Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Richie Sambora hints at European Stadium Tour next Summer!

The news I have finally been waiting for!! Richie Sambora dropped the strongest hint yet that Bon Jovi would return to the UK and the rest of Europe next year with a full stadium tour. Tickets are surely likely to be a lot cheaper than the O2!

Richie told BANG Showbiz: "This thing is not stopping. We're having so much fun. We're going to come and do a proper stadium tour of the European continent next summer and we're going to release our greatest hits around fall with some new tracks on it."

So whether Jovi fans want an 'updated Crossroad with a couple of new songs' rather than a whole new album, at least it's a step in the right direction!

The full article can be found here.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

New EP from Julian Shah-Tayler available for free‏

Julian Shah-Tayler's latest EP is available now, once more for free. Please see below his press release and a link to the free download.

Julian is always busy recording and playing, already releasing 2 EPs this year to unanimous and humbling critical acclaim.

He has also seen his music used extensively this year in film and television, performing at the premiere (at the Frank Lloyd Wright built “Barnsdall House” in Hollywood) for “Prudence” in which he provided the voiceover and main theme song: “World Inside Your Mind” and placing songs in 2 new Australian TV shows.
He is currently on holiday from solo recording to produce a couple of albums, one with vintage Korean opera/pop star “Rainboe Wave” and one with ex Spindrift Keyboardist and conceptual artist “Native Fauna”.
He is also finishing the “Adamandevil” album for Music Sales publishing.
Another reason for the hiatus is that his solo release schedule is now full up to the end of 2010.
The forthcoming EP “Fill Your Joys With Love” is released on the 5th of July and is informed by Julian’s conscious decision to concentrate on his more “organic and songwriter” sides prompted by a “Hunky Dory” referencing review of his previous EP “Blah Blah Blahnik”.
It also contains 2 songs from the upcoming album “Coito Ergo Sum”.
The title “Fill Your Joys With Love” is a deliberately misquoting tribute to the Zefirelli film of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

You can listen to a preview of the EP or download it for free here.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Free song from Ellis Paul / New Album, co-written with Kristian Bush of Sugarland‏

Courtesy of Ralph Jaccodine Management
"I’ve been singer-songwriter Ellis Paul's friend and manager since 1992 and his music, words and friendship are jewels in my life. Upon examining the state of the music industry, Ellis and I have realized that far and away the most important connections that we have are not at all on the business side of the equation – it’s the people that love Ellis' music, and music in general. They’re more important than the biggest retailer or the most powerful radio station - so we’re starting a campaign to empower the people.

"Ellis' new album, “The Day After Everything Changed”, has 5 songs on the album co-written by Kristian Bush from the Grammy Award winning country duo Sugarland. Additionally, this album was completely funded by his fans, and is truly one of the finest Ellis has ever recorded. Many of Ellis' fans and folks passionate about great songwriting don’t even know that it’s been released. So if you’d like to help support a truly independent artist – here’s how. The lead single track on TDAEC is “Annalee”, and if visit you can download “Annalee” for free. Unlike so many other free song offers – you don’t have to give us your email, sign up or register for anything at all. It’s free for the taking. The small favor we would ask? Please share it with any and all of your friends that would enjoy Ellis’ music. This would help our efforts and help spread the music. This truly is a campaign about the power of the people in the support of independent music and artists."

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Green Day live @ Wembley Stadium/Jovi rant

Last night I went along to watch Green Day at the prestigious Wembley Stadium, with support from Frank Turner who was cool, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts whose outfit left a lot to be desired but her vocals were good for her age...wasn't so keen on the outdated music though.

Green Day however, are a band I probably wouldn't have got into had it not been for my partner who is as big-a fan of them as I am of Bon Jovi. I've got to be honest and say that it's far too easy for people to dislike Green Day; they just seem to be one of those bands that people knock without any real reason but until you've seen the kind of show they put on at Wembley, say nothing! I think a few mouths would be promptly shut and a lot more converted; it was a huge concert, a massive spectacle and almost 3 hours (long set!) of a lot of fun and good time rock n roll. I can only hope Bon Jovi are planning a date or two in 2011...I guess we'll see.

