Legendary rock vocalist Graham Bonnet is back with a new band and an exciting new project.
Simply called Bonnet, the band features Graham on vocals and guitar, Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass and backing vocals and South American Conrado Pesinato on lead guitar. They promise an interesting and varied musical experience.
“It’s a completely different look at certain music,” says Bonnet. “It’s pretty bare bones and naked, so to speak. You’ve got to be dead on when you’re doing things acoustically – there’s no Marshall amps to cover up any bum notes or whatever. We’re even playing Rainbow stuff acoustically!”
Born in Skegness, England (December 1947), Bonnet enjoyed his first chart success with The Marbles, his first single with them – ‘Only One Woman’, penned by the Bee Gees – becoming a top 5 UK hit in 1968. After a spell recording advertising jingles, he appeared in the 1974 British comedy film ‘Three for All’ as lead singer of a fictional band called Billy Beethoven, receiving a rave review for his performance! Bonnet’s subsequent career has seen him work with some of the best musicians in the business, including guitar virtuosos Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai, drummers Cozy Powell and Ted McKenna, bassists Roger Glover and Chris Glen and keyboard player Don Airey.
He is well known as the voice on a number of stone wall classic heavy rock albums including Rainbow’s ‘Down to Earth’ (1979), Michael Schenker Group’s ‘Assault Attack’ (1982), and Alcatrazz’s ‘No Parole for Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (1983) and ‘Disturbing the Peace’ (1985). Rainbow’s ‘Down to Earth’ spawned two hit singles, a cover of Russ Ballard’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and ‘All Night Long’. During his time with Rainbow, Bonnet also headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington in the UK. Singles from the first two studio Alcatrazz albums, ‘Islands in the Sun’ (from ‘No Parole …’ and ‘God Blessed Video’ (from ‘Disturbing the Peace’), became staples of MTV, then in its infancy.
“It’s a completely different look at certain music. It’s pretty bare bones and naked, so to speak. You’ve got to be dead on when you’re doing things acoustically – there’s no Marshall amps to cover up any bum notes or whatever. We’re even playing Rainbow stuff acoustically!”
- Graham Bonnet
Bonnet has maintained an active solo presence throughout most of his career, releasing albums periodically including the eponymous ‘Graham Bonnet’ (1977), which was a hit in Australia, ‘No Bad Habits’ (1978), ‘Line-Up’ (1981), ‘Here Comes the Night’ (1991), ‘Underground’ (1997) and ‘The Day I Went Mad’ (1999). The single ‘Night Games’ (from the ‘Line Up’ album) reached number 6 in the UK charts.
He has played and toured with a wide-range of other artists, including fellow former Rainbow vocalists Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White, and released albums with bands such as Impellitteri, Forcefield and Blackthorne.
Bonnet has a powerful and distinctive vocal style and, indeed, a distinctive image – preferring to let the music, rather than the conventional heavy metal look, do the talking.
Speaking of the new project he says: “I have some new songs and I just want a change. After 30-something years of playing the same thing, it gets a little stale and it’s nice to do something else.
“I’d like to introduce the new songs I have to the audience I have while they’re still out there listening to my music,” says Bonnet, “because there’s more to me than just Rainbow and Michael Schenker and Alcatrazz. I have a lot of music in me that some people probably don’t know is there.”
With the band promising to play “all different styles of music”, interest is growing across the globe, with offers already emerging as far afield as Russia, Spain and Japan. “We’ve had offers from all over the damn place,” says Bonnet. “One is to play at Ronnie Scott’s, of all places, the London jazz club, which is very strange – I don’t know why people think I’m playing Jazz!”
Clearly the project is capturing the imagination of fans, promoters and record companies alike.
Look out for gigs in a town near you!