Monday, July 13, 2009


Awlright? I've gone and surprised myself by getting a new post up here and it's not even a fortnight since the last one!
Not only that, i also managed to get some new stuff up at the other blog too!
Fear not, dear reader, i haven't gone mad or turned over a new leaf, this is merely a rare instance of temporary over achieving. It happens perhaps once a year, so normal slovenly service will doubtless resume almost instantly.
Anyway, i've babbled enough shite for one night, on to the music.
The illustrious LEAFHOUND offered up only one now highly sought after proto Metal/Hard Rock album in the LED ZEPPELIN/FREE mould during their initial lifetime. Collectors can expect to pay in excess of £1000 for a mint copy of "Growers Of Mushroom". The band was founded in London during 1969 under their original title of BLACK CAT BONES. Vocalist PETER FRENCH had previously been with the BRUNNING SUNFLOWER BLUES BAND, recording the "Bullen St. Blues", album and had been enlisted post Black cat Bones' "Barbed Wire Sandwich", album replacing Brian Short. In the band's earliest incarnation were guitarist Paul Kossof and drummer Simon Kirke; although both were to leave to form FREE before recording. As BLACK CAT BONES the band issued one album for Decca Records titled 'Barbed Wire Sandwich'. The line-up for this record being Short, guitarists Rod Price, Derek Brooks and Bob Weston, bassist Stuart Brooks and drummer Phil Lenoir. Following the album release Price departed to form the successful FOGHAT in America and French pulled in his cousin and ex-SWITCH member Mick Halls. Black Cat Bones evolved into LEAFHOUND, comprising of French, Halls, the Brooks brothers and drummer Keith Young. The band toured Europe and Scandinavia, prompting the release of the German issued 'Drowned My Life In Fear' single, but by the time the 'Growers Of Mushroom' album saw a release French had already bailed out to join ATOMIC ROOSTER, performing on their 'In Hearing Of' album. French was later to travel to America, joining CACTUS for their 'Ot n' Sweaty' record and, upon returning to Britain, French was to unsuccessfully audition for both URIAH HEEP and DEEP PURPLE. By 1977 French was fronting German outfit RANDY PIE on their 'Fast Forward' album before, quite bizarrely, becoming Jospeh Goebbels for the Rock-Opera 'Der Fuhrer'. The singer began working with THIN LIZZY guitarist Brian Robertson and ex-FACES and THE WHO drummer Kenny Jones and a solo album, 'Ducks In Flight', emerged in 1978. This prior to an appearance where French mimicked STATUS QUO's Francis Rossi for the hit spoof single 'Status Rock' by THE HEADBANGERS!
In 1997 Stuart Brooks returned on the scene putting together a band titled WISHING WELL with ex-QUIET RIOT, DOKKEN and GREG LEON INVASION guitarist Greg Leon and former SURVIVOR drummer Mark Droubay. The LEAFHOUND album was finally re-issued on CD in 1994 on the See For Miles label. It was subsequently re-rereleased by the german Repertoire label with bonus tracks. Following the interest caused by the cd reissues, French put together a new Leafhound line up in the early '00's and began playing live shows and writing new material.
New LEAFHOUND product surfaced in 2006 as Rise Above Records issued a limited edition vinyl live single, restricted to 500 copies of 'Freelance Fiend'/'Too Many Rock n' Roll Times', recorded in London the previous year. A brand new studio album, "Unleashed", surfaced on Repertoire/Rare Records in November 2007, garnering the band great reviews and exposing them to a whole new audience.

