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Simon Bray

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  • Whitesnake: The Purple Album. I can't make my mind up about this one as it isn't really a proper Snake album.

  • Romeo's Daughter: Spin. Love the band, love the new album.

  • Civil War: God and Generals. Featuring ex-members of Sabaton and Dio soundalike Nils Patrik Johansson of Astral Doors, this sounds just like one would expect briliiant!

  • Kamelot: Haven. Working their way back toward excellence.

  • Pink Floyd: The Endless River. It's what headphones were invented for.

  • Warren Zevon: Stand in the Fire. Total work of genius.

  • 38. Special: 38. Special. I like all eras of this band even this debut album which very few people bought from when they were a bonafide southern rock outfit.

    I've also enjoyed my initial spins of the forthcoming Beauvoir Free, House of Lords and Trixter albums, all of which are courtesy of a currently buoyant Frontiers Records.

    I have had a fairly hectic gig schedule recently. I saw both Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rodriguez at Manchester Apollo and whilst I enjoyed both I had reservations. Skynyrd were excellent (although Mrs Simon thought there were too many guitars!) However, the lack of post 1977 songs for me definitely added weight to the oft-cited tribute band allegation. The band has made some tremendous records since the reformation and it would be great to hear some (quite a few)more often.

    Rodriguez was beyond cool and when he played the hits it was magical. However, I would suggest that the show was the least slick I have ever seen and the constant conferences with the band between each song really affected the flow of the set.

    I also saw FM and Romeo's Daughter at Manchester Academy 2 and it was fantastic to see two bands at the height of their powers. One of the better gigs of recent memory.

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