Shropshire-based rock star KK Downing has taken on a new challenge – to make sure his home town remains a global capital for heavy metal.
Downing, who lives at Astbury Hall, near Bridgnorth, grew up on the Yew Tree Estate in Birmingham and was the guitarist with Judas Priest from the early 1970s until 2011, helping them to sell 50 million albums.
Now he has started a career as a rock promoter – and his first gigs will be in Birmingham and the Black Country.
Mr Downing said he was looking forward to promoting shows under the banner The Future of Heavy Metal.
His first show will be at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on May 16, followed by a gig at The Asylum in Birmingham the following day.
The shows will feature Black Country band Hostile, with French stars Moray Firth. Two more bands will also appear.
Downing said he was moving into rock promotion with Bridgnorth-based music guru Dave Coleman, who has been involved in the industry for many decades.
He said: “The Black Country and Birmingham are known as the home of heavy metal and now it’s time for the next generation to step up to the plate.
“In some ways, it has been difficult for other bands to fill the void. Back in the 70s and 80s the Black Country and Birmingham produced so many good rock bands, from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to Judas Priest and even Slade.”