The Heavy Metal Muppets is a place for all things Metal with a particular emphasis on the London Underground Metal scene. We are a bunch of friends who have been into Metal since the late 80's and want to share our enthusiasm with anyone else who's prepared to listen. The format varies and we hope keeps it interesting for everyone, so keep your eyes peeled for reviews, interviews, memoirs and live videos amongst other things \m/

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Hell Bent For Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict

I have just finished reading "Hell Bent For Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict" by Seb Hunter. First off, if you pick up this book thinking it's going to be about Heavy Metal you will be sorely disappointed. I have wasted hours of my life reading this nonsense. It is fundamentally an autobiography of a guy who isn't famous or interesting. In fact it's a book about a complete and utter loser and not in a funny way, although I think Hunter seems to think so. The book is so annoying I want to discourage anyone from reading this right from the start. Just to give you an idea about how irritating this book is, is that Hunter shortens band names all the time, for example he would call AC/DC, "The DC" or Led Zeppelin, "The Zeps" which is so aggravating I can't describe it in words. I kept screaming "Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!" in my head the entire time I had to endure this torture. "Why did you finish it then," you're probably asking yourself. I am one of those people that needs to finish books. I also took one for the team to caution you people about it.

Hunter's ordinary childhood and discovery of rock is uneventful and unabsorbing. His first foray into playing the guitar and being in a band is just plain boring. In addition, the manner that he reveres rock stars throughout the book is almost sexual and really rather strange. He makes you suffer through a multitude of tedious tangents that have nothing to do with heavy metal or the life of a "heavy metal addict". For instance, he spends pages trying to convince us that metal fans of the late eighties and early nineties judged the reputation of a band by the shape of a guitar head. Nobody gave a shit... I know, I was there. Another example is that Hunter spends 12 pages of his book articulating in great detail about The Monsters of Rock Festival at Donnington, the sights, the sounds, the smells all to be concluded by the fact that he never went! How can you write so much about something in your autobiography that you never even did?! (Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!)

Another thing that bothers me so much about this book is that Hunter spends so much time babbling about rubbish that he misses the "Heavy Metal" part completely. Such influential and important bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax (The Big Four) barely get a half page mention each, but he dedicates countless pages to the insignificant and talentless Hanoi Rocks. So many aspects of Heavy Metal were barely touched on or even mentioned. His experience of Heavy Metal in that period was entirely different to mine. I actually listened and lived metal at the time (and still do). He seems to have spent his time wearing women's clothes and badly trying to imitate The Rolling Stones. He didn't appear to go to any gigs other than his own and was consumed by Glam Rock, the ridiculous Hellfire Club and his feeble image. The true heavy metal fans of that generation used to laugh at those androgynous, image obsessed cretins.
Hunter's story is so self loathing, it's cringey to read. He characterises himself as an outright loser who is not only immeasurably lazy but also the kind of person that betrays and cheats pretty much anyone he meets. As a result, his self loathing, which I assume is supposed to inspire some kind of pity or amusement, is altogether contravened by this selfish, disagreeable side to the man.

I hate this book. It is not what it says on the tin. Anyway, I was interested to hear the kind of music that his "Heavy Metal" band played and found that Seb Hunter has a website where you can hear it. No matter how many times you listen to it, it's still not metal. To add insult to injury some moron made a film out of this book... Although unsurprisingly it only managed to score 2/10 on imdb.

I'm sorry Seb, I'm sure you're a nice guy these days, but you should never have written this book. A true Metal fan is never ashamed of the scene as you seem to be (he even states before the first chapter that he is not proud of his "Heavy Metal" past).

For the record Seb, Heavy Metal never died, Glam did.


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Evile - 13th February 2011

We did the usual and met for a few beers at The Worlds End to kick start the evening. After standing unaware at either end of the pub for twenty minutes we finally realised that we had both arrived already... Clever. There's nothing like standing around drinking by yourself looking like a prat. It didn't matter we were both excited to be seeing Evile for the first time.

