Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Vagabonds of the Western World – Recording in Cong, Ireland by way of South London

CIMG4914

Last Thursday I set out for Alicante, spending the night in a nearby hotel in order to feel remotely human when I caught the 7.30am flight to Stansted, England. This however, was not my final destination, but any further headway would be denied to me until gone 5 o’clock that afternoon. Faced with a mind-numbing day in this most soul-destroying of airports, I had sought alternative possibilities, and given that Witch Cross had been invited to participate with a track for a new German release tribute album, I jumped on the train down to South London, where our guitarist Mike Koch has his studio. “I can give you two hours” I said, and we set to work laying down as much vocal as I could manage. Things went so smoothly, he even had time to make me a ham and cheese bagel, so, a good result there!

Speeding back to Stansted I cast off my cloak of metal and surrendered to the folk music demos that my old friend Steve Bonham had furnished me with. As I escaped the hubbub of the city for the countryside, greenery flashing by, it seemed that my environment was mirroring this musical transition. I’d lived with this collection of Steve’s songs for a week or so, and had spent time in my studio firstly playing along, then expanding and weaving my own bass ideas around the well-crafted songs and lyrics. The last time Steve and I had collaborated musically seemed like, and in fact was, a lifetime ago. There was still an Iron Curtain, a Yugoslavia, and a Shah of Iran. The Beatles were all alive, and perhaps even more scarily, had only broken up a mere 3 years or so previously. We were young lads, stumbling over our instruments in the confines of our various parents’ garages, and it was a lot of fun. We didn’t play by the rules, because we didn’t have the slightest idea what they were. As I think I’ve mentioned before, it is a source of immense pride to me that our little village and surrounding environs on the outskirts of Derby has produced so many musicians and songwriters. Adrian Foster and I went on to perform in 80’s band Tubeless Hearts, and we still play together in ‘Yellow River’ hitmakers Christie to this day. Steve, and another couple of friends from those days, Tim Gadsby and Paul Bunting, went down the Folk route, culminating in a successful band with a number of album releases under their belt – Firkin the Fox. Enlisting the services of Fairport Convention/Jethro Tull stalwart Dave Pegg to their cause certainly did them no harm at all, and boosted their credentials. Steve and I may generally follow different musical paths, but scratch the surface and the similarities are surprising. there is a mutually deep respect for the written word, the importance of a lyric, the unwavering conviction that the ‘story is king’. It’s something I like a lot in Steve’s lyrics. They evoke emotion, create imagery, as all good songwriters strive to do.  It was a deep pleasure to be asked to perform on this collection of songs, closing a musical circle that’s been left open for some forty-odd years.

Tom & Steve in the control room

Tom & Steve in the control room

As the plane came into land at the fantastically remote Knock airport, I surrendered to the moment, and embraced this land of myths and legends, of tall tales and romantic visions, of relentless green and rushing rivers. From the moment ‘Matt the Taxi’ greeted me, I was among friends, some old, some new.

King Canute required....

King Canute required….

Mountain View studios awaited…but not before a meal in Ryan’s Hotel on the Friday night, when we ate, drank and were indeed merry!

Me & Tim

Me & Tim

So good to see dear Tim Gadsby again, who had generously lent me his basses for the session. Robbed of his ability to play the bass as he did so well due to the effects of Ataxia, I was honoured to have him by my side casting a watchful eye over proceedings as I laid my parts down. More than anything, I needed him to be satisfied with what I’d done.

Laying down some bass with Pat Coyne at the desk.

Laying down some bass with Pat Coyne at the desk.

I connected wonderfully with Tom Leary, a superb guitarist and fiddle player, who tours with the likes of Lindisfarne and Clem Clempson. We swapped stories, songs and generally had a great time.  I was stunned by the talents of Pat Coyne, who, in between making sure everything was recorded correctly, would  randomly pick up a banjo or guitar and play like he was hard-wired to heaven. Similar moments that had me scraping my jaw off the floor were the arrivals of Stephen Doherty….a likeable lad who wandered in and played the flute with such feeling and grace that I began to believe in the supernatural.

Whistle while you work...

Whistle while you work…

This train of thought was further strengthened when Jimmy Higgins arrived and raced through his percussive bag of tricks, layering a Celtic groove rich with the sounds of brushes, snare, bodhran and shakers that alternately caressed and drove the songs in equal measure. To say he was ‘on the money’ would be an understatement.

Jimmy on the Bodhran

Jimmy on the Bodhran

The atmosphere in the sessions was relaxed, though workmanlike, as there was a lot of stuff to get through, not least of which a new song that Steve dropped on us upon arrival! Chris Lydon, a.k.a. ‘The Bishop’ provided a steady hand along with Pat marshalling the sessions to maximum effect and getting the very best out of everyone for the good of each composition.

CIMG4916

On the Sunday morning, I stole a moment after breakfast to explore the village of Cong, where Mountain view studios is situated. Despite a grey veil of drizzle and the intent of the lakes and rivers to take over the roads, I found it a charming place, boasting a beautiful old Chapel, and a myriad of brightly coloured cottages that seemed to be only outnumbered by the local hostelries! There was a statue near the church, of a smiling man holding a laughing woman in his arms.

