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Monday, 21 May 2018

The Apocalypse Blues Revue to release new album 'The Shape Of Blues To Come' on 20th July via Provogue/Mascot Label Group

The Shape Of Blues To Come, the brand new album from The Apocalypse Blues Revue which features Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin (Drums) and Tony Rombolo (Guitar) is due out July 20th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.

The band has also dropped a lyric video for the first track to be released from the album. You can check out Hell To Pay here -

Speaking about the track, drummer Shannon Larkin explains: “This song is about finding the balance between the dark and the light aspects of spirituality, and in the end realising that one needs to find and conquer both to choose your own ultimate path to divinity.”

Shannon Larkin discovered Ray Cerbone at a biker bar. The singer had no idea that he was speaking to the drummer from Godsmack, it was just a couple of guys hanging out. “It wasn’t a recruitment at all,” Larkin says. Just two guys who liked to ride, and enjoy music. “It wasn’t like I was a guy in a big band, and he was star struck at all. I went over to Ray’s house with my wife to have dinner, and I happened to see his guitar sitting in the corner. I didn’t know what he did, so I asked him to play a song, and I really loved his voice.”
Grizzled “Rafer John” may be no spring chicken, but the truth is that this is his first band, though he has for years worked as an acoustic blues troubadour. He picks up the story, “Next thing you know, Shannon calls and says that he and Tony are down the road in a recording studio working on a blues song, and they needed someone to sing it. I said, ‘Yeah, I know a few guys who could sing that for you, and he said, ‘no, I want you to sing it! I got in there, sang that song, and the rest is history.”
This is more than a side project, “We’re very excited about this second record. I’ve never seen four wills join so strongly with one intent as I have in this band. That’s something special,” affirms Larkin.
Larkin tells of a pre-production meeting with producer Dave Fortman (Godsmack, Evanescence, Anthrax). at The Vibe Recording Studios in Southwest Florida (Fort Myers), in which the two settled into the control room, ingested certain mind-expanding compounds, and they then proceeded to listen to many hours of the records they loved the most. The phrase Larkin comes back to again and again are, “it has to be real, it has to be genuine.” This record is exactly that. It drips with the existential stew of four guys playing together in a small room, in fact, that is exactly much of what we are hearing—the band laid the basic tracks in just one long day, but they captured it all with the cinematic vision and clarity of a great filmmaker.
Larkin continues, “Our mission is to see if Apocalypse can reshape the shape of blues to come. We’re a different shade of blue. Our approach is to write and play as a traditional blues band. Our original influences came from Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, we came to the blues later in life, and we’ve found our groove and sound, and it sounds unique and original to us. We don’t try to hide our rock influences, it comes through creating a new shade of blue.”
The band again wrote together for this record, but in a strange twist of coincidence, the tracks selected were all lyrically from the pen of Shannon Larkin. In terms of lyrical content, he reveals that his lyrics are often spiritual in nature, but he hesitates to define his meanings as he defers to the imaginations of the listener to find their own meanings.
Somewhere there is a kid who has been listening to Godsmack, who will now come to know The Apocalypse Blue Revue, and from this revelation of the blues they will back pedal to discover the long and honorably trod path that leads to Robert Johnson, the Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie), all the way forward to The Doors and the British blues rock boom, which finally leads straight to today.
Rombola provides the six string fireworks with tight, tough riffs and incendiary solos, while Larkin brought a sheaf of lyrics that are straight ahead reflections of the biker’s blues life. As close as they get to metal mythology is on the sultry, “Sincere”, in which Cerbone intones, “Some say I worship the devil, I say he worships me.” These songs are about walking the walk of life. Somewhere between Larkin’s metal alter-ego and Cerbone’s Americana roots there lies a place where passion, the roots of the blues, and the combined experience of everyone in the room work together to create a tantalizing path.
Sonically, The Shape Of Blues To Come covers a lot of ground, from the traditional blues changes of “Sincere” to the more cerebral textures found on the Floydian “What A Way To Go” with Rombolo’s evocative late night Strat tones, Larkin’s soft, musical touch on the drums, sweet background choirs, and Cerbone’s sung-spoken recitation of “What a way to go, when the wind’s never at your back.” “Open Spaces”, which opens the album with a nod to Jimi’s blues, then gradually ups the ante as the band’s rock blood begins to boil and cast about with heavily flanged guitars and vocals is an ideal way to get a panoramic view of what is to come. The beauty lies in the fact that this band has been six years in the making, and while the album lies rooted in very traditional blues structures and sounds, Rombola, Larkin, and Carpenter’s rock roots do shine through. The album’s closing number, “Noumenal Blues” finds Cerbone duet with Nancy Koerner, whose silky tones match Ray’s earthy baritone alongside Carpenter’s languidly loping bass line and some fingerpicked acoustic guitar before Larkin, Carpenter, and Rombola put the record to sleep with a bit of unabashed rock.
There is a healthy dose of psychedelia that infuses the record, filtered through the blues of Jimi HendrixDavid Gilmour, and Billy F. Gibbons, and guitarist Tony Rombola runs the gamut from earthy comping to explosive shards of metallic but no less bluesy slide guitar on “We Are One.” Rombola’s riffing, writing, and soloing is a beautiful blend of chops and taste. This is a great guitar record, and Rombola displays a lifetime of woodshedding, listening, learning, and his playing is a thrill from beginning to end. Another important piece of the puzzle here is the rhythm section of Larkin and bassist Brian Carpenter—Carpenter’s huge, gritty tones are a perfect complement to the dynamic drum work, and together they have the feel and sound of a classic blues rock engine room.
Six years in, and it feels like The Apocalypse Blues Revue is just getting started….

