SPIDER: Talkin ’bout Rock’N’Roll’. (RCA)
Of all the singles here this has undoubtedly the best chance of becoming a hit. Why? Because Spider know that a good single is one you can’t stop singing whether you’re in the bath or walking down the street. This has plenty of bounce, a catchy hook and simple lyrics that roll off the tongue.
KERRANG! ISSUE 17 June 3-16, 1982
SPIDER Marquee, London – NEIL JEFFRIES
FOR THOSE keeping records, this date came under the banner of the ‘talking ‘Bout Rock’n’Roll Tour’ (I don’t think the never ending chain of gigs ever breaks, they just change titles now and then tokeep the punters on their toes.)
This time, though, Spider are finally touring to promote an album — ‘Rock’n’Roll Gypsies”. It’s not known yet just which label it will be released on but hopefully it’ll be in the shops soon and judging by the number of Spider fans who turned out for this gig there should be no shortage of takers nationwide when it does come out. a
Having a good night out is what Spider are all about so the opening tape of ‘Liberty Bell’ (Monty Python’s theme to you squire!) and ‘The Boys Are Here’ chorus from ‘It Ain’t Halt Hot Mum’ are a perfect introduction to the evening’s proceedings. Smiles all round then straight into the ritual boogie-blitz, with lead guitarist Sniffa bouncing around the stage like a peroxide and red dervish – pretty energetic considering the almost stifling heat.
Vocal duties as usual are traded between bassist Brian Burrows and Rick Parfitt-clone, rhythm guitarist Col Harkness, but it’s Brian that organises the sing-a-longs and distributes the sweeties and Rizlas (the latter during Did You Like It Baby’).
Although the set includes two covers, ‘Born To Be Wild’ and Get Down And Get With It’, there’s no shortage of good original matenal. Best of the bunch are probably ‘What You’re Doing To Me’ and set closer ‘All The Time’ but the encore, a twelve-bar arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ that gives way to a medley of rock classics, is also worth a mention. A recorded version of this should go down a storm in any heavy disco.
In the end then, a very entertaining evening. Let’s hope Spider’s hard work is soon rewarded with the LP’s release.
SPIDER ARE an honest, hard-working Liverpudlian quartet who fulfil every ideal that was ever imagined of BOOGIE!
While Krokus and AC/DC have thee ‘boogieing brains’ lodged firmly in the heavy metal camp, and Status Quo continue to produce an empty— though sometimes enjoyable — pastiche of the music, Spider are probably the only true purveyors of blues/boogie, as It should be played.
‘We get a lot of people coming up to us after gigs telling us that were the only real boogie band going nowadays,’ states bassist, occasional vocalist and band leader Brian ‘Bugs’ Burrows.
‘They say it takes them bark to the day when Quo released ‘Piledriver’ and how they wish that Quo were still doing that kind of thing. It’s nice when people say things like that but we don’t consider ourselves as just an imitation of Quo. In fact I don’t even think our album sounds like Quo. You’ve heard a tape of it; do you think it sounds like them?’
Having listened to Spider’s forthcoming ‘Rock’n’RolI Gypsies’ debut, my answer is a rather blunt monosyllabic ‘Yes’.
Undeterred, Brian continues:
‘Well I’ll tell you one thing — we’ve never seen them in the flesh, l won’t deny that we’re not influenced by them, but we’re not simply a Quo rip-off act.’
Clearly Spider are eager to quell the comparisons with Rossi and Co. but one wonders who they might cite as direct musical influences. Curiously enough, Eddie And The Hotrods no less, as blond axeman Sniffa Bryce explains.
“We saw them in Liverpool about five years ago and what really impressed us was the fact that the music was so fast. We’d seen nothing like it before and thought that was definitely the way to do it”
Has life as an HM band been difficult in Liverpool?
‘Well, it’s a city full of futurists,’ declares Sniffa. ‘By that, I don’t mean that there are no rock fans around, but rather that they’re ‘strangled’ by all these kids with daft haircuts who think that picking out a bass line on one finger is an art! Those sort of people are very Into ‘art’. You know, the less you can play, the more of an artiste you are,’
Consequently Spider were forced to break-out and hit the road, which brings us to the subject of their legendary tour bus. In fact this interview is taking place within confines of the Spidermobile – and believe me readers, ‘luxurious’ is no p**s-take! The band we obviously well and truly pleased with their latest house on wheels, which took from ‘Valhalla’.
“We spent about six days working on the bus before our last tour. We were working literally ‘round the clock’ to get it ready in time. We had about three or four hours sleep each per day, but it worth it as you can see.
Gazing around the interior, I’m impressed. Eight comfortable seats for sight-seeing, smoking, playing cards and generally relaxing. Further back, in the sleeping quarters, there are four bunks with sink and cooker close at hand.
Finally, the rear end of this modern day wonder is designed to accommodate all the band’s gear!
“There is just no way that we could have done all the tours that we have without these buses.’
I am informed.
‘The hotel bills would have meant that we would never have been able to afford the new PA we’ve just bought outright – and we’re still in debt!”
Be that as It may, ‘Rock’n’Roll Gypsies’ should soon be available in your local record store. Alter my ‘sneak preview’, I concluded that while Spider’s new elpee holds few surprises, it should certainly endear itself to every fan of fast’n’furious boogie played as it should be – no frills and absolutely no pretensions.
‘A.W.O.L’, Them That Start Fighting Don’t Fight’ and ‘All The Time’ will delight you I’m sure – it you have this specialised taste. And if not, well…
As to the future, Spider promise:
‘We’ll be touring over the place as usual, so that people can see what we’re about. It’s all about enjoyment as far as we’re concerned, although we’d like to make money to be comfortable, which we aren’t at the moment!
“We’ll be off to Europe as well, that should be a laugh!”
A trip to a Spider gig can certainly be recommended. Give ’em a try, they’ll boogie your blues away.
READING FESTIVAL 1982
And so to Spider. The ‘It Aint Half Hot Mum’ intro tape rolled, the explosions roared and the band set about shaking some life into the multitude of hung over bodies, pretending to be a rock audience. Never ones to be too serious, they sang of sex and sweets and rock ‘n’ roll in a way their teenage audience desires, and by the time they careered into ‘Did You Like It Baby’ most of the crowd were on their feet an getting down to some serious bopping. As ever guitarist Sniffa Bryce, poised centre stage, blasted out those magnetic three chord riffs that, since Status Quo became a parody of themselves, have been Spider’s hallmark.
Few bands have worked as hard as this lot for their success and fewer still deserve it, and a soon as some people realise there is a place for good old- fashioned fun in heavy rock, the sooner Spider will attain their true position in the music spectrum.
KERRANG! ISSUE No.36 Feb 24-Mar. 1983 reviewed by Neil Jeffries
Spider: “Why D’Ya Lie To Me” (RCA)
Oh dear. I really like this band but this record is a million miles away from what they’re capable of delivering onstage. Far too pedestrian, and just when I’ve decided otherwise they turn up sounding like Quo, and latter day Quo at that. An attempt at a catchy single that has failed badly. Come on lads, you can do better than this.