What a difference a day makes. So sang Renee Olstead in the classic song from yesteryear. The day before the inaugural Ramblin Man Fair, the heavens opened and it looked like it could all be a washout. Then, it’s rumoured, Klaus Meine steps forward, has a word with the powers that be, pointing out that Scorpions “don’t do rain” and the day they headline is an absolute dream. Hot sunny weather, the middle of a beautiful country park in the heart of Kent (The Garden of England), real ale on draught (Iron Maiden’s Trooper Ale), a real ale tent and 3 stages containing the best that Classic Rock, Progressive Rock and Outlaw Country music have to offer.
Since that pivotal show at Firefest in 2007, FM has gone from strength to strength. With more national airplay on both BBC Radio 2 and Planet Rock than they received ‘back in the day’, it is no surprise that the band is headlining the famous Shepherds Bush Empire for the fourth time.
Sometimes you have to feel sorry for FM. To consistently deliver albums of such high quality means that fans’ expectations go up and the band of course are under increasing pressure to come up with the goods every time. To say that they comfortably manage to produce those goods does them a disservice as I’m sure that the time and effort taken to write, record and produce the 12 tracks on the album is considerable.
As for Epic, it’s a great album, but again if you’re looking for something different from what he has done in the past, not going to find that here. Nothing wrong with that of course; when you have a sound as great as Overland there is no need to improve upon it.