A good time was had by all at the Great Brittish Beer Festival last week. I was there to see M3 and raise a few jars.
In keeping with the beer festival, the band had an hour break between two sets: one 45 minute and the other about an hour. The first set was made up of songs from Company of Snakes original album Burst their Bubble.
I have to admit I was probably one of the few people to recognize the tracks for this release. We got to hear both Marsden and Moody do solos to show off their amazing guitar skills. Neil Murray was his normal stoic self as he gave them the awesome bottom line Whitesnake blues needs.
Jimmy Copley, who has done time with Paul Rodger's and Tony Iommi's band, did the job on drums and on keyboards Mark Stanway (Magnum, Grand Slam) showed why he is so respected. Speaking of respect, a young lad asked me if they were a cover band. I had to explain the band's origins. He was impressed with their skill and really liked the band.
The second set was 100% vintage Whitesnake with "Slow & Easy," "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City," "Crying in the Rain," and cracking finale "Here I go Again" amongst others. I, like quite a few others in the crowd, sang along with every word. My only gripe with Stefan Bergrren who handles the vocals is he does not seem to have the low-end Coverdale has with his vocals. He handles the high stuff fine but does not do the bottom end as well.
In the end it was the perfect band for a night of real ale drinking. Most people went for the beer and got to see a cracking band. I went to see a band and got to drink some damn good beer.
Motorhead: Kiss of Death
Motorhead return with a new album of cracking tunes; 13 in all including a tribute to the Ramones imaginatively called "Ramones." Lemmy does always go the direct route to something. Like their previous album "Inferno" there is a bit of acoustic on this one as well in the intro to "God Was Never on Your Side;" not quite as good as "Whorehouse Blues" but still damn impressive.
One of the best tracks on here is the driving "Trigger" with its cracking metal pump and Maiden-esque guitars. You get what you would expect from a Motorhead album and this one is an apt follow-up to their triumphant return two years ago. It's heavy, raw, and in your face metal that delivers exactly what it says on the tin. As with most Motorhead albums, the only time you really need to write much about it is when it's rubbish.
Powerman 5000 Destroy What You Enjoy
I need to be very careful here as I did P5000 a complete disservice by putting them right after Motorhead on my iPod. You hear a lot of Lemmy & Co and a smattering of Sex Pistols, especially on tracks like "Enemies" in this lot, but that does not mean they are mere copyists.
P5000 deliver oodles of power and drive with great songs and lots of fun. I rather like the title track for instance with its catchy chorus and heavy rifting. The live new track "Heroes and Villans" has lots to say for it as well. "Wild World" combines a modern feel with enough sing-along rock goodness to make it quite appealing even to hoary old goats like me. Has some line-up change and leaving a major label hurt their output… nope not a bit. And I am sure they have not lost their cracking live ability either.
Bullet for my Valentine: The Poison
This lot of Welsh rockers are the in thing at the moment in modern rock circles. This album has won awards and been lauded by Kerrang! and their ilk. They are the perfect home-grown band to introduce young Britons to the likes of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and other classic metal bands. Like Trivium in the US they update the classic metal sound with lashings of "modern" heavy rock angst.
However at their base they are metalcore (combining metal and hardcore punk vocals) so those wishing for classy singing ala Bruce Dickinson might want to seek it elsewhere. For me that is what lets the side down. I am not that keen on the vocalist but the quality of the musicians keeps me listening. "Cries in Vain" is quite a good tune it has to be said. I can see why people of a certain age love this album.
The band show class, dedication and talent is seeping from their every pour. Listen to "The End" for a good example of that. Some seriously fun riffing is going on there. I suspect they are cracking live.
On my band front discs are selling nicely at CD Baby and my academic paper on the state of the music business in the UK (written as Andrew Ian Dodge) is set to be released on the 20th of August.
Needless to say its pretty quiet gig/CD release wise right now in London as the music industry is off on their summer holidays. Only big release is a new Iron Maiden single' followed by the new album in early September. It is said to be even better than the last one.
Stay safe and rocking.