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  INTERVIEW WITH DAVE RITCHIE, FOUNDER OF LES-FEST - PART ONE

Johnny Main

johnny main

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dave ritchie

Les-Fest is a name that should be familiar to regular readers of MetalTalk since 2012 when their first event was held, and ever since then we've always tried to keep up with what's happening up in the Clyde Valley.

With Christmas approaching and the first ever Les-Festive (did you see what they did there?) also coming up soon, we took the opportunity to sit down with Les-Fest founder, Dave Ritchie, for a chat and in the first instalment of the interview, we discuss how he got into Rock/Metal music, the origins of Les-Fest and what it takes to get a festival up and running.

Firstly, though, I asked Dave where his love of Rock and Metal music comes from?: "I am not too sure I could put my finger on that. As kids we used to go out in the car a lot and my dad always had the radio on or maybe an eight track, and we listened to all sorts of music. I do remember him liking a few tracks by The Who, he was famous for his Roger Daltrey 'I'm Free' (a track from their 1969 album 'Tommy' where Daltrey shows his vocals prowess by holding a single note for an extended period) moments and I know he had Deep Purple's 'In Rock' album too. I grew up through the Glam rock era so I always enjoyed bands like Sweet, Slade, Mud and Mott the Hoople - I guess that you can say I was "rock light!".

Article continues below...

   


"After that I think it was just my peers and mates because we all liked the same sort of stuff. Whether that was Black Sabbath, UFO, Uriah Heep, Judas Priest or Genesis, y'know. To be honest, though, when I got married and then my son Lewis came along I kind of went off music and gigs. As Lewis has grown up, I've rediscovered rock and metal and now he is introduces me to new music – it's the circle of life, isn't it? (laughs)"

With such a variety of bands that he listens to, I ask Dave what his most memorable gigs/festivals over the years are: "My first ever gig was Judas Priest at the Glasgow Apollo in 1978, on the 'Stained Class' tour - that gig would never leave you. I saw most of the bands that toured back then so yeah, Priest and UFO gigs were standouts for me as were The Scorpions and maybe surprisingly, (London based Punk band) Tubeway Army.

"I went to the "Garden Party with Marillion" at Milton Keynes Bowl (held on Saturday 28th June 1986, and also featured sets from Gary Moore, Jethro Tull, Magnum and the Mama's Boys) – that was my first major outdoor arena gig and still quite vivid. "I really loved seeing (Scottish Prog Rock three piece) Chasar play at the Heathery Bar in Wishaw – that was my favourite haunt on a Saturday night. IQ (a British neo-progressive rock band formed in 1981) also played a stunning show there.

les fest

"A real memory though is seeing King's X in Strawberry Fields, Glasgow (now re-named Ivory Blacks) - I loved the band and the gig was really intimate. To be honest, there aren't many bands that I haven't seen, right through the whole Prog and Metal genres over the years. The first Sonisphere Festival (held annually at Knebworth Park from 2009-2011) was brilliant because I went with my son Lewis and his friends - it was just such a great a friendly event but I also love my annual trip to Hammerfest these days and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever trip to Bloodstock earlier this year."

Bringing the conversation towards Les-Fest, I ask Dave if when attending Hammerfest or Sonisphere if he ever dreamt that one day he would be running his own festival: "Two years ago, absolutely not!. I've dabbled in music - playing, managing artists and I've done a bit of tour work, but that was all years ago. I would never ever have imagined that I would end up here!"

I ask him if it's true, as I've heard, that he had an "I have a dream..." moment about the creation of Les-Fest?: "Absolutely – I'm on record for saying so," he confirms with a grin.

"It was 30th March 2012 and it had just been announced that Sonisphere had been cancelled and I remember that Lewis was pretty gutted, as was I. I'd consumed a couple of bottles of red that night, well it was a Friday night, and I though 'sod it, we will have a festival in the village instead'. I knew a few bands locally, and I thought just go for it!

