Archive | June, 2011

Have a V Fantastic Summer

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Have a V Fantastic Summer

Posted on 19 June 2011 by Chris Knight

It’s that time of year again, as summer draws near we all know what is coming, it’s the season of the Festival.  So find those dancing wellies, and recover your moth eaten tent from the garage, because this year’s festivals look set to impress, with fantastic line ups and the promise of hot weather.

V Festival has become a massive hit in the festival calendar. The event is held in 2 locations over 2 days and artists perform at both swapping on each night.  The action will take place at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in South Staffordshire (near Stafford), and the fun will be broadcast live on Channel4.

V festival was originally created by Richard Branson in 1996, and like anything Branson touches, it turned to gold, and fast became one of the big boys of the music festivals, with an impressive line up year on year and a track record of success.

With the exception perhaps of Glastonbury, V Festival is the King of the Festivals.  You only have to look at the line up to know this is no ordinary event.  With big names such as Rhianna, Eminem, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Jessie J, The Saturdays, and many more, visitors will be hard pressed to cram all the headliners in.

Some of the biggest names in the music industry have played at V, with this year being no exception, and many break through acts got their break right on the V stage, before taking the Country by storm.

Already sold out, with just over 2 months to go until the event, the demand for tickets speaks for itself, as music lovers scramble to get these coveted tickets.  Now, the only options left to V Festival hopefuls is to win competitions for tickets, or beg steal or borrow from the few who find they can’t make it.

V festival has seen such success it has now branched out globally, with V festivals popping up in Australia and Canada, however like so many things, the original is always the best, and it is the UK V festival that draws in the big names and music fans in their masses.

The musical line up always features current chart toppers, alongside breakthrough acts and big name established groups.

This summer is set to be a hot one, which makes V an even more attractive prospect, as though another reason was needed!  If you’re a music lover, and like partying your way through summer, then V is the event for you.

If 2010 is anything to go by then you will not want to miss V in 2011.  With more announcements being made all the time, V Festival is the place for music lovers to be this summer.

Those lucky few with tickets can prepare to be spoilt by a line up like no other to find out more check out www.VFestival.com

DIO Disciples – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms

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DIO Disciples – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms

Posted on 18 June 2011 by Mizzle

“We rock You!”

A Wednesday night in Wolverhampton, streets are deserted pubs are empty! Infact the British summer time is as depressing as the economy that is unless you’re a punter turning up for tonight’s gig at the Slade Rooms.

You would be forgiven for thinking this is just another tribute act or perhaps another band booked just to cover the under sale of Smokey bacon crisps.

The Midlands was always the back yard of industry, pioneering grimey units tucked away in back streets with the terraced houses unaware of what was being created.  The relentless thud of the steel machines hammering away and red hot furnaces burning red into the night sky……

That’s exactly what was happening tonight, a chorus of steel and fire tearing through the Victorian foundations of Broad Street, the odd collection of stragglers outside the kebab shop completely unaware of what was tearing up the foundations of Wolverhampton.

Step forward ripper Owens, Toby Jepson and co…… Ripper Owens strikes me as the fans fan, a man that was plucked from obscurity; the punter propped at the end of the bar with the dreams of being the focal point. Ronnie James may have been knee high to a grasshopper but boy did he pack a punch, and there was also more than the odd occasion when he could do soul – so take Toby Jepson and Ripper Owens a perfect combination of chainsaw flesh tearing aggression mixed with lashings of soulful heart and vocal chord revs.  Mix that up with over 4 decades of dio musicians and you’re in for a treat.

Trying to cram all of that into 1.5 hour session was about as easy as stopping the titanic leak water, Dio, Rainbow & Heaven and Hell hits taking a swipe at your face like a fearsome left from Tyson.  Just as Owens had removed his sun glasses you were being whipped in the face by Jepson’s locks and if that wasn’t enough to keep you entertained, you had Scott Warren on keyboards as mad as a marsh hare on acid, the flawless Craig Goldy on guitar, chief tub thumper Simon Wright and James Lomenzo on bass.

