Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Real-world shopping: Buying CD’s in Gran Canaria – Part One

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I’m not a total Luddite, I embrace the internet, downloads and mp3’s…but, apart from my vociferous anti-piracy stance, I can honestly say I get very little pleasure from music as bunch of ones and zeroes.  even though i have an extensive collection spread between mac, ipad and ipod, I find myself yearning for the booklet to thumb through, the artwork to look at, and before you say “they have the artwork”, i mean, bigger than a friggin’ postage stamp!

So, our regular trips to the Canary islands afford me the opportunity of rummaging around the now dwindling record racks in search of interesting CD bargains. Well, the trip to Gran Canaria in January was extremely rewarding, as I returned with Eight albums in all, the first four of which I’ll discuss here.

SLASH feat. MYLES KENNEDY – Apocalyptic Love

I recently finished reading Slash’s autobiography, so this one jumped out at me from the shelves. Most other copies in the store were around 17 euros, but this one was going for a very reasonable 11 euros, and complete with a bonus DVD, too!

BLACK SABBATH – Greatest Hits

I don’t have much Sabbath, but tracks from their first four albums featured heavily in my youth, and although I have (and love) the new album ’13’, I thought this 14 track beauty was well worth the €5.99 I paid for it!

THE DARKNESS – One way ticket to hell…and back

Although this proved to be the archetypal ‘difficult second album’ for Lowestoft’s finest, I could resist it for just €5, and truth be told, it does grow on you. Worth it for the title track alone, and the mentalist that is Justin Hawkins.

APOCALYPTICA – 7th. Symphony

Unfamiliar with this – it was real find. For just €7 I was taken  on a musical journey of grandiose proportions, sledgehammer riffs battling with sumptious and sinister strings, and a sprinkling of guest appearances from the likes of Gavin Rossdale, Brent Smith of Shinedown, and best of all, a wonderful performance from Lacey of Flyleaf. Musical graduates from the Sibelius academy in Helsinki, Finland, these four cellists started out covering Metallica! Fabulous album.

Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica  @ Ilosaarirock 2009 - from Wikipedia

Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica @ Ilosaarirock 2009 – from Wikipedia

In Part Two: A Guitar God, a 70’s Rock Classic, some hardcore American and the band that became a Soap-opera!

Kev Moore

 

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February 4, 2014 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our friends in the North…

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I’ve recently returned from two wicked shows in two of Scandinavia’s capital cities: Copenhagen in Denmark, and Oslo in Norway. Witch Cross have their heartland in Denmark of course, and it was wonderful to see fans & friends old and new rocking out at the gig in Stengade. It was a full-on metal night with sets from Wasted and Death rides a Horse as well as our own.

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We all de-camped to Lars’ house where as usual he didn’t disappoint in the breakfast department – fresh coffee, bread, eggs and pastries!

Lars house

The Friday morning saw us flying to Oslo, a city I hadn’t performed in for more than 30 years, and Witch Cross as a band had never played in Norway. We arrived at the venue – Revolver – early in the afternoon and were excellently fed by the Australian chef from the restaurant above!

Heavy Metal Demons @ Revolver, Oslo!

Heavy Metal Demons @ Revolver, Oslo!

We were supported on this show by Magister Templi, and by the time we arrived through the sub-zero Oslo night, the venue was rammed. It was incredibly moving to have all these headbangers in our face, wearing our name, singing along with every word. There were also fans there who’d seen us at Muskelrock in Sweden earlier in the year. It totally justified the hard work put into finally getting over there to perform. All we can say is – Witch Cross will be back, and it won’t be 30 years!

Kev Moore

November 26, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scandimania! – Witch Cross set to rock Copenhagen and Oslo

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This week is a busy week for Witch Cross. I fly out to Denmark early Wednesday morning to meet up with Viking Metal buddies. An evening rehearsing and then we have shows in both Denmark and Norway’s capital cities. I’m absolutely buzzing at the prospect of delivering songs from ‘Fit for Fight’ and ‘Axe to Grind’ live again! Since the band re-formed, we still have relatively few live appearances under our belt, so it’s always good to crank up the guitars and get into the metal groove – we grow stronger with every show. If you’re anywhere near Stengade in Copenhagen on Thursday, or Revolver in Oslo on Friday, get yourselves down and rock the night away with us!

Photo by Sandro Chiozzi

Photo by Sandro Chiozzi

2014 promises to be an even busier year for Witch Cross, we have a few cool things in the pipeline, so check out our website to be kept up to date with what we’re up to.

WITCH CROSS OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Kev Moore

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CD round-up: Music I grabbed at Leyendas del Rock this summer!

