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The Journey so far...
New Model Army played their first gig in Bradford on October 23rd 1980. Its founding members were Justin Sullivan, Stuart Morrow and Phil Tompkins. The threesome had already been together for a couple of years in a number of Bradford bands with other musicians and singers but in the Autumn of 1980, they decided to form a stripped-down three-piece, their music drawing on a wide collection of influences and fuelled by their passions for Punk Rock and Northern Soul. Within a few months drummer Phil Tomkins had left to be replaced by Rob Waddington. The band slowly built up a local following and created a unique style based on Justin's song-writing and Stuart's virtuosity on lead-bass.
SLADE - Without doubt one of the most exciting bands to come out of Great Britain in the past 30 years. With their unique blend of perfect pop-rock'n'roll, outrageous flamboyance and pure fun, and no less than 23 Top-20 singles of which 6 were No-1 hits... plus 6 smash hit albums, Slade have become a firm favourite in the hearts of pop fans all over the world.
We asked you who you would most like to return this year and the resounding favourite was Focus. Your wish is our command!
With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus manifested themselves at the start of the '70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports. Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits “Hocus Pocus”, “House of The King” and “Sylvia”, as well as critically acclaimed albums 'Moving Waves', 'Focus 3' and 'Hamburger Concerto', the iconic Dutch music masters are back with their tenth album, which is guaranteed to please their legions of fans!
Having members from different corners of the world including Colombia, England, Italy and Belarus is a testament to the wide vision of Opensight. A band that draws influences from across musical genres, creating an adventurous and neurotic blend of rock, metal, spy themes, quirky jazzy passages and powerful orchestrations. The music is driven by a sense of adventure and excitement due to the band's love for genre movies and film scores, yet is still delivered within the high energy format of the heavy metal and rock giants that inspired the band members during their formative years.
By now, everyone knows the Yardbirds legend, if not their music; the band graduated three of the great Ph.D.s of rock guitar: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. They created hard rock out of standard twelve-bar blues, doubling the tempos and whacking the amps up to ten. On the British club scene, the Yardbirds, the Animals, and the Rolling Stones ruled the stages. The Yardbirds expanded the range of the electric guitar, experimenting with feedback, sustain, and fuzztone. They also coined and popularized the rave-up, a kind of free-for-all where you jam long and hard, not as soloists, but in a tandem, until you reach an epiphany about 10 or 20 or 30 minutes later, a shuddering climax of decibels and pure energy, and then—back into the song for one more boom-boom chorus. The Yardbirds were the bridge between the tributary white R&B of early-sixties London and the pastures of fuzz-toned psychedelia and power-chorded heavy metal plowed much later in the decade and throughout the seventies. Yes, the Yardbirds laid the groundwork for Rock Guitar As We Know It.
— from Parke Puterbaugh liner notes to Rhino’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, 1964-1966
GRYPHON may not be one of the better known of the British Progressive bands, but they are surely one of the most unique and interesting. The five albums they produced between 1973 and 1977 show their evolution from an all-acoustic medieval music quartet to a Progressive pop band. Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland, both alumni of the Royal Academy of Music, built Gryphon around their interest in ancient classical and folk music. Harvey, a true virtuoso on the recorder, also played keyboards and other instruments, while Gulland played crumhorn and its modern cousin, the bassoon. The first line-up of Gryphon was completed with the addition of guitarist Graeme Taylor and percussionist/singer David Oberle.
The True Deceivers have been developing their own blend of rootsy folk rock/Americana since their formation in 2003.
Former Blazing Homesteads Nick Bliss (guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals), Dee Coley (bass) and the late and sadly missed Mark Mitchell (fiddle) were joined by former Plenty frontman Graham Firth (vocals, guitar) and Jamie Legg (drums) and have since become favourites on Surrey music scene and regulars at festivals including Guilfest, Haslemere and Bearded Theory.
The reunion of this classic band came about after the discovery, in early 2011, of some previously unheard live recordings made by their former sound engineer on a couple of cassette tapes that have languished in the back of his wardrobe for the last 25 years. These recordings, made at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1986, exhibit a power and commitment that was never fully captured in the studio, so a live album release immediately became inevitable. With an album to promote, live performances were the obvious next step. So, with everyone truly inspired by the might of these recorded performances, Home Service is once again back in business.
Nine Below Zero’s founding members, Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham have gone back to their blues roots and are performing a series of acoustic concerts as a duo.
These are the first ‘old style’ blues shows the pair have performed in the 35 years they have been working together. Covering songs by blues legends such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo and Leadbelly, they also play unplugged versions of well known Nine Below Zero material.