The encore was a fitting tribute, ‘we rock you’ and rock you they did, see the simple truth is they just don’t make them like they used too…as the sweaty leather and denim poured out into the street no one could have said a bad word, even if they could have been heard.

This wasn’t just a group of musicians here for the money nor even the fame…’someone’s screaming my name, come and make me holy again’ and that they did!

Review By Chris Knight

Laura goes to the UK Premiere of ‘God Bless Ozzy Osbourne’

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Laura goes to the UK Premiere of ‘God Bless Ozzy Osbourne’

Posted on 17 June 2011 by Mizzle

As a big lover for all things rock ‘n’ roll, I was beyond excited to be attending the first UK screening of God Bless Ozzy Osbourne; an insightful documentary into the life of one of the biggest pioneers of heavy metal.

I rock up to the very swish Sony Pictures UK building in Central London and head to the bar to get into the spirit of things. As I soak up some Black Sabbath and Ozzy tunes whilst sipping on complimentary drinks, do not worry I wasn’t drinking in true Ozzy style mine was a cranberry juice, soon enough it was time to enter for the screening.

It was a small room, with a modest turnout but this only added to the ambience of an intimate feeling. I couldn’t wait to get up close and very personal with one of rocks most iconic legends.
Jack Osbourne said a few words (literally, a few) to introduce the documentary that he had produced and a nice little touch was added to every seat: a God Bless Ozzy Osbourne t-shirt, a gold Ozzy cross medallion and the press release about the film.

Directed by Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscitelli, the documentary begins with Ozzy’s troubled background growing up in Birmingham’s Perry Barr and how he formed the revolutionary band Black Sabbath with some of his neighbourhood friends. It goes on to show how the bands success and status helped to fund Ozzy’s wild man lifestyle. A life which was fuelled by drink and drugs all of which led to his crazy antics such as biting the heads off doves and bats, urinating on the Alamo and even covering hotel walls in his excrement – yes really – and this is only to name but a few. This eventually led to his first failed marriage and to him being inevitably fired from Black Sabbath. The film also goes on to detail his solo comeback and the deaths of his father, Jack Osbourne, and of his best friend and guitarist Randy Rhoads.

Containing some never-before-seen archive footage, God Bless Ozzy Osbourne also features recollections from Ozzy’s family, former Black Sabbath band mates and other rock icons including Sir Paul McCartney (The Beatles), Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) and Robert Trujillo (Metallica). The documentary also features many of Ozzy’s tunes throughout his Black Sabbath days and his solo career.

The documentary itself shows a fascinating insight into The Prince of Darkness’s career, personal life, addictions and the impact it had upon his family and friends. You see a vulnerable side to Ozzy in some interviews, but it by no means paints him to be an angel. This is even shown in the image promoting the film: Ozzy resembles a Jesus-like figure, with his long hair, a cross and heavenly clouds forming a halo behind him. In juxtaposition to this, Ozzy wears a skull ring and the red flames lick up at him like the flames from the fiery pits of hell. The interviews not only highlight some of the darker things he has done but you also get to hear some of Ozzy’s confessions as he reminisces about the past.

The film strikes a good balance between the comic moments, the touching and even the unsettling; whilst the animal-lover in me did have to look away for one scene, I would well up in the next and be laughing at another.

This is defiantly one you should keep a look out for, as God Bless Ozzy Osbourne the documentary proves to be a very interesting and revealing rockumentary for any Ozzy fan or like minded rock’n’rollers out there.

Laura Gillion

The Parklife Weekender 2011

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The Parklife Weekender 2011

Posted on 16 June 2011 by Glenn Tucker

The-Parklife-Weekender

If I was at all superstitious or had any belief in warnings, signals or omens I might have paid attention to the series of events leading up to my experience at Manchester’s Parklife festival.

