Saturday 6 May 2017

BERNIE TORMÉ - "Dublin Cowboy", Released April 7 via Retrowrek Records - ALBUM REVIEW

BERNIE TORMÉ - "Dublin Cowboy"
Released April 7 via Retrowrek Records

The last time we spoke about Bernie we concluded that he was one of the few remaining guardians of the flame as far as rock'n'roll was concerned. A few months later he does confirm that he is one of the true defenders of the cause. Who else would undertake the release and independent production of a triple album in the current music industry context.

Forgive us, but with Rockchickenz being Dublin based, we are a bit biased when it comes to the title of the album "Dublin Cowboy", but we just love it!!! The triple combo is composed of an album studio, an exciting live take recorded in 2016 in South Shields (UK) and an acoustic session, a long overdue dream from Bernie.

I have never seen Bernie live on stage but I only hear good things about him. He has just completed a UK tour in April but today I am going to focus on the studio album if that's alright with you.

Produced by the man himself @ Barn Room Studios "Dublin Cowboy", the title, opens the ball with a typical Torme's stamp of decibels. The analogue sound adds (if necessary) a sense of authenticity to the track. I must say I am not mad about Hair of The Dog, the following song, but it is probably because I am a Kat person. :-)

Power of The Blues shows if need be that Bernie is more than just a hard rocking guitarist. He obviously excels on a hard rocking tempo but I really like his incursions on any spirally inspired bluesy tune. Then with no warning and when you expect it the least you bump into Little Brother, a pure gem, a bucket full of emotions, music and lyrics wise. This one really struck a chord with me and it's actually my favourite track. It is funny in a way because it serves as a prelude to a series of very strong songs that get this album taking off from that point onwards.

In the Groove is a killer tune, a stunning stone-ish like track and the following melody on the Way it Rolls rocks it's way to super solid composition kingdom. There is no time for a breather with the ambitious two part track Janus which is a nice introspective almost atmospheric musical journey.

Overall a guitar galore album, a production focusing on the songs rather than the sound. And the inimitable talent from Bernie makes this triple album a must buy for anybody who claims to have rock'n'roll in his/her veins.

Overall: A triple album really!!!
If I was to pick 3 only: One from each album: Studio is Little Brother, Acoustic will be All My Demons, Live has to be Turn Out The Lights
Live Test: We are planning to ask Bernie to play acoustic when we will video interview him at some stage. :-)

Reviewed by Pascal Derrien

RC: Good to talk to you again Bernie 😊 A triple album really? From where this mad idea came from?  

Total bone head stupidity really. I really wanted to do an acoustic album but I thought no-one is going to listen to that or buy it, its not what people would expect, so I decided to do a double, an electric studio album and an acoustic album hoping people would pay attention to that. Then this guy turned up with a live recording of a gig we had done in South Shields in January 2016, so it turned into a triple album…no plan, just the usual accidental chaos!  

RC: The production of an album is tricky enough let alone 3 how did you manage?  

With diffiiculty! I did the live album first, acoustic second, and then tore my hair out on the electric studio one. Its hard to have any kind of perspective really, you are just fire fighting and hoping for the best. by the time you finish you have no idea whats good or bad, just what you hate and what you hate slightly  less!    I try to take as much time out and ask extraneous people their opinions on tracks, but like everybody who does this you have to realise that a less than perfect mix for an outsider means they think it is a shit track, but when you translate their criticism and rejig it, it often turns into their favourite track! Its a minefield. I love doing it and hate doing it at the same time, but you have to be able to see the positive you can take from peoples negative views. The criticism is valid though they often don't know why they say it. Of course they are all wrong in any case!   

RC: Am I correct in saying your album crowdfunding was surprisingly quick? How do you explain this?  

Yes it was crazy quick, 8 hours 45 minutes! Luck of the Irish?  

RC: You have just completed a UK tour, what’s next and will we ever have the opportunity to see you live in Dublin?   I would hope so. Its an expensive place to get to with a band these days, and the way gigs work in Dublin is that unless you are Eric Clapton or Metallica or some other megastar no-one wants to pay! Or no-ne wants to pay me at anyrate!  Maybe its personal!   But I do end up in Dublin quite often, but not so recently with a band, because bands like to be paid!  

RC: There aren’t too many punk’n’blues dudes in the music biz do you think you suffer from schizophrenia 😊?  

Ha! No, I just like music, everything from folk jazz, rock, heavy onwards. I don't care what it is, if it moves me its magic. And everything musical right back to the dawn of music counts in that. Its human communication, and beyond words.    I have a fantastic album (3LPs) of medieval french music which I adore. And I was talking to a good mate today, Chas Watkins (who engineered and produced the Gillan albums) about the afro-celt sound system which he had just bought, one of my all time favourite albums, I couldn't say I was into anything in particular. Just human, forget the polished bland stuff though. Rough as it comes! Typical hippie!  

