Friday, 27 June 2008


Legendary lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore fires-up his fascination with the traditional dark arts of Renaissance rock. Together with partner, singer Candice Night and their band of merry minstrels Blackmore's Night have crafted yet another eclectic brew. From the grandiose opening of 'God Save The Keg' and the epic 'Locked Within The Crystal Ball', to the hauntingly enchanting 'Sister Gypsy' and 'Far Far Away', 'Secret Voyage' is an exquisite affair. Full of rich instrumentation, it's a magical journey of atmosphere, imagination, and imagery. Highlights include a cover of Rainbow’s 'Rainbow Eyes' and a completely off-the-cuff rendition of Elvis' 'Can't Help Falling In Love'. When all's said and done, it's a trip worth taking - Ritchie’s playing is exemplary, especially when he plugs himself in and delivers some 'unexpected' guitar bursts!

Mark Crampton

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


When the four original members of rock supergroup Asia (Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton) reunited in 2006 (23 years after all four had last played together) the much publicised reunion resulted in two highly successful world tours in 2006 and 2007, an acclaimed double live LP and DVD, and an overwhelming response from fans. ‘Phoenix’, their eagerly anticipated first studio album since 1983 contains an eclectic selection of songs bound by the unique ‘original’ Asia trademark sound. Influenced by the same fusion of talent which so excited the world in 1982 the new record includes retro rockers such as ‘Never Again’ and ‘Nothing’s Forever’, poetic power ballads ‘Heroine’ and ‘I Will Remember You’ and the Wetton ‘inspired’ ‘An Extraordinary Life’. This is Asia.. reborn again from the ashes!

Mark Crampton