THEY CALL HIM THE RAINMAKER!! Prepare to be ‘Liberated’ as SPEAR OF DESTINY celebrate 35 years of the seminal “One Eyed Jacks” album at Stoke Underground on Sept 6, Birmingham Hare & Hounds on Sept 19 and Notts Rescue Rooms on Sept 20

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Will you just LOOK at that list of dates!! THAT, boys and girls, is how a proper band tours the UK– and when that band is Spear Of Destiny and their leader is the enigmatic, charismatic and forceful Kirk Brandon, they’re more proper than most. Not only that, but this time, they have a special tale to tell….
35 years after the release of the second SOD collection, the influential One Eyed Jacks, Kirk Brandon and his current line up: Craig Adams (The Mission/Sisters Of Mercy), Adrian Portas (New Model Army/Sex Gang Children), and Phil Martini (Jim Jones/Wayward Sons) were given the opportunity to re-record the album in its entirety. Brandon’s longer term keyboard player Steve Allan Jones and current Theatre Of Hate sax player Clive Osborne were drafted in to bolster the sound- and the recordings are now completed and ready for release on CD, vinyl and download in perfect time for September’s 35th anniversary UK tour. It’s gonna be a monster….
This will be the first time in years that audiences will see the live SOD line up expanded by the addition of keyboards and brass: in addition, the set will feature not only the full album and its attendant B-sides in full, but a unique extended encore of fan favourites from The Grapes Of Wrath, World Service, Outland, The Price You Pay and the storming new album Tontine. Who knows, they may even throw in one of their legendary Free covers (you’ll be lucky- Ed) for good measure…
Please find below the full tour dates and promotional details from Sonic PR.

SPEAR OF DESTINY

ONE EYED JACKS@35 UK TOUR

SEPTEMBER 2019

One Eyed Jacks was the band’s 2nd release on the major label Epic Records. 

For many original fans this is ‘the’ Spear of Destiny album.

Kirk Brandon has constantly held and spoken of his belief that this is a fine body of songs played by a fine bunch of musicians that was detrimentally interfered with by a record label that had no idea how to market the sound of Spear of Destiny – part New Wave, part soul, part folk, part melodic anthemic hard rock- at that time.

Many fans agree and some fans do not, as the following review confirms :-

“One of the best bands of their era with this their best album. Kirk Brandon’s excellent lyrics and vocals make this a must buy CD. The band at this time contained arguably one of the best rhythm sections of all time in “The Engine Room”; Stan Stammers on bass and Dolphin Taylor on drums. The driving rhythms are ageless. The songs are good, excellent or superb, this is one of those CD’s that can be put on at track one and listened through without skipping to a specific track. Even though, Prisoner of Love, Attica and Liberator are three of the best songs of the genre” Amazon Music Review

Strangely the label decided to proceed the album’s release by releasing the poppiest track on the recordings as the first single ‘Prisoner of Love’ instead of the live and DJ favourite ‘Liberator’. Had this decision not been made perhaps One Eyed Jacks would not have peaked at No.22 in the UK album charts and would have go on to become a top 10 album as SOD’s then manager had been cajoled into believing when signing the band to a major label…

35 years after releasing ‘OEJ’ Kirk Brandon and the current line up of SOD featuring Craig Adams (The Mission/Sisters of Mercy) Adrian Portas (New Model Army/Sex Gang Children) Phil Martini (Jim Jones/Wayward Sons) were given the opportunity to re-record the album in it’s entirety. Brandon’s longer term keyboard player Steve Allan Jones and current Theatre of Hate sax player Clive Osborne were drafted in to bolster the sound and the recordings are now completed and will be released on CD, Vinyl and Download in time for September 2019’s 35th Anniversary UK Tour. Brandon honestly believes these recordings will at last give the songs the history they deserve.

