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HOUND/TYGERS OF PAN TANG
The Underworld, Camden, London
17 September 2010
Two of the
UK's enduring but cult rock legends shared the stage at the Underworld,
although it was a shame there were no more than about 150 people there
on a Friday night.
days as the nearly men of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, only
silver-haired guitarist Robb Weir remains in the Tygers of Pan Tang
line up. However, the current outfit is the longest serving in the
band's history and it showed with a tight, enthusiastic performance and
synchronised stage moves.
on the likes of Raised on Rock and Slave to Freedom are simple but
timeless, and from time to time he came together to deliver twin leads
with lead guitarist Dean Robertson.
It was great
to hear songs I'd long consigned to the memory bank like Rock n Roll Man
and Don't Stop By, plus the odd newie such as Hot Blooded which had an
AC/DC feel with a chorus not unlike UFO's Rock Bottom.
singer Jacopo Meille is a great frontman with the looks of a seventies
rock star, and has a fine set of pipes - though his vocal delivery on
many of the songs to me was substantially different to the originals.
warning for the minority who, like me, got into them during their
commercial period around 'The Cage' album - that era is completely
overlooked, not even Love Potion No 9 getting played.
their humour and sheer enjoyment transported itself to the audience (and
not only a crazed formation team of headbangers and moshers at the
front!) and other than Saxon, there is probably no-one better around at
maintaining the spirit of the NWOBHM.
After a very
short interval, Leaf Hound were introduced by Darius Drewe
Shimon, the former Underworld promoter who was instrumental in bringing
original singer Pete French into contact with a younger group of
musicians who could continue the legacy. Indeed it was a night for
nostalgia as Pete reminded the crowd it was at the same venue in 2004
that they played their first gig supporting Nazareth.
was crisp and clear by Underworld standards as they opened with a couple
of 'new' songs, as Pete called them, in 105 Degrees and Overtime, even
though the 'Unleashed' album is now over three years old.
The Man with
the Moon in Him and Stop, Look and Listen showed off the marvellously
fluid and soulful guitar tomes of left handed guitarist Luke Rayner,
while fans of the legendary 1970 Growers of Mushroom album would have
been delighted by a new arrangement of Sad Road to the Sea, which tested
the virtuoso rhythm section of Ed Pearson and Jimmy Rowland.
of the strengths of Leaf Hound is the way they can switch between
relatively straight ahead tunes like Too Many Rock n roll Times (a
signature tune for GRTR!'s intrepid Mark Taylor and Noel Buckley?) to
longer, almost progressive jams such as their reworking of Atomic
Rooster's Breakthrough, or the out and out heaviness of a song like
Freelance Fiend, with a massive riff Iommi or Page would have been proud
classic rocker in his ringed jacket, Pete was on great vocal form -
helped by the soundman responding to a crowd request midway through to
turn up the vocal mike, though it had sounded alright to me. Indeed of
the many Leaf Hound shows I have seen, the whole band excelled
themselves on this occasion.
connection may be a coincidence, but the 'Hound' and the Tygers provided
the best double bill of Animal Magic since the heyday of Johnny Morris
and Terry Nutkins.
Euthanasia/Raised on Rock/Live for the Day/Suzie Smiled/Hot
Blooded/Slave to Freedom/Never Satisfied/Rock and Roll Man/Take it/Don't
105 degrees/Overtime/Drowned my Life in Fear/ Stop Look and Listen/ Man
with the Moon in Him/ Sad Road to the Sea/Too Many Rock n Roll
Times/Freelance Fiend/ Breakthrough /Growers of Mushroom. Encore: Stray
by Andy Nathan
Photos by Noel
Very 'heavy, very
'umble: Mick Box meets the bands
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