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I’ve been meaning to do a short piece about this for ages, but time seemed to slip away, and the Leyendas festival is all but a distant memory. However, the three albums I bought while wandering the stalls on the perimeter are still all getting plenty of play here at Moore Music towers. I wanted to share them with you. Firstly, we have a lovingly packaged Sentenced album, in a nicely illustrated cardboard slipcase, containing not one but two of their albums on one CD. Hailing from Finland, theirs is a tale that ultimately ended in a tragedy. They began as a melodic death metal outfit, morphing more into heavy metal later on.  The band hold some interest for me for many reasons, one of which is the fact that I spent a month in their hometown of Oulu many years ago, while touring with a band up around the Arctic circle. The main album on here, ‘Amok’, recorded in ’95, is widely considered to be their breakthrough album, and it is paired here with ‘Love & Death’, which features songs recorded around the same time as Amok, and a curious cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding’. Probably because the songs were all recorded around the same time, the two albums go well together here, and the band’s musicality is well to the fore – it’s a great listen.

The band finally split in 2005 and a mere four years later, Guitarist and founding member Miika Tenkula died, on February 19, 2009. He apparently had succumbed to a genetic heart condition. As a footnote, some months after Miika’s death, Sentenced released a box set of 16 CDs and 2 DVDs chronicling their entire career in a coffin-shaped box. The box-set also included rare and previously unreleased tracks.

Mystic Prophecy (Deu) - Savage Souls

Next on the list was Savage Souls from German band Mystic Prophecy. This version came as a ‘book’ CD – the album being in the front, and a bonus DVD in the back, featuring a live appearance at The Matrix in Bochum. The DVD’s a nice bonus, but it’s the studio album that really shines. formed in Bad Gronenbach in 2000, this release dates from 2006. they seem to have a lot of personnel changes, but the vocals and guitar work on this album are great. They’re like a cross between U.S. and European power metal. A nice surprise, this.

ACCEPT

Finally, I had to invest in Accept’s latest release ‘Stalingrad’ after they delivered a blistering set at Leyendas. I really like Marc Tornillo’s vocals , shades of Brian Johnson- and a great fit for the band. Produced by Andy Sneap, Stalingrad is an album that shows a band still at the top of their game. There’s so many standout tracks on here. Not only that, i picked up the special edition, which includes a live DVD featuring performances from Bang your Head and Monsters of rock festivals in 2011 and 2010 respectively , and the music videos for ‘Teutonic Terror’ (one of my favourite Accept tracks) and the (dare I say, infectious?) ‘Pandemic’.

So, three beauties, and a great festival to boot!

Kev Moore

November 14, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Okay….so for a brief shining period, WE were a Power Trio!

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Further to my recent post about the resurgence of power trios, it was pointed out to me that my old band, TUBELESS HEARTS, was exactly that, particularly around the time we released our 1994 album ‘Three’ – still somewhat sought after by collectors. True, we expanded the remit somewhat when we recorded, utilizing keyboards on some songs, and guitar overdubs, but live we were a much more raw proposition, juxtaposing tracks from the album with hard-hitting rock standards such as ‘Won’t get fooled again’.

Fos Foster - Guitars

Fos Foster – Guitars

           I discovered these pics while tidying the studio this morning, so I thought I’d dust them off and scan them.

Yours truly: Bass/Lead Vocals & Keys

Yours truly: Bass/Lead Vocals & Keys
Simon Kay - Drums/Vocals

Simon Kay – Drums/Vocals

It was a very creative time for me personally, and Fos and I wrote well together, and until I started working with Mike Koch on the new Witch Cross material, the only time I’ve had a good writing partnership.  You can hear one of the tracks below, a funk-rock workout called ‘The Pimp’.

I thought I’d take a moment to remember what a great unit this was. I count myself lucky to still be able to play with these guys, as we get together on occasion as three-quarters of the group CHRISTIE, fronted by multi-million selling hitmaker Jeff Christie.

Here’s the album we made together:

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Kev Moore

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | | 5 Comments

The Return of the Power Trio

It’s been a long time coming…but the power trio is back with a vengeance. That ‘perfect’ line-up of guitar, bass and drums is a staple of our rock history, just think Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Budgie, Rush, Trapeze, ZZ Top etc.  The flag was flown briefly in later years by the likes of the very wonderful Kings X of course, but in recent years there have been too few of what, to this writer, is the perfect line-up.

