Silverwing Interview – Kerrang! No.1 June 1981
Silverwing are the original bedroom band. Roberts and his bass-playing brother Dave used to while away the time at their Macclesfield mansion creating imaginary mayhem amid the mattresses. But soon all this became less of an innocent pastime and more of a serious obsession and, about two years ago; a band was assembled and started to play selective gigs in and around the hometown.
The line-up stabilised when Steve and Dave were joined by guitarists Stuart McFarlane and Alastair Terry. Their debut single ‘Rock and Roll are Four Letter Words’ attracted a fair amount of interest.
Silverwing’s career was given a major boost when they met Kiss manager Bill Aucoin backstage at their heroes 1980 Wembley Arena concerts. Girl had just pulled out of the support slot and Aucoin cornered Silverwing and asked if they could step in instead.
“We were amazed that that he recognised us,” commented Steve Roberts. “Unfortunately we couldn’t oblige, because our guitarist Stuart hadn’t come down to London with us. We were really disappointed.”
Silverwing have a fanatical following, not only in Britain but also in the US and Europe as well. Their good looks (especially those of ‘mean and moody’ Dave Roberts) endure a regular stream of letters from female fans, including ‘Randy Mandy’, ‘Sexy Susie’ and the wondrously-named ‘Christine 16’. They’re a little worried about the correspondent who signs himself ‘Torpedo Boy’ though..
A second single, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Mayhem’ is in the pipeline, but its release has been delayed due to lack of finance. The band recently lost £200 when they staged a London gig at Hackney’s Deuragon and money is, to say the least, tight at the moment.
“We need at least £1000 to release ‘Mayhem’,” says Steve Roberts. “We’re looking to press around 3000 and we want to do it right, with a picture bag and all.
KERRANG! ISSUE 33 JANUARY 1983
Live South Bank Poly. London PAUL SUTER
THE PROBLEM of whether to laugh with Silverwing or at them always used to be a major obstacle to any attempts to enjoy their shows. If you’d heard anything about them you knew that they were having a laugh and wanted you to simply enjoy yourself, but you still couldn’t help wondering whether their vaguely shambolic appearances were actually worth the wait. This particular gig seems to signal a vital change in Silverwing, and could mark the beginning of some sort of genuine progress. Previously encumbered by premature praise, they’re now going out playing to people who don’t know what to expect and don’t 8at flash bombs), and can therefore shed the albatross of audience expectation. They’re still taking the piss of course, but they’re no longer so pathetically intent on the audience realising how smart they are-and as a result they’re much more razor-edged than ever before.
Gloriously trashy but spunky and tight, this was certainly the best show I’ve seen them do. The new songs are snappy and gutsy, and for the most part wonderfully tacky too. The second number says it all really -The Supremes “Baby Love” HM style tackier than ‘Violation’ left overnight on the radiator -and just before the end the set’s second cover rams the point home, a rendition of Japan’s Adolescent Sex’ that’s both very good and wonderfully sleazy.
In between, the likes of the self-Penned ‘Soldier Girl’ and ‘First Kiss’ (Subtly transmuted from a gently, considered intro, suiting Its title, into an utterly mindless, marvelous thrash-stress the fact that Silverwing are now a tangible quality item instead of a 2t/z0 cardboard cutout. Guitarist Trevor Kirkpatrick and drummer Steve Roberts really are excellent musicians, a substantially obscured facet of the band before now-and since they’ve also given up pretending that they can sin end just do It Instead transformations complete.
The rock and roll doctor prescribes a succession of gigs with no flashbombs, and admission strictly prohibited to people who expect the earth from Silverwing, to be taken aurally for several weeks. Thereafter the patient should be on top form and fully fit to take on the world. Thinks-now there’s another truly, garishly awful song for them to cover.
ROX/SILVERWING Marquee. London XAVIER RUSSELL
THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! And, boy, do we all need it now. What a welcome change it made to see two fine Glam bans battling it out down at the sweat box, on this cold and rainy Good Friday night.
The last time I saw Silverwing was about three years ago at the near- legendary Bandwagon, and boy were they funny in those days. I hadn’t laughed so much since the cat died. They had a certain appeal, though, based on their totally over-the-top -attitude to Glam rock n’ roll – Dave Roberts even delivered some well–rehearsed Paul Stanley-style raps. All they really lacked was stage presence, though they more than made up for that with Astra fireworks and confetti bombs.
