Monday, January 11, 2010


Hi folks. A happy, healthy and prosperous 2010 to you all! I just found out that this is the 200th post on this here blog! Where does the time go? It barely seems possible. As such, i dedicate this 200th post to my old blogging partner Bryon, who started this blog back in the day. Without him, i'd probably never have turned my hand to this lark, and my record collection would have been far poorer too. Here's to you Bryon, i hope life's treating you well and you continue to approve of how i'm looking after your baby here.
So what are you getting tonight? Just feast your eyes on this little lot!
To begin with, NWOBHM band LEGEND, based on the Channel Island of Jersey, issued two albums and an EP between 1981 and their eventual demise in 1984.
Their self-titled debut album found Legend with a line up of vocalist Mike Lezala, guitarists Pete Haworth and Marco Morosino, bassist "Eggy" Aubert and drummer Dave Whitley. Released on their own Workshop Records label, this seven song album was characterised by the bands intelligent lyrics, lengthy compositions and unique Prog infused, but still heavy, sound.
They followed this with the 1982 album "Death In The Nursery", which found Haworth alone handling guitar duties, Aubert was forced to leave due to a serious back injury and Neil Haworth (Pete's brother), duly took over the bass position. The nine song album kept the trademark sound which Legend had established on their debut, but the songwriting was more conscise and harder edged than before, with the production far better.
In November of 1982 Legend released a new four song EP entitled "Frontline", which saw the band soften their approach somewhat, with several tracks sounding more commercial than the band had before.
During September of 1983 Legend were back in the studio cutting six demo tracks in preparation for a third album. However, Lezala made his exit in January of 1984 and the band were unable to find a suitable replacement. Lezala agreed to perform one last gig with the band at London's Marquee Club in March of 1984, after which Legend disbanded. This show would be the one and only time the new songs were performed.
Interest in Legend would be maintained with the 1998 14 song CD compilation, "Retroshock 1981-1984".
In April of 2001 Pete Haworth made a return to the scene with his new act SINAPTIK touting a brand new album 'Transmission'.
Monster Records would issue a lavish 2-CD remastered Legend "Anthology" in February of 2002, which included both of the band's albums, the "Frontline" EP and the six songs from the 1983 Demo. The compilation brought Legend to the attention of many new fans old & young, garnering terrific reviews from the Metal press.
As a result of the renewed interest the anthology release caused, Legend reformed that March and in 2003 their brand new "Still Screaming", album emerged. Legend's line up at this juncture comprised vocalist Mike Lezala, guitarists Pete Haworth and Sean Gregory, bassist "Eggy" Aubert and drummer Peter Heath. The "Still Screaming" album managed to retain much of the old band's character, but also sounded far heavier at times, thanks to modern production techniques. As well as ten brand new songs the album also featured a 2003 re-recording of the debut album's "Hiroshima".
"Anthology" has recently been reissued on the Forged In Fire/Rockadrome label with expanded sleeve notes and is an essential purchase for the discerning NWOBHM fan.
The band are still together and are currently writing material for a new studio album and are also cleaning up old recordings for a possible archival live release.

LEGEND - Still Screaming (2003) UK

Next, EXPLORER were a NWOBHM/Hard Rock group put together in Southampton in 1983 by ex-CHINATOWN members Pat Shayler and Chris May. The band recorded a two song demo that same year which created a bit of a buzz and released the "Exploding", album through the Rock Shop Records label in 1984, with contributions from Rob Armstrong on drums.
The revised band name of EXXPLORER would later be adopted although the group would split in 1986. Bassist Martin Walls went on to join AOR act XS whilst guitarist Pat Shayler attempted to reform CHINATOWN.
However, within a year EXXPLORER had reformed with vocalist Lennie Rizzo, although his involvement was fairly brief due to Ill health which forced the singer's departure and led to the recruitment of some 'Girl Power' in the form of one Melissa Cahne. This proved to be a short-lived reformation however, with the members going their separate ways again in early 1988 without having any further releases.
Walls returned to XS, now renamed AFTER HOURS, and recorded an album with them called "Take Off", in 1988.

