South an occasion you don't want to miss out on. 

Copies of "White Raven" are available from iTunes, Amazon and

and naturally at Thirteen Star gigs details are

Saturday 21 November 2015

2015 Hard Rock Hell is a good place to be.

Everybody with a love of rock really needs to 'do a festival', there is nothing quite like sharing a day with folk who have diverse tastes and seeing a vast array of different styles or genres that might otherwise have passed you by. As a young person your average festival is a great adventure, rather like camping in the outback armed with your tent and sleeping bag you brave whatever nature can drop on you (not restricted to rain, many legged creatures and the odd stray farm animal which can all add to the fun).  Then at some point having wet rather interesting smelling clothes and a damp mushroomy bed loses some of its charm, so then you might drag a caravan down to the gig giving you back some semblance of civilisation and less chance of contracting trench foot or photosensitive dandruff. The madly esoteric even restore ancient camper vans for those few days of Nirvana (and supporting bands) gaining kudos for keeping  the spirit of the sixties alive armed or decorated with a sheaf of self adhesive vinyl printed flowers, retro gig 501's and Kaftans.
      After 2006 the whole game changed with a little thing called "Hard Rock Hell"  at the end of the summer  festival season when bands were usually back on the road  the organisers decided to bring  the concept up to date adding that missing civilisation to the package. Nine years on in North Wales the Haven Holiday camp again plays host to the  festival,  which draws thousands of keen fans from across the UK and indeed much farther afield. There are options to how you can enjoy the spectacle ,you can of course stay off site in nearby Pwllheli which has some great hotels or you can 'bring your van' as there are some onsite pitches available.
 Having tried the options I'd recommend for the full experience and ease of catching a nap between bands you want the onsite accommodation. There are apartments of various levels of luxury or the US style 'double wide' mobile homes. We've done this the last couple of years and  you can really appreciate the comfort of a hot shower after seven hours of scooting between bands, bars and bogs. None of that nasty three working but smelly toilets across the next field  it is all there on hand, with the  all bits you would expect at a proper concert venue plus a lot more.
    This year we had a couple of days of decent weather broken by heavy rain and high winds but being a permanent site Haven is paved and unlike the traditional festival you are never going to step into sloppy pools of water mixed with sheep or cow poo.  Even the hardy souls who need the weed (tobacco obviously) have got shelter along the two halls and the long bar between has those huge umbrellas to keep the rain off.

    This years festival openers are a great bunch of guys from Northern Ireland  the Screaming Eagles,  they deservedly return each year to deliver their Ulster brand of  heavy duty rock. Now opening the first day is a big ask  for any band , because there is  a rush for a festival goers to get registered on site and settled in to your crib, so your band have to be a big draw to get audience in place . The proof  is this  audience know what HRH is all about, long before the sound check bodies were drifting into the hall, with a  lot of old friendships being renewed in the relative calm before Screaming Eagles crashed into town.  Behind the stage barrier a line of the keen pressed forward to get up close,meanwhile behind them were a happy crew headbanging and moshing away lost in the metal avalanche. Judging by the level and accuracy of the sing along a sizable contingent had taken the ferry over from Belfast where the band are regularly filling music venues like the Diamond Rock Club, most were clutching glasses of ale as they sang giving the atmosphere a great home from home boost. With front man Chris Fry welcoming and egging on the crowd to a great response  the day was clearly going to one to remember. Screaming Eagles sets have never disappointed and the day's was as good a performance as I remember.
As is the script with Hard Rock Hell once the music starts it is a roller coaster following on from the Screaming Eagles were Trucker Diablo a fellow Ulster band from Armagh shredding like crazy with breakneck metal riffage for a full set of crowd rocking songs. In fact we are lucky the band had a change of heart, just a year ago they were talking about taking an open ended break. Only the smart idea of a crowd funded album gave them the impetus to get back out on the road, thankful that they did.


The stage barely got time to cool before the power rockers Attica Rage hit the bricks. Attica look a little  like the cast of Sons of Anarchy rocking that biker denim style. There is a level of loud rock which surpasses normal I get the clear impression Attica Rage are looking to Motorhead levels as inspiration and they are getting close, joking aside they do have a lot to offer for people who don't have a Harley sat on the driveway I won't try to capture their style but check out their official clip of "Ashamed" on You Tube which if there was any justice should be on rotation on VHS instead of the plastic bands that are.


