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Ian Toomey discussses the progression of Bitches Sin, then latterly the Ian Toomey project. From 2006 working and recording exclusively with Chris Tsangarides until he passed away 6th January 2018 and onto the video years working with Lol Cooper and Ben Warrington from Cavalier Studios
In August 1980 Ian Toomey first stepped into a recording studio with Bitches Sin, the band he’d formed with his brother Peter when he’d come to the conclusion that no-one would ever really deliver the album that he wanted to hear. Almost thirty-five years to the day later the guitarist was back in the studio once more, working again with his long-term friends and collaborators Steve Turton (drums), David A Mills (vocals) and producer extraordinaire Chris Tsangarides. The result of these recordings is Toomey’s second solo album ‘Masters Of Light’, a distinctive and cohesive set of songs which once again demonstrate the diversity of Toomey’s musical point of view. As with his previous solo release ‘Ascension’, on ‘Masters Of Light’ Toomey has allowed himself to visit places musically that, to him at least, were previously uncharted. It’s as if, no longer confined by the (possibly self-imposed) restrictions or expectations of writing purely within the confines of Bitches Sin, he’s allowed himself to stretch out and from an almost iconoclastic viewpoint dictate a modern day rock (rather than metal) manifesto.
Gotta love this CD, whether you will or you won’t. The new solo CD by IAN TOOMEY is a true beauty and I think it’s by far his best release ever.
It contains eight songs, but there are no fillers just killers on there. Ian walked a road of thirty-five years to a temple of learning. He feels that with this album he has reached an important milestone in his life. What has been required of him has been completed. The questions he had in his life have been answered and he closes an important chapter with this album. After a journey of thirty-five years, he is inside the temple. Every year floats away on this silver disc in about one full minute. The total playing time is a very intense thirty-five minutes (well, maybe a few seconds more).
Hairy Bikers Dave and Si liked the new 'Ascension' album so much they played it on the 'Hairy Rock Show' on Planet Rock radio.
Featured track was 'Very Soon Everyone's Leaving'... watch this space for more plays in the future!
If you’re a fan of old-school NWOBHM you’ll know Bitches Sin and of source their lead guitarist Ian Toomey; ‘Ascension’ is his debut solo album. A lot of passion and though has gone into the writing and recording of this album and that does shine through as you’re listening to it. Toomey also says that much of the album is deeply personal to him with many of the tracks being autobiographical in nature which adds a lot of intrigue as you listen to it through for the first time.
It’s a genre crossing album too as while there is a strong NWOBHM feel across the album with a couple of tunes feeling like they just arrived via time machine, there is also a strong Classic Rock vibe too. Some of this is down to the vocals of David A. Mills who brings a bit of Blues gravel to the mix and his vocals are not stereotypical of what you’d expect from your average NWOBHM band.
Following the interest generated by a clutch of solo singles, Bitches Sin frontman Ian Toomey takes the plunge with his first solo album. Unlike Bitches Sin where the idea of having the material prepped before recording was the modus operandi, ‘Ascension’ was approached differently. Written in the studio and backed by the modern day BS line-up, including the legendary producer Chris Tsangarides who also added his musical weight, it’s a collection of no-frills hard rock songs of which the stomping bluesy ‘Survivor’ is the pick. Written around the theme of death and resurrection, and containing elements of an autobiographical nature, it comes across almost as a release of energy and of a life philosophy. Some lyrics are deeply personal, digging deep and referring to particular events and experiences, in particular the title track; live sounding and riff laden from the impact of using as few takes as possible to get the tracks down, it cuts to the chase without wasting time of energy.
Whether of not this is a Toomey album of a BS album might well be up for debate, as on paper all the elements might suggest it points to the latter, yet having been on ice for a number of years, it makes sense to capitalise on the realisation of the single releases and highlight the name of Ian Toomey.
UK guitarist Ian Toomey’s third solo single ‘Renegade Soul’ will be released later this month as a stand-alone digital download.
Following on from his 2012 debut solo release ‘Very Soon Everyone’s Leaving’ and ‘Never Alone’ released in January this year, ‘Renegade Soul’ is a resourceful re-imagining of a song the Bitches Sin guitarist wrote for his band Flashpoint at the end of the Eighties which is as relevant now as it was then.
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Ian Toomey, UK Rock guitarist