Author Archives: Laurence Todd

Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

SONS OF APOLLO ‘Live with the Provdiv Psychotic Symphony’

Sons of Apollo are a prog metal supergroup featuring alumni from such titans in their genre as Dream Theatre, Journey, Guns ‘n Roses, Mr Big, et al, and the dramatis personae contains some of its biggest names… Portnoy, Sherinian, Sheehan, Soto and Bumblefoot (Ron Thal). With their debut album, 2017’s Psychotic Symphony, given their pedigree the issue was if they would ...

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Crystal Ball

Swiss melodic rock band Crystal Ball release ‘Best of…’ entitled 2020

For the first time in their twenty years and counting career, Swiss melodic rock band Crystal Ball are releasing a ‘Best of ..’ entitled 2020 (twenty songs, twenty years ..geddit?) This is a double CD celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the band. The first CD contains ten of Crystal Ball’s most popular songs in their first two decades together, all of them ...

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Iamthemorning – The Bell

Iamthemorning, the name deriving from a track on Oceansize’s debut album, is a Russian prog / chamber pop duo from St. Petersburg, Russia, and it revolves around the creative partnership of two persons, Marjana Semkina (vocals and backing guitar) and Gleb Kolyadin (piano/ keyboards). They’re still something of an unknown quantity amongst many prog fans in the UK, although they’ve ...

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SAXON – The Eagle has Landed 40 ‘live’

Since their inception in the late 1970’s, Saxon have gone from being one of the forerunners of the awkwardly titled New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) to become one of the standard bearers of rock, and whilst they’ve never achieved the iconic status of other NWOBHM bands like Maiden and Leppard, nonetheless they’ve become one of the most successful ...

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Supersonic Blues Machine play some solid bluesy rock on Road Chronicles ‘live’

Supersonic Blues Machine (SBM) are claimed by their fan base to be ‘the ultimate rock, blues and soul’ jam band. All the musicians involved have been around the block more than once and they came together in 2015 to form SBM. Since then they’ve released two studio albums and this, their first ‘live’ album, Road Chronicles, was recorded in Italy ...

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Neil Young live at Hyde Park

There can be few other artists who’ve pursued their own muse to such a singular extent as Neil Young, whether it’s walking out on bands… he missed playing the legendary Monterey Festival in 1967 by walking out on Buffalo Springfield, making albums to spite label boss David Geffen or walking out on his friends during a tour; just ask Stephen ...

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Rebecca Downes

Rebecca Downes – More Sinner than Saint  

Following on from her last album, 2016’s Believe, Rebecca Downes has released the follow-up, putting it out on her own label, Mad Hat Records. The title track ‘Believe’ won the accolade of Song of the Year at the 2016 British Blues Awards, so she’s set her own bar high for the follow-up. Rebecca Downes is an artist said to be a ...

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MYRATH - Shehili

North African band MYRATH play powerful rock on new album Shehili    

In case you were unaware, there is such a thing as North African hard rock. Myrath (pronounced Meer-rath) are a band from Tunisia, a nation not exactly overflowing with well-known rock bands, and they’ve gone some way towards blending the sounds of their nation with the kerrang of heavy metal and hard rock. Over the time they’ve been playing together, ...

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 ANTENNA - The Gift

The Gift continue to evolve on Antenna

Following on from 2016’s Why The Sea Is Salt, The Gift have now released their much-anticipated follow-up, Antenna. Three years in the making, it’s an album which probably won’t count as the band’s most ambitious work, but it’s one which sees The Gift moving away from playing the lengthier, more complex pieces they’ve become known for (no song here is ...

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Hank Marvin strikes ‘Gold’ in this new collection

The UK has consistently punched above its weight when it comes to producing the world’s stellar rock guitarists down the years, with many of them going on to sustain long, illustrious and influential careers. Few of these players, though, can truly be described as having been seminal, in the sense they’ve inspired a whole generation to want to learn how ...

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