Rally Makes Thousands For The Air Ambulance


The last day of the East Leeds Lions Rally was another memorable one with three great bands, and a fantastic hypnotist who entertained the Sunday afternoon crowd with some of the funniest sights you'll see in your life. The upshot is the club, East Leeds Lions, made over three thousand pounds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The event cost 10 times that amount to put on but the faithful rallyists pay for their tickets and the club breaks even. The hard work this club put in to provide a first class event is second to none, and the organisation is honestly incredible. After the hypnotist the Invisible Idols came to the stage and played another great set of originals with a few covers for good measure. Unfortunately the generator started playing up and two power cuts interrupted a very good performance which seemed to be very well received. Phoenix Rising came on and started up with a Thin Lizzy song but a few bars in the "genny" decided it was tired. This happened a few times and the crew set about rectifying the situation. This put the show back by about an hour but gave people chance to have a natter and grab some food, a great pizza in my case. Phoenix Rising came back on and gave us a great interlude of classic rock with a superb repertoire which was very well performed. The guitar playing was truly superb with fluent passages and improvisation that was a joy to listen to. A presentation to the Air Ambulance people followed then the mighty Gunlaw came to the stage and what a fabulous band they are. Not your Boys Are Back In Town style at all, this band play a brilliant mixture of mostly post classic rock such as Killers, Reef, Primal Scream and much more. They're tight as anything and Dave Ziggy Marsh tailors his vocals so authentically to each song , it's really quite something to behold. A great band, no wonder they are so popular. So ends another Easter Rally....classic events of the early century. I truly take my hat off to this club, they really do pull all the stops out and long may this continue. I'll certainly wear my rally badge and T shirt with pride. I'd also like to make an acknowledgement to the sound and stage crews and the bar staff, because they work their socks off to make this rally go so smoothly. I must apologise for no images of Phoenix Rising and Gunlaw as ...guess what, the battery ran out on my camera...damn fool.

Lockin Win Battle Of The Bands

Fresh from their early slot on Saturday night at the East Leeds Lions Easter Rally, Castleford band of the moment Lockin went straight to The Crimea Tavern to compete in the Battle of the Bands competition. They won it! Well done lads, what a great night for them. Watch out for this band. They play heavier weighted rock and they're really good at it. A great all round new band who I feel we will see much more of.

Days One and Two Rock The Lions Easter Rally


The mega event at Arthington North Leeds was living up to expectations over Friday and Saturday. From the first band No Mercy For Percy through Fult Tilt, the magnificent Angabart and the high energy Shameless, Friday was a storming event. I did attend Saturday and again the show was mega impressive from the band to be watched for Lockin...they were superb, to the always excellent 3 Daze Lost...and they were excellent, through a change of genre with the brilliant sixties band Flashback, who really went down well and paved the way for the classic rockers from Brid, Go Kommando to close the show with a powerful showing yet again. The crowd were really up for it as always and who could blame 'em. Sunday has a hypnotist in the afternoon and three bands will close the rally. These are Gunlaw, Phoenix Rising, and Invisible Idols who should prove once again that this event is a leading festival in the calendar. Long may it continue.

St Georges Day At The Thornhill Arms

Fans of Motus please note that the band are to perform on the evening of St Georges Day in aid of the RotN to the Core Campaign. Great news. This will be at the Thornhill Arms in Stanningley/Pudsey. Make a date and be there as the band are keen to make some funds for the campaign. This is the 23rd April.

Lions Stage Impressive

I ventured out this Thursday for the first time for quite some time and met Geoff Waddington at The Fenton in Leeds in the early afternoon. Geoff had ordered some merch from us and it was a very pleasant hour of musical banter. Geoff's band Meanstreak are in extensive rehearsals and I'm looking forward to seeing them. As I was near the Uni of Leeds, I thought I'd venture a bit further North West to have a look at how the East Leeds Lions stage was progressing. I can honestly say that the gig will live up to the past rallies and then some! The stage lights are many in number and I thought I spied some of mine hanging from the gantry! Hmmmm! Should be awesome with Showtec's lights and PA, Graham Hollings lights, Joe Lally's lights...and some of mine too! Those generators are gonna be working hard! Look further down the page for the link for the bands but it's gonna be a great show.

Top Gun Announcement

Paul of Top Gun has sent in the following announcement following the appointment of Fez on Keyboards: I would just like to say that TopGun are welcoming FEZ into the line up on keyboards. He played through last weekend with us, which was kind of experimental, but the impact he had made it a huge success. He is an extremely talented guy and he brings a lot of energy to our music. This line up will allow TopGun to widen and grow in an industry that is getting harder by the day. Can I say that Lee still remains a great friend and we knew that things have been hard for him to play with the band. We truly value the support that we get from ROTN and our loyal followers, and we are looking forward to the future. We have some fantastic gigs coming up and new material. Check out www.topgun-band.co.uk. See you soon."

RotN Announcement Soon

Aarren of Splash Alley/AoS/Breakout has a preliminary announcement to offer regarding a very big RotN gig he is organising for us. Aarren is a top organiser and will have it all sorted well very soon. Here's his message: CALLING THE ROTN COMMUNITY!!! Although I cant go into detail as yet until some things have been finalised I am hoping to be putting on a HUGE RotN to the Core gig in July. To ensure this comes off I am looking for sponsorship to cover any costs that the event may entail. If the event is a success the venue have said that we can do this annually and it will certainly rival some of the bigger events in the summer. The bands have pretty much been confirmed and let me tell you it is an awesome lineup!!! If any of the bands I have contacted are reading this please keep it to yourself that you are playing as I want to make a consolidated announcement once I am able to. If you are able to help in any way re sponsorship please feel free to contact me on either 07849 727439 or email me on aarrenmowle 'AT' hotmail 'DOT' co 'DOT' uk or call Brian Glover on 07963 162008 and we can give you further details.  Cheers, Aarren

Classifieds Bargains

Again there's some good stuff coming on the classifieds including a Vox AC30, plus there's a vacancy for a guitarist and a singer for established bands with gigs. Dont miss out, take advantage of the service.

Gunlaw's Wolfie On Charity Trail

 Wolfie Smith guitarist with the massively popular Gunlaw is undertaking a number of challenges to make money for charity. Wolfie mailed to ask me if I could guide him which direction to channel his fundraising. Although I'd like him to muck in with our RotN to the Core Campaign, Wolfie expressed a concern for supporting a childrens hospice. Being a lad from the Leeds district we thought his efforts would be best directed towards Martin House. So this has been well received by our Les Paul wielding hero. What follows is Wolfie's plan of action. If you can contribute then please do. Here's Wolfie's Itiniery: 1. I'm doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk on Friday 2nd April 2010.http://www.merseyventure.com/yorks/ A 25 mile circular challenge walk visiting the three highest peaks in Yorkshire - Pen-y-ghent (691m), Whernside (728m), and Ingleborough (723m) - in that order. Although walkers will often not be too far from civilisation, this long walk is still demanding, and is not a way-marked route. Map and compass skills will be required, especially when navigating over the Moss, and on the summits if visibility is poor. The total climb is some 5,200 feet, and the footpaths can be very wet and boggy in some places, rugged and rocky in others. 2. Then I'm doing the Coast2Coast cycle over the 13/14/15th May 2010. http://c2c-guide.co.uk/aboutc2c.htm http://www.flickr.com/photos/cycle_challenge/show/ Approx 140miles of cycling starting in Whitehaven, Cumbria on the West Coast and finishing in Tynemouth, Northumberland. The route will take me up through the lake district and over the Pennines for 2 days before a gentle decline down to the east coast on the third day.
I'm doing these as part of a fund raising bid at work for a young lad called Luke with Hydrocephalus and Autism to boot! These funds will help his parents to continue his treatment for another year. Please contact Wolfie at 
dave.wolfie@googlemail.com amd most importantly here is Wolfie's page  http://www.justgiving.com/davewolfiesmith

Strong Merseyside Reaction For Idols

I saw our local boys Invisible Idols set off to Birkenhead in a puff of diesel smoke from Joe's beloved Iveco van yesterday and this morning I have seen them all surface from the nooks and crannies of Windy Corner as a very happy but bleary-eyed band. Their Revolver Club gig in Birkenhead was a stormer. As the head cook rustled up some bacon sarnies for our popular power trio, they told me that the crowd were singing along to their original songs that they'd never heard before and even the owner came out to watch them and gave them more than they expected, then booked them for the main Friday night at the venue. Even the security staff were raving about them. The band are travelling well at the moment, building a reputation slowly but surely. With a nine track album near completion and these being available for download, the band have a good chance of seeing some success in the future.

Scooby Rock The Keys

The ever awesome Scooby rocked the Cross Keys Morley on Saturday night with another classy show. The comments page shows Mav's review and as I read it, I was thinking just how good this gig will have been. Top musicians, unrivalled vocals, and with a repertoire that only a singer like Matt Duggan could handle. The band have no peers, maybe equals, but as a covers band it doesn't get any better than these guys. A great band at the top of their game.  

Countess of Rosse Latest Very Important News

This Saturday morning has been a right cock up regarding the Countess of Rosse and it's supposed cancellation of bands. A personal dispute which is nothing to do with anyone but the people involved caused a minor panic, but basically the ex landlady has commented that all bands are cancelled....only they are not. It seems RotN has been unfairly used as a tool in a personal dispute. The latest news is that Casper has remained at the pub, and he has assured us that bands already booked in are STILL playing and his number is 07522643972. Most Important: The Rob Tognoni gig on April 7th is assured by the pub company.

Shay Counted Back In

For every Ying there is a Yang and Babs at The Shay in Halifax has asked me to spread the word that the pub is having bands again so get yourself a booking on 07595 265 713.

Six of the Best Debut

Multi tribute band Six of the Best played their debut gig at Bellhouse Road Club last night and from what I can make out it was a great success. I've not spoken to webmaster Joe today but he was doing the sound engineering last night so will be able to give me a run down of the gig later. The great thing about the internet is that you can scan Facebook to get a good aspect of how a band went down and apparently they were very good indeed. Called Six of the Best because they are a tribute to six top AOR bands I wish them well on the tribute circuit. It's nice to hear about good quality new bands on the circuit.

New Barrack Tavern Fundraiser Yields £1000

Last Saturday Jonny 7 played at The New Barrack Tavern in Hillsborough to make valuable funds for Weston Park Hospital, South Yorkshire's Specialist Cancer Hospital. Makes you proud when the musicians continue to make funds for good causes. Well done again!

Illness and Treatment

I've had to put RotN second this week as I'm on my cancer treatment, but my mother is also ill and I've been doing my Jamie Oliver impressions for her, (poor lass no wonder she's poorly). Tuesday I spent all day at St James's hospital with my mother and Wednesday I'll have another dose of vaccine pumped into me. I'll catch up with things later in the week and I can usually sort the comments out between rushing for a pee! I don't know how many black cats I've ran over but I do seem to be a bit lacking in good fortune these days! Serves me right for being that bad man from RotN! "Serves Me Right To Suffer"...who wrote that song then?

