Ronnie James Dio: 1942 – 2010

Dio 1974

Heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio passed away 4 years ago today. The vocalist fronted Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Heaven and Hell and, of course, Dio in his time.

His last public appearance was to accept the Best Vocalist award at Revolver magazine’s 2010 Golden Gods Awards ceremony. In tribute to the late singer, Revolver have posted both his acceptance of the award and his final interview with Slipknot’s Corey Taylor online.

You can watch them below.

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. 1942 – 2010.

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25 Best Albums of 2010

It’s funny how your perception of the music released during any given period of time can change from moment to moment. 2009 seemed like a bumper year for music. There were many new bands to discover and other that simply hadn’t been listened to before. At the end of the year there were spoils aplenty to choose from.

On initial reflection, great music in 2010 has seemed a little harder to come by. The year certainly hadn’t felt like the series of epiphanies experienced in 2009. Nevertheless, a trawl through the memory banks demonstrates that there is still plenty that is worthy of note.

So although a little later than your favourite music magazines, sites and blogs, here are Skin Back Alley’s favourites in all their glory. No voting system. No points scoring. Just a list of our most listened to albums of 2010.

1. Flamingo, Brandon Flowers
2. Heaven Is Whenever, The Hold Steady
3. Treats, Sleigh Bells
4. American Slang, The Gaslight Anthem
5. Have One On Me, Joanna Newsom
6. Acolyte, Delphic
7. The Final Frontier, Iron Maiden
8. Archandroid, Janelle Monae
9. The Drums, The Drums
10. Lights, Ellie Goulding
11. The Boxer, Kele
12. Li(f)e, Sage Francis
13. Loud, Rihanna
14. Infinite Arms, Band Of Horses
15. Sea Of Cowards, The Dead Weather
16. Plastic Beach, Gorillaz
17. Surfing The Void, Klaxons
18. Hidden, These New Puritans
19. Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
20. The Optimist, New Young Pony Club
21. Are The Roaring Night, The Besnard Lakes
22. Odd Blood, Yeasayer
23. High Violet, The National
24. Quarantine The Past, Pavement
25. Come Around Sundown, Kings Of Leon

Those who know the prejudices of this site well will be asking “What? In a year when Bruce Springsteen released an album it doesn’t feature in your favourites?” Well, no. It doesn’t. The Promise may have been the mother load for fans, but it didn’t completely capture the imagination this year. But there is much to admire therein.

Honourable mentions must also go to Relayted by Gayngs and This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem that find themselves just outside of the top 25. Others have been enjoyed but haven’t lodged themselves in the consciousness in quite the same way.

Disagree with us? Want to mention your own favourite or list of loved albums? Let us know what you’re thinking by commenting or getting in touch via e-mail. 2011 is shaping up nicely. See you here this time next year.

Buy the Skin Back Alley top 25 of 2010 at the SBA Music Store.

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly | Rainbow Warehouse, 03/10/10

“Do-gooder.” I’ve always thought it’s a funny expression. People use it with such disdain, but in a far from perfect world who can we rely on to do good and try to make a change? Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – aka Sam Duckworth – is a man trying to make a difference. He tackles racism, the current economic climate and is also a big supporter of fair trade including a line of T-shirt’s amongst other things.

In the small surrounding of the Rainbow Warehouse in Birmingham, I can see that Sam is just off stage jumping up and down getting himself pumped up for tonight’s intimate show. He bounds out full of enthusiasm and energy straight into “Collapsing Cities” and “An Oak Tree”.

Tonight acts as a showcase for eponymous album no.3. It’s this and “The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager” that predominate during the evening. Sam takes a moment to catch his breath and starts on “I Spy”, stopping before the sing along moments for the crowd. There seems to be some miscommunication, but more than likely it’s the Devil in Sam having a bit of fun prompting the audience and then prolonging the pauses for comic effect.

6 members in total make up the band. They ably dispense new tracks “Queen For a Day” (offering catchy “ooh oohs”) and “All Falls Down” with use of a megaphone. There should also be a mention for Sam’s hood wearing utility man playing the trumpet, all manner of hand held musical instruments, singing backing vocals and even working on the merch stall!

The other members leave the stage for a couple of solo acoustic tracks and it’s during these I notice Sam’s over use of his tongue, orchestrating each moment during setup. This doesn’t take away from the next two performances, however, including “The Plot” and a super new track.

A lot of Get Capes older tracks have been slightly freshened up live and seem fuller, especially “Could’ve Seen it All” with a very punchy instrumental section. The group keep their own unique sound, new tracks still sounding fresh without breaking a trusted and well loved formula.

Sam talks to the crowd throughout the night complimenting Birmingham’s ethnic diversity, offering thoughts and not being frightened to express personal opinions. In fairness, they’re lapped up by the crowd who offer applause on nearly every occasion.

The whole set lasts 1hr 40 mins with a cover of “Digital Love” (where me and the person next to me turned to each other and simultaneously said “f@cking ace”). My personal favourite, “Call Me Ishmael”, comes next and the night is finished with “Morning Light”.

There was no encore tonight but Cape did leave us all with a sense of worth and the hope that maybe, just maybe, one day we can all help fight the power.

by David Sherry