Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Fan Review - Surrealist Diamond Geezers By Darren/DefDazz

This was my third time seeing any major act play in such a small venue in London. Ricky Warwick at The Borderline (275), class: and Alanis Morissette at Bush Hall (200), yum! - naturally this wouldn't compare to the Alanis gig, long flowing hair, amazing voice, tight leather pants.... (oops sorry) - It was really exciting to be witnessing not only Man-Raze's first ever live show but also the fact it was in such a small and intimate setting. There's something about seeing band's playing right up close that beats any arena show (so you 'Yanks' can keep Lep all you want!...).

During the summer I had thought the band would end up playing their first show in the USA and we'd have to wait to see them so it was a nice surprise to see that they scheduled their debut show right here where it all began for them in London's East End - all the band probably having been born within a few miles of here. I have now seen at least one member of Lep live each year since 2002, ('rumour' has it the band will be here again in 2006), and like last year in Sheffield this turned out to be very special.

After hearing all 3 of the new 'maxi-single' songs on the radio on Saturday I was even more excited about seeing the guys finally play live. They'd been kind enough to send a small video clip of rehearsals back in March of this year so I did kind of get to see them then which was ultra cool. OK it was only a few seconds long but still! (if you look closer at this section you'll see pics from that...). Not to mention taking the time to answer my stupid questions! But now to see them LIVE: In The Spitz-In Your Face was going to be awesome - so before I keel over I'll attempt to give a detailed review of the proceedings. Are you sitting comfortably?

The night actually didn't start too well - I got into London WAY too early and had 3 hours to kill until doors at 7 (or so I thought!). decided to go in and see if anyone else was there yet and the place was empty. Asked the guy at the bar if anyone else had asked about the gig, "No, doors are at 7" - thankyou for that priceless info... So anyway...after making one drink last 45mins (45 looong mins) I got another and went up to the venue. Now this was a little bit weird "surreal" you might say, Before being told the door time was moved to 8pm and before I could show the guy my ticket (you had to print out the 'e-ticket' page from the ticket site to take) he stamped my hand. Later I didn't have to show the ticket just the stamp - so I shouldn't have bothered paying really, I could have been anyone off the street for all they knew... The cool part about this was as this was happening the band were doing a soundcheck. There were a couple of fans just inside the door who looked like they were watching so I decided to just go in, as you do. Got to watch for about 5 mins and take pics before the door guy said they'd been told to politely ask people to leave. Very casually though, I think they didn't want too many people coming in just yet. So that was a nice little bonus!.

Back to the bar - which was filling up and met a very nice young lady from Michigan called Amy. And she knew who I was! my first "fan" *blush*. It was a pleasure meeting you and hope you got home safely. She had travelled all the way from Michigan just for this show, now that's dedication.

So we had gone up at 8 and the venue was about one-third full for the first 30 mins. We noticed Simon Laffy was the DJ at the back. Played some great songs, The Police 'Walking On The Moon' and a few Man-Raze songs. Nice to hear the studio versions. The first one was 'Runnin' Me Up' which is just awesome, my new favourite song. It really is that good. This version had full vocals by Phil so I guess it's from their 'work-in-progress' album sessions. Nice sneak preview. I think he played 2 more which after hearing them live might have been 'Connected To You' and 'Halo' but don't quote me. And just before he stopped to let some other guy take over 'Skin Crawl' was played.

Took the opportunity to go over and introduce myself to Simon and he seemed pleased to see me "Darren, nice to see you - thanks for all your support." and got a quick autograph. Thanks Simon. I also told him he should pay Amy her 8 back for flying in from the States. He did actually take out his wallet - which was quite funny. He told us they would be filming the gig and coming out at the end before going back to his DJing.

The guy who took over played 'Animal' - and I didn't even request it....of course some Sex Pistols tunes were played, right before the gig started...

