Firefest 2012 line-up revealed


Firefest and Fireworks Magazine are pleased to announce the line-up for the 2012 festival. It's the usual mix of surprises, cult classics and established favourites, with four bands on the Friday evening and seven each on Saturday and Sunday.

Venue and dates:

Firefest will take place on Friday 19th, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October 2012 at Rock City in Nottingham city centre.


Friday 19th October (Top to bottom)

No strangers to the UK or to Firefest, the original Tyketto line-up played at our 2007 show, with a different touring line-up of the band coming back to headline in 2008. This time Danny Vaughn, Michael Clayton Arbeeny, Jimi Kennedy and Brooke St. James will have the first brand new album by this line-up since their classic 1991 debut 'Don't Come Easy'. Joined by keyboard player Bobby Lynch they'll be playing songs from their upcoming album 'Dig In Deep' as well as classics from their debut and 'Strength In Numbers'.

Having burst onto the scene in the mid 90s with two storming releases within six months, Ten went on to stake a claim as one of the latest, greatest champions of UK melodic hard rock. Following releases built on that success, especially 1999's Rafe McKenna produced 'Spellbound', which saw the band listed as #2 Brightest Hope in the Classic Rock magazine readers' poll. Line-up changes saw the band's output slow down during the last ten years, and 2011's 'Stormwarning' was the band's first release in over five years. On the live front, the situation was just as frustrating, but with a new line-up settled late last year and a fantastic headline two-hour performance at Fleetwoodstock, singer Gary Hughes and the band are back and ready to hit the heights again. Their first ever Firefest performance promises to be one to remember.

People often complain that there aren't enough female singers at Firefest, well 2012 promises to put that right with well-respected UK melodic rockers Dante Fox joining our Friday night line-up. Sue Willets and guitarist Tim Manford first came to the fore with their 1996 debut 'Under Suspicion' and 1999 follow-up 'The Fire Within', playing countless shows around the UK, including the prestigious Gods festival. They returned to recording in 2007 with the powerful 'Under The Seven Skies' and should have a new album released later this year. They played our low-key warm-up show at Firefest II but this will be their first spot on the main stage, and well-deserved it is.

Hailing from Italy, Lionville are the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Stefano Lionetti with well-known keyboard player Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Eden's Curse, Mitch Malloy) and drummer Pierpaulo Monti (Shining Line), the only non-Italian being Swedish Work Of Art singer Lars Safsund. They released their debut self-titled album in 2011 to universally positive reviews and we think their pure and melodic AOR will be a great way to start Firefest 2012.

Saturday 20th October (Top to bottom)

GOTTHARD (Switzerland)
A band who need no introduction to our audience, Swiss heroes Gotthard took the roof off when they last played back in 2006. Absolutely huge in their native land, Gotthard have had a string of platinum albums and have a strong back catalogue that few can equal. However, the rock world was stunned when singer Steve Lee was killed in an accident while touring the USA on his motorcycle. For a while it looked as though the band was over, but now we can proudly announce that they've agreed to make Firefest their first UK show with new singer Nic Maeder. He has big shoes to fill but we're sure you'll make Nic feel most welcome.

A 90s MTV darling, thanks to his clean-cut good looks and colossal self-titled 1992 debut, along with that dance-floor filler 'Anything At All', the future should have beckoned Mitch Malloy to fame, success and riches. However, an ill-advised change in direction on his sophomore release saw his career stall until 2001's 'Shine' album on Frontiers Records. Having always promised, but failed to deliver, a return to that debut sound, Malloy finally wised up and recorded 'Mitch Malloy II' last year, so titled as he proclaimed it the natural successor to that adulated debut -- and the reviews that followed seemed to agree. Having made his Firefest debut in 2008, Malloy returned last year to rip the place apart with a backing band of passionate Italians and a performance that took the roof off.  It more than made sense to bring him back, and put him higher on the bill. Pure class!

LA rockers XYZ formed in the late 80s and played the same sunset strip circuit that spawned bands like Warrant, Hurricane and House Of Lords. The band soon picked up a record deal with the Enigma label, their 1989 self-titled record was produced by Don Dokken and contained the MTV hits 'Inside Out' and 'What Keeps Me Loving You', as well as 'Maggy' from the Dolph Lundgren film 'Come In Peace'. They were picked up by Capitol for 1991's 'Hungry' disc and have sporadically released albums and played shows since, including the legendary Rocklahoma 2008. With original singer Terry Illous and bassist Pat Fontaine in the line-up, XYZ are surely one name that nobody expected to see on this bill.

