Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Hello everyone

What a fantastic year 2011 has been; new friends, new adventures and most importantly new music. Lots of fantastic new bands, incredible live shows and much much more; keep your eyes peeled for my 'Introducing...' post that gives you information on the bands to keep a look out for in 2012. Anyways this will be my last post for this year; I wish you all a very merry Christmas and thank you all for the continuing support for this blog.

I shall leave you with some of my favourite Christmas songs.

Take care

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Top 10 Live shows of 2011: 5-1

Here is my top five live shows of 2011;

5. Jenna's Revenge @ The Joiners; Southampton 13/11/2011

This particular gig marked the long awaited return from Gosport hard rockers Jenna's Revenge; after Simon 'Sic' McLaren left the band in March this year it took the rest of Jenna's months to find a new vocalist. However Sic decided he missed Jenna's so much that he decided to make a return; me and best friend Becca were so excited for this that she made them a welcome back cake that I carried. Although note to self; think about transportation of the cake before hand. It was a fantastic show none the less; Sic's energetic stage antics, some classic rock and a very tasty cake made the evening perfect for the return of one of the southern coasts greatest rock bands. 

Find Jenna's Revenge on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

4. Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry and Theory Of A Deadman @ Wembley Arena; London 29/11/2011

Three of the greatest grunge bands from across the pond playing under one roof for one night was one of the greatest gigs I have seen this year; all three of them performed fantastic sets. Will have to try and get the DVD of that gig; so many cameras were there to capture one of the most anticipated gigs of 2011. Unfortunately I lost mine at that gig but I will still have the fantastic memories of being part of the crowd.

Find Alter Bridge on Facebook, Twitter and their official website
Find Black Stone Cherry on Facebook, Twitter and their official website
Find Theory Of A Deadman on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

3. Heaven's Basement and Jettblack @ The Talking Heads; Southampton 19/5/2011

This for me was definitely one of the most anticipating local gigs I had been waiting since I bought the ticket a few months in advance; two of my new favourite bands of last year coming together to co-headline a UK tour. The venue was packed full of Southampton's rockers young and old, the bands all performing fantastic live sets and the general atmosphere was incredible. I would certainly say this was one of the best gigs of 2011.

Find Heaven's Basement on Facebook, Twitter and their official website
Find Jettblack on Facebook

2. Turisas @ Southampton University 15/11/2011

It was incredibly tricky to choose a top two gigs but I have placed Turisas second place; it was such an incredible experience to become one with all the metal heads of Southampton that very evening and Turisas performed a fantastic live set that got the crowd pumping with excitement. Support acts Kiaus and Chtonic also performed well; possibly the best night of metal took place in Southampton and I enjoyed every second of it.

Find Turisas on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

1. The Treatment @ The Joiners; Southampton 11/12/2011

The Treatment's performance at The Joiners easily had to be my best live show of 2011; purely because their presence on stage was full of energy and passion, the atmosphere was exciting and interviewing them was one of the most amazing experiences of my music journalling so far. The Treatment certainly know how to please the crowd and they sound incredible live. They were all so friendly and they made me laugh; cannot wait to see them live again next year with Jettblack and Reckless Love.

Find The Treatment on Facebook

Here's to more fantastic live shows in the new year; there you have my top ten shows of 2011.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Interview with The Treatment

After watching The Treatment perform a fantastic live set at The Joiners, Southampton I was more than happy to interview them. It was a fantastic experience; was a little bit nervous at first but then I suddenly felt more relaxed as the interview progressed. I liked to think it was a new challenge to me; would love to thank The Treatment for taking some time to do the interview, particularly guitarist Ben Brookland for giving me some useful advice and Jodie Newman for arranging the interview. I would also like to apologise to drummer Dhani Mansworth for getting his name wrong at the very beginning; rookie error. 

Click here to listen to the interview

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Treatment @ The Joiners; Southampton 11/12/2011

I have realised that I so far for the past three years I have made at least one trip to The Joiners at the end of the year so far; as I have mentioned in previous posts that The Joiners is in fact my favourite music venue in Southampton as a lot of Britain's best upcoming bands tend to perform at this venue. Tonight it was the turn of Cambridge hard rockers The Treatment to take the stage; The Treatment have been a great highlight in the music industry so I was really eager to see what their live performance would contain. I also found last night proved to be a fantastic life changing step in the terms of music journalling and I shall explain why later.

The first band to play were Delirium; who are a rock band from Dorset. I thought they were a very interesting opening act to pick for The Treatment since they had a more grungy sort of sound, a lot like an Alice In Chains I thought. I thought their set overall was fairly average; I might have to see them again, I think they may grow on me after a while.