LEAF HOUND - Roadburn : Live (2006) UK

Paul Birch founded Wolverhampton based Heavy Metal Records as a vehicle to promote THE HANDSOME BEASTS, the Nuneaton band he managed at the time, when an initial demo was rejected by all the major labels. Having formed as early as 1973, they finally debuted with the "All Riot Now" single in 1980, following it up with the "Breaker" EP and the "Sweeties" single, all issued by Heavy Metal Records. The band finally released a full blown album, "Beastiality" in 1982. Regrettably the band is remembered more for frontman Gary Dalloway's corpulence than their music, a problem not helped by the album's tasteless cover. The next album from the band was to be 1990's "The Beast Within", with bass now being handled by Mark Knight, although the album sleeve notes mistakenly list his name as 'Wright'. In the latter days of the band guitarist Phil Aston was a member (and went on to join ROGUE MALE and TANTRUM) and a third album was recorded during 1993 and, although finalised, was never released due to Heavy Metal Records going bankrupt. Surprisingly, HANDSOME BEASTS are still a going concern, reuniting annually for a one off gig to appease their fans. By 2004 the band, now including CHEVY drummer Ted Duggan, was plotting a new album, released on the Heavy rock label as "04". Recordings conducted during 2006 found PETE WAY of UFO & WAYSTED and Spike of THE QUIREBOYS guesting. Tragically, Garry Dalloway died from a fatal heart attack on August 20th that year. Nevertheless, Dalloway had apparently already appointed his successor, Simon "Mongo" Hall, and he debuted with the band at the British Steel festival. The band released a new album in 2007, "Rock & A Hard Place", which was released by Q Records. In 2008, "Mongo" left the band, and his recently announced replacement is none other than Rocky Shades formerly of TITAN, WRATHCHILD, DISCHARGE and ONE TRACK AND DIRTY.

THE HANDSOME BEASTS - Rock And A Hard Place (2007) UK

LEVITICUS were a Swedish Heavy Metal act of some repute who debuted in 1982 with the "Stå Och Titta På" EP. The Christian band's first album, 1983's "Jag Skall Segra", was re-recorded in English and issued on the American Shadow label as 'I Shall Conquer' in 1984 and featured the initial band line-up of bassist/vocalist Håkan Andersson, guitarist Björn Stigsson and drummer Kjell Andersson. Their second album, "The Strongest Power", saw release in 1985. By the time of 1987's "Setting Fire To The Earth" album, Håkan Andersson had left in favour of former QUINZY singer Terry H (real name Terje Hjortander) and LEVITICUS had also added bassist Sven Ez Gomer. Shortly after the album release both Hjortander and Gomer quit to form JET CIRCUS. Ex-MOTHERLODE vocalist Sonny Larsson was to take over the mikestand, but left within months. However, Larsson did appear on Stigsson's solo album, 'Together With Friends', released in 1987. For the 1989 "Knights Of Heaven" record, the group worked with new members Nicklas Franklin (bass) and ex AXIA vocalist Peo Pettersson, but the group split in the mid '90's and Stigsson was reunited with Larsson when the duo formed the rougher sounding White Metal band XT. In 2003 the band reformed for a show at the Bobefest Festival, resulting in the "Live at Bobefest... After Thirteen Years of Silence...", album. The band's line up now consists of Peo Pettersson - Vocals, Björn Stigsson - Guitar/Vocals, Niklas Edberger - Keyboards, Niklas Franklin - Bass/Vocals and Kjell Andersson - Drums.

LEVITICUS - I Shall Conquer ! (1984) Sweden

Next, a request for Blofeld, Middlesborough based NWOBHM quintet TAURUS were a feature of the BBC 'Friday Rock Show' compilation album 'Metal Explosion' in 1980 with the impressive 'Paper Chaser' and released one hideously rare 7" single called 'Time Is Tight'. The track on the album was from a four song session recorded for BBC Radio One's "Friday Rock Show" in 1980. The group changed their moniker to RAID THE NORTH and signed a deal with Phonogram, but apart from having a track featured on a 'Kerrang!' compilation album and a projected EP release the association would eventually be terminated, despite recording in the States with producer Jeff Glixman. The group subsequently recorded demos for EMI Records and hooked up with STATUS QUO's management, who installed ex AIRRACE vocalist Keith Murrell for a short period before the band's original singer returned. A further name change to THE WORKS prompted more demo recording, but no new deal or firm product.

