‘Wild Love’ – sultry new single for Joanne Shaw Taylor ahead of February 2024 UK tour
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
1d ago
UK blues virtuoso Joanne Shaw Taylor has unveiled a new single and video ahead of her February 2024 UK tour and a much-anticipated new studio album which is also slated for release next year. Catchy and infectious with a sultry twist and boasting plenty of the guitar maestro’s trademark licks, ‘Wild Love’ follows recent single ‘Black Magic’ in providing a taste of what’s in store for fans when Shaw Taylor releases her brand-new studio album next year. Joanne Shaw Taylor: “I love this track. I wanted it to be dark and sexy. I think, with the boys’ help, we came up with something real ..read more
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Live review: Steeleye Span at the Old Market, Brighton & Hove 23/11/23
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
3d ago
One of the really nice things about seeing Steeleye Span live (and there are many) is that on each new tour there are always a few surprises to look forward to. It’s never just a ‘greatest hits’ set of the most obvious crowd-pleasers plus a few songs thrown in to plug whatever happens to be the latest album. Obscure songs from the band’s bulging back catalogue are dusted down and given a new lease of life. New arrangements are tried out by what is often a very different line-up from the one that originally recorded it. Or sometimes an entire album is revisited and performed in full. Meanwhile ..read more
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Live review: Tytan / Praying Mantis at Black Box, Hastings 22/11/23
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
3d ago
Black Box on the main thoroughfare in the heart of Hastings Old Town is proving to be a superb small music venue for the town. It is pretty much what the name suggests, a 200+ capacity oblong room with the stage across the front, the bar across the back and, unlike many small venues inhabiting reconfigured old buildings, there are no awkwardly-placed pillars or over-congested bars getting in the way of sightlines. Black Box is fast-developing a reputation for pulling in some pretty big-name acts, too. They’ve recently welcomed both Mike Peters from the Alarm and Mark Chadwick from the Leveller ..read more
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Live review: John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest at Salle Pleyel, Paris 19/11/23
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
6d ago
This is a somewhat unusual blog post for me, being part gig review, part crime report and part trauma therapy. Starting at the beginning, I was fairly late coming to Barclay James Harvest. I was aware of the likes of ‘Mocking Bird’, of course, but picked up a second-hand compilation from a charity shop in about 2019 and my fasciation grew from there. By the time lockdown came, I found myself tracking down the band’s entire back catalogue on ebay. In fact, there’s only one studio album left I’ve yet to buy. When I saw that John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest were doing their final tour I decided I ..read more
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Suzi Ronson joins the Lust For Life Tour – ‘Me and Mr Jones: my life with David Bowie & the Spiders from Mars’
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
1w ago
It’s just been announced that former Bowie stylist and wife of the late Spiders from Mars guitar hero will join the 2024 Lust For Life Tour (Clem Burke, Glen Matlock, Katie Puckrik and Kevin Armstrong). Suzi Ronson will be reading extracts from her her forthcoming book Me and Mr Jones: My Life With David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars – published on 4th April next year. Me and Mr Jones is described by publishers, Faber as “an electrifying peek behind the curtains during a legendary chapter of pop culture history… from the stylist behind David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust look.” “Suzi Ronson was th ..read more
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Neighbourhood Threat: all-star Lust For Life band release live single ahead of Feb/Mar 2024 UK tour
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
1w ago
‘Neighbourhood Threat’ a cover of the classic Iggy Pop song released: 1st December 2023 Following glowing reviews, sold-out venues and many, many fun nights, the all-star line-up celebrating Iggy Pop’s classic Lust For Life album have announced a second UK tour. Legendary Blondie drummer, Clem Burke, will once again be joined by former Sex Pistol and punk pioneer,  Glen Matlock on bass; broadcaster and Pet Shop Boys dancer, Katie Puckrik on vocals; Iggy Pop and David Bowie collaborator, Kevin Armstrong on guitar;  Luis Correia, who’s toured internationally with Earl Slick on second g ..read more
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Live Review: Suzi Quatro at Brighton Dome 13/11/23
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
1w ago
Following on from her hugely enjoyable gig at the Albert Hall last year, Suzi Quatro is currently touring the UK once again. An almost capacity-crowd packed out Brighton Dome to witness Quatro mark her half-century since first topping the UK charts with ‘Can The Can’. The set-list is largely the same as for the Albert Hall performance, spanning the Suzi Quatro back catalogue from 1973 right up to the present day. However, there have been a couple of new albums since last April’s Albert Hall gig and we get a song apiece from each of those: her covers release, Uncovered (here represented by Quat ..read more
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Latest folk reviews: Jack Rutter, Keiran Knowles & Megson, Ward Knútur Townes, Ninebarrow and Calum Stuart
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
2w ago
Jack Rutter – This Is Something Constant I first came across Jack Rutter when three precociously-talented but slightly nervous teenagers took the stage at Fairport’s Cropredy festival back in 2011 as that year’s BBC Young Folk Awards winners as the trio Moore Moss Rutter. Since that time, Rutter has made a major mark on the UK folk scene. As well as periodic albums with Moore Moss Rutter, there have been collaborations with the likes of Sam Sweeney, Seth Lakeman and Molly Evans, plus his own solo career. Jack Rutter: “Folk songs and music captivate me and make me happy. This album is a love le ..read more
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This week’s featured artist: south-coast psychedelic rock from The Clocks
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
2w ago
Straddling the territory between indie, alt-rock and psychedelia The Clocks are a three-piece outfit from down here on the Sussex coast in Hastings. Formed in 2018, they are: George Bond (guitar/lead vocals), Adam McSweeney (bass/backing vocals) and Garry Alexander (drums). As well as picking up a growing number of followers on the local live circuit, there has also been a flurry of recording activity over the past eighteen months. Initially releasing several singles independently, the band then signed with local label, Frontier Music. More releases soon followed, such as recent single ‘The C ..read more
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Dave Mason re-imagines Traffic’s ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ with blues rock icon, Joe Bonamassa
Darren's music blog
by Darren Johnson
2w ago
In a new collaboration, the former Traffic musician and all-round rock legend, Dave Mason, has teamed up with blues rock icon, Joe Bonamassa, to record a brand-new version of Traffic’s ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ which was originally released back in 1967 on the band’s debut album, Mr Fantasy. Although written by Traffic’s Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi, the song has been a mainstay of Mason’s live set throughout his solo career and he’s expressed his delight about re-revisiting the track and in working with Bonamassa for a contemporary take on a seasoned classic. Dave Mason: “Fantasy h ..read more
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