Rob Tognoni Here In April

West Yorks guitarist Paddy McGuire has managed to secure the services of Tasmanian guitar slinger Rob Tognoni at The Countess of Rosse Saltaire on April 7th. This news is really pleasing , especially on the back of The Polish Club bringing P.A.U.L from Detroit on May 14th and JFK bringing GMT to The Roscoe Leeds on May 9th. Paddy has sent the following to us: I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a great friend of mine Mr. Rob Tognoni.  Who is over here in the UK for a handful of shows as part of his European tour promoting his new album 2010db and a date with a certain Mr. Jones to record a session for his program within his corporation!! . I met Rob a couple of years ago while we were both in Italy and he blew my boots off! (Think of Bonamassa meets Angus) He's from Tasmania, Australia and was introduced to Europe by blues master Dave Hole in 1994, he delivers a 100% powerfully charged experience with every performance. There is simply no compromise, which is strongly evident in his music, his explosive guitar playing and unique songs are now being compared with the greats of his genre and have firmly established him in the European venues & festivals as well as gaining many fans of hard blues rock worldwide, and here goes’ ….. I have him playing his only Northern show at The Countess of Rosse in Saltaire, Bradford on the Wednesday 7th April with support from Hooson; tickets are only £10 for the chance to catch a world artist in a close up and personal surrounding. Tickets are available from either the venue directly or from me, my mobile number is 07780 670 734. Please checkout his website at www.robtognoni.com

Classifieds Rarity Has Come Up

I've just posted an ad for a Fender Super Amp. This is a very rare Fender 4x10 Super Amp combo. They only made these from `91 to `93 and it is basically a Super Reverb with added two stage overdrive channel and effects loop. Again with these Fender amps they have tone by the tanker load. They are rare as well and used ones have been advertised in the South for a grand before now. The vendor wants £695 which is £150 to £200 below the going rate.

Cystic Fibrosis Fest At The Keys A Mega Success

The Cross Keys Morley Morley saw a jam packed event to support The Cystic Fibrosis Trust on Saturday night and we have heard the final figure was well over £900 which will be topped up to £1000 by way of the ever generous and big hearted Erics, who will take the money from their next gig money.  Well done to the bands and individuals who performed on the night and to Lynn and Howard at the Keys for hosting the event, plus of course the organisers and especially the fans who contributed.

Spring Forward With Memories

Although it's always great to welcome the Spring, the last day of Winter had two unwelcome happenings. One was the closure of the Gardeners Arms in Hoyland due to planning permission for a municipal development by Barnsley Council. Please note that the gigs that were at the Gardeners are now to be held a hundred yards away on Market Street's Charisma or Karisma (not sure on the spelling). The other thing is that The Thornhill Arms, Stanningley saw it's last full weekend of bands for the time being. This is an effort to save the very existence of the Thornhill Arms but landlord Steve is determined to save the pub and still have a degree of live music even if it's just one gig a month, so please do give the pub some support and check our gig guide for the pubs promotions.

Interesting Links

Wikipedia provide a lot of on-line information and Andy Nash has sent me two topical links regarding two pubcos.  Enterprise are a particularly interesting as we know some of our rock pubs belong to them, including the recently deceased Tut and Shive. Read the links, they are very interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_Taverns  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_Inns

Exciting News At The Polish

The Polish Club at Pogmoor Barnsley has pulled off something of a coup by getting Detroit blues/rockers P.A.U.L on at the club on May 14th. I've seen this band in Wolverhampton and they're good and well worth the measly £5 ticket. The band will be supported by one of South Yorkshires finest, The Brown Bottle Band and engineered by none other than Mr Chief's Marcus Ward. A top night is assured. www.myspace.com/paullamb and www.p-a-u-l-music.com


I often rabbit on about rhythm sections in bands and about them being a team and how important it is, but last night I was talking to our bass playing webmaster Joe and he was saying that he was just starting to understand and follow Invisible Idols drummer Damo Campbell's fills and style after a few months of playing together. Different drummers have certain fills for instance and different paths into different parts of songs. Joe always told me that he listens to drummers for his guidance in songs and Joe sure has played, jammed and depped for a lot of bands so it must be the right way, certainly for him. A synergy is where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome. I pinched that from Wikipedia, but I think it's fits when talking about band's rhythm sections!

Interiorz Debut

New band The Interiorz make their debut on Saturday night at The Thornhill Arms. Made up of members of Resurgence during the maternity leave, they're sure to rock the Thornhill on Saturday night!

New Barrack Tavern Beer/Rock Fest

This weekend has Sheffield's New Barrack Tavern holding a beer festival. Famed for it's great selection of well kept beers, the pub has Whiskey Cove on Friday and Jonny 7 Saturday to keep the drinkers entertained. The pub is on the A61 North out of Sheffield at Hillsborough and it is more than just highly recommended by us.

Twin Lizzy Changes

Twin Lizzy have announced that Roger Dyson is now no longer with the band and H from Dizzy Lizzy is stepping into the bass /vocals position in the meantime. The band play The Diamond Club at Sutton in Ashfield on March 26th.

Tony Expands

Further to the paragraph below, I'm pleased to be able to tell you that Tony Davies guitarist with  Plan B is also highly regarded for his Drakkn Guitars business, and is taking a unit at Barugh Green to expand his business. Tony's business is the manufacture of custom made flight cases and PA speaker cabs. Already we have had commendations for Tony's work which is of the highest quality but not the highest price. Tony's unit is at Unit 4J Metro Trading Centre Barugh Green Road Barnsley S75 1HH and the telephone number is 07588 605877.

Classifieds and RotN Working

I'm pleased to say that our classifieds and services information is working well these days. Only today I was told that the Fender Twin amps had been sold and the LDV Convoy was sold, a Fender Princeton was sold, and Rosewell Amps had been providing a great repair service to the RotN community lately. Things like this make all the hard work worthwhile.

Last Weekend At The Thornhill

Steve Saville at The Thornhill has reluctantly had to stop bands at the pub after this weekend. We hope it will be a temporary measure. Steve will contact the bands. The latest news is that he will try to put one band a month on, last Friday of each month. Some bands have offered to do gigs for free which is really nice to see the loyalty to a good landlord to help keep the pub through troubled waters. Steve is particularly impressed that Daze are to do their May 15th gig to help the pub out. Steve said it restores your confidence in young people. Too right it does, and it wont be forgotten.

Bob Takes The Jagged Lead

Brilliant Street Sleeper front man Bob Wider has taken over the lead vocals with the superb club rockers Jagged Edge till after Dave Bamforth has an operation. Bob's a great frontman, he can sing and has the poise and stagecraft to entertain at this level. We really wish him well in this new position. Picture above sees Bob with Street Sleeper.

Easter Has Plenty

March has flown by and soon it will be Easter. The big thing for me at Easter is the East Leeds Lions Rally which has a lot of bands who are linked to RotN. The Friday Saturday and Sunday nights at the rally site have some excellent bands on and I've linked a page with the info sheet . Somewhat smaller but equally significant is the Barnstock event at Barnsley trades in aid of Barnsley Hospice a charity we have supported in the past. The event details are on our events page.

Big Announcement Soon

I'd love to tell you the details of a big gig in aid of Cancer Research UK but I can't quite yet. It's a Sunday gig when many of you will be able to attend, the entrance fee will be small, food will be available in the venue, and it will be held in late July. Some of the regions favourite bands will be on throughout the day. It's a big venue and we need bums on seats so I'd like you to think of this as a flagship event for the RotN movement and I personally invite you to attend. Full details soon.

Thornhill Joins The Casualties

Bad news just arrived on my telephone by text and that's about The Thornhill Arms, one of my favourite venues which is to stop having bands beyond the 4th April. Landlord Steve Saville will contact bands booked there beyond this date. Steve is keeping the pub on to try to ride the storm and is hoping to have a band on say once a month, and perhaps have new band showcases. Steve's telephoned me while I've been writing this and shocked me at how much personal money he has sunk into the place, which is honestly a small fortune, not that small actually. We think the incredible jam nights will continue, but the main thing is customers and being able to pay the massive bills that even small pubs incur. Try to support the Thornhill if you can, it's an important pub in the RotN community. So the Thornhill is a casualty, but it's not dead, it's only wounded. Let's try to keep the pub alive. Steve has emphasised in a text that he "will fight to the last minute to keep the Thornhill open."

Chantel On The Road

I had a phone call from a giddy kipper who was watching Albert Lee in Largs Scotland which was about 11:30 on Monday night. It was Chantel McGregor who had just supported Albert at the venue. Our busy girl had gigged in France on Sunday then drove to Scotland for a series of three gigs up there. I asked her if she'd had a go with Albert's unusual shaped Music Man guitar and she replied, "Not YET!". Haha I bet she did do!

Idols On You Tube

Invisible Idols have published to their own channel on You Tube. It's some tracks from the Corporation gig in Sheffield and shot by The Corporation's own people.The new album will be available free quite soon so watch this space. Also take a look at these live songs:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19_OJFVKHY

Rotherham Buoyant

Always a good rock town, we heard Rotherham was alive and kicking again last night. Mr Chief enjoyed a good gig at Snafu, which is quite honestly one of the best deals in Yorkshire for bands. A great crowd, decent pay, and their own sound and lighting provided, plus Snoopy, one of the areas fairest bar owners always makes bands feel welcome. Mr Chief provided the entertainment last night and went down well with the always appreciative crowd. You never hear a wrong word about this venue, it's good news all the way. Long live Snafu.

Top Gun Make Good Impression

Not unsurprisingly to me having seen the band many times, Top Gun pulled out the stops and did another impressive show at The Cross Keys, Morley last night. It's nice to see the band do more venues in new areas and they were appreciated by many of the local musos assembled in The Keys. Their repertoire , an important thing always, is brilliant and the band always nail the classics yet throw in off the wall songs like UFO's Love To Love, Gary Moore's Empty Rooms, and David Bowie's Life On Mars. You cant knock that can you, it's great.

GMT Play New Roscoe May 9th

As a consequence of the Tut and Shive's closure the May 9th GMT gig is now at The New Roscoe in Sheepscar Leeds. Let's take a look at the bigger picture here: GMT are three superstar members, guitarist Bernie Torme known for his exploits with Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan; John McCoy bassist with Gillan and Mammoth; Robin Guy well I cant bring myself to say just drummer, he's a percussion show all on his own, totally incredible and they're all great people, I've met them all and they like to meet their audience. This is not a pub band, this band are veteran pro rockers in the vogue of raw in-your-face acts like Rory Gallagher and The Pirates, a proper power trio. Get down to see them if you can, they're one of those bands you just want to see every year.

Worst News About The Tut and Shive

It is now official that The Tut and Shive Yeadon is to close again. After a great charity gig last week I am particularly sad for Muzzi the landlord who tried to run a good rock pub in Yeadon. I'd had rumours come through about a possible closure for a few weeks but tonight is the last gig there. Tomorrow's Metalica UK gig is off as a consequence. Tonight's Green Daze Lost gig is ON tonight.

Lucorum Disappointment

We were disappointed to hear the Rock Out Cancer gig at The Lucorum on Thursday night had it's problems. Girl Kills Boys pulled out for whatever reason and there was no decent PA. We heard the crowd were disinterested too which is a shame when it's a fund raiser for an important cause. Some RotN people were there though and they might come through with more positive information for us. I hope so. Webmaster Joe who was playing there last night said he was very impressed with The Rakkiteers' Jamie Whitaker's backing vocals. I thought he was going to mention her backside like he usually does (which although cheeky would have been warranted) but good manners prevailed.

Gigs and A Request

Now then, a couple of things. On the 19th March those masters of modern music Gunlaw will be playing at the Crime Tavern. Secondly there is a gig going at The Gardeners Arms in Hoyland on Friday the 13th. Unfortunately Rossi hasn't put down his contact number but it's there anyway. The Gardeners is closing down after the 20th March and all gigs will be honoured at Karisma, a few yards down the road.

Catching Up With Things

Most of you will know I've had a terrible start to the year what with my dads death , my mothers ongoing illness and hospitalisation, and this week I start my cancer medication again. Nothing to be alarmed about, it's scheduled...painful, but something I have to do. Lately the website and all it's needs have been a big headache but I'm just about keeping my head above water with posting gigs and classified ads.I have about a month of this treatment but as I'm confined to barracks I should be able to catch up with things. I usually answer every e-mail regarding uploading gigs but if I don't do, don't worry about it. If I miss your gigs just remind me.

