Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Toto and Journey Bring Their Magic to City Hall

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Toto and Journey Bring Their Magic to City Hall

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

If soft rock is your scene then spring into the past as two of America's biggest bands celebrate sell-out shows at Newcastle's City Hall. Simon Rushworth speaks exclusively to members of Journey and Toto.

Irony must be one of Neal Schon's strong points. When you name your band Journey and then fail to cross the Atlantic for a quarter of a century, then the least you can expect is a raised eyebrow or two.

"The truth is, nobody was ever interested in promoting us in the UK," says the guitar god partly responsible for a series of soft rock anthems which helped shape the soundtrack to a rich and vibrant late '70s/early '80s Californian music scene.

"The last time we did a full tour of the UK was so long ago I can't remember whether we looked in on Newcastle or not. It's not something I'm proud of and it's time that changed. We owe our fans big time for sticking by us for all these years."

Journey dipped their toes back into UK waters with a couple of shows last summer ( including a set at the revamped Monsters Of Rock festival in Milton Keynes ( but this is the real deal with an 11-date British jaunt that kicked off at the start of the month.

Jeff Scott Soto has since taken over lead vocal duties. Looking forward to the future, Schon is delighted to have his former Soul Sirkus buddy back on board.

"Jeff joined us three dates into last summer's US tour with Def Leppard and he has really grown into the role of Journey frontman. He has a sensational voice and a great personality. He has given us a new dimension."

If Scott Soto will be judged on his rendition of the band's definitive Don't Stop Believing then just imagine the pressure already mounting on the shoulders of Toto's Bobby Kimball as he waits for the opening chords of Africa to ring out around Newcastle's City Hall this month. …

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