The following 4 minute clip was shown on BBC Breakfast several times this morning. It contains footage from backstage at the London show as well as the Monster book launch: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18758702
Latest UK News
The following review appeared in The Guardian today:-
Kiss have fetched up in a venue slightly smaller than their usual arenas in aid of a charity. Help For Heroes benefits servicemen wounded in the line of duty: "So that we can rock," avers singer-guitarist Paul Stanley, a man reassuringly steadfast in the belief that Iraq was invaded largely for Kiss's benefit. Lest any long-term fans think the self-styled Hottest Rock Band in the World have taken leave of their senses and started acting entirely out of munificence, it's worth noting that they're also over here flogging something. Not a record but a book of photos: Monster, which is three feet high and retails at $4,299. "Kiss got an up close and personal look at a 'finished proof'," offers the book's website, "and were quite impressed" – not perhaps the ringing endorsement you might hope for were you considering spending $4,299.
A three-foot-high photo book is obviously a ridiculous idea, which means, of course, that it's entirely in keeping with Kiss's ethos. Without wishing to underplay the band's music – which tonight veers from the grunty glam-rock plod of 1974's Deuce to the gleaming pop-metal of Crazy Crazy Nights and Shout It Out Loud – ridiculousness is their very lifeblood, a state of affairs underlined in no uncertain terms by their live show. Bearing in mind Kiss have not one, not two, but three walls of speaker cabinets on stage, the sound is oddly weedy and muffled – anyone would think the cabinets were empty – but it's difficult to find the energy to worry about it, bombarded as you are by other distractions. There are fireworks and flashbombs going off almost continually. Gene Simmons concludes one song by breathing fire. Tommy Thayer finishes a guitar solo by shooting fireworks out of his guitar. Drummer Eric Singer ends his own solo by extravagantly tossing his sticks in the air. He fails to catch one of them, but nil desperandum: he's got a fake bazooka, and that shoots fireworks as well.
In fact, for a band who've clearly been doing this since time immemorial – who know enough about the way publicity works to play their opening two songs not to the audience, but to the photo-grapher's pit, obligingly posing and pulling faces until everyone's got their shot – there's something endearingly ramshackle about Kiss live, at odds with their reputation for slick cynicism. A fairly interminable version of the appropriately named 100,000 Years is much enlivened when Stanley imperiously whirls his microphone around by its lead, in the style of Roger Daltrey, then drops it.
The finale of Rock and Roll All Nite comes with a pyrotechnic display so immense – certainly by the standards of the Forum, if not by those of Kiss's full-size show – that all the previous pyrotechnic displays look like a mere rehearsal. Looking on, it's hard not to be, as the band themselves would doubtless put it, quite impressed.
Rob Hutchinson has kindly sent me the following review taken from his blog.
KISS Blitz London on Independence Day!
HMV Forum Wednesday 4th July 2012
It's hotter than hell this one. It's the hottest ticket in town this summer. Period. When Sonisphere Festival was cancelled due to all manner of problems, Kiss decided to box clever, and announced a charity show at the intimate HMV Forum in North London on wait for it, 4th July. Tickets went in 90 seconds although in fact no tickets were ever sent out. Get to the venue with photo id and the credit card used for your booking, and in you go. No id, no admission. All the £50 a head ticket money went to the excellent Help for Heroes charity www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ .
Fans were paying nine times the face value to get their hands on these little beauties on the black market, although it was only a couple of years since they last came to these shores. Plainly the prospect of such a small show was just too much of a temptation for the Kiss Army. The joy of living in London means we are lucky and often get these cosy club type shows and this followed hot on the heels of Night Ranger and Megadeth.
KISS destroyed London town once again last night at a fantastic sell-out show at the HMV Forum. Originally planned to make up for the cancellation of Sonisphere, it was an amazing show and we were lucky enough to be the first fans to hear Hell Or Hallelujah live... and it felt good!
The show was in aid of Help For Heroes, a fantastic gesture from KISS for a great charity. Bryn Parry, the CEO and co-founder of Help For Heroes has gave me the following statement prior to the show:
"We are absolutely delighted to have the support from KISS and are certain the concert will be a huge success! KISS’s support of the Wounded Warriors in the US to date has been incredible and beginning their UK support on Independence Day couldn’t be more timely! The money raised will be used to provide direct, practical support to those wounded in the service of our country. We may not be able to prevent them from being hurt but we can certainly do our bit to help them get better."