Presenting Prince Alfie Of RotN

Here's the first picture of "Prince Alfie of RotN" courtesy of Kerrie and Graeme of Resurgence. Alfie is the product of two RotN musicians and so becomes the first official RotN baby. Great T shirt if I may say so Alfie, I think I'll have to look into getting you a RotN to the Core one asap! It's been a productive few weeks as Jay of the JD Band became a grandad last week, and Gav Coulson has also been replicating his penchant for putting as many notes into one bar as possible, by welcoming his fifth child into the world! Congrats to all!

Tut and Shive Success

There's loads of things swirling around in my mind about the highly successful RotN to the Core gig at the Tut on Saturday! Webmaster Joe and Damo Campbell arrived and spent almost four hours setting up the gig with the RotN sound and lights and drums, (thank goodness for Damo!). I must say that I take great pride in providing a great platform for the bands to play on our gigs and Damo and Joe did a fantastic job on the day. "Mother Moose" provided bacon sarnies and what a great job she did throughout the day, along with her lad Dave "Muzzi" the landlord of the Tut. The first band were Cosmos having Dave Muzzi on the bass, Russ of Astradust, and a gang of singers, actually three, who'd never gigged before. They did well! A special mention must be made to a young chap on guitar with them who's name escapes me. You did well. Unfortunately I had a call on Friday to warn me that Motus might have to pull the gig due to illness. By twelve (midday) Liz had confirmed her worst fears and we knew we were short of a band. To their credit Liz ,Graham and Mike came to support the event and it's always nice to see 'em so thanks guys, Motus will be gigging at a RotN gig or two this year anyway. By good fortune Delerium had been drafted into the festival and what a great band these lads have proved to be. The genre is heavy rock and we loved every minute of their set, they were superb, and life savers as we asked the band to play an extended set which they did, a full 110 minutes of rock excellence. Not only that, Delirium's drummer Bri very kindly lent us his cymbals so we could get a scratch band together to fill in half an hour. Astradust Russ, Randy from, well from many bands really and a smashin' bloke, no stranger to fund raising, and Invisible Idols Damo Campbell got up on drums and did a great job. By seven o'clock young guns Suicide Blonde, one of the bands of the moment in my opinion, were filtering in. By seven-thirty we were rocking big style and marvelling at just how good this band of lads, most around the age of 21 knock out classic rock with such ease. They dedicated the Kansas song "Wayward Son" to me, so thanks lads, they know I love it. It's great with three part harmonies that are totally spot on. The band also do more modern music such as Killers with equal style and quality. The band did not escape the praise of Paddy McGuire, to me a man who's opinion is worth listening to. Speaking of which, Paddy's lady, the fabulous Jenna Hooson and her sidekicks Rich Kershaw and Keith Gater from the band Hooson were supporting the gig and they are great people who I'm pleased are part of our RotN community. 3 Daze Lost's Goddzi had been supporting the gig all day too, and after the Cancer Research presentation, it was his turn to entertain us with his two pals, again big favourites of ours 3 Daze Lost. This band are another punky power trio adept at playing anything from The Sex Pistols to Green Day with a lot of energy and tempo. We're big fans, because they sound the part and look the part, and they always deliver the goods! Proper rock and rollers! Another quick turnaround and those veteran RotN charity fundraisers The Erics took to the stage with a swear bucket at the front. I think the lads pre-paid for a few expletives but it all fits and it's all both witty and funny. What isn't funny is their musicianship which is astonishingly good. For me as an entertaining band they just get better and better. Pink Floyds Wish You Were Here was a cracking song and we often praise Sam Hirst for his excellent lead lines but tonight Sam was happy to play rhythm for Little Sexy Dave Wilkinson as Dave played a truly fabulous lead on Thin Lizzy's Still in Love With You. I had cold shivers running down my back! It was the live  Scott Goreham/Brian Robertson era version and it was fantastic. Big Sexy Dave Close was his normal exuberant self, his stage presence second to no man and with great bass and vocals as always. Dave's omnipresent at as many charity gigs as he can and his company is enjoyed by all. Dave's rhythm section partner in crime, "minimum kit maximum percussion" Paul Richardson was again his normal humorous and rhythmic self perched on the RotN drum riser. Earlier I talked to Damo Campbell about getting the lighting right for the moment in Wont Get Fooled Again where Paul comes in with the Keith Moon bit towards the end, and Damo sure enough put the strobe on Paul. Not only did it sound awesome, it looked so spectacular! This was the last song of the set but the still full room at The Tut was having none of it and The Erics with a typically nutty 500 Miles by the Proclaimers closed another RotN charity gig. Fantastic, what a great day, great bands as always, and a great days fundraising too. The amount on the day was something like £826 but the generous landlord Dave Muzzi topped it up to £1000.This fund raising part of RotN would not work without the generosity of bands willing to play for nothing and they don't begrudge a single second of it. So to all bands who extend their goodwill and generosity to us, many heartfelt thanks to you.

RotN To the Core Sets A Benchmark

I cant elaborate on the Tut and Shive RotN to the Core festival as I am knackered and need my bed. I will leave you with this thought though....the event made £1000, which has set the pace for the rest of the year. Many thanks for the hospitality of Dave "Muzzi" and his mum "Mother Moose", and providing a great venue to host a more than successful event .I'll elaborate on the event later, and there's plenty to say!

The Senators Debut Well

As I was in Morley for a meeting at The Cross Keys, I thought I'd pop over the extra few miles west of Windy Corner to visit The Northern at Odsal. The Senators and Suzy and the Sinners were doing the Thursday night for Lloyd at the pub. First of all I was very impressed with the pubs decor, it's a really nice place and I got to meet Lloyd for the first time. He's a decent straight talking bloke who loves live music and we had a good natter. Unfortunately I missed Suzy and the Sinners, but I did see the whole set of The Senators led by Export frontman Alan Childs alias "El Bangero". I sat with Senora Bangero through the set and we both agreed that the debut was a beauty, it really was. I said the set was what RotN would call an eclectic repertoire, due to it's wide ranging nature. I dare not tell you what Senora Bangero replied to that due to recent censorship on this website...but it really made me laugh! It was a great set with ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, Wild Cherry, George Thorogood, The Proclaimers, The Undertones and many more all performed well as a five piece with full sound and great sounding instruments, a brilliant rhythm section, and the truly excellent vocals of El Bangero himself! A good way to spend a Thursday evening without a doubt. I've been trying to visit more pubs in the past few months and I'm going to try to see more bands. It's a big world out there. As for my meeting with Jay, well what do you make of this title....Keys To the Core???? What could that possibly be?

Double Up On Friday At The Tarn

Yeadon's The Tarn will see both Under Fire and Contraband play on Friday night so it looks like Yeadon's going to be a busy old town this weekend! Most graciously mine hosts at The Tarn, Lisa and Mike, are not putting a band on at The Tarn on Saturday as the RotN to the Core gig is on just down the hill at the Tut. Reciprocally I think it would be nice to do something similar at The Tarn later in the year. The Tarn along with Angel of Sin raised well over £400 for RotN to the Core Campaign last August.

Gardeners In Hoyland To Close

We have been informed that the Gardeners, formerly G&T's in Hoyland is to close on March 20th. This is a Barnsley Council decision to redevelop the town centre and the pub is facing the bulldozers. I have also heard that DJ Rossi is to put bands on at Karisma, or what was Karisma (as we are not sure of the name of the venue), but it's the one opposite the Beggar and Gentleman. Bands be aware.

Angel of Sin Reformed

The band sent in the following : The rumours are true...... Angel of Sin are Back !!!! After a 6 month sabbatical we've decided to do a few dates in 2010. Our 2010 Miss You tour starts on March 20th at the Rose & Crown in Cleckheaton to celebrate Landlord Phil's birthday !! With only a handful of dates this year, keep your eyes on www.angelofsin.co.uk, and the ROTN gig guide for gigs and charity events.

Four Fighters At Picturedrome -Free Tickets

The top Foo Fighters tribute band have sent the following paragraph to us and we are wondering how we can best put these tickets to good use, part of a raffle perhaps at this weekend's RotN to the Core gig. I've seen the Four Fighters a few times now and I rate them very highly, so this gig will be well worth going to. Here's what Tom Allen of the band has to tell us: Four Fighters are doing the Picturedrome in Holmfirth on 13th March (with Queens of the Clone age, guess who they're a tribute to) - we've got two pairs of tickets to give away as a bit of promo (worth £16 a pair), one pair has gone to Pennine FM but wondered if you wanted to run some sort of promotional competition/giveaway sort of thing on Rock of the North?

Broken Angel One-Off Gig

Although Broken Angel are on a sabbatical refreshing their set and rehearsing whilst bedding-in a keys player, they are going to play at the Lockwood in Huddersfield on March 19th when their old drummer Andy Kershaw "nips over" from Oz for his mum's birthday. Regular drummer Graham Hollings and Andy will share drum throne duties on the night!

Archive Adding Keys

We're not sure if Archive are quite ready to announce a keyboard player as yet, but rumour has it that this will be the case very soon. The band are showing a lot of promise on the RotN scene and it's nice to see them advance. Keys add a massive amount to a band's fullness of sound and I personally am a big fan of keyboards in rock and blues too.

Chantel Success at O2 But Not At Blues Bar

Just to clear up a misunderstanding, Chantel McGregor is not playing at The Blues Bar on Thursday in Harrogate. It was reported on the comments page yesterday but I can clarify that Chantel wont be there. Chantel had a gig on Friday last at the O2 Academy in Manchester where she headlined, and she told me it was everything she could wish for and more. Chantel will be back there this year with Ritchie Kotzen, and headlining again later.

Empress Impress

The Lion, 28th Feb 2010...the debut of Empress Mk 2. It was Sunday night, I was very tired from many weeks of stress within the family due to illness, and I needed my beauty sleep, quite a lot some of you would say...but I forced myself into the bluesmobile and headed off to Castleford's Lion venue. I'd been waiting for some time to see my second viewing of Empress. I liked the band when I saw the first version at the Bold Privateer in Wrose and with the addition of Gav Coulson on guitar, well I needed to check up to see if my predictions would come to fruition. They did, oh yes they did. The band were superb. This was the debut of the revised line up and there were plenty of approving nods being exchanged within the Lion and with a healthy crowd for a Sunday night. This band with Lee and Tony always had a tight rhythm section, and Louise is a fabulous singer whose appealing stagecraft has the audience eating out of her hand. With the addition of Gav Coulson on guitar and occasional keys, the band have transformed themselves. For me it was like the first time I saw Broken Angel and The Rakkiteers for the first time. I knew they would be popular bands, and so it will be with Empress. They're excellent, I loved every minute and I am so pleased I made the effort. Good to see many of our community's characters in the crowd. Rachael ex Welcome to Bedrock was there, Claire the drummer with the red hair was, and my pal Tony of Cas was there to bounce our thoughts off each other. Pete Goodfellow came in after his Arena gig at The Crimea and all in all it was an excellent night. The repertoire? How about Whitesnake/Pink/Metallica/Guns and Roses/Muse/Wild Cherry...and many more, a wide ranging multi genre mix that Louise eats for breakfast and with a wink and a jiggle, it just does it for me and every other music fan in the room. Brilliant!

Lets Give Our Landlords a Big Cheer

I think it's about time we congratulated our landlords/ladies/managers and concert secs for sticking with the live music during this downturn in the economy. I wont name anyone because you've all done well. Some have the luxury of many customers and others have to scratch a living, often getting no help, just bullying from the pub companies. Without you guys the bands would have nowhere to play. So sometimes there might be times when I might appear to be a bit harsh on some, and bands often fall out with stronger characters in the pubs, but make make no mistake, Rock of the North supports you all out there, and well done for promoting live music in our greater area.

