Reviews roundup – Graham Bonnet vs. Nikka Costa vs. Rebellious Spirit
We all knew that Graham Bonnet never wanted to be a rock singer. But it’s official now as he mentions this in the liner notes to this 2CD / 1DVD anthology.
And it’s a decent summary of his life in music taking in most of his solo and band work over five decades. His seventies solo work was always “interesting” rather than essential and it gets short shrift before we arrive at Rainbow. Doubtless for expensive licensing issues that album is represented by single B side “Bad Girl”, although there are a couple of revisits to Rainbow further down the line. The same applies to the Michael Schenker Group with another single B side, “Girl From Uptown”.
You get some Malmsteen and Vai via some Alcatrazz tracks before we head off into the lost years. There are a few decent tunes in among the Impellitteri, Blackthorne, Forcefield numbers but it’s not really something you’ll play more than once. The saving grace is of course the voice which has lost none of its power over the years. I remember seeing him in a shitty club in Glasgow a few years back and he just about ripped the roof off. Well it’s still there.
It comes bang up to date with material from his latest band and their ‘The Book’ release is definitely worth buying. The DVD is certainly worth viewing early on with a clutch of solo promo appearances but only the hardy will sit all the way through the Impellitteri live in Japan set that closes it.
It’s great to see Mr Bonnet back in the public eye, what with this, ‘The Book’ and the Michael Schenker Fest. There’s also an autobiography due soon and if he can be a tad less diplomatic than he is in the liner notes then it will be a must read.
Nikka & Strings: Underneath And In Between
It’s been a while since Nikka Costa was almost a thing. She teetered on the edge of the big time 15/16 years ago with a couple of minor hits, some TV / film placements and a Britney Spears tour.
But she’s never stopped trying and has released a couple of albums since ‘Everybody Got Their Something’. She’s also done some writing with Eric Clapton and Prince credits to her name. Which explains the opening cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U”. To be honest, it’s not my favourite song but it takes a different approach to the Sinead O’Connor version so Costa gets away with it.
From then on, though, it’s all on the rise. She always had a good voice and it’s well framed on this string driven thing. Now seeing as her Dad, Don, was a well regarded arranger who worked with Frank Sinatra, it’s not such a big leap for her. And she handles it very well on this record of covers such as “Come Rain Or Come Shine” and revisits to Costa off old such as the fabulous “Love To Love You Less”.
It’s a really enjoyable record from Nikka, albeit one that is unlikely to overly expand her core fan base.
To Germany! And to catch up with the third album from German rockers Rebellious Spirit, following on from ‘Gamble Shot’ and ‘Obsession’.
Since then they’ve toured with the likes of Axel Rudi Pell, W.A.S.P., Freedom Call and Bonfire but don’t go thinking that they’re an old school melodic metal band. They’re actually more inclined towards modern metal and alt rock than they are the good old days.
They’re still melodic but they’re looking at the alternative metal fan base for their core support. Which isn’t me but I can still spot a talented band when I hear one even if my boat remains resolutely unfloated. Songs like “After All”, “The Core” and “Alright” fit nicely into the modern rock world so given half a chance Rebellious Spirit should certainly make their mark.