Archive for Torque Show

David Williams: My Curry With Guns & Roses

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2023 by 80smetalman

So, after the gig had finished, we decided that we were going to find out where they were going, and crash whatever wild party that had been thrown in the honour of Axl and co, in whatever glamourous venue, probably in some amazing venue in the Wild West End!

But how? Around the side of Hammy O we went, as near to the stage door as possible, to hang out with rock stars and find out our eventual destination. Various rock stars appeared, most lost in my memory, but the two conversations that still stick in my mind are when John Gerring asked John Sykes, ‘John, John, is Coverdale still in Whitesnake…???!!’ which was met with a rather bemused look, and the following exchange, between me and one of my absolute heroes.

Me: Hello Pete

Pete Way: Hello mate, I know you, you’re Swedish ain’tcha, with that pretty girlfriend.

Me: No Pete, I’m Welsh

Pete Way: Ah, right yeah. Got any heroin?

Me: No Pete, I don’t do drugs

Pete Way: Good man. Got any coke?

Me: No Pete.

Then his accomplice led him away to where Phil Mogg was standing and off they went away into the night, like the title of a UFO song….

But where the heck were G’n’R going???

Hang on, there they were getting on a coach. We sprinted for Kieran’s van and set off in hot pursuit. Through West London we went, keeping up with the coach despite the traffic lights getting in the way. Finally we caught up with the now parked up coach on Westbourne Grove, and it was voted that as I was the singer and the one with the mouth (lol) who goes to restaurants, that I should go and find them. Off I went and despite peering through the windows of every still open pub/bar/restaurant I could find, my search sadly drew a blank. Oh well, we’d still had an amazing night, we’d seen Faster Pussycat, (I’d even got Brent Muscat’s autograph), our mates The Quireboys (hooray!), and the all-conquering Guns’n’Roses, and then star spotted around the back of the legendary Hammy O. What more could you want from a night out? Kieran turned the ignition of his company van and we started the cross town journey back to the glamour of our East Ham home.

But then, to our amazement, we saw Duff walking along the pavement by the side of the van! Down went the window and Duff was duly summoned, I still don’t know who was more surprised, him or us! He explained that he was looking for ‘a payphone to call Seattle…’ We immediately told him to get in the van, he did look at us suspiciously at first, but when he saw the way we were dressed, and we told him we’d not only been at the gig that night but also at the Marquee shows back in the summer, in he got, off we went, and a pay phone was found a few hundred yards up the road, so out he got and made his call home. We were now beside ourselves with excitement, your actual Duff, in the van, and we’d done him a favour! Surely we’d now be invited to the wild soiree that he’d escaped from.

Duff got back in the van, thanked us all for our help and suggested that we should all, ‘come and have a ****ing drink with Guns and Roses!’. This was it, now what crazy rock and roll hot spot were we going to be invited into for an evening of (hopefully) free Jack Daniels and rock and roll goddesses? Much to our surprise he pointed out the Khyber Indian Restaurant, the Escort van was parked outside and, much to the shock/bemusement/horror of the respectable diners coming to the end of their meals, a line of leather jacketed, big haired rock and rollers followed him in and down the stairs at the back of the restaurant (the reason why I’d not seen them), where he was greeted by (I think) Alan Niven with the words, ‘Oh my God, what’s he done now….’. Not to worry, we were his new friends, so seats were found, beers and Chicken Kormas were ordered, and I sat there, caught my breath and looked around.

So who was around the tables then? If I remember correctly, it was 35 years ago after all, it went, in clockwise fashion, me, Leigh, John, Slash (in a bootleg t-shirt he’d got outside the Odeon), Sally the Dancer, (who we knew from various gigs and nights out), maybe Alan Niven. Duff, Steven Adler, a girl called Nellie who looked like she could have been Slash’s sister, two German girls, Kieran, Carol and Martin. So who’s missing you’re asking? Just as we arrived at the restaurant, Izzy had to leave as he wasn’t feeling very well. He had indeed spent the whole gig looking extremely cool but sort of not moving very much, so not sure what had happened there. Axl was sitting away from the band further down the restaurant with, I think, Erin Everly herself. The two of them didn’t seem really interested in joining us as they appeared to be in deep conversation but I do recall him playing with a rather large ornate knife and also looking daggers at me when I proposed a toast to the band and their success.

