"A Very Special Band"

Tonight they return triumphantly to play what is only their second gig of the year - and already here's one critic prepared to jump off the deep end and demand that this be the year that the Heavy Metal Kids score a substantial commercial killing either with a single (hopefully) or with an album (just as good). This is, of course, pending an offer from a record company willing to take a risk on 'em and trying to suceed where others have failed.

Hot, heady, tough and rugged rock'n'roll from the gut to the groin. Always a delight to witness and tonight is no exception. In Gary Holton the band have going for them what is undoubtedly their strongest visual asset. Endowed with the rare gift of perfect timing he escapes all the traps so many singers have fallen prey to (banal between song raps, self serious posing and inordinate vocalising). The audience are always on their guard and kept in suspense. Holton never fails. His black coiffure dangling sweatily down his scrawny neck, he stands high on the rostrum during "New Wave".
Needless to say, the band are no slouches either. Barry Paul - Guitar, Jay Williams - Guitar, Ronnie Thomas - Bass and Keith Boyce - Drums are all gifted, exciting players.

To fully describe a set as good as this one is practically impossible. I could criticise it if I wanted to be finicky, but hell I've just tried to communicate the buzz I got from seeing such a fine band again. Jeez, the Heavy Metal Kids are like stars in my eyes, I'm just glad to have them back.


"This one's dedicated to 1977. Remember last summer? Yeah...the punks were all out on the Kings Road knocking shit out of each other...the skinheads couldn't make up their minds whether to fight the teds or the punks... and I didn't know what the fuck I was doing..." Gary Holton, the Kid himself, frontman, part-time circus ringmaster, is back with a vengeance. And then some.

To me at least the Heavy Metal Kids are a very special band. They were y'see, the first rock group I ever saw live. My first indocrination into this crazy/sad/delirious phenomenom called rock'n'roll.

In recent times, the Kids have been in something of a state of flux. They're still going strong, even without a record contract. How to describe the appeal of the Heavy Metal Kids to the uninitiated? Comparisons are often weak ways of dealing with that problem, but let's say for argument's sake that, uh, they come from a direction just to the heavier side of ya Hot Rods and Radio Stars. Except of course that the Kids have been around and doing it for a lot longer than those people. Time has not stood still for the Kids, but believe me when I say that they wear it well.

Mick Wall reviews the HMK - Live at the Marquee