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'Hot Wings'
(Rise Above Records)
Release Date: 2nd October 2006

Phil Kane

phil kane

firebird hot wings


This album has been playing on the works' van death decks for the last two days solid and it has niggled like hell. There is something about 'Hot Wings' that sounds so familiar and it's just clicked. Brother Kane.

If you are familiar with Brother Kane's near classic debut (and you fucking well should be) then 'Hot Wings' sounds like that but done in the style of Humble Pie. If you are into the likes of The Answer, Graveyard and Tracer then this album will tickle your ooh bone too.

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This little British outfit came about in 1999 when Bill Steer (Napalm Death and Carcass) got it on with Cathedral's bassist Leo Smee and Spiritual Beggars' drummer Ludwig Witt. Since then ol' Bill has had to operate a bit of a revolving door policy due to the day job commitments of his collaborators and so the associated band list also includes the likes of Orange Goblin, Church Of Misery and Gentleman's Pistols. For its 'Hot Wings' album, Firebird's fourth, I think the line up was Steer, Witt and Al Steer on bass (though it could be Harry Armstrong, I can't be sure).

So, with such heavy duty personnel you may be thinking 'Hot Wings' would be so extremely heavy it could form its own black hole on your cd shelf, but you'd be wrong. Harkening back to the heady days of the late sixties and early seventies when rock juggernauts like Taste and Humble Pie prowled the country's highways and byways with added touches of Hendrix and the Black Crowes, 'Hot Wings' is a fucking great album of heavy duty blues stompers.

The album is teeming with killer tracks like 'Bow Bells' with its hot, swampy, slow slide riff, the Kravitz style hip swinger 'Carousel' and the Five Horse Johnson harp driven homage of 'Misty Morning'. 'Play The Fool' has the sort of shuffle that Plant used to occasionally indulge in when he was younger and 'Horse Drawn Man' and 'I Wish You Well' sit in the Crowes/Pie funky slow and easy groove. I could jabber on but I don't think there's any need, do you?

Bill Steer proves himself to be not only a good singer, he is also a surprisingly accomplished slide and harp player; another extreme Metal head who is an adept at other styles of playing. The rhythm section, of who the same could be said, is solid as a rock and it all hangs together pretty damn well.

Better still, the production hasn't been afraid to forego the use of whizz-bang-pop studio effects, leaving the album with few obvious overdubs and sounding pretty raw; so raw in places that it narrowly side steps sounding like a good demo (as on 'Carousel' for instance).

This is a very, very good album but one you will have to persevere with. I bet it has thrown a few punters since its release in 2006 proving too bluesy for some Metal heads and way too raw and lumpy for some in the blues rock fraternity but stick with it and it will eventually sink under your skin.

Sadly, it appears Firebird is no more, having broken up in 2011. They left behind six albums of which 'Hot Wings' would make a very good first step to getting your archives up to speed on this cracking little outfit.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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