DIAMOND HEAD

Live @ Saxon Tavern, London 26/2/82 DAVID LING
HOW MUCH longer will a band as talented as Diamond Head have to play venues such as this? On tonight’s performance they deserve so much more. Fortunately they’ve got the confidence, the material and above all the ability to raise the roof wherever they play.

They’ve already got a large grassroots following which ensured the place was packed to capacity at least two hours before the band took the stage. And it was worth the wait as tonight’s gig – despite cramped conditions – was a joy to witness. The opener was a raunchy ‘We Won’t Be Back’, followed quickly by ‘Sweet And Innocent’ with riffing so fierce it almost pinned me to the wall.

But don’t write Diamond Head off as bludgeoning buffoons just yet. ‘Don’t You Ever Leave Me’ was a masterpiece of melody and subtlety. Sean Harris contributed some fine vocals – despite being hindered by a touch of laryngitis- and Brian Tatler’s sensitive guitar work almost brought a lump to the throat.

A selection of newies followed and each showed great promise, with ‘To Heaven From Helll` the pick of the bunch. If the band can continue to write material of this quality they’ve no worries at all for future and their new album, ‘Borrowed Time’, should be worth waiting for.

The final number of the set proper was ‘Play It Loud’ which left the crowd hungry for more. And more they got in the shape of four encores -‘Am I Evil?’ ‘Shoot Out The Lights’, ‘It’s Electric’ and a blistering ‘Helpless’.

Perhaps now Diamond Head have signed to MCA they’ll get the final push that’s necessary to get them into the big league. If this band don’t make it I swear I’ll turn in my headbangers union card.

“In The Heat Of The Night” – Neil Jeffries September 1982
Like the previous single ‘Call Me’, this is part of the bands slower paced repertoire in which they show that to be heavy there’s no need to be really fast. Too often bands are literally trying to run before they can walk by writing material at breakneck speed. Diamond Head clearly know better because this is marvellous! Drums, bass, guitars and of course Sean Harris’s superb vocals all come together for a single that just oozes strength and class. The double seven inch version also includes two live tracks (‘Play It Loud’ and ‘Sweet And Innocent’ recorded last may) and a 14 minute interview on the fourth side. A teasing taster for the album. As long as they can produce records of this quality they’re surely heading for the top.


JULY 1982

SARACEN, DAWN TRADER, DIAMOND HEAD Rock City, Nottingham

FOLLOWING the success of last year’s Radio Trent. Castle Rock Roadshow they’ve now decided to jump on the Caroline bandwagon (and why not?) and have them on a more regular basis.

The line-up for this first of the new batch of roadshows featured three names to watch out for from the Midlands. Saracen, Dawn Trader and Diamond Head.

When headliners Diamond Head hit the stage the crowd were still shouting for Dawn Trader, a fact that didn’t go down too well with Messrs Harris, Kimberley, Tatler and Scott, but, in true time-honoured showbiz fashion, they carried on regardless. Perhaps those in attendance had just read too many of these ‘Led Zep successors’ stories, but whatever the reason it’s hard to see how they can hope to win over millions worldwide if they can’t even do the business on a couple of thousand in Nottingham
MIKE SMITH



Live Newcastle City Hall
THIS BEING their first tour since signing with MCA, Diamond Head weren’t particularly worried that the gig wasn’t a sell out. Theirs isn’t the only show on the road that won’t be breaking box office records. I hazard a guess though that when word leaks out from the stalls to the streets, the next tour will be a great deal more anticipated. ‘Am I Evil’, with it’s ‘Mars Intro’, was the (obvious) opener, its brash rifting cutting through the smoke and providing a marked contrast to the, second number, ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ to which scared with o more subtle and smouldering approach, both come from their recently issued Official debut album, which represents The best of DH material over the last three years, so not surprisingly every track from it featured in the set.

‘Call Me’ works superbly well live, really benefitting hugely from the extra oomph provided by Duncan Scotts’ new double bass kit. But it was the lengthier slow blues – based ‘Don’t You Ever Leave Me’ that produced the most magic moments of the evening. A stunning showcase for the talents of singer Saun Harris and guitarist Brian Tatler.

Diamond Head are already looking forward to their next album and treated us with two tracks from it (it would have three but a show of hands indicated the throng wanted an oldie!) ‘To The Devil His Due’ is already familiar to most as it’s been in the set several months but the second ‘Making Music’, aired for the first time. Someone went well over the top with the smoke but it couldn’t obscure the strength of the Song. A very heavy riff and a memorable chorus

The archives were then raided for an amazing encore medley ‘Shoot Out ‘the Lights’, ‘Dead Reckoning’ ,’It’s Electric’ and ‘Helpless’. But there was no way the crowd would let them go so they returned with ‘Play It Loud’, white light scorching up from the stage as they eased into the ‘Did You Like The Show’ ending. Though the Geordies were strangely subdued the answer was an emphatic ‘Yes!’
NEIL JEFFFES

DESTROYA

The Ruskin Arms, London 1983

THE POSTERS advertising this gig promised a dose of Mascara Mayhem but what really transpired was an evening of Maiden Mimickry.

