Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982 HOWARD JOHNSON
FROM OUT of the ashes of Angelwitch comes Tytan. Following the Witch’s sad demise, bassist Kevin (skids) Riddles and drummer Dave Dufort wasted no time in getting a band together. After a few unsuccessful auditions with London musicians Kev and Dave decided to spread their search further afield. Not wanting to be tagged as another NWOBHM “Supergroup” they went for lesser-known musicians who had built up a name for themselves in the provinces.
Within a month they had enrolled local Birmingham vocalist Kal Swan, Scots guitarist Stuart Adams and fellow guitarist Stevie Gibbs. Summing up the reasons for not wanting to put together another three piece, Kev points out: “Live a three piece is very limited and we wanted more emphasis on vocal and guitar harmonies while still retaining the old delivery and energy. We still intend to keep a few of the old Angelwitch favourites in the set to show our gratitude to our old fans, and I think with this band we can play them as they ought to have sounded.”
What about plans for recording new material?
“Hopefully, by February, the band should have a single out, either on a major or if not on an independent label. The probable A side will be ‘Blind Men And Fools’, which is the nearest thing we’ve got to a “commercial” song. It’s also got an anti-nuclear lyric. We’re not a political band but if the bomb drops it kills everyone whatever their politics.
“During the last few months of Angelwitch,” Dave Dufort points out, Kev and I wrote a load of songs that we were never allowed to use so now we’ve already got over an albums worth of material. In fact if everything goes OK we should have an album out by the middle of the year.
Kev: “We’re going to call it ‘Have you Got One,’ (a play on the word Tytan) it’s a bit sexist but we’re only doing it for a laugh.
An indication of the new style comes on ‘Sad Man,’ opening with an acoustic guitar and keyboard passage it soon lurches headlong into a manic Sabbath like riff. Kev Riddles again: “We want to continue expanding with keyboards and things but not to the detriment of the overall power, we have never wanted to be anything other than a peoples’ band dedicated to fun and sweat.”
TYTAN – Marquee, 29th January 1982 – Karen Harvey
TO BE honest, I haven’t seen the Marquee so packed since Angelwitch’s farewell gig in September. OK, so Tytan do have two ex-Witch members, but it’s still an amazing feat. This was their debut gig and as yet there’s been no product – not even a demo tape – to promote them.
But by no means did the gig run smoothly. In fact the band were victims of every problem known to a sound engineer – a mixing desk nightmare for sure.
Despite the noise of landing aircraft, Tytan ploughed through a set starting with the tytanic (as in powerful not sinking) ‘Cold Bitch’. Vocalist Kal Swan was obviously nervous, but still he proved himself a worthy contender for the Kerrang! Top Vocalist Award. Seriously, he’s blessed with the most powerful voice I’ve heard in years.
But ay up, what’s the sound man up to now? Suddenly the rhythm section started drowning out the guitars but the band battled on with some worthy numbers, ‘The Ballad Of Edward Case’ and the ‘Watcher’ in particular.
The sound got worse (Concorde was landing) but Tytan’s confidence grew and the set reeked with potential.
TYTAN: “Blind Men And Fools” – Neil Jeffries September 1982
Atmospheric intro leading into a Kevin Riddles song which conjures up medieval images as it switches between a stomping Iommi-type riff and a hell for leather chorus. The line-up that is responsible for this is supposedly only temporary but Tytan would do well to re-consider that….. bodes well for the future.
KERRANG! ISSUE 102 – September 1985
TYTAN: “Rough Justice” (Metal Masters METALP 105)
I KNOW this is probably gonna shock the socks off ya, but I thought Tytan were really, really good. With a supersonic sound that garnished the heaviness of, say, Black Sabbath, with a cleverly restrained, yet most effective commercialism, a fearsome yet fluorescent array of songs and a mighty singer in Kal Swan (who isn’t a million miles away from RJ Dio in terms of power and texture), I always thought this meaty mob had everything (musically) that was needed to muscle their way up through Metal’s heavy hierarchy to fight inbetween the Iron Maidens and Judas Priests of this world.
To say, then, that I was gutted when the band decided to call it a day in ‘83 after the collapse of their record label, Kamaflage, would be a bit like saying I was a mite chuffed when Tottenham won the FA Cup the year before, and twirling this album of 12 tytanically tasty tracks – nine of which are seeing the light of day for the first time – has brought home to me just how desperately unfortunate the band was in not acquiring the cheque-book acclaim of a major record company. I guess the title of the record kinda sums it up: ‘Rough ‘Justice’.
Gathered from the dusty vaults of a London building, the Tytan tapes have been pieced together by the shrewd Metal Masters ,company (also responsible for the Samson live opus recently) and now we can all see (or rather hear) what we’ve been missing. ‘Blind Men And Fools’ (the band’s single in ‘82) launches everything off to a flying start in the fist- clenching fashion that initially drew me to Tytan, while ‘Money For Love’ and ‘Women On The Frontline’ (featuring the shapely lungs of Rock Goddess’ Jody Turner) show the band lodged firmly in a cool, confident and creative groove.
‘Cold Bitch’ and ‘Ballad Of Edward Case’ are two of the more straightforward Metal piledrivers (the latter saved from HM Oblivion by its hilarious special effects middle section) and to close the first side there’s ‘Rude Awakening’ — a twice-as-heavy ‘Kashmir-flavoured plodder that swamps your ears gloriously.
On Side Two there’s another hearty half-a-dozen belligerent but intelligent tracks, with the notable work of Kevin Riddles (bass/keyboards) and Steve Gibbs (guitar) being backed to the full by the contributions of Steve Mann and Dave Harrison (guitars) and Les Binks (ex-Judas Priest) and AC/DC’s Simon Wright (drums). ‘Far Cry’ is a particularly pleasing cut – complete with a nice honkytonk, party-time piano section – but then all the tracks are of an admirably high standard, capturing the essence of HM but displaying so much more• besides, It’s a shame there aren’t many young rock bands around today who can do the same.
Tytan were a good band, and it’d be another slice of ‘Rough Justice’ if you passed this interesting item by.