Armed And Ready – Kerrang! September 1982 CARMINE BRUDENELL
PORTSMOUTH BASED Truffle, (who incidentally took their name from the Beatles track ‘Savoy Truffle’) have been together in their present form for 10 months. They are Richie Stopforth (lead guitar), Peter Patterson (drums), Russ Horton (bass and vocals) and John Dunning (guitar and vocals).
Recently, due to their increasing enthusiastic following along the South Coast, Truffle decided to independently release a double A sided single. The choice of tracks was left to the bands followers as ballot forms were handed out at various gigs, and ‘Round Tower’ (not unlike Aerosmith’s ‘Kings And Queens’) proved to be the favourite. “This surprised the band,” says Manager/Producer Patricia Hatch, “as the track is slow and melodic and lasts almost 8 minutes live. However they felt this was a good choice, as the usual HM release is the standard Headbanger. Both ‘Round Tower’ and the second A side ‘If You Really Want’ have received a fair amount of airplay on a number of radio stations.
Truffle’s live shows are reputed to be very loud, and included in a fine set of their own songs are good cover versions of ‘Freebitd’, ‘Are You Ready To Rock’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’.
This year they’ve done successful support slots with diamond head and Tank, and three with Spider which included a recent London Marquee date where a packed house enjoyed Truffle enough to give them a rousing encore.
TRUFFLE – Portsmouth Basins,
THE NAME may be new to you but Truffle are the biggest Heavy Metal draw on the South Coast – and that has been the case for more years than I care to remember.
Over their decade or more existence they’ve built up a considerable reputation down here, surviving more line-up changes than Whitesnake and more ups’n’downs than Lisa Dominique’s knickers during a Ray Palmer photo session.
The last few years have seen the band adopt a somewhat lower gigging profile though, and it’s in that time they have metamorphosed from a down-the-line, blood’n’guts, balls-to-the-wall (continued the Bill Byford guide to Heavy Metal clichés) Metal band to an altogether more professional approach, trading those AC/DC) Sabbath sounds for something a little more streamlined, melodic and (dare I say it) American.
However, watching them perform for the umpteenth time, it has to be said that Truffle are certainly missing recently departed second guitarist Paul Jupe. They don’t miss him for reasons of outstanding playing (other guitarist Ritchie Stopforth is a fine player) rather that, after almost a lifetime as a twin guitar band, they are now deprived of the extra dimension that a second six-stringer can bring.
More importantly though, Truffle desperately miss the youthful exuberance that he brought to the band. Truffle are looking and sounding a little jaded and aimless at the moment, which is a damn shame as they still possess a batch of songs that other acts would simply kill for.
‘Million Miles Away’ is a prime example. One of their new brace of compositions, it admittedly suffered more than most from just having the one guitar but still retained all the makings of a classic song. However, the real showstopper was ‘Running Out Of Time’, a truly beautiful, evocative ballad that bears up well to comparisons with ‘Parisienne Walkways’ in terms of sheer style. Indeed, in the hands of a band with commercial clout, the charts could only part like the Red Sea before its advance.
‘If You Really Want’ was the grandparent of the set. Issued as a single back at the height of the NWOBHM, it served as a useful yardstick to just how far the band have moved in recent years- Heavy ‘n’ sluggish, I loved it, but its simple, easy-going nature seemed a touch out of place lined up against their more contemporary songs.
Truffle seem content with their current status and barely appear bothered at the thought of progressing beyond it. Unless Truffle regain their hunger then they will remain an institution down South but precious little else.