The Royal Standard, Walthamstow 1985 HOWARD JOHNSON
BLOODY TYPICAL., innit?! You’d have thought that the Motley Kerrang! Krue could have chosen a more pleasant environment for their lig of the month, but no, we found ourselves knockin ’em back in the Royal Standard, waiting on a blind date! Mind you, we could have been at Lords, Watching Lancashire stuff Warwickshire, but with typical lack of forethought we applied for tickets too late! Ah well, c’est la vie.
The Standard, meanwhile, provides Cellar Vie, and our date was with Geordie five-piece Blind Fury, already signed to Roadrunner Records and with an album on the market under their previous moniker of Satan. I did indeed go into the gig ‘blind’, never having seen or heard the band before, but I was at least armed with vocalist Lou Taylor’s succinct summary of their potential. “We’re fookin’ crap!” he said, downing his fiftieth pint of the evening, and then he and his cohorts proceeded to back up every word with a magnificent display of songwriting ineptitude, arrangement ignorance and showmanship uncertainty! Blind Fury?! I wish I’d been blind-deaf Wall, for BF had the honour of being the worst live band I have witnessed in a long, long time!
Most of the material displayed – I managed to catch the titles of ‘Do It Loud’, ‘Evil Eyes’ and ‘Out Of Reach’ – strayed between ‘semi thrash, 60mph’ and ‘mid-pocket, 50mph’, but speed was just about all that could be judged Guitarists Russ Tippins and Steve Ramsey have the magic knack of never writing a memorable riff – some achievement for an entire set, I’m sure you’ll agree – while bassist Graeme English and drummer Sean Taylor are purely inconsequential amongst this morass of white noise.
Yes, there were people headbanging down the front, but I naturally assumed that this was the Metal Forces staff! Quel surprise when the mag’s Dave Constable was quoted as saying: “They was better when they was Satan!” Maybe a name change and a complete re-think of material is in order again?
“Let’s go!” yelped Lou Taylor at one memorable point in the show. We did just that!