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STRAIGHT EIGHT No Noise From Here / Shuffle’n'Cut / Straight To The Heart


The band’s first album (No Noise From Here) is a real rockin’ kinda affair while the follow-up (Shuffle’n'Cut) finds them in a more power pop vein (similar to The Cars). While we kinda like the debut album best, in all honesty all three albums have their great moments. The second disc includes four bonus cuts, most importantly the hard-to-find single “Spread It Around.” We love the packaging here…each disc looks like an eight ball (one red, one blue).

babysue (November 2015)

…if the power riffs of ‘I Idolise You’ chimed in more with American AOR of the day than UK’s post-punk, ‘Nicotine Boys’ taps right into it – with gusto, while Boot Kingsman’s bluesy licks spice up the organ-oiled ‘Take It All Back’ and ‘Power Cut,’ the latter – a Winter of Discontent snapshot – sitting in the heart of 1980′s ‘Shuffle ‘n’ Cut,’ a rather different proposition. No ‘duplication of yesterday’ as stated in one of the pieces here, it starts with the bubbling ‘I’m Sorry’ baring the band’s new pop agenda and takes ‘On The Rebound’ to the dancefloor in fine fashion, whereas ‘I Can’t Stop’ are ‘Satisfied’ are channelling the CLASH sort of twang and vocal chops.

John Burns’ sympathetic production, honed on prog, makes pieces like the anthemic ‘Only You’ or the elegant rocker ‘Heartbreaker’ sound modern even now… (November 2015)

Now, after three decades, their three albums are collected on two CDs, plus some bonus tracks. I must confess that I’ve never heard of this band and their songs are not familiar to me. It’s American-inspired, melodic rock. The bonus tracks include ‘Spread It Around’, which was produced by Pete Townshend…

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

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JENNY DARREN Heartbreaker-Best Of 1977-1980


…In fact there is much to enjoy here. Jenny Darren has the sort of raunchy rock voice that made Janis Joplin a star and the tracks on display here show her to be very much at home with the late ’70s mainstream rock sound. Her version of Heartbreaker is as good as Benatar’s and makes you wonder what might have been if things had worked out differently. The magnificently titled ‘Grand Canyon Of My Dreams’ could have slipped off a Heart album and is one of three tracks to feature a certain Nicko McBrain on drums. An interesting discovery for me and well worth checking out.

Classic Rock Society (January/February 2016)

Opener ‘Heartbreaker’ is the song which…yep, you read the story before. Only that this time it’s Jenny Darren’s version and performed as intended…Those good souls at Angel Air Records really do have a knack for ‘resurrecting’ either almost forgotten or underrated artists! There is a fair mix across the 19 tracks we get, incorporating rock, funky blues, bluesy rock and softer fare. Tracks 3, 7, and 17 even features Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain on drums!

….It get’s very bluesy and full-on raunchy on ‘Use What You Got’ and for sure Jenny uses best what she’s got, which is one hell of a voice. The unique ‘City Lights’ skilfully fuses snazzy 70′s disco-funk with truck-loads of soul, though it is the track ‘Skydiver’ which in my opinion stands out the most: a fabulous rock sound glides into softer pop terrain and back again to harder rhythms, all the while we can hear cool strings and some quirky sounds backing up this little gem.

A real treat this for all you Jenny Darren fans out there, and as for the uninitiated: get a copy and allow yourself to get seduced by her truly outstanding talent.

Music-News (January 2016)

Know that Jenny opened for AC/DC, Streetwalkers, Patti Smith, and performed at Reading and Knebworth festivals, proof of perfect talent, just as ‘Best Of’ demonstrates.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

These songs have a late 70′s sound that is likely to appeal to lots of folks considering how influential the decade has become over time. Darren sure could belt out the tunes. She’s been compared to Janis Joplin, and the comparison is certainly justified. She also reminds us of Tina Turner at times. Nineteen classy rockers including “Heartbreaker,” “Too Many Lovers,” “So Many People,” and “Ladykiller.”

babysue (November 2015)

So thanks to reissue (and more) specialists Angel Air, ladies and gentlemen, here is a singer who could have rivalled Janis Joplin for power, handles a track which made Pat Benatar’s name, with ease and slides smoothly from rock to pop, funk to soul and so much more.

In fact Darren is now a more familiar face to followers of jazz, than she is the pointed rock this “best of” demonstrates so ably. Bringing together songs from her four albums between 1977 and 1980, this collection shows the talent and versatility of this lady to the full.

