The difference a week makes with your musical journeys ;-)

It is a funny thing, especially if like me you have a very wide ranging musical taste, but any particular week can have so many changes of pace/genre/style and vibe. For example, on the previous weekend I was at a mainly AOR Festival, acts like Dave Bickler former Survivor lead singer, KIX, Vince Neil and Loverboy, and having been there not only as a fan but also working as a Photographer and Reviewer keeps your mind focused on what type of music you are watching and loving.

Steve Whiteman of KIX headlining the opening night of Rockingham 2017

So perhaps on a psychological level after that much of a thought process going on in your head you will find it impossible not to prejudge what you next see and hear. This past weekend it was Orange Goblin on Friday night and that was quickly followed by Hardcore Superstar and Fozzy on Saturday, all very different styles of music, all very different vibes, two hometown shows this time, and all very interesting, but it was really just so hard to get into the gigs, don’t know if it was the overtired feeling in my head, the busy week with work stress etc, or simply the fact that I have so much in my memory to push into the Rockingham review. This of course doesn’t help when you are reviewing one of these shows, so the only option was to get it done as quickly as follows, which was the approach I took, a four band bill, all very different types of bands and done and dusted the night after the show. Good going if I do say so myself.

Today is a Bank Holiday in Ireland, so was planning to get the photos pretty much done and complete the Day 1 review to submit tonight, but a massive headache and that drained feeling aren’t helping, also have to make a trip to my mams yet and time is getting on, Stop the roundabout I want to take a break, a few hours sleep would definitely not go amiss. Early night tonight and back into work tomorrow.

Mike Reno of Loverboy – headlining the final night of Rockingham 2017

Still three gigs in a week is definitely an improvement and some cracking gigs coming up in November, and again a very wide variety, starting this coming Friday with one I really can’t wait for, Leprous for me have produced one of the albums of the year, Progressive Rock/Metal of the highest order, really looking forward to seeing can they pull off the sound live. Still to come are the likes of Tyketto, Bigfoot, Jinjer, Maverick and perhaps a bit of Frank Carter, before Decemenber kicks in with more.

Rockingham 2017 may just have broken me ;-)

What a wonderful weekend that was, wonderful musicians, including some names to cross off the Bucketlist, special performances,  and getting to hang around with some of my favourite people (albeit all too briefly as work was really busy).

The hard work is in full swing now working on the Photographs and Full Review of the Festival, yes I know, I know, wasn’t so long ago that I said I wouldn’t be doing the Review and Photography think at a Full 3 day Festival anymore, but to be honest, it seems to be quite difficult these days to get a Reviewer for a Festival, especially the smaller ones, so in order to get the job done someone has to step forward.

This years Festival was simply a joy from start to finish, working with some great people who are friends, shooting and watching some wonderful bands and although it all goes by far too quickly it’s always worth the effort. With headliners like KIX, Vince Neil and Loverboy there was a lot of fun and energy around the place.

Here are a few photos of different bands, the Full Review will follow when published and Full Galleries of all the bands after that. Hope you enjoy them.


Click on any of the Thumbnails below to see a larger version of the picture.

Back in the saddle again ;-)

Just a quick post before I get a few hours sleep and begin my journey to Rockingham 2017. The excitement has been building all day, but honestly it’s tomorrow that it will all kick off.

Touch wood everything is in place and I will be covering the Festival for The Midlands Rocks again, and although I’m already tired this is just going to be another brilliant weekend, bands that I have never seen live before and have waited many many years to do so, and some of my favourite bands and artists all under one roof, add to that getting to spend time among some of the best people I know, hard to go wrong really. Then there’s the added bonus of a very comfortable bed and possibility to catch up on some sleep (we shall see about that one).

There’s even an additional bonus of the launch of the debut Midnite City album tomorrow afternoon before the Festival starts – brilliant, it’s a great album and can’t wait to hear some of the songs live.

Wish me luck and will hopefully have some updates over the weekend either here, or on the Tears Of Fire Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages 😉

Reacting to life’s changing circumstances.

Been a bit quiet for a while, but there’s just been so much going on with real life and family that I honestly have had to put a lot of my musical life on hold, this happens to us all at certain points in time, but it’s been a pretty difficult year all in all and as we hit October and I look back on what I’ve been to and done this year gig/review wise and it’s definitely been a lot less than normal, but there have been some great ones in there and have an over ambitious list of gigs to try and get through before the year is out. Of course for someone with Epilepsy, which is brought on by exhaustion, I will have to be careful with this stuff.

Right now a lot of my free time is not under my control and I have come to terms with that, but without my musical outlet the chances of slowly going mad are of course rising by the day, so in a couple of weeks I will be attending the Rockingham Festival in Nottingham, and am thrilled that I will be shooting/reviewing it, so a working break, but a much needed break all the same. And in reality it will become more difficult to get away for 3/4 days as time goes on and the need to be close to home becomes more important, for one reason or another, so I certainly don’t take going away lightly, the support of a very understanding wife and the help of some family and friends allows the possibility to be come a reality. At times at the moment it’s like working 3 jobs and not having a break inbetween, or very little, that’s where the stress, strain and sheer exhaustion kick in. So the opportunity to get away and shoot acts like Loverboy, KIX, Vince Neil, Harem Scarem, John Parr etc………   WOW, it’s going to be great, and a few nights in a hotel will hopefully bring some much needed sleep along with it.

