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Steven Reid

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OK, apologies, it's been an embarrassingly long time since I've updated my Listening Room….

STEVEN WILSON: Hand. Cannot. Erase.

I know we all wax lyrical about Mr. Wilson, but he remains the figurehead for Prog in the twenty-tens and on the strength of this superb, thought provoking, album, it is easy to hear why. Stunning from start to finish and along with his other solo work and the huge breadth of his "band" output, it is hard to argue that he isn't the most important man in Progressive music right now.

RICKY WARWICK: When Patsy Cline Was Crazy and Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues/Hearts On Trees

Pledge, Kickstarter and the like really are fast becoming places to keep a close eye on if and when we want to keep up with and capitalise on the exclusives artists and bands have to offer. One of the best recent campaigns came from Ricky Warwick once of The Almighty, now of Black Star Riders. A full electric album and a full acoustic offering both hitting the mark, with the acoustic release a real revelation. A new covers Pledge campaign has just begun for Ricky and I'm all over it already.


Another Pledger, Brainwaves finds the power-popping punking rockers Eureka Machines delivering their most diverse, most mature album so far. Somehow they've done it without compromising their accessibly punchy style. Impressive.

THE SWEET (or SWEET depending on which era of the band we're talking about): Funny How Sweet Coco Can Be; New York Groove Plus; Sweetlife; The Answer; Level Headed Tour Rehearsals 1977

I've long known the Sweet were more than simply Glamtastic silver clad mimers and yet discovering their less renowned eras has been an interesting and rewarding journey. Everything from AOR and Hard Rock to what we used to call Heavy Metal via Sixties Pop and of course the Glam sound delivered in spades. Hats off to Angel Air Records and Cherry Red for breathing new life into them.

SCORPIONS: Return To Forever

It may feel like a farewell and therefore a little subdued on first encounters, but great songwriters write great songs and RTF is full of them. If this is the band's last, then they'll go out on a high. A legendary act. Tour of the UK please!!!

BLACKBERRY SMOKE: Holding All The Roses

I'm a loather of hype and clamour and yet I simply couldn't resist investigating Blackberry Smoke after being enthralled by the singles from this album. I wasn't disappointed and the plaudits are well earned. A full back catalogue investment is now required…

THUNDER: Wonder Days

The UK's best Hard Bluesing Rockers return with an eclectic set of songs which stay true to the band's path but which still pushes into a little new ground. Bowes and Morley strike again.


Eonian Records have done some great work unearthing bands and recordings from the Melodic Rock scene which never got the breaks they deserved. This four disc set however is the label's crowning glory; a collection of 36 bands, featuring two songs from each. It's an amazing trip through a time where MHR was evolving and Grunge bands were beginning to frequent the Strip. Eonian Records have released a genuine landmark release in Melodic Hard Rock, and 'Rock n' Roll Rebels And The Sunset Strip' is the final word on the Sunset Strip scene.

THE KING LOT: The King Lot

A great new band from my homeland of Scotland, who combine a whole host of Rock influences to make one of the best debut albums I've heard for quite some time. Fusing everything from Def Leppard to The Wildhearts and even U2 together, this three-piece could go the distance.

BLUEMINDED: Blueminded

A short EP of Proggy AOR which suggests great things. Instantly impressive, yet growing better with each listen, this is one of those EPs which has you itching for the band to release a full length album!

Oh, and also some great live shows from Vantage Point, The King Lot, The Answer, Bad Touch, Steven Wilson, Fightstar, Black Star Riders, Europe, Fish, Marillion…

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