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Camden Underworld, London 29 May 2011

Heavy Metal Kids, photo by Noel Buckley
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It's Bank Holiday weekend and Sunday is a Saturday night out with the return of the Heavy Metal Kids part 4. The Kids are my favourite new band although they released their first album back in 1974. It is only now that i'm realizing the true greatness of this underrated band.

The flamboyant Gary Holton was the original singer before he said Auf Weidersehn Pet to this world. In 2002 they were hitting all the right buttons again with Danny Peyronel taking over the vocal duties, then last year the band were back yet again with none other than John Altman on vocals, but 'ole Nasty Nic' has acting commitments and the story of the HM Kids was becoming a soap opera in itself.

Recently in Putney even Joe Elliot was getting in on the act singing an encore and it was that Daft Leotard that recommended to the band that they should try out the one time Girl, Torme and LA Guns cockney sparrow Phil Lewis......Oh yes!....even on paper this is a marriage made in heaven.

Getting us in the mood were two hot support bands. Roughshooter had a modern bluesy feel to them. This is how Terrorvision would sound if they only ever listened to Free.

Pink Cigar were simply smokin'. A young guitarist who looked like a clean living Johnny Thunders wiff riffs coming from all angles. The singer Sharkie Cottrell is a cock sure figure who in his fake fur coat pranced around the stage like comic Noel Fielding, but there was nothing fake about their music sounding like MC5 or the Stooges, this band are out to search and destroy.

'Strange' had a Stray Cat strut about it and one song even had a bit of flemenco to it. These boys are not pussying about . One of the best support slots I've seen in a long time. Watch out, they'll be getting your girlfriends number off the bathroom wall.

Heavy Metal Kids, photo by Noel Buckley

Now this was the fourth time I've seen the Heavy Metal Kids this year and was now watching them with their third singer for the year. I saw the band recently in Twickenham with guitarist Justin McConville taking over the mic and although he has a great voice lacked the necessary charisma to do these songs the full justice. Step forward please Mr Lewis.

Looking every inch the rock star in black leathers, a real dead fox or stoat skin hanging from his waist and wearing a top hat, Lewis was the circus ring leader and the band were rocking from word go. 'Chelsea Kids' has never sounded better. 'Blue Eyed Boy' was dedicated to his hero Gary Holton '' Somewhere up in heaven, that lil' devil will be having a good laugh.''

Heavy Metal Kids, photo by Noel Buckley
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Lewis' personal favourite 'Whisky' left me with a thirst quenching for more. There was some Alice Cooper theatrics with 'The Cops Are Coming' with lighted sparklers coming out of his helmet (A helmet worn on his head that is, ladies) and then pulling out a ghoulish head which almost made me laugh my own head off.

Drummer Keith Boyce makes full use of the cowbell and I couldn't help thinking that a certain Steve Adler learnt his tricks from Boyce for that sound on the Guns 'N Roses debut album. Ending the main set was 'She's No Angel' which was spunkier than punk.

Heavy Metal Kids, photo by Noel Buckley

Returning for the encore Lewis came out looking dapper in a white jacket and polka dot shirt reminding me of David Essex and if he decides to stay in the band full time then the Heavy Metal Kids are gonna make him a star all over again. Yet again I went home delirious. A cracking night out.

Set list : Hangin' On / Blow It All Away / Hit The Right Button / Chealsea Kids / 100 Skeletons / Blue Eyed Boy / Whisky / On The Street / Message / It's The Same / The Cops Are Coming / Matseilles / She's No Angel.....encores ..Run Around Eyes / Delirious

Review by Mark Taylor

Photos by Noel Buckley

Heavy Metal Kids, photo by Noel Buckley


100 Club, London (03.03.11)

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