Tag Archives: music

Skam – Holy City

I haven’t ranted about any new bands on my radar for a while, but after seeing Leicester band SKAM live a few days ago, well, I had to.  Yes, I siddled up to them for a little chat (such nice lads), bought the CD, got the T-Shirt and oggled at them on YouTube.

They have released two albums to date and have just finished a blinding UK tour.  According to the Leicester Mercury, they also turned up in the back gardens and living rooms of some lucky fans for some random gigs during the summer, concreting their mission and desire to play live, pretty much anywhere they can.

What do they play?  “It’s balls to the wall rock n’ roll, with singing not screaming.”

Enjoy your week people.

Long live the fans!

spreading words

Just had a handful of these mini cards printed to hand out at spoken word events and gigs.  Cool eh?

bizzi cards


Cough syrup

Being an invalid for the last five weeks has almost rendered me invalid.  Like an out of date ticket or an expired warranty, I have achieved virtually nothing, not even a poem.

Should I be writing about achieving nothing?  Well, I feel that I should explain my prolonged silence on Facebook, Twitter and here, on my blog, but feeling guilty about it is an emotion I am trying, feebly, to knock on the head.

I think we all should.

Life’s busy isn’t it?  We forget sometimes how to take care of ourselves when our frantic day to day lifestyles demand every ounce of our energy.  We work hard, worry hard, put all our eggs in one basket, try to do one million and one things at once and play hard (if we can!).  Any other rock and roll mammas and dadas like me out there?  Well, our work never seems to be done – kids (ah but we love ’em) sap every last gram of goodness from our brains and bodies and the inevitable wake up call is the word INVALID.

Five weeks of invalidity is crap.  I’ve lived off soup and yoghurt, tried every shelf remedy under the sun, done more than my fair share of antibiotics, suffocated on my own plugs of green sputum, lost 5lbs, coughed my vocal cords to shreds and watched night TV repeatedly (poor old Michael Hutchence and bless those wildlife sanctuary vets) because I dreaded sleeping for split seconds at a time.

Sometimes people, it is good to do nothing, guilt free; just look after yourselves.  Promise me?

Writing this post proves that I am getting back to my old self again.  Yep, its therapeutic  ain’t it?  I might even listen to a bit of music… then again, here come the kids…

Highway Star – Buckcherry

Buckcherry covered Deep Purple’s classic song “Highway Star” and placed it on their 2008/9 Black Butterfly album.

It oozes Buckcherry’s sleazy American rock style from the start, and, dare I say it, I prefer it to the original.  It’s an adrenalin rush of a song which is why it stuck in my head when my book’s main character had a craving for speed.

It’s no wonder that NASCAR chose it to theme one of their promo music videos.  Enjoy.

Backseat Driver

A photograph by David Kozlowski

A photograph by David Kozlowski

When I am old I shall drive a Fiat Punto

and keep a rug and basket on the back seat

with a flask and biscuits, for emergencies.

Time will be mine without you my dear;

my second pair of eyes in left hand command.

I shall be regal and heads will turn

at my rinse, set and finish so trim, and

I shall cruise, at twenty two, down the main road through town,

with an entourage processing behind.

I shall signal well before left or right is in sight and

turn with due diligence and care.

I shall reverse or nose dive at an angle when parking;

a precise ninety degree demonstration.

Yes, time will be mine without you my dear,

to gauge our distance and schedule.

No kids to taxi and no nine to five rush hour.

No trains or planes to dash for.

The engine won’t squeal with a foot to the floor, it will purr and function serenely.

The flask will stay in its place, all the way,

to the library, bowls or the doctor.

Yes, time will be mine, without you my dear and

I’ll tune into classical radio.

My hair still regal; not a grey out of place,

I shan’t break too hard or too late.

Yes, time will be mine without you my dear

but I would miss you, my dear, with you not here.

So before I am old, with my hair all regal, driving my Fiat Punto,

let’s jump the lights and turn up the volume,

greet the wind in our faces and hair.

Love me again on the old squeaky backseat;

sleep out, when we should be at home.

Guitars all blazing with a foot to the floor and

thundering drums keeping time with the revs.

“I am, truly sorry, Officer, Sir,

I had no idea of the speed limit in place.”

Yes, time should be ours, my love, my dear,

To witness sunrise through the mirror’s rear view;

the seats all sticky with the times of yesterday,

my hair not regal, and all out of place.

© Anna Ghislena 2014.

Friday Night

Despite all the ups and downs The Darkness have encountered in their mission to conquer the universe, they still rock out and have monumentally startling stage presence.


Well they provided me with enough tongue in cheek to add a little comedy to my book.  This song catapulted the moment when two of my characters got together after years apart.  Have a great Friday Night everyone!

Marshall Ultimate Band Contest 2013

This competition has become a favorite of mine.  In these days of perpetual addiction to social media avenues, we see the market flooded with desperately hopeful young bands.  For new and deserving talent, the contest provides an opportunity to get seen and heard by a wider audience of heavy metal/rock fans.  

As I write, the five finalists selected to battle it out under the scrutinizing eyes of a panel of judges, are probably polishing their performances for the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest 2013 which is due to be held next weekend.

