HRH AOR 6 has definitely destroyed me ;-)

Well I’m home safe but definitely not sound 😉

Arrived back at around 8pm last night and to be honest was a complete Zombie for the whole day from the moment I got up, and then couldn’t sleep, that’s what being overtired does to a body.

As for the Weekend, brilliant, from Joe Lynn Turner to Night Ranger to Skid Row, each day brought some terrific performances, from bands I’d expected to be great like Eclipse, The Radio Sun, Midnite City,  Blood Red Saints and more…  and then of course there were the wonderful surprised like finally getting to catch Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics and being blown away by the performance, or having a band like The King Lot open up the Friday Main Stage and kicking everyone’s ass into gear from the first song, great stuff and all part of what turned out to be another brilliant HRH AOR weekend.

Lots to write up, just need the head to clear, and let it flow, and a hell of a lot of photos to get sorted through, but will get there, need to get some sleep the rest of the week and go at it again fresh, so far very pleased with how some shots are coming out and a bit disappointed with others…..but that’s the nature of things – will keep plugging away. Have to make sure I don’t get exhausted and bring on an episode, and damn have to hit Sepultura on Thursday and get some other reviews in, busy times.

Very very tired and not sleeping now, but trying to work through the photos, hopefully you will like them when I have the full galleries up, here’s a small taster.





After the snow….

Don’t know what it’s been like in your part of the world, but here in Ireland we’ve been hit by what is for us a very unusual weather event, we tend to get very small amounts of snowfall during the winter months, and even at that it grinds the country to a halt 😉   But from last Wednesday we got hit by a much bigger event, snow for a few days that was very heavy at times and blizzard like, the meeting of a storm and a blizzard decided to dump as much as it could on our little green island, and the havoc caused was crazy, from the near Black Friday frantic scenes as people scrambled to buy sliced pans of bread, literally stripping delivery cages bare before they even made it to the shelves, yes for bread and milk, it wasn’t like the conditions were due to last weeks, a day or two.

But with snow drifts up to 10 feet high it certainly was causing problems, no public transport of any kind, flights in and out of the country completely wiped out, and people told to stay in their homes and not venture out. Well this is Monday night and the reality is most of it is all gone, a thaw for a day and a half and that’s it panic over, the sliced pans are no longer on Ebay for €1,000 😉

The birds weren’t too bothered, they still came to the garden to get their treats from the feeders or try their luck with the frozen ground. It’s all back to normalish now, a couple of days stuck in the house and people were going stir crazy, the supermarkets are still bare shelved, their distribution centers trying frantically to restock. In fairness the snowfall was more than double the previous records, so for her, a place that doesn’t have a reason to invest heavily in infrastructure or equipment for such an event if it only happens every 30 or 50 years, it wouldn’t be that prudent, but maybe when they add up the total cost it might be worth doing more.

Poor Blackbird scavenging around the garden in the snow.


But hey we are rolling into Spring now and it’s time to look forward to better weather, more trips, gigs and Festivals, it’s really lifting the spirits, which have honestly been a little low of late. We start this week with the HRH AOR Festival in Pwllheli, North Wales which I will be shooting at for the 4th year running, this year for my good friends at and will look forward to photographing and seeing some terrific bands and of course catching up with some wonderful friends along the way. This years bill includes headliners Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen), Night Ranger and Skid Row. This is always a great weekend, and handy to be an indoor Festival at this time of year with lots of facilities on-site.



Busy month of gigs ahead, still have Sepultura, Steven Wilson, Cannibal Corpse, Gary Numan, Maverick and Danny Vaughn & Dan Reed to come this month, and HRH Blues in April.the year is pretty full with some great and very varied stuff, going to try and get to shoot more shows.

Eclipse – HRH AOR 2015

Another plan this year is to try and get out and get some decent photographs of Butterflies, but natural homegrown ones and some more tropical ones at Butterfly Gardens around the country, will try my very best to get this done. And then onto our holiday in Donegal, more Wild Atlantic Way sights, a different part of Donegal, so we will get to see the beautiful Fanad Lighthouse  and area this time around.

