Sunday Mercury 23rd October
JUSTICE Audio, Video, Disco
WHO says synth duos
have to be lightweight?
Frenchmen Gaspard Augé
and Xavier de Rosnay have
turned down the amps
since their pulverising last album but still
sound more like heavy metal rockers than
pop pretenders. Citing Midland heroes Black
Sabbath and ELO as inspiration this time out,
they combine rock riffs, prog-pop and
electro in a set boasting guest cult singers.
In another world Canon could be a Metallica
anthem, the metal-bashing Horsepower a
Dream Theater production. Erasure it ain’t. PC
Chickenfoot III (ear music)
THEIR first album had a
the second is in 3D. It’s
unnecessary given the
supergroup pedigree of
guitar guru Joe Satriani, Montrose frontman
Sammy Hagar, Van Halen bassist Michael
Anthony and Chilli Peppers drummer Chad
Smith. While the debut set sounded like
four individuals showcasing their skills, this
has the feel of a band, especially on Stonesstyled Alright Alright and explosive Three
And A Half Letters. It’s subtle ballad Come
Closer, however, that proves the point. PC
Zaire (Saltdog Records)
BLACK Country rockers
Soley Mourning have built
up a fervent fanbase by hard
gigging. Now third album
Zaire proves they’re on fire in
the studio, too. It’s classic rock rooted in
the blues, high on melody but packing musical
muscle and guitar crunch. Opener Deadman’s
Town chugs like Foo Fighters and stomps like
Zeppelin, while Gimme Sumthin owes more to
early Doobie Brothers. On the evidence of
hard rockers such as Groundhog Sunday and
Gonna Make It Shine, they could give Black
Country Communion a run for their money. PC
Safety first for
HRIS Martin says
that it might be the
last studio album
Coldplay make, and hints
that there was a degree of
disagreement during recording sessions.
Not that the band has slithered
down the slippery slope into Oasis-style attrition. God forbid.
They’re far too genteel and wellmannered for anything like that.
“I always feel like each record
is our last,” says Martin. “But at
the moment I’m in the stage
where I really mean it. I just
can’t imagine how we would do
another one, because we’ve
thrown everything into it.
“Will I feel like doing it all again
in a couple of years? I don’t
know, but I never know. It would
be bad if I was like ‘Yeah, we’ve
got 15 songs up our sleeves’. I
don’t have anything left.”
Perhaps that’s why Mylo Xyloto (it’s pronounced My-low Zyletoe, by the way) seems so safe.
It has all Coldplay’s calling cards
but little of their recent Brian
The former Roxy Music guru
still plays a major part in the album, but more as a band member than a studio knob twiddler.
His ideas have been fully integrated into the 13-song setlist.
Well, I say 13 but it’s really ten.
Both the title track and M.M.X.
are brief instrumental intros,
and UFO a short but sweet un-
OF THE WEEK
song lasting all of
Immediate winners are Charlie
Brown and Paradise,
both stamped all over
with Coldplay hallmarks.
The former could be from A
Rush Of Blood To The Head with
busy beat and instant appeal.
The latter opens with churchy
organ, then builds into a stadium anthem with Jonny Buckland’s guitar back in business
and Martin’s vocal swoops
much in evidence.
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall is familiar after festival
outings and single success, bass-heavy beat and
Big Country guitar building on the foundations of
the X&Y album.
Major Minus opens with
rootsy detuned guitar, adds
a filtered vocal then throws in
shockingly abrupt rock guitar
crunch. It’s almost U2.
The jury’s still out on Princess
Of China, with its slashing Ibiza
synths and duet vocal by R&B
diva Rihanna. Purists will loathe
it, but it could be the future.
The rest is good, not great;
comfortable as carpet slippers.
And for many of the faithful
that’ll do nicely. PC
Runt/The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren/
Something Anything (Edsel)
FAMED record producer Todd
Rundgren (Meatloaf, New York
Dolls, XTC, Hall and Oates etc) maintained his own successful recording
career throughout the 1970s and 80s.
He began with The Nazz (my old band
The Move covering two of their songs,
Open My Eyes and Under The Ice), before going solo.
His first album, Runt , from 1970, includes American top twenty hit We
Gotta Get You A Woman plus the nine-
minute long rock epic Birthday Carol.
The following year The Ballad of Todd
Rundgren was released, the best track
being Long Flowing Robe. These two
albums are now paired on one CD, plus
bonus live and radio tracks.
The 1972 double-LP Something Anything is surely Rundgren’s best work
and a pop masterpiece, especially the
brilliant I Saw The Light, It Wouldn’t
Have Made Any Difference and Hello
More off the wall tracks include Slut,
You Left Me Sore, Wolfman Jack and
Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me.
7 TO SEE
0870 320 7000
YES, they’re back.
World Tour finds Vince
Clarke and Andy Bell
onstage with a new set of
songs, staging, costumes and
production. The setlist includes all the big
hits plus songs from the new album, which
was helmed by Lady Gaga producer
Tonight, Glee Club,
Birmingham, 0871 472 0400
SHARON Shannon has music at her
fingertips, quite literally. The
accordionist from Ireland has achieved
legendary status throughout the world and
has made the much-maligned accordion
‘cool’ again with Irish traditional music,
hip-hop, cajun, country, classical and rap.
Tonight, LG Arena,
Birmingham 0844 338 8000
IT’S years too late but Cliff has finally
done what we’ve been begging him to
do since the 1970s – record a soul album
and let loose the vocal cords he usually
keeps under lock and key. Expect soul
classics among the usual Cliff classics for
his second night at the LG.
26, National Indoor
0844 338 8000
SHE kissed a girl
and she liked it,
and the rest has
become one of pop’s fast
track triumphs. It’s the
return, by public demand, of Katy’s Cotton
Candy tour which wowed the LG Arena
back in April. This is sassy sugar and sexy
spice in an exciting explosion of colour.
Thursday October 27, National Indoor
Arena, Birmingham, 0844 338 8000
HALLOWEEN is a-coming, so who
better to kickstart the festivities than
shock-rock legend Alice Cooper? The
‘Halloween Night of Fear’ setlist will
include all the classics plus songs from
new album Welcome 2 My Nightmare,
sequel to Welcome To My Nightmare.
POP WILL EAT ITSELF
Friday October 28, 02 Academy,
Birmingham, 0844 477 2000
WE reviewed the legendary
Stourbridge band’s new album a few
weeks back, and now
here’s the opportunity
to see a powerhouse
Crabb’s the sole
survivor from the
originals but as he
wrote most of the
songs this is a
Juice / Quiet Lies / Dirty Looks
(Beat Goes On)
THREE of country pop singer Juice
Newton’s albums, all from the early
1980s, are now out on two CDs.
Listen out for US hits Angel Of The
Morning, Queen Of Hearts, The Sweetest Things and Heart Of The Night plus
covers of Elton John’s Country Comfort and The Zombies’ Tell Her No.
l Read my blog at www.sunday
mercury.net and tune to Bev Bevan
and Jimmy Franks on WM from 10pm
to midnight every Tuesday.
Saturday October 29, HMV Institute,
Digbeth, 0843 221 0100
OKAY, it’s a big, daft night out but
there are fewer better ways to
celebrate a heavy Halloween. Five of the
UK’s best classic rock tribute bands share
the stage for one night only: The Essential
Ozzy Osbourne, Guns or Roses, The UK
Cult, Motley Crew UK and Slash UK.