Give Me Fire

It’s been a very long time since I saw any of the second wave of punk bands on stage, unless it’s been Discharge. But tonight, sobriety willing, I’m hoping to make it up town to see GBH.  

I’ve seen them, along with the likes of the UK Subs, Exploited, Sham 69 and Anti Nowhere League, loads of times over the years. But I fear using online technology isn’t very punk rock so my last recorded sighting of the Brummie punx was way back in 1996. I must’ve seen them in the 21 years since? 

A lot of those bands passed through the Potteries in the mid to late 90’s and I saw most of them locally. If ’96 was the last time I saw them, then tonight will be the first time I’ve seen them whilst I’m in a state of inebriation! 

A lot of the bands are still treading the boards, but more so now they appear to be confined to a more festival style setting. A series of all day events under the Calling banner have been going strong over the last few years. Even though I’m slap bang centre of North West Calling (Manchester) and Midlands Calling (usually Wolverhampton), I’m yet to take the plunge and get along to any, mainly because I have other gigs planned. The same with the long standing Rebellion weekend in Blackpool, a veritable who’s who of punk spread over four days and multiple stages on the coast of the Irish sea. Usually this weekend has clashed with Bloodstock. 

I was seriously tempted with a drive to the Golden Mile this year to experience the punk showcase as there were a few bands I’d like to have seen. But once the stage times were released into the public domain that put paid to that idea. Virtually every band I wanted to see was spread over all four days and due to hit the stage post 9pm, in a few cases after the witching hour and I was working the next day. Saved me some cash anyway  

Tomorrow’s stumbling block is my towns annual beer festival. I’m supposed to be off work all of this week. Today is my fifth and final day that I’ve worked this week. We have plans Saturday, so that only leaves tonight to sample some fine (and not so fine) ales. Let’s wait and see how that pans out. 

Give Me Fire was released as a single by Clay Records in 1982, but never made it onto a studio album until the 2002 reissue on Captain Oi! Records of City Baby’s Revenge. 

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 18/31

Day 18 – A song about vehicles / ships.

Iron Maiden – Empire of the Clouds

An airship answers the question, so why not the epic culmination of Maiden’s last album The Book of Souls? 

This 18 minute epic is one song that I’d really love to see live at some point. If they ever perform it I think it’ll be at something special rather than a run of the mill tour date. 

Paschendale


I have an hour or so to kill before I have to head out of the house for errands (and inevitably a beer somewhere!) In the meantime then I’ll start watching Iron Maiden’s Death on the Road concert DVD filmed in front of a rabid German audience in Dortmund’s Westenfallenhalle back in 2003. Nearly fourteen years ago I caught this tour in Manchester and Birmingham. 

The DVD had been in the public domain since 2005 and I probably had it in my sweaty hands on or near it’s release date, but I’m pretty certain this is the first time it has seen the inside of my DVD player. It didn’t  take me long into opening track Wildest Dreams to remember why I’m not to keen on watching Maiden videos on my TV screen. It seems to be a case of we’ve got a load of cameras at our disposal so we’re going to use as much footage from each camera as often as we can. There are so many cuts that you don’t seem to get the full effect of the show and at times the chopping and changing feels a bit nauseous. 

The main reason for watching this today is due to the centenary of the start of the three month long Third Battle of Ypres or the Battle of Passchendaele. Somewhere in the region of a combined half a million lives were lost in the thirteen weeks it took the allied forces to gain five miles in the mud. 

I’ve visited a couple of war grave sites in years past located in Malta and Crete and they are such eerie places to be. The Maltese one especially seems like a million miles removed from the dusty roadside where you entered the site minutes before. From a pretty busting high street not too far from the islands capital Valletta, to an almost silent and sacred graveyard. 

I need to visit the National Arboretum just around the corner from the Bloodstock Festival site sometime, especially as it’s so close to home. I’d also like to pay my respects at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing and Tyne Cot cemetery, both in the Flanders region of Belgium. 

