Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review TIM BOWNESS "Abandoned dancehall dreams"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Tim Bowness, With No-Man, OSI, Prog Rock, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Tim Bowness, a name you might have hears already. The singer from England has a good relation with Steve Wilson from Porcupine Tree and Bowness is also primerily known as vovalist and co-songwriter of No-Man.

Now it was time for Bowness to focus again on a solo album. Ten years after the debut "My hotel years" the singer from Latchford, England released "Abandoned dancehall dreams" - his second solo record. Bowness got quite some support of his friends from No-Man, who supported him on this record. But also the already mentioned Steve Wilson, Anna Phoebe (TSO), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) and Pat Mastelotto from King Crimson added some notes to "Abandoned dancehall dreams"

What about the songs and the music? We get high level prog rock. It's amazing that silence can sound so beautiful. When I heard the soundtrack I got a picture in front of my eyes. Sitting on a boad, watching on the icy coast line of the Antartica, massive icebergs are passing by and it's the silence which catches you. The soundtrack which I wanted to have for such a trip would have been the album of Tim Bowness. Unfortunately it wasn't released at that time. I know, that this sounds very philosophic, but songs like "Smiler at 50", "Waterfoot" or "I fought against the South" just fit perfectly. All three of them are very silent and relaxed songs, still transporting a lot of feelings and intesity. And it's the underlying humbleness in each song which makes them all so authentic. Beautiful music finds it's way into your ears, brain and heart. Compared to the mentioned tunes the opener is really rocking. "The warm-up man forever" reminds me to Marillion. The track has an almost hypnotic drum beat and vocals. Slightly different and still cool.

"Abandoned dancehall days" became a masterpiece of prog rock. Big soundscape meet almost fragile musical songs - that's what makes this album standing out. An record for earphones and an hour time. Take the time and enjoy the album. That's all I can say.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The warm-up man forever
  2. Smiler at 50
  3. Songs of distant summers
  4. Waterfoot
  5. Dancing for you
  6. Smiler at 52
  7. I fought against the south
  8. Beaten by love

 

Label: InsideOut

Genre: Prog Rock

CD review TIM BOWNESS "Abandoned dancehall dreams"
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CD review JONNY TWO BAGS "Salvation town"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Social Distortion, Jonny Two Bags, Rock, Hardrock, Blues, CD Review, News

(8/10) Jonny Two Bags aka Jonny Wickerham is probabaly a familiar name for each of you. The Californian guitarist is ten years a crucial part of Social Distortion, the band of mainman Mike Ness. Next to that Jonny played with The Cadillac Tramps for many years too.

After so many years in business the six stringer decided to write and produce his first solo album. "Salavtion town" contains serious and well thought through music which still leaves a lot of space for improvisation. It is a mix of Country, Folk and Punk which characterize the tunes on "Salvation town". This is not a too big surprise thinking about his participation in the mighty Social Distortion. Jonny decided to continue with this kind of music, eventhough he gives his solo album an individual note, which is slightly different from Mike Ness' band.

The start of the record couldn't be better. "One foot in the gutter" is a great grooving opener which is very representative for "Salvation town".  It's a melodic rock song with folk elements that remind my actually to The Travelling Wilburies. 

"Avenues" is a bit faster than the opnener and Jonny is duetting with Gaby Moreno. This adds an extra note to the track since both voices fit really good together. I also have to say that I'm very positive surprised about Jonny's voice anyhow. This guy can more than only playing the guitar. He does a great job behind the mic too. Another cool factor in this tune is the accordion, played by Joel Guzman, which is used for the main theme of this song.

"Ghosts" is an interesting song too (actually there are only interesting tracks on the album). Jonny picks up Irish folk influences and involves them in his music. The song reminds a bit to The Pogues and spreads an Irish pub feeling. A track that smells like beer and cigarettes. It's a mainly acoustic based  and it's another duet with Gaby Moreno. I like this very melodic and slightly reflective song.