RC: My favourite song of the album is Little Brother, would it be OK to share the story behind the lyrics?  

Thats difficult to talk about, but I'm glad you like it.    The inspiration was initially because my friend Paul Samson died. I met Paul a few months after moving to London in '74. Paul was a great guitarist, more lyrical and traditional than me, a few years younger than me, and we were sort of competitors and maybe rivals who more than sometimes slagged each other off.    Paul, as anyone who knew him, could be a right  C.U.N.T. sometimes,  but we always respected each other, hugely. It was a relationship based on respect and occasional mutual dislike as well as on love! I was never as adept with put-downs as Paul, so therefore we loved mostly at a distance!  

I was devastated when he got cancer and we all found out it was terminal: I saw him quite a few times when he was very ill, and he was just such a strong brave and funny guy who took it all in his stride.  Its a strange thing to say but he was always bigger than his illness. When he died I had this dream about him lying asleep in the sun. Thats all I can say about the song really.   I couldn't say the song is about anything else, songs are songs, what they mean to me is not what they would mean to someone else, they have their own life. For me it was inspired by Paul, his death, and that dream. I couldn't play it live, I'd cry. He'd also be so pissed off I called him little brother!  Can't imagine what he'd call me!  

RC: What’s your favourite song on Dublin Cowboy and why?  

Probably 'Shine' because it was breaking new ground for me. I like a lot of them though, and thats unusual!  

RC: I am no musician but I think some of our readers are, what’s your standard equipment on the road

Fender Strat into a russian big muff, into a boss noise gate into a bypass pedal (so I can go clean of both pedals) into a 100watt marshall vintage modern into a 4X12 with 4 celestion vintage 30's. Not at all complex.  

RC: Finally what is the question you would have liked me to ask you and I did not ?  

Bernie, can I buy you a pint?

Thursday 4 May 2017

RIDE FOR RONNIE: Guns N' Roses' Steven Adler to Spearhead All-Star Jam During Afternoon Concert in Los Encinos Park

The third annual RIDE FOR RONNIE Motorcycle Rally and Concert, benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund on Sunday, May 7, 2017 will be highlighted by a host of celebrity riders joining the Motorcycle Ride through the streets of Los Angeles County. In addition, an all-star jam will be spearheaded by Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler-'Steven Adler and Friends'-during the afternoon of live music in Los Encinos Park. Last year's RIDE FOR RONNIE event raised over $50,000 for the cancer charity.

Celebrity riders expected to join Dio Cancer Fund co-founder and president Wendy Dio and the cavalcade of motorcycle riders include Sons of Anarchy actors Emilio Rivera (and also from the forthcoming series Mayans MC), Sean McNabb (who will also perform with Lynch Mob at the concert), Rusty Coones and Star Fields, as well as actor Chris Bruno (The Dead Zone) and musicians Lita Ford, Gilby Clarke (former Guns N' Roses guitarist), Taime Downe (Faster Pussycat) and Xavier Muriel (Buckcherry) along with KLOS Radio "Horns Up" show personality Stew Herrera. They will assemble at Harley-Davidson of Glendale with kickstands up at 11AM.

The afternoon of live music following the RIDE will be highlighted by "Steven Adler and Friends" in an all-star jam organized by the Guns N' Roses drummer. He will be joined by Mike Devin (Whitesnake), Lita Ford, Robert Sarzo (Hurricane), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot), Patrick Stone (Budderside) and Jeff Pilson (Foreigner and former Dio guitarist), playing Guns N' Roses hits.

Live entertainment will begin at 12Noon provided by rockers Lynch Mob (, Eddie Money (, Rough Cutt (, Dio Disciples (, The Loveless (, Sonia Harley (, and No Small Children ( Marc Ferrari (Cold Sweat), Marty O'Brien (Lita Ford), Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) and Ronnie James Dio's cousin David "Rock" Feinstein (The Rods) will be on hand for the concert festivities.

Additionally, Rough Cutt will conclude its set with a performance of "Stars," the iconic song released in 1986 by the organization known as Hear 'N Aid to raise money for famine relief in Africa. Heavy metal's answer to "We Are The World" raised $2 million at the time, and there are plans being made to re-issue the recording in the future to benefit the Dio Cancer Fund.

Radio personality Eddie Trunk ( ) will handle hosting duties, which will also include a raffle, silent and live auctions, food trucks, merchandise vendors and more. The silent auction will be held in one of the exhibit booths throughout the afternoon, while live auctions, featuring one-of-a-kind rock collectables, will take place during intervals between artist performances. Live Auction, raffle and silent auction items include a stage-worn full-length leather Eddie Money trench coat from his 2000 "Millennium Tour," a Great White acoustic guitar signed by the band members, Dio photo book signed by all of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a Black Sabbath collectables and merchandise bundle, a variety of concert tickets, wine-tasting certificates, and much, much more.

