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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
TANK TOUR DIARY 2011


1st October 2011

chris dale



At last the Tank tour kicked off this Summer in support of the very well received new album 'War Machine'. Tank has come a long way since it first formed in the early eighties. Gone is the punky edge, replaced by a classic rock sheen, old frontman Algy Ward now replaced by the outstanding former Rainbow/Malmsteen vocalist Doogie White.

tankdoogie2

There's a new rhythm section: Mark Cross (formerly of Firewind and Helloween) and my good self on bass.

In fact, Tank 2011 bears little resemblance to Tank circa 1984, the only constant being the enormous riffs of guitarists Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans.

To complete the touring entourage this summer was MetalTalk.net Editor, Steve Goldby, in his role as Tour Manager and general Party Animal.

Article continues below...



We did the obligatory rehearsals at Bush Studios in West London. Rehearsals are not supposed to be fun, they're hard work. If we concentrate and get it sounding good here, we can go and have a blast on tour, that's the general aim. So with that out of the way, we set off up North for the first shows.

The first show was a small working men's club in Middlesbrough. There were two reasons for this gig. Firstly, we thought it'd be better to put the band into action in front of a small crowd (there's bigger stuff to come later in the week) and, secondly, Middlesbrough is Mick and Steve's hometown, so a good atmosphere and party were pretty much guaranteed.

Middlesbrough did not disappoint on either level. We blasted through the set (a mixture of Tank classics and new tracks from the 'War Machine' album) at full pelt. I don't think the little club had ever seen anything quite like it. Barmaids stood rigid with fear, fingers in ears, while the gathering of Metal fans at the front headbanged like grunge had never happened at all, which of course in Middlesbrough it probably never did.

Then for the party over the road with the town's Metal elite. Members of Blitzkrieg (the openers), Tygers of Pan Tang and Lies Of Smiles were all out to celebrate their homecoming guitar hero, Mick Tucker. I'd never seen anything like it. Was it my imagination or is half of the town related to Mick?

tankboroJL

The next morning, we dragged our hangovers up to Newcastle Academy for the next show. This venue is more like a regular on the circuit. Again, we gave them a full broadside and left them reeling. We were getting pretty confident by now.

We've done a fair few gigs with me and Doogie in Tank now, but these were Mr Cross' first shows with us and he really stepped up to the mark (no pun...well OK, pun fully intended, I couldn't resist that one). Then back to the 'Boro that night for a quick half... or two.

Next came the big show. Really big. We were supporting Judas Priest on the Polish date of their 'Nearly Farewell' tour. The venue was the Spodek Arena in Katowice. It holds about 15,000 and looks like a UFO. Honestly it's crazy.

Judas Priest fans, of course, love their Metal. We knew that before we went onm but we didn't know they also loved Tank. From the opening chords of 'This Means War', they went mental. I thought they probably knew the old stuff but probably hadn't heard the new tunes. I was wrong. As we launched into 'Judgement Day' from the new album, they went up a level in their craziness. Singing along, crowd surfing, forming a circle pit...had they mistaken us for the headliners?

tankgig

After our gig, me and Doogie hung out with some mates from Priest's crew, caught up on old times and sunk a couple of swift free beers before the headliners took to the stage.

As has been said here many times on MetalTalk.net, Judas Priest are reborn. They really have taken on a new lease of life with Richie Faulkner in the band. Old tunes are dusted off and new ones (I still think of 'Painkiller' as new) sound better than ever before. How can this be their last tour? It simply cannot be!

The next day, we trundled over to an airport and checked in. Well, you can't top a gig like that can you? It'll be nice to go to Scandinavia, but nothing can top the high of playing to several thousand screaming Metallers... surely?

Usually, when a band arrives in a town the day before a show, they get given the keys to their hotel and told, "see you in the morning... bye". But not if the promoter and his friends are as hospitable as Hans, Bjorn-Erik, Christian and Ronnie in Norway. They picked us up from the airport, then took us to a log cabin halfway up a mountain with stunning views of the city of Drammen and the fjord below. Then they set a barbecue ablaze and the beers began to flow. Burgers, smoked pork, potato salad, sausages...who could not love that? Perhaps our vegetarian guitarist, Cliff? But, come on, Cliff, potato salad and dry bread is a meal isn't it? He could have had the ketchup too if he'd felt adventurous.

tankgig

I nearly forgot we had a gig to do, it felt too much like a holiday. The gig was in a small club, and Drammen is by many standards a small town (although it did used to be the capital of Norway - but we're going back a bit here). Small gig, small town, mid-week...it's going to be quiet right?

But no, I keep underestimating Tank fans. By the time we went onstage, the place was fairly heaving. Good Lord, they're even singing along to the intro-tape! We gave them hell and they returned it...brilliant Metal fun!

After the show, we hung out at the bar, chatting with the locals. Some chap came up to me and asked if I was the same Chris Dale who played on Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunkworks' album. I couldn't deny it. He told me earnestly that that album had helped him through a hard time in his life. He just wanted to thank me. I was genuinely touched (as touched as one can be after that many beers). It really is so nice to be appreciated sometimes.

tankgig

The next morning, we left for Sweden with heavy hearts (and stomachs - except for Cliff, who was a bit peckish by now). Now, we all love Sweden and we know Sweden loves Metal, but it's not going to be as good as what we've had so far is it?

