Fireworks

Mike Ainscoe

Fireworks & Rocktopia Contributing Writer
Mike Ainscoe

My love of music can probably be traced back to the Dave Clark Five’s 1964 single “Bits And Pieces”. Being jigged about to the 2 minute antiphonal (google it) hit whilst a toddler was at the beginning of an ongoing journey of musical discovery.

Inevitably, things led to Top Of The Pops and the glam of Slade and T Rex (first album bought was ‘Electric Warrior’) and onto a boys grammar school where a whole new musical world opened up. Seeing the sixth formers carrying albums under their arm was my first encounter with the initially weird and wonderful worlds of bands such as Genesis, Yes, Led Zeppelin and ELP, their names and logos scratched on desks and books and many of whom were enjoying their Indian Summers of the mid and late seventies. The gatefold sleeves, the artwork and lyrics soon had me entranced and became an all consuming passion; a lifetime’s devotion to Prog Rock becoming set in stone.

It was 1979 when Thin Lizzy became my first ever live gig – the ‘Black Rose’ line up delivering that adrenaline rush which goes with witnessing any live music and the first of many many gigs over the past 35 years from the small clubs to the arenas, stadia and festivals.

Moving seamlessly into the eighties there was the Nu-Prog era led by lifelong favourites Marillion – a friend on my university course by the name of John Dexter Jones (Jump anyone?) knew that being a big Genesis fan, I might be interested in seeing this band down at Bangor’s student union. That was also one of my earliest attempts to photograph a gig; the images have that ‘early days’ feel about them, but it was the start of the fascination with gig photography which is very much part of what I do today.

There was also the start of the seduction by the ever so slightly related fields of harder edged rock and metal – all the classic bands of course! By this time I was also becoming more interested in photography and smuggling a camera into gigs was becoming an art with some successful forays into early eighties Genesis and Steve Hackett gigs, the seeds for another passion were being sown.

From a time when anything non-Prog was anathema to me, I’ve mellowed in my old age, to the extent of discovering the delights of traditional folk and acoustic music and the constant stream of new music coming through a passion as gig-goer, music photographer and writer being far too good to ignore. With favourite artists and favourite songs which change daily, even hourly, music continues to be a major part in my life having forsaken the safety net of a career in teaching to set up my own photography business and create the time to write for a number of music related outlets including co-presenting on the Sonic Bandwagon show on Stockport’s Pure FM.

If pushed I’d say my desert island choices would include these albums, tracks and bands:


Tracks:

‘Misplaced Childhood’ by Marillion
‘Going For The One’ by Yes
‘Physical Graffiti’ by Led Zeppelin
‘Scenes From A Memory’ by Dream Theater
‘Awaken’ by Yes
‘Can Utility And The Coastliners’ by Genesis
‘Where The River Goes’ by Amplifier
‘The Promise’ by Bruce Springsteen

Bands:

Transatlantic
Marillion
Porcupine Tree
Iron Maiden
Bruce Springsteen

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  • SeaDog57 : thanks Berny
  • Berny : The FREE PDF version of Fireworks #82 is still available, including 88 (!!) bonus MP3 songs Just click on the banner on top of the site. Already 800+ downloads and counting!
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Apologies! Link was fixed, CD 84 is now available from the FIREWORKS menu on top of the page (for registered members only). Thanks & best wishes, B :)
  • SeaDog57 : Doesn't seem to be a download for bonus cd 84 just 2 identical versions of Bonus CD 83?
  • Rocktopia Te : Interviews with Lordi, Dee Snider, W.A.S.P., Myles Kennedy and many more. Check out the Fireworks & Rocktopia interview sections!
  • Berny : We are proud to premiere the new lyric video by MASS! Check out the news section.
  • Berny : Hi biggywiggymusic: Sorted out, apologies for the delay.
  • biggywiggymu : Hi I just ordered download of 84 - took my PayPal and then it said I didn't pay. Have the transaction number. Can someone help?
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks #84 is out now!!
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  • amcc1888 : Hi There i have ordered Fireworks Issue 83 and paid by PayPal but you have charged me twice but the download has not appeared in my account...also sent you a web contact message..anyone there to help me thanks Tony
  • Berny : We proudly present the new lyric video by AMERICAN TEARS, pls. check out our newsfeed!
  • Rocktopia Te : There are now 500 live reviews on Rocktopia! Check out the latest ones, incl. Iron Maiden, Steven Tyler and Steelhouse Festival 2018!
  • Berny : @Transmet1972: Purchases were added to your account. Sorry for the troubles, not sure why you are still having issues with the DL store. Pls. check your mail. Many thanks & best wishes, B.
  • Transmet1972 : Sent another email re new purchase. Same download issue. Thanks.
  • Berny : @Transmet1972: Support received your message, I already sent a reply.
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  • Berny : HEAVEN'S TRAIL premiere their new lyric video on Rocktopia. Check out the news section ... «link»
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