Archive for Finland

Bloodstock 2018: Sunday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2018 by 80smetalman

Final full day at Bloodstock and I was prepared for a long one. Five of the final six bands on the Ronnie James Dio Stage were on my ‘must see’ list. That gave me some time to not have to wolf down breakfast and chill before I headed to the arena for a final day of metal. However, that was cut short when Teal suggested I make it six of the last seven bands when he recommended I see Amaranthe. Oh well, one more band wouldn’t hurt so I went with him and Joe to the arena.

That six of seven could have become seven of eight, at least I wished so because when I got to the Dio Stage, the band Evergrey was finishing up. This was yet another band whom I only caught the last few minutes of and wished I had seen more of them. Maybe it’s mellowing with age but I’m getting more into prog-metal bands and these guys from Sweden are definitely worth checking out. Shame I can’t say more.

Evergrey on stage

So far at Bloodstock, Teal had been two for two when recommending bands I should see, Kamelot on Friday and Alestorm on Saturday. No surprises that on Sunday, he was three for three when I saw the second consecutive Swedish band, Amaranthe, although they did have some technical difficulties before they came out on stage. Not to worry, while those difficulties were being sorted, bassist Johan Andreassen entertained the crowd with a bit of improv. I can’t remember anything he said, damn my Swiss cheese memory, but he had me and the rest of the crowd rolling on the ground in laughter. When the rest of the band emerged, the most obvious sight was that they had three singers. Two males, one described as clean vocals, that was Nils Molin and the unclean male vocals of Henrik Eglund Wilhemsson along with the vocals of Elize Ryd. The best thing is that this combination totally worked. Each singer would come in with their style of vocals at the appropriate part in the song and take it in an unexpected direction. Of course, the other reason it worked was the musical efforts of guitar, bass and drums. The end result was forty minutes of good power metal and another band not known to me who impressed me a hell of a lot.

Johan Andreassen doing his improv

Elize and Henrik on the vocals

Amaranthe won me over

Having seen Fozzy twice before I had already regarded Chris Jerico as a good metal singer. Third time is the charm and if I had any doubt in my mind about him, those doubts were obliterated on this particular Sunday. He even came out on stage in a really cool looking long coat. His vocals, if anything, were even better and he still knows how to work a crowd. His band was as good as ever, especially when they played my all time favourite Fozzy song, “Drinkin’ With Jesus.” Really love that song and I have made a promise to myself to listen to more Fozzy.

Chris in his coat

A shot of the entire band

I thought I’d get the guitar and bass in.

Chris engaging the crowd

Got more good shots of Fozzy

I thought he was going to attempt a flying drop kick here.

Since I didn’t want to go back to the campsite but my 57 year old frame didn’t want to stand, I went over to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to have a little sit down at the back. Shortly after, the next band started to get ready to go on stage but they too had some technical difficulties. This time, the bass player didn’t do improv. Instead, she treated the crowd to a brilliant bass solo, she could play! The band took the stage and played some really cool thrash/death metal. I learned they were from Nepal and it’s great to see such a good band coming out from that part of the world. I hope more people will check them out. Unfortunately, someone from either WordPress or Youtube is being a prick and not letting me paste any of their songs here.

Bass player shredding away

Underside finally emerge

Underside show that you can rock in Nepal.

The universal big question asked by many of the 18,000 who attended Bloodstock in 2018 was whether Mr Big was the type of band to play at this Festival. For me, that question was answered in the affirmative on the very first song, it being my vote for their hidden gem, “Daddy, Lover, Brother and Little Boy.” I have always loved that song and that set the stage for the rest of their set. Sure, they played most of their classics, “Green Tinted Sixties Mind” was the fourth song and not long after, “To Be With You” which Eric Martin brought out an acoustic guitar to play along to. He did the same with the cover of the Cat Stevens classic, “Wild World.” On top of that, Paul Gilbert totally impressed me with his guitar work on the songs and when he was left to play a solo. Eric also explained to the crowd that they had been on a European tour and Bloodstock was their last stop. Their final songs were more metal leaning, one of the being “Take Cover.” However, when they left the stage, they proved to everyone that Mr Big belonged at Bloodstock! Even if they didn’t play my other favourite Mr Big song, “The Whole World’s Gonna Know.”