I was lucky enough to go to the after show party at the Playboy Club and got to have a nice chat to Tommy, Eric & Doc who were all in great spirits after the show, couple of photos below.
The setlist was as follows:
Detroit Rock City
Hell or Hallelujah
Shout It Out Loud
I Love It Loud
Shock Me / Eric & Tommy solos
Calling Dr. Love
Crazy Crazy Nights
Lick It Up
Rock and Roll All Nite
The following article has appeared on the Newsbeat site here:
Kiss to play concert supporting Help for Heroes charity
By Del Crookes
US rock band Kiss are donating the profits from their London concert this week to UK forces charity Help For Heroes.
The group, who have a new single out called Hell or Hallelujah, are playing the Kentish Town Forum as part of a promotional tour of Europe.
They had been due to headline this weekend's Sonisphere rock festival at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire but the event was cancelled.
Kiss - made up of front man Paul Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer - release Monster, their 20th studio album, in October.
The band have sold more than 100 million records since forming in New York in 1973.
Why are you supporting Help For Heroes?
Gene: "No matter what your political persuasions, the reality is that any freedoms that England and America have, has to do not with politicians but the brave men and women in uniform here, in the US and in the free world.
"They actually put their lives on the line.
"All they're trying to do is to come back into society after they've risked their lives.
"The least we can do is to show them respect and appreciation."
Paul: "The greatest national treasure of any free country are the people that keep it free.
"When people volunteer to risk life and limb to support a country and to keep it free, and then they come back and have to fight their way back into society, it's criminal.
"It can be catastrophic upon your return. You can be psychologically broken as well as have a broken body.
"It's everybody's obligation to support the people who keep us free."
You were due to headline Sonisphere this weekend. Are you worried about the financial situation at the moment?
Paul: "We've been through periods in our career where we played to very few people.
"Muhammad Ali was the greatest.
"That didn't mean he won every fight but it means over the long haul he was the champ.
"We don't do this because the crowds are massive.
"We do this because we love doing it.
"At the moment we seem to be impervious to whatever's going on with other bands."
What can you tell us about the new single, Hell or Hallelujah?
Paul: "It's the battle-cry. It's a song that epitomises everything the album is.
"What we wanted to do this time was not make a great Kiss album, make a great classic rock album.
"I think it's more sure of itself.
"I don't think that the heaviness or harder feel comes from anything other than our being that much more sure of what we're doing."
Do you enjoy coming to the UK?
Paul: "The UK for us is the holy land. It's where all our heroes come from.
"Rock 'n' roll may have been invented in America but what it became over here is what we emulated."
Tommy: "We always scratch our heads about the disproportionate amount of amazing rock 'n' roll bands that come from England.
"It's something we always talk about."
I was lucky enough to be in the press conference for the KISS Monster Book launch held in the Arts Club in London today. The room was full of photographers and TV crews and the whole thing lasted about an hour, starting with the band posing with the book and talking about Help For Heroes, then Q&A's and finally the book signing. Here's a summary:-
- Gene mentioned that they are well aware the price is an issue hence why only 1000 were made, he hinted at a smaller version in the future
- The book is the largest rock book ever and had to be hand made as it was too big to be machine bound
- Gene credited Tommy for his design work on the book, sounds like he was the main contributor
- Gene denied any rumours that the band will end after Monster!
- I asked Paul if there were any surprises in the set list tomorrow, he said Hell or Hallelujah will be played
- Paul also confirmed that they are planning a UK/Europe tour next year
- The book was signed to 'Help For Heroes', it wasn't clear but I think the first book was donated to them, possibly for auction
Here's some of my photos from the day, click for larger versions:-
Click the Read More link below to see more, including the first page of the book itself.
In case you've been living in a cave the past few weeks, we are about to have an amazing week full of KISS! The week consists of....
- Monday - release of Hell or Hallelujah single (download only)
- Tuesday - launch of new Monster book, we will be reporting from the press conference
- Wednesday - 'intimate' show in the HMV Forum!
The show is preceded by a lot of UK fans meeting up for a drink before hand, more details on the forum. Look out for pictures from the week starting with the book launch on Tuesday.
Are you planning on going to the KISS show next week in make-up and also going to the Forum meet up? If so them please get in touch either by using the 'Contact Us' link or by posting on the forum. An Australian TV show is very keen to film you as part of a KISS shoot they are doing for the top public affairs show in Australia!
