(Empty) Tankard


Well we’ve had half of the Thrashing East line up, so I may as well do the remainder, and considering they’re two of the powerhouses of German thrash metal you’re getting no complaints from your author. 

I’ll kick off with alcohol obsessed Frankfurt band Tankard. Aren’t all Germans alcohol obsessed? I always thought that was just a given. 

For a band that have been in existence since 1982 and never really split up, they are the other side of the coin to show up and coming musicians that the businesses isn’t always the means of paying the bills. I don’t know if that was the case during the pinnacle of thrash, but 32 years along the line they have to rely on full time employment. They still play a handful of shows, but they are now into the realms of weekend warriors, usually playing a clump of shows over weekends and presumably using holidays for the occasional longer tour. 

Back in 1990 they were up to their fourth album The Meaning of Life – my gateway release into the band and possibly my favourite of theirs, even though it is often derided by fans. The first three albums were much simple and thrashier affairs in comparison and full of youthful exuberance and not quite as beer soaked. This album is that bit more experimental, but once musicians gain confidence with the tools of their trade they get more expressive and attempt something more difficult. 

I’ve only had the chance to see them once and that was in Barcelona a few years back. Only playing twice in London in sixteen years doesn’t help that statistic. Having said that I have a Tankard show pencilled in the diary when they play their first ever show  north if Hadrian’s Wall in 2017, but it’s not until September 2017. Aeons away. 


The full Tankard set was issued on VHS under the title Open All Night and later on DVD as Open All Night… Reloaded in 2009 along with a German festival appearance and a trio of promotional videos making the numbers up. 


(Empty) Tankard was originally included on the debut release Zombie Attack in 1986, and when I saw them bring their set to a conclusion in Spain with this track it got the biggest reaction of the evening. It’s one of those songs a band daren’t drop from the setlist or there’d be a riot on the street. 


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