One of the most enduring bands from the European metal scene, Danish outfit Pretty Maids, have not played these shores since 1985 amazingly enough, other than an appearance at Firefest. In the circumstances it was disappointing that even the Underworld was less than half full, though the fanaticism of the fans in front of the Underworld’s pillars, including a healthy smattering of European winners made up for things.
Singer Ronnie Atkins had been struggling in the run up to the gig with a stomach bug, but the wizened frontman is an old trouper who ploughed on regardless and is a master of the right stage moves, in tandem with his fellow founder member Ken Hammer, looking stately in a cowboy hat and reeling always fluent if unflashy solos from a guitar emblazoned with the image of Philip Lynott.
Their new album Motherland is a strong, adventurous one and featured heavily early on as they opened with Mother of all Lies and I see Ghosts: after a couple of more basic oldies in needles in the Dark and Love Games, with the crowd shouting out the chorus, another two newies impressed in the more melodic Sad to See You Suffer and Why So Serious, with some intense drumming from Allan Tschicaja.
Returning to tried and tested, the likes of Queen of Dreams with its guitar/keyboard duel and Back to Back were reminders of how the Maids influenced a subsequent generation of European power metal bands, while I loved the commercial hooks of Rodeo and a classy version of the obscure Phil Lynott single Please Don’t Leave Me.
A frantic Red Hot and Heavy from their very earliest days rounded off the main set, before a generous three song encore showed off the sheer diversity of their work: the rapid fire Comes at Night, Little Drops of Heaven whose strong chorus had people singing along with the odd pogoer at the front, and the title track from 1987’s Future World, again with some great guitar and keyboard interplay.
Solid pros who put on a good show, let’s hope the poor turnout hasn’t put the Danes off more frequent visits to these shores.
Review and photos by Andy Nathan
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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