Posted by: TOUCH1980 ()
Date: October 24, 2017 09:49AM

Oh well it’s all over & got some time on the train homeward bound to start this & finish it once home.


There is no doubting Nigel Bailey’s commitment to the cause of Melodic Rock & he’s become a semi-permanent fixture at Rockingham & this is absolutely to be commended. He has had the luck & talent to work with a large number of excellent melodic rock musicians over quite a few years now. I’m sure many here know far more than I do about the chap & all the projects he has worked on. As far as his appearance at Rockingham 2017? Am I a fan, no not really, did I enjoy it, yes. I like the musos he has around him & their playing styles, I don’t really dig the type of Melodic Rock he writes a massive amount. I particularly enjoyed his contributions to the Friday night after show & the Dave Bickler band though.


I’ve known guitarist Mike Nolan & some of the other guys in Moritz since the mid-80s, but mostly through mutual friends & the fact that we have lived at times in the same part of the world. Mike collared me on Saturday & said he wanted a critique post set. Gulp, I thought, offering opinions on friend’s / people you know bands, always tricky… Thankfully they were really good, of all the three opening bands & artists over the weekend, along with Blanc Faces they were my favourite. Highlights, Peter Scanallan’s voice, WOW! Gravelly, bluesy & smooth, any combination of the three as & when the song called for. Good frontman too, loved the banter, funny, I wouldn’t want to spill his pint though, he gave sincere dedications to the friends, family & the Rockingham organisers. So often some bands can sound like they are just reading a script. The sound mix was really good upstairs, I could hear plenty of separation between the instruments & could actually hear the subtleties of what I could see the guys playing and their choice of material highlighted this.
Separation in the mix was something for me that was lacking over a lot of the weekend but I think a lot of that was to do with where I was in the room for the majority of the weekend, the styles of a fair bit of the music & the choice of tunes at Rockingham 2017 (have I missed anything). There was a decent amount of variety in their material & overall it made me think of slightly bluesy British Giuffria, the drummers contribution played a particular part in this with his laid-back behind the beat Alan Krigger – style groove. Some tasty, but refined, not all flash & no go guitar work by all three string slingers. All great in my book, IMHO. If I was being hyper critical the guys in the band other than the singer PS could involve themselves with the audience a bit more, but I’m being picky here.


Saw the band a few years ago & thoroughly enjoyed their support slot with Night Ranger at the O2 Islington.
For me their classy AOR sound doesn’t quite match the best of their US compatriots but I feel they are head & shoulders above many of their British counterparts. Some really nice stuff going on in most of their songs & wish there’d been a teeny bit more separation (that word again) in the mix. Along with Moritz my favourite Brit performance of the weekend. Looking forward to the next album. Another great reaction from the crowd.

Brother Firetribe

Despite having 4+ CDs by the band I wouldn’t call myself a massive fan but the new album is growing on me after each listen. It’s my second time seeing the boys live & I’m sure the audience response was pretty major last time & the crowd got well behind them to an even greater amount. They definitely had the audience eating out of their hands, & got the crowd singing & clapping along at the slightest gesture. Personally I’d have liked a little bit more variety but enjoyed them non the less. Highlight for me by a country mile was Heartful Of Fire.


Another slick AOR-ish band that turned in a spirited crowd pleasing performance, Darren W & the rest of the band got a great reaction from the crowd, again for me an slightly over-loud mix robbed the fellas of a little bit of the intricacies that are woven throughout their music. It’s obvious the crowd love DW, his contribution to the music scene over all these years & the effortless charm & the way he carries himself.

Great White

I knew next to nothing about GW live, apart from what friends had told me about how amazing they were all those years ago, when they went down a storm supporting a virtually indestructible Whitesnake on the Slide It In tour & how they still had what it takes in a live arena. Incredible to think they are still going after all the trials & tragedies. From the first note to the last it was a masterclass in live performance. No solos, no unnecessary covers – only the one of the two they’ve been famous for. Namely Ian Hunter’s Once Bitten Twice Shy, but no Face The Day by the Angels, pity as I LOVE this number. The only time the ball was dropped was during the improvised solo in Save Your Love - Mark Kendall didn’t appear to find a sweet series of bluesy notes. The Revelation for me was pocket rocket vocalist Terry IIous. What a performer, fantastic stage craft, involved EVERYONE in the audience (including the ‘Older’ stage right security guy in a very touching moment of communication) & has an incredible voice to boot, I got goose bumps. Again another example of a band firing on all cylinders with a superb collection of songs. One thing I couldn’t work out - was that Scott Snyder on bass, or Quentin Tarantino?


The big Sunday night headliners, and everyone had been working hard to have a great weekend (sic). The only rumour I’d heard was that they could still play & work the magic with their classic hits. As they filed on to a stripped-back stage, they mostly looked fit & well apart from Mike Reno… He’s got big. But as long as their key songs were performed with the appropriate panache / gusto we could all end the night on a high note. OK none of these guys are the young bucks they once were & bearing in mind when they reached the heights of success they must have been enjoying the spoils, it just looks like MR is still enjoying them a bit too much. If he has a medical condition that causes this of course, I apologise. All the time the band were firing out the hits the audience were lovin’ every minute of it (oh dear) singing along in fine voice & like with Vince Neil filling in a lot of the notes that the singers would probably struggle with. Sadly the were two low points in their set - the first of which - where one of the more mellow tracks morphed into an instrumental interlude & then into The Doors’ Riders On The Storm, I didn’t mind it but I suspect a lot of the audience did. But the lowest point was the extended drum & bass solos, 10-15 minutes’ worth of utterly pointless noodling. I know these are done to give other band members a break, change the mood etc. Unless something really interesting or unusual is played please don’t bother. A band can go from having the audience in the palm of their hand to having fans walk out or vocalising their displeasure, both of which happened. This nonsense did eventually stop & the band continued with the hits Turn Me Loose, Working For The Weekend & Lovin’ Every Minute Of It. These three classics got the majority of the crowd back onside, including myself, singing our hearts out. Overall the guys in the band sounded great, Paul Dean's axe work throuought their set was pretty good, pretty, pretty pretty good & thank the heavens we didn't get a solo spot, Mike Reno’s voice was a bit weak but it didn’t spoil the party, but they nearly killed the show with the solos. One last question, what was Larry David doing playing guitar?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2017 07:01PM by TOUCH1980.

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ROCKINGHAM Day 31570 TOUCH1980 10/24/2017 09:49AM
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Re: ROCKINGHAM Day 3 620 RAB 10/24/2017 06:47PM
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