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Michael Schenker – Twice!

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After catching German axemeister Michael Schenker live during our trip to Dublin, Miki and I decided to do another collaborative work based on him. I’ve followed his career for many years, starting with the UFO album “Force It” when I became instantly hooked on the melodic rock tones issuing from his trademark Flying ‘V’. As with my artwork of Phil Lynott, I once more continued on with the rough version I presented Miki with and created another stand alone piece myself. So here they both are for your delight! As you can see we’ve once again opted for different backgrounds: Our collaborative one recalls the venue where we saw him and his backdrop, and mine is a surreal nod to his time with the legendary German band The Scorpions..

SCHENKER S

You can buy prints and greeting cards featuring both of these artworks by clicking on the widgets below:

Photography Prints
Photography Prints

Kev Moore

May 26, 2013 Posted by | Artwork, Metal, Music, Rock | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bringing a little bit of Ireland home….

Often, on our trips around the globe, I’ll by a few CD’s, and it’s highly likely that these will reflect, either the destination, or the experiences of the trip, and our visit to Dublin was no exception. I got hold of four CD’s that I’ve been after for a while, and it seemed exactly the place to get them. They’re all Irish, but they have another thread of commonality that connects them. I saw them all play live in my hometown of Derby as a teenager.  First up, a brace of albums by the unique HORSLIPS: “The Tain”, and “The Book of Invasions”.

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Both drawing heavily on Irish folklore for their subject matter, they paint wonderful images with the widest range of Celtic and rock instrumentation. they were electrifying live, and the standout track for me is ‘Dearg Doom’ from ‘The Tain.” – a brilliant mix of rock guitar, fiddle and flute. I remember leaping about like a loon to this played live at Cleopatra’s club, ably aided by some Marston’s Pedigree bitter.

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No Dublin trip would be complete without some THIN LIZZY, and I’d been after the Special edition of ‘Vagabonds of the Western World’ for some time. The casual Lizzy fan, who perhaps only knows them from the beginnings of the four piece line-up on ‘Nightlife’, (On which tour I saw them at Derby College) is missing out on an absolute gem. Eric Bell’s guitar work is simply stunning on here. ‘The Hero and the Madman’ is a tour de force, surprisingly led by a young Kid Jensen ( A DJ , for all you young folks!)narrating the story, and the solo is fabulous. Bell is an original, a sound all of his own, his solo on ‘The Rocker’, proving it’s no fluke. The appearance of a young Gary Moore on a blistering ‘Little Darling’ almost seems like an embarrassment of riches. In this early incarnation, Lynott’s bass playing is funkier, and the bassline to ‘I’m Gonna creep up on you’ is one of his best. This is a great 2 disc set, highly recommended.

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Finally, the late great RORY GALLAGHER. I met Rory towards the end of his life at that most ‘muso’ of places – the cafe at Scotch Corner on the A1, a more down-to -earth individual you couldn’t wish to meet. his music was raw, honest and powerful, and the set I saw him play many years before at the Kings Hall in Derby was just awesome. In Dublin, I bought ‘Big Guns – The very best of Rory Gallagher’ . It’s a rip-roaring ride through his career, and whilst its a great listen, it leaves you wanting more, and from my perspective, makes me want to explore his band ‘Taste’ once more.

So next time you get annoyed by the asinine syrup of  Westlife, Boyzone, and all rest of that shite that Louis Walsh has foisted on the world, remember, Ireland was the birthplace of some of the greatest rock music we’ve had the privilege to enjoy.

Kev Moore

May 21, 2013 Posted by | blues, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dublin 3 – Scorpions over the River Liffey – Michael Schenker live

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During our visit to Dublin, I was hoping to catch a gig or two, and as luck would have it, we dropped on a beauty: Michael Schenker on something of a comeback trail, 20-odd gigs in to a long tour, playing at the Vicar Street venue, confusingly located on Thomas Street (go figure!)  I’d long been a fan of the troubled German’s melodic style and distinctive tone that he could wring effortlessly out of his Flying V. ‘Force It’ by UFO was, and is, one of my favourite 70’s rock albums. These days he plays a selection (4 in all) of Dean ‘V’ guitars. But the guy’s still got it. Tonight was interesting for one very special reason. Several weeks ago, never having seen or heard Michael Schenker, my  partner, the French artist Miki, had chosen him as a subject for one of her successful series of musician paintings. We had no idea he would be appearing in Dublin when we booked the trip, and as he walked out on stage and stood in front of her, she remarked how touching it was to actually see him in real life, never dreaming it would happen as she’d painted him. You can see her painting below, with a link to her site if you click on the image.