Welcome Mr Big

Paul plays a solo

Paul continues to wail

Here’s a shot of Billy Sheehan

Eric on the acoustic guitar

Billy and Paul jamming together. Mr Big were certainly the most photogenic band at Bloodstock.

Some might think this might be going from one extreme to the other. Going from the melodic metal sounds of Mr Big to the death metal of Devil Driver. That didn’t bother me nor the many others who came to see them. It was metal mayhem to say the least. I can’t really say much about their time on stage. I went close to the front with Teal and Joe and therefore, spent the entire time on the edges of mosh pits and passing crowd surfers to the front. That kind of ruins your concentration a bit. What I did hear from Devil Driver, I totally liked and still had a fantastic time during their set.

Devil Driver

The mayhem spoiled this shot a little.

The best shot of them

I don’t remember anything about them but I got a shot of Servers on the New Blood Stage

At Bloodstock 2016, I took HMO’s advice and went to see a band he recommended on his blog called Ackercoke. So, when he posted about At the Gates a few months ago, I knew I had to see them. He’s now two for two in my book because At the Gates were brilliant. Three Swedish bands took the Dio Stage on this day and all three impressed me. For me, they were a natural progression after the more progressive sound of Evergrey to the sometimes more harder one of Amaranthe to At The Gates’s death metal although, they did go melodic at times. I always have liked that style so these guys fit in well. During their set, I met a man from New York who had come to Bloodstock just to see them. Apparently, they hardly ever go to the States. The band needs to rectify that! All I can say when they left was “Thank you HMO for showing me another great band.”

At The Gates

Singer Thomas Lindberg engaging the crowd

Thomas turned his back on me here.

Headlining the Sunday was the Finnish band Nightwish. I had heard many great things about this band and I further liked what I had heard from them so I was expecting good things. I wasn’t disappointed. A huge clock at the back of the stage counted down the final minute to their appearance and they came out just as it hit zero. From then on it was pure magic, whether it was the vocals of Floor Jansen, the guitar work of Emppu Vuorinen or the keyboards of Tuomas Holopainen. What impressed me even more was Troy Donockley who played guitar, Bouzouki and an assortment of woodwind instruments and all very well. I now have a full appreciation of what is called Gothic metal. The hour and a half went by too fast and the show ended with a spoken word bit but I can’t say who was speaking or what was said but it added greatly to the atmosphere of the show. The band did come back and I was hoping for one more song but they just took more bows. Can’t complain though.

The clock counts down

Good shot of Tuomas Holopainen on keys

I tried to get the band but a bunch of lights got in the way

Flash!

The last shot before they left the stage.

Tired and hungry, I went back to the tent to feed, drink my last beer and get some sleep. Next morning would be time to tear down, pack up and go. However, I left completely fulfilled having seen some great bands not only this day but the entire weekend. However, Scandinavia did win the Sunday.

Next post: Bloodstock, My final thoughts.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1535059396&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Hanoi Rocks- Two Steps From the Move

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

Coming to the final month in 1984, just when I thought that the year of metal might be coming to end, I get news of a band shown on MTV coming to a local club. That band just happend to be, yes you guessed it, Hanoi Rocks. Previous to their appearance, I did happen to catch the video to their single, a cover of the CCR classic, “Up Around the Bend.” The video impressed me enough to go to the club and to make a long story short, I was rather impressed. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I should have included that gig in “Rock and Roll Children.” My reason for not doing so was because KISS came to Philadelphia that evening and I concluded that the main characters would have gone to see KISS instead. However, I do mention in the story that Bob’s older brother Mitch goes to see Hanoi Rocks.

