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4 December 2005 

Melodic Rock


The band first began in late 1998 when three drunken individuals, Ivan Gunn, Matt Mitchell and Chris Green were having a beer in Brighton's rock club 'The Hungry Years'. Ivan had just left Balance of Power and was looking for a melodic rock project to get his teeth into. Early 1999 was spent writing material and the earlier sessions straightaway spawned the tracks 'Who You Gonna Love' (a ballad at the time), 'Hold On and If It Ain't Love'. Within four months they had a deal with 'Point Music' in Germany and 'EMI' for Japan but something was missing!!

So Chris introduced Simon Farmery to the band and things clicked straightaway. Soon to follow was Rik as he had been in Matt and Chris's former band 'Mind'. Some frantic rehearsals followed getting the ready for the studio but the sound needed thickening so Adrian 'Noddy' Johnson was brought in on rhythm guitar. The sound was complete and within two months 'Far From the Edge' was recorded in just 15 days. Two years later it happened again in Runcorn of all places, where 'Signs of Purity' was recorded, but the band needed to get out and play live. Unfortunately Noddy departed from the band and Barry Fitzgibbon was brought in pushing the band into the live scene with great response.

Since then the band have gigged all over Europe with the likes of Firehouse, LA Guns, Enuff Znuff, Danger Danger, and Danny Vaughn along with a long list of other great bands at festivals. With the departure of Barry the band brought in Tony Marshall of melodic rock band Contagious, and the future is looking good with the best line up the band could hope for, killer songs in the pipeline for the third studio album and a list of gigs and tours for 2005.

So that's it to date - if you haven't already, come and check the band out live and get a chance to see one of the only UK melodic rock bands still living the music, the image and very essence of what rock music was, is, and with these guys' help, always will be!


Prior to forming Lost Weekend David Thompson had been the guiding light writing the bulk of the material for NWOBHM act Rhabstallion from '77 till '84. After that he went down to London to join the band put together by the legendary NWOBHM DJ Neil Kay, Venture, the band did a Friday Rock Show session for the BBC Radio 1. David, however, left to pursue session work for the likes of Nina Hagen, Steve Howe and Trevor Horn.

Still missing the band situation he returned North to join AOR band Voyager UK who created a lot of interest in the late 8O's with their single "Runaway Heart", a Friday Rock Show session and tracks on the Bailey Brothers "Vinyl Frontiers" compilation album of the best unsigned AOR acts. When Voyager UK fell apart David set about putting Lost Weekend together and began by recruiting Jack Himsworth, whom he had worked with previously in Rhabstallion and Robin Patchett, who had been in Voyager UK. Despite having no experience, Richard Smith slotted right into the band on keyboards and with the acquisition of ex Jan Cyrka vocalist Paul Uttley the band was complete.

Enter Yorkshire specialist record store Vinyl Tap, who had been responsible for the issuing of the Rhabstallion material on CD. Having made the contact with David and found out that he was now involved in a new act, they suggested the recording of a four song EP. The results were better than anyone had hoped for and so Vinyl Tap agreed to fund the recording and pressing of a limited album. 

An initial pressing of 500 copies to be sold at the bands' shows went quickly, but not before a copy had been sent to Now & Then Records. Upon hearing and liking the material a deal was struck for the album to gain a wider release. To introduce the band Lost Weekend were given the unenviable job of opening Now & Then's showcase event The Gods 96. They rose to the task and their wealth of experience held them in good stead. The audience reaction was very favourable and Lost Weekend were on their way. With the album now remastered and repackaged things are moving apace. Not wishing to waste any more time Lost Weekend are already well into the writing of their second album. In the meantime the band will keep playing live as much as possible and continue to build up a strong following wherever they appear. 

Through `96 and `97 they played 127 shows around the country, building up a loyal following wherever they performed. Everything was in place for the second album to be recorded at Sable Rose Studios which had previously been used by Siam and The Shock. On the 18th of July `98 the recording began with an 8 - 10 week schedule. Unfortunately, what followed was a collection of machine breakdowns, endless travelling back and forth from Yorkshire to Coventry and engineering problems which resulted in the album being completed some 8 months after it was begun. If the finished item had been stunning then that would have been acceptable, but the end result was literally unreleasable. 

