happy birthday Van Morrison

Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musicia Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; was born 31 August 1945. His live performances at their best are described as transcendental, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeksand Moondance and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed and appear at the top of many greatest album lists.Known as “Van the Man” to his fans, Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic “Gloria”. His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” in 1967. After Berns’ death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks in 1968.

Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially poorly received; however, the next one,Moondance, established Morrison as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically acclaimed albums and live performances. Morrison continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains. In 2008 he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968.Much of Morrison’s music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”, “Domino” and “Wild Night”. An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as Astral Weeks and lesser-known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One.The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic Soul”.[6]Morrison has received considerable acclaim, including six Grammy Awards, the Brit Awardfor Outstanding Contribution to Music, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and appearing on several “Greatest Artists” lists.

VAN MORRISON BBC SESSIONS http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hs4eSYyrqOo

Craig Nicholls (the Vines)

best known as the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the Australian alternative rock band The Vines, the Australian musician Craig Robert Nicholls, was (born 31 August 1977. He formed the band in 1994 in Sydney, New South Wales.The Vines were originally formed as Rishikesh in 1994 in Sydney. They play a musical hybrid of 1960s garage rock and 1990s alternative music. Until 2011, their line-up consisted of vocalist and lead guitarist Craig Nicholls, rhythm guitarist Ryan Griffiths, bass guitarist Brad Heald and drummer Hamish Rosser. In December 2011,Hamish Rosser and Ryan Griffiths left the band.The Vines’ success in the Australian recording industry resulted in winning an ARIA Award in 2002, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Single’, for “Get Free” and receiving five other nominations for their debut album Highly Evolved, plus two further nominations in subsequent years. In 2003, the album went platinum in Australia, and since then the band has released four albums and a best-of compilation from their time at Capitol Records. The Vines have released five studio albums to date.

Rob Beach (whitesnake)

Reb Beach (born Richard Earl Beach, Jr. on August 31, 1963, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American rock guitarist. He is a member of the rock bands Winger and Whitesnake. He is the younger brother of John Beach Voiceguy.Whitesnake were, founded in 1978 by David Coverdale after his departure from his previous band, Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving for a more commercially accessible hard rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band’s commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an’ Willing (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the latter of which was their first to chart in the US and eventually went 2x platinum.The band’s 1987 self-titled album was their most commercially successful worldwide, and contained two major US hits, “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love”, reaching number one and two on the Hot 100. In 1988, Whitesnake was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group Slip of the Tongue (1989), was also a success, reaching the top 10 in the US and UK, and receiving a 2x platinum US certification. The band split up shortly after this release, but had a reunion in 1994, and released a one-off studio album,Restless Heart (1997).Whitesnake officially reformed in 2002 and have been touring together since, releasing two studio albums, Good to Be Bad (2008) and Forevermore (2011). In 2005, Whitesnake was named the 85th greatest hard rock band of all time by VH1

Anthony Thistlethwaite (the Waterboys and Saw Doctors)

best known asa founding member (with Mike Scott) of the folk rockgroup, The Waterboys and later as a long-standing member of Irish rock band The Saw Doctors. BRITISH MUlti instrumentalist Anthony “Anto” Thistlethwaite was (born 31 August 1955, Lutterworth, Englan. He started out busking   in Paris, playing tenor saxophone around the streets of the Latin Quarter, in 1980 Thistlethwaite moved to London and in 1981 he played saxophone onRobyn Hitchcock’s Groovy Decay album as well as Nikki Sudden’s Waiting on Egypt. Mike Scott heard the saxophone solo on Nikki’s “Johnny Smiled Slowly” and invited Thistlethwaite to come and play with his fledgling band “The Red and The Black”. Their first record together “A Girl Called Johnny” was to be released as The Waterboys’ first single in March 1983 and featured Thistlethwaite’s tenor sax howl.Although Thistlethwaite is mainly known as a saxophonist he has also featured on mandolin, harmonica, Hammond organ, guitar andbass with The Waterboys and other acts. During the 1980s and 90s he also featured on recordings by: World Party, Fairground Attraction, Psychedelic Furs, Sharon Shannon, Bob Dylan, China Crisis, Johnny Thunders, Donovan, The Vibrators, Chris De Burgh,Bruce Foxton, The Mission, and others as a session musician.During the 1990s which included contributions from the likes of: Kirsty MacColl, Eddi Reader and Ralph McTell as well as many musicians including (‘Rolling Stones’ guitarist) Mick Taylor and Sonny Landreth. His third album Crawfish and Caviar consisted of songs recorded in St. Petersburg, Russia and Louisiana. For the past twelve years Thistlethwaite has been a full-time member of The Saw Doctors from County Galway, Republic of Ireland.Sharon Shannon, also a member of The Waterboys, recorded a song that she named “Anto’s Cajun Cousins”, after his Louisiana Thistlethwaite relatives, on her eponymous debut album.

