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CHEVY

GRTR!'s Andrew Lock follows the progress of eighties metallers Chevy, from rehearsal to reunion show and celebrates a triumphal comeback...

 

Photo by Andrew Lock

The Leamington Spa 1980's rock band Chevy have reunited this year to play a 30 Year reunion show at The Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

They appeared on the second volume of the famous Metal for Muthas EMI rock compilation albums released in 1980, which also featured Trespass and Dark Star to name but a few, released their own well received album The Taker the same year and toured the UK with among others Hawkwind and Gary Moore.

While the band did ride the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, I see more classic British rock in the style of Free and Bad Company to their music and when I interviewed bass player Bob earlier this year he agreed and said they wanted to play hard melodic rock with a mix of british and american styles and mentioned the following bands as influences Bad Company, Wishbone Ash, Boston and Foreigner.

The Taker album is full of melodic rock numbers most of which are up tempo rockers such as the storming opening and title track, the driving You Got Me Running and the bands anthem Chevy. The albums showpiece and stand out track is the epic Skybird with powerful lyrics and stunning guitar breaks, for me it is the bands Stairway to Heaven.

The album also produced two singles Too Much Loving/See the Light and The Taker/Life on the Run (a third and final single Just Another Day/Rock On, tracks not on the album was also released soon after).
You cannot fail to notice how much the twin guitar style contributes to Chevy's sound, which of course as well as one of Wishbone Ash's strengths also played a huge roll in the success of Thin Lizzy.

The line-up that will be playing the reunion show is the full line-up at the time the band unfortunately split around 1982/83, with the addition of one of the country's finest blues rock guitarists Steve Walwyn who was with Chevy up until late 1981 and part of the line-up that recorded the album, and who since 1990 has been lead guitarist with the magnificent Dr Feelgood.

Photo by Andrew Lock

The rest of the line up for the reunion gig is power house vocalist Martin Cure (who also performs in the stylish rock/blues band The Rogues) on bass we have Bob Poole (Gary Moore in the 80's was keen on him joining his touring band) Ted Duggan on drums (replaced original drummer Andy Chaplin in 1981) ,2nd guitarist Paul Shanahan and Steve Walwyn's replacement on leaving the band explosive guitarist Baz Eardley.

Photo by Andrew Lock

Being a Leamington lad born and bred it seems a shame that I only managed to see Chevy once, a gig at the General Wolfe in Coventry (unfortunately they split up just as I started really getting into live music) but have followed many of the band members in other projects including the first post Chevy band Red on Red in 1983 and right up to the present day with The Rogues and the power rock trio The Motorvators consisting of Bob,Ted and Baz.

I was fortunate to be invited to one of the rehearsals for this special show and they sounded amazing, with the three guitars the sound really rocks, and Martin's vocals sounded as strong as ever.

30th Year Reunion Show (in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support), Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa
22 September 2010

Photo by Andrew Lock

This was a very special show the 30th reunion of (my home town) Leamington's very own 80's rock greats Chevy, the concert was also an opportunity to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The turnout was excellent as was the atmosphere in the hall, and at around 7.30 the MC for the evening ex wrestler Tony "Banger" Walsh took to the stage to welcome everybody and to introduce the first band of the evening the Jay Kay Pees who launched the evening off to a rocking start with a selection of 60's classics including You Really Got Me, Gloria, and Out of Time.

Second band of the night Riff Raff kept up the momentum with a full on selection of classic rock and punk numbers, standout tracks for me the Guns N' Roses pair of Sweet Child O' Mine/Paradise City, ZZ Top's Tush, a fired up Pretty Vacant and finishing their set with a scorching Rocking in the Free World.

Time for the headliners and after an entertaining introduction by Mr Walsh, the long wait was over and Chevy were back where they belong, on stage and playing a blinder.

Starting with a pumped up The Taker the set consisted mainly of tracks from Chevy's 1980 album of the same name (now released on CD for the first time) and a few numbers that would have made the second album, from the classic album the set included the full on groove of Too Much Loving, the epic fan favourite Skybird, the bands anthem Chevy and set closer Rock On.

Tracks that would have made the second album included a fired up Rock City, Wind of Change and Fast Car.

Photo by Andrew Lock

Photo by Andrew Lock

The band sounded fantastic and seeing the interaction between them you would have thought they were finishing a large tour rather than playing a one off show, The Spa Centre stage was spacious with impressive lighting, the sound quality was excellent, and I was particularly impressed by Ted's drum solo and the three lead guitar fight out that followed it, Steve, Baz and Paul trading licks and solos with Bob on bass also joining in. Martin Cure on lead vocals played the rock star to perfection as always and his voice was as powerful as ever.

This really was a night to remember 2590 was raised for Macmillan with over 400 people attending, and the latest news is that the band have approached Leamington Spa's award winning live music venue The Assembly about playing a show there in the near future.

Review and photos by Andrew Lock


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