DIAMOND HEAD / TANTRUM - La Belle Angele, Edinburgh 01.12.17

CHRIS STONES

(PHOTO CREDITS: MB PHOTOGRAPHY SCOTLAND)

 

Tantrum were spawned in 2013 from the gene pool of ‘down and dirty’ heavy rock and proudly proclaim that they play “rock music to conceive your children to”. Their journey until now has been one of hard work and commitment that has led them to destination Edinburgh where they have achieved a dream support slot with the legends Diamond Head.

 

La Belle Angele is an unlikely venue in the heart of Edinburgh’s pub and nightclub district where tourists mix with revellers on early Christmas nights-out. Among them lurk these 5 denim and leather-clad metal heads who cite their influences in such less well-known NWOBHM acts as Fist and Avenger. Stolen conversations while they wait patiently to set-up, reveal excitement, determination and the feeling that they are on the verge of something big.

 

When Tantrum take to the cramped stage, they are clearly energetic and look the crowd dead in the eye and play their hearts out. Opening with new track Underdog, the new material is melodic and powerful - drawing on the outstanding twin guitars of Steve Waddell and Stoo Condie, who compliment the steam train rhythm section of Billy Angus and Ritchie Davison. Moving through more new material, ‘Last Man Standing’ and ‘March of the Damned’ make a strong connection with the crowd and feature tempo-changes and sizzling guitar solos. Frontman Steven Swanson bursts with energy, dodging guitar necks and shape-shifting guitarists as he works the crowd and commands the front of the stage with an eagerness to please.

 

Returning to older material, ‘NWOBHM’ lifts the pace mixing heavy riffing with tight stabs that work well live. Bringing the set to a close, ‘All Hail Rock ’n’ Roll’ is simply anthemic with a groove that allows the venue to time travel back to the heady days of the 80s. Singing along with the chorus, this is a track that has the crowd moving en-masse (did I see the universal sign of Scottish praise - a flying pint?).

 

This was a short set and it worked. These guys are genuinely talented and looking to the future with the release of their first album due in 2018. Go see ‘em and say hi – they will appreciate it!

 

Tantrum are -

Billy Angus - Drums
Steven Swanson - Vocals
Steve Waddell - Guitar
Stoo Condie - Guitar
Ritchie Davison – Bass

 

Track List:

Underdog

Last Man Standing

March of the Damned

Hero

NWOBHM

All Hail Rock n Roll

 

Check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/tantrum13/

 

NWOBHM royalty Diamond Head arrived in Edinburgh tonight after months of touring the globe with the last 18 months seeing the band tour their self titled album ‘Diamond Head’. Moving through Canada, North America and Europe, they have graced the largest festival stages and also the more intimate venues such as tonight at La Belle Angele in Scotland’s capital ‘Auld Reekie’ (or Edinburgh as it’s better known on Tripadvisor).

 

Brian Tatler has seen thousands of stages in this his 4th decade in the band that influenced a thousand wannabes. Tonight, the venue clearly states that the curfew is 10pm as it will transform into a niteclub where Craig Charles is booked to perform a DJ set. With no time to waste, the intro tape booms from the house PA and signals the arrival of a smiling, relaxed group of experienced gigging musicians who are far from tour-weary. 

 

Launching head-first into the stomping ‘Shout at the Devil’, Wilcox and Ashton drive this speeding behemoth from the newest album. Andersen’s vocals are clear and strong with a range deserving of the highest compliments (this reviewer did have the privilege of hearing him in sound check when something akin to an air raid siren was heard.....it was him – wow!).

 

The main man is relaxed and happily engages the crowd with a grin, only matched by his counterpart Abberley who displays a youthful sense of fun despite the often dark material being performed. Moving from new material into classics such as the bass driven ‘Borrowed Time’ and ‘Helpless’ where we hear Wilcox in full drum frenzy mode, this is a tour de force for fans new and old.

 

Ras Andersen works the crowd with ease encouraging the call and return chant whilst sipping from a can of Tuborg from his Danish homeland. As the gig flows, the band interacts well with each other and they clearly enjoy each other’s company and the live experience. Tatler engages in an impromptu game of ‘peek-a-boo’ with the Tantrum lads who watch admiringly from side-stage. These moments only add to the entertainment for the appreciative Edinburgh crowd.

 

Tatler is proud of his influences on the oft-quoted greats Metallica but the performance of ‘Am I Evil’ is special. The Metallica cover unlocked Diamond Head for another generation – maybe more, but to hear it played by the original writer is a humbling moment. The structure and sheer musicality of this piece were years ahead of their time.

 

Closing with ’Sucking My Love’ from the 1980 career defining ‘Lightning to the Nations’ album, the band receives a thunderous response. This encore is ended with a modest Wilcox stepping from behind his drums and taking the microphone to thank the fans. The thanks go to you Karl – this has been a gig to remember.

 

Catch Diamond Head on their tour with Saxon in the New Year and at: https://www.diamondheadofficial.com/

 

Diamond Head are

Brian Tatler – Guitar

Abbz Abberley – Guitar

Karl Wilcox – Drums

Rasmus Andersen – Vocals

Dean Ashton – Bass

 

Set List:

Shout At the Devil

Borrowed Time

Bones

Lightning to the Nations

The Prince

In The Heat of the Night

All the Reasons You Live

Shoot Out the Lights

Sweet and Innocent

Diamonds

It’s Electric

Helpless

Am I Evil

Sucking My Love

 

 

**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**

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