TANK was formed in Croydon(London, England) in February 1980 by Alasdair “Algy” Mackie Ward(born on July 11th 1959)(bass, vocals)(who in September 1977 until October 1978 played in the band The SAINTS with Chris Bailey, Ivor Hay, Ed Kuepper and who also in November 1978 until February 1980 played and even recorded punk rock album called “Machine Gun Etiquette”(1979) with The DAMNED members Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian), who teamed up with ex-HEROES Peter James Brabbs(guitar) and his brother Mark Arthur Brabbs (drums), who played before in a band FATHER LUKE with Steve Sutton(vocals), Greg Radcliffe(guitar/vocals)(now with RAZOR BABIES), Nigel Walkling(bass) and Paul Sindel(keyboards/vocals), after they changed their name to THE BRITISH STANDARTS and then, THE STANDARTS.
The Ward /Brabbs/Brabbs association called itself TANK and soon became one of the hardest touring N.W.O.B.H.M.(New Wave of British Heavy Metal) trios in England, constantly supporting headliners from the likes of MOTÖRHEAD(“Iron Fist”, “Ace of Spades” European Tours 81/82), GIRLSCHOOL, DIAMOND HEAD, BARON ROJO, DEDRINGER and ANGEL WITCH amongGirlschool/Tank at Lyceum others.
It was MOTÖRHEAD’s very own Lemmy Kilmister who immediately was convinced by TANK’s outstanding talents. Within a few months TANK recorded two breathtaking albums(“Filth Hounds Of Hades” and “Power Of The Hunter”) which these days are desperately sought after by Metal collectors all over the world.
In 1983 TANK left their record company to sign a deal with the newly established Music For Nations(MFN) label, where they became stable-mates with soon-to-be illuminaries ANTHRAX, METALLICA and MANOWAR, to name but a few.
To intensify powers TANK recruited a second guitarist, Michael(Mick) John Tucker(born on May 6th, 1959), formerly with AXIS and after WHITE SPIRIT(he got a job after Janick Gers(now in IRON MAIDEN) left WHITE SPIRIT to join Ian Gillan Band). The new line-up completed one album in June 1983, “This Means War” under the guidance of John Verity who had already worked with SAXON and ARGENT, there also were guest appearances of Denise Dufort from GIRLSCHOOL, Jody Turner and Julie Turner from ROCK GODDESS on backing vocals. This album was more powerful than first two. I would have to say this is my favorite TANK album of all time.
Surprisingly things didn’t work out too well for TANK due to internal frictions. Brothers Mark(he joined another NWOBHM band called DUMPYS RUSTY NUTS, after Paul Samson’s EMPIRE(in 1986) and SAVIOUR( in 1988), pop band RAZOR BABIES in the 90s early 2000 with his old friend from FATHER LUKE Greg Radcliffe on guitars, and who’s now playing in the rock band called CAMP DAVID) and Peter Brabbs(he left music business, in fact his son formed industrial metal band CREPETUS, which supported TANK at London’s gig in February 2003 ) quit being replaced by Michael Bettell(R.I.P./1962-2003) (the drummer of the PARISH) for a very short time and after him another ex-WHITE SPIRIT Graham Crallan(drums) and guitarist Cliff John Evans(born on January 14, 1962)(later in 1992 he joined Paul Di’Anno(ex-IRON MAIDEN)and KILLERS) who played with aged blues-rockers CHICKEN SHACK and later HEAD FIRST.
Tank on tour with Metallica 1984In 1984 a freshly formed TANK cut one more album, this time for Roadrunner Records, entitled “Honour & Blood” which again was a very satisfying job, though the band never regained the thrilling vehemence of the two discs that had established TANK’s good reputation among Heavy Metal supporters.
From November 16 to December 20, 1984 TANK shared the stage in Europe with Heavy Metal Gods(in the past) METALLICA (Ride The Lightning tour). As you can see it on “Master Of Puppets” album, METALLICA gave thanks to the TANK & crew.
The North American tour band played along with RAVEN(Chicago, New Jersey and Detroit) and LOW RIDERS(New York). TANK also had shows in Canada(Toronto and Montreal) again with RAVEN.