SPEAR OF DESTINY

‘ONE EYED JACKS @35 UK TOUR

SEPTEMBER 2019

Wed 4th COLCHESTER Arts Centre

Thu 5th GLASGOW Oran Mor

Fri 6th STOKE Underground

Sat 7th LEEDS Brudenell Social Club

Sun 8th NORWICH Waterfront

Wed 11th SOUTHAMPTON The 1865

Thu 12th BRISTOL Fleece

Fri 13th WOKING Undercover Festival

Sat 14th BEDFORD Esquires

Sun 15th LIVERPOOL Jimmy’s

Wed 18th EXETER Phoenix Arts Centre

Thu 19th BIRMINGHAM Hare & Hounds

Fri 20th NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms

Sat 21st MANCHESTER Gorilla

Sun 22nd HULL Polar Bear

Tue 24th SWINDON Level III

Wed 25th CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach

Thu 26th NEWCASTLE The Cluny

Fri 27th BRIGHTON Boat (outdoor)

Sat 28th LONDON Under The Bridge

So grab yourself a ticket now from the following link: https://www.seetickets.com/event/spear-of-destiny/the-hare-and-hounds/1374817 and give yourselves a night to remember!! The “price you pay” (groan…) is £19.80 advance plus booking fee and doors are at 7PM: the venue for the Birmingham show (the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath) is located at: 106 High St, Birmingham B14 7JZ and the telephone number is  0121 444 2081.

We at MM can confirm that we will DEFINITELY see you down there- even though we are no longer “young men”.  Kirk Out The Jams!!

DARIUS DREWE

Thee Editorius

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IN THE BLACK COUNTRY, DREAMS STAY WITH YOU LIKE A LOVER’S VOICE. Yep, it’s that time of year again, as Dunfermline thumpers BIG COUNTRY return to Bilston Robin 2 for their annual thrash on September 13

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BIG COUNTRY- the platinum-selling Scots rockers known to audiences the world over for such record-smashing albums as The Crossing, Steeltown and The Seer– are set to return to Bilston Robin 2 on September 13 for another evening of galloping battle anthems and rousing Celtic rock’n’roll.

Formed in Dunfermline in 1981 by Skids guitarist Bruce Watson and London-born drummer Mark Brezizcki, both of whom still lead the band today, BC were the Scots anchor of the movement that saw post-punk bands like The Alarm (Wales) Spear Of Destiny (England) and of course U2 (Ireland) rediscover their Celtic roots in a rock format. Smashing the charts with nearly a decade’s worth of hit singles (In A Big Country, Fields Of Fire, Look Away, Chance, East Of Eden, King Of Emotion, Alone and Ships being just some of them) and platinum albums, they bestrode the stadia of the world like tartan gods: along the way they even collaborated with Kate Bush and supported Queen, both things not many of their contemporaries were privileged to do.

Sadly however, beneath the showbiz veneer lurked a great sadness, ultimately leading to frontman and principal songwriter Stuart Adamson’s suicide by hanging in 2001- a crushing blow for band and fans alike. Yet despite his tragic death, the Fife quartet (these days a quintet) simply refused to lay down and die. And, 18 years later, they’re still here. True perseverance always brings rewards, and whenever “The Country” hit the Robin, they’re always rewarded with a devoted, fanatical following. Still, a little extra promotion never hurt- so we at MM would therefore like at this juncture to advice you to make your way down there on the date in question, and give the boys your whole hearted support!!

Tickets (starting at £22.00 advance) are available here: https://www.eventim.co.uk/event/big-country-the-robin-2-12033653/?affiliate=RN2 and the doors, as ever, are at 7 30 pm. Even though we’re all Sassenachs down here, the boys still love us- so it’s only fair we love them back. Oh, and did I mention that it’s the 35th anniversary of the ‘Steeltown’ album? Well, it is. So that’s yet another reason to put this in your calendar.

Ye know it makes sense, ken- and a’m tellin’ ye tha’ fae true, by the way. See ye doon there!

DARIUS ‘Och Aye The’ DREWE

Thee Editorius

JUSTIN TIME!! It’s “Forever Autumn” with Moody Blues guitar hero/frontman JUSTIN HAYWARD at BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL on September 10

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WHETHER YOU CALL HIM prog rock, psychedelic rock, soft rock, AOR, MOR, pop or place him in a simply unclassifiable world of his own, there’s no denying that JUSTIN HAYWARD, lead guitarist and one of the three distinctive voices of the Moody Blues, is an instantly recognisable musical force.