Los Angeles' premier rock radio station, 95.5 KLOS, has come on board this year as an event sponsor and will be out in force at Harley Davidson in Glendale for the start of the RIDE. KLOS jock Melissa Maxx will be at the park to assist with the festivities.

A donation of $25,000 will be presented to Dr. David Wong of the UCLA School of Dentistry to help fund his team's research into the development of a simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer. This is part of the Dio Cancer Fund's commitment to this ground-breaking project, which is in keeping with its message that early detection saves lives.

Both riders and concert-goers can purchase their tickets by visiting:

Pre-Registration Prices: $35/rider (includes concert admission) $10/passenger (includes concert admission) $25 concert admission only

Day of Event Prices: $40/rider (includes concert admission) $10/passenger (includes concert admission) $30 concert admission only

Free parking will be available at the Park & Ride lot at 5174 Hayvenhurst Ave, Encino, CA 91436. Shuttle service to the event will run throughout the day beginning at 11:00AM.

2017 RIDE FOR RONNIE Motorcycle Ride and Concert Schedule Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ride: 9:00am - 10:45am: Rider Check-In & On-Site Registration 9:00am - 10:30am Continental Breakfast Kickstands up at 11:00am

Harley Davidson of Glendale 3717 San Fernando Rd., Glendale, CA 91204

Concert: 11:30AM - Gates open 11:45AM- 5PM Concert

Los Encinos State Historic Park 16756 Moorpark Street Encino, CA 91436

About RONNIE JAMES DIO STAND UP AND SHOUT CANCER FUND: The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund ( was formed in memory of the legendary rock singer Ronnie James Dio, who lost his life to gastric cancer in 2010. A privately funded 501(c)(3) public charity, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has already raised nearly $2 million since its inception. Monies raised have been committed to the cancer research work of the T. J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, AIDS and Leukemia Research, the gastric cancer research unit of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where Ronnie was treated for gastric cancer during the last six months of his life, and other cancer research projects. Most recently, the Dio Cancer Fund has committed funds to support the research of Dr. David Wong and his team at the UCLA School of Dentistry in developing a simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, which is in keeping with the Fund's mission of cancer prevention, research and education.

DON BROCO - brand new track 'Pretty' out now, ALEXANDRA PALACE headline show announced

DON BROCO have announced the biggest headline show of their career to date. The Bedford four-piece will play London's Alexandra Palace on November 11th and tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday 5th May) via /

To mark the announcement, the band have released their brand new track 'Pretty' out also tomorrow through SharpTone Records and will be available via all known download and streaming platforms. 'Pretty' finds DON BROCO enlisting huge stomping riffs and dark industrial electronics to create yet another epic rock anthem, to follow last year's monstrous tune 'Everybody'. The accompanying video is an eye-watering beast, and not for the faint-hearted. A twisted wedding tale of jealousy, horror, blood and DIY face-transplants it is - quite simply - jaw-dropping.

Lead singer Rob Damiani comments: "We're very excited to reveal 'Pretty', the first new music from our forthcoming album. As soon as this tune came together we wanted to get it out there and give people a little taste of what's to come. We had blast making this video and if you saw the video for 'Everybody' you might recognise a few familiar faces... Come Saturday 11th November we'll be playing our biggest headline show ever at London's Alexandra Palace. It's one of our favourite venues in the UK and a stage we've been looking forward to headlining for a long time. This will be the only DON BROCO show of 2017 so you can be sure we'll be pulling out all the stops. See you in November!"

Since 2015s Top 10 album »Automatic« propelled the band to mainstream consciousness, DON BROCO have forged a unique path. Having headlined Brixton Academy and played arenas throughout the UK and Europe with both BRING ME THE HORIZON and 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER, they signed a brand new, worldwide deal with leading US independent label SharpTone Records. This led to the release of the 2016 single 'Everybody' and a sold-out headline tour of the UK where they played consecutive nights in ten cities, performing both »Automatic« and their debut album »Priorities« in full. In February of this year they headed over to Osaka for two arena shows with Japanese superstars ONE OK ROCK, and are currently touring the United States for the first time in support of US pop-punk band STATE CHAMPS. Their international profile is building across Europe too with a number of festival appearances announced including Main Square Festival and Lollapalooza Paris in France, the Netherlands Pinkpop Festival and Slam Dunk Festival in the UK. DON BROCO are without doubt one of the most exciting and adventurous rock bands in the UK right now and with a huge headline gig at Alexandra Palace announced for the end of the year, they truly are taking a step up into the big league. Global domination beckons!

