Tag Archives: vega


Live review Sunday 23rd July 2017.

Sunday dawned dry and sunny which is an excellent start to any festival – add in a host of great bands, great music and good company to look forward to and voila, you have day 3 of Amplified Festival 2017!

So, and without further ado, it was time to head on over to the Beer Tent to get acquainted with my first of many Amplified bands and getting my Sunday well underway, were Hell’s Gazelles. This four piece band had brought a pretty dynamic dose of hard hitting rock ’n’ roll up with them from Oxford and if you like to go check out the up and coming bands who pack a punch, then Hell‘s Gazelles need to be at the top of your list!

My first experience of the Red Stripes main stage came courtesy of Instill and once again, here was a band that were new to me and who really do need to be seen and heard when the opportunity arises.

With 2.30pm fast approaching, it brought along with it the ultimate fear of many a festival goer – the stage clash! I desperately wanted to see Garganjua but I also wanted to see Courtesans aswell, so at times such as this, there really was only one decision to make – go see both.

Having had the great pleasure of seeing Garganjua live on a few occasions over the past eighteen months, I really was quite blown away with the strength and power present today within the bands song content and stage presence. Garganjua’s music sits with the mesmerizing genre of doom, but their style of doom is one of the most animated that I’ve seen and these guys certainly put their life’s blood into today’s performance. Intense and bloody marvelous to say the least!

A quick gallop across the field brought me to probably the midway point of the Courtesans set and immediately it was clear to see why this band are such a talking point for so many. Courtesans posses a thought provoking mix of both beauty and the beast – the element of beauty being obvious to the eye, whilst the beast lies within their music and its lyrical capture of the darker side of life. With both elements combined, Courtesans stand tall in a league of their own and their set today was really quite something to behold.

After a quick break, I headed back on over again to The Red Stripes stage to catch Bad Touch who really seem to be making excellent headway on the live music scene and also brought the sun out with them. The bluesy rock and roll just flows from this band and their set this afternoon certainly delivered that good time festival feel to one and all.

Next up for me were In Search Of Sun and once again, these guys were another must see band of the day. The one thing that I find really interesting about In Search Of Sun is that they manage to span the boundary between hard rock and metal with effortless ease, resulting in songs that can fit whatever your mood or particular preference is and today’s set from them certainly hit the right spot indeed!

As afternoon turned into early evening, it was time to go check out Massive over on the Red Stripe stage and if I were to choose my favourite performance of the day, then these guys would be it. Not only do Massive deliver a colossal dose of great rock and roll but their infectious personalities and humour just fixed the smile on my face from start to finish.

And carrying on in that same vein of big rock sounds – but this time in a more melodic style, were my next band of the day, Vega. I first saw Vega several years back in 2011 at Firefest so it was excellent to see them up on stage again today and clearly at the top end of the melodic rock ranks.

Amplified Festival has given me, and quite possibly many others, the chance to see bands who I haven’t come across before and I have to hang my head in shame and confess that Unzucht were one such band. With a sound and style that is darkly charismatic, their set today was an absolute excursion into the depths of industrial metal and an experience that I will look forward to repeating again!

Today had definitely brought about some pretty impressive performances and with that thought in mind, my next pit stop was Heck but boy oh boy, in no way was I prepared for the madness and mayhem that these guys were about to unleash! Heck are most definitely not for the faint hearted as they pack a punch on par with a charging rhinoceros and that was really quite something to witness.

With daylight finally slipping away into night, our two remaining bands of the day held the honour of bringing Amplified Festival 2017 to a close and with those bands being Reef and Diamond Head, then I just knew that this would be an ending to remember.

With the Red Stripes stage lit to cool blue perfection and ready to rock, 90’s icon’s Reef took to the stage amidst some of the warmest cheers of the day and what a set they gave us indeed. With many of their past iconic songs being given the big seal of approval from the audience, this was a pretty cool trip down memory lane for sure, but I did love the fact that newer tracks were included aswell and hope we will have plenty more Reef to look forward to.

And so, my last band of the day were to be Diamond Head and you just gotta love these guys as they always give 110% with each and every performance and all their great songs, both old and new just kept coming tonight. It certainly seemed like both band and fans alike were set on enjoying the moment and with plenty of dates still in their diary for 2017, do make a point of getting to see them live if you can.

I must add that Jay Hawkin’s had chance to chat with Karl Wilcox from Diamond Head earlier in the day so be sure to check that out here.

Looking back on my day at Amplified, I can only say that it was a great day and an experience that I would happily repeat and recommend. So huge thanks going out the Gary Paterson and everyone whose hard work, can do attitude and helping hands, made this festival something pretty special to be part of. My one regret from today was not checking out the Tavern Stage, so I do give my sincere apologies for that.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle


Rock City Nottingham 17.05.16.

I’ve known of this band since I was a kid, but not necessarily for the music they produced, although I probably heard it being played. I better associated with this band through their album art work, as it use to be displayed on the walls within the music room. After a little research, I came across the name Rodney Matthews, who was the man responsible for producing no less than ten of Magnum’s 12” LP covers, including the album ‘The Eleventh Hour’. Matthews has also worked for many other famous artists, over the years, to produce their album artwork, some of which include, Diamond Heads album ‘Borrowed Time’, The Tygers of Pan-Tang album ‘Crazy Nights’, Nazareth’s album ‘No Mean City’ and Rick Wakeman’s album ‘Sun Rise’ to name but a few. With a career spanning over 40 years, the man is still producing album artwork, which is great to hear, the most recent of which is for Magnum’s 19th studio album ‘Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies’. You can now purchase this album here the artwork on this album is worth it alone!