EXPLORER - Exploding (1984) UK

VICTIM were a promising four piece Heavy Metal act founded in San Diego, California in the early 1980's.
They released one incredibly rare full length album, 1983's privately pressed "Power Hungry", and this equally scarce Mini LP "DMN" (It stood for "Dirty, Mean & Nasty"), on their own "Victim" label in 1985.
As their records are growing in reputation and value now, these guys are finally getting some long overdue kudos at last.
Sadly it's all too little too late, as the band folded around 1986 and none of it's members seem to have reappeared in other bands.
Not to be confused with the other band also called Victim from Houston, TX. or the Belgian band from Ghent who also shared the Victim monicker.
This one was requested by my buddy Viktor Rictus.
Hope you find it's been worth the wait my friend.
In fact, knowing the kind of stuff you like Vik, i'm pretty sure that this one will make your day or quite possibly, your whole month!

VICTIM - DMN Mini LP (1985) USA

CLOCKWORK was a Swiss Heavy Metal band formed in Zurich in early 1995 by former CORONER guitarist Tommy Baron shortly after that band's demise.
Enlisting former Coroner roadie Lui Cubello on vocals, Peter Waelty on Bass and MEKONG DELTA, POLTERGEIST, CALHOUN CONQUER, BABYLON SAD & KROKUS drummer Peter Haas, the band set about rehearsing Baron's new material.
The new music sounded like a logical progression from the sound of the last couple of Coroner albums but heavier and with more groove to it.
Clockwork then entered the studio and recorded the four songs which would make up their lone release, a 1995 self-titled demo EP which they self released in an eye-catching octagonal sleeve.
Despite some record company interest in Clockwork, Tommy soon decided that he no longer liked the direction of the band's music and so decided to disband Clockwork.
Baron accepted an offer in 1996 to join German Thrash legends KREATOR, going on to play on two studio albums by the band, "Outcast" and "Endorama".
He chose to leave Kreator in 2001, because he couldn't commit 100% to the band due to the large number of guitar students he was teaching at the time and his production commitments at his Hithead recording studio, where he continues to work today.
Peter Haas carried on playing with MEKONG DELTA until 1997, but he also went on to join fellow ex-members of Krokus in the Hard Rock band AIN'T DEAD YET, recording the "Read Your Mind" album and "Unplugged" Mini LP.
In 1999 Haas rejoined Krokus, recording the "Round 13", album, before departing again in 2001.
Peter Waelty went on to run the Krokus fan club and website.

CLOCKWORK - Clockwork Demo EP (1995) Switzerland

SEDUCER were a prolific NWOBHM act on the UK club scene who formed in Addlestone in 1981. The band debuted in 1983 with the "Call Your Name" 7" on Sticky Records. The band were also featured on Mausoleum Records "Metal Prisoners" compilation LP later that same year.
1984 saw Seducer releasing a four song EP entitled "Indecent Exposure" through Thunderbolt Records. Prior to recording 1985's debut album "Caught In The Act", Seducer enrolled former CHINATOWN bassist Dave Mandy to replace Phil Smith who would later form THEE HYPNOTICS.
In 1986 Seducer released their second and final album, "'eads Down...See You At The End", on Stud Records.
Drummer Tim Haywood departed in August 1987 to form PANIK ATTAK with former members of JJs POWERHOUSE, CLOVEN HOOF, WHITE HEAT and CHAIN LIGHTNING. Sadly, Haywood died prematurely a few years later, and does not appear on the 1991 Panik Attak 7".
Seducer replaced Haywood on the drum stool with Dave Sutherland. In late 1987 Sutherland was badly injured in a car crash, forcing the group into cancelling a series of gigs, which along with record company problems, ultimately led to the band's dissolution as they struggled to regain their momentum.