Hanoi Rocks’s performance on that memorable evening further motivated me to get their then latest release, “Two Steps From the Move.” Another decision I have never regretted because this album is very good. I would be lying if I didn’t say that “Up Around the Bend” is my favourite track on it. I had always liked the original version and what Hanoi Rocks did was take a great classic and totally metalize it. However, the album is full of great metal jams. The ones which stick out especially are: “I Can’t Get It,” “Underwater World, which has a good guitar solo and “Million Miles Away” is as good a power ballad as any. The hidden gem on the album has to be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The energy on that song is simply phenomenal! Definitely one to blast driving with the window down and “Boiler” is quite amusing. On the other hand and as cliche as this sounds, all the songs really kick ass. If I were to nit pick, it would be that “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” should have been the closer of the album but that’s a tiny technicality.

Track Listing:

  1. Up Around the Bend
  2. High School
  3. I Can’t Get It
  4. Underwater World
  5. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  6. Million Miles Away
  7. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  8. Boiler (Me Boiler ‘n’ Me)
  9. Futurama
  10. Cutting Corners

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals and saxophone

Andy McCoy- lead guitar, vocals

Nasty Suicide- guitar, vocals

Sam Yaffa- bass, vocals

Razzle- drums, vocals

In 1984, Hanoi Rocks were on the threshold of international stardom. Unfortunately, just a few short weeks after I saw them obliterate a small club in New Jersey, tragedy would strike the band which would lead to their eventual break up. While it’s no secret what that tragedy was, I thought it would be better to go into more detail next post. Right now, focus on the band’s happier times with this great album.

Next post: 1984 Ends in Metal Tragedy

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Hanoi Rocks- Back to Mystery City

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-back_to_mystery_city

It took me a couple of listens before I finally was able to get into Hanoi Rocks’ 1983 release, “Back to Mystery City.” At the time, I hadn’t heard of them and it would be another year before I actually did when they played a small club in New Jersey. On the other hand, it’s been fun delving into their backlog of albums, even this one. It might have taken a couple of listens but I can say now, “I like it.”

The weird thing was that Youtube has this album backwards. The actual first track on the album is the last one on Youtube and vice versa. So, I ask myself, would my listening experience have been different if I had listened to the album in the correct order? My answer: I don’t think so. The order doesn’t matter here. The short instrumental opening, “Strange Boys Play Weird Openings” could have been called “Strange Boys Play Weird Closings.” it’s inter-changeable.

Before I get further obsessed with the order of the songs, let’s look at the songs themselves. There are a number of good ones so I’ll start with the one I’m least impressed with, “Lick Summer Love.” It’s not a terrible song, nor even a bad one but it doesn’t move me either. Hanoi Rocks tries to introduce a calypso feel to the song but it doesn’t quite work. Again, I don’t hate the song but it is at a level below the others on “Back to Mystery City.” Then again, Michael Monroe wrote the song when he was seventeen and has since said that he hated the lyrics.

Now let’s go to the positives and there are many. I can’t say a bad thing about the rest of the album and it has been difficult for me to pick a favourite track. Each one seems as good as the last one. For example, after riding the mid tempo “Until I Get You” which has been said to typify the band’s seventies glam rock style, I get pounded with “Sailing Down the Tears.” Now that I have had a moment to think, if I have to pick a favourite, it’s going to be “Tooting Bec Wreck.” This is more up tempo for me and works on so many levels. Maybe it’s me but I do hear a slight influence of the famous Sweet song, “Ballroom Blitz” on it. Plus it’s the best song for appreciating Sam Yaffa’s bass skills. Then there’s the one single from the album, “Malibu Beach Nightmare,” which Andy McCoy wrote while smoking hashish. Maybe certain drugs can influence creativity, lol. It was originally recorded in calypso fashion as a joke but the band decided to record it as a rock song, good decision in retrospect. “Mental Beat” is quite a cool song too.

