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Tom Fuller Band: Freedom

Chicago-bred veteran pours it all out on album No.4.

Battling pain and heartache with an emphatic fist in the air, foot on the monitors blow out is a well worn rocking route, and one that Fuller follows here with conviction.

Following up 2011’s Ask, made with members of Paul McCartney’s road band, Freedom certainly wears its Beatles influences proudly, just check the slamming Getting Better riff powering 1+1. Lyrically, the gloves are off on the anguished title track, the failed marriage requiem Bring Me Down and, best of all, the edgy addiction excoriating Sidewinder.

Fuller’s raw and imploring vocal can recall Bon Jovi, in full, earnest flow, but his resourceful road band draw on a variety of flavours. From Fat Boy’s roadhog strut to the dizzying, euphoric guitar wailing Highest Mountain, to the horn-boosted, southern rock showdown of Roller Coaster Free Fall they bring a well-rounded, arena friendly thrust to the personal anguish.

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.