MANIAXE / TANK / RAVEN / GIRLSCHOOL
Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, Sat 29 June 2019
At ten year older Maniaxe were still the babies for tonight’s stellar line-up that was celebrating the NWOBHM that proved the Rock Keeps Rollin’.
Maniaxe played furiously in their but sweet speed metal set. Outstanding musicianship all round and they laid the growing gathering to waster with a swath of supersonic solo’s, rifle shot riffing galactic drums and bombastic bass.
It was getting Hot !!
Tank rolled on stage at the Croxton and this later incarnation proved to be a splendid banner for this New Wave of British Heavy Metal (aka NWOBHM) reprise tour.
With melodic heavy riffing rock this up to date version appears to have outgrown the original three piece Tank. That version was more of a speed rock-punk attack whereas tonight was more of a Maiden-esque rock out.
In truth I preferred tonight to the Motorhead ‘Iron Fist’ tour support slot Tank I witnessed at the Edinburgh Odeon in the last century, three decades ago. And no it wasn’t the hint of Geordie in lead singer Dave Readman’s accent that helped make that decision but tight playing and full on frontal rock out that brought on several attacks of head banging that done the trick !!
If you equated Raven to a majestic sleek scavenging bird that stands alone then you would have the Gallagher brothers laughing in your face.
Think Raven-Fooking-Lunatics and then you are on course. Surviving an intro-tape debacle that seemed to revved up Raven even more a Heavy Metal master class then kicked off.
With thrashing guitar, mental bass playing, ferocious guitar, more running around than the Melbourne marathon and grimaces that Hunch Back of Notre Dame would die for this trio proved they have more stamina than the London and New York marathon’s put together.
Playing cuts from the legendary influential “Rock Until You Drop” album as well as tracks from thunderous history they took the Croxton by storm. With an insane vocal range that grabbed me by the scrotum John Gallagher lead the charge that motivated the gathering to run a musical equivalent to a marathon.
Tonight also brought together the ”Screaming Blue Murder” tour headline-support line-up of 1982. You guessed it, I thought Raven were mental then and tonight I know there are indeed certifiable.
Proving that the best thing to come out of London was NOT the train for Newcastle the Girlschool express steamed on stage at the Croxton delivered a rock hard set of polished gems that cut like diamonds.
These London gals hit the stage running playing a 17 song (so sources say) set list. With a stellar history the set-list was equally stellar featuring oldies and newies alike. From the “Demolition EP tracks “Take It All Away”, “Nothing to Lose”, “Emergency” through to “Hit and Run” tracks that seemed to spill out in an frenetic, marvelous manner, to the title track of “Screaming Blue Murder” to the “Guilty As Sin” LP leading song plus associated cuts, including to their tribute to Lemmy and the Motorhead crew of “Take It Like A Band” it was a set made in Heaven.
Trace On Bass was magnificent fighting through ongoing technical difficulties all night, while Kim was outstanding battling a throat cold infection that reduced her speaking voice to a raspy whisper. Jackie cut and thrust in style on lead while on thunderous drums Denise set the pace and keep it going all night long.
Girlschool finished their set to a roaring, head banging, frenzy that would not let go, so they responded in same, returning with the cover version of “Tush” featuring John Gallagher on vocals.
What a night, did I get to meet them? – No! Did I get in the photographers pit? – No! But did Girlschool Rock my night? – YES!! With a capital R so I, along with many we Rolled Away with Beaming Smiles and prized memories to reminiscence on.