Find Delirium on Facebook and their official website

Velvatine were next to play; young aspiring rockers from Hayling Island whose sound reminded me of Heaven's Basement jamming with AC/DC. They really gave it their all last night, their songs were great and they showed a lot of energy in their performance; I found they reminded me of a popular band at my secondary school years ago and it just made me feel really warm inside.  I do hope to see and hear more from Velvatine in the near future.

Find Velvatine on Facebook

I was very happy when I had heard Western Sand had got the main support slot for the gig last night; I can honestly say here today I have seen them a number of times this year and last night was definitely their best show yet. I loved how they opened up with soundtrack music which I had never seen them do before until now and I think they really showed main support act material with the amount of energy they gave. They sounded fantastic too and I really do hope to see them in the new year very soon. 

Find Western Sand on Facebook and Twitter

For headliners The Treatment it was their first time playing in Southampton last night and was incredibly happy when they said they'll return. I had heard The Treatment's album This Might Hurt and really liked it, you'll see it's on my top ten albums of 2011, like I mentioned earlier I was really eager to see them live. What an amazing show it was; opening up with their single D****, F*****,F****** I could see it really got the crowds at The Joiners pumping. Playing other great songs such as Shake My Mountain, The Doctor and my personal favourite Just Tell Me Why to the utmost perfection and with so much passion I could definitely see why the Cambridge hard rockers bring such big crowds. I was also so stunned and excited when promoter and good friend Jodie Newman arranged an interview with The Treatment too, which you will see and hear in a later post, guitarist Tag Grey mentions in this certain interview they see themselves playing at Wembley Arena in five years time and after watching them last night I think so too.

Find The Treatment on Facebook

Tuomaslotte rates: TTTTT 

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Top 10 Albums of 2011 - Part 2

Now it was a very tricky choosing the top five for this year but I have made the decision to cast these albums below as the top five.

5. The Treatment - This Might Hurt

Now I love this album a lot; the catchy guitar riffs, lead singer Matt Jones sounding like a dead ringer of Aerosmith legend Steve Tyler and some smashing tunes are the reasons why this album has made it into my top five. The Treatment as a band have been another highlight in my musical findings this year; first coming across them in Kerrang! and their music influences are what got me interested. Full of sexy husky vocals, slick guitar solos and songs you could just listen to again and again this album definitely has the whole package of a great rock album.

Purchase the album now on iTunes or Amazon

4. My Darkest Days - My Darkest Days

First hearing these guys via the song Porn Star Dancing featuring Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger on vocals and guitar god Zakk Wylde playing a sick guitar solo I thought I'd have a listen to the album. It was much better than I was expecting; I did not see myself get drawn into their upbeat, catchy songs as quickly as I did for this album. It is an album I can listen and dance to again and again for sure.

Purchase the album now on iTunes or Amazon

3. Theory Of A Deadman - The Truth Is...

When I heard Canadian rockers Theory Of A Deadman were to produce a new album for this year I was very excited; I loved their previous album Scars and Souvenirs so was very eager to find out what this album had to offer. I had very high hopes for the album when the single Lowlife was introduced, the song was on four to five times a day on my iPod when it was released. Was very happy with the final outcome of the album as the songs were just as amazing as Lowlife; including personal favourites Bitch Came Back and Hurricane. Looking forward to seeing them live again next year.

Purchase the album now on iTunes or Amazon

2. Within Temptation - The Unforgiving

Dutch symphonic metallers did not surprise with a majestic new album that was released this year; I loved all the songs on this album and Sharon den Adel's voice is still very charming. They are also known for creating a variety of songs and this album is no exception; from the upbeat Faster to the heartfelt Lost. I still listen to this album again and again now, it really has made 2011 a great year. There's rumours of a film in the creating process from the band too; keep your eyes peeled.

Purchase the album now on iTunes or Amazon

1. Nightwish - Imaginareum

The build up to this phenomenon has been incredible; for two years this album has been in the making process and I can definitely say that the hard work has payed of immensely. This is the fourth time I have listened to since I got in the post this week and I love every second of it; I also love how it is set up like you were watching a film. The closing track Imaginareum acts as an overture for the closing credits and you can just imagine each song as different scenes; there is a film to be released soon as the final step. All I can say is Well Done Nightwish you have really worked hard to produce this spectacular masterpiece known as Imaginareum. Possibly their best album to date; being why it is my album of 2011.