How far back I go is irrelevant as I could start with any disaster in the last few weeks but to save your ears and eyes reading mindless drivel I will start with Saturday morning. Having made a well informed decision to leave the car in Birmingham and sack off overpriced trains we booked the ever classy Mega bus as our means of transport to Manchester and back.

A surprisingly early night for a Friday meant we were up and raring to go at 6am on Saturday morning. Being ever organised, or so I thought, we arrived at Digbeth coach station with 20 minutes to spare only to realise our coach left from the other side of Birmingham…

We made it nevertheless and arrived safe and sound in Manchester and passed the time till the festival gates opened at 1 pm. It was at this moment that the heavens also opened, the cold heavens, and some pretty hefty hail started to hammer down on top of us. This was not a great start but better for us who had raincoats than for the guy behind us in a t-shirt and with a bald head. I can still here is screams in my sleep now.

Undeterred, we marched on to the artists bar hoping to catch a glimpse of a few famous faces but finding only three very friendly but bored bar staff and the women in charge of artists liaison whose phone happened to fall into a bucket of water and ice as we arrived leaving her with no way to stay in contact with any of the artists.

With misfortune and hard luck following us everywhere we went it was high time we took this out to the party goers in the various arenas to get an idea of what people thought of Parklife 2011 and how they were coping with the hail and rain.

I have to say the response was more upbeat and enthusiastic than I could have imagined and the general British public does not seem to let any amount of foul weather dampen their spirits or get in the way of having a good time.

Most people we spoke to about who they were here to see reeled of the big names but a couple mentioned some great acts such as Riot Jazz and Chad Valley who provided both diverse and interesting sounds in their sets. For the early part of the day we did manage to find some diversity among many of the tents with a mix of wireless acts that could only be reached by crawling through a series of tunnels, to a beat box and block beat dancer combos.

The experience was starting to pick up and the sun even made a guest appearance to dry us all out.

As the evening approached and we and some newly found friends went in search of some Dub step or Drum n Bass we found many of the dance tents sounding all too similar and the ability to hold a decent conversation inside the tents meant the music was just not loud enough.

It was as these niggles began to become more and more obvious but also as we had just accepted them and started to get on with having a party that the lights came on and the crowds started to disperse to various after parties… at 11pm

It was also at this point that we met a few disgruntled locals who had bought Saturday and Sunday tickets purely because they lived closed by and could nip back home for a snack if they wanted too, only to find out that once you were in there was no exit and re-entry meaning you were forced to live off whatever was on offer within the arena.

Having to leave the site so early also knocked the small amount of enthusiasm that I had left and the thought of trekking back into Manchester for the sake of a few more hours dancing did not make any sense.

Sunday began with a hot, strong cup of coffee as we watched someone’s house and business burn down in the pouring rain and did not seem to pick up much from there onwards. By the time the gates opened at 1:30 pm the fields were drenched and a trickle of people started to enter the site.

With the no re-entry rule the early part of the day was quiet although a few die hard revelers carried on dancing, maybe just to keep warm. As the day drew to a close the site started to fill up but the rain carried on falling and we decided it was about time to get home and dry. Although we would have loved to stay on and reading comments and other views of the festival it seemed like the evening session really picked up we were at the mercy of public transport and our bus back to Birmingham was due.

Overall the atmosphere was good and some big names attracted some upbeat crowds but as the festival seemed so heavily based on the dance genre it just did not carry on long enough. As it is meant to be a city festival it would have been good to see some diversity in the music that might represent the wide range of styles and music genres that a city like Manchester has to offer.

 

Glenn Tucker

Sam checks out The Beekeepers feat. Mystro ‘Queen Bee’

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Sam checks out The Beekeepers feat. Mystro ‘Queen Bee’

Posted on 14 June 2011 by Mizzle

When first given the choice to review The Beekeepers collaboration with UK Rapper Mystro ‘Queen Bee’ I initially turned it down as UK hip hop is really not my scene, being more into my Rock. However, saying that I decided to see what it was all about.

