Music News Blog

What’s happening in the world of prog and other related scenes. News about gigs, record releases, new videos and band changes.

Metallica’s new single: What’s the verdict?

Return to form after the awful “Lulu”, or a warmed-up pastiche of their glory days? And are those drums really Lars, or a machine?

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Cambridge Rock Festival on Friday, in pictures

Doris Brende

There will be a full review, but in the meantime here’s a few photos from Friday, starting with Doris Brendel, opening act on the main stage

Laura Holland

Laura Holland fronting her 40s-style big band on the Blues stage

Polish singer-songwriter Agnieszka Swita on the Classic Rock Socierty stage.

Rebecca Downes

Rebecca Downes doing an impression of Gene Simmons on the Blues stage.

Meryl Hamilton of Voodoo Vegas

Meryl Hamilton rocks out with Voodoo Vegas on the CRS stage.

Haze headlining the CRS stage

And finally, in an image that perhaps epitomises Prog, Haze headlining the CRS stage.

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Rob Cottingham announces Cairo

CairoFormer Touchstone keyboardist and songwriter Rob Cottingham has formally announced his new band Cairo:

After what I can only describe as amazing support from the industry, I am proud and delighted to announce my new band, CAIRO.

The band comprises Rachel Hill on vocals; James Hards on guitars; Paul Stocker on bass, Graham Brown on drums and myself on vocals and keys.

I was after a new sound with the same sensibilities as in my previous writing but with heavier passages, as well as more ambient, electronic soundscapes – plus more time spent on crafting the blend of male and female vocals within the overall production of the music.

We have just recorded our debut album “Say” at Outhouse Studios, with the mighty John Mitchell (It Bites, Frost*, Lonely Robot, Arena) at the helm, and we will be releasing the album in October. Album launch shows are scheduled in the UK for November with our special guests, Luna Rossa.”

The band have announced three live dates in November, in London, at the CRS in Rotherham, and in Leicester.

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Opeth release lyric video for Sorceress

The title track of the new album, probably the heaviest thing they’ve done since their move away from death metal after “Watershed”.

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Chantel McGregor – Home

A beautiful video by Chantel McGregor for the acoustic “Home”, from the album Lose Control.

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Panic Room confirm live DVD gig

Panic Room Live DVD

With the Pledge Music campaign now at 98% of the target, Panic Room have confirmed that the recording of the live DVD is now definitely going to happen, and the band have booked Islington Assembly Hall for a gig on Sunday 16th October. They’ve also extended the Pledge Music campaign for another month to get that final 2%.

The band will be making two other live appearances this year. The first will be at Off The Tracks festival on Saturday 3rd September on a bill headlined by Ozric Tentacles, the second will be a Christmas gig at Bilston Robin 2 on Friday 2nd December.

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RIP Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman Former bassist Joe Bouchard posted the sad news on Twitter this afterron: “Sandy Pearlman manager and visionary for Blue Öyster Cult and others passed away last night. Very sad”.

Sandy Pearlman was the producter and main lyricist in their early years, making him the effective sixth member of the band. With enigmatic lines like “By silverfish imperetrix, whose incorrupted eye/Sees through the charms of doctors and their wives” or “Don’t forget my dog, fixed and consequent“, the high weirdness of his lyrics came to define their identity.

Hopefully there will some hind of tribute to him (and plenty of songs with his lyrics) at Blue Öyster Cult’s gig at he Forum on Friday.

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And Then There Was One

Today comes the news that Yes’ Alan White is being replaced for the next run of shows with a relative unknown, due to White needing urgent surgery to deal with a back injury. Though the plan is for White to return to the band once he’s fully fit, it does leave guitarist Steve Howe as the only remaining member of the classic 70s band.

I know the music is greater than the musicians, and they’re already without any remaining founder members since the tragic death of Chris Squire.  But isn’t it getting a little bit silly now?

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Opeth anounce the track listing for “Sorceress”

Sweden’s finest, Opeth, have announced the track listing for their 12th album, “Sorceress”.

1. Persephone
2. Sorceress
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
5. Chrysalis
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)

The album is released on the 30th of September, and given the quality of their recent output this is going to be an eagerly-awaited record.

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Heather Findlay announces new dates and new lineup

Heather Findlay has announced some new live dates, a warm-up show for the Cambridge Rock Festival, at The Post Office Social Club on Monday 25th July, and four dates in The Netherlands in November.

There are also some changes to the lineup; the band says goodbye for the time being at least to Alex Cromarty and Chris Johnsom, who had been part of her band from the very beginning, and to John Mitchell.

Joining the band in their places for this run of gigs will be former Cloud Atlas guitarist Martin Ledger and Touchstone drummer Henry Rogers, alongside Stu Fletcher, Angela Gordon and Sarah Dean.

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