CIMG4922

The face seemed familiar, as did the name of one of the pubs I had just passed – ‘The Quiet Man’. The penny dropped. The statue was none other than John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, who had starred in the film of that name, which was filmed in this very village. Matt the Taxi told me, as he drove me back to the airport after three wonderful days, that he’d had a call some years ago, enquiring if it would be possible to book a room at his Bed & Breakfast for a lady.  He’d asked the name as he took the booking and, upon hearing it, refrained from making any humorous comment, which turned out to be a wise decision, because the lady in question turned out to be Maureen O’ Hara herself, revisiting the site of what she refers to as “….my personal favourite of all the pictures I have made. It is the one I am most proud of…”

Matt himself was most impressed that she would want to stay in a B&B , and not one of the fancy hotels nearby, and indeed he describes her as a lovely down-to-earth lady. As I write she is still with us, aged 93, and I wish her good health. I understand why she would want to come back here. I do.

ryans hotelL-R: Chris “The Bishop” Lydon, Tim Gadsby, Tom Leary, Me

Kev Moore

Advertisements

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Music, Recording, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Interview for the Almeria Life channel

Here’s an interview with me from my studio, The Indalo Cave, conducted by Almeria Life’s Catherine Eleman, in which I discuss my work across the different bands and genres. Enjoy!

Kev Moore

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Bootleg Counterfeit Sweet, Home Studio, Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Video | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

CIMG4895

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

 

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

Diamond is a band’s best friend…

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 23.59.14

Last weekend saw another jaunt Northwards and an appearance at The Diamond in Sutton-in-Ashfield for Bootleg Counterfeit Sweet. The Diamond is an unassuming venue, yet one steeped in music history, some of the great rock bands of the last few decades have trodden its well-worn boards. We rattled off the Sweet canon in fine style, energized by our fans, some of whom had travelled from as far afield as Jersey for the gig. The people who put this kind of commitment, effort and expenditure into supporting what we do are the lifeblood of any band, and we salute them!

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 23.59.31

Playing a venue so close to my hometown also gave me a chance to catch up with family too, so that was cool.

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 11.58.52

2014 will see B.C.Sweet step up its on the road activities – see you further on up the road!

Kev Moore

December 5, 2013 Posted by | BC Sweet, Bootleg Counterfeit Sweet, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Our friends in the North…

IMG_6473

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.

IMG_6512

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

Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 12.01.07

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!

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 16.24.38

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

RETRO REVIEW: Mother’s Finest’s ‘Meta-Funk’n-Physical’ (2003)

Meta-Funk'n Physical

As Mother’s Finest’s kick-starter campaign to enlist their fanbase in being a part of their first new album for 10 years heads into its final week, I thought it a good opportunity to tale a look back at their 2003 release ‘Meta-Funk’n-Physical’..

I remember the first time I listened to this track. I was anxious to get it home and put it on the player. ‘Funk-a-Wild‘ promises much and delivers even more. An insidious synth sequence starts a stealth-like groove, lulling you into a false sense of security before the riff hits you, dripping with the funk, the staccato bass…Baby Jean’s wonderfully provocative lyrics draw you in and suddenly you’re into the killer chorus. Your head’s banging, your foot’s tapping, and you’re still only on track one. Oh yeah, this is gonna get Meta-funk’n physical!

On ‘Bring it’ Mother’s Finest display their innate ability to throw damn near everything in the cooking pot and make it taste good….rapping over Moses Mo’s almost eastern trippy guitar lines, Glenn Murdock and Joyce Kennedy lead us into a growling hard rock chorus, and it all fits like a glove.

I involuntarily break into a smile when I hear Wyzzard’s wicked popping bass syncopated with Moses’ sledgehammer chops underpinning Baby Jean’s chorus on ‘I Believe’. These guys make the groove sound effortless…and in reality it is. Because you cannot learn the groove. You got it, or you ain’t. And Mother’s Finest OWN the groove.

The rest of the album is just as eclectic – beautifully performed ballads such as ‘Don’t take your love’, the quirky funk of ‘What happens when we die?’ and the inspired guest-laden take of Hendrix’s  ‘If 6 were 9’.

‘Flat on my back’ drifts lazily into the detuned stomp of ‘The N-Groove’ a 21st century re-boot of their very own back catalogue, reinventing ‘Like a Negro’ and ‘Niggiz cant sang Rock’n’Roll’.

The final two tracks on the album illustrate Mother’s Finest’s joyous schizophrenia perfectly. ‘Set me Free’, a beautifully rendered classic ballad showcasing Joyce Kennedy’s excellent vocal, followed by ‘Hard time’, a soliloquy  that she delivers in spoken word over a slick syncopated groove, dropping in and out of gospel influenced chorus with ease, then punching you in the face with a full-on rock guitar solo. They do that a lot, Mother’s Finest. They Surprise you. Because they can.

Donate to their Kickstarter campaign. I have, because, 10 years on,  I wanna get surprised all over again.

To Donate, Click on the Image below:

MF

Kev Moore

September 15, 2013 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How cool is this? – The Mother’s Finest kickstarter project – 10 days to go!

Mother’s Finest, the legendary funk rock band from Atlanta Georgia, are asking YOU to participate in their bid to fund their first new album in 10 years. Visit their KICKSTARTER page to get involved!

Today, their guitarist Moses Mo released a video, detailing a brand new perk added to the bidding menu – the one-of-a-kind Mother’s Finest ‘shield’ guitar, built by Jordan guitars! Check out Moses’ video below and head over to the KICKSTARTER site to make your pledge.

BE PART OF FUNKIN’ HISTORY!

Kev Moore

September 12, 2013 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Video, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Scan 3_2

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:

threecover

Kev Moore

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