Big thank you to Amro (kissmad76) for putting me touch with the producer.
The new KISS single from Monster, due for release on July 2nd, will be Hell or Hallelujah and will be available as a download from iTunes and Amazon. A small 30 second preview is available now from Amazon and it sounds great, lets see if we can get this into the top 10 once it's released!
Plans for a London show have been in the works for some weeks now, although legal issues have slowed things down, however KISS Online announced the following fantastic news earlier today. Note that as well as the KOL presale O2 customers have also had chance to buy tickets today, however tickets go on general sale tomorrow.
From KISS Online:
** The hottest band in the world… are back in the UK! **
** With their new album Monster out in October **
** New single to be released July 2nd **
** Monster Book to be launched July 2nd **
** Special show at The Forum in London for Help for Heroes on Independence Day, Wednesday 4th July **
Rock Legends KISS are rolling out into London in July and taking over the UK with not just a single release, but also a book release and an intimate show at London’s Forum on July 4th.
Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric will be performing to their KISS Army of fans at the celebrated London venue for one night only as a fundraiser for the Help for Heroes charity. The band has always supported the US troops at their gigs over the years but this year, on Independence Day, the US rockers will be backing British wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women by raising money with this unique concert. All proceeds from the concert will go to the charity.
Ahead of the new KISS album ‘Monster’ (due out in the Autumn), the band will also be releasing a single on 2nd July. Also, KISS are happy to announce that they will further be raising funds for our wounded, sick and injured troops as all proceeds from the single will be donated to Help for Heroes.
Paul Stanley states "The greatest national treasure of any free country is the army that defends it at all cost. Bringing attention to the obligation we all share to those returning heroes has been our mission in the US and now the UK. We pay tribute to those brave men and women and urge everyone to show their thanks with donations".
KISS will rock the London Forum on Wednesday, July 4th! A KISS ARMY Members' only ticket pre-sale is live now. There is a limit of two tickets per customer.
Age Restrictions: 14+ (Under 16 with adult)
A KISS ARMY Members-Only ticket pre-sale takes place today, 6/12, at 9:00AM local venue time for KISS' July 4th London Forum show. Premium KISS ARMY Members have access to Members-Only KISS tickets for this show.
If you are a Premium KISS ARMY Member: LOGIN at http://www.kissonline.com/service/login and visit the tour page to get information to access the presale.
If you are not a current Premium Member of the KISS ARMY and would like to participate in the Members-only Pre-sale: JOIN NOW!
Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, June 15 at 9 AM local venue time.
20 years ago an album was released that changed my life, that album was Revenge. Bruce Kulick has been publishing details song by song on his website all week and it now covers 'Unholy' through to 'I Just Wanna'. The final part including Carr Jam 1981 will be published tomorrow.
Please check it out on Bruce's site here: http://kulick.net/revenge/
GENE SIMMONS RULES ROCK & ROLL FANTASY CAMP ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP
Camp Will Kick Off October 10th at MGM Grand
Los Angeles, CA– What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas or so they say! Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp are proud to announce the next installment of their highly successful music-magic experience taking place in sin city this coming Fall. Headlining the October camp at the MGM Grand will be co-founder and bassist for KISS and the face of A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels – iconic rock god and media mogul Gene Simmons. For registration please visit www.rockcamp.com
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our next camp installment in Las Vegas with none other than rock god Gene Simmons,” says Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp founder David Fishof.
"I can't wait to reveal the secrets of becoming a rock star,” says Gene Simmons. “Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp is a grueling, military style musical training process. And I'm just the guy to be your Sergeant. Now, drop and give me twenty."
Kicking off October 10th and culminating October 14th Gene Simmons will jam with campers of all talent levels providing them a taste of what it’s like to live the “rock and roll” lifestyle and a memory that will last a lifetime. The camp will host special rock stars including Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Black Label Society), Vince Neil (Motley Crue), and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row).
"We are so excited to host the Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp featuring Gene Simmons. I have been following David Fishof's development of these camps over the years and really feel that MGM Grand is the perfect location for this particular camp", says Mark Prows Vice President of Entertainment of MGM Grand. "We are committed to provide camp attendees with a much more premium and unique experience than they have ever had before with newly decorated rooms and suites as well as a redesigned hotel layout. Campers, new and returning, will see that MGM Grand is the Entertainment authority and that we know how to amp this experience way up!” says Anthony Olheiser, Director of Entertainment Development and Administration.
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