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metal talk
16th May 2013

ronnie james dio

It's the third anniversary of the death of the legend that is Ronnie James Dio and here's a re-run of our review of the Dio Disciples gig at London's Islington Academy on Friday 17th June 2011.


This was all about keeping the music of Ronnie James Dio alive and it was done in fine style by Ronnie's bandmates and the magnificent Ripper Owen and Toby Jepson on vocals.

Ripper was simply superb. He carried every song off perfectly and with a style and panache that Ronnie would most certainly have approved of.

dio disciples

The mutual respect shown between Ripper and compatriot Toby was a joy to behold as well. There is a great chemistry between the pair and they are clearly enjoying working with each other a great deal.

Everybody in the band deserves a credit because they were note perfect to a man, tight as hell and the sound quality matched the playing standard. Hats off to Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, James Lomenzo, Scott Warren, Toby and Ripper and Tank's Doogie White who guested for two numbers and was more than superb.

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The band kicked in with a storming version of 'Stand Up And Shout' with Toby first vocalist on and doing a great job on 'Holy Diver', 'Don't Talk To Strangers' and 'Egypt'. Then it was Ripper's turn and he paid a fitting tribute to Ronnie while introducing 'King Of Rock 'n' Roll', referrring to Ronnie as the greatest singer of all time.

This was a set-list jam packed with real classics spanning Ronnie's amazing career. 'Catch The Rainbow was simply spellbinding, 'Stargazer' was nothing short of glorious and 'Neon Knights' was cativating.

The band never let up once and carried off perfect versions of every song. It was impressive and extremely enjoyable.

dip disciples

'Straight Through The Heart' did precisely what it says on the tin while 'Children Of the Sea' cut a swathe that remained for 'Kiling The Dragon' and 'Last In Line'.

Doogie White took over for 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' and 'Man On The Silver Mountain' and nobody else could have carried these two storming tracks the way Doogie did.

It was hardly surprising that people were asking why Doogie didn't get the gig? Maybe next time because on the strength of this performance, this is a show that should run and run for many, many years to come.

dio disciples

Toby and Ripper shared the vocals for the absolutely excellent 'Heaven And Hell' and we treated to 'Rainbow In The Dark' and 'We Rock' for encores. Truly, truly brilliant and from somewhere far beyond, Ronnie will have been looking down and smiling.

Long Live Rock 'n' Roll!

Thanks to Liz Medhurst for the pictures.



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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