TAURUS - BBC Session (1980) UK

The Birmingham based Hard Rock/NWOBHM band STARFIGHTERS, signed to Jive Records, in 1980. The band's debut line-up consisted of vocalist Steve Burton, guitarist Stevie Young, a nephew of AC/DC's Angus and Malcolm, guitarist Pat Hambley, bassist Doug Dennis and ex-FLYING HAT BAND drummer Barry 'Spence' Scrannage. The latter was soon replaced by former HOLLY AND THE ITALIANS drummer Steve Bailey, Scrannage going on to create THE ALLIANCE. Prior to the formation of the STARFIGHTERS, Steve Burton was previously vocalist with THE SUBURBAN STUDS, and very briefly a member of GLENN TIPTON's FLYING HAT BAND and Hard Rock outfit CRYER. After debuting with the independently released 'I'm Falling' 7" single, on the Motorcity Rhythm label, the band was thrown straight in at the deep end supporting AC/DC in 1980. Subsequent rumours suggested that Burton had been offered the job of replacing the late Bon Scott in AC/DC, but had turned the opportunity down on the grounds of health, fearing his own vices would lead towards a similar fate. Following the release of the well received debut Tony Platt produced album for Jive in 1981, the STARFIGHTERS opened for MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP on a British tour, TRUST on a French tour and then landed the honour of opening for OZZY OSBOURNE in North America. The band hooked up with KROKUS manager Butch Stone and released 'In Flight Movie' in 1983, again produced by Tony Platt, as a creditable follow up to the debut, but inexplicably they were then dropped by Jive. There followed a lengthy hiatus before the STARFIGHTERS reformed in the late '80's and the group were quick to build up their local following in the Birmingham area, but despite some notorious live performances the STARFIGHTERS failed to gain label attention. The AC/DC connection would crop up once more in the STARFIGHTERS story as Stevie Young was asked to deputise for Malcolm Young for dates on the 'Blow Up Your Video' World tour in 1988. Stevie's first payment for this job was a new front tooth he had previously lost to a baseball bat in a brawl with a night club doorman. After the final STARFIGHTERS split, Young went on to form WORLD WAR III with Steve Redvers, guitarist Nick Slater and erstwhile BAJJON vocalist Ivan Norris. The outfit soon adopted the name LITTLE BIG HORN and signed to AC/DC's management. Live work was undertaken and demos recorded, but this band failed to issue commercial product.

STARFIGHTERS - I'm Falling 7" (1980) UK

SIEGE were a female fronted Heavy Metal quartet formed in Alton, Hampshire in 1984. After recording a six song demo in late '84, the band dropped drummer Tony Castro, replacing him with Ray Lawrence. With their new drummer in place, 1985 saw the band record their sole record, the "Goddess Of Fire" 7", the band describing their sound as "True Hampshire Heavy Metal". 1986 saw Siege record a well received four song studio session for Tommy Vance's BBC Radio One "Friday Rock Show". In 1987, the band issued a further two song demo, but split up soon after.

SIEGE - Goddess Of Fire 7" (1985) UK

STORMTROOPER were four piece Heavy Rock band who formed on the Isle Of Wight in 1975, their lone release was the 1977 "I'm A Mess" 7" which came with the following press release which tells their tale succinctly. "Stormtrooper as we appeared in our short but volatile lifespan during the summer and autumn of 1975 were : Nigel Hutchings, vocals; Jeffery Piccinini, bass guitar; John Pilka, guitars; Mike Lee, drums. After cutting a demo tape in September 1975 and being rejected by one record company after another and also being financially destitute, desertion set in. Our heroic assault as top-billing act at Bath Pavilion on October 1st, 1975 was our last live appearance. By Christmas 1975 Stormtrooper ceased to exist. Two years later a record has been cut from our demo tape and has come out of our own pocket. The track "I'm A Mess", was conceived over two years ago and although it was well ahead of its time we feel it is still as relevant today as it was two years ago. We hope you enjoy this record and don't forget to Play It Very Loud." The record sold 3,000 copies, a lot of which were sold in London. The badge declaring 'I'm A Mess' which came with it became well known during the Punk era. Sid Vicious was famously pictured wearing his badge throughout the SEX PISTOLS American tour and WRECKLESS ERIC was also photographed on a record sleeve wearing one.