In other news (I promise to stop moaning about it after this) I'm so so disappointed Bon Jovi played my favourite song Something To Believe In last night at the o2. I asked for weeks before the show on Twitter and over and over again to have it played on the 13th, but I guess it's just the luck of the draw what gets read and listened to. I wonder if it had anything to do with Dave's absence, but Jeff Kazee would have had new songs from The Circle to learn anyway. Anyway that's the last I'll say on the matter, I'm just gutted not to have heard it, especially after having seen video's on Blame It On The Love where people with great seats right behind the stage are just sat down and seemingly not bothered at all. I hate it when people are only there for the greatest hits yet have the best seats in the house. Ok, no more moaning now. I promise. Have a good week!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Livin' On A Prayer - Rock's Greatest Anthem Through The Ages!

As Kid Rock mused in Bon Jovi's recent rockumentary: "...put livin on a prayer on [in a club] the crowd's singing it word for word; you cut the mixer off and woahh we're halfway there...". The 1986 superhit that rocketed Bon Jovi to superstardom (ironically, the very same hit that Jon originally wanted to leave off of Slippery When Wet) is still, as Kid Rock says, 24 years on, being played in clubs all over the world and still rousing fans and haters alike into drunken singalongs. The song itself, arguably an anthem for 80's hair metal that has stood the test of time, has had its fair share of 'fiddling' and re-releasing on Bon Jovi's part, and I'm going to briefly explore the different creations in this post.

The Demo. 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong - Boxset
If you step back in time to circa 1985, this is the oldest offering of Prayer although probably the most recent to have been released. The core of the song is clearly there, but Richie's iconic talkbox and guitar solo are but a distant dream at this stage.

The original. Slippery When Wet.
Prayer's most popular version. Whether you're 'Living' or 'Livin' on a prayer, even the most ardent of critics couldn't fail to pull their cowboy hats low over the brows and join in with the world's greatest singalong chorus.

The alternative. Prayer '94 - Crossroad.
This version of the song really captures the passion and similar melodies Jon and Richie explore when singing the song acoustically (remember a barefoot stripped down performance of Prayer and Wanted started the whole MTV Unplugged program). In my opinion it's a semi-favourite, although many diehard Jovi fans would I'm sure disagree. I just love the alternative drum part, different solo, Richie's presence in the vocal department and the overall feel and emotion that the song evokes.

The hated one. This Left Feels Right.
'Don't mess with our hits and our memories'; the horrified cries of Bon Jovi fans alike on listening to the band's sideways step of re-writng all their classic songs. And although the song still has a nice feel, the emphasis of the lyrics and the entire feel of the song switches and falters. And Oliva D'Abo's shared lead-vocals aren't totally my cup of tea; her style of singing is very much a 'marmite vocal'. Suffice to say, most disliked this one a lot.

The Crowd's Favourite. Live.
Nowadays, Prayer features in every show the band play, sitting in the final encore spot on their current Circle tour. As he did on the Lost Highway tour, the song starts with Jon singing the pre-chorus a cappella, stomping his foot in time as the entire audience join in with a soaring, and quite moving, unified vocal on the chorus before David brings in the breezy synth and the band starts the song as it should be, as it was intended to be. My favourite. Alonside tens of thousands of fans, the high notes suddenly not that high anymore as you're singing on autopilot and it just sounds incredible.

So there you have it! If you're a fan of the band or the song, I hope you've enjoyed my collection of different versions :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Q&A with Gemma Mewse

I recently featured a New Artist Alert on the lovely Gemma Mewse back in May. I've secured a great interview with the South-London songstress which you can enjoy below.

Where did making-music begin for you; when was it you knew that this was your ideal career?

I started out as a dancer, when I was about 7 I got involved with an amatuer musical theatre group and I knew from then I loved to perform and I wanted to be a singer.

Has living in London helped or hindered your aspirations? On the one hand, as an outsider, it seems great for contacts and the amount of gig venues, but on the other perhaps too much competition?

