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Astoria 2, 16 December 2008
Anniversary show was much anticipated, and turned out to be a great
girls have just released their new album 'Legacy' and celebrate 30 years (bar a
brief hiatus in 90/91) in the business.
Sadly this small venue was only a little over half full, (not sure how much
competition Hawkwind were, who were playing next door), but on recent form it is
truly unbelievable that this band are not huge. Great music and even better live
performance, they are as good as they are fun as they are gorgeous.
I didn't catch the name of the opening band, but they played a good trad power
metal, somewhere between Helloween and Megadeth.
Next up were
Blitzkreig, the NWoBHM band who have sporadically kept going. Not bad -
but they still sound like they did at the turn of the 80s. Even the young blood
couldn't brighten up the slightly cluttered and muddy sound, but you can see why
they influenced the likes of Metallica.
main band appeared, I got to meet most of the band. Jackie Chambers
pounced on me (again) to give me a hug, and even Kim was up for a hug even
though she had a streaming cold. Neil Murray was in attendance too, he had
guested on the new album. (But did he give you a hug, Joe?! - ed.)
The thing with Girlschool's music, is that whatever the sound, the venue,
the gremlins, their brand of metal always comes over as clear, melodic
rock'n'roll. So when the sound mix and the acoustics are good, like they
were here, they are positively electric. They play like they are in real
life - it's fun. This really was a party, they involve you, they banter,
and you get some damn fine rock music along the way.
Go" opened (as it has done at every gig I've seen), and "Not For Sale"
just blew you away with the sound, the power and Jackie's guitar solo. Kim
and bassist Enid Williams shared vocals, and the crowd were soon enjoying
themselves. "Hit and Run" is always a favourite, and "Never Say Never"
from the Believe CD proved that the recent material stands up too. "Spend
Spend Spend" from the new album featured Skunk Anansi's guitarist Ace.
Blue Murder" and "Coming Our Way" were as anthemic as ever, the rhythms
solid, the guitar solos blistering. Another track from Legacy was
dedicated to Kelly Johnson, before Saxon's Doug Scarratt took to the
stage. The duelling between him and Jackie on "Everything's The Same" was
just amazing. Jax later told me she loves playing with him.
classics in "Yeah Right", "Race With The Devil" and "Demolition Boys" were
unbeatable, before Ace and Neil came back on stage to finish the set with
"Emergency". Doug re-entered for the encore of "Take It All Away". The crowed
definitely wanted more. Would love a longer set, there is a fair catalogue to
Definitely one of the most enjoyable bands you'll ever see live.
Review by Joe Geesin
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