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 tge 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…..

In The Name Of God

I really enjoy loading as much music as I can onto my phone and just pressing shuffle to see where the ride takes me. It’s a pretty rare occurrence that I’ll grab a CD or start an album in its digital form and just play it from track one, unless it’s a new release or I’m preparing for a gig or something. 

I’ve got a fair few songs on my iPhone and I’d like to think the majority of them are okay songs at the very least, but once in a while something embarrassing might pop up and I have to reach for the advance button, depending on the company at the time. 

Fortunately this track isn’t in that dirty little secret category. It also once in a while throws up something unexpected that you just have to think “wow, I’ve not heard that in ages“. 

I’ve had the the albums Edge of Damnation and Demon Preacher by Brighton’s Deathwish in one format or another in my collection for as long as I can remember, going right back to my school days easily. But that’s about all I know about this band. 

Their Motörhead tinged thrash metal had something a bit different to the other British bands doing the rounds at the time. From the bands this island had to offer Deathwish probably had a sound closest to the German Teutonic artists. 

They seem to be a complete enigma to many, even from those old enough to remember them. Unless someone is trying to gain some retroactive scene points, they very rarely get mentioned in conversations with the likes of UK stalwarts Acid Reign, Xentrix, Onslaught, Sabbat or Re-Animator. Their second album was released in 1988 and I’m not sure when they chucked the towel in, so I might have missed the Deathwish boat completely, but I can’t recall ever seeing them in Kerrang!, Metal Hammer (when both magazines were good) when I was reading them from probably 1988 onwards. 

I hope Mr Glasper managed to get a few words out of them for his UK thrash metal book, as I’d be intrigued to know more about the band from the band themselves. If they’d been from the States I surmise that they’d be much more of a household name than they are today. 

Screams In The Night

As my week off dwindles down to its final hours I’m now begrudgingly thinking of setting my alarm clocks for 3:45am at some point tomorrow in preparation for Monday. I’ve got a choice of gigs for tonight but I think I’ll remain within the local vicinity. 

Originally I wanted to catch Sodom again with either a dash over to Ireland last night or in London tonight at the Incineration Festival. Travel and funds scuppered both of those options. 

Another possibility was a one day festival in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Manor Fest is headlined by Swedish heavy metal band Grand Magus who I’m not a fan of, but Memoriam are playing. It’ll be the first British show I’ve missed from Memoriam, but it’s an expensive day and 200 mile round trip essentially for 50 minutes of one band.   

I’ll probably be attending the NWoBHM extravaganza just up the road at Eleven this evening. Chariot headline the night over The Deep (who are formed by members of Deep Machine who were around in the early 80’s) and relative new boys Spoiler.   

I’ve had the chance to see Londoner’s Chariot on a few occasions, usually at the Hard Rock Hell events or their off shoots, but either they’ve played early or clashed with someone else. 

They formed as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal phenomenon was burning out in 1983. They released two albums back in the 80’s (The Warrior and Burning Ambition). I’ve heard their first two albums, then I discovered they issued a further three discs since 2006. 

During their hay day they shared the stage with Manowar in the UK and Exodus and Venom on bothsides of the channel. They were also an opening act at the 1987 edition of the Reading Festival – when it was still a good rock based event.   


Screams in the Night is the opening track from the bands second album Burning Ambition – also the name of the song on the flip side of Iron Maiden’s 1980 debut single Running Free. I think the remainder of the day will be taken up brushing up my Chariot knowledge via YouTube for those three newer albums, unless they are on Spotify, but I can’t see that being the case. 

Suffer The Children

I’m so glad I got one of the last 20 tickets for Napalm Death in Manchester last night. Even though I didn’t stop to see Barney and the boys, or Brujeria, the two bands I saw made it more than worthwhile. 

I bailed early so I could get a train to and from the city from my town to save on more short drives and extortionate parking fees. In hindsight though I’m glad I left when I did for a couple of reasons. 

The main reason is the venue. I’ve only seen four shows there and they’ve all been since October last year. Considering I try and get to Manchester on train as much as I can the Rebellion Club is that little bit too far out to walk back to the station without missing a healthy chunk of the headliners set. 

The three shows prior to last night have been nowhere near to its noted 400 capacity so they were relatively comfortable. Last nights sold out show was beyond comfortable. The assembled throng of metallers were packed in tight for the first two bands. I’d hate to think what it was like come 10pm when Napalm Death had a full head of steam. 

The layout of the place doesn’t help either. The interior is shaped like an offset T with the stage along the horizontal. Looking towards the stage from the vertical your view is obstructed the further you go back so everyone crams in to the front portion. That area also incorporates the entrance and access to the smoking area on one side and the bar and toilets opposite. All the footfall has to traverse that space. It’s definitely not pleasant and almost claustrophobic. 

The local promoter used to use Sound Control, a better laid out venue and half the distance from the station. For some reason shows of this stature have relocated to here. More consideration will have to be given in the future to which shows I attend if there is another option to Rebellion.

