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ANVIL, Manchester Academy 3, 22 June 2011

Photo by Noel Buckley

As the saying once went...'another heavy metal day... better have some vibes' and so it was in Manchester on Wednesday night where the city played host to Canadian heavy metal band Anvil.

It's been a long and arduous road for the boys from Toronto who appear to have got themselves back onto music fans stereos around the globe.

The documentary, 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil' may have helped a little to put this band back into the limelight somewhat however what I saw from the live set was a really tight and professional outfit.

The band have a huge catalogue of songs to choose from so squeezing the right stuff into a 1 hour 45 minute set is some achievement.

A heady combination of tracks made up the set and especially a clutch of favourites which featured on the band's second studio release from 1982, 'Metal on Metal', starting with 'March of the Crabs' and moving into '666', this is fast and furious metal and not for the faint hearted.

Another track from way back 'Mothra' and an even earlier number from 'Hard 'n' Heavy' – the first album the guys released – namely 'School Love'.

Lips has a great rapport with the crowd and as things get a little wild down the front he confesses “Now I know why they call this city Madchester!”

The band played on with more than a little energy and with new tracks from the recently released Juggernaut of Justice record, including the title track, I've got to tell you – this band don't let up!

With a little anecdote from Lips about the late Ronnie James Dio and dedicating a song in his name there was a nice balance of getting to know the audience and playing some very heavy metal.

Relentless to the last, the sound was raw but didn't disappoint. Robb Reiner stood up for a little bow and a wave to the crowd and along with Glenn Five, Anvil gave what I thought was a performance that many a band with a higher profile than Anvil would dearly love to be able to give.

Ending the main show with the well known track 'Metal on Metal' and coming back on for a jubilant encore, the night was a resounding success for the Anvil boys socking a fist full of metal to the Madchester scene!

Set List: March of the Crabs/ 666/ School Love/ Juggernaut of Justice/ Winged Assassins/ On Fire/ This Is Thirteen/ Mothra/ Thumb/ Hang/White Rhino/ Fukeneh/ Forged in Fire/ New Orleans/ Voodoo/ Metal On Metal Encore: Jackhammer Running

Review by Judith Reeves

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