Friday, 2 May 2008

Eric Wagner Leaves Trouble

It's happened again.

I heard the news about Eric Wagner leaving Trouble from thee mighty SKUM a bit earlier on today. What a thunderclap of a text message that was. I love Trouble and I'm pretty gutted about his decision to quit the band, but from the sounds of things he wasn't happy with touring all the time and he's decided to hang up his boots once and for all. Which is a shame but these things are to be expected from a band who have been around as long as these guys have. I guess it's a case of "If things aren't right you just can't keep on going for the sake of it".

Strange that no one from the band mentioned any of Eric's concerns during the Roadburn Festival weekend that just happened over in Holland last month. Me and Patchie spent some time having a beer with Bruce Franklin (who plays guitar for Trouble) and, as far as I can tell, he never said anything about a possible parting of ways. Perhaps he didn't know about it at the time. Perhaps he did know but was hoping that Eric was just talking about a whole load of shit and would change his mind. Whatever the case, here we are 3 weeks later and Trouble are Wagnerless.

The surprising part of all this is the news that Kory Clarke is taking over the vocalist role. I am trying to imagine it in my head, Kory Clarke singing Touch The Sky or Scuse Me. Warrior Soul were a very political band, I don't think his attitude and personal philosophy are quite matched a lot of the Trouble back catalog. Then again, I think he will get a kick out of singing Bastards Will Pay.

One thing that occured to me is that at least Trouble kept their commitment to play at Roadburn (as headliners on the Friday night), instead of Eric leaving the band before the event. That would have sucked big time. I don't know whether the news of Celtic Frost pulling out of the festival (due to Tom G Warrior leaving the band) was a factor in Wagner's decision to play Roadburn before leaving Trouble, but whatever the case at least he did the noble thing and played the damn gig!

Now I am eager to see Trouble with Clarke on vocals. Mainly so I can shake my head and think "Eric was much better". Sorry to be so negative but hey, I'm just being honest with you. I would love to see them and be proved wrong, blown away by Kory Clarke, but somehow I just can't see that happening. Seeing Trouble without Eric Wagner as the singer would be a bit like going out for a meal with your dead best friend's ex-wife and her new husband... it just wouldn't feel right. Wagner has got a huge stage presence, you can be sure that the rest of the guys in Trouble will miss him a lot. But at the same time I hope they keep on touring.

Don't record any new material with a different singer though guys... not just yet anyway.

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