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'Guitars, Beers & Tears'

Pippa Lang

pippa lang

Dave 'Bucket' Colwell has a pedigree as long as his guitar-whammying arm, his name set in stone as an active player in UK rock history over the past thirty years. Lately Bad Company's guitarist, he was recently inducted into the Harrod's Guitar Hall of Fame.


For this, his solo album, he's gathered a circle of quality mates, including Adrian Smith, Spike from the Quireboys, Thunder's Danny Bowes and Gary 'Harry' James, New York Dolls' Steve Conte and Bad Company's Robert Hart. Harry James and bassist/backing vocalist Jaz Lochrie retain the rhythm section throughout, whilst the rest play musical chairs.

'Guitars, Beers & Tears' is British rock at its best, its diversity maintained not just by the assortment of singers involved (nine over the twelve tracks), but the varieties of rock showcased here. It is, after all, a large umbrella.

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There're the easy rockers like the mighty title track itself, plus 'Make Up Your Mind', 'Why You Call' and 'Life', sweet rock ballads 'Girl Of My Dreams', 'Somebody To Love' and 'Why Can't It Be Me'; the grinding, bluesier rock of 'Survive' and superb Frankie Miller cover 'I'd Lie To You', and smoother, melodic rock of 'If You Need Me'.

There are enough influences and styles at play here, with sax-players, keyboardists, harmonica players, fiddlers and backing vocalists (including Lauren Harris) nipping in and out, to cause a pile-up, never mind vocalists swapping mics.

You can hear the Bad Company influence on 'Make Up Your Mind', written with Adrian Smith. In fact, for those who've never heard Adrian as a frontline singer, this and 'Reach Out' will have you nodding appreciatively, at the very least. The latter was originally on the B-side to Maiden's 'Wasted Years' (1986).

From Spike's familiar rasp (guess he's been gargling with broken glass again), to Danny Bowes' and Edwin Cain's straight-as-a-die rockout vocals, the powerhouse intro from new kid-on-the-block Chris Ousey, and Bad Co Robert Hart's sublime vocals on 'Somebody To Love', there must've been a lotta spittle on the mic. I have to say, though, that because of Hart's propensity to bend his voice between rock, soul and pop, there is a danger this song could get picked up by the next Boyzone. Ahem.

Moving swiftly on, 'Why You Call', in particular, showcases Bucket's superb guitar talents, with Andy Hamilton's session sax returning us to solid rock a la Springsteen.

The title and timing of 'Guitars, Beers & Tears' are pretty poignant for Bucket at this point in time, particularly, I would imagine, 'Why Can't It Be Me' and 'Somebody To Love'. A tad schmaltzy, but then we're all allowed to bleed a little, aren't we? He's not just a revered guitarist, but a fantastic bloke with a lot of humility, much-loved amongst the British rock elite.

Only natural that his mates would want to be a part of this immensely satisfying album, not only from British rock's point-of-view but, obviously, Bucket's. Much catharsis going on here - which is, after all, what music's for, from both sides of the coin.

Buckets of talent…



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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