Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982

“Mancunian mayhem has reared its head within the “armed and ready’ pages with fair regularity in the many issues since its inception and without wishing to sound unduly biased towards my home town, the fair city of Manchester has produced a couple of fine little outfits in an area of music where the general standard is distressingly poor.

Sam thunder, formed originally in early 1981, have had to go through the archetypal “numerous personnel changes” before reaching their present line up of

Rob Naylor – bass
Eddie – rhythm guitar/vocals
Steve Ferguson – lead guitar
Tex Barlow – vocals
Chris Dadson – drums

And while they do not adhere to the Mancunian ‘shock rock’n’make up’ philosophy of Rox and Silverwing, they most certainly play with panache and more style than most new bands.

Thankfully veering away from the all too prevalent Cream, Hendrix, Maiden influences, Sam Thunder’s three track demo tape would seem to have been inspired by Van Halen – hence a hard rock sound is heard together with an American sheen, aided and abetted by a liberal sprinkling of tongue-in-cheek humour.

“Always The Pretty One” is a real gem for such a tender band as it features an opening, which draws to mind the spoken intro to the studio version of Kiss ‘Detroit Rock City’. The song positively explodes into Rothesque hollerin’ and howling from Tex Barlow, who makes up for what he lacks in natural talent with an entertaining enthusiasm and uninhibited style. Steve Ferguson’s lead is most impressive and combines well with Eddie’s rhythm to form interesting harmony guitar play.

“Hot head” and the instrumental “Yours For The Taking” are both streets ahead of many bands to walk around with contract in hand and things seem rather unfair that they haven’t been signed, for with a little training and a better production, Sam Thunder could have some class material on their hands.

Live shows are reportedly no let down and Tex is known to be an exuberant performer, taking to leaping into any lethargic audience to elicit some response! Just what Britain needs.
Sam thunder are not shock, not glam, not pomp, not mindless – simply hard-edged class rock’n’roll.”

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