Kent-based hard rock band Thunderstick return to live gigging after thirty years

Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend – Saturday 28th July. Doors open 7.30pm. Starts 8pm. Support from Blackmayne. Tickets £10 – available via https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/484286

A New Day Festival, Faversham – Sunday 5th August

On the back of an overwhelmingly positive critical reaction to a new album last year, Kent-based band Thunderstick hit the stage on July 28th for their first Thunderstick gig in over thirty years.

First noticed playing with a developing Iron Maiden in the seventies Barry Graham Purkis aka Thunderstick became the figurehead of the newly emerging NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene, initially with Samson and then with his own band Thunderstick, playing live and recording for six years until the band played its last gig in Tunbridge Wells in October 1986. ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the first new Thunderstick album in over thirty years, was released in July 2017 and has been attracting enthusiastic reviews from all over the world.

Taking the stage at Gravesend’s infamous rock venue, itself celebrating 40 years of live music, Leo’s Red Lion will host a unique Thunderstick ‘showcase’ gig a week before their performance at Faversham’s ‘A New Day’ festival on Sunday 5th August.

Thunderstick aka Barry Graham Purkis comments: “Energy, power, theatrics and outrage have always been present in the Thunderstick shows of old. We will ramp up those components considerably for the forthcoming stage shows. For those who were there first time round in the ‘80s welcome back we have missed you so much. For those about to experience us for the first time prepare yourselves for a journey. Viixen, Lee, Rex, Baz, and Thunderstick will steal your ‘rock’n’roll heart’…”

The Folkestone-based musician adds: “I have lived and travelled all over but always feel truly at home on returning to the Kent coast. As a musician living in Kent I find the creativity that exists here totally energised, full of like- minded artists that have no wish to compete in the daily rat race of large cities such as London and yet still manage to achieve the same aims conducted in a far more serene environment.”

The new Thunderstick lineup is :
Vocals – Viixen, from Margate
Guitar – Baz Roze, from Margate
Guitar – Lee Quenby, from Faversham
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt, from Gravesend
Drums – Barry Graham Purkis aka Thunderstick, from Folkestone

Vocalist, Viixen: “Originally from Shropshire, I’ve lived Kent for the past 18 years. We have a fantastic live music scene in our county, with some awesome venues such as ‘The Red Lion’ in Gravesend and ‘The Harp Restrung’ in Folkestone who are dedicated to keeping it alive. How privileged we are to have this on our doorstep! As the First Thunderstick storm draws closer I grow more and more excited! We literally can not wait to perform for you! Expect passion, theatrics, and full sensory stimulation. it’s gonna ROCK!”

Guitarist, Baz Roze: “Living in Thanet since the age of 3, I’ve been very lucky as Margate has always been a place that has attracted musicians and bands with many venues..Most of these places are now gone but I was lucky to be part of the hairmetal and rock scene in the 80s and early 90s with a great venue, The Ship Inn, being my local. Many bands passed through this iconic place with many band members going on to relatively bigger things. Margate still has a great rock following even today.”

Guitarist, Lee Quenby: “I’m a Kent guy through and through born and grew up in Canterbury and currently living in Faversham. I was lucky enough to score my first real guitar playing gig with Margate legends Vigilante in 1990 before forming Mr Scary with two of my best friends, Mik Gaffney and Paul Delo later that year. I’ve played in various cover bands between then and now, but never lost my love of that flash and showiness that the metal bands of the 80’s had, so now playing in Thunderstick, I love getting that chance to dress up and be a showman again!! Can’t wait to see you all at a show sometime this summer! Hell yeeah!”

Bass-player, Rex Thunderbolt: “From being born and growing up in Margate during the eighties and around the country during the early nineties, Kent has always been home. I feel privileged to enjoy this wonderful county as I travel from show to show. Having settled in Gravesend since ‘96, the red lion has always had a special place in the hearts of the rock and metal-minded. The names that have played on that stage. It feels right that as the Red lion celebrates 40 years of great live music, the reborn Thunderstick should restart its journey. I am proud to be a part of it.”

A recent band photo-shoot took place at Ashford’s Boys Hall.

Thunderstick band shot colour 2

Photo credit: Emma Morgan-Knight

Thunderstick are available for interviews.
All media enquiries to: Darren Johnson (+44) 7799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thunderstickofficial/

News: Thunderstick ‘The Seismic Plate Date’ – Showcase gig for NWOBHM icons at Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend 28 July 2018

A band by the name of Thunderstick has not been seen on stage for thirty years. All that is about to change…

On the back of the phenomenally positive reaction to last year’s album the eponymously named Thunderstick hit the stage in July for the first Thunderstick gig in over thirty years.

