A woman stands amongst the tangled strands of a steel labyrinth. A distant bass rumbles overhead. Pressure grows. No, this isn’t a scene from a Ridley Scott movie. This is Helene Fischer live in concert.
Back in April I wrote this review of Au4’s second album And Down Goes the Sky. I’d like to do a catch up on Au4 for the 1st issue of Alien Noise magazine in January. (Yes, it’s gone from November to december to January.) Problem is, it’s a bit difficult to get in touch with … More A Call To Au4
I was saving this review for the magazine, but I’ll land on the moon before the magazine comes out, so here it is. In full. My latest discovery. At the top of a futuristic tower a corporate Master of the Universe, armed with a couple of androgynous secretaries gets his comeuppance, courtesy of our pale … More The Perfect Cult – Deathstars
There was a moment, a few years ago, that struck like a harbinger of death; I should have recognised it at the time. In a record shop I asked for the new album by Rush, Test For Echo, and the shop assistant and I both agreed that more people should listen to Rush. It turned … More Rush – When the Music Stopped!
If I mentioned the phrase folk music, you might think of bearded men with one finger stuck in their ear singing songs about wassailing, with lyrics like ‘Oi ‘ad one lassy in the dewsoaked ‘ay, and we went with a way and a hay ninny nonny…’ Jake Thackray wasn’t like that. Unbearded, fingers focussed on … More Jake Thackray
I’ve got a suspicion my fondness for all things German happened in 1979 when Barcelona defender Miguel successfully managed to kick an important Fortuna Dusseldorf player off the pitch during the opening minutes of the Cup Winners’ Cup final in Basel. Johan Cruyff had retired, I’d eaten the last of the Edam and my peculiar … More Oh To Be German
When I was at school at the turn of the decade, a number of sinister forces roamed free. From 1979 to 1981, hormones ruled, self-image was more important than the Cold War and if you weren’t into punk or the New Wave of British Heavy Metal you were the lowest of the low. An absolute … More Are We Safe To Talk About Abba Yet?
Coming home from the International Motorbike Show one evening in 1991, my friend sat in the passenger seat of the car said with unrestrained disgust: ‘can we turn this shit off?’ ‘This shit’ was The Fall and I think his patience evaporated when he heard the line ‘the chief elf Norman jumped about on all … More The Fall – Urban Spoils Avuncular
At the risk of tempting fate I’m going to predict something: I’ll be struck by lightning before my brain falls to bits. Why? Because of euphoric trance. And before you start shouting ‘it’s uplifting trance, moron’ I couldn’t care less what you call it. I’m sticking with euphoric because uplifting trance sounds like a geological … More Why I Listen to Trance
Yes, the greatest band you might never have heard of. But if you have, well, that’s all right then, you can go and read Eric Robson’s tweets for the next ten minutes while I tell these no marks all about them.
Before I continue drawing my map of the Lake District I want to tell you about a fantastic album by a fantastic band from Canada. The album is And Down Goes the Sky, the band Au4. It’s strange how you come across bands and songs. Earlier this year I was watching one of the final … More And Down Goes The Sky – Au4
Now I’ve got a real treat for you this time. A writer who, if she started name dropping, would put Michael Parkinson to shame. In fact, to put me in the mood I’m gonna type up this interview whilst listening to Children of Bodom’s Hate Crew Deathroll. . . . Say hello to Hilary Mortz, … More Guest Author – Hilary Mortz
If you ever want to see a verbal conflict on Youtube, don’t go to any Balkan slanging matches, look for recent arguments involving the Nightwish Vocalist Wars. The amount of bile exchanged between Tarja Turunen fans and Anette Olzon fans could have raised sea levels by several metres. And ever since, I’ve swung this way … More Endless Forms Most Beautiful – Nightwish
With a new Nightwish album released, their first since the extraordinary Imaginaerum in 2011, I thought it timely to delve into the archive and bring out a little known song from their 2000 album Wishmaster. Fourteen years ago and since then Nightwish have only had three lead singers (five if you include the temporary arrangement … More Review – Dead Boy’s Poem (Nightwish)
It’s no use. I’ve held my tongue long enough. I’m going to write about Giuffria’s self titled debut album that rumbled down Public Street back in 1984. To many, Giuffria were probably the pomp rock equivalent of the black death. Arrangements wafting about like a giant pair of flared trousers, hairstyles held aloft by Californian … More Giuffria by . . . Giuffria
If your idea of foreign pop is Sylvia singing Eviva Espana in 1973 then you’re in for a treat with this mind boggling cornucopia of old 45s from yesteryear. Sylvia, by the way, was about as Spanish as Scottish salmon; born Sylvia Vrethammar in Sweden, she was like the Hawaian singers who first hit the … More Anyone for Demis – How the World Invaded the Charts
No one featured in the first episode of the Queens of British Pop had their lapels attacked by Eric Morecambe! Dustie Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Marianne Faithful, Suzie Quatro and Kate Bush escaped the spectacle and their careers carried on regardless. Only Dustie Springfield is gone, the others continue to this day albeit in various guises … More Queens of British Pop: Part 1
There’s a big difference between a pub band and a major international act: professionalism. The ability to continue under the most deranged circumstances. In the extra features on the DVD we join Nightwish half way through their US tour. The singer Anette Olzen has been hospitalised by flu and that night’s concert is a sell … More Nightwish – Showtime, Storytime
When I first discovered Within Temptation there were two bald men. They looked like brothers. By the time Hydra was released one of them was gone. . . . … More Within Temptation – Let Us Burn
Angry men are hilarious. Angry women are too, but angry men have a certain comic abandon. Think John Cleese in angry mode, threatening to punch a plant pot. In 1988 something was winding up Dave Mustaine. Winding him up to the point of apoplexy. His volcanic fury finally got the better of him in the … More MetalMonth – So Far, So Good . . . So What
Early in 2012 I heard an album that was so good I offered to eat my own hands if anyone released anything better. Today, I’m typing this post with my fingers and not the tip of my nose, but it was a close thing… The Album in question was The Quiet Resistance* by Dutch band … More Three Dutch Bands
Director Florent-Emilio Siri Jeremie Renier, Monica Scattini, Marc Barbe, Benoit Magimel, Sabrina Seyvecou, Maude Jurez, Josephine Japy, Ana Girardot When I was growing up in the 1970s culture was British. Yes, we would watch all the American imports on telly, but they spoke English. Columbo, Starsky and Hutch, David Cassidy and the Muppets, all indistinguishable … More Cloclo – film review