Top Of The Big Tops


Holton is aggresive from the start, jumping on the drum platform, sneering at the audience as the band beat out the music making you feel priviledged to watch them.

"Holiday Inn" (an ironic title 'cos that's the hotel they're staying in) has Holton running, jumping, shaking and drinking beer he spits out on the stage. This is vibrant tongue-wagging rock. The control is captured as Gary goes into his first of many clothing changes. This time it's a white shirt with billowing arms and a black bow tie around his neck.

The Heavy Metal Kids' show is break-neck pace - and though Holton confides later that they had to cut 40 minutes for Germany, you can't tell. The set seems to be going so fast you wonder who'll be the first to spin off the edge as Holton changes into a black leather jacket for "She's No Angel" with it's higher than high energy and almost Booker T type organ from John Sinclair. It's topped only by their famous "The Cops Are Coming" with it's shades of Gothic rock letting everyone solo without getting self indulgent.

Holton is the star even wearing a long raincoat. The arrogance his stage presence emits makes Gary one of the most communicative singers around. There is no doubt that this boy is on his way to the top. Backstage he's pleased, the sound was good. He's also pleased about the set up with Most and says their new album is nearing completion. "It's the best thing he's done since his work with Jeff Beck," announces the confident Holton. "Mickie Most doesn't need us, he's a millionaire. But he wants to make a reputation as a producer instead of just being associated with people like Suzi Quatro."

Holton has nothing but praise after the show. He rates Most as having the best "ear" in the business. This heavy metal punk reckons the boom for teenybop groups is over. "You've got to go straight out there and whack them right between the eyes!"

The Heavy Metal Kids are about to be "Re-valued", "discovered" - call it what you will. The Kids are signed to pop maestro and producer Mickie Most and their first single for him, "She's No Angel", hit 57. They have another out in July called "From Heaven To Hell And Back Again".

But the real proof happened with a powerhouse set of rock at Munich's Circus Krone. The charismatic punk was top form, The band are currently supporting Uriah Heep on a European Tour and they're storming it.

Frontman Gary Holton spent most of his life in showbusiness having started as what he calls a "snotty child actor" at the age of 11. The difference is that now he "plays" the part of a snotty actor and is always ready to be the fool.

The Circus Krone is a 3,000 capacity permanent circus - an efficient German version of the Roundhouse. Posters, chillums, badges, albums and all the pop paraphenalia are lined up in neat rows. Except for their punchy rock style, there's nothing neat about the Heavy Metal Kids.