Sandwiched in between opening band I.C.O.N and headliners UDO, Anvil did what they do best and that was to entertain an appreciative crowd with their proto speed metal. Unfortunately they have only been allotted 45 minutes on these 6 UK dates after being allowed an hour previously on this tour but to use an album title, they hit us Hard and Heavy! The instrumental opener ‘March Of The Crabs’ saw lead vocalist/guitarist Lips play in the front rows of delirious fans before returning to the stage for a venue rattling run through of ‘666’. Both songs from groundbreaking album Metal On Metal released 34 years ago and still going strong.
‘Badass Rock ‘n’ Roll’ from the Hope In Hell album took the pedal off the floor for a few minutes as Lips introduced bassist Chris Robertson who proceeded to thunder out the intro to the classic ‘Winged Assassins’. Chris’ picking style is the most aggressive I’ve heard from their previous bassists and he has a fine vocal delivery to. After a “One, two, fuck you” intro vocal from Lips they hammered it out and went straight into THAT riff that heralded the start to ‘Mothra’. The live version is twice as long as the album version as Lips extends the guitar solo as usual with a vibrator that hits the ears like a pneumatic drill.
‘Swing Thing’, another instrumental began with Lips and Chris hamming it up front of stage before leaving to allow drummer Robb Reiner to deliver a solo to prove why is revered by the likes of Lars Ulrich. ‘Die For A Lie’ from latest album Anvil Is Anvil was a slice of crunching hard rock before their set ended far too soon with a heavier than heavy run through of ‘Metal On Metal’. The gonzoid main riff got fists pumping and lungs bellowing the refrain of “Keep on rocking, keep on rocking to this metal tonight.”
Anvil finish off this string of European dates before heading off to America for over 20 headlining gigs of their own. Just goes to prove that you can’t keep a good band down!
Anvil band line up :-
Lips – Guitar/lead vocals.
Robb Reiner – Drums.
Chris Robertson – Bass guitar/vocals.
March Of The Crabs.
Badass Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Die For A Lie.
Metal On Metal.
Thank you to David Reeves for the photo.