Camden Underworld, London
Tonight was like stepping back into a time of molten Heavy Metal when any self respecting headbanger would defy all fashion and proudly wear a denim jacket adorned with patches of his favourite bands and tight fiittng jeans held up for good measure with a bullet belt.
Whilst there has been a huge re-emergence of the spirit of the NWOBHM scene these last few years, tonight was a chance for the new generation inspired by the glory of real Heavy Metal to show us that true Metal will never die.
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Going onstage at a ridiculously early time were the Dutch hard hitting trio Vanderbuyst who more than pleased those early through the doors with a no nonsense headbanging fury ending with a climatic thunderbolt of a cover of UFO'S 'Rock Bottom', laying down the gauntlet for the following bands.
Those crazy Cannuck's Skull Fist were a lot of fun and fully embodied the true spirit of traditional Metal with a gung-ho approach wand a fistful of Metal.
Surprisingly opening up with a cover of NWOBHM veterans Tokyo Blade's 'Attack Attack' Skull Fist were laying their cards down for all to see. Showing no signs of Metal fatique, despite being in the middle of a gruelling non-stop Euro tour with label mates and tonight's headliners Steelwing, the band were full of energy.
Frontman Jack Slaughter said: "This one is for the ladies", as he subtly introduced 'Get Fisted'. Beer bottles were thrust into the waiting open mouth of the kaftan wearing bassist Casey Slade and later bassist Johnny Nesta was on the shoulders of Slaughter, Angus style.
With titles like 'Heavier Than Metal' and 'No False Metal' Skull Fist were indeed ahead of the pack tonight.
Swedish Metallers Steelwing were were a little more polished and used the full use of the tiny stage area. Promoting their just released album 'Zone Of Alienation' the band delivered a visual impact that hit you right between the eyes.
Singer Riley can reach the high notes with aplomb and was the smartest dressed man in his military outfit. New bassist, the tall blond bombshell Nic Savage, won the prize for having the greatest strides and his bright red spandex pleased the ladies with its bulging armadillo.
With some good moves that put the Scorpions to shame the twin guitar assault of Robby Rockbag and Alex Vega swung their axes around in perfect unison. 'Lunacy Rising' was a ten minute epic and a highlight was the final song of the night, a bruising 'Roadkill (...Or Be Killed)' in a set that flew by all too quickly.
It's early days for these bands but the future of Metal is in safe hands. The night was rounded off in perfect fashion over at the Black Heart pub with the Powerage disco playing many golden oldies from the early 80s Metal scene where many fans from tonight's gig partied on long into the morning.
Death to false Metal.
Black And Blue
Into The Fire
Stealing Your Thunder
Like A Fox
Ride The Beast
Sign Of The Warrior
Committed To Rock
Head Of The Pack
Heavier Than Metal
No False Metal
Solar Wind Riders
Full Speed Ahead
Tokkotai (Wind Of Fury)
They Came From The Skies
Roadkill (...Or Be Killed)