Balls To The Wall

Yesterday evening saw me make a late decision to cross the border into North Wales, or Buckley to be exact. As proclaimed on some of the shirts for sale, Saturday’s Udo Dirkschneider gig at the Tivoli was all about “the man, the voice”.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Accept, the band that introduced us to Mr Dirkschneider, or indeed his solo stuff under the UDO banner. Most people listening to metal since the mid 80’s will have undoubtedly heard Fast As A Shark or Balls To The Wall at the very least. Last nights show, and indeed this whole tour, has taken Udo’s fans back to his roots and we’ve been treated to almost two hours of Accept tracks, sounding like they should.

Over the years I’ve witnessed Accept several times with current vocalist Mark Tornillo who does an exceptional job, but I’ve never heard them like they sound on album, and I’ve never encountered UDO on a solo tour.

As you’d expect from Germans, they arrived on stage on the exact scheduled time and played through 20 plus songs spanning his releases with the band between 1979 and 1986. He is backed by a quartet of superbly efficient musicians and the time flies by. In places Udo’s vocals waiver a bit, but for a guy who recently turned 64 it’s expected and accepted.

I probably knew five or six of the songs before hand, but after watching the show I will almost be delving back into Accept’s back catalogue and the first available chance I get. There were some truly superb chunks of 80’s metal aired last night that have shamefully passed me by for the last 30 odd years.

Balls To The Wall is taken from the 1983 album of the sane name. This track is the bands signature tune, and the album remains their best seller in the States to date. With some of the albums song titles and cover art work they gained some notoreity in America as being “gay metal”. It was admitted that it was partially done for publicity, which worked well in the end, and as Europeans they weren’t as uptight as Americans.  This song is them showing their concern for human rights.