HEADLINE MANIAC - LIVE
2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the punk rock revolution. However, little consideration has been given to the proceeding times and the bands that helped to lay the foundations of this seismic shift in the UK musical landscape. From the early 70s, Pub Rock had been creating the back-to-basics environment that would ultimately lead to rock returning to its roots in smaller, more intimate venues. Whilst bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones were spending millions on recording and touring albums, Pub Rock was down and dirty, and eschewed too many frills.
Bands such as Dr Feelgood, Kilburn and the High Roads and Brinsley Schwarz took rock back to the masses with sweaty, riotous gigs in London venues such as the Tally Ho, Hope & Anchor, and Dingwalls. Holding their own amongst these was Eddie and The Hot Rods who, in 1976, were supported by a band of unknown upstarts called the Sex Pistols. Just possibly, Lydon & Co got a few pointers that night on how to ultimately become the saviours of British music.
Back last year I reviewed a release by new band HEADLINE MANIAC who comprised three long time members of the aforementioned Hot Rods - Ian "Dipster" Dean on bass/lead vocals, Chris Taylor on guitar/ vocals and Simon Bowley on drums/vocals - and very complimentary I was about it too. Well they're back and joined by Jack Hobbs on Keyboards and guitar.
This time they've attempted to catch the energy of their live sound by committing to record appearances at Spain's Motorbeach, the Cambridge Rock festival and the Great British Alternative festival. Trying to keep the sound as true as possible there are no overdubs, so what you get is their raw rock/blues sound, containing more than a pinch of punk.
Old favourites from their first release are joined by covers of Bowie's "Suffragette City", Thin Lizzy's "The Rocker" and Van Morrison's classic "Gloria", although their sound remains at all times the hook laden classic rock of bands such as Free and Bad Company.
Sadly the days when rock ruled the airwaves are long gone and instead insipid hip hop and R'n'B hold sway over today's youth. Perhaps what the kids really need is to hear what a proper band sound like without auto tune and multi track and get back to the simpler times when 4 guys got up on stage and blew you away with their music and not complicated dance routines. So, if you fancy a bit of rock nostalgia, check out HEADLINE MANIAC LIVE.