Sea Of Tranquility (November 2015)

…the fierce ‘Use What You Got’ could have come from Muscle Shoals, as there’s a triumphant roar blaring out, whereas ‘Skydiver’ off 1980′s ‘Jenny Darren’ – yes, the second named after the artist – rolls out a Nicko McBrain-propelled acoustically-laced epic drama which somehow predicted the singer’s vanishing from the public eye. Still, defiant as she is in the hard-rocking ‘Ladykiller’ – that should be renamed ‘Lady Killer’ – Jenny Darren’s returning with a vengeance. Watch out! (October 2015)

The 19 tracks on this anthology all date from the period 1977 to 1980. At the time, Jenny played the support act for AC / DC, stood at the festivals Reading and Knebworth and supported Streetwalker and Patti Smith on tour. The musicians on most of the tracks are Jenny as a singer, Cliff Wade on keyboards, Lee Patrick on guitar, Des Tong on bass and Geoff Gill on percussion. The title track opens the set on a floating rock rhythm. ‘Lay Me Like A Lady’ starts slow but then turns into rock. By contrast, ‘Grand Canyon Of My Dreams’ is rather quiet, and a little further on is ‘I Got The Feeling’ which features soul elements with strings. The other tracks all are situated in the same vein…Excellent for fans of retro rock.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

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Steve Ellis is one of the great and unique British songwriters who has the capability to write good songs of his own and to pick winners from other composers. In 2004 Steve recorded this Best Of Days album, which is now released as a budget priced CD. Guest musicians include Roger Daltrey and Paul Weller…Standout tracks are ‘Brand New Start’, ‘Step Inside’, ‘Nu Clear Blues’, ‘Requiem For A Tyrant’, ‘Best Of Days’ and a laid back ‘Everlasting Love’.

Bev Bevan (December 2015)

…”Step Inside” (featuring Weller) is a groovy number that proves infectious. “Requiem For A Tyrant” pulling out a stunning acoustic guitar line and marrying it to eerie piano to allow Ellis’s voice to shine in a surprisingly fragile manner. The two tracks featuring Daltrey don’t disappoint either, “Nu Clear Blues” finding The Who frontman bringing his dirtiest harmonica licks to bare in fine style, while “Yellow Rose Of Texas” is a lovely throwaway moment that induces a little grin every time you hear its twenty-five seconds or so!

However, even with that guest power elsewhere, it’s the beautifully arranged “El Doomo” which seduces in a most melancholic manner and the irresistible “As The Crow Flies” which could easily have been taken to the top of the charts if David Gray had deemed it fit to record (ironically it’s not the same cut as the David Gray song of the same name). However with the album’s title track and “Modesty” proving almost as alluring, there’s much to enjoy here. One of the forgotten, classic voices the UK has produced over the years, there’s much reason to rejoice in the music of Steve Ellis and the aptly titled Best Of Days, reissued here by Angel Air, is definitely one of them.

Sea Of Tranquility (November 2015)

As a bonus you can enjoy a live version of ‘Everlasting Love’ where the singer is accompanied by PAUL WELLER and STEVE CRADDOCK (OCEAN COLOUR SCENE) on guitars. Recorded at the Fairfield Hall Croydon, it’s a beautiful way to finish and is as successful as any other track on the album.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

No surprise to find Paul Weller (mod champion) featured and Steve’s old friend Roger Daltrey weighing in on ‘Nu Clear Blues’ with a great harmonica part. It’s (for me) songs like Steve’s ‘Little One’ and the title track ‘Best Of Days’ that stand out, the latter being genuinely uplifting. Elsewhere minor hit ‘El Doomo’ gets a reworking, again to great effect. Overall a class album that rewards and deserves multiple listens.

SMART – Seventies Music And Retro Talk (October 2015)

Down to earth, the prairie pining is what ‘Requiem For A Tyrant’ gets high on for Steve’s vocals to show their lucid transparency, but the drift gets warm in ‘Turn To Stone’ which fathoms the passing of years in the miles of intimate gratitude to life itself. That’s what the whole of this album is all about, the songs’ joie de vivre spilling over into its follow-up “Ten Commitments”: that’s the everlasting love. 4/5 Stars (October 2015)

‘Everlasting Love’ is simply sublime, it’s a far more acoustic version than the original. We also get a live version of this number which Paul Weller contributes. Furthermore, other songs that Steve now presents in a completely different way are “Requiem For A Tyrant”, “Modesty” and a very short version of the classic “Yellow Rose Of Texas”.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