SANTERS (Canada)
Another of our cult classics, Santers were formed in Toronto in 1980 by brothers Rick and Mark Santers (vocals/guitar and drums respectively) and bassist Rick Lazaroff. They toured incessantly and released the albums 'Shot Down In Flames' (1981), 'Racing Time' (1982) and 'Guitar Alley' (1984), the latter pair being picked up by the Heavy Metal America label in the UK where the band toured as support to Magnum. During the recording of their fourth album, Rick Santers was asked by his friend Rik Emmett (who'd produced 'Guitar Alley') to tour with his band Triumph on second guitar, keyboards and vocals, which he did for six years, also contributing song parts for their 'Sport Of Kings' and 'Surveillance' records. They eventually released that fourth album, 'Top Secrecy' in 1999 and have reformed occasionally since, including shows with Coney Hatch. We're thrilled to have them at Firefest and we know you'll give them a warm welcome.

Famous for her Coca-Cola backed hit 'First Time' from her debut 1989 album 'Trouble Or Nothin', this ballad was actually the odd-man out on an album rammed full of impressive melodic rockers, with a helpful sprinkling of Desmond Child's magic at the production helm. Subsequent albums veered away from this signature sound however, and it wasn't until 2005's 'Do You Miss Me', when Ms Beck resurfaced on Frontiers, that the hard rock edge came back to her music. Through 'Livin' On a Dream' to last year's wonderful 'The Great Escape', Robin has now fully embraced her rock heritage, and after a successful run earlier this year in Germany on the Rock Meets Classic tour, she is finally due to make her long awaited live UK appearance. Backed by Tommy Denander on guitar and members from House of Lords, including James Christian playing bass, this promises to be one of the highlights for lovers of female fronted melodic rock.

WORK OF ART (Sweden)
Ever since the release of the awesome 'Artwork' debut in 2008, Work Of Art have appeared on most of the wish-lists we've received. We've tried every year and it just hasn't been possible, but finally Robert Sall, Lars Safsund and Herman Furin have agreed and we're sure they'll be one of the most popular additions to the Firefest family. With the 2011 release 'In Progress' equalling the success of the debut, they have plenty of quality songs to play and are certain to be one of the highlights of the weekend.

Having released his debut back in 1996, Johnny Lima's talent was acknowledged by the UK's Now & Then Records, who promptly signed him to a multi-album deal. The first of these, 'Shine On', was released to great reviews in 1999 and Lima made two highly acclaimed appearances at the Gods festival, being arguably the most entertaining act of the day.  Described as more Bon Jovi than Bon Jovi these days, Californian native Johnny Lima released his latest album, 'Livin' Out Loud' in 2009, and whilst still retaining those signature melodies, at times had a dirtier edge to the music. The album gained a lot of exposure when one wag posted the songs online, claiming they were new Bon Jovi demos, an act that Lima acknowledged had done him no harm at all. If only Bon Jovi did sound like this today! Be prepared for total entertainment from one of the scene's most enjoyable frontmen!

Sunday 21st October (Top to bottom)

Some bands just need no introduction, and Danger Danger are surely one of them. Bruno Ravel, Ted Poley, Steve West and Rob Marcello have been regular visitors to these shores in the last decade and this will be their third Firefest appearance, but their first as headliner. Having finally released their long-awaited seventh studio album 'Revolve' in 2009 - their first with Ted Poley since the shelved 'Cockroach' in the early 90s - the band finally get to play some of those great songs here, along with the classics from their debut and 'Screw It'. Always a phenomenal live act, who better to end the festival with one big party?

Another band making a welcome return are Norwegian trio Stage Dolls, who impressed greatly on their last appearance at Firefest 2010. Torstein Flakne (guitar/lead vocals) and Terje Storli (bass) have been in the band since they formed in 1982, their biggest success coming in 1988 when their self-titled third album achieved popularity in the US on the back of hit singles 'Love Cries' and 'Still In Love'. Current drummer Morten Skogstad has been in the band since 1993, during which time they've recorded the albums 'Dig', 'Get A Life' and 'Always'. The well-respected band always deliver and their performance will again be one not to be missed.

New Orleans band Lillian Axe burst onto the scene with their Robbin Crosby (Ratt) produced debut album in 1988 and its vastly superior follow-up 'Love & War'. Signing a deal with UK label Music For Nations, they regularly toured the UK in support of the 'Poetic Justice' and 'Psychoschizophrenia' albums and have spent the last twenty years refusing to lie down. Despite countless line-up changes, founding guitarist and song writer Stevie Blaze has guided the band through a number of independent releases, culminating in the recent 'XI - The Days Before Tomorrow', their best album in quite some time. With Blaze dividing his time between Lillian Axe and seminal 70s pomp rockers Angel, we're thrilled that he can find the time to play at Firefest, which will be their first UK show in almost twenty years.