So we leave the pub and go to the door of The Underworld. Sometimes there's a seperate queue for people that are picking up pre-booked tickets from the box office. We always do this. I asked this guy sort of hanging around outside but not actually in the queue if he's lining up to pick up his tickets from the box office. He smugly replied, "no, I'm queuing for my bus pass" and laughs at me like I'm some kind of idiot. What a fucking dick. So after this we decide that there isn't a seperate queue and line up with everyone else. As we get to the front there was a seperate queue for pre-booked tickets and people who already had tickets could go straight in. So if that twat who was completely wrong is reading this... Go fuck yourself. If we ever see you in the pit we will bury you.

On a slight tangent this incident raises a question that we've wondered about for years. Why is it that when you pass a metal head in the street or bump into one on the tube, for example, you always respectfully acknowledge one another, or actually even speak as though you're already aquainted, but as soon as you get into an environment when everyone's a metaller (e.g. a gig or pub) then some people turn into such unbelievable dickheads? We always thought of the metal community as a kind of family. Maybe we're just getting old and aren't as cool as guys like that. Whatever you clown, we'll still fucking bury you.

As a result of having to wait in the pointless queue we ended up missing Bleeding Oath who were apparently pretty good according to some people we spoke to.

We did, however, get to see Mutant. I am so happy that we did. I can't believe we haven't seen them before. These guys are brilliant. They have a similar humour to their music that Gama Bomb has. I love watching shows like this. Sam Klempner reminds me of a comedy version of Mille Petrozza from Kreator. His banter between songs had me in bits. Have a look at this we recorded a bit for you...

Mutant have to be seen, I can't urge you enough. We will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for this band. We really hope they do well. What an amazing performance.

Next up were Elimination. These guys weren't so great. Mutant kicked their ass. To be honest we found them to be a bit cheesy. The singer looked like a tubby version of James Hetfield and, as you know, we think Metallica are dicks. The bassist, Justin, stole the show for them. He's cool, reminds me a bit of Rex from Pantera. I don't want to sit here and pan them because they weren't that bad, but weren't that great either. We might go and see them again, if the gig is free. Check it out, we recorded them...

Finally Evile. I think they are bloody excellent, always have. They are quality musicians, have incredible stage presence and devoted fans. It was crazy on the dance floor. We had people landing on us constantly. The stage diving was insane! We didn't stop moshing and diving throughout the set. Some highlights of the set were (a) the twenty stone guy landing on top of a guy we were trying to pick up off the floor (I thought he was a gonner and WTF dude?), (b) finally being caught on video stage diving, check it out...

Best gig of 2011 so far. We cannot wait for Evile's new album.

Boojay (words) & Trunks (videos)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Kylesa - 7th February 2011

Tonight was just me and Will again. It seems as if we live at The Camden Underworld these days. Anyway, Will has just moved into London so no need to worry about driving at the other end of the train journey, and there's nothing like drinking on a Monday night... We sunk a couple at The Worlds End and then made our way next door.

I'm not absolutely sure but I think the place was pretty full and the venue was completely open this time. We were lucky enough to receive those weird till receipts again. What's with that? I kind of like having an actual ticket to keep. I haven't had one so far this year. Oh well, details.

First band up were Okkultokrati, a doom band from Norway. I thought they were OK. I wouldn't rush to see them again. Their vocalist spent the whole time hiding behind his hair and we couldn't really hear him. I guess because I didn't really like them their set seemed to last for bloody ages. The audience seemed to like it though and Will reckoned they were good, but they're not my cup of tea. It would've been better to have two bands with shorter sets in my opinion. Frankly, these guys were weird. That was backed up by the fact that this old guy had his fingers in his ears throughout their set. Will reckons I've got simple musical tastes...