…this appealing 2008 package features not one but two fine versions of ‘Everlasting Love’ with an understated acoustic re-vamp rubbing shoulders with a much more heartfelt live rendition recorded with Paul Weller during the latter’s ‘Wings of Speed’ tour in 2001.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)

Several of the compositions carry ‘Ellis’ writing credits, and they include a re-working of his previously recorded ‘El Doomo’. Meanwhile, ‘Step Inside’ has Paul Weller on guitar and keyboards (with Ellis also covering the Jam man’s song ‘Brand New Star’). Roger Daltrey’s on another cut, and Ellis (sometimes sounding here like early Rod Stewart) is clearly respected by Daltrey and Weller – and not just for his ‘mod’ affiliations.

The Beat (October 2015)

…even with that guest power elsewhere, it’s the beautifully arranged “El Doomo” which seduces in a most melancholic manner and the irresistible “As The Crow Flies” which could easily have been taken to the top of the charts if David Gray had deemed it fit to record (ironically it’s not the same cut as the David Gray song of the same name). However with the album’s title track and “Modesty” proving almost as alluring, there’s much to enjoy here. One of the forgotten, classic voices the UK has produced over the years, there’s much reason to rejoice in the music of Steve Ellis and the aptly titled Best Of Days, reissued here by Angel Air, is definitely one of them.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)

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STONE THE CROWS Teenage Licks/Ontinuous Performance


Teenage Licks is a total success as it is filled with energy, thanks to the exceptional vocal parts by Maggie Bell but also the brilliant guitarist Leslie Harvey. Teenage Licks is considered the fans’ favourite album…

…Ontinuous Performance is their fourth album, substantially already finished when Leslie’s accident occurred. Therefore, we hardly hear the guitar of the new guitarist, only present on the track, ‘Sunset Cowboy’ – a tribute to Leslie, which is very emotional. For the rest we are in familiar territory: ‘King Tut’ is an all instrumental and boiling in swing, Leslie soaring with his instrument during a performance of unforgettable beauty, the title inspired by the Tutankhamen exhibition at the British Museum.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

There’s funky abandon to Les Harvey’s riffs and Colin Allen’s drumming that feel so relaxed in the brass-splashed paean to drugs ‘Mr. Wizard,’ yet their bluesy flow infuse ‘Faces’ and Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ with a spiritual uplift, whereas the live rendition of Freddie King’s ‘Going Down’ redresses the balance. But acoustic fibre of ‘Seven Lakes’ offers a perfect ride into the sunset, its jazzy gauze pointing to the band’s swan song: ‘Ontinuous Performance.’ It would always be blackened by Les’ untimely passing – the guitarist was electrocuted and died on-stage – yet his playing on ‘Niagara,’ where the ensemble interplay is at its tightest, and on ‘Penicillin Blues’ feels economic but fiery, while he delivers a stately, if understated, solo on the piano-driven ‘One More Chance.’

Still, the punchiest tracks of the album were cut with Jimmy McCulloch, en route from THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN to WINGS, whose guitar ups the brass-spiked panache of ‘Good Time Girl’ and soars from the sublime harmonies of ‘Sunset Cowboy’ which pays homage to the CROWS’ fallen hero. It was also a fall for the group as Harvey’s demise sucked the soul of them and, as being cold couldn’t be an option for STC, the quintet broke up soon to never return. A sad story with a great soundtrack. (November 2015)

…Maggie Bell’s raucous vocals impress on originals like ‘Big Jim Slater’ and ‘Faces’. Guitarist Les Harvey, horrifyingly, was electrocuted on stage before Ontinuous Performance was completed with Jimmy McCulloch replacing him on two tracks, including a tribute to Harvey, ‘Sunset Cowboy’.

Blues In Britain (November 2015)

Teenage Licks, their third album, came quickly in 1971. Their sound had grown even stronger and more potent; vocalist Maggie Bell was quickly becoming one of the best female blues vocalists since Janis Joplin, and the music reflected that. The red-hot rockers of ‘Mr. Wizard’ and ‘Big Jim Salter’ were paired up with the powerful ballads of ‘Faces’ and ‘Seven Lakes,’ while a take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ brings a definite tenderness to the masterful lyrics…

…1972′s Ontinuous Performance is a fine record; McCulloch is an excellent replacement, and the songs are bigger, grander, and tougher. ‘Good Time Girl,’ ‘Niagra’ and ‘Penicillin Girl’ are their strongest numbers, showing that in spite of the losses, their continuation looked to be an admirable feat that couldn’t stop the band’s progression. The music buying audience agreed; Ontinuous Performance was their best selling record.

