The Gods of Rock

Maximes, Wigan

20 November 1999

The Gods of Rock 1999, Maximes nightclub in Wigan (where?). 19 bands, 2 days, 12.5 hours on Saturday, 11.5 hours on Sunday. Too loud. Too smoky. Too much coke. Too little food. Too little sleep. I think I'm too old for this.

Here's a run-down of the bands, in order.

Age of Reason

(I think this is what they were called, I can't be bothered to take my t-shirt off to check). I can't remember a thing about this band. Ordinary.


Average. Their guitar player looked like Brian May.


Or was this the band with the Brian May look-alike? Or was this the one with the singer who looked like Robert Plant?. Average.

Shotgun Symphony

Pretty bad. Like Iron Maiden with a worse singer (yes honestly!)

So far I was extremely unimpressed. However, I was keen to see the next band. I thought they might be good...

Dante Fox

I got one song of theirs on a magazine cover disk about three years ago, and I REALLY liked it. But I never heard anything else about them. The song is a mushy-keyboardy-Heart-type ballad, and if their other songs were as good I expected to like them quite a bit.

Well, I was really surprised. I didn't like them quite a bit. I liked them a WHOLE LOT. They don't use keyboards on stage but their guitar player is very very good. An ordinary player, but a very good ordinary player, if you see what I mean. And the singer has an unbelievable voice with an incredibly high shriek, kind of like a female Ian Gillan. No, not really, more like a female Steve Perrin. No, but the band is kind of Journey without the ballads and keyboards (and with a female singer). No, that's not right. Kind of like Heart with a better singer. Or kind of like Cher with a better guitar player. Kind of like, what if Cher played hard rock. No... um... I don't know... You have to hear it. Their CDs are kind of like the rocky parts of Thunder (Terraplane) but not really. Umm... Anyway I really really like Dante Fox. I bought both of their CDs while I was there and after playing them I like them even more. If I can get to another of their concerts, I will. I will certainly buy their next CD. Worth the trip just to see them.


I knew I was going to hate any band who can't even spell their own name properly. But they were quite high on the bill, and the crowd seemed to like them, and they had Paul Hodson (Hard Rain) on keyboards, so I was going to give them a fair chance. (Did I mention that Paul Hodson also plays on the second Dante Fox CD? I think he's in about six different bands...)

Anyway, I hated them. Too loud, too thrash, too tuneless, too boring. I can't work out why the crowd liked them so much.

Ted Poley

I liked this guy. He's American and he's just... a really nice guy. Kind of like an American Bob Catley. No, not really voicewise, but I mean in charisma and attitude and niceness, I guess. Very popular with the crowd, who seemed to know all the songs. His voice is good (but not spectacular) and his songs were good (but not spectacular). But his show was just good. I bought one of his CDs and it's ok. Not great, but ok. (Worth £5 anyway!) I would go and see him again I think.

Two Fires

Another good (but not great) band. From America. Sounded a bit like Journey. No, a LOT like Journey. It's like they said, "Hey our singer sounds like Steve Perrin, we better write some Journey songs". Which isn't a bad thing, of course. I liked them. Not as much as Journey (who are the best at what they do) but I would probably have bought their CD if they were selling any at the place (they weren't).

Bob Catley

What do I need to say about Bob? He played several songs off the last album and a few off the new one. They sounded very good. It's hard when you don't know the songs, because you can't hear the words properly and so on, but the melodies stayed in my head for a long time afterwards, which is a good sign. I bought the new album while I was there. It's very good, but it deserves a review all to itself so more on that later.

Then he played some Magnum songs. Lonely Night, Start Talking Love, Storyteller's Night. The encore was Just Like An Arrow. Then he came on for another encore, Les Morts Dansant, but he did this with only Paul Hodson on keyboards. The rest of the band (which was Emerald Rain again, by the way) stayed off stage. It had the impression of being not rehearsed, so the Emerald Rain guys didn't know the song, but Paul did from the Hard Rain tour. And it was brilliant, it was a great arrangement. Paul Hodson is really good. Bob's voice sounded great.

Bob played 1 hour 25, the longest set of the day (well, he was the headline act), finally coming off stage at 12:45 a.m. It was a great show.