Def Leppard sponsoring Heavy Metal Truants charity bike ride

Def Leppard Rooftop Photoshoot

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot has revealed that he is sponsoring the 2014 Heavy Metal Truants charity bike ride, and is urging all fans of rock and heavy metal music to do the same.

The ride – which raises money for Nordiff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Childline – is a three day, 162 mile trek from London to the Download festival at Donnington Park.

The riders will set off from the UK capital on the 11th of June, and aim to arrive at Download around midday on the 13th June, just in time for the festival to begin. This year’s pack of riders includes Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood, who founded the Heavy Metal Truants, Metal Hammer magazine editor Alexander Milas, and the man that Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot is sponsoring, heavy metal fan Andy Huuns.

“This is a great cause,” says Elliot, “so I’ve decided to sponsor Andy, and I’m encouraging everybody to do the same thing – and if not Andy then somebody else they know.”

“London to Donington – that’s pretty hardcore,” continues the singer, before breaking out the Leppard puns. “These guys can’t do it in a day, so they’ll have to cycle on through the night, which would leave them high ‘n’ dry in the morning. They would have to start a campfire to warm up – hence being pyromaniacs. This in in turn would probably affect their brains, causing mass hysteria. And then they would need lots of Red Bull to adrenalise themselves to finish the race. And you can quote me on that!”

You can donate to Heavy Metal Truants here.

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Then Thickens to support Echo & The Bunnymen

Then Thickens Support PosterLancashire based indie rockers Then Thickens have announced that they are to play four shows in support of UK music legends Echo & The Bunnymen.

The band made the announcement via their official Facebook page: “Stoked to announce that we’ll be supporting Echo & The Bunnymen on their upcoming UK tour!”

The shows will be taking place over this coming weekend and then in to next week, with confirmed dates as follows:

7th of June: The Ritz, Manchester
8th of June: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
10th of June: O2 Academy, Bristol
11th of June: Queens Hall, Edinburgh

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the release of Then Thickens’ new album, Death Cap At Anglezarke, which was released back in May and garnered a four star review here at Skin Back Alley.

The shows will be ones not to be missed, believe us. Then Thickens’ are an incendiary prospect in a live setting. You can read more about what we thought of their spring show at The Hop in Wakefield here, and read our pre-gig interview with the band here.

Death Cap At Anglezarke is out now on Hatch Records.

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Springsteen museum to launch online

Springsteen 2014

Bruce Springsteen is to have his own online museum. is set to launch in June to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the rock legend’s Born In The USA album. Over 300 items will feature in the initial collection, ranging from vintage concert posters to sheets of hand-written lyrics. More items will be added over time.

The site’s creator, Michael Crane, has said that the museum will run contests every six months or so, with signed album artwork being offered as a prize for the first competition.

Springsteen is currently touring in the USA, and recently performed a 40 year old song, “Linda Let Me Be The One”, live for the first time ever. He also released a four track EP, American Beauty, for Record Store Day on the 19th April, and you can watch the video for the title track below.

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