Our sincere thanks to all our friends who came along to the fantastic Garage Dayz Revisited festival in London and made it such a special night for us. (See review below). We know that many of you travelled from all over Europe which is greatly appreciated.
During the latter part of the year we will be visiting two countries for the first time in the history of Witchfynde. On Saturday 19th September we will be appearing at the HEAVY METAL NIGHT 8 at Villa Rosa di Martinsicuro, Camping Villaggio in Italy and Barcelona in Spain on 28th November. More details to follow later….
We recently learned of the sad news that our original singer Neil Harvey had suddenly passed away. Gra was in a band with Neil and bass player Richard “Butch” Blowers called Mangalia when they teamed up with Montalo to become Witchfynde. This was the band's line-up when they played their first gig supporting the Gorham/Robertson line-up of Thin Lizzy at Derby College on November 22 1974. Neil was instrumental in arranging gigs for the band and looking after the van in those early days. Given his ability in solving mechanical problems it is no surprise that, after leaving the band, Neil went on to become an important figure in the rail industry. Our thoughts go to his wife Lisa and family.
Garage Day Revisited Review (courtesy of Toine and Rita Van Poorten)Right after the show of The Angels, we ran to the other side of the street, because this was the ultimate opportunity to have a quick bite and be in the hall just before they’d close the door for the public at six. After that, the security wouldn’t allow you anymore to chill outside. The chicken wrap was very tasty and when we returned, we still had a few moments before that very moment would occur, where we had all been waiting for, the gig of WITCHFYNDE! It has been a couple of years ago, since we saw the band play at Roadburn in Tilburg. I am a true die-hard fan of this band. These guys play music and they don’t just bash loud on drums and riff the guitar as wild as they can. On the contrary, if you have a good listen to their latest release for example, you’ll get a good idea of what I mean. The music on “The Lost Tapes of 1975” shows, that these guys were progressive in their early days. Sometimes they even sounded like the good old JETHRO TULL with a thick dark occult shell around it. Guitar player Montalo is fast and technically very well educated and he’s being influenced by big names like Randy Rhoads and Ritchie Blackmore, at least in my opinion. Their dark occult image returns at their shows in a very subtle way. The black candles were lit before the show starts and to me the adrenaline starts to flow already by the sight of this. In a few moments, the band will climb on stage and perform a rock show, that will please all the attendees tonight. Occult and dark with nothing more than three black candles to create the right atmosphere. No pints of goat blood are being poured out over you and neither you will be looking at masked band members or any form of other corpse paint.
Even their logo is easy to read and not a labyrinth of lines, that could mean any name you had in mind, but is simply unreadable. Subtleness and the magic touch of five gifted musicians will guide you through a full witching hour of NWOBHM tonight. Dawn, where are you, when we need you?!? Oh, there she comes, this time introducing us to……Veronica Freeman. The well voiced, good looking and charming lady from BENEDICTUM climbs on stage and gives her best introduction to WITCHFYNDE, after disappearing in only a couple of seconds again. I bet, she was frightened that Luther would turn her into a frog with one of his magic spells. Luther is in a good mood today though, in his long, warm, leather coat. It must be a very limited edition coat for it was numbered. Luther had number 666, which must have been a coincidence. (lol) Before I go into more details, I will introduce the new member first. A young Witchfinder, that goes by the name of Trace Abbot has been added to the line-up as an extra (rhythm) guitar player. Welcome to the club, Trace. This axe master comes from the NWOBHM band OVERDRIVE, in case you wondered. The kick off song is a knock-out punch already, because ask the average visitor of this festival what his or her favorite WITCHFYNDE song is and more than eighty percent will answer this question with “Give ‘Em Hell”. What a great way to start your show! Now you definitely have the attention of the whole crowd. In fact, “Gettin’ Heavy” is the description of what they’re doing next. They grind down the place for those of them, who are still standing after this first ear attack. During the introduction of “Moon Magic”, Luther looks up very surprised, when he sees drummer Gra Scoresby pass by him with a cymbal in his hand. The look upon his face is priceless. It’s like he would say: ‘Aren’t you supposed to sit after my back right now?’ Some trouble with his kit, but Gra is ready for the job, when “Moon Magic” starts off. Another highlight follows, when Luther announces that they won’t play “Leaving Nadir” tonight. Guess, which song is on next?! “Leaving Nadir” has always been a crowd’s favorite and tonight is not different. The band is at full steam by now and they dedicate “Conspiracy” to Ronnie James Dio. If someone deserves it, it’s the old RAINBOW, DIO, ELF, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN AND HELL vocalist.
A big inspiration for this band too, I guess. “Stab In The Back” is on next and when I focus myself on the guitar playing of Montalo, I get the shivers running down my spine. What an awesome guitar player he is. Especially in the longer solo parts, he really freaks out and gives it some extra speed and power at the end of the solo. It’s in one word mindblowingbreathtakingskullf*ckingawesomebeyondbeliefextracoolamazingloudblasting-eardestroyingoverthetopsuperduperwildneatexcitingnotofthisworldultraloudandmegagood (put this on a Scrabble board and you’re the winner!!) And the excitement grows with the title tracks of the second and the third album coming on next. In reverse follow up as they were originally on the set list, but I think that nobody gives a damn at that very moment. In “Cloak And Dagger”, Luther gets some help from the audience, who sing along to the song. Not that he needs it, but the fans are wild and excited and the atmosphere in the hall, despite the high temperatures, is just perfect. It must have been a nice birthday gift for bass player Pete ‘Thud’ Surgey, who likes to celebrate his birthday among friends, I guess. He has invited a lot of people to his party and they all sang this song for him. A very emotional moment has come, when Luther announces and dedicates “Stagefright”, one of my favorite WITCHFYNDE songs, to my lovely wife Rita, who is right in front of him in the photo pit. The song is performed in the best way imaginable with that dark touch that makes it sound so special to us. Wow, amazing!! One more time they unleash their energy with the last track of the evening “I’d Rather Go Wild”. Shivers again, I can’t do anything about it. The band takes a bow, thanks the audience and off they go, not realizing, that they have just played one of the most marvelous gigs I’ve seen from them so far. Of course they have to return for an encore. Every song would have been perfect for me, because the list already had everything, that I wanted to hear. “Crystal Gazing” off the “Cloak And Dagger” album is a very nice choice. It’s a song you don’t hear that much and a perfect salute to all the die-hard fans of the band, that came to hear something special and surprising. One more time Montalo gets a grip of his string and bends them like Beckham. Happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy and we can go home now, because a show like that is impossible to top. The black candle lights go out and are thrown into the hall as a trophy for those who caught them. Before the next gig takes place, Montalo comes in the hall and personally thanks us for coming over tonight and then they disappear into the night again…..like witchfinders tend to do. They gave ‘em hell and I can only bow deep for this amazing band, that put on an extraordinary show. A deep bow for you, my friends, until my back hurts!!
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