LATEST NEWS – SUMMER 2012
Following successful and very enjoyable appearances in Germany and at Hard Rock Hell at the end of 2011, the band decided to take a break from live shows during the first half of 2012 to work on some new songs.
During this time, and while waiting to undergo surgery on his shoulder, Gra had to have emergency surgery on his eye to repeat an operation he had to have some 30 or more years ago.
Fortunately Gra is now well enough to begin rehearsals in preparation for an appearance we are greatly looking forward to at the B2 Venue in Norwich on Saturday 28th July.
This will be the first time we have returned to play in the Norfolk area since the pre Give Em Hell days in the late 1970’s. It has always been a particularly special place for the band as it provided the core for our fan base called The Coven in the very early days.
It would be great to see some of our “old” and, hopefully, new friends on the night.
We were pleased to meet up with Andro Coulton and Steve Bridges to catch up on some of the “good old days” and also discuss possibilities of teaming up again at selected shows in the future. We wish Andro every success with his new venture ZXY.
Stab in the Back has been featured on the Roots of Metallica compilation CD and look out for a cover version of Stagefright on German NWOBHM tribute band Roxxcalibur’s 2nd CD, to be mixed in the UK by Chris Tsangarides.
Roadburn Review (courtesy of Toine and Rita Van Poorten)
The Green Room is jam-packed, when WITCHFYNDE takes the stage. Three candles are lit just before the gig is starting and during the opening riffs, a (female) monk, dressed in black, covers the stage with some lovely smelling essence. There is magic in the air, when the four dark male witches take the stage. Nobody is allowed to leave here anymore and we're trapped by their spell and ready to go down in their heavenly NWOBHM sound. The audience is hungry for rock, the people are ready to roll and when the band opens with "Ready To Roll", the whole enthusiastic atmosphere is a fact. We, being huge fans of the band, are on "holy ground" now and that's what the next song is all about.
It's taken from the band's latest album, recorded with former singer Harry Harrison. Now in 2010, good old Luther Beltz has returned behind the microphone, which brings us back the full "Cloack & Dagger" line-up on stage here tonight. No wonder, there is magic in the air tonight. "Stagefright" is one of my favorites, which arrives early in the set already. During this song, I observe the band closely and I have to draw the conclusion here, that there are some highly skilled musicians up and about tonight. Everybody likes to refer to people like Paul Quinn (SAXON) and Janick Gers (IRON MAIDEN, ex-GILLAN, ex-WHITE SPIRIT) or Dave Murray (IRON MAIDEN) as being the big guitar heroes of the NWOBHM scene.
Strangely enough, Montalo has never been mentioned there. However, I rate this guy so much higher than any of those aforementioned guys. Sometimes you can hear influences by Ritchie Blackmore of DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW, while at other times you even might sense the fastness and techniques of guys like Eddy van Halen (VAN HALEN) and Randy Rhoads (OZZY OSBOURNE). No ego trips, because his solos stay in service of the song, but they are indeed the cherry on the cake for me tonight. "Moon Magic" is definitely another classic WITCHFYNDE tune, which is followed by the next highlight for me. And that's "Getting Heavy", which contains some awesome beyond belief guitar attacks by Montalo.
I've been trying to watch the man's fingers, but man is he fast tapping them strings! The song floats over into "Tetelestai" and continues right away with "Cloack & Dagger". Despite some jokes on stage, bass player Pete is a very tight rhythm tandem with the highly concentrated Gra behind his drum kit. And Luther is back home, like the man has never disappeared in the first place! He still reaches the high notes perfectly and has a good interaction with the audience. "Leaving Nadir" is definitely a crowd pleaser. And when the band asks which songs to play after that, someone calls out loud for "Conspiracy". Montalo reacts abruptly by riffing the first notes out loud. "Conspiracy" it is, my friend!! You'll get what you have asked for. The band is at full steam, when they continue with "Stab In The Back".
The end of this performance is coming near now, but to me this already has been one of the best performances, that I have ever seen of WITCHFYNDE so far. Of course there is only one song left to close the evening, so "Give 'Em Hell" it is. The crowd sings the song loudly and at the end, Montalo takes out the candles and pushes them over his guitar neck, one by one. And even at the end of the set, Luther keeps reaching these high notes. A wonderful performance by a very underrated band, who actually played a killer set here tonight, that leaves nothing more to desire. The bonus songs, that were on the official set list, could only have made this performance better. Officially, the band had also planned on playing "Play It To Death" and in the encores "Wake Up Screaming". These songs were left out, because of the time limit, they had to deal with. After the show, we head to the merchandise boot and when we return, we see the band coming outside the backstage area. They collect their stuff and then it's time to say goodbye to the band. But not after shooting some pics in the parking lot with the band. What a great and unforgettable meeting this has been!
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