Fireworks

Ant Heeks

Fireworks & Rocktopia Deputy Reviews Editor
Ant Heeks
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For virtually all of the 40 years of my life so far I’ve lived in the uninspiring Staffordshire town of Tamworth, home of Sir Bob Catley and Blaze Bayley & Wolfsbane (and less interestingly Sir Robert Peel, Julian Cope and two runaway pigs). I’m married to Izzy, have two lovely daughters (who I love even more since they have both now moved out!) and, unusually for someone who has lived in The Midlands all his life, support Norwich City (long story!)

Music has always been a big part of my life, there was always something on at home when I was growing up, be it Radio 2 or albums by the likes of Cliff Richard, Abba, The Beatles and Tony Christie, who I was named after (I bumped into him in Waitrose in Lichfield once but restrained myself from asking him if he ever actually did find Amarillo.) But the one band that really stood out and made me take notice of Rock music was the Electric Light Orchestra, to which I have my Dad to thank for introducing me. Not only was I completely entranced by the amazing melodies and arrangements of Jeff Lynne, but also the pounding drums of Bev Bevan, which led me to a) take up playing the drums (which I really should have stuck to, though it is like riding a bike) and b) searching for more similar hard-rocking styles of music. The next band I discovered was the mighty Status Quo – this being the mid-eighties they had just released the ‘In The Army Now’ album which became my first purchase (swiftly followed by ‘Twelve Gold Bars 1 +2’ which introduced me to the “real” Quo!)

Then came the pivotal time. Three albums were released in a fairly short space of time, namely Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’, Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ and Whitesnake’s ‘1987’ and their chart-bothering batch of hit singles and videos. My life was changed forever. Then an accidental viewing of the Rock chart on The Chart Show introduced me to some lesser-known bands (this side of the pond anyway) from the U.S.A. like White Lion, Great White and Cinderella that made me appreciate those bands that had to work just a little harder to get recognition. Then I found Headbangers Ball on MTV, where I discovered the likes of Tesla, Mr. Big, Damn Yankees, Danger Danger, Firehouse and the band that would eventually become my absolute favourite, Tyketto (the tattoo on my right arm proudly displaying my love for them.) Obviously Grunge came and went and pushed my beloved melodic music underground, yet I feel it emerged stronger and wiser, and with it came assistance from Scandinavia where I feel the strength of the scene now lies. But over the years my horizons have broadened considerably, I’m now happy to take in an extremely broad range of styles, from Country and Southern through AOR and Melodic Rock and all the way to Alternative, Prog, Metal, Thrash, Symphonic… and many other sub-genres that seem to emerge on a regular basis. And many of the bands that have become favourites I have discovered through Fireworks.

I began writing for Fireworks quite by accident, thanks to my friends in Sheffield band Crimes Of Passion. I had been a subscriber of the magazine for some time, then in an e-mail to our esteemed editor Bruce Mee I asked if he would feature an interview with Crimes in an upcoming issue. “Sure”, he replied, “but I have nobody to do it. Unless you fancy having a go?” How could I resist an offer like that? I journeyed up to Sheffield to meet with COP at their debut album release party and recorded an interview. Seeing the interview in print gave me the bug to get involved even more and I began writing reviews, and the rest is history. Then in 2012 I was asked to become Assistant Reviews Editor by then Reviews Ed. Paul Jerome Smith, who was then succeeded by Dave Scott, with whom I feel I have established a great working relationship. Fireworks Magazine is going from strength to strength, and I am very proud and privileged to be part of such an excellent team of writers.

ANT HEEKS

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Latest Message: 1 week, 1 day ago
  • 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!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.

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Quote of the day

"An album without a hit single is like a girl with a real short mini-skirt, [but] wearing underwear." (Gregg Giuffia, House Of Lords) - Quotes collected by Dave Ling (www.daveling.co.uk)

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