CHROME MOLLY with support from  MOTORCYCLE DISPLAY TEAM - Bannermans, Edinburgh 03.05.18




Entering Bannermans, Edinburgh you hear almost every accent under the sun whilst enjoying an early evening refreshment and hoping that these people are here to be entertained by “seasoned” outfit Chrome Molly and their younger support Motorcycle Display Team. Still not sure that the newly refurbished band venue is ready for some high octane acrobatics but will need to wait and see as the the sound checks are ongoing, and if what I hear is what is to come then I’m going to be happy.


In the heart of Old Town Edinburgh, Bannermans is a mecca for rock bands visiting the capital and tonight sees the new PA and lighting system demonstrated to this reviewer for the first time and boy it looks promising.


As Motorcycle Display Team (MDT) take to the stage the lights get brighter and the PA roars into life. Crystal clear isn’t an understatement. It’s good to see venues investing in equipment and in general the live music scene.


The band consisting of Steve Hinds (vocals, guitar), Jim Chapman (bass) and Morgan Condon (drums) claim to be tight rhythm and delivered with a wink and a snarl which is evident tonight.  Kicking off with a polite hello to the sparse but appreciative audience and then into ‘Oh Country, My Country’ the band look at ease on the stage. Jim Chapman resplendent in his Slayer t-shirt is as far from MBT as you can get really but shows the diversity in the bands influences. A smattering of Muse style vocals is evident. A little bit of bass and drums pounding to get you going before the ‘60s edged guitar sound kicks in with the vocal. A nice start to gig, followed by a couple of songs that have a hint of RHCP in their makeup which gets the band a nice round of applause.


‘Indelible Ink’ is introduced as being inspired by Rupert Murdoch and is an uptempo tune with a catchy hook and for fans of indie guitar bands like Kaiser Chiefs/Radiohead this is right up your alley. Just as the song ‘Ice Age’ is introduced the newly “fixed” air conditioning is evident as a wave of cold air descends….spooky! Last song of the night ‘A Lady Never Tells’ is a slower affair and a strange one to send the paying punters to the bar whilst awaiting the main band. A Beatles/Muse influence can be heard here and is a great song albeit strangely placed.


All in all a great performance and a new band to this reviewer. Swing/jazz/rock/pop/indie all rolled into one and certainly a band I hope to catch again soon... in fact listened to their latest CD release ‘Yours Probably’ on the way home and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has just been released on 13th April.


Set List:
Oh Country, My Country



Resistance Is Fertile

Indelible Ink

Ice Age

A Lady Never Tells


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And on to the band that made tonight possible – CHROME MOLLY.  Formed as long ago as 1984 by current singer and leader Steve Hawkins and bass player Nic Wastell, Chrome Molly sadly split up in 1991, probably due to the immense swing in musical influences coming from the Seattle direction.  Reformed in 2009 with current beatmaster and puller of faces Greg Ellis, the band went on to recruit the current dual axe team of John Footit and Andy Barrott who make up the current 5 man lineup of CM. With no new release to plug since the 2017 offering ‘Hoodoo Voodoo’ the band are on a short run of dates with Edinburgh and Grimsby the following night.


The venue has a small influx of additional rock punters with the general age the same as the band. Youthfully mature! Kicking off with CMA and ‘Cut Loose’, a couple of early tracks from the bands 35 year and 6 album catalogue, you get the feeling that you are actually back in the late ‘80s with the straight ahead no nonsense sound and beautifully simple arrangements.


‘Some Kind Of Voodoo’ from the 2017 release has a toe-tapping simplicity to it that reminds you of something Schenker could have written with Graham Bonnet (GB) at the helm, and funnily enough supporting GB was the last visit that CM made to this famous venue. The solo by John Footit on this track just soars helped by his impeccable sound.


We are reminded that ‘Short Sharp Shock’ is a song based on drinking and it’s uptempo with the bass and drums combo driving this song all the way into the end. Steve Hawkins then reminds the crowd about the next song ‘Shooting Me Down’ was written by the Slade duo of Holder and Lea, originally for Samantha Fox who turned it down only for CM to pick it up and record it. Typical ‘80s rock/pop with a heavy hook and chorus that was copied by a lot of bands and listening to it you could have thought it was an Alice Cooper song from the same era who incidentally CM toured with.


The band continued to lay slab after slab of heavy melodic catchy songs one after another before the heaviest song of the night ‘Pillars Of Creation’ kicked in. A massive drum and bass intro and with vocals like we rock and we live for metal you get the gist of this and referencing Status Quo/Saxon/Sabbath/Purple/Zeppelin/Maiden/Judas Priest/UFO et al you can imagine a song with all these sounds coming direct to you eardrums. Splendid indeed. A slight lull in the night with ‘Now That Those Days Have Gone’ being a more sedate tune in the nights entertainment gives those in attendance a little breather.


A couple of songs from the 1990 release ‘Slaphead’ are given a well deserved run out tonight and for the first time ever according to the ever smiling Steve Hawkins. ‘Pray With Me’ and ‘Shotgun’ get the tempo and decibel level up to the top of the meter.


The band round things of with ‘Corporation Fear’ and the song that will forever be associated with them ‘Thanks For The Angst’. Rounding off the set with ‘Can’t Be Afraid of The Dark’ the band, especially bassist Nic, are sweating from every pore and obviously have had a ball on this 2 date jaunt out playing some songs.


The people want another but Steve has to inform them that they have played everything they rehearsed, so rather than going away on a downer he asks for a choice of song to play again and surprisingly ‘Pray With Me’ is chosen. It’s a belter and finished the night off in great style before the band say their thanks and press flesh with whoever wants it. A great touch with bands these days who play these size venues and have immense time to share with people who just want to reminisce with them about glory days gone by.


Tonight was another display that show that the NWOBHM is still alive and kicking in a more mature form. A tight unit indeed and long may the Molly be Chrome!


Set List:


Cut Loose

Some Kind Of Voodoo

Short Sharp Shock

Shooting Me Down

Take It Or Leave It

Pillars Of Creation


Now That Those Days Have Gone

Pray With Me


Corporation Fear

Thanks For The Angst

Can’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Pray With Me


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