The album also has a pure ballad. The very emotional and soulful song is called "Alone tonight". the name gives you already a glimpse of an idea about the feelings expressed by the tune. If men get tears in their eyes than with songs like this. 

Tom Petty is another name which pops up in my mind while I was listening to the closer "The way it goes". It's a pulsatile rocker with a great sense for a good melody. It's the straigh beat that pushes the song and finalizes a really good debut.

Jonny Two Bags debut was a tremendous surpise to me - in a positive way. It shows that you doesn't have to reinvent the wheel constantly as long as you love the music you play. The album has dedication, passion and sounds fresh. 

Fans who love Social Distortion as well as Tom Petty and Johnny Cash should absolutely give "Salvation town" a chance. Beautiful music rock music from a soulful guitarist who knows what's important in music.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. One foot in the gutter
  2. Avenues
  3. Then you stand alone
  4. Clay wheels
  5. Forlorn walls
  6. Wayward cain
  7. Ghosts
  8. Hope dies hard
  9. Alone tonight
  10. The way it goes

 

Label: Isotone Records

Genre: Rock

CD review JONNY TWO BAGS "Salvation town"
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CD review SEETHER "Isolate and medicate"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Seether, Alternative Rock, Grunge, Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) Seether from South Africa (they live in the US since a few years already) worked on a new album and the result got the name "Isolate and medicate". It's the sixth record of the trio and it contains the alternative rock which the band is known for. Seether sticks to their patterns and their also grunge influenced rock songs aim for the same target group as Alter Bridge, Creed or Nickleback. They might be a bit less heavy than the first mentioned ones and a bit less mainstream than the last named band, but they all share the same roots.

The album comes with ten songs which gives you a playing time from around 40 minutes. Indeed, this isn't too long, but since the tunes are all on a high level it doesn't matter that much. Still, one or two more songs would have been nice. 

A remarkable track is the center piece "Crash". It's a very melodic track which is in the verse based on vocals and acoustic guitars only. The chorus gets a bit more rocking. The track in general got an atmospheric wall of sound. For me one of the highlights of the album. But also "Same damn life" is worth to be mentioned. The falsetto vocals of Morgan is a very interesting fact. He uses this technic in some parts of the verse before the track turns into a punky chorus. It's an energizing song with a high hit potential.

The first single release from the album is "Words as weapons". The song is well chosen, since the melodies and the hookline makes it easy approachable while it is still heavy enough to not disappoint anybody. "Nobody praying for me" is one of the most commercial tracks and has a big Nickelback affinity. A good song, but there are better ones on the album. The 'softest' track comes in the end. "Save today" starts as a ballad with acoustic guitars and a nice melody. Along the way the track builds up and becomes in the last part a real rocker. The closer functions as a good summary of the entire album. 

Another constant factor with Seether is the expression of the cover artwork. You can immediately recognise the band by having a look on the cover. Those little 'creepy' characters are coming back. I have to admit that I don't really like their covers. But for me this doesn't matter, since it's like with a present. The packaging is one thing, but the inside is more important. And in the case of Seether we are talking about the music.

I like the "Isolate and medicate" since you get immediately into it and it stays exciting even after a few rounds on the record player. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. See you at the bottom
  2. Same dawn life
  3. Words as weapons
  4. My disaster
  5. Crash
  6. Suffer it all
  7. Watch me drown
  8. Nobody praying for me
  9. Keep the dogs at bay
  10. Save today

 

Label: Spinefarm

Genre: Alternative rock

CD review SEETHER "Isolate and medicate"
Photo: Marina Chavez

Photo: Marina Chavez

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CD review ILLDISPOSED "With the lost souls on our side"

Veröffentlicht am 28. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Illdisposed, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Nothing new at Illdisposed. The death metal guys around founder and growler Bo Summer released another solid death metal record. 

