Author Archives: Paul H Birch

RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

Review: Jimmy Barnes – Hindsight

Hardly a household name in the UK, Scottish-born singer Jimmy Barnes has clocked up 14 number one albums in Australia, four of them fronting rock band Cold Chisel. To those who’ve heard the name but not the voice he’s the guy AC/DC considered as a replacement for Bon Scott; but then decided another drinker with an even wilder reputation might ...

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Review: Virgil & The Accelerators – Army of Three

Blues rock’s not been the sole exclusivity for those with receding hairlines reminiscing over Cream reunions and Rory Gallagher reissues for some time. The last ten years or so have found resurgence in the form with young gunslingers playing at venues and festivals to sizeable crowds, not least in the form of female admirers. The way they gather in groups ...

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Review: Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades of Blue

Grammy-nominated Joe Bonamassa gets my vote for the most over-hyped guitarist out there today. Not because the guy can’t play because he sure as hell can, but the fact that if you so much as blink at some online feature by him your email box gets spam from his website literally every other day. Thus, my apologies in advance for ...

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Review: Joanne Shaw Taylor – The Dirty Truth

Four studio albums in and this time round were getting The Dirty Truth. So what’s the rap sheet say so far about Joanne Shaw Taylor? She claims to be a Black Country schoolgirl who went mooching through her daddy’s blues collection and found gold. That’s suspect, so we’ll come back to him later.  “Guitars were always lying around the house,” ...

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No Last Orders At This Barre

Martin Barre, lead guitarist for over 40 years with the Grammy award-winning Jethro Tull, is releasing ‘Order of Play’, a new album featuring classic material. Highly respected and an inspiration to a host of other guitarists, Barre’s signature sound is recognised as a major factor in Jethro Tull moving beyond the British 60s blues scene to become an international band ...

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Billy Idol – You Can’t Break Him Down!

October sees the release of ‘Kings & Queens Of The Underground’, the first new album by Billy Idol in almost a decade.  Released on Idol’s own BFI Records, via Kobalt Label Services, it is produced by Trevor Horn, with two tracks by Greg Kurstin, and including the debut single, ‘Can’t Break Me Down’. From punk pioneer to global superstar, William Michael ...

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Pineapple Thief Takes a Chunk Out the Charts

Ten albums in, The Pineapple Thief look set for a mainstream breakthrough. Their last album, ‘Magnolia’, has entered the official UK charts at No. 2 on the indie album breakers chart and No. 8 on the indie album chart.  Following their acclaimed 2012 album ‘All The Wars‘, ‘Magnolia’ (released via Kscope) proves to be an important turning point for the ...

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Review: H.E.A.T. – Tearing Down The Walls

A haunting melody of some regret stirs from the notes of a keyboard in cinematic overture before being edged out by the crash and ride of a bopping rock charge over which a young voice calls out: “My heart is on fire and I want you to feel the same. No turning back. Here I am. Here we stand – ...

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Guitar Heroes’ Mascot

The Mascot Label Group is scheduled to release a number of records featuring the work of men who more than know their way round a six string over the next month or so. Former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden returns with ‘Shine’, his first new solo album in 15 years, and it’s promised to be a rocker to boot. Marsden has ...

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Danny Bryant – Temperature Rising

Danny Bryant’s guitar starts wailing straight out the box, his rough breathy voice promising that the woman before him will get the ‘Best of Me’ while panhandling from the blues book of lyrics with tales of full moons, black snakes moaning and spells being a put on him. It’s delivered over a tight bottom end rhythm section with a bolshie ...

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