Great article from a point in this band`s career where things were beginning to really take off for them. What a great band this was. In my opinion, they deserve to be in the rock and roll hall of fame more than almost anyone else that they still haven`t inducted.
Die-hard Scots and Welshmen keep trucking
Pete Makowski reports from Munich
Well it`s only been two years since Nazareth stepped off the stage of the Marquee and entered the world of concert tours and international success. It seemed to happen so fast, didn`t it? A hit single and a headlining tour seemed to appear from nowhere, but those who solidly supported the band in their early years will realize this was no flash in the pan.
The last time I saw the band was at their first headlining date at the Rainbow, which was a bit of a disaster. You could say they blew it that night, although they had total command in places of the Marquee`s stature and Ally Pally, it seemed that they lacked the requirements at a fully sized concert hall.
The show lacked the strength and quality to qualify their headlining position. Still that was their debut to stardom and the ultra cool surrounds of Finsbury Park was no place to judge an up and coming band, especially when you`ve seen them rip other places apart.
These four Scots lads have carved their way to success with sheer hard work and good solid rock and roll. The band`s touring itinerary is still as full as ever, and they have been touring consistently since the beginning. Their output of records has been as much as three albums per year, which I feel lost out on the quality of the group, especially their last effort “Rampant”, where the lack of ideas was painfully obvious.
Although the musicianship was improving, the material (apart from a couple of tracks) lacked any originality and certainly didn`t match up to the standards of “Razamanaz” and its predecessors.
Still these die hard Scotsmen keep trucking on and this year is bringing them into larger amounts of spandoolicks (readies) as they continue to break into new territory, which should explain how I managed to blag my way to see them in Munich during their first headlining tour of Germany.
This was going to reveal Naz`s new stage act, which was reputedly a scorcher. Now that`s something that should not be missed by any heavy metal damme or herron.
The band were due to play the Circus Krone – a concrete circus which houses some resident tigers of mammoth size – and the circular, dome-shaped hall inside accommodated about 3,000 people.
The Naz lads entered the hall looking fit `n` fine. Dan McCafferty, the man with the granite-like features, strode up confidently to have a chat before the band`s soundcheck.
“Munich is like the London of Germany”, said an exuberant Mr. McCafferty. “I mean, the kids here get 28 good concerts per month, they`re spoiled. That`s why a place like Glasgow Apollo is THE best venue, the kids there sweat their balls off as much as the band.”
The man responsible for the Krone gigs was Karl, a shifty, obese character who spent most of his time eating, and reportedly falls asleep at the side of the stage during gigs. “Tonight`s concert is important”, he explained to Naz`s manager, Bill Feheely – a jovial character. “All of Germany`s Press will be here.” The words came out with awe-struck tones that made you think the Fuhrer himself was about to arrive.
Suddenly familiar Welsh tones were heard from the backstage area. It was the Man band and Co. The band have just begun their tour and they were appearing tonight along with Stan Webb`s new band.
Originally the bill`s line-up was intended to be only Naz and Budgie, but our feathered friends got a touch of the homesick blues and departed, cutting their tour schedule short. Oh vell, das icht Rock en Roll.
Nazareth have recently returned from the States and their progress, reports Dan, is slow but sure. I asked him when we`d be seeing the lads on home territory again. “You`ve probably heard this before from other bands”, he said, “but whenever we tour Britain we lose bread, so do most bands.” But THEY tour in Britain because it`s their country and they love it.
“We`ve got to spend a lot of time touring abroad, to top up the economical side of the business but I should imagine we`ll be touring in Britain early next year, after the next album has been completed.”
The band returned on stage to proceed with the soundcheck. A few bars of “Shanghaid In Shanghai”, “This Flight Tonight” and their rendition of Randy Newman`s “Guilty”, and it was all over. The sound was good and the group seemed happy with it.
We returned to the hotel, sat round in the bar and Dan spoke of the band`s experience in Iceland, where a bottle of scotch cost £10 and tickets for the concert were £7.
Manny entered the lobby of the hotel clutching a copy of Dicky Bett`s new album. Manuel “Manny” Charlton is the quiet one, who bears the features of a Spanish matador, with his continental black moustache. When he talks it`s usually to do with the band, the main subject of the evening being the band`s next album.
