In 2010, back when Real Gone was in its embryonic stages, we received an email from a musician in the US asking if we’d review the then new album by his band The Great Affairs. That man was Denny Smith, singer-songwriter and previously a member of rock band fORMER. When he contacted us again approximately five months later, he had the distinction of being the very first artist to approach Real Gone for repeat coverage. Almost ten years on from that first contact, Denny dropped by to tell us all about the new album, his extra-curricular projects and more besides. The Great Affairs’ current album, ‘Ten & 2’ could be their best yet…
In July 2017, Los Angeles retro rock duo KOLARS visited Ramsgate Music Hall for the second time. Expected to be a good night, the sweaty and intimate atmosphere resulted in a night that the audience would never forget. The night was made even better by the presence of Smoke Season in support.
Although Smoke Season don’t have much in common with KOLARS, their brand of electronic pop proved particularly enthralling. Backed with the kind of sophisticated pop made by Alice & The Glass Lake with flourishes of electronica and dream pop, Gabby Bianco showed real star quality and – much like the KOLARS set, it was hard to imagine such a performance translating quite as well in a bigger venue.
The 2017 Star Shaped Festival events were special. In London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, the all-day events allowed Britpop lovers to come together in a wave of nostalgia, watching great bands and forging new friendships.
While the big draw for many was the four shows by the unexpectedly reformed Sleeper, The Bluetones were on great and funny form, Space showed everyone how great they are in the live setting – a band much deeper than a couple of overplayed singles – and My Life Story’s Jake Shillingford demonstrated a fantastic command of a crowd.
When most people talk about the blues era of Fleetwood Mac, they’ll inevitably talk about Peter Green. When most people talk about Fleetwood’s first excursions away from blues and into pop-rock, they’ll mention Christine McVie joining the band and/or guitarist Bob Welch.
There was one man who helped steer the band from 1969 through to 1972, through their most tricky times: their third guitarist Danny Kirwan.
Van Morrison is a legend. Not only that, but he’s a prolific legend.
Between launching his solo career in 1967 and May 2018, he’s recorded a staggering 39 studio albums. The last five of those have been released within a three year stretch.
While so many people are keen to view Van’s 70s work as the golden age, some of his later works are every bit as good as those famous early releases. 2012’s ‘Born To Sing: No Plan B’ and 2017’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ in particular find Morrison in particularly good voice, backed by a lot of blues based material. Both are albums that far outshine anything any of Van’s potential peers – Dylan, Neil Young, Clapton – could muster during their twilight years.