Bloomin' Eck It's Nearly March

The cold winter is nearly over and it's flown by, March is upon us, well on Monday it is. The last day of February we have the public debut of Gav Coulson with fast rising band Empress. This is at the Lion in Castleford tonight from about 7:30. Also from a spectacular weekend it's nice to report on a full Lion when the Erics packed it out on Saturday night and webmaster Joe jokingly put a swear jar in front of Sam Hirst, which I feel sure Sam will have appreciated given our profanity debate over the weekend! Another highlight of the weekend was at The Countess of Rosse in Saltaire where The Dunwell Brothers, a real West Yorks class act were performing. This band have been picked up by the people who promote the Kaiser Chiefs and have a good chance of making the grade in the pop rock arena. Good luck to them. The band are earmarked for a mega RotN fest in July. It would be nice to get behind this band on downloads. They have a song called Elizabeth which we are all hoping will serve them well. In the South of the region, The Boardwalk hosts another unsigned night on the 1st March and Invisible Idols are headlining again in Sheffield. The venue is also putting on some major acts as usual and Wilco Johnson was there last night. As for tribute bands the Boardwalk has many great acts lined up such as Are You Experienced, Bravado, A Foreigners Journey, and Limehouse Lizzy. I'm just puzzled why Metalica UK from just up the road and the "real" T Rex aren't booked to appear there. On the rocking blues scene The Boardwalk is well catered for with Connie Lush, Jon Amor and the awesome King King featuring the fantastic Alan Nimmo of the Nimmo Brothers.

Broken Angel Add

One of the top classic rock bands in the area Broken Angel are at the present time on a sabbatical. This is to regroup, rehearse, and also to add both new material and also add a keys player to their already respected line up. The band welcome Simon Atack from Ponty Carlo who will be on ivory tickling duties. The first gig of 2010 with the new line up will be at Moortown Social Club on May 28th. I'm looking forward to seeing this band!

Its A Boy!

Welcome to Alfred Michael who was born today to RotN parents Kerrie Eastwood and Graeme Davies. This long anticipated birth of Resurgence musicians Kerrie and Graeme produced a baby boy of 8lb 14 oz. Baby Alfred is the first official RotN baby by virtue of the fact that both parents are RotN musicians, and our new member of the band has the advantage of having Helen and Dave Taylor as proud Aunty and Uncle. Helen is Graeme's sister of course. Great news all round and thanks to Helen as always for keeping us informed.

Lack of Vocabulary?

A concert sec in the North East mailed me today with his dismay at the use of the F word on stage, I think it's unprofessional personally, it's shop floor language, and has no place on stage. Some pub bands often use the word but in a club where children are often allowed, that kind of language is unacceptable and for me spoils the reputation of the band, and if I was an agent or concert sec, I wouldn't stand for it.

A Foreigners Journey Record

I was very pleasantly reminded that local tribute band A Foreigners Journey has been in the studio with new vocalist Jimi Anderson. Their recordings of Journey and Foreigner material has turned out very well indeed and can be heard on their Myspace site . With some great musicianship and vocals the songs sound great. The keyboards had me with shivers going down my back, they sound fabulous. The band have a full calendar but only have Rochdale and York in this area in the near future although you can see them within a 70 miles car drive most of the time throughout the year. This does have the exception of these local gigs at Rawmarsh Cricket Club 27th March and  at Sheffield Boardwalk on 14th May and Doncaster Civic on 2nd July.

The Jokers

I've been a fan of the band that were renamed The Jokers for a long time now. They were 19th Century and come from Liverpool. The band are getting exposure on Planet Rock I'm pleased to say and these songs are from their excellent The Big Rock and Roll Show CD. I had this CD and a DVD sent to me and I'm really impressed. They're a superb band and their songs are superb, great musicianship and vocals. Two of their old songs "Shake" and "Hell To L.A." just do it for me. I recommend you look up this band and some will know who they are as they've played at The Lion as 19th century and The Boot and Shoe as The Jokers. See their website 

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Plays RotN Songs

BBC Radio DJ Sue Marchant played "If You Love Me" by Invisible Idols and Chantel McGregor on Friday night so the fund raising record was drifting over the Fens at the start of the weekend. Sue said she'd play some more of the great tracks on the CD and mentioned RotN and the CD. You can listen again on i player, and the song is on at about 1 hour in.

DNE Become The Official Terrorizer Grindhouse Yorkshire

Charlie Ellis is excited once more and is pleased to announce that DNE The Venue is to be the official Terrorizer Grindhouse!The opening extravaganza takes place on Saturday 3rd April with a sensational line up... Not to be missed......Line up now confirmed as NAILED, BLOODSHOT DAWN, SCATORGY, NEUROMA, TRiFIXION, NARCOTIC DEATH, REVOKATION, DECREPIT WOMB, AND FIRE BLADE......all at DNE music venue 21 Smyth Street, Wakefield West Yorkshire, Saturday 3rd of April, £4 for 9 bands and club night, open from 1pm till very late, night will feature 5 amazing DJ`s Including special guest DJ `HAMMISH GLENCROSS` FROM MY DYING BRIDE. DNE think a few eye brows n pulses will raised by the appearance of the SATANIC SLUTS live on stage at DNE for this event.

Martin Turner Signed Thunderbird Bass For CR UK

Young 9 year old guitarist Amy Bannister who lives in the Chesterfield area has been making friends in the rock world such as Brian May, and Wishbone Ash, who she has actually jammed with. Amy has been active for Cancer Research UK with her family and her dad Brian has managed to put an Epiphone Thunderbird bass on Ebay with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. Here is the link.

Rick Chooses Rosewell Amps

Metalica UK's Rick Denman chose to use Rosewell Amps at South Kirkby when his amp was playing up recently. Rick told me that he took it there and it was fixed within an hour! How good is that? Check out our local services on the classifieds page.

Phil "Monty" Munt Inducted

Nominated by Rob Day of Overdrive and Graham Hollings of Broken Angel/Blind Evolution, Mr Phil "Monty" Munt of the mighty Showtec organisation has been inducted to the Hall of Fame (Phil's pictured left and turning a blind eye to Joe Lally playing with the Showtec desk!). Phil puts himself out to help the local rock community and has done lots of charitable work recently. Phil's a worthy inductee.

Good Weekend Round Up

The weekend so far has proved to be a stormer with reports of great performances coming in from far and wide. No surprises at the Tut and Shive where Monkey Dust did their usual polished performance and were complimented on it. Great to hear this, and a few minutes ago we had news in that Black Pearl had played a stormer at Skellow Grange Club. The Flatliners although a fairly new band, have rapidly made a name for themselves and played a great gig at The Cross Keys in Morley. In Leeds Broadband also played a great gig in The Streets of Leeds, a posh pub in Roundhay. I'm still anticipating news of Blueflies at the Thornhill Arms, Metalica UK at The Polish Club and Mr Chief at Smithywood Club from last night. Friday was a cracker at the Cross Keys with Empress playing the last gig with their outgoing guitarist Andy, and Archive enjoying their successful debut at the Westminster Club in Doncaster. It's not over yet though and take a look at the gig guide for a really full Sunday teatime and evening of awesome gigs. Chantel McGregor plays at Clowne Blues Club about 9 o'clock, and earlier in the evening No Quarter play The Old Turk in Dewsbury at 5 o'clock. The Cross Keys, Morley have Fret Buzz, about 6 I think, and The Tut and Shive, Yeadon have Moonshine later in the evening. As a post script I've just seen the webmaster who played in Mr Chief last night and he said the Smithywood Club crowd were lapping it up! Marcus Ward told the crowd they were normally "heavier" than how they'd been playing, asked the crowd if that was OK and they cheered! The band then played Iron Maiden's The Trooper...in a club! The band had new recruit Carl Wragg on guitar. The band got three bookings on the back of this gig.

Great News For DNE The Venue

Charlie Ellis at DNE in Wakefield wanted Rock of the North to know first of this exciting news: DNE THE VENUE is ecstatic to announce a major sponsorship deal with SKUZ TV and METALHAMMER magazine, seeing DNE featured regularly on SKUZ TV and in METALHAMMER magazine. DNE will present a REDEEMER night every second Saturday of the month with the launch event been held on Saturday 10th April. Bringing to Wakefield what is the UK largest alternative rock metal club night. Further details to be announced soon.

 Venues Closing Down -Yes and No

We were asked via the comment page if the Tut and Shive at Yeadon was closing down. It isn't. It will be hosting the RotN to the Core gig on March 6th. The pub is historically one of those who change their managers at the drop of a hat but this isn't likely in the near future. Dave at the pub has had some health issues but you will see him playing with the band Cosmos at our March 6th festival along with some of the areas top bands who are also playing. I have been reliably informed that the Limelight Club in Crewe has closed down and that's a shame as it was one of the North's premier tribute band venues.

  Sound House Rock Squires For Haiti

East Yorks classic rock band Sound House played another charity event at the Squires Cafe Bar on Friday night and our roving reporter Dave Cavell sent the following words: "Me and Molly managed to get along to Squires to see Sound House, they had the house rocking (not too many folk there though) they played some good classic rock (Free, ZZ Top, UFO, Rainbow) and I think they managed to raise about £300 for the Haiti appeal." Thanks for those words Dave. It seems this band are always more than willing to play for charity events and it would be nice to see them on the local circuit.

Chantel To Follow the Greats at The 100 Club

Our local heroine Chantel McGregor plays Leeds Rios tonight. Chantel fresh from her triumph at the Rock and Blues Festival at Skegness is playing at the Empire Arcade venue for the first time. Get along to see her at this bigger venue and treat yourself to some great guitar music. Chantel is working hard lately and played the Rotherham Beer Fest on Thursday, Darwin Library Theatre Friday, and has Rios and Clowne Blues over the weekend! Very soon Chantel will play the famous 100 Club on Oxford Street in London. The venue  has a history like no other and has hosted the likes of Steam Packet featuring Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry and Julie Driscoll appearing, along with Alexis Korner, Brian Knight's Blues by Six, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and The Animals. Among the more famous band of the sixties were The Who, The Kinks, The Pretty Things and The Spencer Davis Group. So Chantel has some peer pressure but that wont bother her one bit. Chantel has also promised to play at one of our Frock of the North gigs, and that's because she really wants to.

Bon Scott 30 Years

I can remember the day when I received the news that Bon Scott had died. I was a huge AC/DC fan and I was someone who had raved about the band when they hit these shores the first time. I was so disappointed and thought this might be the end of one of my very favourite bands. I'd been close enough to touch Bon when I saw them at Leeds Polytechnic and he had stage presence by the metric tonne. It's thirty years ago , what a massive loss, it must be when so many are marking his passing today including the radio stations. When I hear Bon's voice on Night Prowler and Downpayment Blues it makes me realise what a huge loss to rock and roll that Bon's passing has been. 

Waiting For "Smudge"

Resurgence await their latest "band member" as vocalist Kerrie Eastwood awaits the delivery of a baby more or less anytime in the next day or two. We eagerly await Kerrie and Graeme's news and wish them well with the birth. Kerrie started the day by blowing up the car but "in-laws" Helen and Dave Taylor came to the rescue with the loan of Helen's Micra!

Sign On For Chris

I had the pleasure of visiting Chris Beever in Gildersome yesterday. Chris is one of the chaps you'll see dancing on the table in the Cross Keys Morley on most Saturday nights! He loves the live music! I went there as he made me a RotN to the Core logo for my motorbike windscreen. It's a great job! Chris also made the very impressive Invisible Idols drum-skin logo for Damian Campbell. Drummers out there should take note of this service. A drum-skin logo just makes a band look more professional and from the very early days of popular music drummers have had the band name on the kick drum. Chris can do quite intricate multi colour designs so if you want your drums to stand out and advertise who you actually are, ring Chris on 07962 219 167.

