Sunday, 19 June 2011

Silurian Onslaught

Despite Burke Shelley's reticence at being associated with heavy metal and its 'weird' bricolage, when The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal really took off, he made sure Budgie were going to be a part of it.

I first saw Budgie in 1980. They were headlining a bill entitled The Heaviest Night of the Year; supported by a very drunken Girlschool, Angel Witch and Praying Mantis - takes you back, don't it.

Man, Budgie were loud.
I was deaf for a week.
Threw up on the way home.
Great night.

I then saw them a couple of years later in Dingwalls of all places.
Yeah, right, shouldn't be allowed.
Budgie at their most hardcore in that tiny venue.
I was deaf for a fortnight.

(I hold Burke Shelley partly responsible for my now ongoing relationship with tinnitus.
Cheers, Burke!
[Wouldn't have missed a minute of it])

Seeing him work up close, it really did seem that he was going to explode before our very eyes; kind of Scanners' style; veins rising from his neck and temples with ferocious and frightening force.

(It's no coincidence that Shelley recently suffered an aneurysm.
I'm surprised his vessels lasted as long as they did.
But apparently all is well; he's all patched up, and hey, he's out gigging again.)

This recording is from the same year as my Dingwalls' encounter.
Slightly bigger venue though: the Headline spot for the opening night of 1982's Reading Rock Festival; really reflecting their influence on the new sound and interest in British metal (Iron Maiden headlined the Saturday).

They sort of reinvented themselves.
Threw off their proggy weeds and got down with the kids, and according to the reception evident here, they went down a storm.

In a way Budgie kind of went back to their roots: back to Squawk territory, and due to the demands of the genre, they became more anthemic; but still managed to bang out some great hardcore boogie.

Shelley's voice had dropped an octave or two - his voice finally broke - but he made up for it by screaming as loud as his big old Welsh tonsils would allow; but mainly this is a jam fest, and there's some very tasty lengthy instrumental sections.
And that's something Budgie as a trio totally excelled at.

Budgie - Live at Reading, 1982.

Forearm Smash
Crime Against the World
I Turned to Stone
She Used Me Up
Panzer Division Destroyed

This has been released along with some other live Budgie recordings as part of the BBC Recording Series; this recording however, was captured when broadcast.
If I remember rightly, as part of Tommy Vance's Friday Night Rock Show on Radio 1.

Excellent rip from cassette captured FM broadcast @320kbs
Prepare to bang head here

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