Founded in the beginning of the 90's in Aarhus, Denmark, Illdisposed started to release records on a regularly base and can look back on 12 albums so far. "With the lost souls on your side" the five guys add another album to their discography. 

The production of "With the lost souls on our side" was in very experienced hands. It was Tue Madsen (Sock Of It All, Suicide Silence) who was responsible for the sound of the album. He secured the powerful expression of each song  and gave the album the needed punch.

The ten songs on the record (the digipak has 2 bonus tracks) are typical for the Danish band. Straight forward death metal tracks are what you can expecpet and what you get. There is a continuity obvious compared to the last release. On the other hand there is also no big development recognisable. You have to decide yourself if you appreciate this or not. But it's a fact that "With the lost souls on my side" contains solid death metal track with sometimes thrash metal arrangement, which are combined with the growls from Bo Summer. 

One of my personal faves on this record is e.g. the aggressive opener "Going down". Face-smashing riffs meet an irresistable groove which can lead to severe neck problem due to intesive headbanging. Another one is "Trugging at the heart". The tune has a merciless beat and is an aural assault. 

The new album is a solid staus quo. Fans of Illdisposed will also love the new album and can go for it without hesitation.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Going down
  2. The way we choose
  3. Light in the dark
  4. I am what I am
  5. Trugging at your heart
  6. A dreaded pursuer
  7. The be dealt with
  8. On a cloded morning
  9. No more devil to show
  10. The plan
  11. Life equals zero (Bonus digipak)
  12. Reversed (Bonus digipak)

 

Label: Massacre Records

Genre: Death Metal

CD review ILLDISPOSED "With the lost souls on our side"
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SONS OF ANARCHY (SOA) soundtrack Vol. 3

Veröffentlicht am 28. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Soundtrack Sons Of Anarachy, Blues, Hardrock, Rock, News

The reaper is back. This time I don't talk about Grave Digger. It's the new soundtrack for the TV series Sons Of Anarchy. For all the ones who love good blues and rock music something to check out.

 

Here comes the tracklist:

  1. Chris Gross & The Forest Rangers: Sitting on the top of the world
  2. Jennifer O'Connor & The Forest Rangers: Running blues
  3. Leonhard Cohen: Come healing
  4. Billy Valentine & The Forest Rangers: (Sittin' on) The dock of the Bay
  5. Franky Perez & The Forest Rangers: Love is my religion
  6. Noah Gundersen & The Forest Rangers: As tears go by
  7. Battleme & The Forest Rangers: I see through you
  8. Noah Gundersen & The Forest Rangers: Day is gone
  9. The Forest Rangers: Everyday people
  10. Katey Sagal & The Forest Rangers: For a dancer
  11. The Forest Rangers: Slip kid
  12. Maggie Siff: Lullaby for a soldier
  13. Joshua James: Crash this train
SONS OF ANARCHY (SOA) soundtrack Vol. 3
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BOLT THROWER tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 28. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Bolt Thrower, Morgoth, Soulburn, Vallenfyre, Incantation, Death Angel, Heavy Metal, News, Tour

Bolt Thrower is on tour with some great support bands. The british death metal legend will be accompanied by German death metal icons Morgoth plus Soulburn / Incantation / Vallenfyre (depending on the leg of the tour). Sounds like pure power.

 

 

BOLT THROWER tour dates
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DELAIN live dates

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Delain, Within Temptation, Rock, Symphonic Metal, Tour, News

After the successful tour with Within Temptation Delain will play some headliner shows in the UK and will also be present on several festivals this summer:

 

DELAIN UK TOUR 2014: 
26.11.14 UK - Birmingham / O2 Academy 2 
27.11.14 UK - Manchester / Club Academy 
28.11.14 UK - Glasgow / Cathouse

