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Silverwing - 1983 Alive And Kicking



ARTIST: Silverwing
ALBUM: Alive And Kicking
LABEL: Bullet (UK)
SERIAL: BULP 1
YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Alistair Terry - vocals, guitars * Dave Roberts - vocals, bass * Steve Roberts - drums * Stuart McFarlane - guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 That's Entertainment * 02 Sittin' Pretty * 03 Teenage Love Affair * 04 Flashbomb Fever * 05 Love Ya * 06 Everybody's Singing * 07 Everything Happens At Night * 08 Soldier Girl * 09 Adolescent Sex * 10 Rock And Roll Mayhem * 11 Rock And Roll Are Four Letter Words


Background
I remember these guys getting loads of ink in Kerrang! and Sounds and indeed just about everyone involved in the scene at the time, including our own Dave Reynolds got a big thank you on the back of this album's cartoonish sleeve. Unfortunately the Silverwing story didn't end as well as many hoped. Immersed in all things Glam, particularly KISS; Brothers Dave and Steve Roberts dabbled in a variety of band situations, finally getting serious around 1979 just in time to ride the crest of the NWOBHM movement. Appearing on the excellent 1980 comp 'New Electric Warriors' which included such luminaries as Buffalo, Vardis, Dawnwatcher and Rhabstallion; the band released a DIY three song EP the same year which sold exceedingly well and at this point Silverwing developed into a sturdy live act which included a well-received tour with Diamond Head. A second single was recorded in 1981 for the financially unstable City imprint and predictably never saw the light of day. Bad luck or just poor decision making, either way the boys from Cheshire lost some serious momentum from which they never fully recovered. Two self-pressed singles in 1982 on the band's Mayhem label failed to create a spark and by the time 'Alive And Kicking', their first and only LP was hit the shelves a year later; Silverwing were all but finished.


The Songs
Released on Bullet Records which was an extension of Bullet Mail Order; the company put out some pretty cool stuff including glam-gods Wrathchild, Chrome Molly, Black Rose, Le Griffe and an EP from Danish faves Pretty Maids. 'Alive And Kicking' is a split between unreleased demo tracks and live material recorded at the 'Salford Glam Fest' in July 1983. A neato bill that also featured Wrathchild, Cloven Hoof and the short-lived but excellent Sacred Alien; man I wish I had been there. Anyway, Silverwing with a proper producer and a label with respectable cash flow could have gone places in my opinion as there's no shortage of loud, high wattage riffola to be found on the studio side. Opener and very Slade-ish 'That's Entertainment' and 'Sittin' Pretty' with its big chorus are jaw-dropping good fun. A bit of proggy synth on the ballad 'Teenage Love Affair' reminds me of Praying Mantis and is a bit out of place although its heads down in-your-face NWOBHM all the way on 'Flash Bomb Fever' and despite the overall bad recording quality, the punkish power popper 'Love Ya' shows these guys absorbed their '70s influences like a glitter-speckled sponge. The live side isn't quite as strong but there is a moment or two of brilliance including a cover of Japan's 'Adolescent Sex' which sounds more like The Clash then they probably cared to admit.


In Summary
With Silverwing dead and presumably buried, the Robert's put together Pet Hate; releasing two melodic rock albums in 1984 - 'The Bride Wore Red' and the Eddie Leonetti produced 'Bad Publicity'; the latter sporting a title and cover photo remarkably similar to the banned 1979 Angel LP. A late '80s attempt at a Silverwing reunion fell flat and nothing was heard from the band apart from the 1997 British Steel CD reissue of 'New Electric Warriors' has appeared in digital, nor sadly the Pet Hate records which were much better than the drubbing they took from the press.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on December 12 2011 04:52:21
OMG.. 'Rock And Roll Are Four Letter Words'... what a classic anthem from back in the day! I still have a tape of Silverwing's lying around the house somewhere, courtesy of John Watson.. Thumbs Up
#2 | reyno-roxx on December 12 2011 20:38:23
'Flashbomb Fever' had lyrics penned by Geoff Barton!
#3 | david on December 13 2011 01:19:48
I remember Geoff raving about these guys in Sounds. Came about about the same time he did a double page on US bands, legs Diamond, Triumph, The Godz, The Boyzz and and i think Max Webster. Didnt John Watson get amention in the spread as well?
 
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