Fireworks

Phil Ashcroft

Fireworks & Rocktopia Staff Writer
Phil Ashcroft
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As a child of the front end of the sixties I was just the right age to get into glam rock, particularly The Sweet and Wizzard. From there I discovered Status Quo, Thin Lizzy and all the classic rock that I’d just missed, and through my teenage years I was a sponge that soaked up all the Progressive Rock, Hard Rock and Metal that was out there, particularly the US bands that seemed to have more originality and style. From there I diversified into AOR, Melodic Rock and Pomp and got heavily into the thriving Canadian music scene, as championed by the great Paul Suter in Sounds magazine and later Kerrang! Around 1980 I started writing just for fun in fanzines called Limelight and Rock Live and continued to discover all manner of weird and wonderful bands from throughout the world.

The next big movement was the US hard rock scene pioneered by the likes of Motley Crue, Ratt, Great White and Queensryche and I spent many holidays hanging out at the legendary clubs of the Sunset Strip. I got more into guitar styles and love Satriani, Vai and all the guitar instrumentalists that were coming through Mike Varney’s Shrapnel label, then towards the end of the 80’s I discovered bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater who were taking metal into new and exciting directions by mixing it with Progressive Rock.

I met Sue and we married at the beginning of the nineties, we have two children and have spent many family holidays in Toronto where we could combine spending time with Sue’s relatives and seeing bands in clubs like The Docks, RPM and the Molson Amphitheatre. I took up writing again for Raging Heart fanzine around 1998 and that kind of morphed into Fireworks. We’d been helping out at the Gods festivals for many years and do the same for the Firefest festival where I’m the Press Officer, and I’ve been the Reviews Editor for Fireworks for several years. Recently I’ve been getting more in Jazz and Fusion but can listen to anything as long as the musicianship is good.

Outside of music I’ve worked for the Heinz food company for over 25 years where I’m a stock controller, and have a keen interest in reading and travelling. Sue and I have two beautiful Grandchildren and live in Wigan with our 23 year old son, and for the best part of forty years I’ve supported my local football team, Wigan Athletic, through good times and bad.

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Latest Message: 3 days ago
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!

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Quote of the day

"When I started singing high-pitched metal tunes my mom said, 'You sound like a dying cat'." (Sebastian Bach) - Quotes collected by Dave Ling (www.daveling.co.uk)

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