JD Band to Fold

After much deliberation Jay Croft of the JD Band has decided to dissolve the band. A few different issues have called this decision, Col Challinor for instance has joined Sheffield band Do$ch and is also keeping his job with Mojo, and Jay weighed it all up and made his decision. This was after a popular vote of confidence from the bands fans but Jay made his decision and that's that. Ah well, that's a shame but I hope Jay will be back on stage in some form in the future. In the meantime Jay is arranging a mega gig at the Cross Keys, Morley in August for the RotN to the Core Campaign and we'll be involved in that and we're looking forward to it.

Oliver Dawson Saxon Tour

We had news in on Monday that ODS were to tour Finland and Estonia. This was arranged by one of the area's gig bookers who is a dab hand at being a road manager. Our road manager friend is very coy and doesn't want to be named but he was meeting Graham Oliver early this week to arrange the details. Great to see the band touring!

Vamp Scaling Down

The brilliant Vamp are having to scale down their gigging calendar due to bad health and other commitments. Their drummer Dave has left now after a disagreement (it happens) and a new drummer will sit on the Vamp drum throne very soon. Gigging is not physically easy and as you get older it becomes harder to cope with. Singer Steve Firth, one of my favourite people in semi pro rock might actually have a free bus pass yet he is singing as well as ever. Steve was the original Son of a Bitch singer , the band that morphed into Saxon. Vamp's awesome guitarist Ian Wilkie has suffered an ulcer lately, and coping with his busy day job, (Ian's quite well up the ladder in BMW motorbike circles), a hundred gigs a year are really too much. I really cannot fault him.

Tony and Steve Celebrating

It's been one of those birthday weeks again with Empress bassist Tony Keogh celebrating his today Thursday. Its also Happy Birthday to Steve Pickles of Red Mosquito too! (We thought we'd missed it, but the power of the internet has put us right.)

Steve's Birthday Week

Birthday greetings went out to Steve Saville at the Thornhill Arms in Stanningley on Wednesday. Happy Birthday Steve! Steve will be celebrating all week with some great bands which started last night with the debut of The Flashing Blades. This will have been a good mid week treat and is the new band that RotNers Big Sexy Dave Close and John "Woody" Wood have formed. On Friday the celebrations continue with quality at the Thornhill as Styckleback play on Friday and The Bluesflies play on Saturday.

Monday at The Corporation

I just missed the start of Volume Zero's set at The Corporation, Sheffield on Monday evening where four bands were performing. Volume Zero are an impressive band, female lead and a modern rock style. This band are a lot bigger than you think and have supported some really quite big bands of the same genre from across the Atlantic. I have a feeling this band will climb steadily not just in this country but I think abroad and particularly over the Atlantic where they are already making waves. Nice people too. Headlining with a short 45 minute set were Invisible Idols who had the pleasure of a very good audience reaction. It was well deserved too as the band played well with excellent stagecraft, very well crafted original songs, and a nice cover of Deep Purple's Hush thrown in for good measure, and all performed superbly. What I didn't like was the venue's lighting which was abysmal. Two photographers remarked to me how bad it was, and it was, and I took my camera back out to the car because it was a waste of time trying to capture good images. There was no drum riser and the drums were a couple of yards away from the front, which saw the drummers of the night in deep shade. On the plus side the sound was quite good and the bass bins certainly shifted some air! Damian's kick drum made your trousers flap! So you might not have seen him but you sure could feel him. The venue is a bit run down but it was nice to go to a biggish gig on a Monday night.

Congrats Mr and Mrs Coulson

We'd just like to share the news that Gav and Julie Coulson made another addition to the Coulson dynasty when at 10:28 this morning a baby boy weighing 9lb 3 oz was delivered by Caesarean section. Mother and son are doing well but with baby Coulson under observation. The rumours that Gav is trying for an orchestra are untrue, but this is the family's fifth child!

Around the District With RotN

Nice to hear of new bands doing well and the debut of Blind Evolution in the Cross Keys has certainly lived up to expectations! Two promising comments already have shown Blind Evolution have impressed their audience. I was out and about on Sunday night and I saw a set by Archive who are a quite new band but made up of experienced band members. This stood out a mile as the band played at the Tut and Shive and their repertoire was made up of regular artists like Thin Lizzy and Brian Adams, but not the usual songs. I thought Run to You was a very pleasant change. I enjoyed talking to the Tut's young landlord Muzzi who is a very enthusiastic rock pub landlord. I set off home early but called into the Thornhill Arms to see that other enthusiastic landlord, Steve Saville who was telling me of a great week of rock coming up. On Wednesday the Flashing Blades make their debut  (on Steve's Birthday actually), and then Styckleback rock out on Friday and with the fab Blueflies on Saturday!

RotN to the Core First Gig Of The Year

The first gig of the year has soon come around and it is at the Yeadon venue, The Tut and Shive. This will be held on the 6th March and has a great line up as always with RotN fests. Those masters of music and mirth, The Erics will headline a festival which includes great headline quality bands such as Motus, Suicide Blonde and 3 Daze Lost. Also included on the line up is new band Cosmos who might have surprising members! RotN will be providing PA and lights and the Tut will be providing superb beer and hospitality. The Rotn to the Core Campaign is in aid of Cancer Research UK. Please support this festival if possible.


Keep an eye on the classifieds as there are new services being offered, and new items being posted. How about a set of electronic drums? Keeps the neighbours happy in nowt else! Also this morning we have a video services offered by John Nettleship. John's a BBC trained cameraman/editor with a special interest in music and motorbikes. Right up my street then! Might be right up your street too, so click on www.jnv-tv.co.uk to get some more info. This might be of interest to bands wanting a pro quality video, or perhaps a bike club documentary about their rally etc.

Frock of The North

Helen T of Resurgence and our RotN detective Ian Kaiser Harding of The Senators have been helping us with organising the first of two "Frocks" we're doing this year which should be on the 2nd May, most probably in Wakefield City Centre at a very nice location. We wanted The Wardrobe in Leeds to host the gig but as they charge for the room we think it detracts from maximising fund raising. Most venues would be glad of the extra drinks sales so we'll go to a more deserving venue. Bands please be patient in receiving your invitations. If we do not invite you to the May gig, you'll be invited to the November gig, Frock 3. There is no seniority involved but there's about 14 bands on my shortlist!

Extended Weekend

As I look at the gig guide for the weekend I can see there's some brilliant music to be heard by the regions bands. I think live music is as popular as ever and luckily it's rock, but not all of the same sub-genre. This website supports mostly cover bands with blues, pop-rock and classic rock being well represented by some great bands, they (you) really are. I do tend to include the odd original material band if their material is good and this brings me on to the Monday evening gig at The Corporation in Sheffield where Volume Zero and Invisible Idols will play to a near sell out crowd. Biased I may be as our webmaster is in the Idols, the material stands up to any criticism. Matt Black is writing some brilliant songs, you've all heard If You Love Me, well that's just the start, and his riffy songs like Highway Child, and the funky Shed A Tear soon get in your head. The band are recording a 9 track CD to give away again and it will be fabulous, and produced by a very special musician from Bridlington.

Awesome Night

The awesome Scooby play the latest Cas Vegas venue, The Early Bath, on Wheldon Road  tonight. The upstairs room has bags of atmosphere and there is no doubt it will be atmospheric when the mighty Scooby rock out there. Led by arguably the best rock singer in RotNdom Matt Duggan, he's unquestionably the most versatile, this band are quality. Five minutes walk away another quality band play on "Sunset Strip"...and this is Motus with Liz, renowned First Lady of Rock! Motus play at The Lion tonight and are yet another top band becoming famous for their song "David", the Beau Hill remix, which is included on the RotN to the Core CD.

Steve and Angie Celebrate

The Thornhill Arms will see the 35th Wedding Anniversary of Steve and Angie Saville on Saturday night. It promises to be a very busy night indeed for the popular landlord/lady,and the entertainment will be a little more mellow than usual! Congratulations are in order and I feel sure all the people in RotNdom wish Steve and Angie many more years of happiness.

Ray Burton R.I.P.

We are sad to report the loss of Ray Burton on Tuesday night. Ray was the singer with the GDI Band who was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. A truly good man Ray fought a brave battle against the old enemy and leaves a wife and family behind. As we further our campaign for Cancer Research UK in 2010 we feel sure we will have the spirit of Ray Burton spurring us on, Rest in Peace Ray. 

Travellers Cancellation Creates Revolt

The area manager over the Travellers Rest in Shipley has pulled all gigs. This was not the pub managers fault at all. However it has been the catalyst for a number of band members to comment strongly on RotN. I can't blame 'em either. Bands get messed about a lot. I hate this. On average four people per band get messed about for each gig cancelled. In the past few weeks we've had the Yorkshire Vic debacle, and now the Travellers Rest. To live music fans in Shipley I suggest you visit the Victoria at Saltaire, or the Countess of Rosse, or go up the hill to Wrose and see The Bold Privateer's  offerings. As a post script to this, we have often talked about contracts, and if a contract was signed, perhaps area managers wouldn't be so hasty at pulling gigs if a penalty was incurred. Knee jerk reactions might be avoided. Unity is strength.

Carl Joins Chief

In a fortnight of changes that saw Gav Coulson join Empress and Col Challinor join Do$ch, we have the pleasure of announcing the addition of Carl Wragg to Mr Chief. This will not affect Carl's other commitments to Red Mosquito and Helvis and the Dead Famous, and gigs will be worked around the other band member's commitments. Chief have band leader Marcus also in Metalworks, Carl is in the afore-mentioned bands, and Joe is part of Invisible Idols. Although the band do not gig regularly, they always impress and are one of my personal favourite classic rock bands. Their arrangements of songs are often spectacularly different, and their sound is second to none.

Save Our Pubs

This Sunday night/Monday morning has seen comments coming in from renowned good performers, which is good, but the best bit of it is that the bands were well supported. This is promising news. The last two weeks appear to have seen a big increase in fans of live music in the pubs and that makes me very pleased. We need to support the venues. Only last week there was a Facebook group saying Save the Limelight and basically the message was "use it or lose it". Pubs are shutting at an alarming rate, and to be honest, only rock pubs and food pubs seem to be surviving, although not all. The excellent New Barrack Tavern in Sheffield is a pub we like a lot, great beers, great food and rock and blues at weekends plus the Hillsborough football crowds, yet they are just surviving whilst the management team work their socks off. So get out there and support the pubs.

Top Bands Rock Out

Nice to hear that some of the regions top bands had good gigs on Friday night with the likes of The Carnival at the Thornhill Arms playing to a full house, and Top Gun playing to the Lion faithful and including new material. Good to hear the bands are introducing new material instead of regurgitating old stuff for ever and a day!

Some Conjecture

There is some conjecture about the future of Crewe's Limelight Club. This club was the capital of tribute and attracted many good bands such as Limehouse Lizzy, Are You Experienced, Bravado and just about all the top tribute bands. Apparently one of the tribute bands local to us have had reasons to doubt the future of the venue. If anyone could shed some light on the subject we will pass on the news.

Invisible Idols Play Lucorum Tonight

Those likely lads Invisible Idols did indeed play at The Lucorum in Barnsley on Friday night and this was a nice warm up for the  The Corporation, Sheffield  in ten days time, the 15th February, with those other promising stars Volume Zero.

