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Saturday, 19th January 1980

Dundee, Scotland - Media Reviews

Def leppard Dundee University By Bob Flynn

Still coming down from a Clash concert the night before, I found myself in the Howard Halls of the Students Union, land of the eternally pissed.

Wandering into what resembles a hangar for a Boeing 747 (actually the main dance hall).

I just caught the support band, 'Witch Finger'. They were playing heavy metal. So heavy in fact, it sank without a trace.

For Def Leppard, this was the second stop on a growing album-promoting tour.

Forged in Sheffield, they seem to be heading the charge of young heavy metal bands into the eighties.

On they came with hair parted, and specs shattered.

Hold on to each other in the blast, the audience bounced and nodded, invisible guitars at the ready.

The first two numbers proved that Joe Elliott, the vocalist, has powerful lungs.

Pete Williams, the rhythm guitarist can control a distorted riff, and the rest can hammer along like there's no tomorrow.

What they offer is drive, power, tight playing and every other rock cliche known to man.

What they don't offer is rebellion, invention, abandon and fun.

So what do I want, blood?. No, just something a little different.

Their third song, 'Walls Keep Tumbling Down', was from their new album.

Then came 'Rock Brigade'. A fast, no - nonsense slab of unoriginality.

I was beginning to get worried.

'And So To The Master', again from the album was the best thing they had done all night, mainly because I could actually distinguish this song from all the rest.

Next came 'Sorrow Is A Woman', much like a Free song circa 1972, which brought the only sample of undistorted and therefore effective, guitar work I'd heard from Pete Williams during the entire set.

So it went on, with no surprises or any hint of light and shade.

I felt cheated, having hoped that a young band like this would take another stance and approach this style of rock from a different angle.

Through 'Rainbow's End', a song of a Rush number, and on to 'Sunlight', the only thing that particular song proved was how good their lighting system was.

All well planned, stereotype and safe. Rock 'n' Roll should never be that comfortable.

On to the end, 'It Don't Matter', and their single 'Wasted'.

All ultra-predictable, the titles expressed a list of how I was feeling about the whole deal.

Comparison time, folks!. if the target is effective rock 'n' roll the Clash take a revolver and hit the centre with one shot.

Def Leppard grab a sawn-off shot gun and blast away in the general direction with some pellets hitting but most going wide.

All wasted energy.

The word is that there is a large following waiting for Def Leppard and the like.

Well, the band really deliver, but, it's the stuff they're sending I don't fancy.

So maybe it's all new to the fans - but it's definitely all old to me.

By Record Mirror 1980.


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