Black Swallowtal with blue wings.

So bring it all on, lets hope it’s a great few months for us all and brigher weather brings brighter moods, with a lot of friends struggling through various illnesses at the moment, thoughts and prayers are with them all for speedy and full recoveries, and we all need to live life to the fullest while we have it, have fun out there.

A little bit more productive….Review wise

Well there is no doubt that my productivity as a Music Reviewer hit a low point in the second half of 2017, but in reality it was unavoidable, much less free time to work on stuff and much more responsibility looking after a loved one, such are the ways of life, but still managed to get a couple of reviews a month done, which is probably the average for a lot of people.

So how has 2018 begun, well so far have 2 published reviews, and two being submitted this evening, and a bunch more on the go, so that’s all positive, if I can keep to 4 a month I’ll be more than happy as the year progresses.

First couple of published reviews (Blood Red Saints and Ailafar) are in the AOR/Hard Rock spectrum, but as always there will be lots of variety in genres, styles as I always cover across the musical ranges, it works with my own tastes that are very wide ranging, everything from AOR to Black Metal, Blues, Hardcore, Rock anything to be honest.

Links to any of my reviews for 2018 can be fond on the following page –

Reviews Albums/Gigs 2018

We can already see just how much content is coming in during January and it’s at times a little overwhelming, it’s getting more and more difficult for Media Outlets to cover even close to what’s now being released. Plenty of new names on the scene too which is healthy, but there’s always a worry that at some point we get over saturation and and lots of quality releases could get lost in the mix. Lets hope that doesn’t happen and we will work hard to try and get somewhat informed views of albums out there before they are released, at least that’s the plan 😉

How much have you planned for 2018 ? Are you mad ????? ;-)

Ok, back so quickly, yes but it suddenly hit me just how much I already have in my thoughts or actually organised for 2018. Current count is a total of 32 Gigs, of them 4 Festivals that I think are already organised, 6 Trips to the UK, and we haven’t even gotten things started yet. So the question comes flying at me again in big capitals –

ARE YOU MAD ????????

The answer is clearly yes, but hey, I’ve a lot to make up for, and I really want to get as much done this year as possible, as I think it may be the last year I can do much at all for a while. So lets throw caution to the wind and see how it goes. Really looking forward to it, lets keep the energy as high as possible and see where it takes us.

Today another one got added, the wonderful Pat McManus Band playing in Dublin in Feb. Hell Yeah !!!

The Pat McManus Band - DRC - 26-09-2014
Pat McManus – DRC – 26-09-2014


Marking achievements gets harder every year ?

Really it does, as we grow older and our circumstances change, along with the demands on our time from not only our work but also family or other external influences, it becomes harder to see what you have gotten done in a year.

Personally, well I would say on the Photography/Music front, less than I got done last year, but at the same time considering all that has changed in my life this year perhaps a lot more than I could have expected.

Attended at least 2 Gigs/Festivals a month (yes a significant drop on anything in the last 8 years – but still some awesome shows)

In reality I have only been able to shoot a few shows this year, and luckily also a number of Festivals, which helped a lot. But those I have done have been terrific to be at and even better to shoot, some of my favourite Artists, some from the Bucketlist that have been crossed off, and some for fun that really were that.

Reviews wise – well even with a few days to go I’m still trying to get over the 36 mark for albums, and perhaps only 10 Gigs/Festivals, again a noticeable drop on three or four years ago when I started Writing, but at the same time 3 per month isn’t all that shabby. It’s still an honour to cover Albums and Gigs for a number of Sites.

At the end of the day these are just figures and don’t mean a hell of a lot, but it’s always an easy way of seeing how busy you have been with other things. Perhaps not a fair comparison but in 2014 the figures were 69 Gigs/Festivals and 61 Reviews, and pretty much the same in 2015. perhaps they were the exceptions 😉

But there are many other things that have happened that can be marked as success stories, and even winning small battles should never be ignored.

Still 2017 has been a difficult one, and here’s to 2018 being a much better, happier and healthier year for us all.