The second band on our bill from Ontario, Canada, Brighton Rock were formed in Niagara Falls in the early 80s, attaining great homegrown success with their 1986 debut album 'Young, Wild & Free' and its even more succesful follow-up 'Take A Deep Breath'. During this time they also toured Europe and the UK, after which time keyboard player Johnny Rogers left so Gerry McGhee (vocals), Greg Fraser (guitar), Stevie Skreebs (bass) and Mark Cavarzan (drums) went on to release the more aggressive 'Love Machine' in 1991 as a four piece. Splitting up soon after, Fraser joined Helix and the band remained dormant until 2001, when they reformed to make the live album 'A Room For Five, Live' and play the Z-Rock festival in Manchester. They've played occasional shows since, including a benefit show for Coney Hatch singer Carl Dixon after his accident in 2008, and we're delighted to have the line-up that made the classic first two records for their first UK show in well over twenty years.

ROYAL HUNT (Denmark)
Providing something a little different but just as melodic to this year's bill, the Danish symphonic metal masters Royal Hunt will make their first festival appearance in the UK since the Gods in 2003. It's no secret that our own Kieran Dargan is a huge fan of the band, so when it was announced that American singer D.C.Cooper was returning to Royal Hunt for the first time since the classic 'Paradox' album in 1997, it was no surprise when they were added to the line-up. Joining Cooper, band leader Andre Anderson (keys) and long-time drummer Allen Sorensen, will be bassist Andreas Passmark and new guitarist Jonas Larsen to play songs from the brand new 'Show Me How To Live' album, as well as classics from their early releases.

Fiona was the darling of KERRANG! back in the late 80/early 90s, an elfin chanteuse with an amazing voice and penchant for creating some superb female-fronted melodic rock, including the minor MTV hit 'Everything You Do (You're Sexing Me)', an attitude-fuelled duet with Kip Winger. After the release of the wonderful 'Squeeze' in 1992, Fiona dropped out of the scene to raise a family, and that would have been it -- if not for a Facebook reconnection with Robin Beck, who convinced her it was time to give it one more try. So together with the writing/playing team of Tommy Demander and James Christian, Fiona recorded and released 'Unbroken' on her own late last year. A storming return after almost 20 years away, the success of this album brings Fiona to Firefest for her first ever UK live performance. Teaming up on stage with her partners in crime, Denander and Christian, this is one performance sure to get the juices flowing


I'm sure everybody knows what went wrong with Farcry's proposed appearance at last year's festival, so having them on the bill this time was an absolute must. Guitarist Pete Fry came over in 2011 anyway and guested with Newman on a song they had collaborated on for the second Farcry album, 'Optimism'. This time you'll get the whole band playing highlights from both their albums. Farcry created quite a stir when they played at Melodicrockfest in Chicago and we're sure they'll do the same at Firefest.

Tickets & Prices

Ticket prices are as follows:

FRIDAY 19th October - £30 (Stand alone show limited to 1000 tickets -- not included in the early bird special)

SATURDAY 20th October - £59 (Limited to 1200 tickets)SUNDAY 21st October - £59 (Limited to 1200 tickets)

EARLY BIRD (Saturday and Sunday tickets ONLY): £110 valid until March 31st OR to a maximum of 350 Early Bird tickets sold.

FRIDAY remains a standalone show and is not discounted in any way.There will also be an added incentive for early bird sales , details of which will be provided as soon as they're finalised. Obviously early bird sales are key to generating cash flow that we need for deposits, flights etc. etc , so anything we can do to sell out the early birds as soon as possible is extremely important.

Early bird tickets are available NOW from

A full list of other tickets agents will be made available shortly.

Firefest is sponsored by Classic Rock Presents:AOR, Blackstar Amplification, AOR Heaven, ARFM & Rock It Magazine.

Firefest 2012 is an age 14 and over show.

Check regularly for updates, as well as the official myspace, facebook and twitter pages and The website will also contain hotel details and directions for those travelling into Nottingham.

All that's left to say is thank you for your continued support and we hope the line-up and ticket prices are to your liking.

Click on the link to read the Firefest 2011 review


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Comments (5)add comment

Berny said:

January 29, 2012
Votes: +0

HM said:

YES!!! See you all in Nottingham! smilies/wink.gif
January 29, 2012
Votes: +0

PJS said:

The Jumblies will be there!
January 31, 2012
Votes: +0

Martin Bishop said:

GREAT line-up for a GREAT festival!
February 04, 2012
Votes: +0

LeChef said:

Bought two flight tickets last Friday, see you all in Nottingham!!! smilies/cheesy.gif
February 04, 2012
Votes: +0

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