at The HAMMERSMITH ODEON.
Taken from the Diamond Head/Tank U.K. Tour November lst 1982. Reviewed by ZBA.
For a November day it was surprisingly warm, which, I'm glad to say, allowed me to wear my complete Tank uniform, consisting of Tank T-Shirt, Denim jacket complete with Tank patches and badge, jeans, which are more holes than denim, and my three years old trainers. Having donned the gear I made my way from my humble abode in the rural retreat of Putney to the bright lights of Hammy Odeon to see Tank supported by a band called Emerald Cranium, oh no! Sorry that should be Diamond Head. Sitting on the tube, clutching my concert ticket, I wondered whether the promised back stage pass would be in order and when I arrived sure enough, my worries were founded. I had to wait for a full 45 minutes at the back stage door for the much acclaimed, much awaited for Greybrey guest list (G.G.L. to the abbreviation lovers) to materialise. Eventually, the stroppy old boy on security found my name and allowed me to enter the back stage maze of the famous"Bang-a-stiff" Odeon.
After walking for miles through corridors, climbing up and down 100's of stairs and entering wrong dressing rooms and tune-up rooms, I found myself at the infamous Tank watering hole. I strolled in, quite pleased with myself at finding the elusive dressing room, to find, Algy, Mark and Pete being interviewed by Garry Bushell from Sounds and being given various bottles of spirits by the gorgious Jenny, Tank's PR lady. Needless to say I was bombarded with insults and half-eaten sandwiches by the lads who were in a particularly boisterous mood. After saying hello and pinching a can of Heineken I was promptly chucked out followed by friendly shouts of "you're useless" and "buy me a drink shit-fer-brains" and such-like quips of amiable repertoire.
I decided that I'd better find myself a good seat for the high-light of the evening. As I sat down in my so-called seat, I realised that, although I'd seen and spoken to the band recently, I hadn't seen them live since the Wrexham festival at the end of July. I was looking forward to see how many new songs they would do and whereabouts in the set they would come. Then all of a sudden my thoughts came to an abrupt halt as the lights went down and the amphetamine induced Red Indian chant introduced the band onto the stage. "Wakey Wakey!" yells Algy and all of a sudden I'm drowning in "Shellshock". Faster than I've ever heard it played and louder; the gig tonight is one of the loudest I've ever had the pleasure to attend. "Walking Barefoot Over Glass" follows and for the first time in London, a brand new Tank track is played live and it sounds great. By now I'm on my feet having a good headbang but suddenly I see a bouncer, doing a good impression of a brick shit-house, motioning for me to sit down, and who am I to argue with Hercules! When Algy and the lads plunder through "Filth Bitch Boogie" I realise that sitting down is pure sacralige so I look around for salvation. I see it up in the balcony in the shape of a handful of Filths headbanging unrestricted, so a quick dash upstairs ensured full enjoyment of the rest of the gig. "Filth Bitch Boogie" ran into "Run Like Hell" courtesy of a thundering drum fill from Mark's massive golden drum kit. When "Run Like Hell" crashed to a close, Algy and Pete take two to have a drink and toast the responsive crowd. Algy introduces the next song, "this one's about filthy women, is there any here tonight?" A few dodgy boilers scream out in the affirmative. Algy beams. "See you afterwards" he bellows "This one's called "Used Leather". "Leather" has the perfect headbanging beat and thuds on unrelentlessly until the Gary Glitter band sounding chorus comes to a grinding finish, then before you can say "Christ ain't it loud", the opening riff to "T.W.D.A.M.O." comes bellowing out of the straining P.A.
Tonight Peter is obviously in a good mood because his guitar solo in "Dreams" is a solo among solos. As Algy and Mark build up the rythm to a frenzy Peter weaves in and out of the backing, speeding up, slowing down, hitting notes so high (and as I've already said loud) it hurts. "T.W.D.A.M.O." comes breathlessly to a halt and goes down really-well with the crowd. (D.H.fans aswell). "Don't Walk Away" with the clap along, "Filth Hounds Of Hades", one of my favourites naturally, and "Stormtrooper" see the set come to a close. All in all a really great gig and thoroughly worth waiting almost four months for, even if there wasn't a rendition of "Crazy Horses" or an encore.
When the gig had finished and I'd got my breath back I made my way backstage and, finding the Tank dressing room locked, moseyed along to the stage bar just managing to catch a glimpse of Nigel Gray and Jim Ebdon (Tanks producer and engineer) on the same backstage plight I'd been on earlier. In the rediculously small back stage bar I began to indulge in some serious drinking and good conversation with Mark's old lady. Stephanie, and from John Sloman's missus and Greybrey employee Jill. After 15 minutes there was still no sign of the lads so I thought I'd give Diamond Head a chance to prove themselves, but after three songs I realised what thirsty work attending a gig is, so it's back to the bar where the three Messiah's of Filth had emerged from their hideaway and were doing their best to drink the bar dry! In their present obliterated and lively forms I played the defensive and waited for them to say hello to me, which came when Algy spotted me. (Gawd help me!) Thus followed singing, insults, drinking and more insults with the band, until everyone was thrown out of the bar. Then we made our way in the tour bus to an after gig party, laid on by the record company, which went on untill early morning.
As I strolled home (Seven miles is a hell of a stroll) I reflected on the previous evenings happenings. Well pleased with Tank's performance. Strange how the headliners went on first though, don't you think?
TANK AT PONTEVEDRA, SPAIN
Taken from the Baron Rojo/Tank Spanish Tour. December 21st 1982. Reviewed by ZBA.
