How did this tour come about? Well, I was contacted by Giles Lavery (GLM-Artists (Artist Management)/Global Rock Records) not long before our tour with Chirs Holmes earlier this year and asked if we would be interested in putting on some dates with Riot Act, ahead of their visit to British Steel Festival in France in October, where they would be playing the classic Riot album Fire Down Under in full. We met Riot Act last year when we both supported Lillian Axe on their UK tour last year, and they were both brilliant guys and a fantastic live band Fire Down Under is a favourite album of mine, so it was a no-brainer for me!
So, what was the logic behind the venue choices? We are an East Anglian band, and our network of venues and audience is based in and around these areas. These are all venues I know and trust, and venues I knew we could sell tickets at. The worst thing for a band coming from abroad is to come to the UK and play to small crowds in venues that aren’t suitable. If we travelled further afield to say the midlands, northeast, and northwest there would be a greater risk of lower attendance due to our draw being a lot lower in those places, and lacking the network and contacts in those areas to promote those shows well. If we had gone to Scotland and Wales, there would have been similar issues. We also had to keep travel costs down, travel times reasonable, and enable an easy trip to France for Riot Act. We’ve played it safe, and so far the decision has proven to be the right one, despite a few cheap digs at us online from other promoters!
So, for those who do not know, who are Riot Act and why do you need to see them live?
Riot Act was formed by former Riot members Rick Ventura and Lou Kouvaris alongside vocalist Don Chaffin, born in Long Island New York, Don has toured the U.S.A. opening for Godsmack, Foreigner, Disturbed, Alice in Chains, Powerman 5000, Dr. John, Steve Howe of Yes, Robbie Krieger of The Doors, Vanilla Fudge and more. Don is the Lead Vocalist for the new band RED LAMB which features Dan Spitz (Anthrax ) and is co-produced by Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) Don is also the Lead Vocalist for Voices of Extreme (formally co-managed by Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden). Since 1995, Don has worked hand in hand as co-writer and co-producer with the legendary team of Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz from the Kasenetz and Katz Allstars. Don is currently the new Lead Vocalist for the project featuring RAM JAM. In addition, Don has performed countless appearances with projects such as O2 / LUB / John Macaluso Union Radio / Empyreon / and many more. Expanding his palette of well-known music Icons, Don has also worked with Jim Bralower and Ace Frehley of Kiss.
On bass is Paul Ranieri, born in Flushing NY has been playing professionally since he was 18 Known for his slapping technique and melodic style on Bass, his musicality has propelled him to the forefront with professional bass players across the country and internationally. He has played and recorded with dozens of artists, recently Mondo Electro, Stratopheerius, and Emmy Award-winning Electric Violinist Mark Wood and is also a Band leader, Clinician, Teacher, and Music Director . On drums is Claudio Galinski was part of the Argentinian Heavy Metal scene in the 80’s with his Thrash Metal Band ULTRAJE, sharing stages with such bands as Hermetica, Horcas, Lethal and Others. He moved to New York City in the 90s and immediately started playing with bands from the area, local gigs, studio work, and touring for several years. Claudio teamed up and joined forces with RIOT ACT to bring a solid heartbeat back to the life of classic songs with a new and fresh exciting approach. He endorses and plays instruments from such companies as Istambul Mehmet Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, ProMark Drumsticks, Gretsch Drums, Axis Pedals and Hardware, Phoenix Drum Co. snares, Gig Gloves, Shure in ears and mics. Claudio attends and performs yearly at the NAMM Show in Anaheim CA. Lou Kouvaris sadly passed away in 2020.
Rick Ventura was born in Brooklyn, NY. Along with Mark Reale, he comprised the guitar-driven, high-energy sound of Riot. Rick picked up the guitar at 16 listening to bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. His first guitar was a Univox Mosrite copy which he eventually smashed. “He then got his first real guitar, a white Fender Stratocaster after seeing clips of Jimi Hendrix. He went on to play and contribute songs on four studio albums and two live albums including the legendary Fire Down Under, touring the world with the likes of AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Rush, and so on. His guitar of choice is a vintage Les Paul which he calls “a mystery guitar” along with Telecasters and Stratocasters. Rick Ventura was a member of the classic Riot line-up that recorded the legendary albums Narita (1979), Fire Down Under (1981), Restless Breed (1982), and Born In America (1983). He also appeared on the Riot Live (1989) live album. Fire Down Under is considered the ultimate Riot album, having made the Billboard 200 on its original release.
Riot Act released their debut double album Closer to the Flame (Global Rock Records) in 2022 which features both original material and re-recordings of Riot classics.
As you will have read, this is a band of some pedigree and this will be a rare opportunity for classic Rock/Metal fans to see Rick perform the FIRE DOWN UNDER album in full, as well as all the other legendary Riot tunes from the 1980s. Having toured with them last year, I can confirm that they are an amazing live band, performing both their songs and those Rick did with Riot. To have these guys come from New York to these intimate, local venues is a real honour and I look forward to sharing the stage with them each night.
We’ve deliberately picked venues and areas which are easily reachable for the majority of people who regularly support our gigs, and priced the tickets at just £8 to make the events as affordable as possible. I have booked the venues, paid for the hire, promotion, and will be managing the tour overall to the best of my ability. This is something new for me, and I have had to use my experience from what I have organised with Kaine over the years to ensure it works as best as it can, as I said it is a privilege for someone like myself to have this opportunity and I am looking forward to kicking things off in Ipswich on Saturday!
You can still buy advanced e-tickets for the following dates/venues: