Thunder guitarist Ben Matthews has cancer

Thunder And Whitesnake Perform In Sheffield

Thunder have revealed that guitarist Ben Matthews has cancer.

The band played their Calling Festival set at the end of June with temporary replacement Pete Shoulder in the six-string spot whilst Matthews had tonsil surgery.

Thunder frontman Danny Bowes said in a statement: “The surgeon found some ‘extra’ matter attached to one of them, and after some tests, it was found to be malignant.

“In effect he has cancer and needs treatment, which will mean a course of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Whilst the treatment is not pleasant, we’re told the percentage chances of a happy outcome are ‘in the high 90s’.”

Thunder have promised to keep fans updated and added: “In the meantime please join us in wishing him well.”

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Eminem banned from Hyde Park festival gig


Eminem has been banned from appearing at London’s Hyde Park this summer.

The rapper was due to play a set as part of the British Summer Time event, organised by promoters AEG. Terms had been agreed between promoter and star, but a freedom of information request shows that agreement was vetoed by Royal Parks, the organisation that runs Hyde Park.

In an email, Royal Parks CEO Linda Lennon said: “This artist flagged risks across the board. In particular in respect of our public reputation. The nature of any act with potential for lyrics to be deemed offensive and/or unsuitable language being audible within the park as a whole, let alone the surrounding residential areas, is unacceptable.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson was reportedly asked to overturn the decision, but his office admitted they had no idea who the rapper was. Sir Edward Lister, the Mayor’s chief of staff said: “Until receipt of both emails I had no knowledge of Eminem and his style of music and still do not.”

Last month Eminem himself said: “I heard that I wasn’t going to be approved to play in Hyde Park and it made me even more excited to play in London this summer. The easiest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t do it. Thanks to the Royal Parks for making it all possible… for Wembley.”

AEG’s Jim King had responded to the ruling saying: “I don’t want to split hairs but I do question how easy it is for any offensive lyrics to be heard and actually understood outside of our event site,” adding he was not “aware of any other case whereby he has been prevented from performing in the UK”.

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Kings of Leon debut new material at Hyde Park gig

Kings of Leon debuted four brand new songs at their sell-out gig at Hyde Park last night (30th June.)

Playing to a capacity crowd of 60,000 people, the new songs had working titles including Immortals, Southbound and Radioactive.

Caleb Followill, frontman for the band, said: “”Since we saw you guys last we went and made a record. That’s what we put a lot of work into. Just yesterday some people at the record label got to hear a couple of songs from it. I don’t know if they want us to play a bunch of new songs but I think, ‘Fuck it’ – we’re gonna do it!”

Support came from 2010’s hottest new band The Drums and The Black Keys who drew their own sizeable audiences.

Stevie Wonder pays tribute to Michael Jackson

Stevie Wonder paid tribute to Michael Jackson during his set at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday.

During an extended intro to his song Master Blaster (Jammin’), Wonder coerced the crowd into a call and response shout of “We love you, Michael Jackson.” The Motown legend then gave an impassioned rendition of Jackson’s Human Nature. The tribute came almost exactly a year to the day after Michael Jackson’s death from an alleged overdose of sedatives.

Stevie Wonder now reverses Bruce Springsteen’s 2009 feat by heading to Somerset to close this year’s Glastonbury festival.

Springsteen Releases Live Hyde Park DVD

Find it at: Amazon

Bruce Springsteen has released London Calling: Live In Hyde Park on DVD. The release marks Springsteen’s first outdoor concert release as well as his first in a festival setting.

The film captures Bruce’s performance at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London on 28th June last summer. The 172 minute show sees the legendary E Street Band tear through 27 songs, beginning in streaming sunlight before progressing through a stunning sunset and into the night.

Songs range from Born to Run through to Working on a Dream and include some inspired cover versions as well as a guest appearance from The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon during No Surrender. As a bonus, the DVD also includes an awe inspiring performance of The River from Bruce’s set on the previous day at the 2009 Glastonbury festival, as well as the video for new song Wrecking Ball, filmed at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium.

Britain’s The Independent newspaper said of the Hyde Park appearance, “He awed the 50,000-strong crowd… Drenched in sweat by the second number, tossing his guitars to the roadies with the vigour of a frontman a third of his age and jogging down a walkway to meet his fans and take their requests, Springsteen’s intensity was staggering from first powerful vocal to final thrashed-out chord.”

The full tracklist for the DVD is:
1. London Calling
2. Badlands
3. Night
4. She’s The One
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Out In The Street
7. Working On A Dream
8. Seeds
9. Johnny 99
10. Youngstown
11. Good Lovin’
12. Bobby Jean
13. Trapped
14. No Surrender
15. Waiting On A Sunny Day
16. Promised Land
17. Racing In The Street
18. Radio Nowhere
19. Lonesome Day
20. The Rising
21. Born To Run
22. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
23. Hard Times (Come Again No More)
24. Jungleland
25. American Land
26. Glory Days
27. Dancing In The Dark
28. Music under end credit sequence: Raise Your Hand

The River: Glastonbury Festival, 2009
Wrecking Ball: Giants Stadium, 2009