The Waterboys were formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band’s membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland and England. Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Spiddal, New York, and Findhorn have all served as homes for the group. The band has played in a number of different styles, but their music is a mix of Celtic folk music with rock and roll. After ten years of recording and touring, they dissolved in 1993 and Scott pursued a solo career. They reformed in 2000, and continue to release albums and tour worldwide. Scott emphasises a continuity between The Waterboys and his solo work, saying that “To me there’s no difference between Mike Scott and the Waterboys; they both mean the same thing. They mean myself and whoever are my current travelling musical companions.”The early Waterboys sound was dubbed “The Big Music” after a song on their second album, A Pagan Place. This musical style was described by Scott as “a metaphor for seeing God’s signature in the world.”[3] It either influenced or was used to describe a number of other bands, including Simple Minds, The Alarm, In Tua Nua, Big Country, theHothouse Flowers[4] and World Party, the last of which was made up of former Waterboys members.[5] In the late 1980s the band became significantly more folk influenced. The Waterboys eventually returned to rock and roll, and have released both rock and folk albums since reforming. Their songs, largely written by Scott, often contain literary references and are frequently concerned with spirituality. Both the group and its members’ solo careers have received much praise from both rock and folk music critics, but The Waterboys as a band has never received the commercial success that some of its members have had independently. Aside from World Party, The Waterboys have also influenced musicians such as Eddie Vedder, Johnny Goudie, Colin Meloy ofThe Decemberists,[6] Grant Nicholas of Feeder, James Marshall Owen,and Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff;[9] both Bono and The Edgefrom U2 are fans of the band.

Irish rock band The Saw Doctors were. Formed in 1986 in Tuam, County Galway, they have achieved eighteen Top 30 singles in The Republic of Ireland including three number ones. Their first number one, “I Useta Lover,” topped the Irish charts for nine consecutive weeks in 1990, and still holds the record for the country’s all-time biggest-selling singleRenowned for their live performances, the band has a cult following, especially in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. On 15 February 2008, they received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards. The Saw Doctors finished touring in 2013, with three of the band (Moran, Thistlethwaite and O’Neill) forming a band with fellow Galway Musicians called The Cabin Collective. It is currently unknown whether the band will be returning from their break.

prototype Avro Vulcan first flies 30 August 1952

601px-XH558_PlanformThe Prototype Avro Vulcan No.698 first flew on August 30 1952, . Now a famous example of British engineering heritage, the Vulcan was designed to carry Britain’s new nuclear deterrent, codenamed “Blue Danube”. Its vast size and large delta wing ensure it is perfectly distinctive today, let alone in 1952, when some thought they’d seen an alien spaceship. It was, indeed, the first large delta wing aircraft (leading directly to Concorde), and featured innovations such as electrically-operated flying controls and an early version of ABS braking. Compared with its Avro Lancaster predecessor, which had first flown just 11 years before the Vulcan prototype climbed into the sky, its speed and agility were astonishing.The plane only entered combat once, and not in its nuclear capacity, when it flew 8,000 miles to Port Stanley Airport on the Falkland Islands in 1982, dropping bombs that prevented Argentina operating its own Mirage III fighters.

Two years later the Vulcans were withdrawn from service and today only one, XH558, still flies. This is owned by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which returned XH558 to the air in 2007. Since then the charity has managed to display the Vulcan at numerous airshows, which attract up to seven million people (including me) annually. Now Airshow organisers talk about ‘the Vulcan Effect’ and have also described the aircraft as a national treasure.” AVro Vulcan XH558 (civil aircraft registration G-VLCN) The Spirit Of Great Britain is the only airworthy example of the 134 Avro Vulcan V bombers that were operated by the Royal Air Force from 1953 until 1984. Vulcan XH558 served with the RAF between 1960 and 1985 in the bomber, maritimereconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling roles.XH558, was  the twelfth Vulcan B2 built,it first flew in 1960 and was delivered to No. 230 Operational Conversion Unit RAF at RAF Waddington on 1 July 1960. Almost immediately the aircraft moved with 230 OCU to RAF Finningley where the aircraft spent some eight years before returning to Lincolnshire in 1968. Most of its operational service was with the units of the Waddington Wing including No. 50 Squadron RAF. The aircraft was converted to a SR2 Maritime Radar Reconnaissance in 1973 and flew with 27 Sqn, subsequently to the air-to-air refuelling variant K2 in 1982. It was returned to standard B2 configuration in 1985 and was the last Vulcan in service. From 1986 to 1992, it was the RAF’s display aircraft.After service with the Royal Air Force, the aircraft was sold to C.Walton Limited and delivered by air to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome on 23 March 1993. The aircraft was kept in a serviceable condition and would undertake fast taxi runs along Bruntingthorpe’s main runway. The RAF operated XH558 as a display aircraft from 1986 until 1992, when budget cuts forced its retirement.It is presently operated by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust as a display aircraft, funded entirely by charitable donations and the UK Lottery’s Heritage Fund.It is registered with the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority as G-VLCN but has an exemption to fly in Royal Air Force markings as XH558.

