Diamond Head + Tantrum
@ La Belle Angelle, Edinburgh
December 1, 2017
Review and Photography by Gavin Lowrey
Today, the cozy La Belle Angelle venue in the heart of the Grassmarket in Edinburgh welcomes NWOBHM royalty to town in the form of Diamond Head
Diamond Head are at the top of my “what could have been” pile along with Y&T as the band who are brilliant and much vaunted, but never quite achieved the success that they should have, given their musical influence on the rest of music, especially the stellar career of Metallica.
Opening up proceedings are Livingston NWOBHM disciples Tantrum who get the gathering crowd going with their opening track Underdog.
Their melodic set hits the right spots & guitar duo Stew Condie and Steve Wadell were on top form with their heavy riffs and showmanship.
My particular fave however was the powerhouse drumming of Billy Angus who along with Bassist Ritchie Davison gives the band’s live performance a real edge.
Singer Steve Swanson was also very good and kept the crowd entertained with a range of reparté, however the only thing that let their show down was Swanson’s constant requests for the crown to buy merch, don’t worry Steve, if your music’s good, we’ll buy your stuff!
2018 should be an interesting year for Tantum with a new album on the horizon so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them to see what they do (3.5/5).
2. Last Man Standing
3. March of the Damned
6. All Hail Rock n Roll
After a very brief interval (due to the ridiculous 10pm curfew) with the the band doing the final set up and check, we are treated to the main event.
From the opening chords of “Shout at the Devil” Singer Ras Anderson has the (now considerably larger) crowd in the palm of his hand.
Brian Tatler teases there crowd with his interactions and gives us a masterclass in guitar wizardry that has been honed over the last 4 decades.
The sound is very good (larger more expensive venues take note) and over the next hour and a half we are blessed to be in the presence of not only Tatler, but the rest of his talents ensemble.
There’s a good smattering of the younger generation in the crowd and to see their faces light up when they hear songs like “Am I Evil”, “The Prince” and “Helpless” played by their originator and not in the more famous cover version format (and at £90 a ticket) is priceless.
What we had tonight was a masterclass delivered by a master craftsman.
It certainly wasn’t a one man show, as I said, singer Anderson was at the top of his game, along with Tatler’s guitar sidekick Abbz Abberley and the rhythm section of bassist Dean Ashton and drummer Karl Wilcox, they deliver a performance of the highest order.
If tonight has told us anything, there’s a lot more life left in Diamond Head (5/5)
1. Shout At the Devil
2. Borrowed Time
4. Lightning to the Nations
5. The Prince
6. In The Heat of the Night
7. All the Reasons You Live
8. Shoot Out the Lights
9. Sweet and Innocent
11. It’s Electric
13. Am I Evil
14. Sucking My Love