Headliners for the Thursday were Black Label Society , Zakk and the boys were rocking it large in their unmistakable style, it is not hard to see why Ozzy rates Zakk so high. He has the knack of teasing the audience with familiar songs given a full festival push with that bullseye V screaming while the mosh pit is bouncing in appreciation of a Wylde workout.


After some technical delays had put back the schedule the final band of the night was Massive Wagons. By now it was cracking 1 am you might think after the exertions of BLS the audience would be heading off for a deserved rest and I'd admit a few did but a lot more hit the bar up for a refill and then settled down for another set. I was talking to the band afterwards and they agreed that following BLS looked like they might be struggling , they had no need to worry as the spotlights picked them out there was a roar of approval. I've been getting nudged for a good year or more by a lot of people asking whether I'd seen Massive Wagons yet.  I should have listened they are majestic to keep an old rocker like me on his feet and relatively sober headed till the stacks get turned off takes a special performance. Once the photos were safe on the memory card I was kicking back with several hundred close friends in the audience rocking right to the end. I think I hit the pillow around 3am really I didn't care it had been a great day and I needed to sleep with two more packed days still to go.

Hard Rock Hell X will be on November 10th 2016
tickets from (044+) 0203 287 6684  or

Sunday 8 November 2015

Uncle G Review_Consider The Source_World War Trio (Parts II & III)

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
07 Nov 2015 NEW Music Review
Consider The Source: World War Trio (Parts II & III)
Released: 2015 TECHNE Records

By Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for
Twitter @GBrown0816

08 Nov 2015

So how long exactly should a writer who shares their experience about listening to various music projects, spend time engulfed in whatever the focus is going to be, before they start pounding away at the keyboard, expressing their opinion on the subject? My answer; "Accounts on what it is."

In the case of the newest studio offering from what I'll label a metal-prog band calling themselves, Consider The Source, the answer would be for myself, about a month. For some this is a horrible answer. Would mean the individual is studying whatever is being heard, which would alter the spontaneity of the gut reaction, in which some readers of such articles, would prefer to read.

On the other hand, the argument is there that it's hard to write a book about baseball, unless one played the game. Question is, how can one write about something, and not know the subject matter? So, not planning on it, I lived the last four weeks or so, with this album in my life. The newest Consider The Source TWO disc release of original music, recorded beautifully, and presented flawlessly, as the soundtrack / score to my existence in October / November 2015. Not entirely, for I took days off in between after devoting entire days to multi-plays with either disc one or the other, trying to comprehend what it was I been listening to. To help cleanse the palate, I have been digging on the Hollywood Vampires self titled / debut album. I also spent time composing my second ever song, To Score A Dream (by Gary "Uncle G" Brown), which can be presently found on several Internet websites. But for the most part, this past October, and now the beginning parts of November, where ever I went, so did the new Consider The Source World War Trio Part II & III double album. Even in the shower I'd listen to it, BLASTING this modern day rock n' roll instrumental masterpiece from my home stereo system. Something I'm sure my neighbors love. I can only imagine what the folks in the hood say as they walk back my residence. Good thing I'm aware of the local noise ordinances.

Consider The Source - World War Trio (Parts II & III)

Same thing happened to me when I received the first part of this instrumental three album masterpiece; Consider The Source: World War Trio (Part I) - Put Another Brick In That Bag (23:31). I ended up basically falling into it. If a serious music fan, you'll understand what I'm saying. When Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells II came out, I played nothing but that for as long as I could stand it. With some Doors, and Eric Clapton mixed in here and there. After a while, one moves on. Whatever it is becomes a favorite, and for a musician, sometimes one can get influenced. And just so you fully get the picture, I'm an 'old school' album person. This means that when I pull that CD out to be played in the home entertainment system, that I listen to all of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, and not just the song; Money. That I enjoy in it's entirety, The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, and just don't play; Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

Good News: Roger Waters is coming out with a new studio album.
Bad News: It's about dead children.