So how has 2017 panned out – good, bad or indifferent ?

Well personally, it’s been a bit of a mess of a year, so much stuff going on and less and less time to do stuff I’d like to get done. The year has flown by, and although I’ve missed so many more gigs than I’d ever like to, through illness (of everyone) and other commitments taking precedence, additional responsibilities and just less time in general. But having said that I’ve still managed to attend, and shoot some amazing events with some Artists I’ve always dreamed of seeing. And although there’s not much left of the year, there’s still a couple of gigs left to get in.

Really would have loved to have gotten back over to Bloodstock again, but sometimes family stuff just has to take priority and that was certainly the case in 2017, but there will always be other gigs, and boy oh boy does next year look unbelievable – so many Festivals with stellar lineups, gigs and Tours getting announced every couple of days, it’s going to be a complete blockbuster.

Highlights of this year so far have got to have been –  Click on an image to go to the Gallery.

Jo Harman/Elles Bailey – Jo’s stunning show at the Jazz Cafe in Feb, now available on CD – do go and check it out.

Jo Harman – Jazz Cafe London, Feb 2017


Elles Bailey – Jazz Cafe London, Feb 2017


Shooting HRH AOR again, with some brilliant performances as always and getting to see bands I have not seen in almost 30 years, the likes of Lita Ford, Michael Monroe, Slaughter and Autograph, or some newer bands like The Radio Sun.

The Radio Sun – HRH AOR V

Shooting HRH Blues in Sheffield, some terrific artists and performances and a number of whom I hadn’t managed to see before.

Sean Webster Band – HRH Blues 2017

Rockingham 2017 – another absolutely kick ass weekend with great bands and people, this Festival has definitely become a highlight of the Calendar, roll on 2018.

Vince Neil – Rockingham 2017

Here’s to more next year and a number of Bucketlist bands to cross off the list, already have some excellent shows lined up for the New Year – and looking forward to shooting a couple of shows early in Januray  \m/ \m/

Where does the time go ? ;-)

It’s just disappearing so quickly this year, and yes I know we all say the same thing every year as we get older, but in particular the last couple of months have just gone by in the blink of an eye.

It is ridiculous that my trip to the Rockingham Festival is now a month ago, seriously a whole month and so much has happened since then, good and bad, but the wheels of life keep on turning, committments with work and family have certainly taken their toll this year, and have probably left me the most tired my body has been for a number of years. At the same time having managed to avoid taking a fit (as I am epileptic) and continuing to get some Review/Photo work done outside of everything else, so that is a small miracle in itself.  ( Rockingham 2017  & Reviews to check them out ).

Pekka Ansio Heino - Brother Firetribe - Rockingham 2017
Pekka Ansio Heino – Brother Firetribe – Rockingham 2017

So as November draws to a close a lot of thoughts have to come to mind for the different Sites that I work with for Best of Lists for 2017, and that’s going to take a bit of time, it’s a lot more difficult for me at times with the vary varied tastes that I have in music, and can be quite stressful. This year there have been a lot of great new album releases from both new bands and some excellent new content from older bands, which is great to see. Right now I’m working on a number of reviews to get back quite quickly, and taking in a lot of bands from Asia, some cracking Thrash Metal from Bangladesh in the form of EXALTER, alongside some bluesy southern rock tinged rock from this side of the World from Samarkind which has been getting a regular spin on my music players.

As we are about to hit the Christmas season I have unfortunately had to cancel some gig plans recently again due to some family stuff that needed attention, but I’ve added in some last minute ones to try and make up for it, and next year it looking like a bumper one, it will be the last one for a while I think I can do a lot of gigs as the little man will be more mobile and expensive 😉   So I think next year it things work out I’m going to get in as much as I can, already planning and plotting  with a few Festivals and a number of Gigs already organised. Including hearing one of my all time favourite albums from start to finish in the 2nd week in January, and shooting the show, so marking some more off the Bucketlist.

Bring on 2018, it’s going to be a more memorable year than 2017 for me, I can just feel it 😉                        and much less sickness all around  \m/ \m/