Now 73 and still operating at the very peak of his powers, the Swindon-born musician (from the pioneering Brum-born band, no less) is once more enjoying the chance to tour the stages of the country’s smaller halls, theatres and arenas, with his regular collaborators Mike Dawes (12 string and acoustic guitars) and Julie Ragins (keyboards, bass and backing vocals)

In his current set, he’ll be performing a selection of solo material from the recently-released compilation All The Way, but more importantly a number of Moodies classics stretching the years 1967-97: many have tried to emulate and imitate, but trust me, there’s only one Justin, and once you’ve seen him, he’s never to be forgotten. Almost every song brings with it its own unique anecdote and world- so why not purchase a ticket and experience it for yourself?

As the man himself says: “I’m always so thrilled to have the opportunity to tour in the UK, particularly at this time in in my career when no one knows what the future holds. I’m bringing my ‘song writing’ guitars from home on the road with me, so the gigs will have the feel and sound of my music room along with the vibe I was feeling as I wrote the songs. I look forward to singing and playing new songs and old songs, particularly Forever Autumn, which I only get to perform in my solo show, and also to tell the real stories behind all the songs and the events that surrounded them at the time. It’s a joy to share a stage with such wonderful young and inspiring talents as Mike Dawes (one of a new generation of brilliant young guitar masters – worth the price of admission alone) and Julie Ragins, a truly exceptional musician and singer. She and I have shared stages all over the world for many years, loving the music we play, both with the Moody Blues and solo. I look forward to seeing you on the road

Sounds like a recommendation to us!!Tickets cost £38-42 advance, and are available here: https://www.thsh.co.uk/boxoffice/ticket/736535 Stop “watching and waiting”, and treat yourself to something you’ll remember long past next Tuesday Afternoon!! Or else you may find yourself left like driftwood on the shore…

DARIUS DREWE

Thee Editorius

HEAVY METAAAAL ROCK’N’ROLL!! Bang the head that doesn’t bang as ROCK GODDESS and HEAVY PETTIN’ lay waste to Bilston Robin 2 with NWOBHMtastic double bill on September 8

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THEY’RE BACK!!! Who? (No, not The Who, though I’d give anything to see them at the Robin- Ed) I’m talking about all-woman, no-messin’ hard as nails London rockers ROCK GODDESS- last seen in Brum a few months ago as special guests to Cats In Space- and Scots melodic methuselahs HEAVY PETTIN’, last espied here in this very venue opening for the one and only Angel. Now, we bring you the dynamic pairing of both bands- hitting the road in promotion of the new RG album This Time (a number 10 smash in the official UK rock chart earlier this month)

Since reforming in 2014, the girls- led as ever by the unstoppable force that is Jodie Turner- have taken ttime to hone their craft, easing themselves back into the scene with UK and European festival slots and a short tour as guests to the mighty Saxon. In between shows, the band have worked tirelessly on making sure the album has a current, 21st-century take on the classic ROCK GODDESS sound. As Pettin’s affable frontman Hamie enthuses: “Rock Goddess and Heavy Pettin’ together!! It’s one helluva bill, in front of the best rock fans anywhere! It’s gonna be epic!”
And if anyone should know, he should. But don’t just take his word for it- he is slightly biased after all, given that he’s in one of the bands involved. Instead, take the official Midland Mania seal of approval, and get your denim’n’leather clad selves down to the Robin for a Metaaaaaaaaaaal frenzy!! But first, buy a ticket (a dirt cheap £16.50 advance) here: https://www.eventim.co.uk/event/rock-goddess-heavy-pettin-the-robin-2-12033504/?affiliate=RN2
Remember, “rock ain’t dead” – and with bills like this on your doorstep, it never will be.
Doors are at 7 30 pm. See you down the front, horn-throwers!
DARIUS DREWE
Thee Editorius

REVOLUTION CALLING!! Former Queensryche frontman GEOFF TATE celebrates 31 years of OPERATION MINDCRIME- and other greatest hits- at the Robin 2 on August 28. An evening of progressive Metaaal mayhem that promises to deliver the best he can…

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Can it really be THIRTY-ONE YEARS since multi-platinum selling, Grammy nominated singer songwriter, Geoff Tate, along with his former bandmates Chris DeGarmo, Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfeld and Eddie Jackson, recorded and released the seminal metal masterwork that was Operation Mindcrime

