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PRAYING MANTIS/ STAMPEDE, The Peel, Kingston
14 May 2011
Stampede and Praying Mantis were thrown under the NWOBHM banner but
neither were exactly heavy metal as such but played with a more hard
melodic rock approach.
are experiencing a renewed interest. Praying Mantis recieved some rave
reviews for their recent 'Sanctuary' release and have just revisited
some old ground recording five older classics with their 'Metalmorphosis'
back with a great new album after an absence of 28 years with 'A Sudden
Impulse', another album which has got some of the top critics tongues
The Peel in
Kingston is ram packed tonight including some of those journo's who have
been brought here under the promise of a mini-bus ride back to their
favourite watering holes in Central London once the gig has finished.
Some fans have travelled from afar including one dedicated headbanger
who has driven all the way from Belguim.
Mantis played a great historical set capturing the early days, the
modern material and even some forgotten gems from the mid-nineties.
were around the same time as Iron Maiden in those early club days and
when you listen to the twin melodic guitar sound of Tino Troy and new
boy Andy Burgess, it does make you wonder if Iron Maiden stole a few
ideas for the sound on their own debut. But whilst Maiden went
running free with their career Praying Mantis were left behind with poor
management and an endless procession of singers.
Freeland stamps his own identity on the new versions of 'Children Of The
Earth' and 'Panic In The Streets', the finest singer the band have ever
were firing on some extra cylinders tonight sounding rockier than I've
ever seen them before. Ending with 'Captured City' another newly
re-recorded track from the 'Metalmorphosis' set, it was as if 1979 had
never happened and today was a new beginning. Captivating stuff.
It's been 28
years since Stampede released their debut studio album 'Hurricane
Town' on the Polydor label. There was high expectations for the
band at the time, they even gained themselves support slots with the
likes of Saxon, Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Gary Moore.
'Hurricane Town' the band got left behind to settle in the dust after
singer Reuben Archer badly broke his leg after running for a bus with
Bruce Dickinson which forced him to retire from the music business. His
step-son Laurence went on to join Phil Lynott in Grand Slam and later
joining Phil Mogg and Pete Way in UFO.
Archers is original member Colin Bond who provides some heavy pounding
bass tonight and complementing the band are the new recruits Chris
Clowsley on guitar and drummer Steve Graystone.
Archer is the ever youthful loveable rogue (whose mobile phone must
contain the who's who of rock 'n roll) and still possesses a voice of
clarity who many say is similar is style to UFO's Phil Mogg.
Stampede played a set featuring the whole of their career including
tracks that only featured on their official 'Live Bootleg' album.
kick off the set with the title track from their debut studio effort and
it's like a hurricane that blows away all those missing years. For
a band that have only played a few dates together, all the nails are
banged into place forming a solid foundation to build on.
actually the new material that impressed most. 'Having Fun' lightens the
mood and welcomes everyone to the new hurricane party. 'Send Me Down An
Angel' already has a classic feel about it with some fluid riffing from
Archer whilst 'Shame On You' has a dirty gritty feel about it that
really grows on you.
night with 'Back Door Man' which originally featured Laurence Archer
from his time in UFO on the 'High Stakes & Dangerous Men' album was a
nice touch which reminded us what a underated album that was.
have raised the stakes to a high level and if you feel a sudden impulse,
that's because Stampede are a band recharged.
Praying Mantis set list ; Children Of The Earth / Panic In The Streets /
Restless Heart / Praying Mantis / Turn The Tide / Don't Be Afraid Of The
Dark / Dream On / Turn The Tables / Captured City
Stampede set list : Hurricane Town / Missing You / Having Fun / Humble
Pie / Days Of Wine & Roses / Send Me Down An Angel / Shame On You /
Jessie / Moving On / Recharged / This Road / The Runner / Back Door Man