February 1982 Armed and Ready – Nick Kemp
ANY SUCCESS achieved by this band will be richly deserved. Ian Mitchell, vocalist and guitarist has served out his sentence and the makings of a new life are certainly apparent, as any headbanger will testify after witnessing a La Rox gig. But the most unusual aspect of this band is the fact that Ian Mitchell used to be in The Bay City Rollers! True he only joined at the end but this employment record has led to some pretty sticky moments.
“Guys used to come to our gigs and shout things out but the only way to deal with that is to punch a few heads then they realise you ain’t going to put up with it. La Rox is a good heavy rock band and I’m determined to make a big success of it”.
Although the band aren’t exactly enormous over here they’ve scored considerable inroads into the Japanese market releasing two albums under the band’s previous moniker The Ian Mitchell Band.
“I was still trying to use the Rollers success to build up a following. We used to go out in drag – I once played a gig at the Bridgehouse in Canning Town, a pretty heavy area, and I was dressed up as a schoolgirl, anyway the audience were beginning to look a little ugly, and this guy came up to the front and started throwing beer at us. I let him have it and the atmosphere totally changed. I think whatever image a band has – or even an individual – people are gonna respect you if you show that you aren’t prepared to be pushed around”.
La Rox are currently a two-piece the nucleus being Ian and Murry Ward. I wonder why they had opted to restrict the format
“It really happened when our previous guitarist Lee Hart decided to leave He’d been writing a lot of material and had been playing a number of La Rox songs with his other bands for about six years and basically he was tired of playing the same things over again Murray and I write together and neither of us see the point of expanding the band – we will just be using session players at the next batch of gigs.”
There is record company interest but Ian isn’t prepared to disclose any names. But there will be a single released in Germany a one off collaboration between Ian and Terry Vision of La Rox’s pet support The Screens. Watch this space