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mark taylor
Words: Mark Taylor, Photos: Marc McGarraghy
15th January 2018

heavy pettin

An indoor festival held on the banks of the chilly West coast of Scotland featuring a healthy offering of pedigree rock bands past and present, but what got most people travelling the distance to Troon including some from overseas, was the return of Glasgow outfit Heavy Pettin', performing their first gig in 25 years.

Stardom beckoned for the young Scots back in the early 80's with arena tours supporting Kiss, Ozzy and Mötley Crüe and along with the help of MTV, the band scored a couple of Stateside hits.

However, after two hit albums with 'Lettin' Loose' in 1983 and two years later with 'Rock Ain't Dead', they literally ended with a 'Big Bang' after a misguided attempt at the Eurovision Song Contest in '87 resulting in the band breaking up with their third album released after their demise two years later.

News of their reunion came as a complete surprise when earlier last summer Steve 'Hamie' Hayman flew over from the States from where he now resides to exclusively announce to MetalTalk & TotalRock that the band were reforming for this gig at WinterStorm with the prospect of further gigs across Europe for the new year.

Although not all of the original line-up are back to throw a party, with bassist Brian Waugh deciding to play a game of wait and see, while giving his former mates his blessing and drummer Gary Moat busy fronting his own rather nifty Burnt Out Wreck.

But the axe attack assault of Gordon Bonnar and Punky Mendoza is present and correct along with Hamie at the helm.

heavy pettin

Anticipation was high among the fans huddled down the front for the return of Heavy Pettin', many seeing the band for the first time ever.

A flag is attached to the drum riser, The Royal Banner Of Scotland, the very same flag that graced the cover of the 'Rock Ain't Dead' album cover. A mic stand with red stripes is placed centre stage, the very same mic stand used a quarter of a century ago.

Heavy Pettin' are then introduced. Using the same amp from those years ago, Flying V guitarist Gordon Bonnar captured the original biting signature sound as they launched into a blistering 'Victims Of The Night' followed by their debut Neat Records single 'Roll The Dice'.

Fellow guitarist Punky Mendoza seemed content to be in the shadows allowing bassist Jez Parry room to express himself and handling the backing vocals with aplomb aided by two female backing vocalists for the high commercial harmonies.

heavy pettin

An ageless Steve 'Hamie', clearly benefitting from his life in the American sunshine, had lost none of his showmanship learned on the big stages.

Using his mic stand like a controlling ringmaster, he effortlessly sang with true grit on songs mainly taken from the Brain May and Mack produced album ' Lettin' Loose' with 'Love Times Love' bringing back glorious memories as does 'Rock Me' with its delicate intro before the guitars of Bonnar and Mendoza kick the tune into shape.

heavy pettin

'Break It Down' is a riff-tastic rarity. The Leppard-ish single 'In And Out Of Love' with its swinging riff captures hearts before Heavy Pettin' blast everyone away with set closer 'Hell Is Beautiful'.

Judging by the smiles on the faces of the band and fans alike, rock certainly ain't dead for Heavy Pettin'.

A triumphant return.

heavy pettin

heavy pettin

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You can watch that exclusive interview of Hamie announcing the return of Heavy Pettin' to MetalTalk's Mark Taylor right here where they also discuss the history of the band:


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