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Sony Music International

Every now and then a new band comes along that truly gets what Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about. They don’t reinvent it or reboot it, they don’t give it a shot in the arm or a kick up the arse, they just come out and play what we need. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts.


Tuk had some success a decade ago with his band named Biters but Tuk and The Restless Hearts didn’t have a fortunate start. The band were due to open for Def Leppard and Motley Crue in 2020 but covid nixed that although they did put out an EP that year. Unable to promote it though, it went largely unnoticed so a couple of years passed, a change of record company happened and now, finally, an album. Eleven tracks, three of them bonus ones for the Japanese release, each song, nothing but a good time. This is as good as it gets these days’ boys and girls!


It’s a pity that tour never happened because now, approaching some four years later, everybody would have been talking about the opening act on that tour in the same way the previous generation talk about seeing Guns ‘n’ Roses at the Marquee or opening for The Rolling Stones because if this album is anything to go by, it would have been a blistering 30 minutes set that would have had people putting their beer down and rushing in from the bar. It’s that kind of stuff. It stomps, rocks, sleazes, it draws you in and raises your heart rate.


The production throughout is sharp. The guitars bite, the bass drives and the drums thump and over the top, Tuk delivers vocal lines that entice and tease you. The Japanese release has the eight page English booklet and a sixteen page Japanese one. It also has the aforementioned three extra tracks, one being a Thin Lizzy cover which they perform in a way I suspect Phil and the boys would be proud of. They also look the part. Check out the video below where they look cool and wield low slung guitars with attitude. Quite simply put, if you like great, catchy, straight forward R ’n’ R and tasty guitar solos, this album is for you.


Track List

Ballad Of A Misspent Youth

Girls On The East Side Of Town

Ain’t For The Faint

Everybody Loves Your When You’re Dead

Shadow On The Street

Say Goodbye

Lovesick City

Forgive, But We Won’t Forget


Dancing In The Moonlight*



*Bonus tracks for Japan



6th February, 2024

It’s Queen week in Japan with Queen + Adam Lambert concerts and the release of a new book, Queen of My Life from Shinko publishing. A tribute band seems fitting then and Gueen are renowned as the best Japanese one around.


The stage is set, the drumkit looks good circa Roger Taylor 1980s, the riser looks good and the roadies are tuning up a Fender Precision bass and a Brian May Red Special copy. These are running through an Ampeg bass stack and a row of Vox AC30s – about as authentic as you can get.


Procession from Queen II is the intro tape. They drop into Father To Son (a combination Queen did in 1974) and then ‘Freddie’ takes the stage. Attired in a white suit with hair wig and chest wig, he looks great as they run through a set from the first four albums. Now I’m Here is accented with smoke and their classic red, green and white lighting. Freddie disappears, reappears in Crazy Little Thing Called Love leather, a couple more songs and he’s back in his more familiar Live Aid outfit.


It must be said, the musicianship is superb. Granted they have the aid of technology that Queen with Freddie never had and they have an extra guitarist/keyboard player on stage but nevertheless, it was impressive, especially when it came to the multi-layer harmonies Queen are renowned for. Flash was superb with Feddie using a megaphone to reproduce the film dialogue and Brian using a toy ray gun for sound effects over his pick-ups (à la Steve Stevens); Innuendo was beautifully arranged with John, Brian and one backing musician on three acoustic guitars for the middle section.


For the encore, Freddie sported a yellow jacket from the It’s A Kind Of Magic era and given there were at least a dozen hits that they had not played, too many songs to choose from. They chose well and even performed God Save The Queen rather than use the recording for the outro as Queen used to.


This is a fun show. The audience - the majority of whom were of an age to have seen Queen with Freddie - loved it and there has been a lot of effort put into making sure the music is as close to the recordings as possible. Recommended.

Set List

Intro (Procession)

Father To Son

The Fairy Feller’s Master-stroke

Seven Seas Of Rye

Now I’m Here

You’re My Best Friend

Love Of My Life

You Take My Breath Away

Long Away


Bicycle Race

Rock It (Prime Jive)

Flash’s Theme

It’s Late


Hammer To Fall

Tie Your Mother Down

I was Born To Love You


Machines (Or Back To Humans)

Radio Ga-ga

Bohemian Rhapsody

We Will Rock You

We are The Champions

God Save The Queen

Next Gueen show: 15th June 2024

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