Michael Schenker by Miki

Michael Schenker by Miki

A bonus for those of us in attendance tonight is the inclusion of two ex-Scorpions: Herman (The German) Rarebell on drums and the perennially smiling Francis Bucholz, playing a rather tasty top-of-the-range Warwick bass with a plectrum, and producing perhaps one of the bass live bass sounds I’ve heard in a long time. The line up was completed by Wayne Findlay, a great addition to any band with 2nd guitar/keys/vocal skills, and upfront Doogie White, delivering the Lead vocal with an almost pantomime flair. He shone particularly on the Phil Mogg tracks. What was striking was how the band seemed to be really enjoying this gig, nods and smiles all round throughout the set, which proved infectious to the watching Dublin audience.

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A triple whammy of “Lovedrive”, “Another piece of meat” and “Assault attack” pretty much had everybody hooked from the off, as we were treated through a journey through classic Scorpion tracks such as “Holiday”, “Rock you like a Hurricane”, to UFO’s “Lights Out” “Doctor Doctor” and “Shoot shoot”, truly justifying the “bit of a mouthful” billing as: The Temple of Rock Lovedrive Reunion tour.

SCHENKER

It was great to see Schenker on top of his game again, and looking like he was enjoying himself. I think there is a lot more to come from the Mad Axeman, including a new album from this line up in the Summer.

Kev Moore

April 30, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dublin 2 – In search of Phil

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I’d visited Dublin before – some fifteen years ago, if memory serves. I was there in a professional capacity, fronting the embryonic Oliver/Dawson Saxon, hot on the heels of their release “Victim You”, under their original name of Son of a Bitch. We were playing at the Temple Bar Music Centre, right in the middle of the district of the same name name. The gig was amazing I remember, and as we left through the stage door at the end of the night, I recall seeing people hanging over balconies, spilling out onto the street from bars, just having a great time. But we were not long there, and couldn’t spend a long time in the city, as we had to head across country to play Galway Bay.

Cut to last week, and my visit to Ireland’s capital is much more leisurely. This time, I intended to visit the grave of one of my major musical influences: Philip Lynott.  I needed to pay my respects to a man who was such a hero to me as I was growing up and discovering I wanted to be a musician, moreover, that I wanted to be a bass player/lead singer like him.  I ‘met’ him….very briefly, as the embryonic twin guitar line up of Thin Lizzy were relaxing in the refectory of Derby College, back in the 70’s about to promote the ‘Nightlife’ album. ‘Met’ constituted a mumbled ‘hi’ from a tongue-tied awkward teenager, and a nod from the man himself, but it was good enough for me.

We found his grave on the promontory East of Dublin known as Howth. A strange sense of a circle being closed came upon me. Phil was one of a triumvirate of bassist/singers who had a profound impact on me becoming a professional musician. In the 90’s, I had the chance to impersonate him on the UK TV show ‘Stars in their Eyes’ , and some weeks later, I met Eric Bell, Lizzy’s original guitarist, who confided in me that he’d seen the show:

In the intervening years, I’ve travelled the world, played on some of the biggest stages, and now I found myself on this windy promontory kneeling at the graveside of one of the men who most certainly set me on the path I tread to this day.  As I write this, his bassline to ‘I’m gonna creep up on you’ is pulsing out of my speakers, as alive as can be….and I realize that his music is his heartbeat, and that will never be stilled.

Me and Phil: The corner of Grafton Street, Dublin 2013

Me and Phil: The corner of Grafton Street, Dublin 2013

Afterword:

While we stood by the grave, Miki asked if I wanted to leave a drawing, and promptly produced her drawing pad and pen. I left this little sketch on his gravestone. It’s said that his Mother, Philomena, visits everyday. I hope she finds it:

Phil Lynott S

Kev Moore

April 29, 2013 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Video, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dublin 1- “..and you may ask yourself, how did I get here..?”

