Almost two years ago Canadian metallers Anvil played the Tivoli in Buckley for the first time supporting ex Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and to say they gave the headliners a hard act to follow is an understatement and now they return as headliners to a packed out venue on a bitterly cold Friday evening.
Part of a forty six date European tour, fifteen of which are in the UK, they just about managed to fit all the dates on the back of the tour shirts. Titled the Full Metal Cruise, their missiles were not flying blind as they hit the stage hard and heavy with one, two knockout blows of the instrumental ‘March Of The Crabs’ which saw frontman Lips venture into the rapturous crowd to play and there was no hope in hell for anyone who did not have a smile on their face, followed by ‘666’ that featured the first of many ground shaking displays from Robb Reiner on the drums from their 1982 groundbreaking album Metal On Metal, point proven by the opening line of,”Chains of death have been unleashed, ripped and tattered stricken from hell”.
Some bands are edgy about playing new songs on an album they are touring on but not Anvil as three numbers were included from Pounding The Pavement that fitted in nicely as they jackhammered us with ‘Doing What I Want’, a statement of intent from Lips, ‘Bitch In The Box’ which is about being annoyed by a sat nav, something I could of done with as I got lost on the way to the venue making it a race against time and my favourite of the three ‘Ego’, something that Anvil do not possess as they were in the crowd before and after their set with Lips introducing the song with a tale of how cool BB King was to him when he met him as a teenager.
Highlights of the set were many but plenty of power came from the crunching riffs of ‘Ooh Baby’ from their debut album Hard And Heavy and the Ted Nugent influences stood out a mile. ‘Winged Assassins’ showed how bassist Chris (Christ) Robertson has tightened up the band musically and visually since he joined four years ago as Lips unleashed raging solos from the front of the stage, all bug eyed with a mile wide grin following Chris’ finger snapping intro. The anthemic ‘Free As The Wind’ dedicated to Lemmy was thrash metal before the term was invented from the influential 1983 release Forged In Fire. ‘On Fire’ had fists in the air during the huge choruses as did the party atmosphere during ‘Daggers And Rum’ as Lips and Chris hammed it up to the max!
The delivery of ‘This Is Thirteen’ could only be described as crushing as they grooved along to a majestic Lips solo spot that included some glorious use of feedback that preceded the most insane version of ‘Mothra’ I’ve seen them play. It’s always been longer than the album version as Lips plays an ear splitting solo using a vibrator but it was stretched out even longer than usual with even more guitar histrionics and ‘Swing Thing’ got the same over the top treatment with Lips introducing Robb Reiner before his drum solo that reached new levels of intensity as a variety of styles were hammered out proving his influence on many drummers of today. Just when you thought it was over it would kick into gear once again but there could only be one winner, their anthem to end all anthems ‘Metal On Metal’ which was pounded out in gonzoid style with THAT main riff destroying all in its path that saw Lips venturing out into the crowd once again and that was it, an almost two hour masterclass of heavy metal.
Special thanks go to Swilly’s Photography Service for the use of their photos.
Buckley Tivoli set list :-
March Of The Crabs.
Badass Rock And Roll.
Doing What I Want.
Free As The Wind.
This Is Thirteen.
Bitch In The Box.
Daggers And Rum.
Die For A Lie.
Metal On Metal.