There was a hint of what could be on the recent ‘Machine Head’ tribute, when the stellar line-up of Chad Smith, Steve Vai and Glenn Hughes did the unthinkable and blew the already wonderful ‘Highway star’ out of the water. (okay there’s some keys on there but whose counting!) I still nurse a dream that this might become a longer term association, but then…

…I recently bought the superb album by The Winery Dogs, another amazing line up with Mike Portnoy (more gigs than Dave Grohl, anyone?) Billy (I’m going to give up playing bass now) Sheehan and Ritchie (he can sing AND play like a mother!) Kotzen. So often though, the sum of the parts is not greater, but this album is superb, chiefly because (as with Black Country Communion) the songs are SO good. A three piece rock band is an exciting thing to listen to, and to play in, I can attest to that from personal experience, because there is nowhere to hide and you have to be on your game, and it’s probably why these virtuosos are gravitating towards this particular band configuration, because it stretches them and gives them room to shine. So, all this was enough to get me salivating, but then, courtesy of my good Metal buddy Stone over at METAL ODYSSEY  I’ve also been turned onto Pinnick Gales Pridgen, yet another amazing line up of ex-Kings X, Lauryn Hill and Mars Volta musicians that channel Cream and Hendrix and serve it up fresh, new and damn hot. Check out these three videos and tell me the Power Trio isn’t on the rise!!!!

Kev Moore

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Video, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mother’s Finest – The Kickstarter campaign

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I’ve always been drawn to that bastard offspring of music – Funk Rock. Ever since a guy at my student’s union going by the unlikely name of Andy Starbuck took me aside and played me ‘Hot Wire’ by Trapeze. That led me to explore damn near everything Glenn Hughes had recorded, and in the late 70’s when I became a professional bassist and singer and went to tour for several years in Scandinavia, I discovered Mother’s Finest. Perhaps it’s the bassist in me that loves my riffs hot heavy and funky – but whatever the reason, I loved their mix of rock funk and blues, Baby Jean’s vocal screaming out over Mo’s sledgehammer riffs. When Brian Adams got Tina to sing on ‘It’s Only Love’, I was like “MF have been there and done that a decade before you dude!”.

Mother’s Finest are a pioneering, historically important band. And against all the odds, they are still out there doing it today. They haven’t released any new music for a decade, but all that’s about to change. In conjunction with the fundraising site Kickstarter, they have launched a campaign to create a brand new album with the help of their loyal fanbase. If you haven’t heard this band, you need to check them out. They have inspired so many bands that followed them. Extreme, the Dan Reed Network, and don’t tell me Prince never had them on his turntable!

It’s a niche music, because traditional metalheads shy away from it, and funk purists too, for different reasons, but for me, damn! Funk rock is greater than the sum of its parts, and nobody delivers it like Mother’s Finest. Check them out , and then head to the pledge site at the link below the video and sign up. Be a part of it and help them make their next killer album!

THE MOTHER’S FINEST KICKSTARTER PROJECT- DONATE NOW!

Kev Moore

August 27, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Intensity in Tent City – Leyendas del Rock 2013

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Last week, my partner Miki and I decided to sample some metal on ‘the other side of the curtain’, by attending the Leyendas del Rock festival in Villena, Spain, as concert-goers rather than as an appearing artist. Some Metal colleagues from Holland, the band PICTURE, were going to be on, ( we are appearing at the Very ‘Eavy Festival in Holland with them in 2014) – and that also gave us a chance to meet up with a mutual friend, Mark Oosterwijk, who had travelled from Holland with the band.

Chatting with Mark before Picture take the stage

Chatting with Mark before Picture take the stage

We arrived ahead of the crowd on the Wednesday night, in The Boomobile , our live-in music & art studio on wheels, and parked up in the middle of the campsite. By the morning, the gathering of metalheads had begun, and we were quickly surrounded by tents, vans, campers, and amazingly creative structures made from tarpaulines!  It was hot and dry, and when the wind was up, I was reminded of Joe Bonamassa’s “Dust Bowl”!

The organization of the whole festival, right down to the logistics of parking, stewarding, amenities and policing was superb. This is an event in it’s eighth year, and it seems to be one welcomed by the town of Villena with good grace, and runs very smoothly.

I managed to catch a few of the Spanish metal bands, some of whom were very good. LEO JIMENEZ were good, and DARKSUN in particular stood out, – I would have missed them if NASHVILLE PUSSY had arrived on time, as Darksun’s spot was brought forward and onto the main stage! DORO came out all guns blazing and seems to be cultivating an amazing young fanbase, there were some real young kids down the front giving it the ‘horns up’!

DORODORO

I was particularly looking forward to TESTAMENT and VENOM, who were headlining the Friday night, and they didn’t disappoint. Testament really gave the crowd a good pounding, and Cronos and his band have aged well, the years adding a gravitas and an ability the early Venom lacked.

cronosCronos of VENOM

PICTURE took the stage early on the Saturday evening, delivering songs from their latest album Warhorse and songs stretching back over their 30 year career, including songs from Eternal Dark, which I particularly liked. It was good to see Mark headbanging to his favourite Dutch countrymen!

Picture of...PICTURE!

Picture of…PICTURE!