East London’s Destroya (as opposed to the similar sounding -er band) are by no means total clones, but for the most part of their set they rely heavily on the Maiden’s influences. Andy Diamond’s vocals throughout the early stages absolutely reek of Paul Di’Anno in both feel and phrasing. And Brian Genocide, although a little more simplistic in technique, is without doubt a scholar of the Steve Harris School of Bass Playing.

More than half of the numbers that Destroys played seemed to degenerate into “Phantom Of The Opera”-style rifferamas which was a shame as some of the less derivative numbers did show promise. One such number was “The raze” which had a throbbing bassline and interesting recurring riff. The encore of their anthem “Destroya” also was a highly impressive chunk of adrenal in-charged metal.

But they still have a lot to learn about stage presence. The way to get an audience going is not to shout “f***ing wake up you f***ing sods”, and bassist Genocide should perhaps think a little more before mouthing off to the people who pay his wages.
In all fairness to the band I must point out that this current line-up has been together for a mere three weeks and they assure me that most of the set is to be re-written in the near future. If the Iron Maiden Influences can be disposed of or capitalised on they may stand a chance, but otherwise I can’t really see them breaking out of the pub’n’club circuit.

DESOLATION ANGELS

DESOLATION ANGELS ‘Valhalla’ 1983

This, I should think, is an absolute stormer onstage. The actual song is extremely good, but what lets it down are Dave Well’s vocals. Quite frankly, the band needed someone in the Ronnie James Dio mould- and there’s only one of him! However, instrumentally, they’re a very strong unit.
Perhaps this is rather too long for a commercial single, but as a rock release the length is irrelevant.

DEMON PACT

Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982

DEMON PACT for a change, are a band who hail from the South of England, specifically Hayes, near Bromley, Kent. Donald Meckiffe (vocals), Richard Dickerson (guitar/, Roy Bridle (bass) and lain Finlay (drums) make up the band, averaging a tender 20 years of age each.

These condemnable cannibals take the Blitzkrieg single ‘Buried Alive’ one stage further, their recently released 45 being called ‘Eaten Alive’.

It’s a delightfully distasteful slab of vinyl, containing lyrics that include the phrases ‘tasty meat’ and ‘cutting off the rind’, a line that runs ‘You chew but she’s too tough’ and plenty of references to the healthy activity of, uh, throwing up.

It’s out now on Slime (yes, that’s Slime) Records and if your stomach’s rumbling in anticipation drop a line to the group’s management.

DEEP MACHINE

Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982

DEEP MACHINE were formed in the summer of ‘ 79 by guitarist Bob Hooker, but have since had many line-up changes and are now happy with their current, settled and most successful line-up.

The group is: John Wiggins (lead guitars), Bob Hooker (lead guitars), Andy Wrighton (bass), Roger Marsden (lead vocals) and Rick Bruce (drums). The band have played a great deal around South East London, Essex and Kent areas and have built up a large following among HM fans (They play regularly at Iron Maiden’s old training ground, East Ham’s Ruskin Arms and are greatly appreciated there).

Deep Machine’s show is an over the top mixture of mass pyrotechnics, hard driving metallic rifts, together with screaming guitar solos and lead vocals, and a visually stunning stage act.

The band are inspired by anything from Judas Priest to Motorhead, but strive to keep their show and music a little different from the rest.

DEEP JOY

Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982 MIKE SMITH

SURPRISINGLY, with a fabola handle like DEEP JOY the band have nothinkosio in comosia witho the talents of Professor Stanley Unwin (which is a shame because I bet he writes some ace lyrics). Nah, actually they’re a powerhouse quartet from Not-tingham who possess a sound not un-like Motorhead’s in the noise toy stakes though the twin guitar attack of Dave Rickett and Phil ‘Fudge’ Leigh does give them a little more depth and scope than the Terrible Trio.

Formed early in ’79 by the brothers Rickett (Richard on drums) and Phil Leigh, who had played together in various local bands, they needed a bass player and so put an ad in a local paper which attracted a reply from Dave “Kos” Clayton.

‘I can remember seeing this adver-tisement in the wrong section of the paper” he says. It was under Births. Deaths and Marriages’ or something and. as it seemed interesting. I answered it.