"My other house is a bungalow..."

“My other house is a bungalow…”

 Dublín, we thought…yes, why not? And lo, it came to pass that we booked our trip to the Emerald isle. Had we known what awaited us, perhaps we would have booked something a little less problematic. Like Afghanistan.
It started as we rolled up at the car park that we had diligently prebooked. It was locked. A sign informed us that they were at the airport and would be ‘a few minutes’. A few minutes came and went and we decided to phone them. He’d been there all along. Apparently, the booking hadn’t been taken. Even though, on my two previous visits there, he’d urged me to ‘book direct’  because it was ‘better’. Mmm.
Anyway ,no harm done, and we arrived in good time. However, my ire was further raised when, finding a space on a table in order to fill my tray at security, some Bolshie Irish git started…
“Dere’s a queue here y’know”. I looked him squarely in the eye (at least I think I did, he was a bit pissed) and said:
“Don’t worry mate, I’m not stealing your place, I’m just unloading my stuff, it won’t go without you! ” ooh, he didn’t like that. He had a rebuttal:
“Some people have no manners!” I just burst out laughing. He didn’t like that either.
“Just get over yourself mate” I replied…
The fun in security didn’t stop there, as continuing the habit of a lifetime, miki was stopped and asked to empty her bag, revealing the usual culprit , a metal tin containing some art supplies.
“What is this?” Asked the security woman
.”Coloured pencils” said Miki
“What is biological pencils?” She responded. We were going to be a while, I could feel it. Luckily, one of her compatriots had been gifted with half a brain so the peseta finally dropped, but not before she insisted that she’d thought they were tattoo needles. I didn’t realise a prerequisite of joining airport security was that you had to be whacked off your tits on hallucinogenics…..
They seemed to be a little over zealous with the sizing of the hand luggage. You know the company. It rhymes with Brian air…anyway, the woman came along checking all the bags with a cardboard box, then, when we got through passport control, everyone…and I mean everyone, had to put their case in the dreaded metal frame. This is the frame that old ladies get their cases stuck in and the airport staff watch impassively as they risk heart attacks trying to remove them. But it really took the biscuit when my partner was asked to put it in by one member of staff, and then again by another two minutes later. We refused. What did they think it was? Expanding chuffing luggage? Undeterred, we soldiered on. Convinced our troubles were behind us, which in one sense they were, as the guy who’d heckled me at security had failed to get the jump on me when the gate was called, but….there was so much more to come. The majority of the flight was uneventful, save for the fact that the inflight magazine uncharacteristically offered three different meals at nearly 50percent off. Too good to be true? Well, yes as it turned out, as they didn’t have any of these fab meals available. Go figure. Well, we started our descent, approaching Dublin. It looked a bit dodgy outside, and Miki was getting worried. ” don’t stress” I told her,” it happens” , and truth be told, I’d had plenty of bumpy descents, but then I noticed the engines revving again and the unmistakable feeling of ascending. All this time we were fed zero info. Eventually, the captain said.:
“Er…we can’t land at dublin due to bad weather, we’ll probably have to divert….somewhere. “. This deliberately vague stance went on for some time and I began to wonder idly about the fuel capacity of a 737 and indeed how many airports there were to the west of Ireland before we hit the new world.
Finally, we started to see lights. A lot of lights. A big city. Doesn’t look like Galway bay, I thought to myself. The captain enlightened, and stunned us.
“We’re about to land in Liverpool . We’ll give you more info…..later.”
So, a little bit diverted then. A different frickin’ country. Now it was going to get really fun.
It was unbelievably hair-raising as we came into land, he was fighting it all the way. My guess is we had to come in on approach unbelievably fast, so he could maintain control against the savage winds. all I know is, he stomped on those brakes so damn hard I felt like I was meeting myself coming back. It is the only time I’ve ever applauded a pilot and meant it.
Eventually ‘the cap’ emerged from his cockpit, not to take the applause, but to deliver, well, no information at all actually. It appeared he was as much in the dark as we were. Well, when I say ’emerged from his cockpit’, peeked around the door would be a more apt description. He addresses us on the mic , having a running argument with one guy, trying to explain why we were denied landing at Dublin. Apparently, the whole of Ireland closed down as we made our descent, as did all UK airports North of Liverpool .
There were no free drinks, no refreshments of any kind for at least an hour. One stewardess gives away her own water after arguing with ‘number one’ (HEAD STEWARDESS WHO MUST BE OBEYED!) about the morality of witholding supplies.

