Sunday 3 August 2014

NWOBHM Never Dies Part Two: The Lion’s Share.

Vardis [Review]
Rock & Blues Festival

For the second weekend running I find myself at a festival in Derbyshire watching a New Wave of British Heavy Metal band, last week it was Girlschool, this week it’s the turn of Vardis who have returned to the fray after an absence of twenty eight years. I last saw Vardis in November 1986 at the mardi gras Nottingham which must have been one of their very last gigs, until now that is.
Formed in the 1970’s Vardis rose to their peak of fame in the early 80’s with their debut album 100 MPH which uniquely for a first LP is a live recording. I saw them back then support Hawkwind on the Levitation tour and Slade on the Till Deaf Do Us Part tour as well as opening up the Heavy Metal Holocaust festival at Port Vale in 1981.

Rumours of a reunion began last year and in 2014 it came to fruition with a successful appearance at Brofest(UK)#2 and the re-release of their 1986 album Vigilante which has been digitally re-mastered. Today at the Rock & Blues festival we see Vardis playing their third show since the comeback and lead guitarist and lead vocalist Steve Zodiac bares little resemblance to his appearance of yester year, gone is the mane of long blond hair and the bare foot and bare chest demeanour but not gone is the inimitable guitar sound that so impressed the NWOBHM audiences back in the day.

Joining Steve Zodiac on stage is Terry Horbury (bass) and Gary Pearson (drums) it was Gary by all accounts who was instrumental in finding Steve and getting the old team into a rehearsal studio.

Vardis are in good company at the Rock & Blues festival being joined on the bill by Toseland, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Acoustic TV, New Generation Superstars and many more great live bands. Headlining the main stage on Friday they follow State of Quo which was good for them as 100% of the audience have heard of Status Quo, considerably less of them have ever heard of Vardis.

It’s a testimony to the quality of their songs that not only the ‘hard core’ fans down the front were rockin’ to the hour and a half set but many of the Vardis initiates were engrossed in the show as well. Songs like ‘Let’s Go’ ‘Out of the Way’ ‘Destiny’ ‘If I Were King’ ‘100MPH’ and ‘The Lion’s Share’ standing the test of time and sounding as fresh and relevant as they did over thirty years ago. On the strength of tonight’s performance I’m sure there are now many more Vardis fans in the world, if I were king I’d have a lion’s share because NWOBHM Never Dies… GD Manofmetal.

Visit The Vardis Wbsite:

                          Gee It's Steve Zodiac!

 All Five of My Videos From Rock & Blues Festival...

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