Kerrang Uk - 482 1994
KILLING WITH POWER
Interview taken by Dave Reynolds
The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, Friday, February 4
WITH ROMULUS Harries at the reins, the Black Metal chariot thundered, Godspeed, towards our destination in the very heart of the Black Country. We sought a palace made from brick and mortar, where we would bear witness to the spectacle of might, the triumphant return to this great land of four undisputed gods, collectively known as Manowar.
But wait! What, pray, is this? A pagan bunch of pretenders in peasant dress, yet calling themselves Skyclad? What trickery is at work here? And so it came to pass...
As an 11th hour addition to the bill, there was some unease about having to witness Martin Walkyier's band of ragamuffins. After all, Skyclad don't feature highly on my playlist, and I've never before had the inclination to see them live. But the band gave a very good account of themselves to genuine warmth from an audience really only here to see a demonstration of 'Mannishness' and to feel the 'Black Wind' thanks to the thunderous riffs of 'Skyclad' and 'Man Of Straw', but I did get the feeling that, had they played any longer than a 30 minute set, their appeal would have begun to wear thin.
Skyclad didn't get the chance in any case, the performance ending on a farcical though humorous note when, having completed the fiddle mungous 'Spinning Jenny', Martin announced the arrival of the last song of their night.
"Oh," he hesitated. "We've just been told that WAS our last song."
"Hang on!" Walkyier pleaded. "I wanna see if we can do one more ... "
"Wolverhampton!" came the cry at last. "Goodnight!"
The Civic Hall, Manowar's first stop on a renewed European assault, wasn't sold out by any stretch of the imagination. But the faithful the Army Of Immortals unswayed by passing trends (where will all those bands be in 10 years?) had travelled the length and breadth of this fair land to be in the presence of gods. Kings. Gentlemen.
Eschewing a backdrop in favour of their usual array of as many amplifiers as the stage could take, the mighty Manowar's arrival was as spectacular as ever, even if they still insist on using the same orchestrated piece of music for an intro tape as Angel utilised in the '70s.
The air was thick with the stench of Metal from the off, Manowar bounding upon the stage with the energy of 10.000 stallions, to be met by legions of brothers saluting the quartet as truly they might warriors from fierce, bloody battles in far and distant lands no one can even begin to imagine.
Mind, even great swordsmen can have chinks in their armour. Yes, even the only band that really matters. Manowar are impossible to touch when delivering those huge anthems of theirs, like 'Kings Of Metal', Kill With Power' and the rousing 'Hail To England', but attention spans sometimes don't have the capacity to fully appreciate a lengthy epic such as 'Achilles Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts' when you're more in the mood to punch the air some more and crank out more riffs on an air guitar! Still, the lasting memory of the events in Wolverhampton has to be when Eric Adams had his microphone prised from his iron grip by a fan who had been allowed onstage during 'Kings Of Metal' along with some brothers and, er, sisters (including one blonde wench to whom bassist Joey DeMaio took a liking!), and promptly sang the next verse of the song before handing it back for Adams to continue! Security didn't intervene once. That pretty much says it all for the relationship this band has with its fans. Manowar are still the outcasts who refuse to take part in modern mediocrity, but they adore being in the company of other, like minded individuals. Death to False Metal!