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  MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS

BLACKFOOT
London, Islington Academy
6th November 2011

marktaylor



From Jacksonville, Florida, Blackfoot gave the Southern Rock scene a serious kick up the butt with a trio of hard-hitting albums between 1979 and '81 with the classics 'Strikes', 'Tomcattin'' and 'Marauder'. Their infectious brand of rattlesnake rock'n'roll captured the imagination of many rock fans. Led by the towering, loudmouthed Rickey Medlocke with his side-kick Charlie Hargrett on guitar, keeping rhythm were native Red Indians Greg T Walker and Jackson Spires.

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Unfortunately, I never got to see Blackfoot in their prime. Like most bands, record company interference meant the band had to head in a more commercial direction, with dull results with former Uriah Heep Hammond grinder Ken Hensley joining for the album 'Siogo'. (For trivia fans, 'Siogo' was not an Indian word but, in fact, an anagram coined by the roadies, Suck It Or Get Out.)

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The band were close to implosion for 'Vertical Smiles', where I eventually caught my first sighting of Blackfoot on a cold- and rain-soaked day at Knebworth Festival '85, when they were on the bill supporting the reformed Deep Purple.

These days, you can't get Rickey Medlocke in a headlock to rejoin Blackfoot, as he is too busy coining in the nickels with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Drummer Jackson Spires sadly passed away in 2005, which means it's down to Greg T Walker and Charlie Hargrett to keep on flying the Southern Flag, or so we thought. Unbeknownst to most punters here tonight, Charlie Hargett left the band in June this year after having to "cease and desist". It sounds like someone has stood on sour grapes somehwere behind the scenes, so don't be too surprised by his return at some point. His place has been taken by Randy Pete, who does an amicable job. Taking the leading role is Skinny Molly's Mike Estes, who has replaced Bobby Darth who had to retire due to ill health.

For a Sunday night, the Islington Academy saw a healthy turnout who were treated to an excellent support band worth the price of admission alone. Virgil & The Accelerators were outstanding. These guys are a power blues trio who feature the teenagers Virgil McHahon and his brother Gabriel on drums. With touches of Cream, Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan in their cannon, the guitar work was mesmerizing with solos aplenty. Step aside Mr Bonamassa. Household names in the making who really upped the ante for Blackfoot.

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Now, I wasn't expecting Blackfoot to be anything like their former selves, but I was looking foward to hearing some of their greatest tunes. 'Good Morning' was the alarm call I needed, strangely, followed by three covers that Blackfoot had previously recorded, including a stomping take on Free's 'Wishing Well'. Mike Estes may not have the charisma of Medlocke, but he did a good job stamping his own identity on the sound of Blackfoot.

The show really kicked in with 'Dry County', by which stage any doubters had been won over. 'Train Train' (a Dolly Parton favourite, no less) was in no danger of derailing and was good headbanging fun. The highlight of the evening was set ender 'Highway Song', which builds up in very much the same way as Skynyrd's 'Freebird'. Some great guitar duelling from Estes and Pete was pure air guitar nirvana.

Yee-haw! it was great to see Greg T Walker still dedicated to his art, and a good time was had by all.

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Setlist:

Good Morning
Wishing Well
Morning Dew
I Got A Line On You
Baby Blue
Great Spirit
Fox Chase
Let Turn On A Red Light
Dry County
Rollin' & Tumblin'
Fly Away
Train Train
Highway Song

Crossroads

22.11.11






WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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