Who would be the producer? Would it be a live one? Where would it be recorded? These and many more questions have yet to be answered and as the night progresses the tinge of seriousness started to fade.
“The producer`s got to be called Jock McTavish”, said Dan. “See this segregation”, said Steve, the Cockney lights` manager.
By the time we reached the gig in the evening, Stan Webb`s band had finished boogying and Man were about to get on.
The dressing room was full of booze and food, provided by the promoter. The band made themselves comfortable, Manny disappeared into the next room to tune up his guitar. Darryl Sweet, who by now was wearing his third pair of spectacles, looked thinner and healthier.
He disappeared and reappeared wearing a silver, blue and white jerkin with trousers to match. You can say that Darryl Sweet burst into the dressing room wearing a suit that matched his drum kit.
I only managed to catch a few brief moments of Man. Suffice to say they are as tasteful as ever, and should undoubtedly do well for themselves, and, as expected, the audience reaction was pretty laid back.
Since the departure of their keyboard player Man music seems to have got much harder, which is inevitable with Deke on the front line. This gig proved to be a good starter for their forthcoming British tour.
Backstage Naz were preparing themselves for the gig. Their attire is not glitter – effective rather than flash, which can also be said for their music. Suddenly out of the blue popped ex-Silverhead guitarist Robbie Blunt, who is currently with Stan Webb.
The band have been going down well. They`ve already got the advantage of Webb`s popularity in Germany, but I`m sure the addition of Blunt plays a big part in it. They`ll also be recording an album and playing in Britain soon.
“I`ll just change into my poofy jacket”, said Dan as he headed for the adjoining room.
The band were about to go on, the lights in the hall were off, and the band could barely be seen walking on stage and plugging in. The audience in the front section got on their feet and began cheering while the kids in the surrounding area sat back and coolly clapped… very similar to a Rainbow crowd.
The band went straight into “Silver Dollar Forger”, the lights went out and a spot was concentrated on a shimmering tambourine which Dan was holding high in the air. This was followed by “Razamanaz”, a hard rocker featuring some cutting guitar from Manny.
The acoustic of the hall gave the PA a muzzy sound, which was balanced out by the third number “Alcatraz”. The audience were beginning to gather enthusiasm and gradually the back row mob began joining in. Naz kept on playing the numbers with high energy and professionalism. Their whole approach and performance has moved into a new dimension.
Some hard rocking with “Turn On Your Receiver” and a superb version of Little Feat`s “Teenage Nervous Breakdown” closely followed by “Bad, Bad Boy”, with Manny playing some fiery slide. “Guilty”, a slow bluesy number, highlighted the vicious vocals of Mr. McCafferty.
“Jet Lag” took on a whole new style with some incredible guitar from Manny with Pete Agnew accompanying him on twelve bars. This featured Dan on the voice box – a gadget which, in conjunction with guitar, produces an amazing moog type sound. The band featured a medley of numbers consisting of “Amazing Grace”, “F.B.I.” and “Smoke On The Water”.
By now the audience were worked up and it was “This Flight Tonight” that brought the whole place to its feet. Tough bass from Agnew and spacey guitar from Charlton, along with McCafferty`s hard vocals, make this one of the finest records they`ve made. The set was completed with a spectacular version of “Shape Of Things To Come”, featuring three mirror balls flashing from the ceiling and strobes.
There was no doubt that the band would have to come back for an encore. They returned to play “Woke Up This Morning”, featuring some powerful slide boogie from Charlton.
I made my way to the back of the stage where one of the promoters was saying that this was the best concert he`s seen here for a year and Karl was moaning that it was the first time kids have stood on the seats.
The band finished the number, but had to return again. “What shall we play?” asked Agnew as he leapt back onto stage. “Mmm let`s do `Morning Dew` said Charlton. The band haven`t played the number for over a year and it made a fine finish to the night.
When the band return to Britain you will see a totally new group. Their act is polished, has the substance, dynamics, excitement and competence to put them in the big league. Oh yes, the lads from the Gangy have come a long way in the last two years, which makes you wonder what we`ll see two years from now.
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: Adam Faith, T. Rex, David Essex, Trapeze, Gallagher and Lyle, Jackie Lynton, 10cc, Ben E. King, Chris Wood, John Stewart, Steve Ashley, Isley Brothers.
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