I did manage to get over to see one of my Bucketlist bands, Living Colour, a couple of weeks ago and that was just an awesome night, but a night is gone by in a flash and have had to miss two gigs since, so it’s back into the same sort of rut again, which can be difficult to wrap your head around. Luckily there are a lot of good friends out there that we can all use to bounce things off, never be afraid to share with friends and let people know when times are difficult, we can all use help when everything gets on top of us.

What next year holds, well we will see, but with some gigs and Festivals already scheduled we can just hope that things become a little easier, my son will be running around a lot more by then, so that will be a different and fun type of change, but I think everyone needs an outlet of some sort, be it creative or just a fun hobby to escape to and release the pressure every now and then.

Expect a lot of updates with regards to Rockingham over the next month, and fingers crossed for some positive stuff in the near future 😉

Ebb and flow, ups and downs ;-)

Lot’s of positives and a few negatives recently, have finally managed to start writing again, hopefully not a temporary thing, but it’s been great to get some new reviews written up (damn I must add the links to the Reviews Section here, which also needs a revamp). Getting back into listening to some brilliant new music has been exceptionally therapeutic.

This year has once again seen a huge amount of really high quality Album releases and we are not yet mid way through August, there is still a lot more one it’s way in the coming months, exciting times. With regards to getting out to Gigs, well that’s been pretty slow of late, had to cancel my plans for going to the wonderful Bloodstock Festival, but still hoping there’s a lot to come (certainly plenty penciled in and November has become crazily busy already).  Looking forward to a hectic time ahead, but will need to manage the energy levels along the way. And of course the everyday trials and tribulations of life can put a spanner in the works on occasion. Will hopefully make the next Gig Trip all the sweeter, to see a Bucketlist band and hopefully meet up with some of my FB friends that I have yet to meet in person, which is always a bonus.

While relaxing a bit this evening it seemed only fitting to take a little look back at one of the many wonderful highlights of last year for me, getting to shoot the wonderful Jean Beauvoir (The Plasmatics, Voodoo X, Crown Of Thorns) at Rockingham last October in Nottingham, the weekend was going to be awesome anyway, but to finally get to see Jean and not only that but have Tommy Lafferty and Hawk Lopez in his band, and on top of that they were going to be playing some Crown of Thorns songs, WOW!!!!   blew me away, not afraid to say it brought a teat to my eye with songs like “Dying For Love” and “Standing On The  Corner”, a moment in time that will never be forgotten. So a couple of touch ups and some photos that I haven’t released before ended up in a new Folder and here they are. Will add them to the Gallery at when I get a chance.

So onward we move, want to try and complete another review or two before the weekend is over and then it’s another Bucketlist band on Monday night in Dublin, things are looking up.


Words, Pictures and Life Balance

It has been such an unproductive couple of months for me with regards to writing and catching up with stuff, but I have been trying to get through it, which is easier said than done, there have been a couple of days where I thought the mist had lifted a small window of clarity, but like a switch it went back to not being able get cohesive thoughts from my head to the laptop screen. Got to persevere though, it will I hope click back into place as easily as it stopped. (Yes seems like crazy talk as I’m writing this, but this is right off the cuff, not an analysis of an Album or Gig. That’s where the problems seem to be arriving).

After looking back on the quantity of reviews that I’ve actually submitted over the last 3 1/2 years it’s pretty hectic, over 4 per month and then pretty much a Live Gig review a month on top of that and an interview here and there. Add that to the Photography, a very busy full time job and a very young family and it’s just that bit too much. So a step back and lets try this again 😉

Going to post some photos from HRH Blues back in April as I try and finish off the words – wish me LUCK 😉

I may just need it …………………………………

The Wild Atlantic Way is another piece of Heaven.

The natural beauty of the Country you live in is often something that simply never enters your mind when you are younger, it bypasses you as the exploration of other parts of the World takes hold, or you simply haven’t taken the time to explore your own Countey, Island or even local area.

View over North Fhee, Turloughmore and Slieve Aughty in The Burren, Co. Clare. Ireland

This is quite true of me, as a child our family would have brought us to different parts of the Ireland (my Country of birth), but I don’t think as a child you really appreciate the sheer beauty that may be 1 hours drive from your bedroom. Having taken holidays/vacation in different parts of Europe, the US and Canada over the years since, it has only been the last few years that we have stayed on home soil, especially since the birth of our son 19 months.

Cliffs around Loop Head Peninsula, Co. Clare

Since then we have traveled around a lot of this Islands coastline, both North amd South, visiting places like the Giants Causeway and Malin Head and many stops around the Wild Atlantic Way and without doubt we can say that we are seeing so many different areas of stunning beauty, it’s a very liberating experience, so much so that we are already beginning to plan next years trip.



As for our son, well we will see if he develops the same appreciation, for now he is certainly experiencing different places, and he is not quite up to meeting different animals. Still to come this week is a trip to the Cliffs Of Moher and weather dependent visits to gardens, beaches and whatever else we can fit in.

An Emu we met at Moher Open Farm