Archive for February, 2020

Bang

Posted: February 28, 2020 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff, Deep Purple Family

From BGO Records in the UK we have this 2019 reissue of the 1973 James Gang album “Bang”. It was the first of two albums to feature guitarist Tommy Bolin, who would reach fame with Deep Purple in 1975. It has been said that Tommy´s head was superimposed on the former guys head for this cover shot. When I first heard that (and I think it came from the UK Deep Purple Appreciation Society) it made sense. BGO Records have also reissued “Going Back To Colorado” by Zephyr on Vinyl, the 1971 album that also features Tommy Bolin. Good to see these in this format again.

(My shot of the “Bang” album)

On February 12 I wrote a post called Pandemic Threat Could Seriously Hurt The Music Business. Well since then Italy has shut down sport events (and schools, museums etc) and from Japan we now hear that they are closing all primary and secondary schools until April (for now). Green Day and A-Ha have cancelled trips to Asia and in South Korea a very popular K-Pop group called BTS have cancelled some large shows. In Japan, a popular J-Pop group called Perfume performed at the Tokyo Dome on February 25 but decided to cancel the show on the following evening after the governments advice on the situation. A similar group called Exile has cancelled a major show in Osaka and the general situation will hit the music industry hard in Asia now. Upcoming tours and festivals are in danger of having to cancel and then there is the Olympics that is scheduled to kick off on July 24 in Tokyo. If the Olympics is cancelled in Japan this year it may well not happen at all. There really is no indication that this will be over anytime soon. Incidentally, Whitesnake has a Japanese Tour in March. It will be interesting to see if they decide to carry on (in this case they have already postponed it once, so it would be a tough call to cancel this trip as well). This is a tricky situation now.

I fear that this will escalate wildly in March and April and that bands and artists may be forced to cancel not only a few shows here and there, but entire tours. Decisions are being made all over the place and we will hear about this on a daily basis soon enough. Personally, I will not buy tickets for shows now and I would never consider flying long distance at this point (not that I am in a habit of doing so to begin with, but I am making a point).

As for Deep Purple, this is all happening as they are about to release a brand new album (see last post), so the timing could not be worse. Never in their 52 year history have they had to face this sort of obstacle and they are a touring band that is pretty much always out there. Save for short breaks they will be on the road somewhere, that is the business model.

Will labels start to postpone album releases so that artists can promote their new releases properly down the road? We will soon know if such decisions are going to come up as well. I think new product may be postponed in many cases. 2020 may be more suitable for live DVDs, documentaries and Compilations. If I worked at a label, I would want to discuss such matters now.

Perhaps live broadcasts through Netflix and other platforms, with minimal crowd participation, will be the next big thing? It would certainly be an option. I predict that we may see many solutions as this goes down. Artists could use their YouTube platforms to promote their music more aggressively (I think Sabaton are way ahead of the pack even now), and social media will be very important.

Babymetal then. You know I follow them on this blog. The European Tour has been a success and it ends with a show in Moscow on March 3. After that they will go home to Japan for the Knotfest Festival on March 20 and this is followed by shows in Bankok (March 22), Kuala Lumpur (March 27), Jakarta (March 29), Taipei (April 3) and Manila (May 16 – the big festival with Iron Maiden). After that they are supposed to return to Europe starting in Germany on June 5. As things stand, Knotfest may well be cancelled, or postponed. The Asian dates will be happening depending on the current situation. As for Europe, nobody can really tell what is going to be going down here this summer. Looks bleak to me. At least they have the “Live At The Forum” DVD/blu-ray coming up on May 13 (and I hope this will see world wide release). That could serve them well should dates have to be cancelled or postponed. The most important thing now is safety.

I had such high hopes for 2020, but it looks like we have to buckle down and ride this out now.

(My image of Babymetal, taken in Stockholm)

Whoosh!

Posted: February 27, 2020 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff, Deep Purple Family

Woosh

Deep Purple are set to release their 21st studio album “Whoosh!” on June 12. They have just put out the cover art (no information on the artist as yet) and as you can see it is absolutely brilliant. Also, it appears to have more than the eight tracks that were mentioned in a German magazine recently. The different formats can be ordered as of today.

The countdown is on.

DPM_11

I published DEEP PURPLE MAGAZINE #11 in February 1980, so it has been 40 years now. Rainbow had been in Stockholm and I reviewed the show and showcased some snapshots. Two members of this incarnation of Rainbow is in Deep Purple now, Roger Glover and Don Airey. Don was making a name for himself back then.

Good times.

I should have blogged about this a couple of months ago, but here we go. RETROFUTURE bacame my last publication and the very first issue (as seen here) was published in December 2009. It was the beginning of a very nice period and I had a blast creating a dozen or so magazines before I decided to end it all in 2015. It was during this era that I published western novels as part of my output, and photographed wonderful models to go with them. Seen on this cover is Lina, the first I had the pleasure of working with. I think I will go back to this issue and add the Hysterica interview to this blog. It was a good one.

(My cover shot)

Blogwork

As you may know I have removed thousands of blog posts from this blog (mainly magazine stuff, but a lot of other topics as well) since the sad news of the upcoming EU regulations. Spent hours last weekend on this too. On some of these old posts, I actually replace top images. There are ways to save some of this stuff although it is time consuming and I am not done just yet. One result of all this is that 2017-2018 almost looks like a Babymetal blog if you go back now and there are months with only a few blog posts in the archives. Oh well. However, I think I have found a good formula in 2019 for the future and you can see the change. It can never be the same again though, which is a shame.

(Top image shows live shot of Over The Rainbow by me and DEEP PURPLE FOREVER #1 which has a Ritchie Blackmore shot from Copenhagen 1988 by Michael Johansson on the cover)

BABYMETAL

“Metal Galaxy” has been nominated to partake in the Best Album category of the Heavy Music Awards in the UK (the public can vote now). Babymetal will have to beat Tool and Slipknot and other huge acts to win, but I still think they have a shot for two reasons. 1. The album is actually quite brilliant. 2. The Babymetal online community. Never underestimate that lot. The event will take place in London on May 21.

LEAVES`EYES

Leaves`Eyes are in a studio recording a new album. Good news.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA

Swedish rockers The Night Flight Orchestra will release their fifth studio album “Aeromantic” tomorrow. Brilliant cover as always.

(Image is official)