I’ve probably said it before, but so much of the historical things that interest me now have mainly come from my interest in heavy music, whether it’s the war inspired lyrics or Egyptian mythology offered up by Iron Maiden or the darker side of humanity that Slayer are so pertinent with. Most of my share of the bookcase in the house is a reflection of influences garnered from my musical exploits. 

I’d completely forgotten how reminiscent the start of Paschendale was on this tour to the more modern intro Metallica now use for One now that they seem to have veered away from the pyrotechnics. Since the tour to promote Dance of Death this song hasn’t been played much at all and the only two times I’ve seen it live we’re the two aforementioned dates in 2003. I know it would make a welcome addition to any setlist in the future if the band ever went through the motions of a best of tour. 

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? 

      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns. 

      Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle 

Can patter out their hasty orisons. 

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 

      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— 

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; 

      And bugles calling for them from sad shires. 
What candles may be held to speed them all? 

      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes 

Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. 

      The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall; 

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, 

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

By Wilfred Owen

Party Food

Ten days since I was last here, I’m just getting too lazy to do anything at times! The significant other is out this evening, so let’s try and bang a few quick posts out while I “baby sit” Ozzie. 

The previously mentioned Warwound gig was yet another bust, but I did end up in Manchester on the Saturday for an (almost) all dayer at the Rebellion Rock Bar. A sunny Saturday afternoon was spent in darkness with a menu of thrash metal, death metal and power violence being dished out. Ten bands – if you were there from 2pm – all for a fiver.

I managed to see five and a bit of the ten band, due to working in the morning I couldn’t really get there any earlier and missed the first two, plus Leeds thrashers Redeye Revival were the first band I wanted to catch. 

Prior to that Saturday nearly two weeks ago now, I’d only seen two of the bands previously. It was my third time in four Saturdays seeing Horsebastard, now I’m recovering from a dose equestrian blastcore overdose. The bit of the sixth band was the sludge of PIST, where we decided to exit the venue for food, and I’d previously seen the band at Hard Rock Hell United back in 2015. 

A “pleasant” surprise on the day came from Mancunian band Wolfbastard. Just judging the book by its cover I was expecting a crusty D-Beat band, what I wasn’t expecting was the black metal infused punk being performed before me. With song titles like Fat Romanian Punchbag and Sick in the Bath, their tongues seem to be firmly in their collective cheeks.  The most unlikely looking black metal too. 

Gets Worse from Leeds and Edinburgh’s Endless Swarm brought more relentless power violence to proceedings. I’ve been seeing more shows recently that can be pigeon holed in the power violence, grind or fast hardcore scene and I’ve enjoyed them much more than I was expecting. The vibe of the shows has been like the early days of my hardcore phase. A very DIY ethic and a lot of fun. Let’s hope the cliques and testosterone doesn’t swallow it up. 

The last band of the day for me was Foetal Juice, not the greatest band name out there, but for a death metal band trying to shock with ditties about death and gore it does what it states on the tin.  Having said that, I quite enjoyed them. 

The logo on the flyer you can’t read is from local death / slam band Crepitation. I had the chance to get the last train back to the shire, so I took the opportunity of not having to drive an inch and took it. It was handy getting off the train at the bottom of the street, but not so good being stuck on the train in Macclesfield for nearly an hour while the transport police intervened on some drunken shenanigans in the adjacent carriage. 

With their brand of party thrash (think Anthrax circa I’m the Man or more up to date Insanity Alert or Municipal Waste) I’d been waiting a while to finally see this bunch of Yorkshire puddings (© Wolfbastard) and I wasn’t disappointed. Very raw but with heaps of youthful exuberance, they could be a leading light in the UK thrash scene if they get the breaks. Check out their back catalogue for free via their BandCamp page.

Party Food, with a cobbled together video, is taken from the most recent EP Raise Hell, No Regrets. Keep an eye open for the name Redeye Revival. 

Let The Truth Speak

Hopefully tonight I should be off to see reactivated and rejuvenated punk band Warwound support Icons of Filth on the outskirts of Manchester. Originally it was to be held at the Retro Bar, right on the doorstep of Piccadilly train station. Since the venues demise a few weeks ago it’s now somewhere in Levenshulme. Jumping on a train looks like too much hard work. There’s a long wait in Piccadilly to head back south to Crewe so I might as well drive and be home in half the time. 