With Dave also doubling up on voc-als, the band spent a year rehearsing so as to give as good a show as possible when they made their debut, which came in May ’80 on the back of a lorry at a charity gig. Rich recalls:

“It was a good gig, but we were play-ing outside and the wind was incredibly strong. We literally had to tie things to the stage to stop them blowing away. ”

More recently they’ve completed a session for Graham Neale’s rock show on Radio Trent and they’re soon to re-turn to the studios to lay down some tracks.

DEDRINGER

KERRANG ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983

Another bite of the cherry.

Dedringer come up for the second time.

SAMSON, PRAYING Mantis, Fist … slowly some of the better bands from the NWOBHM, who for various reasons missed the boat first time around, are getting second bites of the cherry.

Latest to loin this list are Yorkshire quintet Dedringer. You remember Dedringer? The band who were snapped a during the 1979-80 HM boom by the all-too-hip DinDisc label , released an

LP and a couple of singles in 1980 and supported the likes of Gillan, Girlschool, Triumph, and MSG. For a time, it looked as if they were going to make a real impact. But, then … nothing, sweet nothing.
For nigh on 18 months news from the ‘Ringer camp has been conspicuous only through its absence.

“The reason for that was the band were involved in a car crash during August of ’81,” explained guitarist Neil Hudson.’ I was injured, as was fellow.guitarist AI Scott, so we were forced to take a long break.” At the time; Dedringer were still signed, in name at least, to DinDisc, but there hasn’t been even a hint of new product from them for some time; and eventually at Xmas 1981, the company and band reached the parting of the ways, a situation that certainly brought no tears from Dedringer.

“The record label just didn’t understand our sort of music. I’m sure you’ve heard this before from many other bands, but DinDisc had no idea how to promote us. In fact they definitely held us back and messed up the group completely,” revealed Hudson, with more than a hint of venom. It’s high time someone spoke up and told the truth about some (not all, mark you) major labels and their head-in-sand attitude to HM. No, I’m not anti industry, a soapbox tirade against the record industry, but it does seem that a number of companies have not the faintest idea how to work and promote a ROCK outfit properly. They end up treating them the same way as ‘this year’s fashion’ act, and as a consequence good bands all too often die before their time. I’ve often wondered how Virgin would have handled Gillan if that group hadn’t already established a prize market for itself.

Unfortunately, Dedringer didn’t have the firm foundations of a Gillan, and so finally drifted out of the DinDisc deal and seemingly towards obscurity.

“We went through a bad patch when we did seriously consider knocking Dedringer on the head,” confessed Hudson. “But, strangely, it was that car accident that gave us the strength to carry on. It allowed us to take our time, look at where things had gone wrong before and decide how best to proceed. DinDisc were always in such a hurry to got product out that we’d never been given such an opportunity.”

The first result of these ‘think sessions’ was a change of line-up with vocalist JJ Hoyle (“he was a bit too old and never had the right voice for us”) being replaced by Neil Warfitt, and bassist Lee Flaxington (‘he left soon after that crash, ‘cos he was so fed up with everything”) by Chris Graham (the line-up is completed by drummer Kenny Jones, and Hudson/Scott on guitars). They then had the good fortune to meet-Neat Records boss Dave Wood.

“We’d never thought of signing with an indie label before ‘cos we wanted an advance. But our manager suggested we meet Dave, and he impressed us immediately. He was so sincere and was tuned into the same wavelength as ourselves.”

The band are not signed directly to Neat, but rather have a separate deal struck for each piece of product released, which seems to suit them just fine. The first fruit of this arrangement was the recent single ‘Hot Lady’ / ‘Hot Licks & Rock’N’Roll’ and it’s definitely the most promising record the band has cut (so much better than the DinDisc de(a)dweight LP), with an edge that perfectly balances the craftsmanship feel.
Moreover, the grooves positively bounce with vitality.

“We’ve total control over the production of our Neat material, and that’s fine for us. We’ve had enough of so-called top producers, Mike Howlett, who’s managed by the same guys who handle ‘Mutt’ Lange, was hired for our DinDisc stuff, and he was awful So being allowed to get on with the job ourselves is a pleasant change. And, it also helps that our songs are all much stronger now. In fact ‘Hot Lady’ is by no means the best number we’ve written.”

As for the immediate future, Dedringer aren’t going to follow-up their debut Neat seven-incher with an LP. Rather, they plan to issue a whole batch of singles over the coming months which, backed by a low-key UK club tour, will hopefully help re-build their nationwide audience, And, according to Hudson, visits to Europe and Japan shouldn’t be ruled out either.