Algy Ward produced Italian thrash band BULLDOZER’s “The Day Of Wrath” album for Roadracer Records in 1985. By the way, German thrash metal band SODOM covered TANK’s songs “Don’t Walk Away”(“Agent Orange” album in 1989), “Turn Your Head Around”(“Better Off Dead” album in 1990) and “Shellshock”(“Ten Black Years” album in 1996).
TANK also cut in 1985 double album(compilations) called “Armour Plated”. But suddenly drummer Graham Crallan(he joined BRITTON and later PANAMA and few years later he also had a bad car accident) was replaced(in January 1985) by Cliff Evans’s friend Gary Taylor(ex-BUFFALO, John Sykes’s STREETFIGHTER) who moved(in 1987) in USA(he played in early 90s with SHOTGUN RATIONALE and after BRILLIANT SINS) and now are playing with the band called DRAGSTRIP.
After touring the US for a few months in 1985, and two years later (in 1987) TANK recorded new album called “TANK” through GWR Records(the US release was through Restless Records in 1989). Unfortunately, TANK was disbanded at the end of 1989.
Part Two: Between 1990-1997 Algy Ward was also very active, he played at least with seven bands:
GROON jazz-rock band with Steve Clarke(ex-FASTWAY, Würzel, Jack Bruce) on drums and Tim Crowther(ex-David Cross band) on guitars;Tank without Pete
ATOM GOD also with Steve Clarke, Lee Phillips on keyboards, Trev Thoms(HAWKWIND), Bill Leisegang(Nina Hagen, Jack Bruce) and recorded “History Re-Written”(1992) album;
NECROPOLIS again with Steve Clarke, Lee Phillips on keyboards, Bill Leisegang, Eddie Clarke on guitars, Sven Olafson on vocals, Trev Thoms, John Clark(BRUFORD), Keith More(ASIA, John Wetton) and recorded speed metal album called “The End of the Line”(1997);
NETWORK again with Steve Clarke, Sven Olafson and Tim Crowther, and also with Pete Jacobsen, Steve Topping(Allan Holdsworth), Jan Hammer(MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA), Steve Franklin and Ted Emmett(both from CONGLOMERATE, LOOSE TUBES), Nick Stevens, Larry Coryell(The ELEVENTH HOUSE), Terry Gregory, Bill Leisegang, Keith More, Tom Coster Jr., Hugh Hopper(CONGLOMERATE, SOFT MACHINE), Ian Aitkin(Brian May), Laurence Cottle(BLACK SABBATH) and recorded cool “Refusal to Comply”(1993) album as well as the great folk-death-speed(!) metal album called “L.N.C.”(1996);
The Nicky Moore Band(SAMSON’s vocalist) in 1994 with Mick Tucker, who also played in a band called THE PASSION in 1990 with Andy Nye(ex-MSG) on keyboards and John Payne(now with ASIA) on vocals for about 1 year;
THE CONSPIRACY with Mick Tucker again;
WARHEAD with ex-MOTÖRHEAD’s Würzel(guitar) and Evo on drums/vocals(WARFARE), also Chris Labron(keyboards) and recorded self-titled album in 1995. Algy Ward even produced some of WARFARE’s albums.
Cliff Evans also played with the band called DESTROYER in 1988 along with Gerry(bass), Steve Clarke(drums) & Lea Hart(vocals)(ex-FASTWAY), and MASK in 1994 and recorded album “Why Me?” with Lee Phillips on keyboards, Mike Keen(HYDRAVINE) on vocals, Steve Clarke, Simon Hannaford(SOMA) on guitars and Terry Crowdy(SOMA) on bass.
TANK in Japan, August 1, 1999Part Three: After a long break of 9 years in 1997 TANK finally broke the silence(thank God!). Algy Ward(he re-joined THE DAMNED again in 1995 for a short time) together with old friends Cliff Evans and Mick Tucker hired Steve Hopgood(drums)(born on January 22, 1960)(ex-PERSIAN RISK, BRONZ, BATTLEZONE, SHY, PASSION, CHINATOWN, JAGGED EDGE) who also played with Cliff in Di’Anno’s KILLERS.
TANK also played(in 1997) at the famous Wacken Open Air festival in Germany and toured(in 1998) with RAVEN and HAMMERFALL in Europe. TANK rocks again! The band recorded great live album in 1998 called “The Return Of The Filth Hounds-live” through Rising Sun Productions. The live album was recorded in Berlin, Germany and with two new studio bonustracks. Hammer On!