"That next day I went looking for a domain name for the Lesmahagow Festival and I knew that the name Les-Fest could be slightly controversial, but I did it all the same. Once the name was registered, there was no going back. I think Hammerfest came about in similar circumstances - an alcohol fuelled mad idea!"

I ask Dave how he found the location (Valley International Park) and how the officials reacted to the prospect of a Rock and Metal festival in their locale?: "Well, the initial idea was to put the event on in the local hall with five bands each night and it was originally envisaged that it would be held over the Sonisphere weekend – the start of July 2012. However, the hall keeper said they already had a booking that weekend, so offered me the last weekend in June instead and it was on that basis that I started to discuss the project with some local bands."

"Once I contacted the local council about it, it became very difficult to get all the concessions in place that I was required by law to have, and for a while at least, it was looking like it just wouldn't be possible. It was actually my brother, Craig, who suggested I look at Valley International Park because he was friends with the owners and they had two venues already on site, as well as some licensed bars and restaurants.

"He (Craig) mentioned that they had held some events there in the past, albeit not music ones, but we met with the owners to discuss what was possible and off we went! I have to add that it wasn't all plain sailing – we did have some licensing and policing issues, but once we had the correct security in place and adhered to the health and safety procedures, they allowed us to go ahead. The day before the event, it did get very close to being cancelled but we worked really hard to ensure that it went ahead."

les fest
Dave Ritchie, Johnny Main, Fede Valls

I ask if the festival has been easier to arrange in subsequent years to which he replies: "Not particularly, but the second Les-Fest (in 2013) threw up more and slightly different challenges. By them y'see, we'd jumped from two days to three and increased the band count from twenty six to sixty three! To accommodate this, we had the build a bigger stage, arrange for an outdoor bar to be erected as well as extending the camping area, arrange for showers to be installed and improve the infrastructure. It's a very steep learning curve and we are a very small team, but we all pull together and we cope with everything that's thrown at us!."

Les-Fest won the coveted Best Festival Award at the 2012 Scottish New Music Awards, and I ask Dave how it feels to have won an award with the inaugural event?: "That was an extreme honour – first to be nominated and then to go on and win! That was absolutely down to fan support and I will always be indebted to them for voting for us, but it is and always will be 'award winning' and that's a great little tag line that nobody can take away. The actual award sits in my house pride of place next to my Ray Harryhausen autographed picture!"

I ask if the term "award winning" gives Les-Fest an advantage over other music events when they are booking prospective bands or contacting band management teams about specific bands appearing? "It certainly helps when you have to send emails out to bands, managers and agents, but with all respect to the bands we had in the first year, we jumped up a level in the subsequent year, and that was probably down to the fact that we actually pulled it off first time around and people started to believe we could actually do it again.

"To be honest with you, we could fill ten festivals with the number of bands that apply to play every year, but our philosophy has always been that we will see all bands live before we book them. I know there are a lot of unknown acts for many people that attend but I can assure you that all the bands are top quality and it just shows you what the Rock and Metal scene in the UK is like, if you take the time to look.

"The challenge for us, is to grow the event and to do that we need larger better known bands, while at the same time leaning towards the underground scene, and the more established acts will come as the event itself becomes more established. That said, we have some really cool bands coming in 2014, which I believe to be a sign that the industry is starting to take the Les-Fest event more seriously."

Les-Fest is billed as "Scotland's only Rock and Metal festival" but I ask Dave where the musical boundaries lie when it comes to booking acts for the festival?: "Having three days to play with I am trying to cover many bases. If you look at the 2013 bill, we had (Thrash band) Evile playing on the Friday, Metal bands like Monument and Furyon performed on the Saturday, which also has some Rock almost Prog bands playing at times and then on Sunday we had bands like Jettblack and Bonafide, who are much more in the party hard/classic rock mould.