Purchase the album now on iTunes or Amazon

Well there you have my top ten albums of 2011; there have been some truly remarkable works here and I only hope for more as good as these in the new year.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Nightwish - Imaginareum

After taking a two year gap from the spotlight; Finnish/Swedish symphonic metal gods Nightwish had been hard at work on a brand new album known as Imaginareum. If you remember I took my first step into this journey a few weeks ago with the iconic new single Storytime that really had me wondering what the new album would consist of. I was very impressed with the album; Nightwish have really gone out of their way to experiment with brand new genres and it works amazingly well, yet the magic lyrics Tuomas Holopainen writes contribute immensely with the new sound. It's incredible how they produce a jazz inspired track called Slow Love Slow and pull it off so well; I had never heard that from Nightwish before so I was greatly surprised. I love how the album opens with an authentic Finnish song sung by the heavenly voice belonging to Marco Hietala which then smoothly transforms into album's first single Storytime. My personal favourite songs on this album are I Want My Tears Back and Turn Loose The Mermaids; I love the melody of I Want My Tears back and it's amazing to hear the familiar pipes provided by Troy Donockley, he provided the pipes for The Islander and Last Of The Wilds. Turn Loose The Mermaids is a relaxing celtic track that gives the ears a break from the heavy distortion from the electric guitars. Scaretale also came as a shock to me on the album; sounding very dark indeed and Anette Olzon's voice sounds incredible, it also has a very Tim Burton feel to it; reminding me of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Not just on this song but the whole album; it has been six years since long term vocalist Tarja Tururnen was sacked via an open letter; there has been many years of debating whether Anette was the right choice for the band and I can honestly say this album says she is. It really has been one magical journey in the Imaginareum and I have enjoyed every step of the way.

Stand out tracks:  I Want My Tears Back, Scaretale and Turn Loose The Mermaids

Tuomaslotte rates:  TTTTT

Find Nightwish on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Alter Bridge @ Wembley Arena; London 29/11/2011

I had been eagerly waiting for this gig since I bought the tickets back in June and I found out it was definitely worth the wait. Entering Wembley Village it was a very well set up with a number of restaurants and shops; I was also impressed with the very colourful lights that highlighted the fountain beautifully. My main purpose for the evening was to see three of my favourite rock bands that hail from the USA and Canada; they were Theory Of A Deadman, Black Stone Cherry and headliners Alter Bridge. Before I describe my experience at the gig I want to say there will be no photos for a while since I did loose my camera at the Arena; a bit of a nuisance but life must go on.

Anyways; the first act to appear on the stage that night were Canadian rockers Theory Of A Deadman. I have loved this band since I heard them in the shop Underground Clothing and I never looked back. They gave a top notch performance from start to finish performing a wide collection of songs from So Happy to brand new album material such as my personal favourite Bitch Came Back. It was great how frontman Tyler Connolly threw out guitar picks to the audience and how he introduced each song; overall I think Theory Of A Deadman were a great choice to open up the night of hard rock that was to fall on me that night. So I was happy to hear they will be touring the UK again next year.

Find Theory Of A Deadman on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Black Stone Cherry were next to play; I was happy to be reminded of how good they are when giving a live performance. I had seen them twice before that night and I remembered how energetic these Kentucky rockers were. It was amazing how guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon make use of the space on stage with such energy and passion. I liked the selection of songs they chose to play too; everything from first album material such as personal favourite Rain Wizard to brand new songs such as White Trash Millionaire. I was very happy to hear they will be touring the UK and coming to Southampton on my birthday.

Find Black Stone Cherry on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Alter Bridge had only recently come into my life and I have grown a great likeness for them. Their live performance last night only boosted my respect for the band as they really pulled off a great live show; the lights went down and the intro to Slip Into The Void was heard on the sound system and there was Myles Kennedy in the spotlight singing the first line. What an incredible introduction it was. They got better and better as the show progressed but because of the heat inside the arena it made me feel very uneasy so I decided to step outside. That did not for one second stop me enjoying there show since I could hear it through the wall and I liked their live sound. Their acoustic rendition of Wonderful Life was remarkable, Ties That Bind cheered me up as I was frantically looking around for my camera and from what I saw they had great theatrical stage props. Such as pyrotechnics, grand stage lighting and a lot of confetti; I would definitely love to see Alter Bridge live again, probably next time I won't be close to feinting.

Find Alter Bridge on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Overall despite feeling a bit poorly and loosing my camera I did enjoy myself; all the bands performed fantastically well and the atmosphere was incredible. 

Tuomaslotte rates:  TTTTT