Unbelievably, it can- and this, the second and final leg of its “30th anniversary tour” will wrap up the commemoration of this momentous event in true thunderous Tate style. The third studio album of 11 that the Seattle-born vocalist recorded with the ‘Ryche,  Mindcrime is a concept album and rock opera telling the story of recovering drug addict Nikki, who becomes disillusioned with the corrupt society of his time and becomes involved in a revolutionary group that aims to assassinate political leaders. The certified platinum album was rated by Kerrang! as one of heavy metal’s top 100 albums of all time (NB: this was in 1990 of course, when they still reviewed actual Metal bands)

Geoff has recorded 17 studio albums throughout his 35 year career and is regarded as one of the most skilled vocalists in the hard rock genre with hundreds of modern popular artists- including practically every Power Metal or Prog Metal frontman – siting him as a major influence. His combination of expertly crafted, socially conscious lyrics and high energy, melodic complex music, often described as “thinking man’s metal”, is unique: only really Rush preceded it, and even they’d abandoned heavy music by the time the Pacific North-Western insurrectionists released their debut full–length The Warning in 1984. Parting company with his former band earlier this century, he has since released another six studio albums and several live works: altogether, he has been nominated for a Grammy four times, sold over 25 million records and performed in more than 46 countries. That’s quite some achievement!!

Geoff’s latest waxing Sweet Oblivion was released on Frontiers Records this year under that alias, but attendees of this show can expect a full rundown of classics from both Mindcrime and Mindcrime II as well as other past mantelpieces such as Empire, Rage For Order and Promised Land. Support comes from- yep, you CAN’T keep them away- those uprising young Wolvo-based Metalheads Gin Annie.

Tickets cost £22 advance and are available here: https://www.eventim.co.uk/event/geoff-tate-30th-anniversary-the-robin-2-12041195/?affiliate=RN2 Oh, and doors open at 7- it’s a long show!!

See all you Suite Sister Marys and Jet City Women down the front!!

DARIUS DREWE

Thee Editorius

TRIPPIN’ IN THE MUDDY WATER… Respect is due to MUD MORGANFIELD, eldest son of blues legend you-know-who (that’s MUDDY WATERS, by the way- Ed) at the Robin 2 on August 27

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MUD MORGANFIELD, aka Muddy Waters Jr, son of the legendary Chicago bluesman himself, lands in Bilston on August 27 2019 for a night of hard-edged soulful RnB (that’s rhythm and blues, by the way, not the shite they play on the radio) that’s bound to rock the Black Country’s premier venue to its very foundations. With a back catalogue of his own recorded efforts that’s almost as outstanding as that of his forebears, plus his father’s own pioneering work to draw upon, a Mud show is a rare, genuine treat for any blues aficionado- and therefore not one to be missed.

Naturally, Mud was drawn to music at an early age, when he quickly learned to make the best of his famous father’s hectic touring schedule: though he saw him only during brief respites at home in Illinois, Muddy, ever the devoted father, bought his son a drum set every Christmas, and sure enough, by age seven, he could play it perfectly. Later, he switched to bass guitar while delving into songwriting: Mud entertained the idea of becoming a professional musician after his patriarch’s death in 1983, but it wasn’t until 2007, at a tribute concert to Waters Sr, that blues fans got their first proper introduction to the next generation of Morganfield genius. His subsequent performance at the Chicago Blues Festival that same year brought him instant recognition and acclaim.

Later on, Mud composed most of the songs on his award-winning album Son Of The Seventh Son, including “Blues In My Shoes” : the tracklisting also includes his Dad’s celebrated tune, “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had.” , which according to producer and harmonica player Bob Corritore, “brings you the great Mud Morganfield in all his glory.” It was recorded in Chicago and features some of the city’s top blues players. In 2014, Mud’s album For Pops was recorded in collaboration with Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson: the album sees Mud make a very personal statement about his roots.