The Recoup (November 2015)

This double CD set features all the original tracks from the albums Teenage Licks and Ontinuous Performance…plus four additional live bonus tracks. Guitarist Les Harvey died during the recording of Ontinuous Performance and was replaced by McCulloch. But the band never really recovered from the loss and eventually abandoned ship. Because the popularity of Stone The Crows was somewhat geographically limited at the time, this reissue will hopefully make a whole new legion of fans aware of the band. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into here. Twenty tracks in all including “Don’t Think Twice,” “Seven Lakes,” “Let It Down,” “On The Highway,” “Sunset Cowboy,” and “Good Time Girl.”

babysue (October 2015)

…The band were fronted by Les Harvey guitar (Alex’s younger brother) and the incomparable Maggie Bell on vocals. And for me and I guess many others its Maggie’s vocal pyrotechnics that linger. I always thought of her as Britain’s own Janis Joplin as I’m sure many did. Essentially a blues/rock band I loved, and still do that ‘dirty’ guitar blend with Maggie’s abrasive vocal which blazes from the kick off on tracks like ‘Big Jim Salter’, ‘Faces’ and Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’, just three of the highlights of the eleven (2 live) tracks on Teenage Licks originally released in 1971.

SMART – Seventies Music And Retro Talk (October 2015)

Thanks must be made to Angel Air for making sure these recordings are once again available for fans to either discover for the first time or finally get a CD copy of their old vinyl versions. Though their first albums are the cream of the crop, there’s still plenty of exciting blues rock here to enjoy, featuring the amazing skills of one Maggie Bell.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)

‘Teenage Licks’ is the proof that this band knew how to make good music without falling into banality. Strong guitar riffs, backed by the powerful sounds of a Hammond organ, we immediately have to deal with both in the opener ‘Big Jim Salter’, and that a keyboard is still an instrument that generates added value is made clear in ‘Faces’.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

They did bequeath a fine body of work to posterity during their short time together however, and newcomers to Stone The Crows’ gritty brand of bluesy rock would be well advised to lend and ear to tracks such as ‘Penicillin Blues’, ‘Big Jim Slater’ and the elegiac ‘Sunset Cowboy’.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)

The band were dealt a massive blow on May 3 1972 when Les was electrocuted onstage at the Swansea Top Rank club and died. The band elected to carry on and brought in Jimmy McCulloch from Thunderclap Newman to finish the recording of the Ontinuous Performance album.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2015)

Posted in STONE THE CROWS, Teenage Licks/Ontinuous Performance | Leave a comment



Steve will be performing all over the UK as part of The Sensational 60′s Experience – see him live at the following dates:

March 2016
4th The Regent Ipswich 01473 433100
5th Alexandra Theatre Birmingham 0844 8713011
9th Belgrade Theatre Coventry 024 7655 3055
10th The Hexagon Reading 0118 9606060
11th Assembly Hall Worthing 01903 206206
12th The Concert Hall Stevenage 01438 363200
18th Westcliffe Theatre Clacton On Sea 01255 43 33 44
19th The Auditorium Grimsby 0844 8713016
27th The Spa Bridlington 01262 401400

April 2016
1st De Montfort Hall Leicester 0116 2333111
2nd Queens Theatre Barnstaple 01271 324242
8th The Forum Theatre Billingham 01642 552663
9th The Forum Theatre Billigham 01642 552663

June 2016
11th Central Theatre Chatham 01634 338338

*Herman’s Hermits to be replaced by The Fortunes

Click here to order your copy of the album ‘Best Of Days’ now!

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30th October Concorde, Eastleigh,
6th November Mercury Theatre, Colchester,
14th November Robin 2, Wolverhampton,
17th December Palace Theatre, Southend

Click here to order your copy of the new ‘Live At The Liverpool Philharmonic 2013′ DVD now!

Posted in Angel Air News | Leave a comment

STAIRWAY Pearls Of The Deep – Best Of


We all, in truth, need a bit of ambient in our lives. Live in the fast lane forever and it will probably be a relatively short existence unless 27 is your yardstick. Jim McCarty (founder member of the Yardbirds) and Louis Cennamo know precisely where they are. This album represents absolutely first-rate ‘chill out’ music and every picture does tell a story. Is a music track not a story after all?

