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Borderline, London

mark taylor

reuben archer

Stampede's Reuben Archer went down the solo route last year and released one of the best albums of the year with the eponymously titled 'Reuben Archer's Personal Sin', an album full of quality tunes featuring a whole host of special guests.

Bizarrely, despite releasing the album last year and performing a few gigs with his band Stampede, it's only now that the album gets it's official launch gig and unfortunately it's on the same night as two other major gigs are taking place in town. However the real music lovers knew exactly where to be and that was right here at the Borderline.

Joining Reuben for this soiree were fellow Stampede guitarists Rob Wolverson and Chris Clowsley. Wolverson co-wrote the majority of the album with Archer. The singer looked dapper in his pin stripped suit and when he doesn't have a microphone in his hand he does the right thing by swigging from a beer bottle. I told you I was at the right gig.

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Steam rolling into 'Desperation Train' and the bluesy swing of 'Lately' the band soon find their groove. 'Ace Cafe' is a biker anthem dedicated to the London cafe, a place frequented by Archer in his younger youth of which he says: "I used to go there when I was a Mod." A brave man to say that in a room full of rockers.

'Spanish Nights' was dedicated to a recently departed friend of Reuben's who had a bar in Spain where Reuben actually wrote this fine song after a few jugs of Sangria. "Ole" was the response from the crowd.

'Bulletproof' was the heaviest song of the evening and was dedicated to Eric the Belgian who had travelled over especially for this gig, but as my fellow journo buddy Andy mentioned to me: "He may like the British music but I bet he thinks the beer here is crap."

It was only apt that I burst out laughing to this witty quote just before they played 'Like A Clown', complete with Lizzyish solos from the six stringers.

'Flaming Gold' was only one of two Stampede numbers performed and amazingly this little beauty was just a bonus track. This acoustic gem showed the versatile side of Archer as he croons in the best possible Neil Diamond fashion. A great song.

'TV Junkie' has a Van Halen shuffle giving the guitarists room to explore whilst 'Time On My Hands' is a terrific blues number very much in the vein of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

Ending the main set with the stomp of 'Play My Rock'N Roll', an encore was demanded with Stampede's 'Send Me Down An Angel' which gave Archer a chance to rest his larynx with the crowd singing back the chorus.

Why Archer feels that these songs don't belong in a Stampede set is open to debate and only he can be the judge of that. Maybe he feels that Stampede can only remain in the melodic rock genre, but with songs of this quality there is no reason why he can't merge the two together. A change of direction never did Fleetwood Mac any harm now did it.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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