Simon Laffy. Now the gig start time was the only downside to the evening. I was ready to keel over after standing until 10pm. So the lights go down and Simon Laffy came out and thanked us for being there but then introduced two guys who would do a "short peice". Now I have various descriptions as to what kind of "piece" it was but I'll spare you. Needless to say it was a pretty surreal 5 mins - but maybe that was the plan! hehe. I think it's called performance art?, not my thing, and seemingly not anyone elses. I did clap at the end though - (relief?...). Sorry!

Again it was a tad annoying that 3 more songs were played before the guys came onstage - I really was getting spaced out - it was pretty hot in there. But then the video people at stage right started getting ready, plus Pro-photographers, certain webmasters... And then Simon and Phil came out and got their gear strapped on. Then Phil hopped up on stage and welcomed us. No fan fare at all and they just started rocking away.

So the first song turned out to be 'Connected To You' and it was high energy rock and very uptempo. We were right in front of Phil with just a line of women between us and him. If he'd have leaned over we could have slapped hands. We were there for the whole show. I didn't really consider just how cool that was between taking pics and watching him sing and play. After a few seconds of the song they all gave each looks and big smiles. That was really fun to see because you could tell they were relieved to be finally playing for an audience. They kept doing that throughout. All the guys were fantastic, you would have thought it was their 100th show not the first one! I've never heard or seen Paul Cook play drums live before (apart from the soundcheck hehe) and he's amazing, and so were Simon and Phil. All those rehearsals paid off...

The sound they made together was fat and tight, you wouldn't have known it was just Phil on guitar if you only heard a recording. Phil even had time for a trademark fast solo whilst posing for the front row people at the end of the song (show off!...). Phil spoke very briefly after the song something like "We're only here for half 'an hour - unless you guys make lots of noise!" before he sang the line you may notice above...and 'You're So Wrong' kicked in. Been listening to this constantly for 3 days so I knew it pretty well. Another fast rocker with a great chorus. If you thought recent Lep tunes lacked a little something in terms of rocking energy - well this has it. Great energy and more soloing by Phil in the middle. And when I say soloing I mean 'Phil Collen' trademark soloing - eg. Fast. (song keys from setlist written above).

Phil spoke again with "It's getting hot in 'ere" and then he took his shirt off (now why didn't Alanis think of that!...). He mentioned they have an album coming out next year, either then or after the next song, a woman said something. I didn't hear either but after Phil said "Wot?" She said it again "Will you be naked on the cover?". Cue laughter, "Yeah, if you want me to be". Simon said something too but didn't quite hear that. It was pretty funny though. In fact there were a few people shouting things and I think most were friends or family. At one point someone, (who was 3 or 4 feet to my left) said something and he said "I'll deal with you later". After this they then went into 'Every Second Of Every Day' - only know the chorus from the official clip and the rest of the song is just as good and again very rocking. I think judging by what we heard tonight (85% of it) the full album will be great, and a huge success. More importantly it will rock!

Phil introduced 'Low' next and like the clip suggested it is a more mid-paced rock song but no less heavy than the fast ones. Very melodic and catchy. Would be a good choice for a single I think. After this a very cool moment, I didn't recognise the song until Phil started singing. It was a cover of 'Fire' by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. A song they chose on the radio the other day. They played a great version of it with nice chorus vocals by Simon - who incidentally sang back up on most songs and sounded great. (Paul sang a bit too - on this one I think).

'Runnin' Me Up' was the next song and I believe their best song. It's got a great mix of Police-type reggae influence with rock mixed in. Some superb guitar work by Phil. The studio version has lots of different parts going on at the same time but you hardly noticed the difference live. Wait until you hear the Instrumental Dub and you'll agree with how good it is! And again this would be good as a single to showcase their range of songs.

"This is our new maxi-single..." 'Skin Crawl' which oviously is the one song most people were familiar with. Just as good as the studio version but obviously slightly heavier. Really cool part in the middle where Phil did some Rocket-style soloing before the last chorus kicked in. I think this single will be a big seller and not just among Lep fans. Aided by the fact that the 'B' sides are just as strong if not stronger than the single itself.

