United We Stand compilation album released in aid of Team Rock 73

Saturday 24th December 2016

With only 6 days to go before Christmas, the Team Rock staff were given the terrible news that the company would be going into liquidation, and that all 73 staff were immediately being made redundant without pay.  Ben Ward of rock band ‘Orange Goblin’ has set up a crowdfunding page to help raise money, and asked the music community to pull together in their time of need to help support the Team Rock staff.

“These are good, hard-working, committed people that through Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog Rock, TeamRock Radio and more, have supported the rock and heavy metal scene in this country for decades and now we, the rock community, need to pull together to help give something back.”

Rage PR along with 15 bands from their roster have decided to use their music to help give something back and support the campaign.  For as little as £1 (plus sales tax) people can donate to this fantastic cause and also snag themselves 15 great tracks. The release is only being sold through Bandcamp and utilises their ‘pay what you want’ technology, meaning if people can afford to donate more, they can.  100% of proceeds received from sales will go to the main fundraising effort created by Ben Ward.


Track Listing:

1. The Red Paintings – The Revolution Is Never Coming
2. As Sirens Fall – State Of The Artist
3. Alter Eden – Only Human
4. Go Primitive – The Sun Will Rise
5. Heel – Selfish Burn
6. The Vigil – All You’ve Done
7. Iodine Sky – Tides
8. The Dead XIII – Apothesis
9. Memoreve – These Reflections
10. The Final Clause Of Tacitus – Without Resolve
11. Standing Like Statues – Honestly, Honesty (Doesn’t Cost A Thing)
12. Ashestoangels – I’ll Be The Dark
13. Dead Frequency – Nobody’s Listening
14. One Last Run – Tell Me
15. Bad Solution – Desert Rock

You can donate and get hold of the compilation right now at:

Hayley McKay releases new single ‘Unspoken’

Wednesday 21st December 2016

Hayley McKay is a singer/songwriter hailing from Darlington and has been pegged as one to watch.  She opened up the Toad Hall stage at Glastonbury in 2015 and has continued to engage in many live performance since.  Hayley has supported acts such as Scouting For Girls, Tom Jones, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and Tony Christie, and also performed alongside Bryan Ferry, Jamie Cullum and Seal at the Cornbury Festival.

Likened to the likes of Colbie Caillat, Cassadee Pope and Leann Rimes, Hayley’s latest single ‘Unspoken’ has been picked up for ‘Track of the Week’ on BBC Introducing Tees.  Set for release in January, it already looks as though 2017 is shaping up to be a promising year as Hayley has already booked in for the Music Lounge in Stockton at the start of the new year.

Connect with Hayley McKay via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

ROAM release ‘Leaving Notice’ music video

Wednesday 21st December 2016

Since releasing their debut album back in January, ROAM have spent the year supporting bands on tour such as Simple Plan, State Champs, With Confidence, and The Wonder Years, as well as spending time on the festival circuit at the Kerrang! Tour and Slam Dunk Festival.


Fresh out of their Australian leg of the tour, ROAM have released a brand new music video for their next single ‘Leaving Notice’, and features live footage from recent live sets.  The bands debut EP ‘Head Down’ was recently released on 7″ for the first time in 2 years, but are limited to 600 copies so you’ll need to be quick if you want to bag yourself a copy.

Your next chance to catch the guys on tour will be in March 2017 as the support act for Lower Than Atalantis, along with Young Guns and Hands Like Houses.

Tour Dates:

9 March – UEA, Norwich
10 March – O2 Academy, Birmingham
11 March – Academy, Manchester
13 March – O2 Academy, Leeds
14 March – O2 Academy, Newcastle
15 March – O2 ABC, Glasgow
17 March – O2 Academy Brixton, London
18 March – The Great Hall, Cardiff

Connect with ROAM via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

BBC Music Awards 2016 Highlights and Winners

Monday 12th December 2016

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a live music awards ceremony.  Growing up with The Brits, Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, and CD:UK and Popworld on a Saturday morning is where it was at.  Nowadays I pine over the likes of the VMAs, The Grammys, and the Billboard Music Awards over in the States as they certainly know how to put on a show, with their lavish ceremonies and performances from world class artists.

