Live Review: Wolfsbane, Bradford Queens Hall, 10th March, 1990

Tamworth's finest returned from the USA to Bradford for the second date of their tour. They got a heroes welcome as they walked on stage; vocalist Blaze Bayley told the audience they were "beautiful, gorgeous, absolutely lovely..." in his warm Midlands accent.

Their amusing self parody songs, like Limousines and Money To Burn are well received and definitely suited to Blaze's warm voice. he wails over the opening Money sounding like the wolf he was looking like with all his facial hair.

Drummer Steve Ellet hammers out the beat to his heart's content, leering over his kit watching the action. Whilst Jeff Hately leaps about the stage, bass guitar slung low over his leg, providing the subtle bass lines. Jase Edwards remains a still figure amongst the mayhem, his lead work cutting through the rhythm section with ease, crystal clear.

The star of the band is without a doubt Blaze. He is totally manic. His raps, littered with F-words, he fists the air one minute, the next he's shaking his head around or jumping up and down. All the time the howling mad crowd lap it up. Shouting along and headbanging or singing, Wolfsbane aren't short on entertainment. The songs are all about teenage life, gutter levels we all know so well. Blaze's distinctive voice must be one of the freshest ones around; original even. Such is the band's appeal, he belittles the crowd, swears at them, screams until his voice breaks on the intro to Manhunt. The song is a great rock tune, with its ferocious sing-a-long chorus with Jeff on backing vocals. 

Tears From A Fool, the ballad from the Live Fast Die Fast album was next, a great live song, heavier than its vinyl counterpart, showing that the band can play slow when need be. With Wolfsbane there is no posing or glam clothes, just ordinary clothes glued to them with sweat.

Following that they tore into a version of Motorhead's Ace of Spades for the first encore. The audience went crazy throughout. 

They followed on with a great song not on the album, Paint The Town Red, during which Blaze sang to the crowd from the PA stack. 

Beckoned back for even more madness, the band's surprise was clear, nodding his head like some crazy puppet Blaze ridiculed himself once again. 

Steve Ellet rattled out the steady beat to a cover of Free's Alright Now. Blaze sang this whilst hanging from the lightning rig, then proceeded to run the length of the balcony. Shaking hands and kissing girls before leaping back to the stage as the solo ended. As the song crashed to an end, the band clung to every hand that clawed up from the front od the stage.

What a gig and what a band. Howling mad the lot of 'em.

Julie Wilby
Riff Raff
May 1990
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