"Alright this is 'Halo'" 'Halo' - very heavy and extremely good. Difficult to judge songs on first listen live but this sounded great. Another one with a very heavy sound and great singing by Phil - his voice sounded excellent all night. The way he sang whilst playing guitar too was very impressive.

The last song was 'It's Entertainment' which again was quite melodic and very catchy - there wasn't a bad song played all night. That song title summed it up - it was entertainment! I was hoping to hear 'Original Sin', 'Shadow Man', 'I Can't Live Without You' and 'Closer To Me' but will have to wait for the album - or the next gig.

I think for a first show this was a great success and I'll definitely go and see any Man-Raze show that I can in England (or beyond). As you'll see from the pics the stage was VERY small. Probably one of the smallest Phil's played on since the early 80s. Not sure when their next gig will be but I hope to be there. It was a pleasure to see their live debut.

Fan Review - By Planet Queen

Well short set but who's complaining? No wonder they didn't start until 10pm. Tiny but cosy venue, and a bar: great, but the loos were waay down in the basement which meant for a few hair-raising trips at breakneck speed just in case the guys came on mid-visit.

The support act were two guys doing a comedy piece: felt sorry for them because no-one paid a blind bit of notice until they went off: to a huge cheer for vacating the stage.

Man Raze came on about 5-10 minutes after, the atmosphere was great, lots of comments from Phil. Lots of laughs. And for all the girlies, the shirt came off after two songs: 'You know, what, it's getting hot in here...' Someone asked him if he was naked on the cover of the 'Skin Crawl' single which went down well. Sound could've been a little better: Phil's vocals were great but sometimes the mix was a little off and you couldn't hear them. I'm no musician so I can't comment on the set up, but it's good being close enough to see the band working the music and the communication that you don't always see on a big stage.

'Skin Crawl' is definitely good single material, but my personal favourite was 'Runnin' me up': you can hear the Police influence but at the same time it's a fresh, meaty reggae track.

There were at least three photographers, Ross Halfin included (now there's a sensible guy: he wears little yellow ear plugs, very rock 'n' roll!) Man Raze also did some filming before the venue filled up: there should be plenty of photos around before long.

Fan Review - By Paul

What a great little show!

Luckily, I had seen an interview with Phil on the same day as the show, so I knew it would be a short set. The details were sketchy, so I'm not surprised Darren turned up early! I phoned the venue first so I had an idea they wouldn't play until 10ish, so I duly turned up at 8.30. My other half managed to skillfully bump into Phil on the stairs, whilst asking for directions to the loo, so we had a laugh about that!

I have to agree with Darren on the opener, the two guys reading, whilst admirable, was unfortunately slightly annoying and pretty un-interesting. The loudest thing I could hear during this, was the chatter of the crowd behind us, so I assume most people felt the same.

The band duly took the stage, Phil handling duties as if he had been a front man for years, this band were tight and they rocked! The sound was very good, in fact I've not heard a three piece sound anywhere near as good as they did. One thing that did surprise me was how basic the set up was for Phil in particular, a footswitch, two little Randall speakers and a Vetta head, the range of sounds he got was very impressive (I'm a guitar player, so I look out for this stuff).

Yes it was a short set, and It's a shame they didn't do an encore, but it was just unbelievable to be that close in a little room to these guys and see them play so well. I hope they get the band out and in front of as many people as possible, it deserves to be seen by people outside of the obvious Def Leppard circle.

Fan Review - By Amy

Forgive my delay in submitting my review of an absolutely brilliant show. I've now returned to Michigan after a whirlwind three days in London to catch the first live Man-Raze gig. Some might think I'm mad for doing this, but I prefer to think of myself as a really devoted fan! Anyhow the show was certainly worth all the miles flown, the hours waited in the bar before the doors opened (made much more pleasant whilst chatting to a lovely chap named Darren whom some of you may have heard of), and finally the rather odd pre-show poetry reading, if you could call it that (again made much more tolerable thanks to Darren--misery loves company?)

