metal talk
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
metal talk
'Fistful Of Blues' EP
(Fabtone Records)

Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske

gwyn ashton

I first came across Gwyn Ashton via recommendation from Magnum keyboard player Mark Stanway, a high recommendation indeed and as it turned out, more than justified.

And he wasn't alone recommending him. In 2001 French Guitar Magazine voted him the 3rd best guitarist of the year, behind only Jeff Beck and Gary Moore. In 2007 his album 'Prohibition' was voted album of the year by the British Guitar and Bass magazine.

Gwyn himself hails from Wales and emigrated to Adelaide, Australia at an early age, relocating to Europe in 1996, via Sydney and Melbourne. He has toured with the likes of BB King, Johnny Winter, The Yardbirds, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, Robin Trower and Status Quo.

Article continues below...

In 2006 he recorded 'Prohibition' with a star studded band, Ted McKenna on drums, bassist Chris Glen and Don Airey on keyboards. Bands don't get much better than that. Since then he hasn't stopped recording and gigging extensively.

So to 'Fistful Of Blues'. This is his first new material since the acclaimed 'Radiogram' came out last year and short though it may be (it is an EP so not something you can say you weren't expecting!), it is blues to the core.

This isn't your industry standard derivative blues though – Gwyn takes the music, and you, off in different directions, sometimes entirely unexpected and if you like your music to innovate, inspire and enthral, then carry on reading... and if you don't, then it is time to start.

First up is 'Take You Home Tonight'. It takes approximately eight seconds for my feet to start going and before I know what is going on a full on stomp has developed. "My body shaking, it just won't stop", Ashton sings. He ain't kidding. There are little bits of so many different things, a little ZZ Topish in places but that is about the feel, not the style or melody.

Ashton's almost understated slide guitar gives it that extra push, that deeper feel. It's blues alright but no anti depressants needed here. Understated slide that is until he lets rip in the middle – a word of advice, if you have neighbours in the flat downstairs, pay for a night out for them and give your stomping and shaking a free reign.

gwyn ashton

'On The Borderline' calms things down, moody, pensive and upbeat. Contradiction in terms to some blues purists, but Ashton does it supremely well. Thought provoking lyrics, passion, feeling and groove all rolled into one. Beautifully crafted progressions and almost before you realise it, that foot is off again, this time the head and the rest of the body coming out in sympathy. A superb piece of writing and playing – this is obviously someone at the top of their game.

'Waiting For The Day' kicks off with a killer riff, echoing into the background before it comes at you again. This one is a little more straightforward, a bluesy rocker to grab you by the nuts, swing you around and leave you screaming for more. Bass line almost military in precision rumbling in the background, hypnotic, entrancing, driving everything forward. I say straightforward but it seamlessly shifts gear, guitar taking over, Rory no doubt nodding approvingly from his place on high.

So to the last one, 'When You're Alone', possibly the closest to the style a lot of people would associate with mainstream blues. But again Gwyn cannot be accused of lack of originality, the song has elements of styles but is derivative of none. This is unmistakeably him, with more note bends in this song than a mountain road, lyrics both meaningful and passionate, voice tinged with raw emotion, getting you right where it counts.

But the real mark of the talent on show is the music alone spirals its way into your very soul, and that is a talent that is not always present. This is music in its pure linguistic form, yet as an entertainment tool as well.

'When You're Alone' is rich in tempo changes, shifting at ease from slow blues to piercing blues rock guitar, and the fret work is something to marvel at on this one.

gwyn ashton

Musically 'Fistful Of Blues' is a storming update to Gwyn Ashton's catalogue and for those whose first taste of his music is this EP, then I suggest you start doing the lottery as good fortune is definitely on your side.

He is in the very top tier of guitarists of any genre yet one of those who doesn't feel the urge, or need, to prove it at every turn – less can be more on occasion. But even in these four songs, there is everything to keep everyone happy from the widdly widdly addicts to the slide aficionados.

This guy is good. And what's more, his songwriting is up there with the best of them.

The feel of the songs and the production has a live quality to it which makes a change from the far too often over engineered releases these days. But that is indicative of the way Gwyn plies his trade – he is primarily a live performer (it is what musicians do contrary to the opinion of large parts of the modern music business).

Somehow he is not as mainstream as his undoubted talent deserves, but then that is how the industry works these days. I would suggest you go and see him live as soon as you can, you will thank me.

23 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
24 - UK, Oxon, Oxford, Jericho Tavern, Famous Monday Blues
28 - UK, Oxon, Cropredy, Red Lion (acoustic)
30 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)

7 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Bewdley Gardens 2 - 2.30pm (solo)
7 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
10 - UK, Hants, Festival Of Chichester @ Chichester Inn (solo)
11 - UK, Hants, Southsea, Golden Eagle (solo)
12 - UK, Wilts, Swindon, Rolleston (solo)
13 - UK, West Midlands, Stourbridge, Katie Fitzgerald's (trio)
14 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
21 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
27 - UK, Worcs, Offenham, Offenham Village Hall (solo)
28 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)

beer beer beerbeerbeer




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.



Your Email Address:

Travelling To Wacken From:

Your Telephone Number:

Your Enquiry:


metal talk © All written site content is copyright 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.