DELAIN summer festivals 2014:
05.07.14 DE - Mülheim a.d. Ruhr / Castle Rock
05.07.14 NL - Almelo / HobNob
12.07.14 DE - Balingen / Bang Your Head!!! Festival
19.07.14 FR - Longwy / Rock N Roll Train Festival
09.08.14 ES – Villena / Leyendas Del Rock
14.08.14 DE – Dinkeslbühl / Summer Breeze
15.08.14 BE - Maasmechelen / Rommelrock

Photo: Sandra Ludewig (Promo)

Photo: Sandra Ludewig (Promo)

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BLUES PILLS on tour in Europe

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Blues Pills, Blues, Rock, Classic Rock, Hardrock, Tour, News

Swedish blues rock band Blues Pills announced a tour for autumn this year and here are the dates:

 

BLUES PILLS on tour in Europe

In addition the and also plays several festivals during this summer:

27.06.2014 NO Steinkjerfestivalen, Steinkjer
04.07.2014 NO Skanevik Blues Festival, Skanevik
10.07.2014 CH Montreaux Jazz Festival, Montreaux
11.07.2014 AT Clamrock, Klam
12.07.2014 AT Lovely Days Festival, Wiesen

17.07.2014 LT Devilstone Festival, Vilnius
24.07.2014 CH Blue Balls Festival, Luzern
25.07.2014 IT Totem Psychfest, Rome
26.07.2014 DE Wilwerath Rock City, Wilwerath

28.07.2014 UK St. Pancras Old Church, London
31.07.2014 DE Burg Herzberg Festival, Breitenbach am Herzberg

01.08.2014 DE Krach am Bach, Beelen
02.08.2014 DE Labertal Festival, Schierling
07.08.2014 NO Oya Festivalen, Oya
09.08.2014 SE Getaway Rock Festival, Gävle

14.08.2014 DE Summer Breeze, Dinkelsbühl
16.08.2014 PT Sonic Blast, Moledo Do Minho
22.08.2014 CH Open Air Gränichen, Gränichen
23.08.2014 NO Parken Festival, Bodo

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KING DIAMOND announces US tour

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Merciful Fate, Heavy Metal, News, Tour

The King is back on the road. King Diamond announced a US tour and here are the dates:

KING DIAMOND announces US tour

And don't forget the European dates:

25/07 Stockholm, SE Gröna Lund
28/07 Berlin, DE Huxleys Neue Welt
30/07 Tilburg, NL 013 Poppodium
01/08 Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air
08/08 Oulu, FI Jalometalli

 

 

Source: Metal Blade

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CD review FLOOD OF RED "Throw"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Flood Of Red, Prog Rock, Dark Metal, Alternative Rock, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Flood Of Red is a band from Scotland which was founded in 2006 by a bunch of young guys, who recently finished school.

The band released their new album "Throw" these days. It is the second full-length record after their 2010 debut "Leaving everything behind". Flood Of Red published also two EP's so far. The first one, "Lost in the light", was actually the one which gave the band a first push.

It isn't the easiest thing to describe the sound of the Flood Of Red. They have e.g. Modern Metal riffs in their songs ("Throw") as well as they sound sometimes even like Sting and The Police. An example herefore is "Part truth / part fiction". Esp. the vocals of singer Jordan Piers show paralells with the frontman from the famous trio. The ballad "Hiding out" reminds with its gorgeous soundscape to Pink Floyd, while "Ye die, ye die" is a dark and fragile acoustic song. It's a sad song with a high emotional impact.

Those cross references show the musical scope of the six guys from Scotland. Also the closer "White Russian" is an interesting tune, since the band manages to integrate in a subtle way Russian sound element in the track, without letting them become too dominant.

The red thread in all this diversity is the high musical standard of each song. Flood Of Red manages to create great sounds with a progressive touch which also reflects a lot of passion and dedication. The guys seem to love music. This is also reflected by the fact that they love to play shows and concerts. Playing live was one of the reasons to start with Flood Of Red. 