The different remixes whether it was by ‘Hint‘ fun clubbie mix or ‘Parker‘ Remix, which I found was rather dub steppie, or ‘Dr Rubberfunk‘ using a funky as hell fuzz guitar riff, each one gives a very different feel to the original uptempo party hip hop track, with their changing back beats and timing to the tracks.

Listening to this type of music reminds me of one of my favourite films ‘Street Dance’ with it mixing the old with the new. As you listen to the wide range of remixes it gives you the feeling of being in a club blasting out loud music whilst dancing till you can’t feel your feet any more.

I really enjoyed listening to this as it reminds me that even though you may just like one type of music for now you should always be open to experience new things as your tastes can change, you can be surprised, I was.
If you’re like me and you are now intrigued to hear more check out all the mixes here The Beekeepers, you can also catch them playing at Glastonbury this year too!

Chris Tells all – Psychedelic Pernambuco

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Chris Tells all – Psychedelic Pernambuco

Posted on 13 June 2011 by Mizzle

Various – Psychedelic Pernambuco (COMPILATION ALBUM)

Somewhere far far to the north east of Sao Paulo & Rio (Brazils musical Head Quarters), a strange yet beautiful and mystical sound was being woven. A twisted, wild & hedonistic sound created by a group of socially like minded individuals. A spine tingling cocktail of new world fusion shook up and served with overtones of India & Morocco and a generous serving of traditional pernambucan percussion.

A sip or two from this cocktail would soon have you doing a pixie dance around the daisies or better still po-going amongst the jungle lights of the Americana! Sound interesting? Well there may have just been something in that! So much so that the military at the height of its oppressive dictatorship (1964-1985) were determined to suppress the experimentalism and psychedelic sounds being created by the likes of musicians Lula Cortés, Geraldo Azevedo & Marconi Notaro’s, some of the material never making the light of day .

For what did eventually surface from the jungle rising like a plume of marijuana, is this delightful selection of crafted songs that were highly influenced by the Psychedelic music coming from America and Britain. It’s complicated, mutated and meandering; yet beautiful and soul warming, a fitting tribute to the passing in March of Lula Cortés and a two fingered salute to the new world order!

Ed Sheeran – ‘The A Team’

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Ed Sheeran – ‘The A Team’

Posted on 12 June 2011 by Mizzle

Chase & Status ft. Tinie Tempah – ‘Hitz’

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Chase & Status ft. Tinie Tempah – ‘Hitz’

Posted on 11 June 2011 by Mizzle

Glenn_Tucker

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The Park Life Weekender

Posted on 10 June 2011 by Glenn Tucker

Manchester 2011 – The Parklife Weekender

It might be a coincidence that “Park Life” (Blur) has just come on to the radio ahead of The Parklife Weekender but it is a nice reminder. However the genre couldn’t be further off what Platt Fields Park has to offer this weekend with headline acts including Two Door Cinema Club (Saturday) and Chase and Status (Sunday).

Aside from the big names there seems to be a line-up covering a week’s worth of talent all crammed into one weekend so festival goers won’t be left wanting and although, secretly, we would all like to be at the Isle of White festival, The Park Life Weekender is bound to be one hell of a party.

While it’s great to get the opinions, insites and views of the performers we also like to get the opinions of the crowd and offer an insight to the ”feel” of the festival from a grass roots level. For this reason I am volunteering to take up the role of festival investigator which is another way of saying I’m going to try and meet and talk to as many people as I possibly can and find out if you’re all having a bloody good time.

For full listings see the official Park Life Weekender website and if you see me there please pick me up off the floor.

Bring on the Weekend.

Glenn Tucker

Brookes Brothers ft. Johnny Osbourne – ‘In Your Eyes’

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Brookes Brothers ft. Johnny Osbourne – ‘In Your Eyes’

Posted on 10 June 2011 by Mizzle