Music-News (December 2015)

Stairway released four albums before disbanding in 1995 but featured no less than Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) and Louis Cennamo (Renaissance, Colosseum). Originally billed as a New Age band , Stairway is mainly electronic and ambient. This is a best of the four albums and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed its calming, thoughtful and Tangerine Dream-esque journey. Long tracks and gentle keyboard, guitars and harmonies make for a very relaxing album.

Classic Rock Society (November/December 2015)

Stairway’s tenure may have been brief, but Pearls Of The Deep is a fabulous collection that serves its subject quite well. Considering the resurgence in this kind of music over the last two years, perhaps this release will be augmented with reissues of their back catalogue. There’s certainly enough evidence here that makes a strong case for such a thing…

The Recoup (October 2015)

In the album opening “The Lovers” Vangelis comes to mind with its gentle electronics or even a very subdued Alan Parsons. Jane Relf’s backing vocals are sublime. In “Light On A Dark Road” the peaceful acoustic guitar of Cennamo is some of the prettiest on the disc and on “Moonlight Skater” gentle flute and organ sounds accentuate an uplifting and beautiful melody. While the tunes do not differ greatly, this is one of those albums that would be perfect to drift off to. It is certainly music to ease the mind and soothe the soul.

Sea Of Tranquility (September 2015)

As dramatic swells and flamenco runs lull the strings-drenched ‘Beautiful Changes’ while baroque organ carries the flow of ‘Moonlight Skater’ – where the artists’ former colleague Jane Relf delivers a vocal – it’s up to Louis’ acoustic guitar to tell a story on the piano-led epic ‘Light On A Dark Road’ whose floating transparency is enchanting…The ebb and flow give even more prominent momentum to ‘Bird Of Paradise’ which, again with Relf’s voice, wouldn’t feel out of place on the veterans’ earlier work, yet ‘Aquamarine’ finds the eye of the hurricane in a pop song, and the buzz gets fleshed out in polyphonic fashion on the ‘Base Chakra’ chant from a platter the band laid down with psychologist Malcolm Stern. It’s as relaxing as the calm before the storm, then, and as captivating: in other words, a tranquil wonder. 4/5 Stars (September 2015)

The 14 tracks are very melodic, sometimes rhythmic, and sometimes floaty. Opener ‘The Lovers’ pleases me at once, as do ‘Looking Inside’, ‘Aquamarine’, and ‘Bird Of Paradise’. A pleasant introduction!

Keys and Chords (August 2015)

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ROGER DALTREY on Squeeze Box continues in the tradition of classic singers…We do not forget ROGER CHAPMAN and his guttural voice on ‘Midnight Child’, or the fabulous MAGGIE BELL with ‘In My Life’…we can also hear folk with Marina Kapura or the exquisite JOE EGAN of Stealers Wheel…there is even a dose of hard rock with Steve Ellis accompanied by Brian Robertson of THIN LIZZY and MOTORHEAD…

Highlands Magazine (Translated – June 2016)

A trip down memory lane, if your memory stretches back that far, or an introduction to one of our most successful songwriters.

Classic Rock Society (November/December 2015)

Anthology gathers together 37 tracks Courtney either wrote or produced and while it is, obviously, a limited taster of his impressive catalogue, there’s no denying that each and every song keeps you engaged and entertained…a selection of crafted rock numbers with a pop eye embellished with superb arrangements and the odd touch of strings and brass. The cast list is stellar and there isn’t a single performance dialled in, combine that and the aforementioned skilled songwriting and production and there could only be one outcome. Anthology is a fitting reminder of the talents of the one and only David Courtney.

Sea Of Tranquility (November 2015)

Still, it’s all about the song, not the singers or players. And the song is about the mood, be it the majestic blues of ‘In My Life’ which Maggie Bell settles on, the delicate ennui of Marina Kapuro’s take on ‘The Easy Way Out,’ or joie de vivre of ‘The Dancer’ that SMOKIE fill with velvet harmonies. While Courtney wrapped Steve Ellis’ voice in strings on ‘Rag And Bone,’ he chopped the upbeat ‘Blackmail’ with Brian Robertson’s axe for the same vocal cords to get high…David Courtney knows no limitations style-wise, because ultimately it’s the tune that reigns here. A unique talent. (October 2015)

