A new year is here, and as my first posting I think that this double concert review will kick off things in style. Funny that these two “black” bands toured together. Enjoy!
By Pete Makowski
Stoke, Bloody, Stoke, eh? I can now admit to seeing my first Sabbath gig and it proved to be quite a mind shattering experience. For a start Stoke Trentham Gardens venue is quite an odd place anyway what with a ridiculously limited capacity (something to do with the doors on the side of the hall not being counted as fire exits) also, it`s in the centre of what could be described as Stoke`s version of Kew Gardens. It seemed quite strange to see a band as heavy as Sabbath in such serene surroundings.
The band that kicked off the evening were American friends of Sabb – Black Oak Arkansas who left me rather dazed and confused. They went down extremely well and I can understand why but the music they played was absolutely dire. But that didn`t really matter because with a showman like Jim Dandy they could help but go down well. That guy comes over strong like a sledge hammer in the guts. His vocals are deep and raunchy and he struts around the stage like an arrogant peacock occasionally leaping up in the air and pulling various stunts.
All the numbers sounded the same with the exception of “Mutants Of The Monster” and their rendition of “Dixie” which was very well played.
Ozzie Osbourne and Jim Dandy project themselves in a similar way and they would also win first prize in the look alike contest. Something that impressed me more than Dandy`s cahorting was the drummer Tommy Aldridge, who played an immaculate solo. Technically I wouldn`t know how good it was, that didn`t matter it was just so hard and
rhythmic that the guy even got a standing ovation from the audience. And when he leaped out to the front of the stage offering his sticks to the audience, there was virtually a riot.
He then went back and played some more without sticks, that guy has just got to be seen to be believed. The band had to do an encore which turned out to be their best song of the night, their single “Jim Dandy” and kids were still screaming for more after that. If this band`s music matched up to their stage act they`d be sensational but until then I can see them doing well at gigs but I wouldn`t imagine their records selling in the masses. Still I can honestly say I`ve never seen an unknown support band go down so well.
The stage was done up quite nicely with an English and American flag suspended from either side and a huge crucifix was hanging in the middle with strands of white wool trailing down either side. Their gear consists of speakers on top of speakers and mountains of amps – I`ve never seen so much equipment.
Sabbath strode onto the stage calmly and the crowd immediately leapt onto their feet. They opened the set with what I believed to be “Tomorrows Dream” and Ozzie leapt into action straight away flaying his arms all over the place and peace signs seemed to be the order of the day. Boy are they loud, it`s not so much the volume it`s the way they use it. It pounds into your nervous system and renders you helpless.
Each number kept at the same thunderous pace. The best part of the night was when they played material of their new album including “Killing Yourself To Live” and “Sabbra Cadabra” which featured some neat guitar from a short haired Tony Iommi.
Being a bit of a riff rat myself I really rate their new album which is much more refined than their previous efforts although it stays closely to the roots that they were set on the first and their other good album. Other numbers the band pounded away were “War Pigs”, “Snowblind”, “Iron Man”, and “Children Of The Grave”, which closed the show. Of course they came back for an encore.
“This songs from `Paranoid` what`s it going to be?” screamed Ozzie.
“PARANOID!” the audience yelled back, they were right. The band really let loose. Bassist Geezer Butler is quite a showman himself moving all the time occasionally kicking a leg up into the air.
I`ve got to admit, for the most part I didn`t enjoy this concert and I found myself watching the audience more than the band. I just couldn`t cope with the sound which came over dull and monotonous. But I`m glad I saw them just for the fact that I can now appreciate why their fans like them so much.
I spoke to Ozzie after the set and it seemed that the band were disgruntled with the sound the monitors were giving.
“For sound this place is terrible it`s like a bloody second world war aircraft hanger,” said Osbourne, “but I suppose this is the only good venue. Anyway the kids enjoyed themselves and that`s what I`m here for.” I wish I`d said that.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Goldie Zelkowitz, Curtis Knight, Simon Alexander, Steely Dan, Chris Stainton, Ronnie Lane, Elliott Murphy, Loudon Wainwright, Tim Buckley, Steve Miller, Beach Boys, Tommy Vance, Jim Simpson, Stefan Grossman, Lynsey de Paul, Mott the Hoople, Kevin Ayers,
Dave Cousins, ELP.
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