Anvil – Nottingham Rescue Rooms, 25/06/2011

Written by Dennis Jarman , photos by Sean Larkin

Hot on the heels of a sold out Canadian tour and the release of their stunning new album Juggernaut Of Justice,the mighty Anvil returned to the UK last week.I caught their show in Manchester last Wednesday and it was their best performance i had been to in almost 30 years of watching them.

So Anvil came to rock Nottingham Rock City last Saturday but the morning of the show it was moved to the smaller Rescue Rooms venue about 50 metres away but Anvil or the few hundred fans that were there would not have minded if they had played the show in the car park!

There was no support band but as showtime approached we made our way to the front of the stage. As ever, Anvil do not need to dim the houselights and play an intro to fire the crowd up.We were and always are ready to be blown away by them. They just strolled on,waved to the crowd and Lips raised his semi-hollow guitar to his mouth and mistakenly shouted,”Hello Sheffield,are you ready to rock?”. It was soon apologised and corrected and the band slammed into the opening salvo of the intro mental March Of The Crabs and 666 from their 1982 classic album Metal On Metal.

Lips then asked if their were any older Anvil fans in the crowd and commented on a few balding heads he could see out there,finishing with “growing old me got no choice,growing up,totally optional”.School Love from their debut album Hard N Heavy was next up and still sounds awesome after 31 years!

After a minor speech from Lips about the new album they pounded out the title track Juggernaut Of Justice from which 5 tracks were aired in Nottingham. When some bands insert new songs into the set there is sometimes a drop in atmosphere but the quality of Anvil’s new material kept the crowd at fever pitch and i am sure more will be played on future tours. Next up was Winged Assassins featuring the bass intro played by Glenn Gyorffy, best known to the fans as G5 because of his 5 string bass and is a very underrated player.Lips then mentioned the heat in the Rescue Rooms which was an apt intro for the 2nd new song of the night, On Fire which contains some fine lyrics by Lips to his dedication to Anvil.

The title track from their last album This Is 13 was up nest which Lips described as “a creepy song”. The slowest song of the set so far but still crushingly heavy. Next up is a crowd favourite,the mighty Mothra, again from Metal On Metal which is now stretched out to 15 minutes long to incorporate extra guitar solos by Lips, including one with a vibrator!The lady i was standing next to in Manchester had it put in her mouth! Lips Ronnie James Dio speech followed which is always very poignant and it was followed by a very early Anvil song called Thumb Hang, dedicated to Ronnie by Lips as “it sounds Sabbathy”. “Its time to unleash the beast” said Lips next which meant that White Rhino was to follow. The song starts with a short jam then Robb Reiner takes the spotlight for a 5 minute drum solo which defies description in technicality and for his age (mid 50’s) which i hope he wont mind me mentioning.

Lips and G5 returned and launched into another newie which is already tipped to be another classic,Fuken Eh. Before Forged In Fire was played, Lips asked how many of us had seen the movie as he wanted to point out just how much Anvil love playing the UK. Another newbie next New Orleans Voodoo followed by the song we had all been waiting for, the gonzoid Metal On Metal which tipped the room temperature right off the scale. Next up was another fast one from the Metal On Metal album Jackhammer,the explanation given by Lips about why the song was so called i will not repeat on here.

The final song of the night was another new one called Running which finished a monumental night of metal on a high note. As they left the stage G5 gave one lucky fan his set list, a very nice touch. All band members were smiling throughout the show and were literally out into the crowd about 10 minutes after the show, signing anything put in front of them and happily posing for photos with ecstatic fans. I’d personally like to thank Anvil for another killer show and to the wild crowd who made them welcome and hopefully we can all do it again next year! \m/

Set list:
March Of The Crabs/666 School Love
Juggernaut Of Justice
Winged Assassins
On Fire
This Is 13
Thumb Hang
White Rhino
Fucken Eh
Forged In Fire
New Orleans Voodoo
Metal On Metal

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About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!