DO THE HOBBLE SQUAT
No preamble tonight, on with the music eh?
BASHFUL ALLEY were a Lancaster based NWOBHM trio formed in 1980.
They amassed a large biker following from their live shows and specialised in Hard no nonsense heads down boogie rawk.
Having issued a demo cassette in 1980, another tape followed the next year.
Bashful Alley's only official release during their short life-time was the 1982 "Running Blind" 7" on Ellie Jay/Graffiti Records, which was posted here a long time ago.
They split in 1984 after two further demo tapes, due to lack of serious interest from record companies.
Guitarist/Singer Rob Tidd eventually resurfaced in the band DOLLFACE in the mid 1990's, releasing 3 EP's and an album, touring Europe with GIRLSCHOOL and supporting SLASH'S SNAKEPIT on a UK tour, before they split in 1997.
Over the years the Bashful Alley single had become a recognised NWOBHM classic, which eventually led to the release of a compilation album, "It's About Time", (featuring 10 tracks culled from the 7" and demo recordings), on the German High Vaultage label in the 1990's.
High Roller Records re-released "It's About Time" in 2009, with a new cover and sleeve notes, on vinyl only, in a strictly limited edition of 300 copies.
Of these, 200 copies were on standard black vinyl, with the other 100 pressed on white wax.
Your chances of securing one of these now is pretty slim, so enjoy this pristine 320kbps rip instead.
BASHFUL ALLEY - It's About Time (1980-84) UK
SHIVA were a brilliant NWOBHM trio which formed in Bristol in 1979.
Unlike the majority of NWOBHM acts however, the band successfully incorporated prog-rock influences coupled with intelligent and thoughtful lyrics, setting themselves apart sonically from the pack. Their RUSH influenced sound is perhaps only comparable to that of NWOBHM compatriots CHASAR and LIMELIGHT.
After early uncirculated demo sessions, Shiva signed with the legendary Wolverhampton based Heavy Metal Records in 1981.
The band debuted with the haunting classic "Angel Of Mons" 7" in early 1982, which won them rave reviews in the Rock & Metal press.
A second single, the more uptempo "Rock Lives On", was issued a couple of months later, and again found favour in the columns of Sounds, Kerrang! and the like.
The band's album, "Firedance", was released later in the year, and again, was raved over by high profile critics such as Geoff Barton and Malcolm Dome.
However, the critical acclaim they received sadly did not translate into sales for Shiva, and despite recording demos of material for a second album, Heavy Metal Records dropped the group, and they eventually split up in 1984, without releasing further official product.
Now rightly acclaimed as one of the most individual and musically enterprising acts of the NWOBHM explosion, their reputation has grown steadily over the decades.
As a result of this, in collaboration with Shiva, Majestic Rock Records released the "Continuance" album in 2004, featuring 12 unreleased songs which were recorded during the band's '80's heyday, including the 7 songs from the unfinished second album.
Every bit as fascinating as the band's classic debut, this album is now also out of print.
Despite the rather poor cover art and design, the music contained in "Continuance", only adds credence to the belief that Shiva were a very special band who deserved a wider audience than they ultimately found.
SHIVA - Continuance (1983) UK
FAITHFUL BREATH, hailing from Witten, Germany, would develop from atmospheric Art Rockers to fully fledged, horned helmeted Heavy Metallers during their career. Forming back in the late '60's round a nucleus of bassist Horst Stabenow and vocalist/guitarist Heinrich Mikus, their original 1967 formation featured saxophonist Ulrich Bock, guitarists Reinhold Immig and Walter Scheuer plus drummer Jürgen Fisher. Both Immig and Fisher exited in 1969. Scheuer and Bock opted out during 1972.
Faithful Breath's first album, a self-financed effort titled "Fading Beauty", was not released until 1974.
Very much in the mellotron themed Progressive Rock mould, alongside Stabenow and Mikus for these recordings would be female singer Renate Heemann, keyboard player Manfred Von Buttlar and drummer Jürgen Weritz.