Track Listing:

  1. Strange Boys Play Weird Openings
  2. Malibu Beach Nightmare
  3. Mental Beat
  4. Tooting Bec Wreck
  5. Until I Get You
  6. Sailing Down the Tears
  7. Lick Summer Love
  8. Beating Gets Faster
  9. Ice Cream Summer
  10. Back to Mystery City
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals, saxophone, harmonica

Andy McCoy- lead guitar

Nasty Suicide- rhythm guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Razzle- drums

Hanoi Rocks were putting out solid albums in rapid succession and beginning to find more commercial success in 1983. “Back to Mystery City” was a good stepping stone in that direction.

Next post: Riot- Born in America

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Hanoi Rocks- Self Destruction Blues

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by 80smetalman

HANOI1

First of all, no one spotted the mistake in my last post. Boppinsblog came close as he pointed out that “Live At Budokan” was a Cheap Trick album, so one 80smetalman gold star awarded there. But that wasn’t the mistake I was referring to. Boppinsblog was close though because the mistake had to do with the quote from Wayne’s World. See, the quote I used on the last post was from Wayne’s World 1 while the photo below it was from Wayne’s World 2. I’m afraid that no one gets the grand prize this time.

Now onto the second album in 1982 from Finnish glam metallers, Hanoi Rocks. When I visited the predecessor, “Oriental Beat,” I commented on what a great feel good, party album it was and I stick by that. I won’t be so flowery about the second album, “Self Destruction Blues.” The album just simply bloody rocks!

Just about every track on this album is an absolute corker and one thing that it has in common with its predecessor is that each songs seems to improve as the album progresses. Except for maybe “Whispers in the Dark,” that’s not quite as good as the others. However, putting it first wouldn’t be a good idea because “Love’s an Injection” is such a great opener. If you think that “Problem Child” was a cover of the AC/DC classic, it is nothing of the sort. It’s still a cool song.

What I find about most of the songs on this album is that the titles of the songs hardly appear in their song. “Desperado,” my favourite track, is only sung once. If I didn’t have the title in front of me, I would have thought it was called “Ten Thousand Heartaches.” Nevertheless, the song is just brilliant so full marks to the band for that little twist. The same can be said for such other cool tracks like “Beer and a Cigarette” and “Kill City Kills.” Again both are great tracks. The title track is actually done in a blues fashion and it’s good to hear Michael Monroe’s voice stretching out a bit. Full marks to the band again. The closer, “Dead by Xmas,” in my mind is a case of Bon Jovi meets The Clash. I mean the piano sounds very similar to that on the first Bon Jovi single “Runaway.” Then when the song kicks in, it sounds very much like The Clash but it’s well done. In fact, I think the humour that went into the album, along with some fine songs, make “Self Destruction Blues” a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Love’s an Injection
  2. I Want You
  3. Cafe Avenue
  4. Nothing New
  5. Kill City Kills
  6. Self Destruction Blues
  7. Beer and a Cigarette
  8. Whispers in the Dark
  9. Taxi Driver
  10. Desperado
  11. Problem Child
  12. Dead by Xmas
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals

Andy McCoy- guitar

Nasty Suicide- guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

After the recording of the album, Gyp Casino would leave the band and be replaced by Razzle

Another fun hard rocking album from Hanoi Rocks in 1982. Had I been more aware of this band in the year, I would have concluded that Finland must be a place to rock because albums like this one certainly give that impression.

Next Post: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Hanoi Rocks- Oriental Beat

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

HANOIROCKS_OB

Hanoi Rocks didn’t come to my knowledge until 1984 and there is a story behind that which I will tell when I get to the year, but as far as 1982, they were a complete non entity. Even though I was travelling around Southern Europe at the time the album, “Oriental Beat” was released, it still escaped my attention. I don’t ever recall seeing it in that record store in Toulon, France. It became another album I had to trawl back through Hanoi Rocks’s backlog for. Upon hearing it, I definitely don’t regret it.

Now I don’t want to brandish the term “party album” around too liberally, since I have used the term to talk about other albums but I have to say that it definitely applies to “Oriental Beat.” This an album that would get everyone at a party just pumping their fists high in the air and singing along to all of the catchy choruses. It’s easy to say that the band doesn’t take itself too seriously, especially when I hear the lyrics of “Lightning Bar Blues” but there seems to be a vibe in the music that says that they do want to be taken seriously, at least a little bit. I get it most when I hear the closer, the ballad “Fallen Star.” Plus, there are some good intros, like the opener, “No Law, No Order” and “MC Baby.” Maybe that’s what is so good about “Oriental Beat.”

I have only met two people from Hanoi Rocks’s native Finland and they were both ladies. I did think that with one, our meeting might lead to better things but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. They both told me that all types of music are popular there and they both heard of the band. Though they didn’t venture forth an opinion on them. As I listen again to the albums of Hanoi Rocks, I’m getting the impression that maybe Finnish people do like to have fun and maybe music like this helps them to do that. BTW, I do remember meeting another Finn but he was only eleven. Still, he was one hell of an ice hockey player.

  1. Motorvatin’
  2. Don’t Follow Me
  3. Visitor
  4. Teenage Outsiders
  5. Sweet Home Suburbia
  6. MC Baby
  7. No Law No Order
  8. Oriental Beat
  9. Devil Woman
  10. Lightning Bar Blues
  11. Fallen Star
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- vocals

Andy McCoy- lead guitar

Nasty Suicide- rhythm guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

Next time you host a party, put this album on. I’m sure that if your guests are like minded about their music as you are, the party mood will be greatly enhanced. While, this might have been a retro album for me, I still enjoyed it quite a lot.

Next post: Motorhead- Iron Fist

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Hanoi Rocks- Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Bangkok_Shocks_Saigon_Shakes_Hanoi_Rocks

 

Here’s yet another metal band that didn’t come to my attention until they had a few albums under their belt. Unfortunately, I never heard of Hanoi Rocks until 1984 when I saw them play at a small club in New Jersey, almost exactly one month before the tragic event that would eventually cause the band to split up shortly after. I’ll go into more details about that when I get to 1984 but they way I’m going, even with two posts a week, it looks like that’s going to be quite awhile. Right now, it’s their debut album “Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks” which came out long before Razzle joined the band.

I was already familiar with the opening and best known track from the album, “Tragedy,” which I have on a compilation CD and so, that song gave me a bit of optimism when I listened to the album. It is a really good song, arguably one of their best. When I hear it, I want to regress back to my youth and jump around my living room playing air guitar. However, the rest of the album has a good number of rocking tracks too. “Stop Cryin'” has a very ear catching intro and the next three tracks, “Don’t Ever Leave Me,” “Lost in the City” and “First Timer” are all really good rockers on their own. Come to think of it, “Cheyenne” is also a stand out track. My conclusion is that this was another album I regret missing back in the day but am glad that I did get to hear it eventually.

Track Listing:

1. Tragedy

2. Village Girl

3. Stop Cryin’

4. Don’t Ever Leave Me

5. Lost in the City

6. First Timer

7. Cheyenne

8. 11th Street Kids

9. Walking With My Angel

10. Pretender

Hanoi Rock

Hanoi Rock

Michael Monroe- lead vocals, piano, saxophone, harmonica

Andy McCoy- guitars, backing vocals

Nasty Suicide- guitars, backing vocals

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

In 1981, heavy metal was still developing but even then, it was grabbing people’s attention all over the world. Hanoi Rocks is Finland’s most successful band and with their debut album I can certainly understand why.

Next post: Riot- Fire Down Under

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London