What stands out too is the cover. It has a quite depressive expression, which isn't really reflected in the music. But it has the same emotional impact as the songs - and it gives a lot of room for interpretation. 

I'm surprised of the album - positively surprised. Thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Throw
  2. Part truth / part fiction
  3. Hiding out
  4. Lashes
  5. Whispers and choirs
  6. Cutting limes
  7. Ye die, ye die
  8. The treasure (I have lost)
  9. White Russian

 

Label: Superball Music
Genre: Dark Rock

 

CD review FLOOD OF RED "Throw"
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CD review MADBALL "Hardcore lives"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Madball, Agnostic Front, Hardcore, News, CD Review

(8/10) One of the most important representative of NYHC are Madball. The quartet started already in 1988 and they are, together with the mighty Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All, one of the biggest influencers for hardcore along the east coast.

The new album, which is number eight, got the title "Harcore lives". The name says it all. Listening to the songs on the album it is more than obvious that hardcore is alive.

The amazing thing is, that Madball still transferes the same energy and rage as 22 years ago. Of course they got older too, but in this case it's more gaining experience by keeping the spirit of the early days. And they still have the same passion and dedication.

The 16 songs (actually 15 tracks + 1 intro) on the new album reflect all the typical trademarks of the band. They are straight-forward and right to the point. 'No gimmicks, just pure music' seems to be the motto again. Guitars are screaming, the shouts from Freddy Cricien are as good and powerful as always and the rhythm section creates a groove which is irresistable.

This time Madball also invited guests to perform some tunes together with them. There is e.g. "Born strong" which is an heavy and vital track feat. Candance from Walls Of Jericho. Simple and brutal the song blows your speaker. In my point of view the song has the potential to become a live classic for the band.

Madball also wrote/writes always relevant lyrics. Words are not only 'decoration' for the music. They are a relevant factor. The earlier mentioned "Born strong" is one example. It's about the fact that everybody has it's strength, regardless waht strength it is. And if you combine those with friends and family it can become even stronger. Or listen carefully to "For the judged".  It's a strong statement against judging and prejudging people based on gender, skin, habits,...

Conclusion: Madball released a great new album with hardcore anthems which are vital, energetic and without any compromise. A really cool album which should be checked by everybody.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. HC lives
  3. The balance
  4. Doc Marten stomp
  5. DNA
  6. True school (feat. Scoot Vogel from Terror)
  7. The here and now
  8. My Armor (feat. Toby Morse from H2O)
  9. Beacon of light
  10. Born strong (feat. Candance Puopolo from Wall Of Jericho)
  11. Spirit
  12. Mi palabra
  13. NBNC
  14. The beast
  15. For the judged
  16. Spirit on your grave

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Hardcore

CD review MADBALL "Hardcore lives"
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CD review POWERLORD "The awakening" re-release

Veröffentlicht am 25. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Powerlord, Hexx, Liege Lord, Thrash Metal, US Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(9/10) How on earth could I miss this album in 1986? “The awakening” is the one and only full-length album from US thrash-/power metal band Powerlord. And it’s an awesome piece of music. This record is a hidden pearl which is worth to (re-)discover.

The original release of the album was in 1986. It was the high season of US metal which combined typical power metal with thrash- and speed metal elements. It was the time of bands like Hexx, Savage Grace and Liege Lord. It seems that Powerlord didn’t had enough luck or support to join this first league of US metal.

Whatever the reason was at that time, the music can’t be blamed. The band from Oklahoma recorded six songs for this album. All together this gives you 30 minutes of great music. This seems the be rather short, but first of all it was quite normal in those days and secondly each song is a highlight.

