Tonight at the Tivoli was a night of two twenty five year anniversaries the first of which was seeing Wolfsbane here again for the first time since that time gap. Their fans, known as HMS or Howling Mad Shitheads turned up last night in full voice and mine is shot today for belting out most of the sixteen song setlist, some of which I’d forgotten but came back to me like an old friend.
The Tamworth terrors belied their ages as they hit the ground running with a full on delivery of ‘All Or Nothing’ with frontman Blaze Bayley straight in the front rows shaking hands with us. There was no pause for breath as they charged into a blistering ‘Steel’ with drummer Steve (Danger) Ellet shaking the foundations. The band are still a force to be reckoned with as guitarist Jase (The Ace) Edwards and bass guitarist Jeff Hateley hammered out the riffs throughout and provided strong backing vocals to.
Blaze of course is still an effortlessly cool performer, introducing the songs with a dead pan comedy brogue and demanding audience participation, not that he needed to. Other hard to choose highlights of a monumental gig were a drum driven ‘Loco’ and ‘Manhunt’. ‘Cathode Ray Clinic’ was introduced by Blaze as ” If you notice any mistakes, drink as much as you can”. One two knockout punches came via ‘The Loveless’ and ‘I Like It Hot’. ‘Smoke And The Red Light’ was poignantly introduced by Blaze saying it was written about their first ever gig at Tamworth Arts Centre in 1984! ‘Kathy Wilson’ still sounds as crazy as it did all those years gone by with Jase adding some deft guitar histrionics to Blaze’s schizophrenic delivery and of course we all hollered THAT chorus out.
‘Broken Doll’ and an anthemic ‘Paint The Town Red’ ended an unforgettable night and I made my way to the merch table to buy their latest live album Wolfsbane Go Loco At The Asylum, the second twenty five year gap since their first live album Massive Noise Injection was released and of course, unlike some bands I won’t mention, all of them immediately sat by the merch area for a free meet and greet, posing for photos and signing our memorabilia!