So what a surprise I get when they took the stage this time round. For starters Roberts now looks like a reject from the Sex Gang Children, he’s into that sort of thing, I’m led to believe. Come on Dave, give us a break, and get your spandex back, you don’t look right dressed like a tramp. Still, at least Silverwing have learnt to play their instruments, something that enabled them to turn in fine renditions of ‘Rock’n’Roll Are Four Letter Words’, ‘Caught Red Handed’ and Wanting You’.
The band went down well and sensibly saved their best number till encore time-you guessed it, the Geoff Barton-penned ‘Flash Bomb Fever’, a classic if ever there was one. Now if only they could write more songs like that.
BREAK OUT yer stack-heels, and dab on the make-up, ‘cos the glamsters have escaped once more from their cage! Yes folks, the long-mooted revival seems once more to have been given the green light. A gala night is in prospect on Friday, March 18, when Salford College Of Technology hosts what they claim to be the worlds first ever glam rock festival.
Although the bill for this orgy of mascara ‘n’ mayhem hasn’t yet been completed, CHINA ROGUES, WRATHCHILD, SILVERWING, CLOVEN HOOF and SACRED ALIEN have confirmed their participation. The organisers are hoping to persuade a “major name” to headline the affair, but just who they have in mind isn’t at all certain. Aside from the live n’ pretty boyzz on-stage, the festival will also feature a glam-rock and a host of guest stars. On the latter point, the mega-likes of Suzi Quatro, Gary Glitter, Noddy Holder, Twisted Sister, David Bowie, Sweet and Kiss have all been invited to stick their platform boots round the door.
Glam Festival, Salford Tech
SILVERWING came on like a breath of fresh air. They were obviously in command from the word go. Dave Roberts’ crew jumped around hurling chords about in wild abandon and generally making the whole trip seem worthwhile. Silverwing are basically a rock ‘n’ roll band with Glam leanings rather than the other way round, and with credible cover versions of Aerosmith’s ‘Sick As A Dog’ and Japan’s ‘Adolescent Sex’, alongside their own ‘Rock’N’Roll Are Four – Letter Words’ and ‘That’s Entertainment’ they, at least, seem to recognise the way forward.
SILVERWING – MARQUEE, LONDON
I THINK the SiIverwing of old can be best summed up by an incident on their support slot to the once mighty Diamond Head way back in 1981. A ’Wing member (possibly guitarist Alistair Terry) threw his guitar into the air in a suitable display of Silverwing showmanship only to have the thing land in the audience and suffer the indignity of having to wrestle with the front row for its return.
With Silverwing one couldn’t possibly stifle the odd laugh at the spectacle of four such ridiculously dressed scrawny guys merrily preening ‘n’ posing and dispatching every damn cliché in the book. But then with Silverwing you’d similarly be unable to prevent yourself punching the air and roaring the chorus to such teenage anthems as (cough) ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Are Four Letter Words’ either.
So what have a revamped, reformed (sadly without original members Stuart McFarland and Alistair Terry) Silverwing got to offer the world in 1988?
I’ll admit that when the band took the stage, a certain “is this really the legend we’ve all been waiting for?” did cross my mind. With both drummer Steve Roberts and guitarist Trevor Kirkpatrick looking about as glamorous as your average Hardcore act it was left to bassist Dave Roberts and newboy Ivor Griffiths to hold the fort image-wise.
Announcing, “Good to be back” to an audience too young to remember them in the first place, they launched into ‘That’s Entertainment’ which, at a mere six years old, stands as one of their more recent compositions.
‘Sittin’ Pretty’ came close to recapturing that old ‘Wing economy Glam Metal feel and so, strangely enough, did ‘Girls Grow Up Too Fast’, one of Pet Hate’s (the Robert brothers’ postSilverwing project) better moments. However, ‘Just One Kiss’, a rather ham-fisted semi- ballad, did little to endear the band to anybody.
Naturally the classics were stockpiled for the finale, ‘Flashbomb Fever’ (a real killer even without the benefit of an orgy of flashpots), the OTT kitsch of Rock ‘N’ Roll Mayhem’ and the gloriously inept ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Are Four Letter Words’ were trotted Out to the absolute delight of at least five people.
A whole set like that trio and Poison might as well call it a day.