Mud’s travels are still taking him and his music worldwide: with appearances at major festivals and venues including the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the Royal Albert Hall Blues Fest in London, England- not to mention iconic TV shows such as Later… with Jools Holland and a TV documentary by modern bluesman and actor of international fame Hugh Laurie (with whom he has also appeared) – Mud is taking his surge in popularity in stride. As he says, “when I’m up on stage I always feel Pops is there with me, and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world,

His latest release They Call Me Mud was produced by Mud himself and lead guitarist Rick Kreher, who also played with his father’s band: recorded at Joyride Studios in Mud’s Chicago hometown. it features 10 self-penned songs out of a total of 12 tracks, with two others, Howling Wolf and Can’t Get No Grinding coming from his illustrious father’s catalogue. A stellar cast of Chicago area musicians adds some authentic, downhome blues touches to the recording, including Billy Flynn on guitar, Studebaker John on harmonica and backing vocals, Sumito Ariyo Ariyoshi on piano, E.G. McDaniel (yep, Bo Diddley’s son) on bass and Melvin “Pookie Stix” Carlisle on drums. Special guests include Billy Branch on harmonica, Mike Wheeler on guitar and Mud’s own daughter Lashunda Williams, who joins her dad on the duet Who Loves You. There’s also a horn section featured on several tunes, and three tracks feature Mud’s own bass-playing: quite the full megillah, we at MM feel!!

I think it is some of the best work I’ve ever done yet,” Mud says of the new disc. “I feel that with the variety of material I have on here, people will get a chance to hear the other sides of my music: everything from soul and R&B to jazz and, of course, blues. I got to play bass on three songs, too, and I’m so proud to have my youngest daughter, Lashunda, sing with me on this album. She’s a natural, too, and regularly sings gospel at home.” In the album’s liner notes, co-producer Kreher also recalls how he finally got a chance to meet and become friends with the big man: “about a dozen years ago or so, I heard that a son of Muddy Waters was popping up at clubs on the Westside of Chicago and sitting in for a couple of tunes. A few weeks later, a Chicago blues club was having their annual musicians Christmas luncheon and there was this guy who certainly looked like Muddy. As soon as I introduced myself and he began to talk, I knew without a doubt that this was Muddy’s son. No one could have that deep baritone voice and as soon as he gave that little ‘chuckle’ that Muddy always did, I was convinced. Since that first meeting, we have become great friends and have worked together on many musical endeavors...”

In the last 12 years, Mud Morganfield has grown into a superstar on the blues circuit in his own right. Certainly, there will be comparisons to his dad and why not? At the end of the day, he comes as close to the definite article as one can get in 2019, and will always pay tribute to the Chicago blues ensemble sound that Muddy created. However, Mud was also brought up musically in the ’70s and ’80s when soul, Motown, funk and R&B ruled the world: he played bass and performed with bands playing the hits of that era, and this, along with his blues pedigree, has most certainly influenced Mud’s own constantly evolving songwriting skills.

But don’t just sit there listening to me ramblin’ all my days (see what I did there?) – buy a ticket and check the man out for yourself. They’re priced at an extremely reasonable £19.25 advance, and are available here: https://www.eventim.co.uk/event/mud-morganfield-with-his-all-star-band-the-robin-2-12163653/?affiliate=RN2

Trouble no more- The Mudman is back.

See you there,

DARIUS DREWE

Thee Editorius

THERE’S A REASON WHY…STOKE ON TRENT IS BLOOMING MARVELLOUS!! Get set for a night of honey sweet magic from indie uber-maestros BLOSSOMS at Hanley Victoria Hall on August 22

AS PART OF the warm-up for their forthcoming large-scale tour, Stockport-based indie-rock sensations BLOSSOMS are playing a series of smaller theatre venues this coming August- and on the 22nd, the lucky Midland hosts will be Hanley Victoria Hall, Stoke On Trent.

We at MM happen to think this is a rather spiffing case of affairs- and would therefore advice you to join the band at the iconic venue in question, the site of MANY a legendary show in the region’s calendar. Given the band’s meteoric rise over their so-far brief career, this is precisely the kind of show you’ll be able to look back on in a number of years and boast about attending: and when you do, everyone will wish they were “Cool Like You!” The main question, however, is “How long will this last?” Hopefully long enough for you to be blown “between the eyes” by some shimmering pop perfection…

So don’t delay, grab yourself a ticket today!! They cost £26.65 advance plus transaction fee from the following link: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/blossoms/victoria-hall/#performance_tabs=tab_performances as well as Ticketmaster, SeeTickets and the other usual suspects. UPDATE: At present they seem to have sold out, but please check back for returns.

See you down there, Stokies!! Have a bloomin’ good time, flower (er, that’s enough horticultural puns, thankyou– Ed)….

DARIUS DREWE

Thee Editorius