Glasgow saw a mini invasion of Germanic Teutonic vampires as Stuka Squadron made their first attack on enemy soil here to kick off their mini tour of destruction around the UK and, while it was a disappointing crowd for them to play to (thanks in part to the almost unheard of glorious sunshine basking Glasgow, yep you heard that right!), they were still on superb form providing a rip-roaring and entertaining show that really demands a bigger stage than what Ivory Blacks has.
With practically all of their set from the superb “Tales of the OST” the fans were in familiar territory from the off giving plenty back to the band as they cheered and screamed them on in anticipation of each track. Duke Fang Begley paced and prowled around the stage whipping (at times literally) the enthusiastic crowd into action as they kicked off with the title track off the album before rolling superbly into “Stuka Squadron” the track itself. OK, you may think that the whole vampiric thing is perhaps a little bit kitsch and a little bit staged, but give the guys credit that they pull it off and bring it together on stage with more of a tongue in cheek style than mean and moody goth which works to their benefit up on stage.
Watching them perform it’s how I would imagine stepping back into an Iron Maiden gig in the early eighties would look and sound like (vampiric tendencies aside!). The Duke has a stage presence that’s part Dickinson, part Blaze Bayley, part Steve Souza with a good smattering of Jack Black and shades of Tenacious D thrown in and he has the crowd eating out the palm of his hand. It’s not a one man show though, while Gravedigger Cox and Doctor Suicide pose enigmatically with their guitars as they rip out the riffs, solos and melodies you’ve got Baron Von Hammerstein tearing the kit a new one like the archetypical metal drummer while Lord Graham Pyre bounces, springs and snarls his way through the set. They’re full of energy and entertaining as hell to watch.
Highlights of the night include brand new track “Desert Fox” and of course their anthemic “We Drink Blood” which just reminds me so much of Exodus’ Toxic Waltz in its feel and play. Rounding off the set with the meaty “Zabulon’s Inferno” complete with a quick feed for the Duke on Lord Pyre’s neck and following the intensity of “Tiger 1” the guys depart to manic cries from the crowd of “one more tune” before returning with their finale “Lovecraft” to end the night in grand style.
Having now experienced and witnessed my first Stuka Squadron attack I’ll be sure to be back the next time they drop their bombs on Glasgow. They are goddamn great sounding old school heavy metal at the peak of its powers and it’s great to hear tunes like this not just being played, but being played damn well and going down a storm. All hail heavy metal, all hail the Stuka Squadron!!!
STUKA SQUADRON are:
Duke Fang Begley – Vocals
Gravedigger Cox – Guitars
Sir Graveghoul Terrorsound – Guitars
Lord Graham Pyre – Bass
Baron Von Hammerstein – Drums