It’s that time of the week when Self Made Man offers his thoughts on the world of rock. And today he reaffirms his credentials as an individual with impeccable taste in music.
Read his exclusive column right here every week – only on RUSHONROCK
After last week’s effort I half-expected a subsequent call informing me my services were no longer required on this esteemed website.
Failing that, a job offer from Smooth Radio!
Perhaps in hindsight, it wasn’t such a good idea after all to wash my dirty laundry in public by revealing I’d become hooked on Sky Living’s documentary about Steps’ recent UK tour.
So maybe the time has come to re-establish my credentials and deny vicious rumours that I’d “gone all poppy” in my middle age.
First, I am happy to report that I still haven’t seen more than a few minutes of The X Factor, The Voice or even Britain’s Got Talent.
The last time I listened to Radio One was probably in the mid-80s and Planet Rock remains my station of choice when I’m not tuned in to Five Live.
My magazine of choice remains Classic Rock . I still hate NME and have never bought a copy of Smash Hits in my entire life.
The last time I danced at a do was back in 1990 and while I confess the song which dragged me away from my drink was Michael Ball’s Love Changes Everything, there were mitigating cricumstances. It was my own wedding!
And while we’re discussing lifestyle choices, I’m a real ale drinker and the only cocktail I’d ever contemplate is the prawn variety.
So, excepting my idiosyncrasies, I guess I’m very much the stereotypical guy who’s into his rock music, sport and pubs.
My record collection has not been soiled by the latest releases by JLS, Take That or whichever boy band is flavour of the month. In fact, it’s been buttressed by some wonderful new music.
2012 is promising to be a vintage year for albums  and I say that before the release of Rush’s much-anticipated Clockwork Angels or Aerosmith’s first studio release of new songs for over a decade.
After a slow start to the year, UFO hit us with the excellent Seven Deadly and even if Van Halen’s second coming with Dave Lee Roth appears doomed following reports of their US tour being aborted, the reformed band have still left us with a very fine offering in A Different Kind Of Truth.
Those who read my review of Joe Bonamassa’s Driving Towards the Daylight will know I rate it his best offering yet while Slash’s raucous Apocalyptic Love, featuring Myles Kennedy on vocals, eclipses his first solo album _ and believe me, that’s a tribute in itself.
Europe’s Bag of Bones carries on the good work the Swedish rockers did with Last Look At Eden with Not Supposed to Sing The Blues getting my vote as the best single song of the year so far.
For those of us counting down the days until Bruce Springsteen’s appearance at the Stadium of Light, there’s an extra sense of anticipation at hearing songs from his superb Wrecking Ball live for the first time.
That is bound to figure in my albums of the year, come December, as is Counting Crow’s rather beautiful covers album Underwater Sunshine.
Talking of covers, any day now, Neil Young’s Americana is about to drop through the letterbox and having sampled some of this material on-line, it’s an undoubted return to form for the Canadian trouper.
My music purchases have not been confirned to artists now in the twilight of their careers. In recent months, I’ve been introduced to the Black Keys and only the fact it’s release date was late 2011 will prevent El Camino figuring high in my personal top ten.
Vying with Joe Bonamassa for album of 2012 at this stage is a band I’d never heard of not so long ago. Alabama Shakes’ Boys & Girls is possibly the finest debut I’ve heard since The Answer’s Rise.
Anyone who listens to The Kings of Leon will definitely like Boys & Girls but it’s bluesy feel should make it accessible to classic rockers as much as indie-rockers.
And so, with reputation hopefully restored, that’s it from me this week. And on this particular weekend, it’s now time for a Night At The Opera – with the only Queen that really matters.
Ian Murtagh