The venue, Rockland, in Sala, is outside a small town next to a disused silver mine...but inside is a gold mine of its own! It's like a rock and roll museum! They've got more memorabilia on their walls than the Victoria and Albert Museum. They had Beatles singles, vintage guitars (I think both Mick and Cliff wet themselves a little - they won't admit it, but I spotted a damp patch on each of them), autographed photos going back to the sixties but, for me, the highlight was a genuine seventies Kiss pinball machine. I've never seen one in the flesh before let alone played one.

tankgig

The local crew were three grey-haired old guys who'd seen it all. What they didn't know about rock'n'roll was not worth knowing. We were in good hands.

Then that thing with Tank fans happened again. Literally, while me and Steve popped outside to catch the last of the sun's rays, a bus pulled up and out poured loads of kids in Tank T-shirts!

The gig was another stormer! They couldn't get enough. The whole week had been an amazing and full-on Metal experience. Perhaps I'd underestimated how Metal music touches the lives of all around.

After the show, we again hung around for beers and chatted with the folks. Again, some guy asked me if I played on the 'Skunkworks' record. 'Yes!', I said with some pride this time. That was a really shitty record, he said with a deadly earnest look. Brilliant! Oh well, you can't please all the people all of the time! That alone kept me laughing all the way home. Could the week have been better? Probably not.

tankmark

To finish, I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who made this trip a real party: John Lancaster and the extended Tucker family for such a warm welcome in the 'Boro; Blitzkrieg for absolutely rocking the first two nights and for kindly lending us their backline; Judas Priest and their crew, especially Paul Bomber Jackson, Keith Crabtree and Richie Faulkner (you really didn't have to be loading my bass gear out mate, you're a rockstar now!); Hans Andre Dokka, Bjorn-Erik, Christian and Ronnie in Norway for the amazing hospitality; the crew at Sala for really going out of their way to be so helpful; Jaqueline Reberschak and DarkPlanet.Pl for the photos and, most of all, to Steve Goldby for flying the Tank flag with such pride...without people like this, life on the road would be such a dull place!

See www.tankofficial.com for more dates.

tankmark

01.09.11

MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

April 2015: Undiscovered Kisstory: The Kiss Drummer Auditions Of 1980
March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Kiss: 'Love Gun' Deluxe Edition
October 2014: Mr. Big – Live Review at Koko, London
September 2014: Mr. Big: 'The Stories We Could Tell' album review
September 2013: Intensive Bass Course with Billy Sheehan
August 2013: Booking Agents vs Promoters
July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
Febuary 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns










 

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new england EXCLUSIVE: NEW ENGLAND ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER TOUR DATES INCLUDING JAPAN
New England have announced tour dates in support of last year's vinyl release 'I Know There`s Something Here' and upcoming album 'Live At The Regent Theater...

british lion STEVE HARRIS' BRITISH LION TO HEADLINE PLANET ROCKSTOCK
"Fundamentally, it's still rock, and if you see it live, it's really powerful live..."

second relation SECOND RELATION PREMIERE TITLE TRACK OF FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM 'ENO'
Austrian prog rockers Second Relation's new single and video is premiering today and it's got Europe in a buzz...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOUNCE SECOND LONDON SHOW ON CO-HEADLINE TOUR
"Our show at Our Black Heart in London has sold out in ten days, which is fantastic! How quickly could this one sell out?"

thunder THUNDER PLAN TO GIVE THE GAME AWAY WITH A NEW BOOK
The band plan to launch the book at an event being held as part of the 'Louder Than Words' literary festival in Manchester on Saturday 12th November.

rudolf schenker SCHENKERS AT WAR: RUDOLF BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON MICHAEL'S ACCUSATIONS
"He's a trick master, and he's a wannabe. And that's it. He can do whatever he wants..."

jon oliva SAVATAGE MAINMAN JON OLIVA RECOVERING FROM STROKE
"I lived the rock n' roll lifestyle since I was 18. It's all I knew and I enjoyed the ride very much..."

ramblin man RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED PLUS WHO WE THINK COULD HEADLINE NEXT YEAR
After what was probably the best rockin' weekend of the year so far, we didn't have to wait long before we could start planning for the 2017 rematch...

airbourne AIRBOURNE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER HEADLINE UK TOUR
The band will play ten UK date beginning in Portsmouth and Norwich on November 17th and finish off with two nights at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"We have never done anything like this before and we knew the UK was the only place to do it. That's all we're gonna say about it!"

gary rossington LYNYRD SKYNYRD UPDATE WITH MORE CANCELLATIONS DUE TO GARY ROSSINGTON ILLNESS
"Currently the band hopes to resume touring on Thursday 4th August at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands..."

extreme EXTREME CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'PORNOGRAFFITI' ALBUM WITH 'PORNOGRAFFITI LIVE 25/METAL MELTDOWN'
"Some of these songs were never played live before so we had to go back and relearn them for the tour."

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE: "I'M NOT HAPPY BEING SOBER"
"It scares me. I hear all the time people say that they have another drink in them but they may not have another sobriety in them..."

paul rodgers IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT NOW! PAUL RODGERS SUES DONALD TRUMP
"We will make America great again. God bless you and good night, I love you."

heavy metal HEAVY METAL HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH MORTALITY ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STUDY
"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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