Just take 'Empire State of Mind Part 2' [Alicia Keys' hit] and replace any lyric to do with New York with London and that's what it means to me. I consider myself lucky to be brought up here, I love it! So many opportunities and different people. If I lived anywhere else in the world I would move here to achieve my goal. Just like so many artists have and I'm sure will still keep doing!

Where do you take inspiration from when writing your music? How did ‘Numpty’ begin life and where was the inspiration to write it?
I take inspiration from how I feel at that particular moment in time. Other times I'll take it from what I see going on around me, whether it's friends and family and sometimes even from T.V programmes, mainly soaps/dramas. After watching I interpret the story into a song and that's how Numpty came about; not from personal experience (lucky for me) haha!

Tell me about how performing on the Royal Variety Show came about.

When I was at primary school our Ex-Head Teacher (Harvey Norton) had persued a career within the music industry and was after a group of children to use for any future work he had lined up, so I auditioned and became one of the 'Red Hill Kids' Fun times!

What has been the key to getting to where you are now?
Determination, passion, patience, drive and learning from experiences.

You name many great artists on your Myspace page as influences including Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and Bob Marley. Who would you say has had the biggest influence on you personally and as an artist?
I wouldn't say I was influenced by anyone, I'd say inspired by them as performers. I remember 3 moments from when I was a kid that really inspired me and want to be a singer: 1) Queen @ Live Aid 2) Britney's snake performance at MTV VMA's 3) Tina Arena @ Royal Albert Hall.

You claim, also on your Myspace page, “I am a movement, get involved!”. What sets you apart from other singer-songwriters?

I think modern artists think too much and are all about aesthetics and I'm all for 'putting on a show' but sometimes it's all a bit too much and can be distracting from the main purpose: the music. To me it's a bit of a cover up, a shield and I think people are waking up to it and want a break, natural instead of artificial.

How do you feel about the music industry in general at the moment? Are you excited or anxious for its current state and future?

I'm very excited!!! THE INTERNET!!! Yay for it :) It's such a powerful tool and unsigned acts such as me are using it to our advantage we can get music to millions of ears all over the world without a major label's budget!

What's new for you right now, and what does the future hold?

Again, I'm really excited with how things are going for me! One of the songs 'Grounded' from my album has been remixed and signed and getting played at clubs all around the UK! It got realeased on the 21st May and on the same night got played on Radio 1, also been played on RTE radio station in Ireland which reminds me of some excting shows I've got lined up: heading off over there for a charity concert for Autism which I'm really pleased to be involved with! You can grab my remixes off itunes and check out future shows on Myspace.

Will you be playing in Southampton soon?!
I don't see why not!? Planning to travel outwards in the near future so stay tuned! :)

Finally, can you tell us a secret?
A secret?!.......erm haha not really a secret more of a 'thing' is that I'm tongue tied and I can't roll my R's or poke my tongue out very far haha never stopped me singing tho ;) haha!

As Gemma states in the interview, her music is available to download on itunes, and you can have a listen to her stuff and check out where she is playing on her Myspace page.

Bon Jovi videos Live @ The O2 (13/06/10)

Here's a cool video of We Weren't Born To Follow live from last night's show at the O2. Great view of the stage from these seats (thought they weren't mine) and also a great panoramic sweep of the venue right at the end.

Here's Born To Be My Baby

And the cool Pretty Woman cover, selected by Bobby "The Jukebox" Bandiera!

These are fan videos as taken from different parts of the arena, unfortunately my iPhone only records 15 secs of video, but I personally prefer to just enjoy the show for what it is rather than concetrate on taking millions of pictures and videos anyway :)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Bon Jovi @ The o2 Arena - 13/06/10

Visually and technologically, this concert was stunning. The hi-tech visual equipment married with the fantastic sound inside the o2 set this up to be one helluva show. And boy, was it. Throughout the two and a half hour set, Bon Jovi had everyone inside the huge venue wrapped round each of their little fingers; whether they were singing along to the choruses of the greatest hits or screaming every single word, knowing every single nuance and expression in Jon's melodies; whether they were up high in the dizzying heights of the rafters or comfortably cramped in the floor section, I can't imagine one person who came away less than having had an incredible evening. The energy and passion from the band and the perfect condition of Jon's great-sounding voice really made this a special night for me; it's hard not to get so caught up in the emotion when your favourite band is playing a fantastic set when it feels like it's just you and them in the room; alone amongst 20,000 people.