"Believe me when I say that for 2014 we have considered acts as diverse as (French experimental electronic music project) The Algorithm to (Scottish Folk Metal band) Alestorm and we even looked at (Glaswegian Death Metal band) Cerebral Bore - none of whom are actually booked to play incidentally, but it is a broad and diverse mix of bands that we look at.

"I mean, the term 'Rock music' is very subjective, isn't it? Fede (Valls – co-booker at Les-Fest), Lewis and I all have very different tastes, but I suppose what we don't really cater to is the "Kerrang crowd", if you know what I mean. Many of the acts they feature in those kind of magazines are kind of "flavour of the month" if you will - bands who are just fleeting with fame, but won't have a lasting career. For us, the bands have to have energy and intensity and I suppose it is mainly substance over style, but I definitely think you can see passion, determination and belief in all the bands we put on."

Moving on, I approached the subject of the recent additions to the Les-Fest diary – that of Les-Fest North West and Northern Ireland. Does Dave expect a Wales and South of England equivalent to follow next year? "These are all, again, just taking an idea and running with it type things. We have literally hundreds of bands that want to play and, as I said before, we want to see them live before we book them. For me, going to other festivals is great because we can see a lot of bands in a relatively short period of time, so that is why a good number of bands playing in 2014 are bands that we have seen at Bloodstock in 2013.

"Short listing bands that interest us and putting them on at one venue makes sense because we get to meet them, see how they conduct themselves, something which is very important to us, but, and this is the thing, we get to see a live performance - if they tick all the boxes they get a slot. The other thing for us is to look at it from a ticket sales point of view when it comes to the actual festival. Many of our supporters come from the North of England so it makes sense to take good rising bands from those areas, and the same rational applies to Northern Ireland and, of course, we already have Scottish showcase gigs too."

When pressed about future plans, Dave comes across as coy, telling me: "I can't say what to expect in the future, but I have plans and ideas as to where that will go - only time will tell!"

Talking of Les-Fest specifically, I ask Dave (roughly) how many bands send demo material to him and his team every year? "Probably in the region of four or five hundred plus and every single day of the year too! Fede and I could write a book with some of the terrible submissions that have been sent to us over the last couple of years! Half of me would like to write back and give them some constructive criticism or helpful advice, the other half of me thinks that people would just take a "who are you to tell us" kind of attitude. On the other hand, of course, we get some really professional submissions."

Dave goes further saying that any band are welcome to send a submission to the Les-Fest team but "it doesn't need a polished, properly produced demo or CD - or even professional photographs as long as they can see who the band are and what they sound like, they will be considered along with all the other submissions.

"However some applications have literally been an email that starts 'hey Les, check us out we rock' with a link to a YouTube video that was recorded in the local boozer and is nothing but distorted sound." However, he assures me that he would like to "genuinely like to assist people/bands to get onto the Les-Fest bill, and advice is freely given!"

So it's safe to assume that it's a "team decision" about who gets to play at Les-Fest? "There are a few people behind the scenes who are involved, but both Fede and I have ideas about bands we would like to have perform at the festival. I approach the bigger agencies whilst Fede goes out at a few festivals and he basically hits me with names!

"Quite often he (Fede) has them pencilled in before I have even heard of them. I trust his judgement 100% although, honestly, sometimes the music is not for me and vice versa no doubt.

"We're trying to cover many genres so it works on all level. My son, Lewis, is also a good judge and of course being nineteen years old, you could say he is more in touch with some stuff than I am at nearly fifty, but we all play a part. Ultimately it is not about where you fit in within the various genres, it is just the quality of the artists that determines who gets in."

In the second part of the interview, I discuss with Dave about the future of Les-Fest and his upcoming Les-Festive showcase.

Thanks very much to Dave Ritchie.

You can watch Dave and Fade onstage at Les-Fest 2013 here:



Les-Fest:
Les-Fest 2014
Valley International Park
Crossford,
Clyde Valley
Carluke,
ML8 5NJ

Online:
Official Website: www.les-fest.co.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LesFest

Click here for Part Two of this interview.