Someone give Mr. Waters a happy pill, PLEASE. Yet another reason to like Consider The Source's newest studio creation; World War Trio: Parts I, and NOW Parts II, and III. No lyrics. And as far as dead babies goes, Alice Cooper been there, and done that.

Uncle G's FAVS - Consider The Source: World War Trio (Parts II & III)

So we're on the same page, Consider The Source is a three man 'metal-prog' band , that hails from the United States. These guys (I was raised in New Jersey) leave other highly skilled professional musicians in total awe, on a regular basis. Wherever they play, or that their music could be heard. So this is not a band that favors only a few chords, and plays them over and over and over again. Nothing wrong if one digs the more simplistic sounds. Consider The Source are seasoned pro's. The world's just really getting to know about them now. Hopefully it is I who helped spread the word.

Known for being a classic rock writer, I would compare Consider The Source with a youthful Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. No shit! This band is 'that' good! Replace the legendary keyboardist Keith Emerson, with Consider The Source's guitarist; Gabriel Marin. The same devotion to the craft / high energy as Mr. Emerson exhibited throughout his legendary career, is there. Also, Consider The Source's John Ferrara and Jeff Mann, is a good match for ELP's Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer. Add a case of … (product placement) … '5 Hour Energy'. Sounds better than if I said something like; on illegal steroids. Besides, that shit don't last a lifetime, like the music of Consider The Source's, should. Point is the music they make, a lot of it is high energy stuff. The band's guitarist could out shred anyone out there playing metal-prog. He's in the same field as John Petrucci from Dream Theater. Thinking ahead, I hope Consider The Source stays on solid ground as their popularity soars. Loads of potential, in which this newest studio endeavor clearly demonstrates.

So, what are my favorite tracks or moments from Consider The Sources 'World War Trio Parts II & III release? Not forgetting Part I as an intro / set up to this very ambitious project, and would equate the whole entire suite as I would a classically structured piece of music.

Saying that, it's on record already with me saying that I dug World War Trio (Part I). Same thing here. It's that's easy. If wanting to read a short review you can stop here. I'm pleased as punch with not only Part I, but Parts II & III as well. Please remember to somehow support the band; buy their music, products, etc.. Drive home safely. Now for those wanting more detail, read on.

Again, Consider The Source - World War Trio (Part I, II, & III) is all instrumental (a tad spoken work). Well over two hours of outstanding rock n' roll.

So, let's say I was going to see the band live. I haven't yet and I seriously want to. Their live performance said to be akin to the old Nektar shows, whereas the light show (John Olsen - Lighting Design) is treated equal in presentation, as is the music.

To make this writing exercise even more interesting, let's say we have time restraints. Story will go ... just my luck that Consider The Source is only allowed to play ninety minutes on this particular evening, the FIRST time I will have seen them play. Can't play the entire suite, World War Trio (Parts I, II, & III) in it's entirety, like I was so hoping to see. Drats! So here's my hour and a half set list, and what I'd want to see the band perform.

I'd start the show with a performance of all of World War Trio - Part I. Gives me a little over an hour left. Shit! I really dig the first song off Part II called, Aquarians. Gives one a good idea as to what the band is like. Various influences, styles, and changing time signatures. This is after all a modern metal-prog twenty first century rock band. Back to the intro of Part II called Aquarians, it rocks like a mother-f*cker! Demonstrates imagination out the ass. Playing by all three members is simply outstanding. Double shit! If I pick this I got roughly fifty nine minutes left. Bonus point, over a set of speakers that could handle it, played aloud, Aquarians also makes for great grinding music! Know what I mean? This song is definitely included in my suggested 90 minute set list.

I so luv the theremin in the next song, Many Words Of Disapproval. Has a lush kind of vibe to it. As does the next tune, entitled; The Dubious Honor. A lot of precise playing for those who dig it. Rush fans should really get off on this band. As should Yes fans. This whole recording, World War Trio (Parts I, II, & III) is very much 'written in the spirit' of Yes' 1972 double concept album, Tales From Topographic Oceans. Says that on their website. I agree! Check it out. You have quite a bit of time, and it needs to be filled with music that not only does one get into playing, but that their listeners will play, again and again. Both bands achieved that goal in my mind. Back to the third track on disc one of World War Trio Part II, The Dubious Honor smokes in areas. I enjoy a harder rocking beat. Different tempos, and plenty to keep the brain focused on.

