Having seen Anvil on several occasions, over the last 30 odd years, tonight was no less special to me. I had last seen the lads at the inaugural ‘Stonedeaf’ event in 2018 and they stormed that, so out on tour, promoting the new album “Legal At Last” this should be the usual mix of metal and fun.
Manchester Academy 3 is packed with eager rockers, awash with many different Anvil T-Shirts from many different decades. The basic chatter appears to be, who has seen them where and how excellent those gigs were.
The band enter the stage to little fanfare and Steve “Lips” Kudrow walks straight back off the stage, into the crowd, announces the band by screaming into his guitar pickups and they tear into March of the Crabs. Lips spends the entire song surrounded by a throng of happy metal heads whilst drummer Robb Reiner pounds his kit and bassist Chris Robertson begins with his hilarious facial impressions whilst traversing the stage mimicking a crab walk.
The gig continues as expected, with song after song punched out with consummate ease, smiling faces, all interspersed with anecdotes and tales of life within Anvil and comments on the wider world. Even a certain Mr Trudeau doesn’t escape from the verbal mockery of Lips, nor the fact that many of us no longer have long hair, or indeed much hair at all these days, including Lips. When a rock star shows his bald spot to a crowd and gets a roar of approval, they just can’t go wrong.
The all too excellent guitar solo, complete with vibrator and Robb’s drum solo are moments to savour, though the entire set is too.
The setlist is one of beauty and covers the whole bands career. There’s literally something if not everything for everyone included from the bands catalogue. The band storm through the entire set with an infectious enthusiasm that is reciprocated by the crowd. After my extended and frustrating journey to Manchester ‘Bitch In The Box’ had me both singing & laughing.
Anvil are truly a band of their fans and they don’t disguise it at all. The band are epic, the gig was epic and whilst none of us are getting any younger, long may it continue.
Support tonight was ably delivered by two bands, namely ‘Rag Doll Sunday’ and ‘Electus’.
Hailing from Wolverhampton, opening act ‘Electus’ did a fine job of delivering some quality melodic hard rock to the early masses. The band were tight, appeared well rehearsed and delivered a quality opening set.
Next up were ‘Rag Doll Sunday’ who lifted both the tempo and attitude on stage with their energetic punk rock sound. The lads were clearly enjoying themselves and a couple of brief mic issues apart, they did themselves proud.
As with all support bands, both just got going before their stage time expired, or in ‘Rag Doll Sunday’s’ case, told to get off stage as time was up.
Review & Photography by Paul McGowan