29.11.2013







 
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download SLIPKNOT, MUSE AND KISS HEADLINE EPIC DOWNLOAD 2015
In a blaze of fire, an explosion of colour, an endless montage of "I was there" moments Download has once again come to a truly thunderous conclusion...

therion THERION SIDE PROJECT LUCIFERIAN LIGHT ORCHESTRA TO MAKE THEIR LIVE WORLD DEBUT AT FEMME METAL FESTIVAL IN THE NETHERLANDS IN OCTOBER
With clear references to rock and Metal from the 70s and 80s, this album returns to Therion's roots...

christopher lee CHRISTOPHER LEE PASSES AWAY AGED 93
The screen legend was famous for roles in Count Dracula, Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars...

the tubes THE TUBES ANNOUNCE 40TH ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
The arch satirists of popular culture bring their outrageous live performance to the UK one more time...

motley crue BREAKING NEWS: MOTLEY CRUE MAKE FINAL EVER TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT INCLUDING FOUR UK DATES
These final ever British shows will have Alice Cooper as support...

sex pistols SEX PISTOLS CREDIT CARDS UNVEILED BY VIRGIN MONEY
Rock n' roll is changing dramatically and not necessarily for the better...

jon lord JON LORD HONOURED WITH BLUE PLAQUE IN HOME TOWN OF LEICESTER
"I'm delighted to see this today. I'm very proud that he is being recognised by his home city."

stoneghost STONEGHOST REVEAL VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE 'RAYNARDINE'
"Filth goes hand in hand with this song,we knew the video needed to show the beast it is in its natural habitat..."

graveltones THE GRAVELTONES ANNOUNCE UK TOUR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015
Tracks from second album 'Love Lies Dying' will make an appearance in the legendary live set...

sepultura SEPULTURA ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR DATES IN NOVEMBER
"We will be playing songs that we normally don't perform so all you hardcore fans will not want to miss the surprises..."

iggy hotei IGGY POP AND HOTEI RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'HOW THE COOKIE CRUMBLES'
The single is taken from guitar superstar Hotei's new album, to be released this autumn...

kaets KAETS SIGN WITH KLONOSPHERE AND RELEASE NEW TRACK 'MY CREATION'
There is a pre-order campaign happening for the debut album from the French Death Metallers...

ghost GHOST UNVEIL TRACKLISTING FOR NEW ALBUM 'MELIORA' AT WORLD PREMIERE ALBUM PLAYBACK
The album is a marked improvement on its predecessor, 'Infestissumam'...

motorhead MOTORHEAD ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF NEW ALBUM AND TOURING PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF 2015
Motorhead are as strong, mean, loud, relentless, uncompromising and goddam heavy as ever...

buckcherry BUCKCHERRY TO RELEASE 7TH STUDIO ALBUM, 'ROCK 'N' ROLL', ON 21st AUGUST 2015
"We focused on making a record that encompasses all of what we are. You get every flavour of Buckcherry..."

36 crazyfists 36 CRAZYFISTS TEAM UP WITH PUCK HCKY FOR HOCKEY-BRANDED MERCH
They shoot, they score - check out this unique range of merchandise...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT SET TO RELEASE 'DARK MATTERS' & 'SKY BLUE' SEPARATELY THIS SUMMER
The albums were previously available as part of Z2...

foreigner FOREIGNER RELEASE 'GREATEST HITS LIVE'
The 2005 concert is available as a standalone product for the first time...

slayer SLAYER ANNOUNCE UK DATES WITH SUPPORT FROM ANTHRAX AND KVELERTAK
It's a welcome return to the UK for Slayer for a seven date run...

stratovarius STRATOVARIUS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM - 'ETERNAL'
"Everybody has been busy the last few months writing lots of new songs, and only the best has been recorded for 'Eternal'..."

