Tonight, The Musician in Leicester, is awash with Howling Mad Shitheads. Mothers, daughters and back street aftershave vendors are locked away for their own safety. Hatches are well and truly battened down, and hell is about to break loose; because tonight, Wolfsbane, the four musical reprobates from Tamworth are in town. It’s the opening night of the 2012 Wolfsbane Save The World UK Tour, and Leicester will be well and truly shaken.

It’s a good crowd, and a great little venue, completely up close and personal. But then again, Wolsbane want nothing more than being up close and personal with their fans. Opening honours are given to local boys Hells Addiction, who do ok. They’re not going to set the world on fire, and seem somewhat born from the heavy metal book of clichés. They serve up a solid metal by numbers set, perfectly acceptable and listenable, with vocals schizophrenically jumping from Sebastian Bach to Whitfield Crane over some solid riffery. It’s decent, but not quite enough to drag the majority of the HMS army from the bar.

What does empty the bar in seconds though is the arrival on stage of Jase Edwards, Steve Danger, Jeff Hateley and last but not least, Wolfsbane‘s psychotic bear of a front man Blaze Bayley. These boys have been round the block a bit, and are no spring chickens, but by God they could teach a thing or two to the next generation of metalheads. This is what live metal is about, pure passion, intimacy and as rocking hell. Bayley is on fire, the atmosphere is charged and the guys thunder through opener ‘Lifestyle of The Broke and Obscure’.

Wolfsbane are as tight as anything, totally in tune with each other. Bayley prowls, he snarls, he talks some utter shite, but he entertains, and he has one hell of a vocal prowess and range. He may have lost his hair but as a front man, there are few better, especially in this kind of intimate environment. ‘Live Before I Die’, ‘Smoke & Redlight’ and ‘Blue Sky’ from the latest album are belted into the crowd, before shit is lost to ‘Loco’. Bayley’s vocals soar, Hateley bounces along the stage with his dirty basslines, Danger smacks seven bells out of the kit, his stetson firmly in place and just as secure as his Village People ‘tache, and Edwards grins like a maniac as he shreds the crap out of his guitar.

Tonight is great. It’s hot, sweaty and high energy. Wolfsbane are doing what they do best, dishing out a huge portion of proper theatrical heavy metal. The set flies by in a blur, but just when you think it couldn’t get any better, up pops Givvi Flynn to duet with Bayley for ‘The Illusion Of Love’. Outstanding, simply outstanding, and lord has that woman got some pipes on her. If Bayley steps down we’d be happy having her leading the Wolfsbane charge!

What a great night. Let’s do it again soon.

Wolfsbane Setlist:
Lifestyle Of The Broke & Obscure, Live Before I Die, Black Lagoon, Smoke & Redlight, Blue Sky, Loco, Kathy Wilson, Did It For The Money, Teacher, Temple Of Rock, I like It Hot, Manhunt, Paint The Town Red, Illusion Of Love, Limo, G.S.B., Black Machine, Load Me Down, Ezy, Money To Burn.

Wolfsbane – Facebook Page

Photos Courtesy of Trudi Knight