Honour & BloodAfter the brief hiatus caused by personnel changes, we started writing songs for what would finally be called ‘Honour And Blood’ in the winter months 1983/1984 in various locations:-
 In Mick Tucker’s spare bedroom (in the wilds of Middlesex, large spiders and TANK songs would grow) with trusty Rockman and new fangled portostudio gadget/drum machine combination. (Fascinating! When to ping and not to pong! Fascinating!)
And many weekends spend banging away in the country (well, Stonegate, Kent actually) with Michael Bettell (the drummer of the PARISH) in two converted mail/freight cars ‘fully soundproofed’ (to 3 feet (1 yard)) in which resided ‘Mouse’, an engineer, a Brenel 8-track machine (‘steam’ powered) and desk, a Roland space echo, and least but not last the mighty Kipper (cash only, or Krugerrands). Kippercard? That’ll do nothing!
We’d come up with ideas (after being thrown out of the Rock Robin in Wadhurst on Saturday afternoons), put them down on tape, and thoughtfully muse on our labours of the day whilst eating a repast of Spaghetti Bolognese (à la Kipper with pilchards - or was that the chili?) and watch the embers of the evening fade and finally... die (then go and get ratarsed and sober up in time for the next weekend). No seriously, things also stirred in my bedroom, but that’s another story (plumbing!).
I also ran through ‘When All Hell Freezes Over’ with Evo of WARFARE and Jimi C, later of CRONOS/VENOM (all went well apart from the aftershave) at some point. But eventually we got into the rhythm of where we were going, in terms of writing, eating and barmaids (man!).
We wrote ‘W.M.L.A.’ and ‘Honour And Blood’, we made demos of Chain Of Fools’ and ‘When All Hell Freezes Over’ in the middle of nowhere with a mouse in a hut and exploding prawn rolls the size of French loaves (my word, it’s incredible what winter warmer does to one’s inner plynth).
Michael Bettell unfortunately decided not to continue for personal reasons during the later stages of pre-production so as we were soon to start recording proper, we had to find someone else pronto. That someone else pronto was Graham Crallan (a rum old cove) who used to play with Mick in WHITE SPIRIT (don’t try that at home).
We rehearsed for a couple, got ‘The War Drags Ever On’ together in some disused toilet of a place, I forget.
And as Robert is your father’s brother, we were whomping and a stomping and a hooping and a hollering backing vocals with a cast of thousands... Cliff Evans (later to become Cliff Evans), Bill Liesegang, Toby, Janick Gers and brother, Evo, Kipper, the whole of ASIA. I caught Suggs on the doorstep, but he lived up the news so he didn’t count.
I lost my voice during the vocal season, so it was off to the funny farm for some horizontal lubricant (Zimbabwe!) until the studio virus had gone (I blame Tom Doherty and JAGUAR).
Anyway, we finished at Sound Suite, so it was to Livingstone to mix and vocal a bit, and there it was finished (tidy!) which left one unanswered question... which end does the record come out?
And then before you could blow at your shaking sticks nose we’re off on tour with METALLICA which is another story soon to be published in pamphlet form (available from all good chemists priced 3/60 plus VAT. Grabber and grabber...)
There you have it. ‘Honour And Blood’, start to finish. Keep ‘em peeled, grapple fans.
©Algy Ward  'Cup of tea and a bun', Crystal Palace Park, London, England.  February 1997