(Photo Credits: Volcanic Rock Photography)
When I saw Tygers of Pan Tang were playing the Cambridge Rock Festival, it was time to dig out my 1982 limited edition 7” Love Potion No.9 picture disc and give it a spin again. I followed this up by wishing to see how much this old vinyl was worth only to be disappointed at finding it was only worth £5.99, probably less than I paid for it 35 years ago. I don’t think I’ll be showing it on Antiques Roadshow or retiring quite yet.
Back to the show. For those of you who are as old as me you will remember the Tygers of Pan Tang were part of the new wave of British Heavy Metal bands and they continue to play in a similar trait, albeit a little bit more mature. There’s only one of the original line up that I remember seeing in London back in 1982, Robb Weir, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Robb Weir and Micky Crystal play the guitars, Gavin Gray the bass, Craig Ellis on drums and Jacopo Meille on lead vocals.
They played a full 18 track set from their illustrious career, including some from their very first 1980 album, “Wild Cat”, up to their most recent album “Tygers of Pan Tang” from last year 2016.
Opening with the first track off their new album, “Only the Brave”, they showed us how good this band is live and a snippet of what was to follow. Playing “Love Don’t Stay”, “Gangland”, Take It”, “Euthanasia”, “Blood Red Sky”, “Rock Candy”, “Keeping Me Alive”, “Never Give In”, “Glad Rags”, “Devil You Know”, “Don’t Stop By”, Rock ‘n’ Roll Man”, “Raised on Rock”, “Hellbound”, “Suzie Smiled” and “Tush”. Jacopo acknowledged they didn’t really do slow songs. But this didn’t seem to bother the fans at all, who loved the good hard loud rock that was coming.
But the strength in the Tygers, and probably why they have continued successfully for so long, is that they want to perform and they know that visible performance is just as important as the acoustical one in the entertainment business. The three guitarists continually move and swap positions on the stage to engage with the fans and Jacopo interacts with them at the appropriate times. Robb knows this especially and regularly winks, points and makes eye contact with the fans in a way that is both personal and entertaining. He was absolutely great throughout and his passion for performing and interacting with the fans encourages the others to willingly follow. This continued throughout the whole set and even those in the audience who might never had heard any Tygers before were entertained and enjoyed the performance.
For the old fans of Tygers of Pan Tang, they finished with their signature song “Love Potion No.9” and this was as good as I remembered it in 1982.
All in all, a great performance from the Tygers and I for one wouldn’t hesitate to go and see again. In fact I’m planning to see them again when the play the Robin 2 in Bilston whilst being supported by Hollowstar