The band of the festival for me were ACCEPT. They were simply in a different league to everybody else, in stagecraft, sound and musicianship. “New guy” (relatively speaking) Mark Tornillo looked entirely at home in Udo’s shoes fronting the German metallists, and has something of Brian Johnson about him. The material drawn from their last two albums is very strong indeed. Songs like Teutonic Terror (my personal favourite) Pandemic, Hung, Drawn and Quartered and Stalingrad just grabbed you by the throat, and old favourite Balls to the Wall can’t fail! It seems their resurgence continues apace, there is fire in their bellies and the fun they’re having on stage is clearly apparent, and infectious.

ACCEPT

The whole vibe of Leyendas del Rock was cool, it was fun to hang in Villena for these few days and get some Metal in! Let’s hope the festival runs for at least another eight years!

Kev Moore

August 17, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Tale of Two Festivals – Part One: Sun Valley Metalfest, Gallio, Italy

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Apologies for the delay in my travelogue…I meant to write about this ages ago, but…..I’ve been, uh, travelling! A few weeks back WITCH CROSS converged on the picturesque area of Altopiano in Northern Italy to headline the Friday night at the Sun Valley Metalfest. We came from all directions, two from Denmark, one from Sweden, and one from London. As for me, I flew from Spain on the Thursday morning and consequently enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the beautiful old town of Bergamo.

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The Old City looms over the New…

The Funicular: Although the track was steep, the fare wasn't...

The Funicular: Although the track was steep, the fare wasn’t…

The Citta Vecchia  sits perched atop a hill overlooking the newer part of town, and can be accessed by a vertiginous funicular railway, which is fun. Once you emerge into the old stone streets and passageways, you are transported into another world, albeit peppered with fabulous cafes and pizza restaurants. Needless to say, I indulged in these culinary delights..well, “when in Rome..” or in this case, “when in Bergamo!”.

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The answer to pretty much everything in Italy is likely to be Pizza...

The answer to pretty much everything in Italy is likely to be Pizza…

The chocolate bread was particularly delightful. Stunning architecture and brightly coloured shop fronts made for a brilliant afternoon, which I topped with a coffee looking out over the city in the terrace bar above the funicular station.

My guest for afternoon coffee...

My guest for afternoon coffee…

The next day I linked up with the rest of the guys and our Italian driver Alex, who drove them from Milan airport.

The Pizzeria is THIS way! Driver Alex gets directions from a clearly patriotic Italian lady!

The Pizzeria is THIS way! Driver Alex gets directions from a clearly patriotic Italian lady!

Once reunited in Bergamo on the Friday, we set about finding somewhere for lunch, being directed to a great Restaurant and Pizzeria, before the three hour drive that followed, gradually going higher and higher into the mountains, the views spectacular, and snow -covered peaks abounding, heading for Gallio. Omar Pedrotti and all the guys at the festival were great. They love their metal and put this festival on with friendliness and enthusiasm.

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How the Danes managed to rape and pillage anything is beyond me....Paul, Lars & Jan giving it their best Three Stooges impression!

How the Danes managed to rape and pillage anything is beyond me….Paul, Lars & Jan giving it their best Three Stooges impression!

As the sun went down, we ate yet more Pizza – Italy does that to you…went back to the hotel in the village to relax a little before the show. We were onstage around 1 am, and the temperature had plummeted! Even though it was mid-June, I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold onstage! for once I was glad I wasn’t having to play bass as well as sing, I have no idea how Jan, Mike and Paul could feel their fingers! Nevertheless, we delivered a powerful set of WITCH CROSS songs old and new and disappeared into the night.

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"Can the Can" - Lars overdoes it...

“Can the Can” – Lars overdoes it…

A big thanks to Elisa Catozzi and Sandro Chiozzi for their superb photos of the gig. The next day, the guys dropped me off in Bergamo on their way to Milan where I chilled out for a while before flying back to Spain. I’d only been home for a day when my partner Miki and I headed North from the coast of Almeria to the town of Cazorla for their Blues Festival – enjoying it this time from the audience perspective! More of that in Part Two!

The new Witch Cross album, ‘AXE TO GRIND’ is out now on Hells Headbangers, available as CD, LP in blue or black vinyl,or on iTunes. Click on the image below to visit the shop.

Witch Cross - axe to grind

Kev Moore

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Witch Cross in Conversation

Myself and Guitarist Mike Koch talk about the band reforming, touring, and the new album ‘Axe to Grind’ – out now on Hells Headbangers Records as  a CD, on itunes or as a 12″ LP in a choice of blue or black vinyl. Just click on the album image below the video to visit Hell’s Headbangers’ shop.

Witch Cross - axe to grind

Kev Moore

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Video, Witch Cross | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment