Monday, 20 February 2012

Tim Ripper Owens Solo Tour: Confirmed Shows

07 September: Kubox - Kuurne- Belgium
08 September: Pit - Terneuzen - Holland (With Special Guest : Hellstar)
09 September: Rond punt - Genk - Belgium
10 September: Garage - Saarbrucken - Germany (With Special Guest : MessengeR)
11 September: Schwarzer Adler - Egelsee - Germany
13 September: Slowianin Club - Szczenin - Poland
14 September: Sokolovna - Hranice - Czech Republic
15 September: Klub Progjesa - Warsaw - Poland
16 September: Red Zone - Rzesow - Poland
17 September: Piano Club - Trencin - Slovakia
19 September: Crazy Mama - Budapest - Hungary
20 September: DAOS - Timisoara - Romania
23 September: Club RBF - Sofia - Bulgaria
24 September: Gun Club - Belgrade - Serbia
25 September: Viper Club - Wien - Austria
26 September: Pekarna - Maribor - Slovenia
28 September: Rock City - Uster - Switzerland
29 September: Korigan - Luynes - France
30 September: Rock City - Valencia - Spain
03 October : Sala Imagina - Cadiz - Spain
04 October : Musicbox - Lisboa - Portugal
05 October : Sala My way - Valladolid - Spain (With Lord Volture)
06 October : Sala La Hacienda - Pontevedra - Spain (With Lord Volture)
08 October : Le Ferrailleur - Nantes - France (With Lord Volture)
09 October : Blue Devils Bar - Arras - France (With Lord Volture)

With very special guests: SANDSTONE.
Updates and venue details to follow!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Touring With Tim Ripper Owens - 2012

Moving swiftly on . . . 
I'm over the moon to be playing with the legendary Tim Ripper Owens on tour this year.

Tim's career has been nothing short of spectacular.
So spectacular in fact, that he was was nominated for a grammy award for best metal performance in 1999, and Hollywood made a movie (Rock Star) based on his rise to fame as singer for Judas Priest, with Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm, Boogie Nights, Planet Of The Apes) playing the lead, and Jennifer Anniston (Friends, Iron Giant) as his female compadre.

Tim Owens replaced Rob Halford as frontman of Judas Priest between 1996 - 2003.
During this time, the band released two new studio albums: Jugulator (1997) and Demolition (2001) - as well as two live albums; '98 Live Meltdown, and Live In London, which was also released as a live DVD.

He then took over from Matt Barlow as vocalist for Iced Earth from 2003 - 2007, releasing two studio albums, The Glorious Burden (2004) and Framing Armageddon (2007) and also an EP, entitled Overture Of The Wicked (2007).

During this time - in 2005, alongside working with Iced Earth - Tim started up metal band Beyond Fear as a side project after leaving Judas Priest, and in 2006 released studio album 'Beyond Fear'.

From 2008 - 2010, he took up vocal duties in Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising force, producing two studio albums; Perpetual Flame (2008) and Relentless (2010)

From 2009 - present, Tim fronts Charred Walls Of The Damned, which has to date released two full studio albums Charred Walls Of The Damned (2010) and Cold Winds On Timeless Days (2011)

He is also a member of a covers band called HAIL - along with a rotating who's-who cast of extremely influential and highly respected musicians including Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament) David Ellefson (Megadeth) Mike Portnoy (Stone Sour, Dream Theater) Jimmy DeGrasso (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper) Phil Demmel (Machine Head) & James LoMenzo (Black Label Society, Slash's Snake Pit) as well as many others, and in 2011, Tim joined forces with Dio Disciples, which also features Dio members; Craig Goldy, James LoMenzo, Simon Wright & Scott Warren.

Tim has played with many of the best musicians in the world, so I have to say that it's not only a huge honor to play on stage with him - it's also very very humbling indeed.

On top of this, I get to play onstage once again with my hombres Claudio Tirincanti, Nick Meganck and Steve Deleu.
I have been burning the midnight oil on the set-list, and everything is well on track for the tour in September.
Bring it on!

UK Tour Diary - December 2011

The following may - or may not be true. Probably not, but here goes anyway.

8th December 11:
Nuneaton: Queens Hall

The first night of this short UK tour was about 100 miles north in Nuneaton, and I was meeting the rest of the guys at the venue.
Our car was screwed, and the courtesy vehicle was a Fiat Cinquecento, with scary steering, funny brakes and interesting windscreen wipers.
NOT the most rock and roll way to arrive at a gig, but still - it had wheels, and it worked.

Unfortunately, some absolutely crazy weather conditions had just hit the UK that day, so it made the journey all the more 'interesting'.

As luck would have it, we all arrived at exactly the same time - so that was cool.
Time enough to meet the main support band for the tour, Midlands based 'Disarm Golliath'. A nice bunch of dudes!
Disarm Golliath was a band essentially comprised of guys called Steve. In fact - three Steves, an Ant and a Karl.
As well as that, we had our very own Steve, and there's always a Steve lurking about somewhere else - so the rest of the tour could be interesting.
DG hit the stage, and did their heavy metal thing,  which was mighty fine.
We were up next, and it was technical problems a-go-go for me.
My mighty ENGL Powerball definitely was not so mighty that nighty, because I was high and dry, and without a sound.
Fortunately - one of the ubiquitous Steves (guitarist extraordinaire Steve Beville) helped me out immensely by scaring up some sounds on his Hughes & Kettner head, which did the job nicely. Thanks again Steve!

In spite of this - the sound onstage was absolutely f**ked up.
The monitors were so loud that none of us could hear what we were playing anyway, so apologies for any guitar faux pax, and thanks a million to everyone who came along to the show!
Also thanks to the marvelous and lovely Kellie, who did a top job with merchandise and general logistics!
Got back home at about 2 am after a 30 mile detour because two motorway junctions were closed!

I spent the next morning servicing all things ENGL, and fixed the problem.
After that, the rest of the boys arrived, and it was off to London we go.

London: Camden Underworld

Parking & unloading gear in London is always a blast.
You usually have to flout the laws of the land in order to even stop the vehicle outside a venue in the capital.
Once we actually got inside the venue - setting up was a breeze because Kate was taking care of the sound.
I've known Kate for a few years, because we used to hang out at the same festivals - in the same little gang of drunk people, and she is very cool.
Right away, we knew the sound in the Camden Underworld was going to be top class.

We were joined on the bill tonight by Primitai, who took middle slot in the running order.
A good show and a killer audience of rowdy maniacs - apart from one sulky individual down at the front - who was giving me evil looks all night.

Next stop:
Birmingham: Route 44

After a night in BB's place (not too far away from Birmingham Route 44) we had a few hours during the day to get ourselves organized - which was good news.
We arrived at the venue early evening, and had a chance to hang out and have a long-overdue beer with the lads from Disarm Golliath, while we waited for the sound-guy to arrive.
After a quick set-up, everybody was ready to roll - and roll they did!
Once again, we were joined by Kellie and her compadre, who both took care of all things merch.

Edinburgh: Bannermans

I took the reigns of the vehicular beast today, and steered it in the general direction of Scotland - where we rolled-up after about four or five hours.
The drive was bliss. Parking was a bitch, and I was threatened by an angry Scottish parking attendant after about sixty seconds.
Fortunately enough, our accommodation for the night was above the venue, - so we didn't have far to go in case of any spontaneous excessive boozing.
The set-up was cool, and this evening we were joined by local hombres, Dirty Rose - who sound exactly like their name.
Good, dirty rock and roll.
My friend and long-time work compadre, Graeme came along too, which was good news. 
Very nice to spend some time with him after the set, and have a few ales after about four or five years.

We were thirsty after the show, so we headed out into the 'toon' to see what we could see.
Surprisingly enough, we literally fell over a couple of rock bars, which is a miracle - because usually you look around for hours to find a decent watering hole, and invariably have to settle for a pub with a Nirvana tune on the jukebox.
We followed that with some late-night Italian food somewhere! 
All in all - the day was a rousing success.

Glasgow: Ivory Blacks
... was about an hour and a half away from Bannermans, so the drive was no problems at all.
This was definitely my favorite night of any of the UK dates. 
The venue opened at three, so we had some hours to kill first.
Blaze headed off and did his thing, and the rest of us took a ramble into Glasgow city centre.
Somewhere along the way, we found the perfect real-ale pub, and sampled some of their finest.
Why is it that you always find these amazing places when you have to be somewhere else for the day?

Meanwhile, back at Ivory Blacks . .  
We got back in and had a good hour to practice together, and warm up while the sound guys did their thing.
The mighty 'Deezil' were main support tonight, and frontman Iain was on hand with some expertise while we were getting our shit together.
Their set was fantastic - and was a real pleasure to listen to some hearty rock and roll, instead of a whole lot of screaming.
Classy riffs, nice writing & solid delivery.

We were up next . . 
The set - along with other things - was bouncing from beginning to end.
A wicked response, underwear onstage, and some truly awesome people - some of whom we met up with after the show.
Before we headed for our hotel - we had the chance to catch up with some of the boys and girls from the audience at a rock bar close to toe venue.
I almost forgot . . . dinner before the show was a dynamite curry from the place right next door, which kicked things off properly.

Day off!
Well, almost a day off.
I drove the five hours back to base, and then we went out for another curry - which was a good move.

Stamford: Voodoo Lounge
This place was a blast. The venue was class, and the sound guys were top notch all the way.
They knew exactly what they were doing, and we had some warm-up time too - which was good news.
A totally killer audience of friendly dudes and dude-esses made us very welcome indeed, until everybody's vision was completely obliterated by a faulty smoke machine at the very end of the set! Good timing.
Everybody 'felt' their way up the stairs and out of the building.
I think everybody made it out alive. Just!

Bristol: The Tunnels
Awesome sound on stage, and a beautiful venue in Bristol!
The place was just like it's name suggests - tunnel shaped - on account of the fact that it's built into former railway arches in the side of Temple Mead's railway station.
Very clean and shiny, and they served guinness too, so that was good news.

Swansea: Sin City
Getting there took a while, and it was bloody freezing when we arrived. In fact it was probably colder inside than it was outside.
There were four bands on the bill this evening, but the stage management had dropped a few bollocks, so everything was running late.
I remember there were some earthing problems onstage that evening, and every time anybody touched a guitar, there was a scary and rather interesting buzzing sound straight through the PA.

First up was Black Tamanous. All good. Very heavy 'Lamb Of God' vibe going on, and nice folks too.
Next up was The Exiled. Again, - all good - with a more melodic thrash thing.
Disarm Goliath were up next, and this was our last night with DG.
They played a beautiful set but didn't have enough time onstage, due to everything  running late.
Next up was us, and I think we played a short set of just an hour that evening.

I was supposed to drive home, but failed miserably this time around - almost killing us all a couple of times just moving away from the venue, - so Blaze drove back.

 . . and the last show . . 
Antwerp, Belgium: Trix (with Sabaton)

BB (accompanied by Claudio) picked me up at my house at about 3am, and we headed for Dover.
Clear roads meant we made the journey in very good time, and had a little while to get things together before boarding the Euro-Tunnel.
We got to Antwerp nice and early, and Sabaton were already inside the venue setting up.
Nick & Steve arrived before too long.

The venue was beautiful.
Many UK venues are often freezing cold, and void of anything approaching smiles or hospitality - so it was nice to be in such comfortable surroundings. Wi-Fi, a comfortable dressing room, a great rider, and catering whenever you wanted something to eat. Unreal!

Sabaton had sold-out in under three hours, so the bar was set HIGH, and our set was just forty five minutes long tonight.
No problems onstage. Everything sounded sweet, and with mighty Eric Stoop close by to keep any problems under control - we knew we were covered.
Good people, and 4000 fists in the air.

The after-show party back at De Rots was full of the requisite drunken dancing we've come to expect, and our good friends Patrik, Silke and Marcus from MESSENGER were on hand to help out with the drinking.
It was GREAT to see them again, and a total surprise, because they had braved some heavy weather to make the journey from Germany.
But we drank way too much . . . . 

Cheers everyone, it's been emotional.
Good luck and the very best wishes to everybody I've met at the shows in 2011.
Over and out ...