“Master of death” sets the tone of voice. The ‘wind’ sample in the beginning inflames the acoustical inferno. Already the first guitar leads push you back into another period in metal. The opener is a five minutes treat for your ears. “Malice” doesn’t take any prisoners too. The song is faster than the opener and the vocals of Dane Cook reflect the typical siren scream, which have been so typical for this kind of music. “Silent terror” reduces speed again and remembers even a bit to the earlier Queensryche. It’s maybe less complex but has similar arrangements. Next stop, “The invasion of the lords”. This track is another high speed metal anthem with a touch of Agent Steel. It’s also the shortest song on the record. “Merciless titans” and the title track “(The awakening) Powerlord” easily keep the high level.

That means: Sic US metal masterpieces which finally see the light of day again. It’s oldschool metal which you almost don’t get served anymore in these days. If you want to go on a journey back in time with the typical rough and brutal sound you should call this album your own. It’s the unleashed power of “The awakening” which gives the album its charm.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Masters of death
  2. Malice
  3. Silent terror
  4. The invasion of the lords
  5. Merciless titans
  6. (The awakening) Powerlord

 

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records

Genre: US Metal

CD review POWERLORD "The awakening" re-release
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CD review NOTHING MORE "Nothing more"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Nothing More, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News

(7/10) I wonder how long Nu Metal can be seen as new. And what is the opposite of Nu Metal? Old Metal? I know, those are very philosophical questions. But when I listened to the new album from Nothing More exaclty those thoughts came up to my mind.

The San Antonio based quartet plays Nu Metal, which reminds to bands like Korn and Linkin Park, but also bands like Mars Volta and 30 Seconds To Mars seemed to be source of inspiration for Nothing More.

The album starts with a sample-based intro which leads the the first real song called "This is the time (Bombast)". Grooving guitars riffs dominat the tune, which is a good start into the album. Also the heavy "Friendly fire" rocks pretty well, while "Here's to the heartache" is highly melodic and quite catchy. The name of the song makes you thinking about a ballad, which isn't really the case. It could become a tune which gets quite some airplays. What I like too is the rocking and straight forward "Sex & lies".  The energy of the track is infectious.

But there are also tracks on the album which I think are a bit too trivial. "Christ copyright' is one of those. The tune doesn't really stick. The same goes for the Linkin Park copycat "Mr. MTV". The song is just too expressionless, at least for me. The closer "Pyre" is a downer too. I expected actually a nine minutes long impressive epos as a final statement on the record. But the first almost three minutes are just sound samples from 'wind', before some distorted spoken words start. The tunes continues that way. There is no guitar existing in this track and the whole thing sounds more like from a chill-out album. Experiemental! Yes, true. But not a succesful experiment in my eyes. I also have to say that the album is probabaly four to five songs too long. This is something which you will not hear from me too often, but with this album I had the feeling that I have heard it after ten tracks. 

If the category is called Nu Metal I have to say that Noting More doesn't really include a lot of new things in their songs. It's more a mix of existing success factors which they include and combine in their sound. And generally spoken, this is what they are doing pretty well and very professional.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ocean floor
  2. This is the time (Ballast)
  3. Christ copyright
  4. Mr. MTV
  5. First punch
  6. Gyre
  7. The Matthew effect
  8. I'll be OK
  9. Here's to the heartache
  10. If I were
  11. Friendly fire
  12. Sex & lies
  13. Jenny
  14. God went north
  15. Pyre

 

Label: Eleven Seven Music

Genre: Alternative Metal

CD review NOTHING MORE "Nothing more"
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THE WINERY DOGS in tour in Europe

Veröffentlicht am 24. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in The Winery Dogs, Hardrock, Blues, Rock, News, Tour

Allstar hardrockers The Winery Dogs (Billy Sheehan, Richie Kotzen & Mike Portnoy) will be on tour in Europe in July. Here are the dates:

07.07  Wolverhampton, Slade Room
08.07. London, The Underworld
10.07. Nuernberg, Rockfabrik
11.07. Bochum, Matrix
12.07. Osnabrück, Rosenhof
13.07. Weert, Bospop festival
15.07. Zwolle, Hedon
 
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