It was a four year wait before the band recorded their second album, "Back On My Hill", for Sky Records. Faithful Breath maintained a stable line-up of musicians but drafted in singer Jürgen Renfordt. However, the album was shelved and it took a legal battle before it eventually surfaced in 1980. The band actually split shortly after this album's release but they were soon to reform as a three piece, drummer Uwe Otto rounding the band out, pursuing a far heavier direction with a Viking image to match.
Uwe Otto departed in 1982 following the release of the "Rock Lions" album, to be replaced by Jürgen Düsterloh, and by fourth album "Hard Breath" Faithful Breath had established a healthy European following and switched labels to Mausoleum. Second guitarist Andy Honig and bassist Peter Dell were added at this juncture to augment the band's increasingly Heavy sound.
The band's first album for Mausoleum, "Gold n' Glory", was an instant success and garnered the band favourable responses from media and fans alike. An immensely hard hitting Heavy Metal album produced by the team of noted German knob twiddler Michael Wagener and ACCEPT vocalist Udo Dirkschneider at Dieter Dierks' studios, "Gold n' Glory" established the band as a leading light in the German Metal scene, however briefly.
After a bout of successful touring Andy Honig was replaced by Thilo Herrmann to record another fine effort "Skol", an album that gained further mileage from the beer drinking and hell raising Viking image the group had given itself. Recorded at Dierks Studios once more, "Skol" benefited from a skillful production by producer Gerd Rautenbach.
In the wake of the album's release Faithful Breath actually performed a short East Coast tour of America before concentrating once more on Europe, with the "Live" album emerging in 1986, although by 1987 the band had strangely opted to change names to RISK.
As RISK, the band continued to record, releasing five albums and an EP between 1988 and 1993.
FAITHFUL BREATH - Skol (1985) Germany
Finally, SIREN were an American Heavy Metal act founded in Tampa, Florida in 1981, which centred around vocalist Doug "Dead" Lee who joined the following year.
Their 1984 debut self financed "Metro Mercenary" single saw Siren with a line up of Lee, guitarist Rob Phillips, bassist Ben Parrish and teenage drummer Ed Aborn.
Following the single release Parrish made way for Edward Amyx before Siren recorded the 1985 four track demo tape "Iron Coffins".
The impressive demo prompted Pennsylvania based Sanaty Records to include the Siren track "Over The Rainbow" on their "Start To Stardom" compilation album.
Following the four song "Dead Of Night" demo tape in 1986, the band replaced bassist Brian Law with Gregg Culbertson and scored a record deal with the independent Flametrader Records label.
Their debut album, "No Place Like Home" surfaced later in the year, and showed the band moving on from it's earlier NWOBHM influenced sound into a more distinctive area with Progressive touches and some Thrash influences in evidence amongst the more traditional, if technical, sounding material.
Following the debut album Lee completely rebuilt SIREN, drafting in guitarist Brian C. Hendrickson, bassist Less Talent and drummer David Smith before recording a five song demo called "The Garage Experiment".
Album No.2, "Financial Suicide" was recorded in Germany and released on AAARRGG Records, (the label of MEKONG DELTA main man Ralph Hubert), in 1988.
The album didn't sell particularly well, and Siren eventually went their separate ways in 1989.
Doug Lee resurfaced the following year as the new singer in Mekong Delta, singing on all 4 of their albums between 1990's "Dances of Death (and other Walking Shadows)" and 1994's "Vision's Fugitives", and also appearing in the "Live in Frankfurt 1991" DVD, before leaving the band in 1997.
SIREN - Financial Suicide (1988) USA
That's yer lot for now people.
Hope you enjoy tonight's selection, i'm sure there's something to lift even the most jaded spirit amidst this little lot.
Some quick points:
Comments have been in short supply recently, although the amount of downloads have remained steady.
It takes two minutes to comment, please make the effort.
Even if it's only to to tell me i suck.
Thanks to those of you who did take the time to share your opinions and remembrances on this music we so dearly love.
It is always appreciated.
Until next time, take care.