"I've booked morning calls for everyone" slurred Swiv, Tank's tour manager, as we made our way back to the less than luxurious hotel in the middle of Madrid. Not really wanting to know I pondered, "What time's the call for then?"...."Seven". Seven! Seven O'Clock in the middle of the night! But it's nigh on five now thought! Around me, stumbling through the bitter cold Spanish night, or rather morning, were the aforementioned saucer-eyed tour manager, the looming figure of Block, Mark's mountainous drum roadie and the skinsman himself who kept asking Swiv for some more money .... and not getting it. Kipper, the solemn guitar roadie was back at the hotel asleep since 10 o'clock this morning whilst. Algy and Pete were still at the night club ( where, if you're not prepared to pay for the painted ladies wares, they give them to you for nothing anyway!) discussing the future in lengthy, meaningless and Beer-smelling sentences.
Eventually the hotel appeared seemingly out of nowhere, so we said our goodnights and retired to our "Cells". After what seemed like a blink, the telephone rang, presumably to tell me to get up, as I couldn't understand a word that was said, the Spanish receptionist couldn,t speak English. Reluctantly I arose, and after performing my ablutions, made my way to the entrance hall where I found, much to my surprise, the band and full road crew waiting impatiently for my arrival, (I was sure they would have been dead to the world).
As we boarded the crumbling tour bus, stories of the night before were rife. How Mark, Pete & Rob (Tank's American/ Spanish interpreter) reduced two Spanish pros to tears because our boys wouldn't except a rather suspect free "good time". How Chris flattened three loud-mouthed pimps with one hit, and so on, and so on...
The drive ahead of us, from Madrid to northern Spain, promised to be a difficult one as we had to cross a pretty treacherous mountain range called the "Cordilleras" and as we were in the middle of one of Spain's worst winters for a good long while, nobody knew what to expect. Anyway, after having to fix a flat battery on the tour bus we eventually left Madrid about 1o'clock, reaching the most dangerous part of our plight at around dusk after an uneventful, apart from a boozy and cheap lunch break, drive on the (laugh.) "motorway"(?).
Swiv's eyes have never been bigger, and never have Al, Mark or Pete been SG quiet in their drunkeness. Mind you, all credit to the aforementioned Swiv, for actually getting us through to our destination because only one in ten trucks got through on that road that night. Three of the many trucks that didn't get through were Baron Rojo's PA and lights. So we went out to celebrate (celebrate!?) our good fortune.
In the morning/afternoon we left our hotel, "Jose's Crumbling Ruin" and made our way to the gig, an enormous concrete sports hall. After the obligatory sound check, a good few liveners, Tank were about ready to hit the stage and so I joined the packed Spanish audience, most of them on this tour were sell-outs, and awaited the boys entrance. Already the whole audience were on their feet (probably 'coz there were no seats!). At 7.45p.m . out thundered "Shellshock", abruptly followed by "Walking Barefoot...", Algy and Pete were leaping around furiously, "Montezumas Revenge" was clearly visable in Peter's stage movements. "Run Like Hell" and "Filth Bitch" continued the onslaught. Surely these Spanish headbangers had never seen or heard anything quite as OTT as this! As they launched into "Used Leather" the 3500 fans were with us all the way. I was really proud of Tanks performance tonight. "Don't Walk Away" followed "T.W.D.A.M.O." and it was pretty amusing to hear the Spanish Filth Hounds (they were definately being converted to Tanks way of thinking), sing in very pidgeon English, "Don't Walk Away". "Filth Hounds" and an ultra-ballsy "Stormtrooper" brought the show to an ecstatic finish. As I made my way back stage, the calls for more were deafening, and sure enough, as I reached the back stage area the bouncy rythm of "Stepping On A Landmine" was churning out. I watched the encore from the side of the stage, standing next to Kipper. Not being used to this position, I was overwhelmed by the sight of thousands of olive skinned headbangers frantically freaking out (man?) to the band. When "Landmine" finished, and the band were off stage, we (crew, me and the lads) were really taken a back by all the lighters and torches flickering in the darkened stadium. After a good four or five minutes it was obvious Pontevedra had not had enough of the sound of Filth! And to my delight a second encore followed. For the first time on any stage (sorry, apart from Reading) the band played "Power Of The Hunter", and it went down like a hnuse on fire. A perfect finish to a perfect gig.
To think that that was all from Tank tonight would be wrong as the Baron's asked all three of them to get up and play AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" with them on their last encore .... It Was a riot, the crowd went ape-shit, at one stage there were 9 guitars on stage at the same time, even the massive Block, Mark's roadie was at it!
Back stage we polished off the miserly drinks rider and were waiting to find out where the end of tour party was! Surprisingly there wasn't one, so we were left with a Tank ensemble raring to go but nowhere to go to (all dressed up and nowhere to go!). Then Peter reminded us of a Spanish/English pub called the "Lord @1'elson" that he, Swiv and 'lark went to at lunchtime, so we all made a B-14ine for it. After several drinkipoos I decided to retire to bed as the clock struck 3.00 a.m. As I strolled up the hill through the drizzly Spanish night towards the welcome glow of the Hotel lights, I heard the distant calling voice of Swiv, "Morning calls at Six o"clock... Dedicated to Graham (Swiv), Chris (Block) and lain (Kipper) Tank's fantastic road crew for making me feel so welcome and relaxed even though I know I must have been a pain in the arse... Tanks.
For the 1980-1983 U.K. tour dates go to UK GIGS page.