My memory isn’t what it used to be (well that’s a lie really, it’s never been great!!); but I do have a vague recollection of hearing Lionheart performing back in the mid 80’s. That was probably on Channel 4’s “ECT” which we never missed, but it might also have been the video for the single “Die For Love”. The reason for my reminiscing is the release of a new album from Lionheart on 25th August. “Second Nature” was released via AOR Heaven and I played the track “Lionheart” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 24th August.


Lionheart formed in 1980 and disbanded in 1986. During that time they had a number of different vocalists and drummers, but founding members Dennis Stratton and Steve Mann on guitars and Rocky Newton remained constant throughout. Stratton had been part of Iron Maiden for their debut release in 1980 and would go on to play with Praying Mantis for many years. Mann and Newton joined the McAuley Schenker Group after Lionheart split and Mann later joined Sweet.

In 2016 the band were asked to reform for the Rockingham Festival and the three founding members were joined by Lee Small (formerly of Shy) on vocals and Clive Edwards (Pat Travers Band, Bernie Marsden, U.F.O. etc.) on drums. The latter had actually been a member of the band for a time in the early 80’s. Following that performance the band decided to keep going; playing Sweden Rock and recording the album “Second Nature”.

The new album is definitely well worth checking out, regardless of whether you recall the band from the 80’s or not. With five musicians of such pedigree you’re not going to get anything but great quality.

There are 13 tracks on the album, including a cover of “Don’t Pay The Ferryman”. Favourites would include “30 Years”, “Second Nature”, “Heartbeat Radio” and “Lionheart”.

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About “NI Rocks Recommends”

The simple idea behind “NI Rocks Recommends” is to acknowledge and promote some of the great music being submitted to Rock Radio NI. I'll not be giving marks or ratings or analyzing the tracks in great detail; just telling you something about the artist and the album. It’s a personal recommendation to go check something out, not a traditional “review”!

My musical tastes cover most things rock; from the not too melodic to the not too heavy. The albums that I’ll be recommending are those that you’ll hear me playing tracks from on my shows on Rock Radio NI.

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