With many UK music television shows now at rest in the static in the sky, the BBC have continued to keep the live music flame ‘alive and kicking’.  We’re lucky enough each year to be able to experience Glastonbury from the comfort of our warm and rain-free homes, and viewing records have even been broken by those tuning in to catch the likes of Adele and Coldplay grace the famous Pyramid Stage.  The BBC also holds its own music festival each year at different locations around the UK.  Tickets to Radio 1’s Big Weekend are free but are snapped up quick, so it cushions the blow knowing that we can also watch it from the couch.

bbc-music-awardsImage: BBC Music Awards

Tonight, returning for the 3rd year are The BBC Music Awards, aimed at celebrating some of the biggest artists and releases from 2016.  I remember watching for the first time in 2014 and tweeting about how pleased I was that they were recognising and awarding talent.  What also pleases me is seeing fans in the standing area of the arena, dancing and enjoying the music up close to the stage.  That’s exactly what it’s all about, the artists and fans enjoying the moment together.  I’m trying hard not to have a dig here at another British awards ceremony, who fill their standing area with round tables and music big-wigs, whilst fans are up in the rafters.  Even Robbie Williams noted at how much more of a party buzz there was backstage at the BBC Music Awards.

The evening was presented by Fearne Cotton, Claudia Winkleman and Gemma Cairny, and opened up by The 1975 who performed their hit single ‘The Sound’.  With the show only being 90 minutes long there was a lot to cram in, so this was swiftly followed by a montage showing some of the greats that we lost in 2016, including David Bowie, Prince, Lemmy and Leonard Cohen.  It’s been a particularly tough year for losses in the music industry, but the fitting montage reminded us of what we’ve also gained.

We were treated to further performances from Lukas Graham, who had a beautiful string quartet on stage to help perform their chart topping single ‘7 Years’.  Returning after 4 years since her last album, Emeli Sandé spoilt us with her latest single ‘Breathing Under Water’.  It was only recently I was thinking we haven’t heard from Emeli since the Olympics Closing Ceremony, and I’m now adding ‘Long Live the Angels’ to my Christmas wish list.  John Legend then also treated us to not only a mash-up of his hits ‘All Of Me / Love Me Now’ but the most excellent jacket.

Before their performance, we saw how Ricky Wilson had spent time disguised as a shady looking reporter, prowling on artists whilst subliminally asking who they would most want to collaborate with.  After then watching their live performance of ‘Hole in my Soul’ it got me wondering what’s next for the Kaiser Chiefs.  Their third studio album ‘Off With Their Heads’ was probably the last time I really connected with the band.  However, seeing them on tour in 2005 was a memorable event for me and their first two albums were a staple in my music collecting during my university days, so I’ll always have a soft spot for the Kaiser Chiefs.

One of the most anticipated comebacks of the year and performances of the evening was Craig David.  How he came away without an award was criminal, but he managed to turn the who place in to a club for his mash-up of singles ‘Re-Rewind/Ain’t Giving Up’.  It’s been a superb year for Craig David, and with his tour kicking off at the start of next year, I look forward to seeing what he has in store and hope to catch him on a festival bill.

The final performances came from Zara Larson, who continued the theme of the evening with a mash-up of her singles ‘Lush Life/I Would Like’.  Starting her performance back stage with a few selfies, and then arriving on stage to bust a few dance moves.  Zara is another artist to have had a great year, providing us with a number of hits to the Summer.  Robbie Williams then brought the evening to a close with single ‘Sensational’ from his latest album ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’.


BBC Radio 2 Album of the Year:
Adele – 25
Collected by Robbie Williams whilst Adele is out on the last leg of her tour in LA.  The album was released in November 2015, but we all know it’s a damn good album and Adele continues to reign.

BBC Music British Artist of the Year:
When you come up against the great David Bowie it’s hardly worth considering anything else, but Coldplay bagged the award after an excellent year with their ‘Head Full of Dreams’ album and tour.  They were unable to accept their award, but there was a live link up of them performing ‘Everglow’ on live stage in Australia.

BBC Introducing Artist of the Year:
Izzy Bizu
A soulful and refreshing artist, and as Emeli Sandé said it best herself, she’s an exciting talent for the UK.  Picked up by the BBC Introducing platform, Izzy is a very humble artist, with raw talent and a beautiful voice.

BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Performance of the Year:
The 1975 – That’s What Makes You Beautiful
A tough bill to fit, and I was surprised by the nominations, and the winner.  But the fans have spoken, and props to the guys who have had a storming year. Oh, and Matt on those shoes!

BBC Music Song of the Year:
Adele – Hello
A second award for Adele which was presented by Spice Girl, Geri Horner.  Unfortunately because she was unable to say hello from the other side, Geri took the award and invited Adele round to her house when she returns to collect the award and nip in for a nice cup of tea.

