Saturday, July 31, 2010

Vivian Campbell : Metalheads Sing The Blues

In the 90s I worked for local underground label Metal Blade Records, so when I saw that perineal "metal" axeman Vivian Campbell was going to be playing at Harvelle's (under the name Sir Sodoff and The Trainwrecks), I was flooded with memories and sugarcoated affection for big hair, gated snare and loud guitars - often played by skinny boys in day-glo bandanas.
But that part was silly and simple, and a parody of what real "hard rock/heavy metal" was capable of.

During my metal travels, I became aware of a movement in the late 70s & early 80s known as The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).
This derivation took rock away from it's blues based heros like Zep, Foghat, Clapton and Aerosmith and added the youthful kick-in-the-crotch that made it relevant and exciting for the kids coming up.

Among them, Def Lepperd, Venom, Iron Maiden, (Metallica faves) Diamond Head and (a young Vivian Campbell's group) Sweet Savage.

Tonight, Vivian's old school roots shone through - he is currently a member of both Def Lepperd AND the (late Phil Lynott's) current incarnation of Thin Lizzy, - but he definitely brought it all back home, performing not only the blues that Harvelle's is known for, but taking it to a different direction with lots of twin leads in tandem with guitarist Kara Grainger.

He indulged his heavy side when necessary, and the crowd responded to his slow sexy version of Lepperd's "Pour Some Sugar On Me".

People wanna dance on a Friday, and augmented by harpist Michael Fell, drummer Glen Sobel and bassist Lou Castro, Vivian Campbell pulled off the party of the week, rockin' the club, until last call forced him off of the stage.

- Posted live from Harvelle's using BlogPress & the Hipstamatic app for the iPhone

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