Kylesa joined us at about 9.30pm. I know it's their gimmick but the two drummer thing seems a bit unnecessary. I don't think it really made too much difference. Anyway, these guys are pretty tight. In fact, they rocked. We waded through their sludgy sounds for about an hour and a half. They were pretty relentless. I went up the front for a bit of argy bargy which was fun. How come there's always some guy right up the front that gets really pissed off about people moshing? Seriously? You're at a metal gig dude. That happens every time. If you can't handle it then perhaps you should fuck off to the back. Anyway, the set was great up until the encore when they practically jerked their instruments off. They played this weird concoction of sounds for about 15 minutes, concluding with a big Sepultura style drum off. It was kind of cool but seen it before.

Boojay & Will with Laura Pleasants of Kylesa
Overall we had a good night. As far as sludge goes this year I still prefer Crowbar. Highlight of the evening... A guy called Phil in the pit saying he thought I was 19. Priceless!


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Lemmy - The Movie

Where to start with the film “Lemmy”. How about Lemmy came through the front door of this Rockumentary already a legend and left through the back door my fucking hero. I’m not actually sure if Lemmy will stand out as good film making but then I didn’t choose to watch it for the slow motion shot of Lemmy on stage twanging his bass. To be honest Channel 4 could have done just as good a job, but then they didn’t get access to him so a moot point really.

I’ve heard a lot of press about how you don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the film and for the most part I agree, but fans of Lemmy will love this for different reasons. My wife laughed and was astonished at how this grown man in his 60’s lives like a college dropout doing whatever, whenever he pleases. I on the other hand laughed out loud because the stories that made Lemmy a legend in the first place were true and I so wanted them to be true. I sat there watching him play video games in his flat full of Nazi memorabilia, knives littering the wall and general shit everywhere thinking “wow” he’s living the rock and roll dream. He made me want to drink Jack Daniels and I fucking hate that stuff.
The reason most will want to see this film will be down to the personal insights into Lemmy’s life given he’s been so private about this in the past. We get to see his son, where he lives, what he does during the day and at this point I’m already diving across his fag littered coffee table for the nearest knife on the wall to slit my wrists. It just doesn’t seem enough to me, you think he would need more in his life other than Motorhead, but he doesn’t.
The most surprising part of this film in the end was just how content Lemmy is with his life. He strolls through this film without a care in the world drinking JD and playing loud music to his devoted fans, who I suspect will love him even more after this.
10 out of 10


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I Am Ozzy

I'm going through a bit of a stage of reading autobiographies at the moment. I've just finished reading "I Am Ozzy". It's a frank account of his life by the remarkable Ozzy Osbourne. Having just read Dave Mustaine's book I have to say, this one is a great deal better. It's not often that I read something and actually laugh out loud, let alone the frequency of it with this book. This man has a Quentin Tarantino style ability of making you laugh at things you most definitely shouldn't be laughing at.

The book touches on Ozzy's early life in dreary Aston, in the Midlands of England, as a working class boy with very little in the way of prospects. There wasn't a lot of dwelling on this though. After a few laughs and an introduction to his family he moves swiftly on to Black Sabbath. Thankfully he spends almost half the book warmly regaling his memories during his time with the band. Even though you can feel his pain when he is booted out of the group he doesn't try and paint any of the other band members in a bad light. In fact he takes a much more "bygones will be bygones" sort of approach. Again he had me in stitches on many a tube journey. In fact most of the funniest stories were when he was in-between recording or touring, often at his home in the countryside.
He moves on to his solo career, his relationship with Sharon and his eternal struggle with drink and drugs. The last chapter of the book covers his success with "The Osbournes" on MTV and what he has been doing from there.

His honesty and openness to his feelings and experiences really endear you to him. It almost takes away from the multitude of tragedies that he has had to endure throughout his life. The man is an absolute trooper. I think what I love about Ozzy is that here you have a guy that has literally broken every rule in the book and is still phenomenally successful. It's a testament to his incredible character. This man literally is a legend.
In a nutshell, this book is something for everyone, even if you're not in to metal. It's so funny, it feels as if you're in the pub actually listening to Ozzy talking about his life. Laugh out loud stuff and I for one thoroughly enjoyed it.