Both Now & Then and the band were very disappointed and disillusioned at this time. At this point the band fully expected to be dropped having spent a huge amount of time and money on the album but Now & Then had faith that the material was strong and that it was the fault of the engineer in the studio rather than the band. After a period of time spent licking wounds, gigging and rethinking, the band entered Now & Then's Startrack Studios on January 22nd 2000 utilising the vast experience of the studio`s engineers, Audu Obaje and Ray Brophy who have worked on many Now & Then projects including TEN, BOB CATLEY, HUGO, GARY HUGHES, VINNY BURNS and NORWAY. 

With their expert guidance and a closer input from the label, "Presence Of Mind" was completed on May 12th even after taking a month break in the middle between completion of recording and starting the mix. During the break the band even took the opportunity to play at the PHOENIX RISING show in Manchester with Bob Catley. It was a powerful and recharged band that performed that night. An important element in the Lost Weekend picture for the re-recording of the album was the addition of a new keyboardist. Kevin Fitzpatrick has been a session player as long as anyone in the band can remember but after hearing the strength of the demos he pledged his support. His classy playing and superb backing vocals have made a real difference to the quality of the finished product. With a stunning cover courtesy of Seb Kozak (TEN, CROWN OF THORNS, TWO FIRES etc. ) and a July release the band once again to ventured out onto the live scene with a launch party at Revival`s in Halifax on July 21st and a requested reappearance at the PHOENIX RISING show on August 6th. 

The band continued to promote their Presence Of Mind album, with live shows around the UK. They also started to write and demo material for their third album. The demos proved to be so strong that Now And Then suggested that the band go to Canada to record their third album with Murray Daigle and Mike Dmitrovic from Emerald Rain.

They continue to perform both headline shows & festivals as well as support such luminaries as MAGNUM.


Already confirmed as one of the best melodic rock albums to be released, "Time After Time" from Midlands-based five-piece DOUBLE CROSS has been a sure-fire hit throughout the rock world. 

Released on Leicester-based record label TB Records, it's an album you'll definitely want to catch!

DOUBLE CROSS was first formed from the ashes of Leicester-based band LIAR, when guitarist Steve Kelly and drummer Steve Philpotts (Also ex-PROWLER) were joined by keyboard player Pete Lakin and Gareth "Gaf" Franks. The quartet went looking for a vocalist who could add the perfect harmonies and lyrics to their newly found stadia sound. Enter seasoned professional Rick Chase (Ex- MAMA'S BOYS/GRAFFITI) who previously has played European festivals, as well as headline slots from London to Los Angeles. 

The band has been through a few changes since their formation. In fact Spinal Tap would be impressed with the rate DOUBLE CROSS has been through drummers! After the initial departure of Steve Philpotts due to health problems, and Paul Disley due to lack of commitment, DC has at last secured what seems to be a more stable line-up with the recent recruitment of Gripper Groves taking over the drum stool.

Collectively DOUBLE CROSS has a wealth of experience in the studio and on stage.

The bands' album "Time After Time" (TBCD 0109) not only showcases the talent and creative finesse of the quintet, but also guests MAGNUM'S BOB CATLEY on backing vocals. Available from all top record stores, the album has received a plethora of rave reviews in magazines and websites across the globe.

Recently played with the likes of DOKKEN, DANGER DANGER, STYX, STATETROOPER & more as well as headlining many shows.

10 Questions


Paul Stead of SACRED HEART Promotion & Management has organised the MELODIC ROCK XMAS BASH! to simply give some of the UK’s leading melodic/hard rock bands the opportunity to get together on one stage, at a fantastic venue – which has such a magnificent “rock” history! 

The RUSKIN ARMS certainly has that pedigree, as do all the bands attending.

For those of you that are new to SACRED HEART, you will find extended samples of 17 songs in the discography section on the website

10 Questions


Close friends of SACRED HEART, “THE DREGS” are from Portsmouth, UK and are the south coast’s leading sleeze rock band.
Influenced by the likes of GnR, LA Guns, Motley Crue and the like their songs are groove based, heavy rockers.


With former SACRED HEART member Leigh Westbrook on bass & lead vocals, ESCAPE will be opening proceedings with finely crafted acoustic rock songs.
Samples available at their website, check them out. 




Radio station ARfm broadcast on the internet and SKY. On the day, DJ’s such as Steve Price will be playing songs between bands. Look out for special shows with some of the above bands in the build up to MRXB ’05!


Mark Owen of RPM will be holding a a rock CD stall/shop on the day – selling the best of AOR, melodic & hard rock.


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