STORMTROOPER - I'm A Mess 7" (1977) UK

Will that little lot keep you going for a fortnight or so? No? You need more vintage arse-kickery to keep you going? Well, all i can suggest is that you pace yourself people, listen to the music presented tonight verrry slowwwllly.
Or failing that, check out some new old stuff i've flung up on my other blog " Still Alive & Well". You'll find Part One of a large post entitled "U.S. Metal Mini LPs, EPs & Demos", which covers the years from 1980 to 1983. I'll try and get Part Two up over there too relatively soon.
I think you'll find plenty to enjoy amongst that particular themed post, in fact i know it! To cop those goodies drop by and grab what you need.
Right, i'm offski, as i'm knackered tonight after all that researching, rar-ing, uploading, typing and posting, remember & comment and i'll see you back here in about two weeks. Ah-hoy-hoy!


Blogger Grk! said...

Ta for the Siege, Leaf Hound & Leviticus. I liked Siege's Tommy Vance session quite a bit at the time, & would be chuffed to hear it again.

Monday, July 13, 2009 9:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers for the Taurus session, Kit. I've been after it for ages. Just want to say I really appreciate all your efforts, as you know, and you keep on delivering the goods, my friend. Thanks a lot, Blofeld

Friday, July 17, 2009 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found this blog... what a wealth of information you have compiled. Amazing. Great work and keep it up.

Friday, July 17, 2009 5:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers for Leafhound and Taurus. Have you any Reading Rock stuff from the Friday Rock Show ?. Magnum and Samson and Krokus 1980 especially.

Cheers again.


Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger bigfootkit said...

Sorry Carl, i may well have some BBC broadcasts from the Reading festival, but not by any of the bands you mentioned. I may have some things from the '82 and/or '83 festival however, so i'll start digging.
Sorry Grk! The Siege session isn't something i have either, but if i come across it you'll find it here.
Blofeld, you're very welcome, glad you enjoyed the Taurus stuff again mate.

Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous ChrisD. said...

Hey Kit,

another fine selection! The Starfighters 7" was a reason to be particularly cheerful :-))

Pity to find that the Taurus session is the same mediocre quality version that's been circulating for some time now. Hopefully a better version will turn up sometime. And I'm sorry to smash the dream, but there's no such thing as a Taurus 7". The single you are referring to is by a completely different band under the same name. It was released on RCA and contains the most horrid form of horrid 80s electro pop - avoid at all cost!


Friday, July 24, 2009 5:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr.,
You are "la creme de-la creme" of the Metal-blogger!
infinite thanks.
Ave Kit!

Monday, July 27, 2009 8:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super great stuff here!!

And if you're doing all the uploading, you might want to look into Mediafire instead of Rapidshare.
Everyone gets unlimited upload accounts and downloads for free, and there's no waiting before/between downloads.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 2:46:00 AM  
Anonymous ron..... the cheeb said...

well done once again. Thanks Kit

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok cheers, Randy California and Tygers Of Pan Tang from Reading (82 or 83 cant remember which year)would be winners too. I remember a great Reading set by Billy Squire too introduced by Jon Lord no less.



Sunday, August 09, 2009 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy California @ Reading? No problem. It was posted along with the Glastonbury set over here:

I'll see what i can do regarding the Tygers set. ;)

Sunday, August 09, 2009 3:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huge thanks for Randy man , cheers. Carl.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just downloaded the Randy California sets HUGE THANKS KIT. It is so good to hear this again , cheers man, i'm sooo happy :-).


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