ANVIL KEEP PUTTING METAL ON METAL AS THEIR STORY CONTINUES IN EDINBURGH
Anvil, La Belle Angele, Edinburgh
Saturday 22nd October 2016
As their now famous documentary 'The Story Of Anvil' made clear, these Canadian Metal veterans are a band of the people. Their rejuvenated career hasn't changed that in the slightest so when they start tonight's show with the instrumental 'March Of The Crabs' with frontman and guitarist Lips jumping into the front rows to play the whole song from there it's no surprise.
Lips, along with long term cohort Rob Reiner on drums and current (they admit "we go through bass players like Spinal Tap do drummers") four-stringer Chris Robertson, have no pretensions. They are one of us and their audience are just like them. It doesn't take long for that connection to be made tonight and by the time we have been through the classic riff off 'Ooh Baby' and got to the more modern groove of 'Bad Ass Rock And Roll' the tone of the evening is set.
Lips tells us how much he loves Scotland and Edinburgh and we believe him. He is an open book with his huge grin and obvious total enjoyment in being where he is. In return the crowd sing lustily when told to and chant the band's name between songs.
Personally I wouldn't say that every Anvil tune is an absolute classic and 'Free As The Wind' is a heartfelt and genuine tribute to Lemmy but lacks that killer punch. The catchy sheer silly fun of new song 'Daggers And Rum' restores the bounce to the hall though and then we get the more Sabbath-esque riffing of 'This Is Thirteen' to show that when they get down and get serious these happy go lucky Canadians can really be a serious, quality Metal band.
Old favourite 'Mothra' reinforces that and actually shows that the Metallica comparisons from back in the day did have some meat on them. Of course the different attitudes are quickly shown when Lips whips out his vibrator and does his extended guitar solo with it. It's an old trick which has become a tradition and still brings an amused grin to most people's faces even nearly forty years on.
I have to say the Canadian axeman has brought a bit more imagination to how he uses it though and I can say with confidence that I have never seen anyone else do call and response audience participation just using a vibrator and a guitar.
Rob Reiner is superb in his playing behind his Metal brother tonight and shows his prowess on the extended work out during 'Swing Thing'. Some don't like drum solos but this one goes down very well. Things get back on track with proper Metal tunes and soon it's big finish time and 'Metal On Metal' is rolled out. It still sounds great all these years on the philosophy of "Metal on Metal, it's the only way, to hell with tomorrow, let's live for today," is one that is embraced hugely by both band and crowd tonight.
After taking a bow the crowd simply won't leave until Anvil give them more and in return for their support they get a really heavy version of the title track of 'Forged In Fire' and a fun cover of 'Born To Be Wild' to finish the night off with a smile.
Whatever anyone thinks of the aforementioned documentary I for one am glad it rejuvenated Anvil's career and gave them some of the success they worked hard for over the years. Tonight was fun and heartwarming and above all Metal. With a sequel in the works who knows where their career may go in the next few years.
Anvil revealed that 'The Story Of Anvil II' was on the way when they spoke to MetalTalk in London on Thursday night and here's the interview right here. Robb and Lips told us the probable name of the next Anvil album, elaborate on Anvil's big Motörhead connection and how Lips nearly wound up as Lemmy's "second banana", getting spotted in the streets of London by non-Metal people and there's a philosophical observation too: "We're not going to be in The Sun!"
Remaining UK tour dates
23rd October: Cardiff, The Globe
25th October: Gloucester, Guildhall
26th October: Doncaster, Diamond
27th October: Grimsby, Yardbirds
28th October: Bristol, Bierkeller