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LIVE: ANVIL – Perth, 14 Nov 2017

| 20 November 2017 | Reply

LIVE: ANVIL – Perth, 14 Nov 2017
ANVIL with Death Dependant and Psychonaut
Rosemount Hotel, North Perth, Western Australia – Tuesday, 14 November, 2017
Review & photography by Peter Gardner

If ever a band was part of the heavy metal landscape, it is Anvil. The band that inspired Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer performed the last night of a 200 show tour at Perth’s Rosemount Hotel. Celebrating 40 years in the business, Anvil delivered! As one of the faithful in the crowd said at the end of the night “you’ve just seen a stadium quality show in a pub”, and you know what? He was right.

The Rosemount, for those that don’t already know, is one of Perth’s fantastic small concert venues, where you can get close and sweaty with your favourite bands. Kicking off a night of quality, back to basics heavy metal, were local Bunbury Thrash merchants Death Dependant. With a solid sound and lots of hair, they were enthusiastically received by the small, but growing crowd. The highlight of the short but intense set being Drug Machine, spiriting us back to our headbanging metal roots in the early 80’s, before finishing with the excellent Parasite from their forthcoming album, which singer/guitarist Marc Antonov helpfully informed the audience, “we dont know when the fuck it’s coming out!”

Next up were speed demons Psychonaut. It was obvious how keen the crowd were getting when a few could be spotted headbanging to the soundcheck whilst the band plugged in their guitars. Psychonaut delivered another short, but intense, crowd-pleasing set including the tracks Thrash Metal Zombies and Iommi’s World, a tribute to the ever inspirational Tony Iommi. However, they did seem to get a bit lost in the over theatrical Dracula, before ending the set abruptly when they appeared to run out of time.

By now the room was filled with an over supply of hair and glitter patches, as Perth’s metalheads awaited the arrival of their heroes. No sooner had Anvil mounted the stage, Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow jumped from the spotlight and joined the crowd on the floor, playing the first of many virtuoso solos on his trademark Flying V, surrounded by appreciative fans. Suffice to say many selfies were taken!

Regaining the stage, Lips declared this was the last night of the tour for the current album, Anvil is Anvil, and gave a quick sales pitch to buy this CD and the next release due in the new year direct from their website, as no record shops stock Anvil CD’s!

Leading into Free As The Wind, Lips tells how forty years ago, the bands first gig after changing their name to Anvil was opening for Motorhead, and how Lemmy asked him to join the band, which Lips refused because, “I’m in fucking Anvil!” And in this tale is the bands appeal. After forty years in the business, Lips and drummer Rob Reiner are here because they love it. The one question everyone always asks is, how did they never make it huge? Not every band does, but not every band survives forty years of cult status playing great shows to small but adoring crowds.

Throughout a set peppered with songs from a four decade back catalogue, and a handful from the last couple of albums, Lips stops to tell another anecdote about Ozzy Osbourne (including a very accurate impression) and asks the crowd if they have seen the Anvil movie. The resounding yes from the room results in him declaring, “great, you’ve all seen me naked, but my wife says it makes me look very large!”

Launching into Mothra, Lips again demonstrates his brilliance as a guitar player, before pulling a large silver vibrator from his back pocket, with which he proceeds to attack his fretboard.

Not only does Lips play his guitar with a dildo, he plays it exceedingly well, wringing new sounds never before heard from a Gibson flying V as he cranks up the vibration speed. Meanwhile bassist Chris Robinson does his best Godzilla impression, stomping across the stage, proving his worth keeping up with Lips and Reiner.

A rendition of Daggers And Rum, complete with pirate vocals and skull & crossbone hologram sunglasses from Robinson leads into Swing Thing. This is where Rob Reiner shows how he got his reputation as THE best drummer in metal. I have seen a lot of drum solos live, including Reiner’s fellow Canadian Neil Peart, whom I thought could never be topped, but…wow… I struggle for words to describe how good this was… or my deep disappointment when it finished.

Firing into another new track, the anti-religion Die for a Lie, Lips asks why someone would kill themselves for virgins in heaven, especially as Lemmy is now up there, ensuring there are none left!

The classic Metal on Metal finishes the main set, with the obligatory audience singalong. The crowd, now in full voice, cheer enthusiastically for an encore, before the band return to the stage with Lips’ ever present wide infectious smile demonstrating how much he loves his job, as he delivers another blistering guitar solo. Finishing the night with a brilliant cover of Steppenwolf’s classic Born to be Wild, Anvil show why they are still here after forty years in the business. When you are this good, why would you stop?



Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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