The Musician is a cracking venue, right in the heart of Leicester city centre, full of atmosphere and gig vibe… a perfect way for me to catch up with the Tamworth crazy boys on the first night of their (extensive) UK tour. It’s great to walk into a club and find people of similar ilk and age, and not the rabbles of 14yr+ that started to saturate many a gig in the late 90s. Wolfsbane were back, and so was a lot of their original crowd by the looks of things!
A freshly shaven Blaze Bayley bowls out onto the stage alerting the rowdy punters (with as many obscenities as possibly imaginable) grabbing the attention of all as they launch into set opener ‘Broke And Obscure’ and comfortably flying straight into ‘Smoke + Red Light’ as if they have never left the stage for the lengthy hiatus. Being their first time in Leicester they invite you to celebrate rather merrily with the Guinness based song ‘Black Lagoon’ to which the crowd happily sing along to, being whipped up in a frenzy by the on-form antics of Bayley. He even gets the crowd clapping along with ‘Blue Sky’… Firing on all four cylinders, this opening night gig just paves the way for performances during the rest of the shows; I just wish I’d get the chance to see them in London. With Blaze ‘meathead’ Bayley’s crazy personality reaching unprecedented heights and his rather grandiose but likable fuck yeeer attitude he wipes the place into a frenzy for classic ‘Loco’ and the inhabitants in The Musician love it!
With all 3 other members of Wolfsbane showing ‘maturing features’ bassist Jeff Hateley still manages to pass off a look which would ask him for proof of I.D. in most of the venue bar’s he’ll be playing (age has been kind to him) and leaping around like a hungry lunatic, pulling kick jumps as he strums mercilessly at his bass, he would not seem out of place in many a band! Jeff the punk rocker is going for it tonight… big time.
A massive sense of fun is definitely present in tonight’s musicianship; with smiles all round the band, causing Blaze to launch into an inspiring speech revealing the truth about his hair loss as the intro to ‘All Hell Breaks Loose Down At Kathy Wilson’s Place’. Jase Edwards guitar playing is as stellar as ever completing the sound of the original Woflsbane from back in the day. Tonight is a real nostalgia trip for all. ‘The Money’ taken from the e.p. and ‘The Teacher’ (about not having a dull sex life) spiel some corny but great intro rants, before closing the set with debut album classics ‘I Like It Hot’ and ‘Manhunt’, and finally ‘Paint The Town Red’. Wolfsbane have got Leicester eating from out of their dirty little paws!
Demanding an encore, and already playing a lengthy set here tonight, Wolfsbane hastily return to the stage for a further 5 songs ‘Love’s An Illusion’, ‘Limousine’, ‘GSB’, ‘Black Machine’, ‘Easy’ and then firmly establish that they are back to save the world as ‘Money To Burn’ hammers out of the speakers. There’s a lot of people very happy here tonight, and as I leave queues at the merch stall form… Mark Freebase