Anyway, rant over, on to the show. Lock Up were superb again, and much better than I was honestly expecting. 

Power Trip graced a Manchester stage for the first time in four years and they were on another level last night. They relished their time on the compact stage and seemed much more at home. They had a superb crowd in front of them and there was no barrier so we had a few stage divers, but less than I’d anticipated. For a band influenced by the thrash scene it was weird to see so many metal elitists and purists vacating the room for forty minutes. Too many people paying attention to musical tags. 

As I didn’t get around to posting about the Birmingham grindcore pioneers here’s Suffer the Children from their third album Harmony Corruption. It was the first time they’d recorded outside of England when they entered the famous Morrisound Studios in Tampa with producer Scott Burns. The album vered towards a death metal sound and had a more polished finish, and the Tampa connection was a foothold for the band over in the States.  

Accelerated Mutation

Once again Iron Maiden were stunning last night in Manchester. Unusually for them they were a bit sloppy in places, but nothing to serious to detract from the overall ambiance of the evening. Tonight sees a change in direction and aggression though. 

A quarter of a century after the first Campaign for Musical Destruction tour featuring Napalm Death, Obituary and Dismember, international grindcore “super group” Lock Up are opening up proceedings. Since their inception in 1998 it’s always been a Shane Embury and friends project. Over the years members of Terrorizer, Criminal, Cradle of Filth, Nuclear Assault, Hypocrisy, At The Gates, Brutal Truth and Carcass have all been involved with the band in some way.  

 

I thought I’d seen them live before, a long time ago, but apparently tonight will be my first time. I had a suspicion I’d seen them in Stoke, but I think I’m confusing that with another band with a bassist that appeared with Brujeria – Divine Heresy. I was also pretty sure they’d played Bloodstock but that is a negative too. 

They played the ‘kin hell fest in Leeds in 2014 which I was at but unfortunately I was at the wrong day of the three. They played on Friday and I was only in attendance for the Sunday. 

Looking trough the setlist.fm site they’ve only performed six times prior to this run (again assuming it’s accurate and up to date). I surprised myself to see that I wasn’t at the 2009 edition of the Damnation festival where they played alongside Destruction and Life of Agony, two bands I’ll travel to see. Maybe it was the majority of that years line up that put me off?

They are another band that have passed me by over the last eighteen years. Their debut album came out in 1999 when I was being a bit more adult by arranging and saving for my wedding the year later. There’s a bleak period in my gig timeline where shows completely tailed off for a number of years and it was definitely more quality over quantity to my gigging and purchasing. 

Friends raved about how good the Demonization album released this year was so I checked it out via Spotify with some trepidation, I think I was expecting not to like it as I’ve never been a fan of Brutal Truth’s vocals and Kevin Sharp from said band is supplying the vocal barrage for the album and subsequent tour. I’m glad I gave it a go as I was suitably enthralled. It just means i now have to be in Birmingham and Manchester early to catch them as doors open. 

Accelerated Mutation is from the Necropolis Transparent album from 2011. 

Tailgunner 

I first saw Iron Maiden 9,698 days ago as a wide eyed sixteen year old. They’d been my favourite band for a number of years, but it took a while until I finally got to see them. My parents wouldn’t let me see them during their Seventh Son tour in 1988 when they played Birmingham’s NEC Arena. 

1990 was the first chance I had to see the band on stage and I grabbed it firmly with both hands. In the intervening twenty six and a half years I will have seen them more than two dozen times with two different vocalists and in six different countries – not huge by some people’s standards, but I’ve seen well over a twelve hundred different bands. 

The October 16th gig was also the last time that they played in the Potteries. When a UK tour was a big deal for bands and they played the length and breadth of the country stopping at places I’d never heard of as a kid. I spent so much time looking in awe on their singles promoting the latest tour when you’d come across the Victoria Hall. How I’d loved to have seen the World Slavery Tour (September 27th 1984) or the Somewhere On Tour jaunt (October 22nd 1986) in that building. In all they played the venue eight times, I’m so glad I got to see them in there once. 

As the current tour is heavily promoting the Book of Souls release there is only limited space for their back catalogue, and Tailgunner unfortunately doesn’t make the cut. Nothing from the 1990 album is in the set list and nothing has been featured since Can I Play With Madness was included during their 2014 tour. None of the other album tracks have even had a look in since the early 90’s. 

I’ve gone for this track as I’d never seen the video before – I’m pretty sure it’s unofficial as it was never a single and there’s no live concert release for this tour. It’s also the very first song that this wide eyed Maiden fan ever experienced. 

Later this month I’m taking my youngest nephew to see Eddie and the boys in Liverpool – his first concert. He’ll be several years younger than I was, but I never had a cool uncle who’d take me to concerts at his age. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s still into live music in a quarter of a century. I have my doubts because he’s currently at that age where he has a seemingly short attention span. The amount of different hobbies and interests he’s had for a thirteen year old is phenomenal.