Taking the stage at Gravesend’s infamous rock venue, itself celebrating 40 years of live music, Leo’s Red Lion will host a unique Thunderstick ‘showcase’ gig a week before their performance at ‘A New Day’ festival, after which the band will do select gigs through until the Autumn culminating in the ‘Hard Rock Hell’ festival in November. The Gravesend gig will see Thunderstick performing their full festival set coupled with a post-gig Q&A session with Thunderstick creator Barry Graham Purkis and his band-mates.

Thunderstick aka Barry Graham Purkis comments:
“Energy, power, theatrics and outrage have always been present in the Thunderstick shows of old. We will ramp up those components considerably for the forthcoming New-NWOBHM 2018 stage shows. For those who were there first time round in the ‘80s welcome back we have missed you so much. For those about to experience us for the first time prepare yourselves for a journey. Viixen, Lee, Rex, Baz, and Thunderstick will steal your ‘rock’n’roll heart’…”

On returning to this prized venue he reflects:
“The Red Lion in Northfleet has always been a ‘musical basecamp’ for me, both with Samson and with Thunderstick. Iron Maiden have their ‘Cart and Horses’…I have the ‘Red Lion’ Northfleet. Can’t wait to play there this summer.”

Lead vocalist Viixen adds:
“The sky drew dark and low with ominous clouds, the winds shriek, howl, cry, baying wolf like into the black, the first crack of lightening announces the reverberated boom of the overhead Thunder, in the eye of the savage storm thirty years plus in the coming, I will stand centre stage resolute in my ability to control, do not fear I am here for you…”

Tickets £10 – available via https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/484286

Doors open 7.30pm. Starts 8pm. Support from Blackmayne.

The full Thunderstick lineup is :
Vocals – Viixen
Guitar – Baz Roze
Guitar – Lee Quenby
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt
Drums – Thunderstick

The Leo’s Red Lion gig will be followed up by a number of festival appearances including A New Day Festival (3-5 August ), Hard Rock Hell (8-11 November) and Mearfest (November).

First noticed playing with a developing Iron Maiden in the seventies then moving to Samson (being instrumental in finding a very youthful Bruce Dickinson) Barry Graham Purkis became the figurehead of the newly emerging NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene. This was done by creating an alter ego Thunderstick, a masked persona known not only for his wild style of playing drums but doing so from inside a cage and playfully terrorizing audiences. He went on to form his own highly theatrical band in the eighties. Fronted by a female rock ’n’ roll wild-child (something comparatively new for its time) Thunderstick the band was a perfect ‘Beauty and the Beast’ combination, playing live and recording for six years. The last Thunderstick band gig was in Tunbridge Wells in October 1986.

‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the first new Thunderstick album in over thirty years, was released in July 2017 and has been attracting enthusiastic reviews from all over the world: “the band vacillate between the hard-hitting glam rock of late-era Sweet and the crunchy riffola of NWOBHM” – Classic Rock magazine

The CD album ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is available for purchase via via https://www.freewebstore.org/thunderstick-productions and in download format via Bandcamp https://thunderstick.bandcamp.com/album/something-wicked-this-way-comes

All media enquiries to: Darren Johnson (+44) 7799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thunderstickofficial/

Thunderstick poster Leo s Red Lion-page-001

News: Thunderstick – famous masked drummer unveils his new vocalist Viixen

The ex-Iron Maiden/Samson drummer is hitting the road throughout 2018. Viixen completes the band’s new touring lineup.

With several 2018 UK festival appearances announced already and more dates planned, Thunderstick creator and NWOBHM drumming icon, Barry Graham Purkis, has revealed his new-look live touring band. Viixen is the rock ‘n’ roll wildchild vocalist who will be fronting up the new version of Thunderstick and sparring with the crazed, masked drummer.

The band will be playing material from the recent highly-acclaimed ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ album, as well as from the earlier ‘Echoes From The Analogue Asylum’ album. There will be something special, too. By way of a tribute to the band that the drummer was such a big part, the set will also include some classics from the Samson era.

Thunderstick aka Barry Graham Purkis comments: “To describe the live lineup of Thunderstick as ‘explosive’ would be an understatement to say the least. We are calling the live gigs The ‘Tectonic Plates Dates’. After the phenomenal reaction last year’s album has had from both our fans and reviewers alike this year will see an all-new lineup of Thunderstick taking to the stage. It has been spectacular letting Viixen take on the mighty vocal melodies of Bruce Dickinson playing the Samson material. Headline gigs are being put together for this year, both in the UK and Europe, as well as festival appearances at A New Day Festival, Hard Rock Hell and Mearfest. We will keep everyone posted as the dates are added.”