Angel Air Records recently released this monster double-disc set. What we get is a generous treasury of golden hits, performed by the best in the biz! Which is precisely as it should be to ‘celebrate’ the man responsible for over 30 million global record sales. The 37 tracks are monopolised by the ever excellent Roger Daltrey (11 tracks), Leo Sayer (10 tracks) and Adam Faith (5 tracks). In between, we are treated to contributions from Steve Ellis, Maggie Bell, Dollar, Odyssey, Joe Egan, Smokie, Roger Chapman, Russian singer Marina Kapuro, and some other special guests…

Music-News (October 2015)

The list of artists includes Leo Sayer, Adam Faith, Roger Daltry, Roger Chapman, Maggie Bell, Smokie, Steve Ellis, Dollar, Odyssey, Marina Kapura, Joe Egan, and Geisha. Talk about a varied and impressive list of connections (!). This hefty double disc collection features thirty-seven tracks and, as previously mentioned, you’ll be surprised at how many of these songs you know. Courtney has in excess of 30 million global record sales to his name. Whew. If you’re looking for the single best source to find David’s biggest hits all in one convenient package, this is it.

babysue (September 2015)

David Courtney has had a highly successful career as a songwriter and producer…highlights include Giving It All Away by Roger Daltrey, Midnight Child by Roger Chapman, In My Life by Maggie Bell, The Dancer by Smokie, Rag and Bone by Steve Ellis, Shooting Star by Dollar, The Easy Way Out by Marina Kapuro, Magic Touch by Odyssey, Back On The Road by Joe Egan and Squeeze Box by Roger Daltrey and Adam Faith.

Bev Bevan, Live24seven (August 2015)

…Meanwhile one less-known Adam Faith song features backing vocals (!) by Paul and Linda McCartney. Elsewhere, Mr. Faith’s in great form on the now ironically titled ‘I Survived’ from 1974 – which has a startling contribution from guitar great Ritchie Blackmore. Talking of illustrious guitarists, Eric Clapton can be heard on one of Daltrey’s cuts, Steve Cropper’s on one of Leo Sayer’s, Thin Lizzy’s Brian Robertson appears on Steve Ellis’s – and David Gilmour is encountered on a recording by Courtney himself.

The Beat Magazine (August 2015)

I didn’t skip a single track. The list of featured musicians is awesome, McCartney, David Gilmour, Steve Cropper, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton, Rod Argent, Ray Parker Jnr and on and on. To sum up this overview of one mans work is class, pure class and a joy to listen to. I can do no better than to quote the late great Harry Nilsson who said of David Courtney ‘he’s the English Phil Spector’. With you on that Harry.

Seventies Music And Retro Talk (August 2015)

Angel Air’s new 2 CD set brings together the best of these richly rewarding collaborations, including Sayer’s ‘Long Tall Glasses’ and ‘One Man Band’, and Faith’s ‘I Survived’, the latter track featuring no less a luminary than Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame on lead guitar.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (August 2015)

…the guest list across the album also includes Ritchie Blackmore, Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy), Steve Cropper, David Gilmour, Rod Argent, John Entwhistle, Eric Clapton, Linda and Paul McCartney and Ray Parker Jnr! However shining brightest are the songs themselves, a selection of crafted rock numbers with a pop eye embellished with superb arrangements and the odd touch of strings and brass. The cast list is stellar and there isn’t a single performance dialled in, combine that and the aforementioned skilled songwriting and production and there could only be one outcome. Anthology is a fitting reminder of the talents of the one and only David Courtney.

Sea Of Tranquility (August 2015)

If you like handsome, somewhat commercial songs, then I can strongly recommend this compilation.

Keys and Chords (August 2015)

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STONE THE CROWS Stone The Crows / Ode To John Law


…the band would survive the electrocution death of their guitarist Harvey (during a concert no less) and go on to record two more albums before calling it a day. Those albums are a story for another day, but here you have the important beginnings of one of the most underrated blues rock acts of the early 1970s.