The band were on absolute top form, and highlights for me personally include:

- The a capella vocals leading into the final chorus of opening song Last Man Standing
- Superman Tonight; my favourite off of The Circle and just sounded great
- Jon ad-libbing at the end of We Got It Going On, rousing the crowd into a singalong
- Oh, Pretty Woman! A shock cover but sounded cool!
- Jon's really special speech before When We Were Beautiful; it didn't sound arrogant or cliche, just wise chosen words and quite moving
- The acoustic section, particularly Saturday Night which was sung slightly unlike the electric version before Jon led into the final chorus singing as on the record and really lifting the song
- Work For The Working Man; this song just sounded fantastic and really passionate, and the graphics on the big screens and all the way round the arena were really cool
- Jon chucking his maracas into the pit, before taking a mini pair from a fan and performing Keep The Faith with them instead before quipping "size doesn't matter!"
- Jon leaving the first verse and chorus of Wanted for the fans to sing

I suppose it's not really surprising that I don't have a bad word to say about the show, (apart from maybe Dave's absence, although Jeff Kazee did a great job) but it really was truly superb and the best I've seen the band. Something To Believe In, Runaway and Have A Nice Day were missed, but it doesn't matter when you're at the show and I'm certainly not disappointed. Although I've been closer to the stage before (don't want to open up the o2 ticket prices can of worms again) it didn't matter;  I still can't get over how good I felt last night between 8 and 10.30pm and am left wondering when I might reach that high again.

Below are a couple of my pics from the day!

At the train station

With Jon and Richie...almost

Empty O2 floor seating

Jon and Richie big screen

And again

Great light show

Livin on a Prayer

Monday, 7 June 2010

Bon Jovi top off the o2 Dome!

A very cold looking Jon Bon Jovi grimaced as the chilly June breeze tousled through his hair. With sunglasses to see through the thick London clouds and down at the hundreds of fans waiting below, he smiled as he divulged that whilst in London, he'd be "supporting the home team" when England kick off their World Cup campaign against the States in Africa this Sunday.

The band looked amazing at the very central top spot of the dome, and as Sky News' exclusive coverage cut short halfway through the opener We Weren't Born To Follow, they continued on through Superman, You Give Love a Bad Name and It's My Life.

The correspondent mused how many other bands might put posters up or take out ads in the local papers to announce the start of their London residency. Not Bon Jovi however; "we'll play anywhere" he beamed, "if you don't have electricity, we'll bring our own!"

Jon Bon Jovi in UK Newspaper The Mirror/Playing the roof of the o2

As featured in The Mirror's online celebs section, Jon has given a cool interview that touches on marriage, touring and the touchy subject once more of the o2 ticket prices. You can read the interview here.


No plans for child number 5:
"Dorothea has worked over the years but not now we have four kids. It's a full-time job. No more children for me, no thanks. I got plenty."

On drinking:
"I drink too much every day but it has never been a problem. I don't have a problem. If you drink anything, you drink too much. If you drink a few coffees you are drinking too much coffee."

o2 Ticket Prices:
"One supporter posted on the band's official website: "The prices of the tickets are ludicrous. You really let us down this time, guys."

Although Jon is concerned at the level of criticism, he is quick to defend the pricing strategy.
He says. "Those tickets are a couple of special package tickets.
"I don't really know what they are, they could be anything. It may be that you get everything and it may be 20 tickets."

Surely the CEO of a major corporation would know exactly how its tickets are priced?

As featured on many news sites, the band will be kicking off their o2 residency which begins tonight by performing on the ROOF of the o2 arena at 3.30pm BST. The short concert will be screened outside the venue at Peninsular Square for fans to see. How I wish I lived in London!