Viixen 1

Viixen herself adds: “This band is so right for me! Energy, power, theatrics and outrage are all extremities of my personality. This band allows total expression of those personalities…… I am rock roller coaster…… I am a women of paradox – with outfits to match!”

Also new to the band is guitarist, Baz Roze. Playing in popular gigging bands since the early nineties in bands such as Final Sunset, Black Rain and Black Roze, Baz adds: “When I was younger I remember recording Samson on the Friday rock show. ‘Riding With The Angels’ has always been on my playlist ever since then – and now I’m playing with Thunderstick. Crazy how things work out!”

The full Thunderstick lineup is:
Vocals – Viixen
Guitar – Dave ‘Kandy’ Kilford
Guitar – Baz Roze
Bass – Rex Thunderbolt
Drums – Thunderstick

‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the first new Thunderstick album in over thirty years, was released in July 2017 and has been attracting enthusiastic reviews from all over the world:

“the band vacillate between the hard-hitting glam rock of late-era Sweet and the crunchy riffola of NWOBHM” – Classic Rock magazine

“an absolute cracker of a comeback album 9/10″ – Bravewords

“like opening a doorway back to when rock and metal was at its newest and most raw” – The Moshville Times

First noticed playing with a developing Iron Maiden in the seventies then moving to Samson (being instrumental in finding a very youthful Bruce Dickinson) Barry Graham Purkis became the figurehead of the newly emerging NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) scene. This was done by creating an alter ego Thunderstick, a masked persona known not only for his wild style of playing drums but doing so from inside a cage and playfully terrorizing audiences. He went on to form his own highly theatrical band in the eighties. Fronted by a female rock ’n’ roll wildchild (something comparatively new for its time) Thunderstick the band was a perfect ‘Beauty and the Beast’ combination, playing live and recording for six years until it folded in 1987.

The CD album ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is available for purchase via via https://www.freewebstore.org/thunderstick-productions and in download format via Bandcamp https://thunderstick.bandcamp.com/album/something-wicked-this-way-comes

All media enquiries to: Darren Johnson (+44) 7799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thunderstickofficial/

Five inspiring projects I worked on in 2017

In a busy year here I talk about some of the most inspiring projects I worked on in 2017.

Bernie Tormé – album launch ‘Dublin Cowboy’

When Gillan guitar legend, Bernie Tormé, announced plans for a pledge-funded triple album last Autumn it reached 100% of its target in just 8 hours and forty-five minutes. Working on the initial announcement and the subsequent album and tour publicity was genuinely inspiring and it has been great to see how many excellent reviews ‘Dublin Cowboy’ has been picking up this year. Read the full story here https://darrensmusicpr.com/2017/07/20/bernie-torme-and-dublin-cowboy-story-of-a-phenomenally-successful-pledge-fund-campaign/

Dublin Cowboy cover

Setsuko Thurlow – Hiroshima survivor’s London speaking tour.

A survivor of one of the most pivotal events in modern history, Setsuko Thurlow has displayed enormous courage and leadership throughout her long life, sharing her atomic bomb experiences in order to inform people about the real consequences of nuclear war. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year it was a genuine honour working to provide PR support for Setsuko on her UK visit. See her harrowing but passionate interview with LBC here http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/shelagh-fogarty/hiroshima-survivor-on-nuclear-devastation/

2017-03-24 15.28.11 (1).jpg

League Against Cruel Sports and Vinny The Fox – 2017 General Election campaign

Taking on a temporary contract as interim Head of Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, within days of starting Theresa May had called a snap general election and I found myself organising a national bus tour in support of retaining the hunting ban. In what turned out to be a disastrous campaign for Theresa May hunting ended up being one of the most talked about issues of the entire General Election and after failing to get a majority Theresa May was forced to abandon plans to repeal the hunting act. Here’s what the Sun had to say about the way her support for fox hunting lost Theresa May her majority https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3778175/theresa-mays-support-for-fox-hunting-lost-conservatives-huge-election-majority-say-campaign-chiefs/

18588946_10155285571796449_8278375879780643985_o

Thunderstick – album launch ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’