DON BROCO Tour Dates w/State Champs: May 5: Orlando, FL Beacham Theater May 6: Charlotte, NC Neighborhood Theatre May 7: Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage May 9: Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts May 11: New York, NY Irving Plaza May 12: New York, NY Irving Plaza May 13: Clifton Park, NY Upstate Concert Hall May 14: Boston, MA Royale

DON BROCO Festival Dates: May 27: Slam Dunk Festival, Birmingham May 28: Slam Dunk Festival, Leeds May 29: Slam Dunk Festival, Hatfield June 5: Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, Netherlands June 30: Main Square Festival, Arras, France July 8: Deferlantes Festival, France July 23: Lollapalooza Paris, France

Wednesday 3 May 2017


Photo credit: Alexandra Cameron

Poignant, dreamlike, beautiful: The Last Dinosaur’s The Nothing is a record to swim in. The brainchild of Londoner Jamie Cameron, it’s an album that addresses a tragic event from his teenage years, and transmutes that experience into a cathartic work of art.

At 16, Jamie had met kindred spirit James Macdonald at music college and recorded the 2004 album Good Morning Sunshine… and Goodnight with him under the name When I Was a Little Girl, a well-received debut through the independent label Where It’s At Is Where You Are. But a year later, Jamie was in a car crash that tragically claimed the life of his best friend. Out for the day with one of Jamie’s sisters and another friend, the car aquaplaned and hit another car at a junction. James’ injuries were the worst among the passengers, and when he passed away, Jamie was in a state of shock.

“I’d had a pretty idyllic life until then, nothing particularly bad had happened,” Jamie says. “That was a difficult experience to comprehend. Despite how harrowing it was, I thought came out of it relatively mentally unscathed, although in hindsight that’s a trick you tell yourself.” Instead, he began recording with another music college friend, Luke Hayden, as The Last Dinosaur. Jamie’s parents split up, he broke up with his girlfriend, and The Last Dinosaur’s debut album Hooray! For Happiness, covered glowingly by the likes of Uncut, The Line Of Best Fit and more, attempted to come to terms with these experiences, while avoiding the real elephant in the room. “I was doing everything to avoid confronting this really big thing that happened at an age when you don’t generally experience death and loss,” Jamie says.

Afterwards, depression took hold of him, but over the course of years, he began writing, recording and amassing songs that addressed his grief and own fear of dying. The powerful The Nothing began to take shape. “It wasn’t an intention of mine to write an album about dying or anything like that, but I realised after I’d written a few songs that they all were about it in some way. It got to a point where I couldn’t really avoid it. I’d done the divorce album and it was all I was left with, trying to make sense of this thing that happened. Halfway through I realised it was profoundly cathartic, it made me felt less scared of dying.”

The Nothing is uplifting, life-affirming. Its lyrics may tackle the subject of mortality, but the gorgeous, overlapping, interlacing melodies are like drifting in a blissful reverie. ‘We’ll Greet Death’, with its strings, piano, saxophone and acoustic guitar is defiant, possessed of an emotional complexity. On ‘Grow’, Jamie’s lovely acoustic plucking forms the basis for a song about the fragility of life, while ‘The Sea’ is a meditative post-rock movement that begins in a hushed place and concludes over five minutes later in a gorgeous string-laden denouement. Although Jamie professes to a childhood love for R.E.M, Tortoise and most of all, Talk Talk, the music here is very much his own, self-penned and performed with close friend Rachel Lanskey providing viola on most of the songs. “I’ve had a very strong sense of never wanting to copy anyone else’s music, I just want to sound like me,” Jamie says.

Created between 2009 and 2016, The Nothing is a stunning, affecting album that is also a touching tribute to Jamie’s late friend. “Someone called it elegiac,” Jamie says. “I quite liked that notion.”

Monday 1 May 2017

WEDNESDAY 13 reveals 'Blood Sick' video

WEDNESDAY 13 has unveiled a brand new video for 'Blood Sick', the next track to be taken from his forthcoming album, 'Condolences', which arrives on 2nd June via new record label home, Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Check it out here:

WEDNESDAY tells us "I'm really excited for you all to see the video for 'Blood Sick'. It was all shot on green screen with director Matt Zane. The song is about a spider torturing a fly in its web before devouring it, and I wanted to try and capture that scenario with the band in a giant spider web. I had this vision in my head when we first wrote the song and it's so cool to see it finally come to life."

The album was produced, mixed and mastered by Chris 'Zeuss' Harris (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed) and the sleeve artwork was created by Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia).

WEDNESDAY 13 is also confirmed to headline the Dogtooth Stage at Download Festival on Saturday 10th June with his full electric set, as well as two additional shows in Dublin (Thu 8th Jun at Voodoo Lounge) and Belfast (Fri 9th June at Limelight 2).