Gavin Coulson Joins Empress

Great news has just come through and that's the expected appointment of a new guitar player for Empress. It's Gav Coulson! Our Wakefield guitar hero, a member of Shield of Steel, writer of the leading RotN to the Core song "Hope" and JHS artist liaison manager, has joined one of the local rock scene's most promising bands. With a great rhythm section, and the powerful and charismatic vocalist Louise Ovington, Gavin will be in great company. I cant wait to see the band again. Retiring guitarist Andy plays his last gig on February 19th at the Cross Keys, Morley.

RotN Agent

Although I often act as an unpaid agent for bands, pubs and clubs, I have been approached by a club in Leeds wanting to have bands on. I need to discuss their requirements with the secretary but I know for a fact that some of our bands, but not all, will suit the musical tastes of the club members. We have such a wide ranging amount of sub genres I know I'll be able to satisfy the club. The club usually puts duos and solo singers on, but I think we could give the club some affordable bands who would wow the audiences and help maintain a sustainable source of regular gigs. Every little helps. There will be no change to me charging bands, just keep buying my T-shirts and CD's,and let's keep Cancer Research UK flush to do their good work!

DNE Catering For Teens and New Bands

Please take a look on our events page to get an idea what the Wakefield venue DNE are doing. This Thursday and Friday's events are on a poster there.

Deborah Bonham Chooses Chantel

Our local princess of the silver strings Chantel McGregor was in fine form at the Rock and Blues Festival at Butlins Skegness at the weekend. The divine Miss M played to 2000 enthusiastic fans in the Reds Theatre on the complex and apparently emptied the other nearby theatre as news leaked out how good she was performing. After she came off stage she was interviewed by the radio and as she was being recorded in the dressing room, her dad Alan brought in another great female performer. It was Deborah Bonham, sister of the late John Bonham, who invited Chantel to jam with her on the Sunday night of the fest. Chantel played a beautiful solo on the emotional Old Hyde (Revisited) and as the song ended both Deborah and Chantel burst into tears. Well that's what music does sometimes ! I feel sure the moment will have been recorded so watch out for this on You Tube, it's a fantastic song. Picture courtesy of Paul Webster

Busy Boy

Rock of the North gets very busy these days and I sometimes struggle to keep up especially when I have to go out and earn a living. So please be patient regarding gigs being uploaded and other business. After a 12 hour nightshift I am often greeted with many e-mails and it takes a lot of wading through. I've had over 60 e-mails in one day on more than one occasion, and believe me, I have to be enthusiastic to deal with it all.

Just Gimme The Do$ch

Sheffield's "Real Rhythm and Blues" band Do$ch have appointed Mr Col Challinor on bass duties. Col remains the bass player with Leeds band Mojo but will be retiring from the JD Band in April. Col's high quality approach will suit the Do$ch mindset as they are without question a great and high quality band. Here's a clip taken from a festival in 2006. It features their song Bonneville Rebuild Blues, of which the studio version is included on the RotN to the Core CD.

Help Our Heroes At Upton

The charity gig at Upton Rugby Club on Saturday night was a major success with many pounds being raised. The event was rammed and the bands had a great reception. Desilva, The Civilians, Optic Nerve and The Flatliners gave the crowds something to cheer about and all this was in the memory of our fallen heroes Luke and James. Luke was lost serving his country in Afghanistan and James was sadly lost to cancer. These lads were acquaintances of Andy of The Flatliners who organised the event. Well done Andy.

Short Notice Cancellations

Bravado's gigs at Birdwell venue tonight (Saturday the 30th) and Robin 2, Wolverhampton tomorrow are off due to a severe back injury of Paul. The band offer their apologies for this and will be re-scheduling. The Invisible Idols gig at The Boardwalk is also off, the venue have pulled that for some reason that we don't know about. Sheffield fans will be able to see them at a rammed Corporation with Volume Zero on the 15th February. Ticket sales have been very brisk.

Stronger of the Species

It's no secret that I like female singers and bands with females at the front. There has been a big rise in the amount of female lead bands over the past year, so as you can imagine, I'm more than happy about this. Bands like Empress, Little Rock, Hooson, Broadband, Top Notch, and Last Seen Wearing have added themselves to a scene with the likes of Resurgence, Angel of Sin, Big Fish Band, Angabart, Joe Gallagher and the Soul Divas, and lets not forget the mighty Motus and our often mentioned and lovely Chantel McGregor and her band. There's some great singers out there from the youth of Michaela Glover to the power of Jenna Hooson. Long may it reign. As a tribute to these great bands, I intend to have two "Frock of the North" gigs this year. Watch this space.

Another Promising Friday

I'm pleased to say that Friday evening was a strong turn out for Street Sleeper at The Brewery Tap in Idle. The West Yorks heavy rockers attracted their big following to the venue and continue tonight at The Thornhill Arms in Pudsey. Get along to see them in a great pub atmosphere, they're excellent.

RotN On BBC Radio

Cancer Research UK PR secured us 15 minutes on BBC Radio Leeds on Thursday. It was in the early afternoon . I wouldn't say I was nervous but I was wearing an XL sized Pamper under my jeans! Although the experience was slightly nerve racking at first, the host Paul Carrington was a really friendly man, as was his assistant. This has been the first real piece of on-air media our endeavours for RotN's charities has received. Considering the amount of work our community members have done in the past three years I think we all deserve it. The experience for me was very special but I know I would have had nothing without the bands and supporters in the RotN community doing their thing. So, hand on heart, thank you very much for this. Paul Carrington said to let him know about future RotN charity festivals and he wants to invite me back on air to talk about this. You can listen to the programme again on BBC i player from about 6pm. Listen here. It's about 31 minutes from the start.

Nils Lofgren and Martin House

Whilst at the BBC studio today I met a couple called Jeannie Lumb and Dave Burgess. The couple were being interviewed like I was as they are fund raisers for Martin House Childrens Hospice and Cotlands. Dave had sang at a memorial service at Martin House following the loss of their son. Dave sang the Neil Young song "Four Strong Winds". People loved Dave's version saying how moving it was. To keep the memory of their son alive they recorded the song. The purpose of this release is to raise funds for Martin House Children's Hospice in Yorkshire and for Cotlands Children's Hospice Charity in South  Africa - and to let everyone know of the great work that childrens' hospice charities do around the world. Every penny counts - Martin House alone costs £3.9 million each year to run and over 90% of this has to be raised by their own fund-raising. So your contribution is so valuable and all proceeds will go to these two charities and will help to make a difference. Also on the three track CD is a version of Nils Lofgren's classic Shine Silently, a beautiful song. Nils was asked to be included and the big hearted star of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band  offered immediately. Please view www.daveandnils.com

Blind Evolution Debut

A local supergroup have formed and have called themselves Blind Evolution. The band are still members of their other bands and are Twist of Fate's Roger and Lincoln, with ex Rockodile's Graham and Broken Angel's Graham Hollings. The band are doing a "taster" debut on St Valentine's Day 14th February at the Cross Keys, Morley. Should be very interesting.

Johnny H Band

Johnny H, formerly guitarist/singer frontman with the band that was all over the scene last year, Voodoo Van Boogie, has now formed his own three piece band, The Johnny H Band. Johnny and the guys are already booked to play a number of well known music venues around the circuit, but are looking for more. They play a widely varying set of numbers from many of the big names such as Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore, Buddy Guy, The Doors, SRV, Rory Gallagher etc etc .You can check them out by going to the band`s myspace site at www.myspace.com/johnnyhband or better still, check them out by going to a gig.

JD Bombshell

I'm reeling somewhat after Jay the founder of the very successful JD Band has announced the bands date of disbanding. What a shock, but also a disappointment to me. Jay is one of the nicest people on the circuit and is one of the biggest supporters of the live music scene. The band play their last gig in late April so see them while you can. In the band's short history they have become very popular and I have the feeling in a few years time people will ask, "Can you remember the JD Band, they were great weren't they?"  If people ask me if I'm disappointed at the bands demise, the answer would be a very sincere yes.

Good Attendance and Great Reviews

I am very pleased to report a great turn out of people in rock pubs throughout the region. I saw this first hand at The Lion as I reported on this page. It was rammed BEYOND capacity, there was another pub full drinking on the pavement outside! Good news also comes in from The Brewery Tap where Delirium rocked out to a big crowd in Idle. Big Time Charlie for the second night running have been complimented on our comments page and they played to a big crowd in The Blue Light in Alverthorpe. Still in Wakefield, Red Mosquito also had a great night in O'Donahues. An encouraging night it has been and our gig list for last night was very big, so let's hope this is a sign for the future!

Happy Birthday Damo!

Many happy returns go to Damian Campbell on Saturday. The well known drummer who has played for many top outfits including Styckleback, Shameless, and now Invisible Idols is another year older. Hope you have a great birthday Damo!

Chicago Joe and the Soul Divas

I would have loved to have brought you a report from the Lion Castleford to say how good Chicago Joe and the Soul Divas were but the Lion was fuller than I've ever seen it, and I just could not get into the concert room! I could see through the bar and hear a few songs and I must say that they are a great band. I did see many of the rock scene's characters on Saturday night, members of Aquilla, Riff Raff, Angabart and so many local rock fans, it was unbelievable. Saturday was a good day for us as we had a visit at Windy Corner from Little Rock's fantastic singer Storm and her partner, Street Sleeper's Cell.

Pay Pal Introduced On Merch Page

At last we have a Pay Pal account set up  so you can order CD's at will. One will be introduced for the T shirt orders soon. Please remember that all profits go to Cancer Research UK. We have worked hard to make funds for this needy cause so please do support us. We always send shirts and CD's by first class post. Many thanks for those who have supported us in the past.

The Stones In Bradford

Rolling Stones tribute band The Stones appeared at Low Moor WMC on Friday night and what a superb nights entertainment it was! The friendly club wasn't packed but the band gave 100% to entertain the audience who were quite obviously Rolling Stones fans. The band were a six piece with a keys player slightly obscured in the typical Stones fashion. The band started up with Brown Sugar and suddenly Mick burst on to the stage to the very great pleasure of all who were there. Everyone had beaming faces of a feeling of amusement and pleasure because Mick was so like the real thing it was uncanny! The music too was authentic with "Keef"  and "Mick Taylor" on great sounding guitars. The rhythm section was worthy of special note as were the keys and all of this was really well mixed into a HK Audio PA.The sound was excellent. The repertoire was comprehensive with the likes of Oh Carol through 19th Nervous Breakdown and Get Off of My Cloud to a fantastic second set opening Sympathy for the Devil. Bonuses of Gimme Shelter, Angie, Tumblin' Dice rammed the message home that the band deserved the accolade of "Europe's Best Rolling Stones Tribute", and the rendition of Satisfaction with audience participation was totally enjoyable. The encore of Paint it Black and Jumping Jack Flash completed my nights entertainment . This is one superb band and they certainly aren't pretentious in any way shape or form, but the following quote had me laughing, proving it was all tongue in cheek when Mick said, "I am Mick Jagger you know....well I think I am anyway!" Great band and highly recommended.

Day In The Life

It was a funny old day on Thursday, with emotions mostly high and the odd tinge of sadness and emotion. This was the funeral of my dad of course. I feel I can write of such things because we are a close knit community which is getting bigger and bigger all the time. It's getting busier and busier all the time too and we regularly welcome new bands and friends to our community. I intended to go to the Thornhill Arms for the mega jam night but we had a visit from a band member and the rigours of the day had caught up with me. RotN as usual was busy receiving mail and surprises have come in about band members and new bands. An exciting prospect for me was the news of the reformation of Deepest Purple. Spank the Monkey vocalist Dave Malt, a friend from the motorbike rally scene, is leading Deepest Purple once again to the stages of West Yorkshire and as an old fan of Deep Purple for many years, I am quite excited about it. The West Yorkshire rock scene is again showing it's mettle, or metal as the case may be, and we look forward to seeing them soon.