Three decades on from the original Thunderstick, New Wave Of British Heavy Metal icon, Barry Graham Purkis, resurrected his Thunderstick alter ego and released a brand new album. Handling the PR for this was a real buzz, especially as it rapidly began picking up very favourable reviews from around the world including the UK’s Classic Rock magazine and many others. Promising a return to live gigging in 2018 it’s been great to see the return of this rock icon. Catch links to some of the album reviews here https://darrensmusicpr.com/2017/09/14/thunderstick-reviews-round-up-for-something-wicked-this-way-comes/

Something Wicked This Way Comes.jpg

SpeakUpCIC – Event at Margate’s iconic Turner Contemporary to mark World Metal Health Day

A hugely important issue and a great day out it was a real pleasure to work on the publicity for SpeakUpCIC’s World Mental Health Day event. Over 80 participants and over a dozen performers took part in Listen Up, a poetry, music and art event held at the Turner Contemporary back in October. The staff on reception said they had more visitors through the door for the poetry event that day than for Tracey Emin’s unmade bed. Happy to take that as a recommendation! Read the write up in Kent Online here http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/listen-up-event-turner-contemp-133813/

Listen Up Oct 2017

Here’s to 2018 and lots more exciting projects to work on.

News: ‘Overrun’ – virtuoso rock guitarist Cris Martin to release new single and video

Single/video release date: December 15th 2017

‘Overrun’ is the new single from Cris Martin – a stunning slice of instrumental classic guitar rock from the virtuoso musician.

Cris Martin received critical acclaim for his 2016 solo album ‘Rock Dawn’, which featured former Iron Maiden front-man Blaze Bayley and former Samson drummer Barry Graham Purkis (Thunderstick). The single ‘Overrun’ is drawn from the album and a brand new accompanying video is also being launched on December 15th to coincide with the release.

“What Cris Martin does comes straight from the heart and soul, with the emotion flowing through the fingers. He has the ability to compete with any of the flash, hard riding guitar heroes who litter the world.” – Malcolm Dome

Talking about the new single, Cris Martin comments: “Overrun originated back in 2013 when I was thinking about recording again after many years out of a recording studio. I was using a small studio in Streatham and as the studio sessions progressed the track seemed to take on its own character. I wanted the music to evolve rather than conform to fashion or any particular style or genre. This is one benefit of making independent music, one can express oneself freely. I wanted a bluesy, rock feel coupled with a smattering of virtuosity which I think we achieved. Being an instrumental track, the lead guitar line has to be as strong as a lead vocal line. The title came from an incident at the studio where myself and the engineer had popped out to go to the shops. As we were crossing the busy main road, a fast Mercedes sped past almost hitting us and it was the result of almost being run over which gave me the idea of swapping round the words around to Overrun!

“This track also has a more poignant story behind it as I was helping to care for my elderly mother whose health was failing and the recording sessions helped with the stresses and strains of being a carer. Unfortunately she passed away and I was unable to continue with the sessions for a while in order to deal with my bereavement. However, after several months, I felt able to finish off the album. I am a great believer that creating music can be a great healer. This track, especially, definitely helped with my recovery.”

The video was filmed at Black Cat studios in Leicestershire owned by James Scott who also mixed the Rock Dawn album.

Talking about the making of the video, Cris adds: “I roped in some colleagues to appear as the ‘backing band’. I wanted the video to have a humorous element so we came up with the story-line of a hipster engineer and his self-obsessed millennial vocalist recording in a studio, and their comical conversion to metal-heads.”

Cris Martin

About Cris Martin

Cris Martin started playing the guitar aged 16 and found that he had a talent for playing fast in a similar style to his guitar hero, Gary Moore. After several years playing cheap, hard-to-play guitars, Cris fortuitously won a sum of money and purchased his first Gibson Les Paul guitar and a classic Marshall amp. Aged 21, Cris joined his first pro band Thunderstick and recorded two well-received albums and an EP. After Thunderstick, Cris did session work and then spent several years in various bands recording, writing and gigging. In 1997, disillusioned with the music business, Cris stopped playing and sold all his guitars intending never to play again.

In 2008 after many years of friends telling him he shouldn’t have put aside his guitar talent, Cris purchased a guitar curious to see if he could still “shred”. However, he was in for a nasty surprise as he realised he would have to learn to play all over again in order to regain his once formidable technical mastery. He briefly joined a rock covers band but needed to be able to compose his own material and began working on a solo album. ‘Rock Dawn’ was released in 2016 and featured former Iron Maiden member Blaze Bayley who contributed vocals to three of the tracks.

The single and album are available via the website at http://www.rockdawn.co.uk/