damned DAMNED DOCUMENTARY TO DEBUT IN THE UK
Lemmy, Guns 'N' Roses, members of the Sex Pistols, and more appear in the film. Members of The Damned will appear at select screenings...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE STORM THE ALBUM CHARTS AROUND THE GLOBE WITH THE RELEASE OF 'THE PURPLE ALBUM'
A limited edition box set is on its way along with a 42 date US tour...

nervosa tour NERVOSA ANOUNCE THEIR FIRST UK HEADLINE TOUR
"Playing on the same ground where the first Metal riffs were created is both an honour and a privilege..."

sabaton alestorm SABATON ANNOUNCE CO-HEADLINE UK TOUR WITH ALESTORM
Put on your army combats, grab a tankard of rum and prepare to witness the Metal event of 2016...

nile NILE REVEAL NEW ALBUM DETAILS AND COVER ARTWORK PLUS UK TOUR DATES
"This album is definitely not a box of candies. Keep in mind that opening the package means you will deal with the deadliest essence..."

anti flag amnesty ANTI-FLAG STREAM 'AMERICAN SPRING' VIA AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
"Amnesty International's mission is to speak up and stand up for those who cannot for themselves. The record American Spring is about the very same idea..."

nile tour NILE ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS THIS SEPTEMBER WITH SUPPORT FROM SUFFOCATION
Nile's withering live performances are nothing short of legendary...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'DIVIDE US'
One of the UK's most exciting young bands can be seen on a headline tour in support of the new CD...

hrh aor MELODIC LEGENDS AND ICONS JOIN THE HRH AOR 4 CRUSADE
Quiet Riot, Joe Lynn Turner, Tyketto, The Dan Reed Network are among the first batch to be announced...

napalm death NAPALM DEATH ANNOUNCE US FESTIVALS AND EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
It's a busy time for Napalm Death who can be seen at festivals and gigs throughout the summer, including Bloodstock in August...

black sabbath BLACK SABBATH REUNITE WITH BILL WARD TO ACCEPT IVOR NOVELLO AWARD
Ozzy Osbourne, did not join the other three members at the ceremony for reasons unknown...

rival sons RIVAL SONS ANNOUNCED AS SPECIAL GUESTS FOR DEEP PURPLE EUROPEAN TOUR
"I cut my teeth on those early records... 'Machine Head', 'In Rock', 'Made In Japan' etc. The musicianship, performances and sheer bravado is nothing short of LEVELLING....

lucifers friend ROCK LEGENDS LUCIFER'S FRIEND TO RELEASE NEW BEST OF COMPILATION PLUS BONUS DISC WITH FOUR NEW TRACKS
The founder members have re-formed and will be taking their influential and ground-breaking original sound to fans old and new...

symphony x SYMPHONY X ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'UNDERWORLD' OUT IN JULY
The album is a flowing, total experience Inspired by Dante and secret knowledge. "There's cool shit like this all over the record..."

sepultura SEPULTURA ANNOUNCE TWO UK AND IRELAND SHOWS THIS AUGUST
Brazil's most successful Metal band are making additional stops after Bloodstock...

magic bus 3CD COMPLIATION 'MAGIC BUS' IS RELEASED ON UNIVERSAL RECORDS
Take a trip and relive the hippie trail with this mystical compilation bringing together the best of the era...

bruce dickinson BREAKING NEWS: BRUCE DICKINSON GIVEN ALL CLEAR AFTER CANCER SCARE
Absolutely brilliant news this Friday afternoon - Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson has been given the all clear...

the edge THE EDGE GOES OVER THE EDGE ON U2'S OPENING NIGHT
This is karma's way of saying don't make your new album a compulsory free download on iTunes...

mac sabbath MAC SABBATH, THE CHEESIEST AND BEEFIEST BAND IN THE WORLD TO DRIVE THRU THE UK
These mind-blowing sets are guaranteed to leave you satisfied...

pearl handled revolver PEARL HANDLED REVOLVER RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'ABSINTHE IN ADELAIDE'
This stunning psychedelic new track is the first taste of the new studio album to be released later this year...

