Why I can’t wait for the end of this summer. [Hint: \m/]

If you know me you know that I’m a summer child, that I’m in danger of freezing to death as soon as the temperature drops below 20°C, and usually spend September to April holed up in my blanket fort, raging and ranting about the rain and the snow and the early nights.

But this year, I can’t wait for the autumn and winter months to kick in. Why? Well, there are five reasons. Five reasons of a very rock & roll nature.

5.) The best new folks on the London scene
Acoustic folk may be an unusual choice for me, but from the moment I first heard Morrissey & Marshall play a tune in the back room of a pub in January 2011, I have been completely mesmerised by their music. I knew right then and there that the charismatic duo from Dublin couldn’t be far from headline gigs and a place in the charts – and now they, indeed, seem to be on their way to exactly there with the release of their debut album in early 2013. If you check out the songs for download on their Facebook page, you’ll see why I absolutely cannot wait to hear an album full of their perfect harmonies and thoughtfully uplifting lyrics. My top one to watch for the next year!

Watch this – it’s the best ten minutes you’ll invest in something today.

4.) All’s new in Kamelot
New album, new lead singer, new tour: Big changes in Kamelot Nation. I’ll have to admit I didn’t particularly keep my faith in the two years since singer Roy Khan left amidst much drama – although I’m now rather gutted to have missed the band’s gigs with Fabio Lione of Rhapsody of Fire fame on guest vocals. (Which, in retrospect, seems even more stupid considering that Rhapsody are way up among my favourite bands, too.) But there you go, my punishment to fit the deed. In any case, Kamelot has now found its new king in Seventh Wonder frontman Tommy Karevik. The new album is out in October – the band’s third concept album to be precise, so all the more reason for excitement – followed by a London gig in November. And from what I’ve heard about the new guy so far, the legend of Kamelot is set to live on. I’m defo holding my breath.

Still, let’s keep alive the memory of Roy Kahn, one of the best voices in metal.

3.) An Arctic city break
And while we’re on the subject of favourite bands, Sonata Artica is one I hold so dearly in my heart that I’ll be jetting out to Munich in November to finally catch them live on stage. Admittedly, that’s quite a way to go for a gig. But since the UK has no power metal scene to speak of and consequently most of my bands just don’t wash up on these shores, I have no choice but to go to where my music is being played. I’ve been waiting for years to hear these guys live, and to witness with my own two eyes (and not via a TV screen) the epic solo-battles of keytar and guitar. Besides, the Munich trip has the added benefit that I’ll be headbanging it out with my dad, who is my number one partner in crime when it comes to music anyway.

Let’s watch some epic guitar/keytar battling. Feel free to freak out/jump around.

2.) The Bluesman returns
It’s been fourteen years, and he’s been announcing it for most of this time, but now it’s actually happening: Richie Sambora releases his third solo album, Aftermath of the Lowdown, in September. The first single [YouTube] is already out for download, and while it does sound more commercial and not as soulful as his old stuff, I remain in the hope that this was just the teaser to get pre-orders from all the Bon Jovi fans in, and the rest of the album will be more in the good, old Bluesman tradition. His previous solo albums, Undiscovered Soul and especially Stranger in this Town, are among my very favourite music of all time, so I’m really rather excited about this. Which brings us straight to…

1.) …and he’s coming to town!!!
Not only is Richie Sambora going on tour with his new album and sans Bon Jovi, but he’s stopping by in my town. Now, if you take into account that this is my all-time musical hero, and I have never had a chance to see the Bluesman live, and have been waiting for the opportunity for the past twelve years, you can probably see why this is simply the best thing that will happen this year.

And while we wait, let’s chill with some vintage Bluesman stuff.

There you go. All my favourite musicians and bands, new albums and gigs all over the place. This is why my freak-out-o-meter will be bursting out the top of the scale constantly for the next five months.

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