Garrison Demo Review Kerrang! Issue 185 April 1988

SO THERE I was casually fingering through the demo box in my bedroom when all of a sudden a strange feeling urged me to grab hold of a package by some cranky band called Garrison. Ha! I thought, what a manky monicker – bet this sounds a bit iffy. Well, what a wanker l am, because strike me down if Garrison ain’t one of the deftest sounding bunch of British melodic rockers I’ve heard since, well, since Export last cut an album.

Formed as long ago as 1984 and based in Scotland, they’ve been slowly working up a sound that utilises all the right ingredients. Their four-song demo is a high class recording made up of very American-influenced AOR that can be dangerously compared to, say, Bon Jovi, John Waite. Nightranger and (surprising) Pat Benatar! Good vocals (from Tony Mitchell), a neat guitar sound and great songs make Garrison a band with a big future.


NOT SINCE Tigertailz appeared in Edinburgh with Mama’s Boys have an audience so eagerly awaited the appearance of a support band playing their debut gig in the city.

Garrison find themselves in the enviable position of being a band people desperately want to see.

The reasons for all this excitement are now abundantly clear, Garrison really have all flanks covered with great songs, image and above all a flowing confidence which seems to reach out over the audience and draw them towards the stage.

Sounding a bit like another useful Scottish band, Glasgow, and, as one reliable source suggested, Tobruk, Garrison opened with ‘Rock It’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Listen To Your Heartbeat’, quickly winning over the crowd with songs brimming with rhythm and melody. Kevin Wilson’s guitar Sound deserves a special mention for clarity and depth while Tony Mitchell’s vocals began strongly before suffering a recurrence of the tonsillitis outbreak which forced the cancellation of the preceding show.

‘The Magic Goes Away’ and ‘Hold Back The Night’ continued the quality, but for me nothing came close to ‘Runnin’ Wild’, as bouncy as any Mama’s Boys classic and with a cresendo as immense in proportion as some of the tracks from Glasgow’s ‘041’ album.

By the final song ‘I Need Your Love’, Mitchell’s throat was pleading for mercy but he survived to the end of the set and managed to acknowledge the rapturous reception from the audience which was by now stewing in steam and sweat. This is what the club scene is all about.

Adulation has a strange rejuvenating effect and within minutes tonsillitis attacks were just a memory as Garrison roared through Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’ ala Crüe ending their alloted time in real style.

Garrison are on their way and here to stay.


Couple vids some kind person put on youtube, first one made by Michael Bruce, apparently:

This kind user – presumably in the Kingdom – has even more kindly fired up a whole load of vids.

Garrison on Youtube

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