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.

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