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InterviewsThe Return Of NWOBHM Survivors Jameson Raid

Posted on Tuesday, December 03 2013 @ 14:44:56 CST by Dean Pedley
Heavy Metal Taking their name from a failed nineteenth century uprising in the South African republic, Jameson Raid became cult heroes of the halcyon NWOBHM era despite only releasing a couple of EP's, one of which included signature song 'Seven Days of Splendour'. From their Birmingham base in the heart of the English Midlands and the undisputed home of metal, they gigged with the likes of Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden and Saxon before dissolving in 1983. With new material in the pipeline via a Pledge Music launch, Dean Pedley caught up with the reformed band just after their set at the Hard Rock Hell festival in North Wales.

The HRH performance marked the first gig by the new line-up of Jameson Raid, still fronted by vocalist Terry Dark and featuring bassist Pete Green who joined the band in the early 80's when still a teenager. "I have never really stopped and counted but we have had quite a few different members over the years", says Terry. "We got back together with the original line-up back in 2010; John Ace is managing a company of about 200 people and Phil Kimberley is a top contract lawyer and travels all over the world so neither of them could stick with us for very long." Joining Terry and Pete in the current version are guitarist Dave Rothan (formerly of Marshall Law, Beholder and Graham Bonnet's band) and drummer Lars Wickett.

"It was a baptism of fire for both Dave and myself really" says Lars. "I had done two rehearsals with Terry and a few more with Pete and then Dave joined us at the last minute. I saw quite a few t-shirts out there in the crowd from people who remember the band from before and, although it went very quickly, the set was really good fun to do. I am a full time session drummer and play with a number of other artists but it is enjoyable for me to be grounded and playing with an original act like Jameson Raid that play their own music. You do have to follow the original versions to some extent but it is nice for me to be able to put my own slant on the songs and add a little bit of flavour to it which I hope I was able to do today…but you will have to ask Terry about that when I am not around!"

Naturally 'Seven Days of Splendour' received a great response from the audience, but the band also debuted several new songs including the excellent 'Red Moon' and '9 Reasons', something Terry was extremely pleased about. "We did five new songs and it was interesting for us to see what the reaction would be from the crowd and with two new members in the band it was always going to be a case of seeing how the dynamic in the band would work out but we were all really pleased with how it went."

Talk of new material leads on to the Jameson Raid Pledge Music campaign that has just launched and runs through until the end of January 2014. "It's going to be a three track CD called 9 Reasons, the title song was in our set today, and the money that we are trying to raise is not a huge amount because the music is already there so we are looking to fund the production of the CD's and the promotion of it", Terry explains. "It starts of with the three tracks as a download and there is a signed CD, a special t shirt which is exclusive to this Pledge campaign, special band posters and it goes up to the top end where we will record a special song of your choice, put a message on it, produce a video for it and send it to you. For me Crowdfunding is a new thing but I think more bands and their fans are starting to be introduced to it and get used to it." Lars continues "It gives them the option to get an insight into the band and feel that they have been part of the process, they can perhaps come and meet us and have a coffee with us by pledging their money into the band so that we can continue to entertain them in the years to come. A lot of other bands have Pledge campaigns to actually the get the CD recorded but as Terry says we have it ready to go and just need to fund getting it released."

Terry readily admits that these days he is far more interested in the business side of being in a band compared with first time around. Despite wining acclaim from such influential journalists as Kerrang's Malcolm Dome, the Raid failed to land that all important record deal, a major factor in their 1983 demise. "We turned down contracts thirty years ago; we thought we were too good for certain labels. With hindsight it was stupid really but youth can be like that, you don't realise what you are saying no to at the time. It still sticks in my mind there was a cash rich company that had just had huge success and they invited us in, we looked around the office and talked to the CEO and we decided to not to go with them. But the whole business model has changed such a lot now and something else I am very interested in is Internet radio stations because it is also a relatively new market and gives bands such as us an opportunity to get new music played and it gives the fans who still love this type of music somewhere they can hear it outside of the commercial stations; I see a big future for that."

And what about the future for Jameson Raid? "If it goes well we will hopefully record a full length album at some point towards the end of 2014 and look to go down the Pledge route again. And lets face it times are still difficult, there is still a recession on and so we have to look at different ways to make the new material available. We are actively looking for management, somebody who can help us out and then hopefully we can get out and play more gigs. Playing at a festival like Hard Rock Hell is great exposure for us because it lets people know that we still exist as a band."

Official Site - http://www.jamesonraid.eu/

Pledge Music Site – http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/jamesonraid

Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/Jameson.Raid.92

Words by Dean Pedley
Images by Rob Nankivell of Shoot Plymouth - http://shootplymouth.co.uk/


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