To take part, each entry makes a promotional video which can be seen on the dedicated Marshall UBC site.  The public then vote to decide the top twenty five bands.  These are then whittled down by the judges who must take best performance video and self promotion into consideration.  They finally decide upon just five bands who must play the Marshall Theatre at the HQ in Milton Keynes.  The overall winner receives Marshall endorsement and a most coveted slot at Download Festival.

This year Alexander Milas, Editor of Metal Hammer Magazine will be among the judges with the unenviable task of choosing a winner.  It will be a tense but exciting night as Ravenface, Plastique, Motorfinger, Bad Touch and Balls Deep, play in the headquarters of one of the world’s most famous amplification specialists.  Last year’s winners, States of Panic (formerly Peepshow) will also be showing us how things are done with a small set to take the nervous edge off the proceedings!

I reviewed the Final 2012 for Stereoboard.com last year, merely out of interest and subsequently discovered some new favorite bands, including 2011 winners, Sons of Icarus, who kicked off the Final for us last year.  I recently revisited the Finalists of 2012 (States of Panic, Frantic Alice, Obey, Nakedium and Deligma) and interviewed them all for Stereoboard.com to understand what the Contest meant to them now and at the time.

Here’s the link if you fancy checking it out: http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/182018/9

Good luck to all the Finalists this year

marshall ubc 2013

A Metal Book Worth Reading

I came across this blogpost on 80smetalman (Michael D. Lefevre) and decided that this book is definitely one I shall be adding to my “to read” pile. Thought you might like it too.

I will also be adding Michael’s own book to my list of “must reads” – “Rock and Roll Children” – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Account-Heavy/dp/1609763556

80smetalman's Blog

While I was going through my daily dose of heavy metal google alerts this morning, I can upon a book that sounds fascinating to me. The book is called “What Are You Doing Here?” by Laina Dawes. It tells about the struggle on an African American woman in the world of heavy metal.

When Laina Dawes was eight years-old, she sat in front of her television watching the made-for-television movie “Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park.”  Soon after, her parents gave her Kiss’ Double Platinum record, and later followed an obsession with bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.  Laina Dawes is a bona fide metal head. But her fandom is complicated, though it probably shouldn’t be, by the fact that Laina is a black woman.

During her time in the heavy metal scene, she has experienced a lot of racism and sexism, as well as judgment and hostility…

View original post 594 more words

Hayseed Dixie, The Forum, Hatfield, Monday 4th November 2013



There are many music genres that fall under the strong, long arm of rock.  Usually attracting niche audiences, few can promise to entertain across a multi-genre crowd in one night.  Hayseed Dixie, the creators of rockgrass, however, are kings of rock and roll, glam, prog, metal and more.

Currently on a UK/Europe tour, the university campus venue in Hatfield was a strange choice of venue for a Monday night.  Absent of financially bereft freshers and gig goers who probably still nursed weekend hangovers, the auditorium held a sparse crowd.  However, less is more and it is quality not quantity that over-rides situations like these.

Throughout the two hour set, I was more than aware that I could not shift the grin on my face.  It wasn’t just the denim, wiry facial hair or scraggy knees.  Nor was it an appearance that suggested the potential to swill illegal liquor by the light of the moon or join a dance in the barn with the devil himself.  Hayseed Dixie play other people’s rock songs and their own, at a mesmerizing, finger-bleedingly fast pace.  The quartet is a riot of southern American, steel string musicianship which is second to none.  Brandishing a banjo, a bass, a mandolin, a fiddle, an acoustic guitar and howling harmonies to die for, the band have been playing songs about “drinking, cheating, killing and hell” since 2001

With no less than eleven albums tucked under their dungaree straps, this tour has celebrated the first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, played it in its entirety.  Songs including Dirty Deeds, A Touch Too Much, Hells Bells, Back In Black, and Whole Lotta Rosie, were played by forty fiery fingers that could set fret boards ablaze.  The second half of the set invited requests from the intimate crowd.  The band demonstrated a talent for international languages, singing in German before singer, John ‘Barleyscotch’ Wheeler, introduced a masterpiece rendition of “the greatest killing song ever written,” Bohemian Rhapsody.

It wasn’t all about covers by any means; original Hayseed Dixie material like I’m Keeping Your Poop, was disturbingly entertaining, but the evening ended with Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, Alice Cooper’s Poison and finally Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, which raised the roof and some goosebumps.

There is wily genius in the comical delivery of every song that Hayseed Dixie play.  This is one beautiful, beardy, rockgrass phenomenon that I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t already.  Go to!

For the rest of the tour dates this year checkout: http://www.hayseed-dixie.com/Appearances.html

SixtyTwoIntro – Featuring: Dexters


This East London five piece produce big, happy indie rock/pop tunes that transport you back to The Housemartin’s “Happy Hour” and the Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen in Love”.  It’s snappy, dapper stuff gleaming with the raw edge of fast paced riffs and lyrical attitude.   As recent supports to B.R.M.C and The Courteeners they are hailed as ones to watch.  Nothing new, but irresistible!