“Our DinDisc album sold really well in both these territories- much better than in Britain. We still get royalty cheques through for sales, even after all this time! At the moment Dave Wood is trying to get licensing, deals for other parts of the world and we’d obviously like to go out there and promote our product. But, that doesn’t mean we put them above the UK – making it over here is still our number one priority.”

So, can Dedringer really roll back those lost years? Hudson remains confidant but pragmatic.
“It’s gonna be hard for us, that’s certain. But this is a better band than the Dedringer of before, so it’s like a fresh start for us. I think we’ve the material and backing now to happen here.”
And, judging by the firm start this band have made with Neat, I’ve a feeling those cynics cruel enough to dismiss Dedringer a couple of years back as’De(a)dloss’ might just be made to eat their words. As indeed might DinDisc!
MALCOLM DOME

DEALER

Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982 GEOFF BANKS

ORIGINALLY CALLED Lone Wolf (before Paul and the boys came into being, that is), Dealer are a four-piece outfit from
Cirencester, which, as anyone who lives there knows, is hardly the rock’n’roll capital of the world. Hence the difficulty in getting any worthwhile gigs

In fact, Dealer treat getting a gig the way most bands would getting a record deal, but earlier this year fate decided to smile in their direction. For some reason, best known to himself, megastar drummer and racer of fast cars Cozy Powell decided to hold a drum clinic in, you’ve guessed it, Cirencester, and set about finding a small local band to open the proceedings.

Faster than a rat up a drainpipe Dealer got the gig and, determined to make the most of this golden windfall, went about recording a nine-track cassette titled ‘Boogie, Booze And Birds’ which, despite a few rough edges, contains a couple of songs that, given time and a decent production, would make rather fine singles. One such track is ‘Lone Wolf’, deserving of its place in the set despite the band’s change of name and a guitar solo that occasionally borders on monotony.

While some bands refuse to acknowledge influences, Dealer cite the Tygers of Pan Tang and Diamond Head as theirs and, on first hearing, the riff of `At Your Mercy’ seems to owe more than a little to DH’s ‘Dead Reckoning’. In fact, the band were due to support the Head at a recent Swindon gig but due to ‘unavoidable circumstances’ the arrangement fell through and the band played a local pub gig with Chinatown instead.

Bassist Pete Gentil explains how the band came together: “I’ve known Trev (Short-vocalist/rhythm guitarist) for quite a while and when he told me that the band he was in needed a bass player I decided to switch from lead guitar to bass.”

Then, in the company of drummer Malc Hanselman, guitarist Steve Tarrant (no relation to Chris) and the aforementioned Trev, he set about challenging the musical desert that is Cirencester. So far the task has proved a difficult one, but then if a nuclear bomb was dropped on the place no one would notice. Maybe the answer is for the band to more somewhere more exciting – the Shetland Islands perhaps.

DEADLY EMBRACE

DEADLY EMBRACE: Armed And Ready February 1982 HOWARD JOHNSON

ALTHOUGH ONLY together for a mere five months. Deadly Embrace have played over 30 gigs in the Manchester and Liverpool areas, and with a four track demo to their name, seem to have made a promising start to their career. So how cum the name is so little known?

“Basically, the tape is the work of only one day’s recording and we felt that it just was not good enough to hawk around the record companies.” guitarist Stu Green told me. “The main purpose for the demo was to enable us to get gigs by giving it out to pubs and clubs as a sampler. We want to spend much longer in the studio next time and produce, say two tracks of excellent quality. Then the companies will hear from us.”

The band is comprised of Stu on guitars and vocals, Neil Burke handling lead vocals, Keith Ingham on bass, Nick Young as drummer and Steve Redford on guitar, and as a whole they have opted for trying to keep off the pub circuit now, as they fell it’s too stagnant, and attempt to play in colleges and the like – something they have managed on occasions, with surprising results.

“We played a college in Liverpool”, Stu explains “and ended up playing support to Weapon Of Peace, a reggae bandy Actually we got an encore, and they were really friendly, so it turned out OK.

Despite the fact that Embrace reckon their demo, is not good enough for company consumption it is available to the public for $1 and while not having the same knockout effect as the Montrose debut, it is nevertheless enjoyable for its enthusiasm and occasional subtlety. ‘War Dancer’ is probably a good headshaker but is simply not my style of hard rock and – ‘Rainbow Warrior’ is somewhat clumsy in trying to be sensitive. Having said this however the demos other two tracks ‘Strings’ and ‘What Does It Take’ are both excellent in different ways. The former is a delicate, yet heavily melodic number, and the latter, a heartfelt, gutsy proclamation of the joys of playing, despite the hardships.

Neil claims ‘There’s always room for another great band ‘ Deadly Embrace aren’t great yet, but they may well mature to be so.