Never mind, what fun conversations we were all having, I wish I could remember them all; Duff asking me to translate into German his intentions to the two German girls, Steven Adler being very funny and charming and maybe Alan Niven being quite relieved that we were actually a well behaved group of reprobates that Duff had brought into the restaurant.

All too soon at approximately 2am, it was time to leave the restaurant. Hugs, handshakes were exchanged and our demo tapes were given to the band and we got back into Kieran’s Escort van for the journey home to East Ham.

What a night, as is often said, if only we’d had phones with cameras in those days! I’m lucky that I still go to gigs and meet all sorts of various famous and infamous musicians, but that night will always be one of the most special, heck, I’ve still the matches from the restaurant somewhere….

Dave, (second from right) how he looked back then when he was singer in the band Torque Show.

David’s favour Guns and Roses Song.

Thanks to Dave for sharing this great account. My only regret was that I couldn’t be there. I had to work that evening and had spent the day with my bride to be flat hunting.

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Great Metal Albums of 1988: Bonfire- Fireworks

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Illness, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2022 by 80smetalman

I nearly forgot, blame old age, that I begin any given year with albums which came out the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the year I’m posting on. One of these was the second album by German metal band, Bonfire and my discovery of them came in a rather amusing way. My friends’ band, Torque Show was playing their first gig at London’s famous club, The Marquee. They were the opening band for, you’ve already guessed it, Bonfire.

Torque Show

The photo above is misleading, only two members of the band were left by the time Torque Show played the Marquee and they were on their second drummer. Anyway, they played well as an opening band and paved the way for Bonfire who impressed me as well. At least to the point that I gave their second album “Fireworks,” a go. It was a good night.

The best way to describe “Fireworks” is a straight forward glam metal album. The album does nothing I would call groundbreaking but it is consistent all the way through. For me, it doesn’t really fully kick into gear until the third track, “Sleeping All Alone.” There’s nothing wrong with the first two tracks, they both provide a good listen but it’s this particular track that turned my head. It could be the cool guitar solos from Hans Ziller which do it. That level is maintained with the following track, “Champion.” It’s a good straight ahead metal tune, one which would be radio friendly and the rhythm section, including the rhythm guitar, lay down a good foundation for the song.

Bonfire gets down and dirty with “Don’t Get Me Wrong” as this is a sleazy sounding, guitar crunching number. This is one to pump your fist in the air and flash the horns to. I can’t remember which songs they played that night so I can say if I did or not. I know I did stage dive. However, things dip a little after as “Sweet Obsession” doesn’t quite measure up to the previous three tracks. It has a good bassline though. The same can be said for “Rock Me Now.” Its intro sounds similar to the Great White classic, “Rock Me,” but then picks up speed but in spite of the increased speed, it lacks a little punch.

Fortunately, my pick for track of the album comes in and the last two tracks become distant memories. “American Nights” comes in with some cool drumming and definitely has some swagger. Lead singer, Claus Lessman, who sings well on all tracks, gives it a bit more oomph with the vocals and the rest of the band respond accordingly. Cool guitar riffs and lead guitar hooks bring in “Fantasy.” The changes in tempo keep it interesting, One minute it sounds like a ballad but then goes total metal the next with some great guitar work.

Penultimate track, “Give It a Try,” is a decent power ballad and you can feel the passion in Claus’s vocals and some good power ballad soloing from Hans. Listening to it and then to the actual closer, “Cold Days,” I think that these two songs should have been switched around. “Cold Days” would have been a better penultimate track and the passion behind “Give It a Try” would be better for a closer.

Track Listing:

  1. Ready 4 Action
  2. Never Mind
  3. Sleeping Alone
  4. Champion
  5. Don’t Get Me Wrong
  6. Sweet Obsession
  7. Rock Me Now
  8. American Nights
  9. Fantasy
  10. Give It a Try
  11. Cold Days
Alternative Cover

Claus Lessman- lead and backing vocals

Hans Ziller- lead and acoustic guitars, backing vocals

Horst Maier- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Jorg Deisinger- bass, backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Ken Mary- drums

Martin Ernst- keyboards

Maybe I should thank Torque Show, for opening for a great band. Torque Show broke up a couple of years later but Bonfire still burns on. With albums like “Fireworks,” it’s plain to see why.

Next post: Cheap Trick- Lap of Luxury

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