Firefest Press Release: Tower City collapses but a TOUCH of magic ensues ...



It is with a great deal of sadness that we must announce that Tower City have been forced to withdraw from the 2014 show. Tower City are a band that we had desperately tried to persuade for many years to play for us , and having finally agreed to play the Final Fling in 2014, the reality is that it was not possible to deliver the show that we (Firefest), they (Tower City) and you (the fans) deserve. Despite numerous conversations with all of the band members, it simply was not to be. Please read the official statement from Tower City lead singer and guitarist Larry Saltis outlining his reasons why he feels the band must withdraw.
“This message may be a bit of a disappointment to you.  But, it is more disappointing for me and the guys of Tower City. After careful consideration and with the utmost sincerity, I regret to inform you that Tower City will not be a part of FireFest 2014.  The reason for this decision is based on the fact I am simply not able to perform the material vocally. The opportunity to perform at FireFest was not taken lightly and the original members were all excited and looking forward to the show.  We were especially looking forward to seeing and performing for the true Tower City fans out there. 

However, the singer (me) is not fit to sing like he did 23 years ago.  This is a harsh reality -  but, it is the truth.  I wish I had a more interesting reason for our withdrawal, but I don’t.  The decision to withdraw from FireFest is on me. Therefore, I apologize for the inconvenience I may have caused you and all the people behind the scenes at FireFest 2014. I also send my apologies to my bandmates (Heath, Tim and Scott) with all due respect.  But, if Tower City was ever going to perform again, we were going to make sure that we could deliver the best show possible to the fans, to the entire FireFest faculty and, especially, to Kieran Dargan.

We have always looked at performing “live” the same way – to sound better than the records even did.  This may be a tall order, but, it is what the fans deserve and it is what the members of Tower City deserve.  So, if I can’t sing the stuff, the show can’t go on. Thank you once again for your support and for including Tower City in your last festival.  We are honored by your enthusiasm to have included us in the long list of acts. Mostly, we thank you for believing we could deliver a great show for you.”

Following the withdrawal of Tower City the search was on to find a suitable replacement act, a band that would not only aspire to the same high standards as Tower City in terms of performance, but a band that had an established pedigree of sublime song writing combined with glorious hooks and a dedicated place in history as the very first band EVER to take the stage at Donington back in 1980. Hands up all those among us that witnessed the beginning of the greatest rock festival in history – and especially those of us that saw an up and coming American band open the show that day  – TOUCH.


Led by Mark Mangold (American Tears, Drive She Said) and Doug Howard (Stun Leer, Todd Rungren, Edgar Winter), TOUCH established not only a place in history by being the first band ever to grace the stage at Donnington , but also their debut album gained special praise from Derek Oliver in his Wimp Wire all time Top 40, charting at number 28 and to this very day remains a genre classic with songs such as ‘Don’t You Know What Love Is, ‘Spirit’, ‘ Love Don’t Fail Me’, ‘Black Star’ and many more. 

Following a chance conversation with Mark Mangold, phone calls were made and both leaders of the band, Mark And Doug, were keen on performing for what they call “the most amazing audience in the world”. Original vocalist Craig Brooks has not been involved in the music business for many years so the search was on to find not only a suitable replacement but someone who could perhaps even raise the bar. Enter possibly one of the finest vocalists in the world of melodic hard rock and AOR - GORAN EDMAN (Glory, Yngwie Malmsteen, Street Talk, John Norum, Brazen Abbott). Goran Edman is one of the few vocalists in the world that could sing the telephone directory and hold an entire audience spellbound such is  his unrivalled prowess as a singer. Also joining TOUCH is long time Firefest performer and all round good guy Tommy Denander who will be bringing his immense talent to bear on the already rich songbook created by TOUCH. (hey, did anyone see the guitar solo on Toto’s White Sister during the Legends set last year – wow!!). So sadly we lose a band that we were all looking forward to seeing, but equally we are delighted that TOUCH will now play for us on Sunday October 26th in the same slot.

Look forward to seeing you all at FIREFEST!


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