Wolfsbane have a new album out after 17 years. Here’s them back in ’88 or thereabouts:
Joy of joys. Tamworth’s finest metallers — Wolfsbane — are back together after God knows how long an absence. They have a new album which came out a couple of weeks ago: “Wolfsbane Saves the World”, check out great new track “Smoke and Red Light”. Wolfsbane aren’t yet on Spotify so for the first time in years I bought an actual CD . . . my copy is on its way as I write.
I must declare an interest. Back in 1986 or 1987 I was working at Moor Hall Hotel as a gardener . . . basically a skivvy with secaturs. Wolfsbane lead singer Blaze Bayley worked at the hotel too as a porter. I remember Blaze coming downstairs in the morning bleary-eyed into the kitchen for a coffee or two sporting the gear he’d performed in the night before: a long scarlet velvet cape and thick swathes of eye shadow. Like Nosferatu ordering a latte in Costa he would scowl at anyone who interrupted this morning ritual but once the fug cleared Blaze was a top bloke and gave me loads of tapes and was responsible for introducing me to Dio — I actually still have the Holy Diver home-taped cassette he gave me.
Wolfsbane were just taking off then — their first album was just round the corner (recorded in LA and Rick Rubin produced) and I also have their first ever demo single (Clutching at Straws
Tears from a Fool A side with 5 a.m. on the B side) which is one of only 500 pressed if I recall correctly.
But even more treasured than that piece of vinyl is this poster a mate ripped from the wall of a filthy Smallbrook alley. It’s a piece of memorabilia I treasure not just because of the connection but also because it was my first ever paying gig. How many others can claim they have the poster for their first concert? I don’t recall who else was on the bill at Goldwyn’s (is this club still there?) but me, Skippy and Paula from the hotel trooped down into darkest Brum for a very sweaty night. I caught Wolfsbane again in 1990 supporting Iron Maiden in Torbay (yes, Torbay. Is that the furtherest west Maiden have ever gone?) and Blaze was on fire then too.
I’ve put up a hi-res version of my poster in case any Howlin’ Mad S**theads want to use it as a screensaver — go ahead be my guest. As you can see from the fashions Wolfsbane in the late eighties were just the right side of sleazy. In those days glam metal was still clinging on by the skin of its teeth but thanks to bands like Wolfsbane the spandex lot (Crue, Poison et al) weren’t long for this earth and were finally dispatched when Guns n’ Roses came along stomped on their muscial windpipes and choked em into silence.
Blaze, do you still have that red/green checked leather jacket?
Foreigner, Tooth and Nail