Next is another pick; One Hundred Thousand Fools. Leaves me about 55 minutes. All the members performing always stand out. After a while it can go unsaid. For some reason I hear Steve Howe in track four, of disc one. The song One Hundred Thousand Fools, has the honor of being the first song I pressed the repeat button on first listen. Gabriel Marin's playing; Steve Howe meets Jimmy Page after drinking five cups of trendy / hipster high priced dark roast house blend coffee. A wonderful track!

The next two songs keep the flow going. The listener has by now if liking instrumental rock, climbed onto the Consider The Source bandwagon. Is online looking at their catalog, and doing some retail catching up. I understand the reaction.

The numbers now being talked about; track five; Up To, But Not To Exceed … Whoa / and track six; You Are Obsolete. I'll add track five to the set list. I still have forty seven minutes. My set list so far is major kick ass! When given lemons, make lemonade. I want the best ninety minute set list possible.

Next are numbers; Tooth, and You Are Obsolete. Again, the flow of music coming from this disc is simply incredible. I mentioned Gabriel a couple / few times by now. Two other gentlemen in the band; John Ferrara (bass) and Jeff Mann (drums_percussion). Their work leaves one in awe as much as Gabriel's. That's why the comparison to ELP. Same intensity, and same precision playing.

I pick the next song called, Brother Nature. Beautiful song. This is a very cool acoustic piece. For those keeping score, I now have about forty three minutes left till I reach my max of ninety.

                     Consider The Source - Brother Nature

A very mellow piece called, 40% Gentelman, 60% Scholar. Kind of bluesy. John Bonham like drumming, with the bass sounding like it could be John Paul Jones at times. So a little Led Zeppelin sounding to me. A perfect number to end disc one, Part II with. I can fall into the whole song. Minus another seven and twenty-five seconds … I have about thirty-six minutes to suggest for what I think will be an excellent representation of the entire piece; World War Trio (Parts I, II & III). At least to me. When we all go to concerts, most of us we have hopes and wishes at a set list. Greatest hits, favorite songs and deep cuts. Back on track, I now covered disc one (Part II). Let's see how I finish this.

Disc Three (Part III) starts off brilliantly. Excellent first two tracks; A Monument To Compromise (Faux Clarinet) / Ninjanuity.

The next three tracks I want to add to my set list. Tracks 3, 4, and five; So Say We All (Parts I, 2, & 3). Is well worth the sixteen minutes needed to make it happen. I have twenty-seven minutes on my side.

Track six, More Than You'll Never Know, has a peaceful / middle eastern vibe to it. Almost eight minutes long. And the time goes by quickly. It's an enjoyable tune. I imagine it at night. Watching the guys perform this while sitting around a campfire. Nearly naked women dancing seductively. The smell of cannabis in the air coming from the next campsite next to us. Wish I was Captain Picard from Star Trek's Next Generation. I would for sure; Make it so.

Track Seven is a fucking monster and deserves to be seen played live. Period! I'll willingly and gladly subtract seven minutes for; I'll Fight For The Imp. Leaves me twenty minutes.

'White People's Problems, is the next track. The word 'spacey' comes to mind. Perhaps it's the headphones and having drank too much sangria? The outcome … add this eight minute composition to my set list. Twelve minutes to go.

The second to last song on this very ambitious project is titled; Tsim Sha Tsui. A feel good tune that includes a one-string Vietnamese instrument called the Dan Bau. Way good enough for a pick, but if I do I can't fit in the closing track.

The closing number, has to remain the closing number. Like the end of Part I, another ballad to close the disc, and the entire suite. Entitled; You Are Disappearing. Song length is; 6 minutes and 23 seconds. This is my LAST pick! I DID IT! Am too lazy to do the math, but I'm guessing I came in between the 85 and 90 minute mark. And what a performance that would be. Second only to seeing Consider The Source, play the whole thing; Parts I, II, & III.

Uncle G Rating

Using a one to five star rating system, whereas one star means it's truly horrible, to five stars meaning it's truly sensational, Uncle G gives Consider The Source - World War Trio (Parts II & III) … 5 STARS! If these guys never did anything else musically in their lives, they would have this to be proud of. For those into the progressive bands of yesterday, here's a band from the twenty first century that's worth checking out.