Rudolf Schenker (The Scorpions)

Guitarist, and founder member of German Rock Group The Scorpions  Rudolf Schenker was born on this date 31st August 1948. Formed in 1965 , the Scorpions first had beat influences and Schenker himself did the vocals then things began to come together in 1970 when Schenker’s younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joinedthe band. In 1972, the group recorded and released their debut album Lonesome Crow. Sadly Michael Schenker left the band, which led to the breakup of the band In 1973, however In 1974 a new line-up of Scorpions released Fly to the Rainbow. This album proved to be more successful than Lonesome Crow and established the band’s sound. In 1975 the band released In Trance, The album was a huge step forward for Scorpions and established their heavy metal formula and contained songs like “Dark Lady”, “Robot Man”. In 1976, Scorpions released Virgin Killer, which featured rather controversial artwork, that brought the band considerable media exposure but resulted in the album being “pulled” in some countries. The music itself garnered demographic praise for its music from select critics and fan base. The follow-up album was Taken by Force,  They also recorded material during the band’s Japanese tour, and the resultant double live album was called Tokyo Tapes.In 1979 The Scorpions released the album “Love Drive” which some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career. Containing such fan favourites as “Loving You Sunday Morning”, “Always Somewhere”, “Holiday” and the instrumental “Coast to Coast”. The album’s provocative artwork was also named “Best album sleeve of 1979″ by Playboy magazine but was changed for American release. In 1980 the band released Animal Magnetism,  which contained  “The Zoo” and “Make It Real”. In 1982 The Scorpions released their next album, Blackout, which became the band’s best selling to date eventually going platinum andspawned three singles “Dynamite”, “Blackout”, and “No One Like You”, but It was not until 1984 and the release of Love at First Sting that the band finally cemented their status as metal musicians. Propelled by the single Rock You Like a Hurricane, Love at First Sting climbed the charts and went double platinum in the USA a few months after its release.

The band toured extensively and recorded their very successful second live album, World Wide Live in 1985. The bands next album Savage Amusement was released in 1988 containing the songs Don’t Stop at the Top and Rhythm of Love, which represented a more polished and mature sound. During the Savage Amusement tour, Scorpions became only the second Western group (not American) to play in the Soviet Union as a result, Scorpions developed an extended Russian fan base and still return to perform.In 1990. Crazy World was released and displayed a less polished sound. The album was propelled in large part by the massive success of the ballad Wind of Change which muses on the socio-political changes that were occurring in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world at the end of the Cold War. On July 21, 1990 they joined many other guests for Roger Waters’ massive performance of The Wall in Berlin. Scorpions performed both versions of “In the Flesh” from The Wall. In 1993, Scorpions released Face the Heat but this did not come close to matching the success of “Wind of Change” and was only a moderate success.Their 13th studio album, 1996s Pure Instinct, contained the singles “Wild Child” and the soothing ballad “You and I” which both enjoyed moderate success. 1999 saw the release of Eye II Eye and a significant change in the band’s style, mixing in elements of pop and techno. The following year, Scorpions had an artistic collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic that resulted in a 10-song album named Moment of Glory. In 2001, Scorpions released Acoustica, which featured acoustic reworkings of the band’s biggest hits, plus new tracks. In 2004, the band released Unbreakable, which was hailed by critics as a long-awaited return to form. The album was the heaviest the band had released since Face the Heat, and cintained tracks such as “New Generation”, “Love ‘em or Leave ‘em” and “Deep and Dark”. Scorpions released their 17th studio album, Sting in the Tail, on March 23, 2010 and announced that it would be their last album and that the tour supporting it will be their final tour. On 6 April 2010, Scorpions were enshrined in Hollywood’s Rock Walk in a handprint ceremony, with the band members placing their hands in a long slab of wet cement, which was placed on the Rock Walk.

Bridgnorth Music & Arts Festival

As part of this years Bridgnorth Music and Arts festival there is a family Fun DayTODAY Saturday 31st August in the Castle Gardens Bridgnorth from 12-6PM.which  will be host to an afternoon of musical entertainment and activities. With demonstrations from Excalibur Martial Arts; Museum on the Move with an exhibition entitled ‘Living By Numbers’; face painting; and ice cream courtesy of Knickerbockers, there’ll be something for everyone. So why not bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxed afternoon of entertainment! We’ll be collecting on behalf of Bridgnorth Lions PSA testing fund, which has helped many local men get an early diagnosis, which can literally mean the difference between life and death. Live music in the Bandstand will be provided by :-

  • Linda Tilley

  • Nick Greenwood

  • Pandora’s Puppets

  • Charlie Grass

  • Rock Salt

  • Claire Shaw

  • Louise Bellamy

  • Rhi Moore

  • Geoff Rodgers

  • James Andrews