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'Fear Nothing, Tour Edition' (Favoured Nations)

Phil Kane

phil kane

Beverley McClellan Fear Nothing Tour Edition

Fuck me, what's going on? When the UK has talent competitions we vote for fucking dancing dogs, camp Jordan wannabes or screaming divas. The Americans, however, have different ideas, giving us the likes of this young lady, Beverley McClellan, who though not winning the first season of America's version of The Voice - she came 3rd or 4th - her sultry bluesy voice still outclasses anything the Brits seem to be able to come up with.

I don't usually have time for cast offs from reality shows but I think in McClellan's case I can make an exception. She has a fantastically smoky belter of a voice that sounds just as at home on a laid back gospel blues ('Nobody's Fault But Mine') as it does howling on some roughneck SRV hybrid Texan country blues rocker ('Love Will Find A Way Out') or a lopping country road song ('Tender Of The Most').

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Signed to Steve Vai's Favoured Nations label, Beverley has managed to keep the corporate suits at arm's length, granting the album enough elbow room to breathe and make full use of the whiskey and fags quality of her voice. However, 'Fear Nothing...' is nowhere gritty enough to frighten off your average punter.

Primarily a country blues album, it skips over various styles from the breezy Bruce Hornsby-lite 'Precious Times' to 'I Can't Hide Me' with its groove reminiscent of a mellowed out Dan Baird and if Frankie Miller was able he'd kill for a shot at 'Come To Me' but Beverley nonetheless does it credit. Throughout, the album is graced with some nice swampy bottle neck and touches of bluesy country finger picking Americana.

Yet 'Fear Nothing...' still carries a hangover from the artificial environs of the TV reality show. There are moments where her voice sounds forced, too many of the songs are generic anonymous radio friendly ditties that anyone could do and the production, by David Z whose credits include work with Buddy Guy, and you can tell here, is polished enough to iron out any herd worrying jaggedness. The whole thing panders to the lowest common denominators of blatant musical commercialism.

'Fear Nothing...', especially in the last half of the album, has much that will appeal to the trouser swinging middle aged affluent white blues 'fan' and will certainly not have the average housewife rushing to turn off the stereo in righteous fear of offending the Good Lord. Aimed squarely at the chicken-in-a-basket circuit this is an album for sipping cocktails to rather than standing at a bar in a smoky late night club necking Jack and smoking a Marlboro.

Yet, what we have here is a voice that is capable of rivalling the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge. Hell, 'Fear Nothing...' even dares to suggest that when pushed, Beverley McClellan could go head to head with Joanna Dean and Sass Jordan. The problem is going to be getting McClellan material that will do her voice justice.

Hopefully Vai and his cohorts won't damn Beverley McClellan to the sort of bland commercial hell 'Fear Nothing...' flirts with. This is Beverley's sixth album so her experience and obvious strength of character should empower her to tell folk to fuck off when they try to stick their damn fingers in her pie.

The girl has the voice, background, native American ancestry and the musical skill to produce something special. Now that she has scratched the commercial itch picked up from the TV studio, let's hope her next album will be the visceral tour de force 'Fear Nothing...' suggests she is capable of.

The best, if we haven't already missed it, is hopefully yet to come.





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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