Thornhill Mega Jam

The Thornhill Arms Mega Jam: Thursday is the day of the rapidly becoming legendary musical mash up of some of the areas great musicians. Generally held just once a month it is hosted by the genial (Big Sexy) Dave Close and our omnipresent great friends Helen and Dave Taylor. You never know who might turn up! The Thornhill Arms is at Stanningley Bottom, between Leeds and Bradford.

Biker Guide Calendars

Sharon of the Biker Guide has some ladies tops and calendars with bare naked motorcyclists posing on each month which to a biker used to the rally scene wont shock you at all. So if you need one for your garage, office, workshop, the link is just above the date at the top of this page. Sharon's site has an advertisement facility for bands to manifest themselves. Bike rallies are a big part of the scene, so if you fancy it, take a look.

Yorkshire Victoria Back With Us

Thank goodness the powers that be at the Yorkshire Vic in Huddersfield have come to their senses. They've put in another new manager and she's called Becky and has introduced herself on our comments page, so welcome Becky. The last one seemed to have the wrong attitude for a rock pub manager but now the chap who used to book bands there, Alan, has been re-appointed as the keeper of the book. Now it remains up to you lads and lasses to contact the venue to confirm your booking. PLEASE do that. Not sure if people power through our comments page has put the changes into gear, but we certainly had a violent reaction to the haughty manager who took over before Becky!

Chantel Climbing

Bradford's Chantel McGregor starts her "Awakening Tour" next week at Butlins Rock and Blues weekend before a full tour at high profile venues. No prizes for knowing that Chantel is a huge favourite of ours and that's because she's a great performer and also she's been a great supporter of RotN and the local scene, and charity events. Chantel has paid her dues as the best blues magazines always say and it's time for Chantel to spread her wings. Chantel was interviewed by Sue Marchant on BBC Radio Cambridge last week after Sue was massively impressed with Chantel's performance on the British Stage at Colne Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival. Remember Chantel is not just a blues player. That would be a serious mistake to categorise her as a blues artist as she plays post blues boom rock and a lot of more modern guitar player's material. Chantel will soon be putting pen to paper to write her own material and Radio Cambridge featured two of Chantel's very impressive songs last week. The Awakening tour is the start of the rest of Chantel's career which I predict will be based in Europe and the States where she is already making a good impression. In the meantime try to catch our home grown guitar hero at venues as big as Morecambe Dome, and Manchester's O2  Academy. There are some more intimate gigs in the offing so keep an eye on our gig guide or Chantel's website.  

Good Comment Thread

The "back of the bog door" has seen some good discussion this week regarding golden eras of rock. I've enjoyed all the comments and viewpoints so far and appreciated them too. Because of the age group I'm in (old farts brigade) I'm able to fully appreciate the offerings of popular music through a few decades. The youngsters of today have a great springboard with influences from so many and with the history of popular music and rock and blues so well documented on the internet. Good quality playable instruments are cheap nowadays too, so the future is bright. It's great to see the likes of Daze, Melvin and Top Notch playing covers from a bygone era, but it would be nice if they are influenced enough to start writing their own material. Some of the youngsters will, and then another "golden era" will start.

Maggie Takes Me Down Memory Lane

After a matter of an interval of 37 years I finally got to see Maggie Bell sing live again! This was at Helmsley Arts Centre in North Yorkshire. Maggie has been touring with the Blues Band's guitarist Dave Kelly as a two person show and what a great show it is. Dave Kelly is a brilliant slide and blues guitar player especially on acoustic and so it was this night! He was fabulous. This and Dave's not to be under-estimated vocals were all that Maggie Bell needed for accompaniment as her presence is as big as it ever was. Often called the British Janis Joplin, the ex Stone the Crows favourite belted out some great duets with Dave and her anecdotes, and Dave's too, were comical and interesting. When she walked out in front of us I was thrilled to bits as she's been a heroine for me for those full 37 years since I was so impressed by her in 1973! To say it was a thrilling evening for me would be an understatement. Picture above is left to right my pal Dave, Maggie Bell, Moi, and the Head Cook at RotN.

Winter Blues

I don't know about you lot but I'm getting sick of this weather. I hope it doesn't affect the venues too much but some cancellations have come in. The roads and pavements are a disgrace and councils need to be told that it just isn't good enough how they are performing, or not performing. In Canada they have snow on the ground for months yet the country still functions. We've come to a standstill. Yesterday Stagefright's super-roadie Sam North slipped on the ice and has broken his arm. Last night our webmaster was out in his big van with fellow Invisible Idol Matt Black going to rehearsals and they came home with white faces. The van had gone out of control on a hill even though it was being driven with care. When they got home Joe was pacing up and down like a demented bear, full of adrenalin, and Matt was so shook up he collected his fiancé Michelle and headed off home straight away! The upside of it was he didn't sup all my lager and the band had enjoyed a successful rehearsal!

Tim Gillespie Inducted

Telegram Sam drummer Tim Gillespie, the proprietor of Audio Mangle, and producer of the RotN to the Core CD has been inducted into the RotN Hall of Fame. Top Lad!

Mick Green R.I.P.

Lets celebrate Mick's life by enjoying this awesome footage


 We at RotN are sad to report the death of Mick Green of The Pirates. This occurred on the 11th January through heart failure. Mick had already had a heart bypass operation after becoming ill whilst on tour in New Zealand a few years ago. Mick was just 65 years old when he died and was a well respected musician and actor, famous for playing his humbuckered Telecaster. The London band were so powerful that other bands always said "Never follow The Pirates!"  Wikipedia states the following:

"Green began his career playing with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates in the early 1960s, then joined Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas in 1964. His ability to play lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously influenced a number of British guitarists to follow, including Pete Townshend and Wilko Johnson, the original guitarist for Dr. Feelgood.[3] Green's song "Oyeh!" was on Dr. Feelgood's debut album, Down by the Jetty; and a song he co-wrote, "Going Back Home" appeared on Dr. Feelgood's 1975 Malpractice and the live album, Stupidity (1976).Green reformed The Pirates in the mid 1970s (Kidd having died in 1966).Green was also a member of the band, Shanghai, who released two albums, in 1974 and 1976, and supported Status Quo on their Blue for You tour. In the 1980s and 1990s Green played with, amongst others, Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney, as well as playing with The Pirates with whom he continued to gig well into the 2000s. His other notable gigs included playing guitar for Van Morrison on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in 2005, and Paul McCartney at his return to the Cavern Club in support of the latter's Run Devil Run album in 1999."

The Stones At The Winding Wheel

The Winding Wheel venue in Chesterfield is presenting top Rolling Stone tribute band The Stones on the 20th February. Tickets are available from the venue now. The Stones have been described as being no tongue in cheek tribute but a serious band who deliver the Rolling Stones music authentically. They sound very much up my street and I'll be getting along to see 'em as soon as possible. If you like Messrs Jagger and Richards music, I'd book your ticket now!

RotN to the Keys

I'm very pleased to report that a RotN to the Core event will take place in August at the Cross Keys in Morley. Jay Croft of the JD Band is organising this and the bands he has lined up are excellent with some local talent, a top covers band or two and an original material band. Jay has enlisted some good people to help with the project and we will be heavily involved. It will be a big effort by all concerned and a raffle and auction will be held and food will be available. The kids will be catered for with a bouncy castle and I have to say that I'm looking forward to the event. More details will be available as Jay allows it, but it will be a right old Morley knees up. This will be the Friday evening and Saturday all day of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Audio Cooker Investing Heavily

Leeds studios Audio Cooker are continuing to invest heavily to provide recording and rehearsal facilities of a very high standard. The picture above is the premier rehearsal facility and possibly one of the finest rooms you will ever rehearse in. With its three-meter high ceiling, the 4140 cubic feet of space incorporates a venue sized stage, full lighting rig, and seating area! The equipment includes a brand new full band RCF 2500w PA system, stage and floor wedge monitors, 20-input Soundcraft mixing desk and all world class Audix OM5 microphones. There is multiple 13amp power sockets all round the room as well as 16 in the stage floor and 4 on the main floor. The company are aiming for the highest standards at a price no more than normal. Steve Eaton the proprietor even gives a discount to students and unemployed. In our opinion Steve has thought deeply about the needs of the local bands and has provided a facility of the highest quality. Situated in easy reach of both Leeds and Bradford, the facility is ideally placed to serve bands from both areas. In recent months Leesa Mae has both rehearsed and recorded her EP at Audio Cooker and backed it up with a great full band performance at Jacob's Well.

Classifieds Hotting Up Again

I keep saying it but bands come and go and bands change personnel for all kinds of reasons. This week a young drummer wants an ad cos he want to play in a band, and another band wants a drummer. Another band wants a vocalist...so take a look on there if you need anyone. There's guitar stuff for sale, all sorts really and there might be a good quality PA coming up soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Suicide Blonde Impress Our Webmaster

Our webmaster Joe witnessed Suicide Blonde's gig at the Lion in Castleford last night and Joe said they played well, and had a great choice of songs. I've always been impressed with these lads, young lads too, and one of my favourites from their repertoire is the Kansas song "Carry On My Wayward Son" which strangely Joe doesn't like but he said Suicide Blonde made a really good job of it. I think this band really look like a rock band too, which makes a difference. Top lads, and a top band.

Matt Impressed By Matt

Last night the mighty Iron On Maiden rocked the Boardwalk in Sheffield. It was witnessed by singer Matt Black who was very interested in watching the Iron On's vocalist Matt Duggan after they had both been involved in the recording of Hope over six months ago. Matt Black was not disappointed and Matt Duggan came out to talk to Matt Black's entourage before the gig which also impressed them. I find it nice to hear of two of the Rock of the North All Stars Band appreciating each others talents. Stagefright roadie Sam North was with Matt and Sam was also mightily impressed saying Matt D could cover for Bruce Dickinson anytime! I'd go along with that as well as Matt Duggan is probably the most versatile vocalist in the North at least, something which he illustrates every time he goes out on stage with the fabulous Scooby.

Great New Bands

Bands come and go and the past few months have seen some additions to the RotN fraternity. One of the latest bands are The Confident Tricksters who have sent in a photo for our use, seen above. It's nice to see bands promote themselves. Along with Big Time Charlie, these new names will hopefully be around to entertain us for a long time. Another good young band who play in the classic rock stylee are Suicide Blonde who play tonight (Saturday) at the infamous Lion venue. Get along to see 'em, they're good.

Volume Zero and Idols At Corporation

A band described as South Yorkshire's answer to Paramore are on the same bill as the Invisible Idols at Sheffield's Corporation venue on February 15th. The Idols history has been well documented on here but Volume Zero haven't had that luxury yet. Their affairs are being looked after by our friend Carl Wragg of Red Mosquito and Helvis and the Dead Famous fame. Girl fronted, they are making a good impression so far with excellent songs and a more than competent band who are more than worthy of supporting the Invisible Idols. Two more bands complete the bill which should be a great night's entertainment. Tickets are available online and from the Corporation.

DNE Live 5

Gallant Promotions are presenting five bands at the Smyth Street mega venue on January 15th. These bands are The Tabbs,13 Lights, More Than a Joke,12:27, and Maddie Vining. It will be a quite a varied gig really as far as genre is concerned. It's £4 and NU Students it's £3. The venue sees signed band Hayabusha play on February 15th.

The King At Seventy Five

 The 8th January would have been the 75th birthday of Elvis Presley. What a waste that The King of Rock and Roll passed away in 1977,not enough lettuce on his burgers might have caused that. I have spoken to people who worked for Elvis and they said he was a generous good living man from a very early age, but you hear rumours of his entourage taking advantage of his good nature. As a singer he was excellent and his style in the early days married country music to gospel and produced the nucleus of modern rock and roll. From that era there were many and did you realise that on the 7th January 1956 Bill Haley topped the charts with Rock Around The Clock? So this week is quite important in rock and roll history. As for Elvis, well if I was religious I'd say god bless him, only I'm not, but I do hold him in the highest regard for being a great performer and a top class human being. 