Yellowcard announce last album and final world tour

Saturday 25th June 2016

Yellowcard announced yesterday that they would be releasing their final album in September, and will embark on their final world tour which comes to the UK in December.

Screen shot 2016-06-25 at 12.23.25

“When saying farewell, it is hard to know where to start, especially when there are so many reasons not to say it, but the time has come to share this news,” said Yellowcard in a unified statement. “After countless discussions and months of thought, we have decided that it is time for Yellowcard to come to an end. This will be our last album and our final world tour.” 

Since starting out in 1997 the band have been releasing material and touring for almost two decades, but are looking forward to releasing what they feel is the strongest record in their career.  The self-titled album is due for release on the 30th September, with pre-orders available now.

To read the full statement issued by the band, head on over to their website where you can also buy tickets for their fairwell tour.

UK Tour Dates:

11th December – O2 Academy, Bristol
12th December – O2 ABC, Glasgow
14th December – O2 Ritz, Manchester
15th December – O2 Shephers Bush Empire, London
17th December – Rock City, Nottingham
18th December – O2 Institute, Birmingham

Connect with Yellowcard on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Black Sabbath Fans – Home of Metal needs your help!

Sunday 12th June 2016

Home of Metal is a fantastic project that was born in 2007, and has been spending time examining the origins of heavy metal and its birthplace in the West Midlands. With a fantastic exhibit from bands such as Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Napalm Death, and Black Sabbath, set within the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, visitors are treated to many unseen artefacts, relics, memorabilia and personal stories from both the fans and bands themselves.

After receiving funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and inspired by Black Sabbaths final world tour, Home of Metal are looking to work with fans to exhibit the history of the band, their relationship and success as they embark on their final tour in 2016.

Toni Iommi

“An artist or band’s success can be measured by their relationship with the fans, and the success of the ‘Home of Metal’ exhibition brought home just how dedicated and loyal ours are. It’s always humbling to realise how you’ve touched people’s lives with your music, a project where fans are actively involved would be great.” (Tony Iommi, Guitarist and Founder of Black Sabbath)

So, if you were lucky enough to catch the godfathers of rock, Black Sabbath, at Download Festival this weekend then you could be part of rock history. If you took a photograph of yourself during their set, then share your picture on Twitter or Instagram with the tag #homeofmetal to contribute to a photo archive which aims to document one of the most passionate and dedicated fan bases in the world.

Home of Metal

If you would like to find out more about the project, contribute or become a volunteer head to for more information.

Coffee House Sessions launch in London

Tuesday 17th May 2016

Back in March I spoke about Stripped Back Competition, where unsigned UK songwriters were given the opportunity to apply for a competition to help get their music heard.  The competition is headed by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt, and Producer Eric Appopoulay.  The winner of the competition will be heading out on a Coffee House Sessions Tour of London, and will perform at 10 independent coffee houses.

Coffee House Sessions

60 years ago coffee houses helped to break talent such as the legendary Bob Dylan, so what better way to continue to support emerging talent.  Artistes joining the tour over the next few weeks, include: Belle Roscoe, Harry Pane, Guy Valarino, Ellie Rose, Robbi McFaulds, alongside special performances from Island Record’s Nina Nesbitt.

Launched by Coalition Talent in 2013, Coffee House Sessions is a unique platform for up-and-coming artistes to showcase their music and talent.  Since its inception, Coffee House Sessions has toured more than 60 artistes,  including Radio 1 playlisted, Seafret, Country duo, The Shires, whose album entered the top ten of the Official UK Chart, as well as Sony signed Ady Suleiman and Brit Award nominee Izzy Bizu.  In addition Coffee House Sessions is now responsible for the curation of stages at multiple festivals across the country, including Taste of London, which attracts over 100,000 people.

Starting out on the 5th May, the tour has already begun but you can still catch the touring acoustic platform at the venues and times listed below:

Soho Theatre, Wednesdays at 17:00
Drink Shop Do, Wednesdays at 19:00
Vinyl Café, Thursdays at 14:00
Campbell’s Canal Café, Thursdays at 16:00
BOXPARK, Fridays at 13:00
Long Wave Bar + Café, Fridays at 15:00
Café 1001, Saturdays at 14:00
Stour Space, Sundays at 14:00
Lion Coffee + Records, Sundays at 16:00
Paper Dress Vintage, Sundays at 18:30

For the latest Coffee House news, connect on Twitter and Facebook.
Full gig listings and venue information can be found here.