billy idol BILLY IDOL RELEASES VIDEO FOR 'SAVE ME NOW'
The dramatic promo was filmed in the Californian desert...

beth hart BETH HART ANNOUNCES LONDON'S UNION CHAPEL SOLO CONCERT
Beth will play solo in the UK for the first time ever - tickets for this unmissable show are on sale from Friday 15th May...

vintage trouble THE NEW ALBUM FROM VINTAGE TROUBLE IS SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE ON AUGUST 14th
'1 Hopeful Rd.' is available for pre-order now. The band open for AC/DC in Europe this summer...

joe satriani JOE SATRIANI ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'SHOCKWAVE SUPERNOVA'
Satch releases a wildly ambitious album, showcasing his extroverted alter ego...

helloween HRH 9 ANNOUNCES HELLOWEEN FOR NOVEMBER
Fans will get a chance to see this rare UK performance surrounded with the customary HRH community back drop...

ron wood GIBSON TO LAUNCH RON WOOD SIGNATURE GUITAR
Not all vintage guitars were first built in the 1950s...

art of anarchy ART OF ANARCHY STREAM ALBUM SONG SNIPPETS
Their debut self-titled album will be in stores and online June 8th 2015...

paradise lost PARADISE LOST LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BENEATH BROKEN EARTH'
"Doing a performance video with our miserable, old faces barely moving in a crappy, old basement was too much to resist..."

between the buried and me BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE CLIP FROM 'MAKING OF COMA ECLIPTIC' DVD
'Coma Ecliptic' is available for pre-order from Metal Blade with special bundles and packages offered...

marilyn manson MARILYN MANSON UNVEILS NEW VIDEO FOR 'THE MEPHISTOPHELES OF LOS ANGELES'
Marilyn Manson will play live across Europe this summer, including an appearance at Download in the UK...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI RELEASE 'TORN APART', THE NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
The band can be seen at a string of summer shows and festivals across Europe...

dan reed DAN REED NETWORK UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
Dan Reed was very excited to announce the six dates and said that "this would be a funky good time warp indeed"...

wildhearts THE WILDHEARTS TO CELEBRATE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF 'P.H.U.Q' WITH UK TOUR
It's twenty years since the album went straight in at Number 6 on the national UK album charts...

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'STOLEN LIFE (2015 VERSION'
This brand-new version of the song that was originally released on the 2014 album, 'War Eternal'...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE RELEASE NEW 'SOLDIER OF FORTUNE' VIDEO
"It's a tribute. A homage. It's a huge thank you from me to Deep Purple for the opportunity I was given over 40 years ago..."

acid reign ACID REIGN ANNOUNCE NEW LINE-UP
"It's not a reformation, it's a reboot!" Howard 'H' Smith...

ac dc AC/DC KICK OFF EUROPEAN TOUR IN ARNHEM: VIDEOS AND SETLIST HERE: WARNING - CONTAINS BIG SPOILERS
The set list running order differed slightly from the show they played at the Coachella Festival...

craig gruber ORIGINAL RAINBOW BASSIST CRAIG GRUBER PASSES AWAY AGED 64
Craig Gruber's career in music took off in 1974 when he joined Elf, the band fronted by Ronnie James Dio...

rev jones REV JONES SLATES DON DOKKEN, MARK BOALS AND THE HAIR CLUB FOR MEN
"...normally I would have hit him in the face but I didn't want to knock that really bad fucking wig off his head..."

venom VADER ANNOUNCE UK EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL SET THIS SEPTEMBER SUPPORTING VENOM INC
Death Metal legends Vader released the "absolute heaviest" studio album of their career last year, according to frontman Peter W...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE UK WINTER TOUR
Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Andy Bown, John 'Rhino Edwards and Leon Cave will plug back in and bring their thunderous electric live show back to the nation's venues...