Weather Making A Mess

The Mr Chief gig at Mill Lane Club this weekend has been cancelled due to the weather conditions.

Bike News

Many of our readers are bike fans so I thought I'd give you all a warning that the National Bike Show at Manchester Central (G Mex) has been cancelled for this weekend due to exhibitors being unable to get there because of bad weather. It will be re-scheduled. Thanks to Sharon at the www.thebikerguide.co.uk for this info. Save your money, go watch a band and get blathered instead!

Life Is Resurgent

December went by and we came into another year but without one of my favourite bands. Resurgence took maternity leave till July this new year and good luck to singer Kerrie who will soon be leaving work to have her baby. I'll be glad to see the band firing on all cylinders in July. Resurgence educated me in pub rock and after I saw them in the Crimea Tavern a few years ago I thought their style of pub rock wasn't parallel to my classic rock thinking. I went to see them again cos I'm a fair bloke but I made sure my mind was open. I enjoyed the gig a lot and I went again and I was suddenly a fan.I realised that the pub rock scene isn't a narrow minded preserve of just classic rock but an open catalogue of blues/rock/power-pop/punk and an anything goes musical smorgasbord. Thanks Resurgence for making me realise that. So from thinking the band just weren't my cup of tea they appeared at our RotN gigs on a regular basis, and have been active on just about all of our charity gigs. So today I'm wearing a Resurgence T shirt in their honour. Hurry back chaps and chapesses!

Vagabond Puzzle

Bradford band Vagabond have been puzzled why we didn't like them after a quip following a question why they weren't on RotN! Somebody said we didn't like them because they'd been texting our girlfriends! How strange! Joe is single and I've been married to the head cook for 25 years and having a girlfriend would seriously damage my health. It makes me wonder what other things have been said about us! Vagabond are welcome to join our community and I've always wondered why they never were interested in us. Anyway, as any good MC would say, please welcome Vagabond!

For Your Eyes Only

Many musicians tell me of their plans, aspirations and disappointments and when they tell me these things I never disclose those confidences to another soul. So if I can help you in any way, feel free to talk to me about your needs, and if I can help I will. I have nothing to gain and everything to lose by betraying confidences. RotN is here to help the music community as much as possible. I love live music in pubs, clubs and bigger venues and I want it to flourish.

Seemed Quiet But Now It's Improving

The first week in January looked very quiet when I looked last week but the gigs are starting to come in now. I've uploaded quite a lot today and I still have some to do. January is traditionally quiet as people are often trying to recover from depleted funds following Christmas, but there's some good bands on offer this weekend. I hope this snow goes cos it's caused havoc at a time where I personally have some important work to do. I just hope the bad weather doesn't keep people at home when the gigs are on.

Big Fest In South Yorkshire

 Joe Dudziak formerly of the Blues Cafe in Rotherham has been busy again organising the Oakwood Beer and Music Festival in February 17th-20th Wed-Sat. What a heck of a line up with some real class acts appearing. Amongst the acts this year are Connie Lush and Blues Shouter, Cliff Stocker's Slack Alice, Chantel McGregor, Phil Brodie Band, ZZ Eliminator, and Black Toad. It's a charity event with a beer festival too in a very roomy venue to the South side of Rotherham.

Licenced For Music and Entertainment -Not

I heard through the grapevine that a Castleford pub was fined heavily for not having a licence to put on live entertainment. Although I hate all this red tape we have to endure because we live in the regimented UK, sometimes you have to play by the rules because councils can be ruthless if they think you are trying to get away with not paying their ransoms. Be careful out there, because this landlord has paid a massive fine.

Business As Usual

Well a new year starts and the Christmas decorations go back in the loft for another 11 months (thank goodness!) and many of us are having reality checks whether we like it our not. Unfortunately my family have had a bereavement and this will take up a fair chunk of my time over the next 10 days or so, BUT it's still business as usual at Rock of the North. I might be a bit slow at reacting to your gigs or classified ads being uploaded, but I'll do my best. Many have forgotten to send in their gigs, so this is also a reminder.

Happy New Year Everyone

I'd just like to wish you all a Happy New Year and New Decade.  Over the last decade I've met many new friends, especially through my RotN work and it's been great. To the good people in our community, thank you for everything, and let's look forward to another decade of great music, especially this music we call rock...and blues....and poprock...but lets keep it live! I'll be with you all the way!

 Twist of Fate at The Keys

Nice to hear of a review from the Cross Keys who've had a great Christmas and New Year. Last night Twist of Fate brought in the new year with a bang by doing three themed sets where the band changed their stage attire to suit each set. The Keys was packed again like the Erics Boxing Day Bash, and this will have done the pub a power of good. All venues need to be supported well throughout a difficult time in the countries financial history, so please do support your local venues. Well done to ToF as well, they truly are friendly lads, and an excellent band with some of the best vocals on the scene. Thanks to Bev Drake for the picture.

Fundraising Been Good

To say that we've only been fundraising for our present campaign since late May 2009, we  have done very well. This is down to many good hearted individuals in our rock community. I've spent this morning pulling my hair out doing the accounting and checking the bank statements, but after I realised that there were some remote payments, things became clearer and as I predicted our fund raising stands at £13,480.51. I have some monies to collect from recent gigs, and the head cook has claimed from her employers on their charity scheme so that should push up the fund a bit more. Every little helps of course.  £6000 has been received by Cancer Research UK during the campaign, and we have receipts for this. We end our present licensing agreement on the 31st January 2010, and that's also when we hand all this years fund raising to CR UK. The Just Giving account ends on this date too. On top of the fund raising offline, Just Giving will claim Gift Aid on the money donated through their website, which is linked above.

Plenty To See On New Years Eve

Well it's here again, New Years Eve, and if you check the gig guide you'll see there are plenty of gigs around the district. Friday is quiet and Saturday too, but Sunday has some good stuff on offer especially in The Lion Castleford when those stalwarts of the AC/DC tribute scene Riff Raff play again in the famous venue. I'd just like to give a little bit of praise to Julie at the Lion as she has been party to raising over 10% of the total of this years RotN to the Core Campaign so well done to her. When I told her she wasn't sure if this was good or bad or whatever, but I think it's brilliant!

Adam Back In The UK

New York's own singer/guitarist Adam Bomb returned to his beloved Yorkshire last night to rock the Boot and Shoe with the band Tokyo Heat supporting. Arfur of Elmsall reports on a great gig with Hoyland impresario Rossi get up to sing Killing In The Name Of with Adam. I reckon that was quite a special moment! Adam has more dates in Yorkshire before playing in Spain in the New Year. He gets about a bit does Adam and to be honest, having seen him on many occasions and listened to his CD's that I have in my collection, I cant understand why he isn't recognised in a much bigger way because he's a good singer/songwriter, and one of the most versatile guitarists I've ever seen. Adam's also been a big supporter of RotN for a few years now, and that is reciprocal. You younger lads out there should check him out, because he's a lot to offer, and is a great showman with plenty of "tricks" and he makes it look easy.

Good Evening's Rehearsal

Although I have no other connection to the Invisible Idols than being the bass players dad, I do get a lot of pleasure seeing my son rehearse and gig with the trio. Tonight's rehearsal was good and two new original songs were introduced, and the band nailed them straight away which amazed me. It was nice to see some enthusiasm for the songs when they had played them for the first time, as I'm sure this will speed up the band's development. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Matt Black is a talent as yet untapped but given the breaks they deserve, this band could go far. Obviously I'll be accused of being biased, well I suppose I must be, blood's thicker than water, but the band are very good regardless of the fact that my son plays bass. It was nice to see Damian Campbell fit in so well as taking over from Lee Brook would never be easy, even for the most accomplished drummer, but Damian certainly has the quality and ability required. The band are recording in the new year sometime and I await the results with interest. Matt sings with the excellent Stagefright on New Years Eve, and this band are amongst the leaders of club rock, having Christian Hayes and Shaun Gill (ex Alkatraz) in the band.

Deaf Lugs

Take a look at this hyperlink about tinnitus.I suffer with it badly as do a lot of others. It can be stress related I've been told and there are other reasons. There's no cure for it but try to look after your lugs or you'll eventually wear hearing aids like me. Our webmaster has been investing in some moulded in ear monitors from Boots. They're not cheap but 500 quid is well worth having good hearing. On stage volume to the ears is cut dramatically whilst being able to hear the rest of the band and/or click track. I've missed out in conversations for years due to tinnitus and deafness and I have to say that my hearing aids are brilliant, but I'd prefer not to wear them. At first many who try the in-ear monitors feel like they are in another room and don't like them initially, but many singers have found they can hook on to the pitch of the song better than before. Furthering this thought train, I know some bands love their loud back lines but the PA is designed to do the work and on stage volumes can be kept down, especially with good powered stage monitors available cheap these days, (the powered Wharfedales are great value, and Audio Cooker can supply these). I was talking to a sound engineer at a gig in Selby recently and he was saying that 100w valve amps are unnecessary in the back line, and although acoustic drums tend to govern the overall level of loudness on stage, the PA is there to project the band's sound and in pubs and clubs, big backline output is overkill. Some might argue that a big PA and all the miking up is unnecessary in pubs, but remember that this paragraph is about saving your hearing and not governing the size of your amp. 

Been Spending?

Well as you may or may not know, V.A.T. returns to 17½% in January so if you have had money given for Christmas and you might want that new wah wah pedal or whatever, it might be a good thing to buy it this week. Musicians are renowned for changing their gear regularly, searching for that elusive perfect tone or that guitar for life. One thing I do know, we all just love new toys and you only live once so get out there to the guitar shops and spend it....it's only money!

Boxing Day Treats Valid

The Boxing Day treats I mentioned seem to have come true with Matt Black successfully carrying out his dep work on vocals with Metalworks. The band played as local heroes as they are a Royston band and they rocked the Klondyke Club big style. Well done lads! Same over in Morley and the local heroes again, The Erics rocked the Cross Keys and had local celebs up to jam with them. Great stuff and I hear the Keys was packed out. It's always good to hear that!  

Quiet and Peaceful

It was nice to have a day off yesterday, I didn't have to go anywhere. The comments page had just one entry, and I decided to relax, enjoy my dinner, and have a day with my feet up! My neighbours came over for a few hours and I've always found the company of older people to be really interesting. My neighbour Bill is well into his seventies and is from Newcastle. He's seen a lot of life and loves music. Bill's known Alan Price and Eric Burdon for years, and even has a copy of a Geordie LP in his collection. Brian Johnson of AC/DC was in this band of course. Bill and wife Judith are mad keen Rolling Stones fans too and have seen the band all over the UK and abroad. I spend a lot of time with younger people in the music world and it's great, but it was nice to sit and talk with people with experience of the rock and pop and blues scene over the years. We'll be accompanying Bill and Judith to watch Maggie Bell and Dave Kelly in January. Should be good.

2009 Overview

I usually coincide this with the Queens Speech at 3pm but I like her Madge so I wont give her any competition! Have a read of my overview, no revelations or sniping, well a bit maybe, but here it is.

Picture of the Year

The picture above is one of my favourite's of the ones I've taken in 2009. It reflects the generous attitude of the subject, Go Kommando's Coz McCossins, one of the many people who've delivered the goods this year in more ways than one. This picture was from the East Leeds Lions Rally in April. This only just beat the many pictures of Helen Taylor wearing her fine hosiery! It was a hard decision! Helen of course, along with husband Dave, is another highly rated star of the RotN charity campaign.

To access archive pre August 2009 news please follow this hyperlink