Sea Of Tranquility (August 2016)

The eponymous 1970 release is a solid blues rock album that introduced the band to the world. The vocal talents of Maggie Bell and bassist Jimmy Dewar (who would later front Robin Trower’s band on albums such as the 1974 masterpiece Bridge Of Sighs) are showing, even though they are not quite at peak yet, as is Les Harvey’s guitar. John McGinnis, on the other hand, shows a more stable and inventive grip on his keyboard instruments…

The second, 1971 album sees the band honing its songcraft. The transition from the aforementioned, somewhat jam oriented “I Saw America” to more structured tunes with almost prog-rock character into them is felt from the very opening, with a detailed instrumental, proto-prog styled intro leading into the melody of “Sad Mary.” Even simpler songs like “Things Are Getting Better” (which carries a bit of a Joe Cocker influence) maintain an epic sense due to a clever buildup…

Maelstrom Zine (March 2016)

Stone The Crows, ah yes. Angel Air recently released all four albums made in the early 70′s by this truly top notch band, and we’re talking two doubles here: Stone the Crows/Ode to John Law and Teenage Links/Continuous Performance. Since when did Angel Air not give you a good deal?

It is obvious even to a clunk-head from the opening bars of first track ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’ on Stone the Crows that this is one helluva hot band, what with Maggie Bell’s vocals and Leslie Harvey’s lead guitar – how can anything go wrong? La Bell is quite simply overwhelming, Glasgow’s queen of raunch and roll. They don’t make singers like that in the south. As for the tragic Mr. Harvey, he was some guitar player to boot….

…Ode to John Law kicks off with a bit of Hammond and bass. ‘Sad Mary’ was written by keyboard player John McGinnis and as well a retro feel, it features some pretty cool interplay before verging into a bit of funk. Then Maggie enters magisterially, ably supported by Les…Spiffing stuff all ’round!

Music-News (December 2015)

…the piano led, gospel-flavoured ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’, on which both Bell and Dewar sing magnificently and Harvey solos exquisitely, is almost worthy of Ray Charles.

R2 Magazine (November 2015)

The double CD reissue of Stone The Crows’ self-titled 1970 album and the 1971 album Ode To John Law is a reminder of what a beautiful musician/guitarist Les Harvey was, for his playing is sensitive, fluent and imaginative throughout…material like the Harvey-Dewar composition ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’ with Bell being particularly riveting on Percy Mayfield’s ‘Danger Zone’. There are four bonus tracks culled from the band’s Radio Sessions 1969-1972 album.

Blues In Britain (October 2015)

The band would survive the electrocution death of their guitarist Harvey (during a concert no less) and go on to record two more albums before calling it a day. Those albums are a story for another day, but here you have the important beginnings of one of the most underrated blues rock acts of the early 1970s.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)

Originally released on Polydor in 1970, their self-titled debut has much to commend it, including the ferociously cranked ‘Raining In Your Heart’, powerful re-workings of Josh White’s ‘Blind Man’ and ‘A Fool On The Hill’, and the 17-minute epic ‘I Saw America’.

Shindig Magazine (October 2015)

Their two best songs, ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’ and ‘Raining In Your Heart’ open their 1970 debut and the band’s energy sweeps all before it…

Classic Rock Magazine (October 2015)

So here we have the first two albums remastered and reissued with four bonus tracks added. We never heard these albums when they were originally released so hearing them now is a particularly eye and ear-opening experience. The band played interesting blues/rock with a progressive twist. And those trademark vocals were definitely the focal point of the music. If you wanna see/hear some interesting stuff, type in “Stone The Crows live” into YouTube and you’ll find a wealth of cool videos that show how cool this band looked and sounded in the early 1970s. Once again, the fine folks at Angel Air breath fresh new air into recordings that will entertain an entire new generation of listeners…

babysue (September 2015)

The excellent Stone The Crows were seemingly designed for rock stardom when they made their vinyl bow in 1970, but guitarist and creative mainstay Les Harvey’s untimely death in a freak on stage accident two years later effectively signalled the band’s demise too. This splendid two-CD reissue revives the first two albums that the Glaswegian blues rockers recorded before this tragic event, with vocalist Maggie Bell and Jim Dewar in fine fettle as they share the limelight with Harvey during grittily compelling ditties such as ‘Raining In Your Heart’, ‘I Saw America’ and ‘Mad Dogs And Englishmen’.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (September 2015)

‘Stone The Crows’ was released in the beginning of 1970, and quickly impressed those who heard it. The back-and-forth of album opener ‘Touch Of Your Loving Hand’ showcased both Dewar and Bell, giving both the opportunity to show off their impressive vocal range over a stripped down accompaniment. ‘Raining In Your Heart,’ however, highlights the power of the rest of the band, most notably Les Harvey’s guitar chops…

…The band’s second album, ‘Ode To John Law’, found the band honing its rock groove. Although the material was recorded mere months after the Stone The Crows material, the band had matured quite quickly, as thee songs are tighter and tauter than what appeared on their debut. The songs are sharp, powerful, and hard-hitting, with Bell coming to the forefront as lead singer. Opening ‘Sad Mary’ throws down a powerful hard rock groove that’s met only by the title track and ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen,’ while their ballads ‘Love’ and ‘Things Are Getting Better’ are sublime, beautiful numbers.

