FORMER SKIN AND JAGGED EDGE STARS CONFIRMED FOR SOUTH WALES NEWEST ROCK FESTIVAL
Red White & Blues, the new band featuring former Skin frontman Neville MacDonald and guitarist Myke Gray, plus ex-Jagged Edge vocalist Matti Alfonzetti, will make their Welsh debut at the inaugural Steelhouse Festival on Saturday August 20.
Held at Hafod-y-Dafal Farm, Aberbeeg, near Ebbw Vale, on August 19-20, Steelhouse is Britain’s most exciting new festival, bringing together a bevy of classic rock acts, both established and rising.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable weekend,” says guitarist Myke Gray. “It’ll be an especially big day for Nev, because he’s from Pontypridd so it’ll be a sort of homecoming for him, and it’s nice to support a new event like this. Nev is actually very patriotic when it comes to this sort of thing. In fact, Nev may even be the most Welsh man in all of Wales!”
Having achieved success with Matti in Jagged Edge, Myke went on to even greater heights with Skin, releasing a string of hit albums and singles in the 1990s. In 2009 they reformed to great acclaim, releasing two further albums and playing at the Download Festival three times. The band recently ended their career supporting the mighty Judas Priest at London’s High Voltage festival, preceded by a special one-off show in Neville’s hometown of Pontypridd.
Red White & Blues, completed by drummer Daren Lamberton, are more aggressive and harder rocking than Skin, but their roots nevertheless lie in the timeless blues genre that inspired the band’s name. Myke describes their sound as a “cross between Free and Mötley Crüe”. Directly before heading into the studio to record their debut album, Red White & Blues have an important date in Wales…
“As soon as I spoke to Nev about doing the Steelhouse Festival, and he found out where it was and what it was all about, it became a top priority for us, a ‘must-do’ show,” reveals Myke. “This proves what Wales means to us. Not only was Skin’s last headline show in Pontypridd, but in fact, the first Skin show we ever did was also in Wales, at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall supporting Little Angels. We’ve always loved playing in Wales, and that’s not just something to say – we really mean it.”
The Steelhouse Festival kicks off on Friday August 19 with a bill comprising the cream of UK tribute acts, before Saturday sees Red White & Blues join headliners The Quireboys, glam metal veterans Tigertailz and a host of classic rock’s incendiary new breed, including Black Spiders, Heaven’s Basement and Tom Hollister Trio.
“There are so many places in Wales that bands just never go to, so things like Steelhouse are really positive,” adds Myke. “I’m not aware of any similar events in South Wales, so I love the idea of going there along with a bunch other bands and just opening up the music for all to see. It’s always been hard for rock bands to get exposure and never more so than today when you’re up against things like ‘The X-Factor’, but festivals like Steelhouse are a good way of getting all the music to lots of people.”
While Red White & Blues’ line-up is ‘fluid’, Myke confirms that both Neville and Matti will be flexing their vocal muscles at Steelhouse: “One of the best things I’ve heard in my life was when Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale sang together in Deep Purple. We’ve got something that’s at least akin to that. I genuinely think that Matti and Nev are two of the best vocalists out there, so when they sing together it’s totally amazing!”
Seasoned professionals with a wealth of festival experience under their collective belt, Myke, Nev, Matti and Daren will be tackling their Steelhouse set by going straight for the jugular – hard and heavy rock n’roll performed by one of the most tantalising line-ups in the UK. “We may tip the hat to the blues genre, but whatever you do, don’t get the idea that this is a blues band,” chuckles Myke. “It’s gonna be a heads-down hard rock show and we can’t wait!”
Words: Steve Beebee
Red White & Blues is:
Matti Alfonzetti – vocals
Myke Gray – guitar
Neville MacDonald – vocals and bass
Daren Lamberton – drums
The Steelhouse Festival
August 19 and 20, 2011
Hafod-y-Dafal Farm, Aberbeeg, Ebbw Vale, Gwent, NP13 2PR.
Advance tickets cost £50 (weekend), £35 (Saturday only) and £25 (Friday only). See www.steelhousefestival.com/tickets.html for more details.
SATURDAY AUGUST 20
Red White And Blues
Tom Hollister Trio
FRIDAY AUGUST 19
Hot Red Chili Peppers