Firemen at Liverpool airport discuss whether to allow passengers to dehydrate...

Firemen at Liverpool airport discuss whether to allow passengers to dehydrate…

Suddenly, several fire trucks are brought alongside…”don’t be alarmed” says the cap,” it’s to protect the refuelling dude from the winds.” ..and there’s me thinking they’ve come to pump some free drinking water on board.
The Captain says, in answer to a torrent of passenger questions:
“I can’t say whether its a yes or no to free refreshments or hotel rooms, but my instinct is definitely not! ”
Amazingly, they start selling drinks and snacks, they are now making money out of our misery. After about two hours, some passengers opt for the last chance to leave as the captain offers to escort them to the terminal building. Even as I write this, the plane is rocking crazily on the Tarmac, we’re not going anywhere yet. It transpires that there is only one dispatcher here at Liverpool at this time of night. It’s now 2.18 am. There are a number of other planes that have been diverted here, and one guy to deal with them all, which he has to do, in person, in turn. The people that have disembarked need bags from the hold apparently. All are removed in the gusting winds, sifted through, and returned to the hold. Not that there’s any great rush, we’re not going anywhere, anytime soon. One interesting aspect was that the mouthy git who accosted me at security was one of those who chose to disembark. He also felt it necessary to go and confer with the Captain several times. Self important arse. Liverpool has my sympathy.
It’s now 2.30 am, the captain has returned. What further fun has the night in store for us?
It appears we are not alone, as I think Michael Jackson once sang. There are fifteen planes here that shouldn’t be, not counting us, which makes me believe that the two flights that left Murcia before us, bound for Glasgow and Newcastle respectively are here as well. We are in a miserable queue of misappropriated aircraft waiting to complete their journeys. We are in a weird kind of aviatory limbo, where our only sustenance comes from a team of stewardesses plagued by internecine strife and low supplies. Eight planes are ahead of us, and I draw some crumbs of comfort from the knowledge as we rocket down the windswept runway once again, that there are still seven behind us. This time, Dublin is kinder to us, and allows us to land. It’s gone 3am, and we head to the car rental counter where we discover their staff, predictably have given up the ghost and gone home. We bite the bullet and go to get a taxi, but we have to join a queue. Outside. In the cold. And the wind. Eventually it’s our turn, and we are confronted by the most hyper guy I’ve ever seen who must be out of his gourd on angel dust, pcp or something. He is dangerously manic, drives suicidally, and curiously, for a taxi driver who is Irish, and not from Mumbai, has absolutely no clue where the Travelodge Dublin south is. I kid you not. He dumps us where he thinks is right, after frightening Miki half to death by succeeding in driving more scarily than our flight could ever have been, and zoomed off with the words “you’re on your own.” I imagine he was found this morning wrapped around a Belisha beacon listening to Ebeneezer Goode on his iPod. At least, one can hope.
Naturally, the Travelodge where he dropped us was not the one in which we were booked. Thankfully the night bloke graciously gave us a complimentary room, once we had proved to his satsifaction that we should have been at the other one and had already paid. Not that it took the sting out of handing over twenty five euros to our kamikaze taxi driver for the privilege of being dumped in the wrong place. It was twenty three actually, but he sped off without considering the old fashioned principle of giving change.
 He certainly didn’t deserve a tip. The only one I would have given him would have been: “Don’t ever drive a car again”.So today, we pay another ten euros to go back to the airport to get the car we should have had last night. Except it’s not there. We have to get a shuttle bus to where it is. So we do, and then we go into the office to pay. It rejects my credit card. It rejects Miki’s credit card. Finally, using an obscure rarely used one in the bowels of her purse, we are finally able to pay for the damn thing and drive away. We’re in the correct Travelodge right now. It’s raining, then it’s not. But it’s always windy. Yep. It blows.

Maybe we should have gone by boat.....

Maybe we should have gone by boat…..

Kev Moore

April 26, 2013 Posted by | Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , | Leave a comment