Friday, 18 May 2018

Brian Downey's Alive and Dangerous 40th Anniversary tour - tickets on sale now.

Thin Lizzy drummer, Brian Downey, and ALIVE AND DANGEROUS perform Thin Lizzy’s “Live And Dangerous” in its entirety!!

Says Brian, “We will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Live and Dangerous by performing the album in its entirety when we tour it in the UK in September and October. Thin Lizzy fans have been asking us when we will embark on a UK tour. The time has finally arrived.”
Photo credit: Laurence Harvey.

South Shields, Queen Vic
Tuesday 25th September 2018
Tickets: £15
Venue: 0191 447 0290

Stoke, Eleven
Thursday 27th September 2018
Tickets: £16
Venue: 07845 957 271

London, Camden Underworld
Friday 28th September 2018
Tickets: £25
Venue: 020 7267 3939

Wolverhampton, Robin 2
Saturday 29th September 2018
Tickets: £22
Venue: 01902 401 211

Glasgow, Classic Grand
Monday 1st October 2018
Tickets: £22
Venue: 0141 847 0820

Brian Grace - Lead guitar, backing vocals Brian is a well-known musician in Ireland and has a career spanning almost 30 years. He first played with the legendary Brush Shiels (Skid Row) in the '80's, and then played and recorded worldwide with Rob Strong, Andrew Strong (The Commitments) and Juliet Turner. Brian was musical director on the famous Vibe for Philo in Dublin and was a major contributor every year since 1986. He is widely regarded as one of Ireland's finest guitarists and would give any players out there, past and present, a serious run for their money. 

Phil Edgar - Lead guitar, backing vocals Phil hails from Lisburn near Belfast in Northern Ireland and was born to play rock 'n' roll. His early career saw him play with local bands and was heavily influenced by the music of Thin Lizzy, The Eagles and Peter Green. More recently Phil has had major exposure with Matt Wilson in The Sensational Northern Irish band, El Dude Brothers. Phil's reputation as a young tear-away guitarist gives ALIVE AND DANGEROUS a sparkling injection of passion, style and flair. 

Matt Wilson - Bass guitar, lead vocals Matt is a Belfast based musician and vocalist with a fervent love of blues, rock and soul. Starting off at an early age as a boy soprano, his teenage years saw him flirting with various bands, playing standards from Jimi Hendrix, Bill Withers and Funkadelic, leading him to become one of Northern Ireland's most sought after radio jingle and corporate vocalists. The influence of Thin Lizzy's music and in particular, Phil Lynott's vocal and writing style, makes him the perfect frontman for ALIVE AND DANGEROUS. 

Brian Downey - Drums Dublin-born, Brian first tasted success in Ireland with the top 20 hit 'Morning Dew' before forming Orphanage with Phil Lynott. The two went on to form the legendary Thin Lizzy with Eric Bell and Brian remained a constant member until the band split in 1983. Brian worked on Phil Lynott's solo albums and the subsequent Grand Slam project. He moved back to Dublin around the time of Phil's untimely death on January 4th 1986. Brian remained in constant demand as both a touring and session drummer and regularly played concerts and recorded with guitarist Gary Moore. Often cited as being an influence by many of the world's top drummer.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Jet Black 3 - new single 'Carousel' out now!

Words by Anselm Anderson
Jet Black 3 describe themselves as genre-blending, with a love of riff-heavy rock, delta blues and grunge. They have been creating a lasting impression on listeners with an appearance at Planet Rock’s Winter’s End festival this year while regularly releasing new videos and singles.
The threesome’s latest single Carousel is a barnstorming combustion of nostalgic 90’s grunge tunes and singalong choruses that will enlighten any new listeners with its charm and energy.
The track signals its intent with the kicks of bass drum that echoes round the ears and guides the listener through a celestial journey of hazy rock with relatable lyrics and big hooks that do not disappoint, and swirling grooves and seductive riffs build to a raucous finish.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Phoxjaw - ‘Goodbye Dinosaur’

