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6th April 2017

guns n roses

John Otway has completed the recording of the first album on Montserrat since The Rolling Stones 'Steel Wheels' in 1989.

'Montserrat' by John Otway And The Big Band will be released on May 14th via Red Bowler Records and it's also the first Otway album in ten years.

John Otway was pretty determined about his idea last year after musing: "Where do real rock stars go to make an album?"

The answer was loud and clear. Montserrat was the go-to-place in the 70s and 80s for The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Dire Straits, The Police, Status Quo, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran and many others to make their records but two hurricanes later and one erupting volcano and that totally changed.

Air Studios fell into disrepair, the capital city became a modern day Pompeii and half the island became uninhabitable due to the spread of ash.

Then, in 1989, Hurricane Hugo effectively destroyed Sir George Martin's Air Studios making 'Steel Wheels' the last album to be recorded there, until now.

Otway liked the idea of following in the footsteps of the stars and visited the Island with a view to recording in January 2016.

The people of Montserrat are incredibly proud of their iconic musical status and when the Otway team arrived in the tiny seven seater plane (the only current commercial transport onto the island) they were greeted at the airport by the Premier, several members of the cabinet and Miss Montserrat. The Islanders were delighted that someone was coming back to record.

Air studios was no longer an option but Sir George Martin had a house in the north of the island. It had a basement with a soundproofed room that used to house a radio station and it was the perfect size for a four-piece band. Sir George, like the islanders, liked the idea of someone going back to record, and gave the project his support.

Sadly, Sir George Martin passed away on 8th March 2016, however last September the Otway Band found themselves in a Caribbean house surrounded by gold records and Linda McCartney photographs with Prodducer Chris Birkett.

John Otway told us:

"It was a big job. The band flew in from the UK, the producer from Canada, the amps from Miami and the fans from all over, but it was incredibly well worth it.

"Given the pressure and the expectations that you put upon yourself it's amazing what you can do. No one wanted to let the side down and no one did.

"I wanted to make a better album than 'Steel Wheels' – and I did!"

And as a generous footnote, the band left the amps on the island for future visitors to use along with the islanders themselves.

'Montserrat' tracklist:
Dancing With Ghosts
Seagulls On Speed
Real Tears From Both Eyes
I Shouldn't Be Doing This
Five Kisses
Already Missing You
Somewhere Else To Go
There's A War Going On
The Conductor's Waltz




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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