Warwound were a short lived band back in the early 1980’s for a few years. Various members splintered into other groups like the Varukers and Sacrilege. Then bassist, now guitarist, Damien resurrected the name with a trio of musicians well respected within the punk and hardcore scene to blast out some old Warwound songs alongside a smattering of Sacrilege and Varukers standards. The original demos got an updated release and a few days ago an album of new material, Burning the Blindfolds of Bigots, surfaced. I heard snippets of the album when I saw the band in Leeds back in March, so I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on a proper copy. 

The bass player of the rejuvenated outfit is Ian Glasper who I’ve known for more than twenty years since I first met him at a Stampin’ Ground gig in a youth club in Rugeley in 1996. Throughout all the bands I’ve seen in the last 28 years this guy is probably the one I’ve seen on stage the most. He’s been in quite a few bands and besides Stampin’ Ground who are the band I’ve seen more than any other, I’ve also witnessed him with Decadence Within, Suicide Watch, Freebase and Thirty Six Strategies. 

A throw away comment at an Earth Crisis show in Dudley many moons ago led me to my first shows abroad where I was offered a space in a van for a few shows in Belgium. Since that weekend I’ve had the bug to travel overseas for gigs. 

If you like your D-beat punk with huge chunky swathes of metallic hardcore then Burning the Blindfolds of Bigots is probably the album that you’ve been waiting for this year. 

Ace Of Spades

It seems to be a little known fact that Ian Fraser Kilmister, or better known as Motörhead frontman Lemmy, was born in Burslem, the Mother Town of Stoke-on-Trent. In a matter of hours this will be recognised with the placement of a blue plaque at Port Vale’s home ground.  

For those who are not familiar with the blue plaque, it’s a circular blue plaque placed on, or near buildings of historical significance associated with a famous person. They could have been born there, lived there or performed in a venue. It’s something that’s been going in this country since the 1860’s, but mainly in London in its early years. 

Earlier in the year to celebrate BBC Music Day all (well I’m assuming all) local BBC radio stations invited submissions for people or places locally to be nominated. There’s not a massive pool of choice from the North Staffordshire area, but being unbiased Lemmy was easily the best candidate. The only two nominees I can recall from the radio stations listenership were local singer Jackie Trent (known for singing on the theme songs for Australian TV soap Neighbours) and a venue called The Golden Torch which was a leading light (pun intended) for the Northern Soul movement of the late 1960’s. 

The accolade is very deserving for an icon of the heavy metal genre. It’s being unveiled tonight at 6pm by some guy called Tony Iommi, I’d liked to have gone to have a snoop, but due to the rock and roll life style I lead I’m sitting at home waiting for a shopping delivery to arrive between 5pm and 9pm. Living the dream right here. 

The placement at the football ground is adequate, even though I support the other team in the city. He was born in the town and performed at the ground once back in 1981 in the inaugural Heavy Metal Holocaust. Personally though I’d liked to have seen it situated in Hanley – the areas city centre. I think it would  be a good idea to have a walk of fame like the Hollywood Boulevard or Birmingham’s Broad Street, around our cultural quarter and the Victoria Hall, a venue Motörhead played at least three times. Which ever way to slice it though it’s still recognition for what was extreme music back in the day. 

My main gripe is the wording on the plaque.  
“Motörhead founder & singer, who’s song Ace of Spades has been adopted by Port Vale FC”. 



 Nothing about him being born in the town or actually performing at the ground. At the time of writing this, it is the only concert (infamously poorly ran by all accounts), to have been held on the grass at Vale Park. If they’re dishing them out for adoption it won’t be long until Tom Jones has a plaque at the Bet 365 stadium. 

I actually thought I’d already posted the quintessential Motörhead song Ace of Spades a long time ago, apparently not. On its 1980 release the single peaked at number 15 in the UK charts, only bettered by The Golden Years Live EP a year later. The same song reached number 13 after being reissued in 2016, not long after Lemmy’s death. 

We are Motörhead and we play rock ‘n’ roll…..