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John Lawton & Diana Express: The Power Of Mind

Not the most bonkers thing you’ll ever hear, but not far off.

While in Bulgaria making the TV travel documentary John Lawton Presents... former Uriah Heep singer (1977-79) John Lawton crossed paths with Diana Express, a Bulgarian rock band formed in 1974. Somehow this led to them recording together, alongside the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra, this concept album “exploring the power of positive thinking”.

Trying hard to think positive isn’t easy once you start listening. Think Andrew Lloyd Webber. And think again. Discovering that the project was conceived, written and produced by Dr Milen Vrabevski leads one to wonder how the medical world and prog rock interact. And learning that Dr Vrabevski is a director of a pharmaceutical company sends the imagination down an avenue best not explored in case lawyers are reading.

On the plus side: the musicianship and Lawton’s voice – still in prime condition. On the minus: everything else above.

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush. Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.