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.
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
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!’