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Saturday, 17th March 1979

Wombwell/Barnsley, England - Media Reviews

Def Leppard At The Reform Club By Steve Drury

It was quite a surprise to find out that Def Leppard were playing at a Working Men's club. This was a venue that usually played host to failed hopes of times gone by. But here in the middle of nowhere, twelve miles from Sheffield and five from Barnsley, they came to play at Wombwell in March.

Thanks to the cooperation of the landlord, they were allowed to play one set rather than the customary two short sets that band's normally had to do. Their only concession though was that Rick Allen, being underage, had to stay inside the dressing room before they played (this was to be a fairly common frustration for Rick to overcome).

They disappeared from the bar twenty minutes before stage time, to change clothes and psyche themselves up. Def Leppard enjoyed wearing extravagant clothes onstage and ignored the 'street-look' trend that most current bands adhered to.

The Set included powerful versions of Thin Lizzy's 'Boys are Back in Town', 'Jail-break' and UFO's 'Doctor, Doctor', these crackled with vibrant electricity. Their bounty of original songs stood their ground amongst these, occasionally eclipsing as happened with 'Getcha Rocks Off'. Although some of their songs were quite derivative, they soared with high bursts of energy. The fairly small crowd was suitably impressed and were eventually drawn towards the dance floor.

After the gig, their dressing room door remained open to everyone. They were only too happy to make new friends. If their music was firmly rooted within the rock tradition, then their attitude was of the day, as captured within 'It Could Be You'.

They also did a roaring trade selling the EP's. The first pressing had now dwindled down to a handful, and thanks to their newly acquired management team MSB, its second pressing was very imminent.

Another successful evening and all that was left was to re-pack the transit van. An hour later and with Joe at the wheel they sped off homeward bound, exhausted.

By Steve Drury 1992.


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