borknagar BORKNAGAR WORKING ON NEW STUDIO ALBUM
The original Borknagar vocalist Kristoffer Rygg (aka Garm/Fiery G Maelstrom/Trixter G) has already recorded vocals for two songs...

wasp W.A.S.P. ANNOUNCE TEN DATE TOUR OF UK AND IRELAND IN SEPTEMBER
W.A.S.P. have announced a ten date tour of the UK and Ireland to promote their highly anticipated and long awaited new album 'Golgotha'...

new england EXCLUSIVE: NEW ENGLAND - AOR LEGENDS RELEASE FIRST NEW MATERIAL IN 33 YEARS
This will be the first brand new material from New England in decades...

black sabbath OZZY OSBOURNE CONFIRMS THAT BLACK SABBATH WILL RETIRE AFTER 2016 FAREWELL TOUR
"The plan is that next year we'll do the final Black Sabbath tour and then it's over..."

motorhead MOTORHEAD ANNOUNCE FIRST BATCH OF DATES FOR EU TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
This year is Motorhead's 40th anniversary and we always knew that a big tour would take place...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK ANNOUNCE JANUARY 2016 UK TOUR
Schenker will perform tracks from 'Spirit On A Mission' plus all the MSG, UFO and Scorpions rock classics...

venom MANTAS, ABADDON AND DEMOLITION MAN REUNITE TO CREATE VENOM INC: TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
...now there is a second Venom on the circuit...

kamelot KAMELOT PREMIERE MUSIC VIDEO OF 'INSOMNIA' FROM UPCOMING ALBUM 'HAVEN'
It's time to step into the cinematic, epic and emotionally dynamic world of Haven. Check it out here...

the darkness THE DARKNESS LAUNCH NEW VIDEO FOR 'OPEN FIRE'
The Darkness have announced details of the first single from their forthcoming fourth album 'Last Of Our Kind'...

doro pesch DORO ANNOUNCES UK TOUR THIS NOVEMBER AND LIVE DVD
Internationally renowned rock and Heavy Metal legend Doro Pesch has just announced a run of three UK shows this November...

epica DUTCH SYMPHONIC METAL STARS EPICA ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SWISS FOLK METALERS ELUVEITIE
"Both bands bring their unique flavour to Metal and are known as top live acts, so we are certain that every single night is going to be one to remember..."

heidevolk MARK BOCKTING AND RAEMON BLOEM DEPART HEIDEVOLK
Heidevolk, Mark and Reamon have all made statements which you can read in full here...

majesty GUITARIST TRISTAN VISSER LEAVES MAJESTY
The split appears to be amicable and without bad blood. Tristan has left to pursue a solo career...

uriah heep JUDAS PRIEST AND URIAH HEEP MEMBERS IN ALL-STAR METALWORKS JAM AT DAVEY RIMMER'S WEDDING
Other guests included all the members of Uriah Heep plus numerous faces from the London scene...

alestorm BREAKING NEWS: GUITARIST DANI EVANS LEAVES ALESTORM
"I hold nothing but respect for the guys and there is no bad blood between us..."

ozzy osbourne BREAKING NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE HITS BACK AT BILL WARD: "BE HONEST WITH BLACK SABBATH FANS"
"Deep down inside you knew you weren't capable of doing the album and a 16 month tour..."

origins of iron ORIGINS OF IRON: AN ALBUM FULL OF EX-IRON MAIDEN MEMBERS AND THEIR MUSIC
After the success of the highly rated encyclopaedic book, 'Outside Iron Maiden' the author and organisers hatched a plan...

giants of rock MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK TO HEADLINE GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL 2016
Other acts already confirmed are Wishbone Ash featuring Andy Powell plus two of the finest bands to ever come out of Dunfermline...

aerosmith AEROSMITH BLUE ARMY TOUR 2015 SUMMER TREK TO KICK OFF JUNE 13th
Following their wildly successful and acclaimed 2014 Let Rock Rule tour, Aerosmith will return to the road June 13th...