Tonight, I had an old rocker accompanying me, as I felt it would be good to get the opinion of someone who remembers seeing Magnum, back in their heyday. I also though it would be interesting to see what he made of the younger band, VEGA, supporting Magnum on this run of UK dates, so here’s what Chris Brammer had to say about them.

‘Vega are currently showcasing their new album ‘Who Are We’ they play tight, competent rock, have a clean sound and a number of foot stomping tracks. They’re the sort of band that if you’ve spent a bad day at work their music will re-tune those mood strings. They don’t push any boundaries but do play the right chords, the right beat and the right melody. Their delivery is cool yet restrained. Their set was warmly appreciated by the assembled who were joining in by the closing number. ‘What happens in Vega, stays in Vega’ apparently. Maybe they should get out more!”

Vega -

Personally, I thought they were one of those bands that would appeal to a mass audience, capable of playing anywhere as they are clean cut, precise, entertaining and non offensive. You know, the kind of band your grandma could enjoy! I don’t mean that to sound derogatory either, as I thought these guys were great, played to a packed audience and even managing to get the crowd suitably warmed up for the main act!

Daniel Chantrey - Vega

As for Magnum, I’m fully aware these guys have been around since the early 1970’s, so they’re getting on a bit! They’re a British band from Birmingham, so they have a massive and loyal following both in this country and around Europe. Their style of music didn’t reach popularity until the mid 80’s which can be considered as the golden age of prog rock. Albums such as ‘On a Storytellers Night’ produced by Roger Taylor (Queen) ‘Vigilante’ and ‘Wings of Heaven’ are considered the bands best albums before they split. After reforming the band produced an album called ‘Princess Alice & The Broken Arrow’, which saw the band enter into the UK’s top 75 albums, their first and highest chart entry for some 15 years!

Bob Catley - Magnum

As an ever present force, this band have toured the world extensively and are much loved by many fans all over the globe. With this in mind, I asked Chris what he thought of tonight’s performance?

“You know when you have food that’s just past its ‘use by’ date? You risk it, then wish you hadn’t? Unfortunately that’s Magnum. Sure, the set was flawless and the music rocks but the delivery doesn’t have that freshness, spontaneity or punch in it. Overall the sound was too full, the vocals submerged, lyrics lost. If you were a headbanger in the 80’s and die-hard fan it was probably a good gig. There were enough people there of that persuasion to make the gig a success. The casual listener would have been thinking of his slippers and cocoa before the end and hoping that uncomfortable feeling in the stomach would disappear soon.”

Al Barrow and Mark Stanway - Magnum

A fair an unbiased assessment there, that being said, Magnum do appeal to many of the older generation who still enjoy going out to a gig that isn’t full of 18 year olds, punching each other in the face through the act of windmilling or fly kicking each other in the head. Those days are gone for many in attendance tonight, who were here to simply watch their favourite ‘life long support’ band, Magnum!

Tony Clarkin - Magnum

We’ve been specifically asked not to share the bands set list, so as to not spoil it for others still yet to see the band play, so we wont be including any set spoilers in this review.

Review by Jay Hawkins/Chris Brammer.

Photographer Jay Hawkins at (JJ Photography UK).


The Slade Rooms 4th July 2013

At The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 4th July 2013.

Headlining tonight’s show were VEGA, a British melodic rock band featuring former KICK vocalist Nick Workman, Tom & James Martin and drummer Dan Chantrey. These guys have definitely been gathering momentum like a runaway train recently! Unlike the majority of current melodic rock bands plodding along like lumbering dinosaurs, VEGA have an insane energy that captivates the crowd. I last saw the lads back in April of this year as they closed the opening night on the main stage at Hard Rock Hell in Rotherham after their recent tour supporting FM.

Tom Martin and Nick Workman - Vega

Vega exploded onto stage, opening the show with “Kiss of Life” from their 2010 debut album “Kiss This” which fans of VEGA will know that this is one of the more heavier tracks and certainly a cracking opener! “Not There for You” was amazing performed live with its strong hooks and fantastic chorus-lines, with some excellent guitar work from Tom Martin.


There was a real mixture of songs throughout the night and the tracks from VEGAS latest album “What The Hell” do sound a little different to those from their first album. This is most likely down to the addition of more guitar parts, which in my opinion is never a bad thing. “Saviour” and “What The Hell” were simply sublime and suited Workman’s captivating vocal style to a tee. And while we’re on the subject of Nick Workman – his on stage persona is beyond charismatic!

Nick Workman - Vega

Tracks like “White Knuckle Ride” with its catchy chorus and “Hearts of Glass” had the Wolverhampton crowd whipped up into a frenzy whilst closing track “Hand In The Air” will have stuck in most peoples heads on their journey home…

Dan Chantrey - Vega

VEGA are definitely set to bring back the reputation of British melodic rock, while influenced by some of the greats, they still have a sound that is most unquestionably their own and an identity that will appeal to a massive audience.

Tom Martin - Vega

Words and Photography by Mark at Amplified Gig Photography.