SEDUCER - Indecent Exposure EP (1984) UK

Thanks to Bob for providing a rip of this long requested item for your delectation.
MENDES PREY were a five piece NWOBHM era Hard Rock band formed in Castleford, Yorkshire in 1981 by ex-VARDIS bassist Tony Boulton. Having demoed that same year, the tapes caught the attention of Heavy Metal DJ's The Bailey Brothers, who began airing tracks. Ilkley native Mark Sutcliffe would replace Richard Elmslie on guitar during 1982.
In this formation the band contributed the track "What The Hell's Going On?" to the "Heavy Metal Heroes Volume II" compilation album released by Heavy Metal Records that same year. This song pulled in a sponsorship deal with Levi Jeans, after "What The Hell's Going On?", was used as backing music for a Levis TV ad. As a result the band were clad in denim for their Levis sponsored tour work.
Also recorded was the single, "On To The Borderline", (released on the bands own MP label in 1982 and backed with "Running For You") and two more tracks, "Cry For The World" and "Red Alert", which were later featured on the rare compilation album "Parkside Steelworks", issued in 1985.
The single garnered the band a lot of exposure and a result Mendes Prey were kept very busy touring, headlining two London Marquee shows, supporting DIAMOND HEAD and also appearing on a regional BBC television show.
Despite their high profile, the band was reduced to a quartet with the departure of guitarist Steve Holt following differences of opinion over musical direction in late 1983, and they continued as a four piece for the rest of their career.
In early 1986 Mendes Prey released their second and final single "Wonderland", a cover version of the DEMON song. Issued in 7" and 12" versions on Wag Records, the latter format comprised extended versions of "Wonderland" and the self-penned B Side "Can You Believe It?".
Sadly, the record was viewed as a disappointment by long standing fans seeing the band pursue a slicker, more radio friendly approach than previously. The band folded soon after the record's release, with vocalist John "Jih" Seymour going on to assist agit/anarcho punk band CHUMBAWAMBA in the recording of their debut album, "Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records".
Following this John emigrated to Darwin, Australia where he now works in radio.
Guitarist Mark Sutcliffe reappeared the following year in Soul/Funk band SERLE, led by singer Serle Chapman. Chapman is now better known as an author, photographer and campaigner for Native Americans. This band recorded demos under the guidance of Phil Oakey of THE HUMAN LEAGUE, but never released any commercial product.

MENDES PREY - Wonderland 7" (1986) UK

Finally, as requested by Sergey, Margate, Kent based NWOBHM/Hard Rock outfit TNT were originally formed as a trio in 1981. Having expanded to become a quintet, they recorded a three song demo tape in 1982 titled "1st Demo", and later in the year a further three song tape emerged, the imaginatively titled "2nd Demo", which brought them to the attention of Ebony Records who invited them to contribute a song to an upcoming compilation album.
The album in question, "Metal Warriors", was released in 1983 and featured the TNT song "Sorry". 1983 also saw the band record a session for BBC Radio One's "Friday Rock Show", which led to them signing a deal with Newcastle's Neat Records. In early 1984 TNT's sole official release, the "Back On The Road", 7" single was issued through Neat, and although receiving some encouraging reviews, the band were soon without vocalist Mark Smith who quit the band. Replacing Smith with former STAG vocalist Gary Owen, the band were then threatened with legal action by Phonogram Records over the TNT name, as that label had just signed the Norwegian band of the same name.
Changing their name to SWEET CHEATER the group set about writing new material which incorporated some of the Glam influence of bands like THE SWEET into their sound. With the new name, vocalist and sound in place, the band recorded an EP called "Desire And Lust" in late 1984 and relocated to London in 1985. Despite recording an albums worth of new material under the guidance of ex-GILLAN member John McCoy, the band struggled to garner any record label interest, so Sweet Cheater split up.
Following this disappointment, in 1987 guitarist Colin "Curly" French and vocalist Gary Owen accepted an invitation to join German band VAN STRAATEN, and toured Germany extensively during the year, both returning to the UK at the end of '87 when no record deal was forthcoming.
Owen and "Curly" then formed a new band called GUNSLINGER, recording a four self titled song EP with ex-GILLAN guitarist Bernie Torme producing, which was released in early 1988, just before Owen decided to leave to join TORME for the "Demolition Ball" album.
Replacing Owen with new singer Marc Huckle, the band changed their name to LYNX and recorded the 1988 "Caught In The Act" 7" for Humming Bird Records. This band was also to be short-lived and they disbanded before the years end.

TNT - Back On The Road 7" (1984) UK

So there we are, that was post No. 200 at New Improved Live And Otherwise Blog. A little bit of a landmark for us.
Hope you find the contents of tonight's post are worthy of inclusion on such a momentous occassion.
I think there's enough variety in there that even the hardest to please amongst you will find something to cherish here tonight.
As always, my many thanks to you for all your feedback, opinions and additional info. Please keep those comments coming folks, it's what passes for job satisfaction round these parts.
Just use the "comments" button and type a few thoughts. It really is that simple!
"See" you all in a couple of weeks for post No. 201, until then wrap up warm, and stay safe people, it's cold out there!