For more information on Consider The Source, please consult their official website: 

*Bonus Uncle G Video*
What U R about 2 C, is actual footage of Gary "Uncle G" Brown's drive into Houston Texas, heading east on Hwy I-10 on Saturday morning in October of 2015. The song U hear in the background is from Consider The Source - World War Trio (Part Two) - This Dubious Honor. Actual footage of Uncle G listening to / preparing his thoughts on said subject matter. GREAT driving music btw!

Remember ... this video was made by a real professional music reviewer for a classic rock 24/7 Internet station out of Liverpool England - Don't try this yourself. Keep the roads a safe place for us all to share / drive. 

                     Consider The Source Publicity done by 


Wednesday 4 November 2015

Hugh Cornwell November 2015 Tour dates

Hugh Cornwell is currently a few days into his November tour and you should do your  utmost to catch one or more of them, for an excellent live experience.  (See dates further below)

Hugh is one of the most important figures in punk and new wave music.  He was the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter in one of Britain’s most loved and most influential bands of all time: The Stranglers - best known for their hits “Golden Brown”, “No More Heroes”, “Peaches” and “Always The Sun”.

Always ahead of the curve, he has made headlines both with the music and innovative approaches to reaching new audiences over the years, being at the forefront of experimentation with free downloads and crowdfunding.

In August 2015, Hugh Cornwell released “The Fall And Rise Of Hugh Cornwell” through Invisible Hands Music, on LP and CD [Cat Nos IH61, IHCD61].  The first ever anthology of his post-Stranglers career, twenty five years on from leaving the band, this album brings together twelve choice Cornwell classics taken from the first six solo albums, plus one brand new studio recording, “Live It And Breathe It” [on CD format only].

Leave Me Alone  / Beat Of My Heart / Hot Cat On A Tin Roof / Break Of Dawn / Under Her Spell / First Bus To Babylon [Side One LP Format]
Please Don't Put Me On A Slow Boat To Trowbridge / Lay Back On Me Pal / One Burning Desire / Cadiz / Long Dead Train / Getting Involved [Side Two LP Format]
Live It And Breathe It [CD format only].

“The Fall And Rise Of Hugh Cornwell” is sure to be a hit with Stranglers fans and others curious to catch up with the solo work of this revolutionary, radical legend of modern music. This album is a carefully curated dip into the deep pool of work created in the twenty seven years since Hugh Cornwell has been releasing solo albums.

 Hugh Cornwell  Live Shows November 2015  

Saturday 7th November     
TORRINGTON – Plough Arts Centre

Thursday 12th November
MORECAMBE – The Platform
Box Office No: 01524 582803
Website -
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.00pm / 7.30pm Stage

Friday 13th November
COLNE – The Muni
Box Office No: 01282 661234
Website –
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.30pm / 8.30pm Stage

Wednesday 18th November
NEWBURY – Arlington Arts Centre

Thursday 19th November
WESTON SUPER MARE – St Paul’s Church
Box Office No: 0844 478 0898
Websites -
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.00pm / 8.00-9.00pm & 9.30-10.30pm Stage (2 sets)

Friday 20th November                 
SCUNTHORPE – Plowright Theatre
Box Office No: 0844 854 2776
Website -
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.00pm / 7.45pm Stage

Sunday 22nd November
GLASGOW – Oran Mor

Thursday 26th November
SALE – Waterside Arts Centre
Box Office No: 0161 912 5616
Website –
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.00pm / 7.45pm Stage

Friday 27th November
WHITLEY BAY – Playhouse
Box Office No: 0844 248 1588
Website -
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.00pm / 7.45pm Stage

Saturday 28th November
SOUTHPORT – The Atkinson
Box Office No: 01704 533333
Website -
Tickets - £20.00 advance  
Doors Open – 7.30pm / 8.00pm Stage

Sunday 29th November
LEEK – Foxlowe Arts Centre

For further information on HUGH CORNWELL, check out the following websites / social media links:

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

You Tube Official Link -

Gig Cartel – Ticket Links -

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