For the second time in just over twelve months rejuvenated Canadian rockers Anvil played the 400 capacity Academy 3 and pulled a noisy, vociferous if not quite sold out crowd. There's a school of thought which suggests that much of Anvil's material isn't actually very good, hence their disappearance into obscurity over the years. There is some truth in that way of thinking. Some of their album cuts are fairly rank; Show Me Your Tits? Hair Pie? What they do have, however, are enough excellent songs to make a hugely enjoyable set and they're much better musicians than they're generally given credit for especially Robb Reiner on drums. Also, in Steve Lips Kudlow they have one of the most engaging frontmen in rock and if I had to name the coolest man on the planet then would have to be their bass player G5.
After walking unannounced onto the stage a few technical gremlins appeared before Lips' guitar cranked into action and he announced the first song through said instrument. March of the Crabs was a real statement of intent and was so heavy I was surprised not to read of earthquakes in the North West.
666 and School Love followed but Anvil aren't tied to their past and unleashed (I think) four songs from the new Juggernaut of Justice CD including the really rather spiky title track, the imaginatively titled New Orleans Voodoo (never before played infront of an audience) and Running which concluded proceedings.
Lips is a born raconteur and full of anecdotes like the one about how he ran into Ronnie James Dio in Italy and had breakfast despite not having seen each other for twenty-five years. He then dedicated This is Thirteen to the much missed legend as it's a bit, "Sabbathy."There were many looks of joy around the room when Lips sand about, "A CRYSTAL BAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL," just like in the film which didn't get a mention this year unlike last.
Before the encores of Jackhammer and Running Lips promised that he would come out afterwards and shake everybody's hands and be the last one to leave the venue and he was true to his words.
Tonight was also the night when for the first half of, "Your anthem, my anthem – everybody's anthem," Lips' guitar failed to work and we were treated to a drum and bass version of Metal on Metal. Also, if you're one of those idiots who kept diving on the stage and knocking things over – stop it, you just spoil things for everyone.