These two albums proved that Stone The Crows was a band with a bright future. Unfortunately, fate had other ideas…

The Recoup (September 2015)

The first two albums originally released in 1970 and 1971 include The Touch Of Your Loving Hand, I Saw America, Sad Mary and Raining In Your Heart…

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2015)

The eponymous 1970 debut opens with ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’ (also a live bonus on CD2) introducing two of the best blues-rock vocalists this country has produced: Maggie Bell and Jim Dewar. The joint approach on vocals (echoed by the band’s contemporaries Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks in Vinegar Joe) continues on ‘Raining In Your Heart’ (included on CD2 as a bonus live track). This track cracks along at a fiery pace with some super Les Harvey guitar and John McGinnis’ keyboard interjections.

Two covers (a Josh White song ‘Blind Man’ and the Beatles’ ‘Fool On The Hill’) give Maggie Bell the chance to stretch out with bluesy accompaniment from Harvey. ‘I Saw America’ filled one side of the original LP and features a number of blues rock to jazz themes with McGinnis’ keys and Harvey’s guitar to the fore. In places, they sound like The Doors at their moody best, with Harvey’s input always tastefully economical, much like Robby Kreiger. ****

That debut album was followed up within a year by Ode To John Law which built upon their ballsy blues rock calling card. Check out the opener ‘Sad Mary’, and ‘Love’ with its insistent and infectious riff whilst Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Danger Zone’ highlights Maggie Bell’s slow blues. With Jimmy Dewar providing bass and vocals (replaced by Steve Thompson in 1972), ex-John Mayall and future-Focus Colin Allen on drums, this band was a veritable ‘supergroup’ at the time with, potentially, a great future. ****

Get Ready to ROCK! (August 2015)

A more subdued moment echoes from the speakers on ‘Things are Getting Better’ which features additional voices for a pretty vocal harmony. On the record (Ode To John Law) is almost surely their biggest hit, ‘Danger Zone’ by Curtis Mayfield. It’s still one of those songs that you do not get out of your subconscious. STC made a sublime cover, with a somewhat psychedelic atmosphere. Listen especially to the interaction between the guitar and the threatening Hammond organ. Sublime!

Keys and Chords (August 2015)

…the live bonus tracks completing the Angel Air reissue transport the listener to a smoky late night hostelry in Glasgow where the house band are performing blues like it should be.

If you are a ’70s person whose musical grounding was formulated during that decade, wherever you have arrived at today, Stone the Crows were there or thereabouts during your formative years and are worthy of another listen.

The Progressive Aspect (July 2015)

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UK/Europe Tour dates 2015/6


Fri 13th November The Hamburg Blues Band Landgasthof
Langenrade Ascheberg, Germany
Sat 14th November The Hamburg Blues Band Festung Mark Magdeburg, Germany
Fri 20th November The Hamburg Blues Band Charly´s Oldenburg, Germany
Sat 21st November The Hamburg Blues Band Kubik Goslar, Germany


Fri 4th December The Hamburg Blues Band Blues Garage Hannover, Germany
Sat 5th December The Hamburg Blues Band Kulturwerkstatt Hamm, Germany
Fri 11th December The Hamburg Blues Band t.b.a
Sat 12th December The Hamburg Blues Band t.b.a
Fri 18th December The Hamburg Blues Band t.b.a
Sat 19th December The Hamburg Blues Band Music Hall Worpswede, Germany
Wed 23rd December The Hamburg Blues Band Gulfhaus Vechta, Germany


Wed 6th January Maggie Bell & Dave Kelly Studio Theatre The Hawth Theatre, Crawley
Fri 8th January The Hamburg Blues Band tba
Sat 9th January The Hamburg Blues Band tba Koblenz, Germany
Thu 14th January The Hamburg Blues Band tba Bonn, Germany
Fri 15th January The Hamburg Blues Band tba Bensheim, Germany
Sat 16th January The Hamburg Blues Band tba Schwerin, Germany
Fri 22nd January The Hamburg Blues Band tba
Sat 23rd January The Hamburg Blues Band tba Hamburg, Germany

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