Words by Adrian Ball
New grunge in style, loud in volume and big on riffs, Bristol-based Phoxjaw formed in 2016 and have already built up a reputation for monster performances. Having toured the UK with Black Foxxes, Black Tusk and Avon, the band are set to smash the stage at 2000 Trees festival this year.  
The latest E.P Goodbye Dinosaur has an intro that guides the listener in slowly before the senses are smashed with the powerful song Triceratops.  
It continues with an explosive mix of heavy, grungy guitar riffs, powerful back line and a stunning mixture of yin and yang vocals; full on in your face opposes the delicate and gentler moments.
Axe wielding, crunchy guitars are at the forefront throughout, verging on punk and keeping you engaged and entertained, combined with traditional heavy riffs and rhythm presented with more than a nod to the 90’s grunge era. 
Lottery speeds out of the blocks and with its heavy guitars and intense vocals, it’ll well and truly blow you away with its style and presentation. 
Weapons attacks the senses from the outset, before dropping into a more melodic style.  Dinosaur Bones is a glorious mix of styles built to catch you unaware, turn your head and keep you glued to the stereo.  It’s a stand out track that deserves some serious airplay, and Plastic Wedding delivers a fine and glorious ending to the delicious serving from Phoxjaw.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Ragged Union - ‘Lay My Ghost To Rest’

Ragged Union can answer to many things – alt/sleaze/Americana/country-rock and being from the Deep South (of the UK) they know a thing or two about creating those ‘slice of life’ narrative tunes with only three chords and the truth.
Their second release, E.P Lay My Ghost To Rest has all the characteristics of a good country-fringed compilation, combining rockier moments with ballad-style songs, melancholic tales of love and life, without giving in to becoming a Nashville cliché. 
Opener Lay To Rest is an easy listen, rambling along like a well-oiled motor, while Here For You is sweet and sentimental, pleasingly without sap, before things get ramped up with the southern-rock centred Writing’s On The Wall. We’re treated to some country-rap in Days Like These with light-hearted lyrics and an emotive outing for the harmonica that completes the sunset porch-swinging image this conjures.
Finally, Another Lover is a break-up song with attitude. Fuelled by a frustrating situation, the lyrics are uplifting, heartfelt and delivered with sincerity. 
The key changes and chord progressions match the moods you will experience when listening to this well-crafted package of delights. Ragged Union know what they want to say and how to say it, it’s just a case of finding the right listeners. With a ton of live dates and festivals coming up this year, including a spot at Planet Rockstock, there’s plenty of chances to show support for an unsigned act who deserve more than a few hundred attentive ears.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

No Fit State - ‘On Your Own’ (single)

Words by Adrian Ball
No Fit State is a soul-infused, modern blues duo (drums / guitar) with an already excellent pedigree, having toured with Supergrass and Kasabian. Delivering their debut single On Your Own ahead of what’s planned to be a busy year, with numerous releases culminating into an album release towards the end of 2018.  If you’re a gamer, keep a look out for this tune as it’s set to feature in a big gaming release too.
An infectious opening of glorious guitar riffs give the song a jump start, before launching what can only be described as an enviable set of vocals onto the unsuspecting listener.  The pace is enough to get your feet tapping enthusiastically and the intensity is palpable, hooking you in as the boys continue to reel their newly created fans further in.  
Add this song to your current playlist, play it over and over again and then wait patiently for a set of highly anticipated singles to follow. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Federal Charm / Gabriella Jones / Flowerpot - The Louisiana Bristol, 22/04/18

Photo credit: Simon Reed | Musical Pictures.

Tonight brings a diverse line-up at The Louisiana in Bristol with energetic alt-rockers and local girls Flowerpot, glamazon singer/songwriter Gabriella Jones and melodic Mancunian blues-rockers Federal Charm.
Bristol music scene stalwarts Flowerpot easily warm the small but mighty crowd, having done so at many local venues with their alternative mix of powerful grunge. Seemingly blending hints of their favourite genres perfectly to create one all of their own and the crowd seem happy as clams to be rocking out on a Sunday.
Gabriella Jones and her band is up next, including Planet Rock’s Wyatt Wendels on drums, fresh (well, ish) from the London Marathon – medal and all.
Looking all things chic with sequins and a sunshine smile, Gabriella has the room eating from her hand with endearing interactions and a multi-octave vocal, bringing it from subtle songbird to growling tigress within minutes. Fair play to the guys doing a strong job backing her and seeing a drummer with light up drum sticks is just a novel delight. Mixing pop, rock and blues, her songs have no trouble rocking things up, especially feel-good number Take me to the Party leaving you with a sense of happy contentment to be at the show.
Headliners Federal Charm own the room during the final set, showcasing songs from their two acclaimed albums including the latest Across the Divide, exuding swagger and self-assured sleaze rock. They’re essentially having an on-stage party for five and it’s infectious, while sounding tight, together and confident in their work.
The lead vocal is consistently strong and the band is giving a taste of real, ungoverned rock ‘n’ roll and it’s a happy sight to see.
They deserve a bigger crowd to fit their even bigger sound, so let’s hope this run of gigs and their obviously loyal following help to spread the word. They’re the friendliest guys to boot, which just adds to their appeal.