When Phil, Simon, and Paul finally took the stage after 10 pm, they absolutely rocked. Having heard only the three sample tracks on the Man-Raze site, I was blown away at how awesome they sound live. It was unbelievable there were only three of them on stage, as the sound was so rich and full you'd have sworn they were at least a five-piece. But who needs five when these three sound so terrific with Phil very admirably handling both lead vocals and guitar, Simon shining on bass, and Paul rocking the beat on drums. As others have noted, their sound is very similar to the Police both vocally and instrumentally; and this is meant as high praise to both Sting and Co as well as Phil and Co.

Phil obviously has an easy rapport with the fans and his ebullient personality makes him the perfect front man, not to mention his trademark fast fingers on that famous Jackson fretboard. For the ladies who are dying to know, yes, the shirt came off about three songs into the set, as Phil was right, "it really is hot in here." :) The still-shirted Simon sang backing vocals on several tunes, and the two of them harmonised brilliantly.

Before having heard them live, my favourite track was "Every Second of Every Day." I'd still rank that as #1 but also thought the live versions of "Runnin' Me Up" and "Skin Crawl" were fantastic. In fact, my ears were ringing for days, due to the loooooong flight back to the US and the loud volume of the music played before they took the stage. I'm happy to report the only sounds now running through my head are the echoes of "Skin Crawl" which is very catchy and sure to be a hit when the single drops on the 24th.

It was a complete thrill to be there in person (in the second row, no less!) for the first ever Man-Raze live gig, and I've no doubt it won't be the last. A special thanks to Darren for his kind company and to Simon and Phil, the two nicest guys in rock and roll, who took the time to chat with us at the launch party. No wonder they have such dedicated fans! All the best to Man-Raze as they go on to play Loud and Proud, not only in London Town, but everywhere they travel. Hope to see you in the States next time.

Fan Review - By Kelly

I had the pleasure of attending the MAN-RAZE launch party, I travelled from Coventry and it seems I arrived much to early, I managed to negotiate the stairs (on crutches) not realising there was actually a lift! I arrived upstairs shortly after 7pm, there were a few people already there and after pointing myself out on the guest list and getting my hand stamped I wondered over to the bar. I looked around and to my surprise Phil, Simon and Paul were chatting to guests, quite unsure as to what I should do at this point I decided to get a drink. Just as I was about to be served we were asked to leave, now this to me was a record, being chucked out before even having a drink (hehe), once negotiating the stairs again I arrived in the bistro and waited at the bar. I began talking to a couple of people who thankfully allowed me to sit with them as I was on my own, one of the lads was saying how he had got to meet and talk to Phil, I was mortified that I had just walked past the guy.

Shortly before 8pm we wondered back upstairs, we got chatting to some more people and then at 8pm the doors opened. There was a DJ in the corner and to my surprise it was Simon Laffy, slowly the room began to fill and we heard a rumour that the band weren't going to play until 10 pm, I suddenly realised that after travelling all that way I probably wouldn't get to see the first live performance as I was due to leave at 10pm. After a few frantic phonecalls I managed to rearrange my travel plans so panic over.

At around 10 pm with the room full, Phil, Simon and Paul took to the stage, Phil explained that it was only going to be a short set. I can't remember the order that tracks were played but I can tell you all that they sounded awesome! I really enjoyed hearing Skin Crawl live and it was also great to hear Low, I really enjoyed this track although they sounded consistently good. I was stood just behind Ross Halfin and a couple of other photographers so had an excellent veiw of the stage and of Phil, I got quite a few good photos and Phil gave plenty of opportunities to take photos. After the second track Phil complained about the heat and removed his shirt, at a later point during the set, Phil mentioned the forthcoming single and album and a lady asked if he would be naked on the sleeve! Laughter errupted and this was followed by Phil saying "yeah if you want me to be" and Simon added "in 3-d". This was the first time I had ever seen anybody play live and Man-Raze sounded fantastic, I recommend anybody who has the opportunity to see them live, grab the chance and I am positive you will not be dissapointed. I had a fantastic evening and it was finished brilliantly by having my photo taken with Phil and getting my shirt signed!.