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  World Of Music


Battleaxe - 1985


And so it was that from the ashes of the Warrior there was formed a mighty Battleaxe... So runs the ancient legend. Sometimes legends can be true. Sometimes legends can be modern. From the ashes of a band called Warrior there came Battleaxe.

Back in the early 1980s in the north-east of England four young men joined forces to embark on a heroic quest - to be one of the best heavy metal bands around.

In 1980 when Dave King (vocals) Brian Smith (bass), Steve Hardy (guitar) and Ian Thompson (drums) went into Durham's Guardian studios to record the single, "Burn This Town", they wanted to be one of the best good-time rock bands. With a deal from Roadrunner Records, the resulting album sold well, bringing them to the attention of Kerrang who said: "These boys wield a mean blade which scythes through the small label production smog and scratches some genuine excitement into the grooves."

Following the addition of Ian McCormack on drums, they built themselves up to be one of the regions most energetic and exciting heavy metal bands on the scene. Playing gigs across the country with bands like Saxon, Twisted Sister and Girlschool, recording sessions for Radio One's Tommy Vance, Battleaxe scored legions of fans with their second album, "Power From The Universe".

With all their hard work appearing to pay off, the band suffered a severe body blow on the eve of a showcase gig for Atlantic Records when guitarist Steve Hardy unexpectedly quit.

Yet Battleaxe soldiered on. After a period with a floating line-up, In 1987 John Stormont and Mick Percy came in, adding a twin-attack approach to the guitar, making Battleaxe's sound more dynamic and exciting than ever before. Unfortunatley John Stormont left for domestic reasons and also Ian McCormack followed soon after. They were replaced with Jason Holt (guitar) and Stewart Curtan (drums). A large open air festival took place in Old Eldon Sq. Newcastle upon Tyne and the guys performed magnificantly but this was their only live performance with Battleaxe. This left the current line up (Mick Percy - guitar, Colin Simpson - guitar, Bri Smith - bass, Paul Atkinson - drums and Dave King - vocals) as powerful as Battleaxe ever was, finishing a fantastic performance at Klenal Hall, Bikers festival in Northumberland. And this is Battleaxe!

The recording of their third album was put on hold as they went in the studio to record demo material (now released as the "Nightmare Zone", EP). Arguably, their most commercial material to date, it shows that Battleaxe was undoubtedly capable of holding their own with the bigger bands on the scene.

Unable to secure a deal to release "Metal Edge", the band drifted from public view, losing the momentum that they had built up over the years. With heavy hearts, the original founding members, Dave King and Brian Smith decided to call it a day. It had been one hell of ride. Lots of fun, lots of laughs, hard work and energy devoted to climbing their way to the first division of rock bands.

Battleaxe - 2005

And there the story might have ended and Battleaxe become one of the great might-have been stories lost forever in the misty legends of rock music. But in the twenty five years since Battleaxe made their debut, there has been a small but growing dedicated fan base interested in the band, wanting to relive the material which until now has only been available on hard to find vinyl or expensive Japanese imports.

Now in 2005, Dave King has blown the dust off the original albums, bringing Battleaxe triumphantly into the 21st Century. Delving into the archives, Dave has rediscovered a sonic treasure chest of pure gold, providing Battleaxe fans old and new with the hard hitting sound they want. Remastered and revamped, Battleaxe proves their licence to rock remains as relevant as it ever was.

Battleaxe's Discography:

Axed - Unreleased, Demos & Rarities - (2005)

Nightmare zone - EP (2005)

Power from the universe - Remastered (1985)

Burn this town - Remastered (1985)

Power from the universe (1984)
Burn this town (1984)

Burn this town (1983)

Burn this town (1981)

Battleaxe's Line-Up:

Colin Simpson [guitar]
Paul Atkinson [drums]
Brian Smith [bass]
Dave King [vocals]
Mick Percy [guitar])

More info available here:
Battleaxe, Phoenix House,
21 Middridge Road, Langley Park, Co. Durham, DH7 9FH., UK

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