SOLDIER – Armed And Ready, 1982 Wayne Perkins
“On the band – their history is the usual complex and heart rending story of splits and line up changes but the current formation –
· Gary Philips (vocals)
· Steve Barlow (bass)
· Nick Lashley (guitar)
· Steve Taylor (drums)
Is the most solid and stable to date. The band first came to prominence on the bland Heavy Metal Heroes compilation album following up that appearance with a single “SHERALEE” on Heavy Metal Records early in ’82. This winter sees them feverishly gigging and preparing material for a possible independent album.
On vinyl – truthfully, the track “Storm of Steel “on the HMH compilation wasn’t good enough to stand out from the rest, though the record itself was a mediocre affair with only a couple of impressive contributions. Also their single “Sheralee/Force” with its grinding Sabs axework lost some effect through being released in a 3-pack “monsters of rock” deal where it had to rub shoulders with the awful handsome beasts “Sweeties”. And the amazing “Rock lives on” by Shiva which really pushed it out of the limelight.
On stage – it wasn’t until I saw them live that I fully appreciated soldier. They gave a loud, energetic performance that sent me rushing home to give their records another going over. Definitely a cut above most bands doing the rounds, they have a professional but down to earth quality.
On tape – a demo containing four songs for possible use on the album shows much progression all round. Although the over riding Sabbath influence is still there, the dual lead on “fire in my heart’ and the mellow ‘lost in time” give the impression that the best is yet to come.
On the future – they’ve just completed a massive pub/club tour around the country and hope to be going to Holland for some gigs in November as their single did well in Europe. The planned album “Infantryside” should be out to tie in with the tour.”
KERRANG! ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983
Live The Wellington, London. DAVID LING
FIVE-PIECE Soldier pulled a fairly large crowd considering MSG were playing at Hammersmith only ten minutes down the road, but they kept everyone wafting until nearly 10:30 before they came onstage,
The opener called ‘A Fire In My Heart’ was rather poor, and the sheer volume at which they were playing made it difficult to think straight (perhaps that was the intention?)
‘Don’t Throw Your Life Away’ was a little better but it elicited only a lukewarm reaction, save for a lone idiot dancer at the front and some polite applause at the rear.
“This is our obligatory slow number,” said the singer before a song called ‘Why?’ I had seen all the facial grimaces and poses a thousand times before but 1’d have been prepared to forgive them if their musk had been a little more original. The lead guitarist seemed to think he was Scott Gorham and his lead break was blatantly Thin Lizzy influenced to say the least.