accept ACCEPT ANNOUNCE NEW GUITARIST AND DRUMMER AND POST NEW VIDEO CLIP
Looking back on 2014, it was the best year in the band's career so far...

bernie torme BERNIE TORME ANNOUNCES 'BLACKHEART' NEW ALBUM AND TOUR SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 2015
"We did a storming little UK tour end of last year following the release of the 'Flowers & Dirt' album and I really caught the bug to play live again..."

behemoth BEHEMOTH RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'MESSE NOIR' WITH PRODUCER ZEV DEANS
The combination of visual and auditory elements could not be more ideal...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN CATALOGUE NOW MASTERED FOR ITUNES
"I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums..."

skid row JOHNNY SOLINGER LEAVES SKID ROW; REPLACEMENT NAMED ALREADY
"We had a lot of great times together and created a lot of great music. We wish him nothing but the best."

megadeth ANGRA GUITARIST KIKO LOUREIRO JOINS MEGADETH
He will be Megadeth's tenth guitarist in the band's thirty year history and he replaces the departed Chris Broderick...

videscape VIDESCAPE IS THE NEW WAY FOR MUSICIANS TO MAKE MORE MONEY FROM VIDEOS AND AUDIO
VidEscape is perhaps not a site many musicians and bands are familiar with but all that could change in the coming months...

van halen VAN HALEN SHUT DOWN HOLLYWOOD BLVD FOR SPECIAL JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE PERFORMANCE
The band performed a forty five minute set to fans who were given free tickets to attend the outdoor event...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Dubbed the 'We Will Rise' Tour to promote their new EP, 'We Are The Brave', the band will be joined on the trek by The Raven Age...

whitesnake BREAKING NEWS: DEF LEPPARD/WHITESNAKE/BLACK STAR RIDERS ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR
Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on 1st April from Live Nation UK with pre-sale and VIP ticketing information coming soon...

doro DORO CONFIRMED FOR ROCK IN RIO AND ANNOUNCES HUGE EUROPEAN TOUR
"This is amazing and a dream coming true. I think that we might also play my hymn 'All We Are'."...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO RECEIVE O2 SILVER CLEF AWARD
The iconic band have won the Outstanding Contribution To UK Music category...

thunder THUNDER APPEAR ON WEEKEND WOGAN BBC RADIO SHOW
Thunder's new album 'Wonder Days' went straight into the Top Ten of the UK album charts and they have just completed a highly successful UK tour...

red dragon cartel RED DRAGON CARTEL NAME MICHAEL THOMAS BECK IN LEAD VOCALIST CHANGE UP
Darren James Smith is out, and a new era begins. The saga continues...

soldierfield SOLDIERFIELD RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'THE ONLY WAR'
The video is from the latest acclaimed release 'Catharsis'...

serpentine SERPENTINE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF THEIR ALBUM 'CIRCLE OF KNIVES'
The new studio album contains ten brand new songs from the melodic rock quintet...

styx STYX RELEASE 'LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA LAS VEGAS'
The definitive live show is available on DVD, CD, Blu-ray and digital formats...

mike porcaro MIKE PORCARO OF TOTO DEAD AT 59
The rock world was shook again on Sunday morning, March 15th 2015...

sick of it all SICK OF IT ALL LAUNCH NEW VIDEO FOR 'GET BRONX'
"This video serves to show people across the world that as gritty and unpretentious as hardcore music is, it still translates to the big stage and doesn't need a tiny, intimate atmosphere to work..."

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT LAUNCHES 'THE WHEEL'S TURNING' LYRIC VIDEO
"In contrast to the primal and gothic nature of much of the album, 'The Wheel's Turning' has a fun and nostalgic vibe..."

corbitt WARBEAST'S BRUCE CORBITT ISSUES UPDATE FOLLOWING HIS HEART SCARE
Bruce has been undergoing tests and has an important message to share...

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