Festival: Z Records Festival

Artist:  Tygers Of Pan Tang

Venue: Maximes, Wigan

Date: 26 August 2001  

This was probably the most controversial band that we had here at the festival today. So many people were against the band not only being on the line-up but also being so near the top.

Originally they were pencilled in to take the headliner spot but nearer the day with so many rumours flying around they were moved down to the second slot. Indeed a lot of people blamed this band for the day not being as good a seller as the May one.

Whether this is true or not is beside the point, there were a lot of bands playing here today, and something for everyone. If anyone didn't like the Tygers then all they had to do was go and have something to eat during their set. It really was that simple. You can't blame one band for some of the others being pulled.

It was also supposed to be their big reunion gig although anyone who, like us, remembered them from their hey days would have noticed straight away that there was only Rob Weir left from the original line-up.

We know that some of the people who were going to travel down to see them play today decided to stay at home and watch them in the local pubs. Well they didn't turn up at the local gigs and we did wonder if they would make it here today in fact.

There were so many things that were stacked against them before they even arrived here tonight that it was a bit of an uncomfortable situation for everyone in a lot of ways. Earlier in the day when they were supposed to be doing a signing they didn't show, or if they did it must have been later that expected.

Rumours of a no show were rife around the room and we were starting to feel uneasy. So many people wanted them to fail today, unfairly really.

The two songs off the 'Rock the Nation' sampler were rather wonderful in my opinion and I was really looking forward to seeing our local lads perform here today.

The Tygers of Pan Tang were one of my teenage favourites. I used to go to see them when they really knew how to blow the cobwebs off the rafters and did a proper grab yer balls and sing for all yer worth set.

They really knew how to give a crowd a good gig and so although this wasn't exactly the line-up we would have liked to have seen here today, it was still a line-up we wanted to see. What songs would they do? Would it be all old stuff, all new stuff or a mixture of the two? We were really, really pleased that they hadn't been dropped altogether and were going to be doing something here today in some shape or sound.

The band finally made an appearance onstage to a luke warm reception from the crowd. In fact the majority of the crowd made a point of walking away or standing at the back looking bored when they came on.

You could see the band were worried sick at the response they were getting from the room. It showed all too well on both sides how the emotions were running.

A small bunch of fans and fellow Geordie's stood patiently at the front and tried to cheer them on. I think if someone had offered them an escape route before they had to go onstage they would have most certainly taken it, as they really did not look happy. In fact lead singer Tony Liddell looked positively miserable.

If he had snapped the microphone stand in half and stabbed a few people he might have raised a slight smile, but it was not to be. He didn't want to be there and it showed.

It was such a shame as well because he does in fact have a very good voice, which is a mixture of Rob Halford, meets Biff Byford. NWOBHM through and through. They opened the set with the new track 'Detonator' which sounded very much in the vein of the old material.

Quickly followed by 'Lonely at the Top' a song that had us, well all of us old fans, singing along and feeling like we had been whisked away to a time long past.

Rob Weir was on good form and played very well for someone that seems to spend more time in the sun than playing his music these days. Tony attempted to say something about being from Newcastle but before he could finish the hecklers were out and hurling abuse at the band big time. That really wasn't nice for anyone there and it wasn't clever either. No one deserved the treatment you gave to these guys today. Shame on you.

The band realized that the sooner they got the set over and done with the better. They set about going through the rest of the songs in quick succession, even dropping the song 'Raised on Rock' from the set towards the end just so they could make their escape sooner rather than later.

The songs off the sampler were included but they didn't sound quite as new and enticing live. On the CD they sounded like a whole new breed of Tygers had emerged and had a tasty modern slant to the songs.

We were quite excited by this new sound and were looking forward to hearing the full album when it eventually gets released. Live they slipped back into their Rob's old routine and style and they lost a lot of their magic in the transition.

The old Tygers songs sounded great mind you, we had all our old favourites including their most famous one 'Love Potion No. 9'. A track that always got the clubs going whenever it was played. Hellbound was there as well. It was hard to resist flinging the old head about when they went into that one. Oh I really, really, used to love this band and the songs they did. Today the old songs sounded so good and brought back many happy memories for me.

But were they any good? Well yes and no would have to be the honest answer to that question. They brought back a time long forgot and made us all feel young and alive again. They didn't storm off when they knew they weren't welcome and carried on with the majority of their setlist.

It was heart breaking though to watch them being put through this, however coming onstage and looking miserable wasn't going to win anyone over. Perhaps if Rob Weir had chosen another name for his new band and just included some Tygers covers they wouldn't have been given such a hard time?

To continue with the name of a band that were so great, so legendary, when really it wasn't the same band or the same era even, was perhaps a bit foolish. Z were perhaps a little too eager in allowing them to be so high on the list when they don't even have their comeback album released yet.

If the Tygers were to be included on the bill today then perhaps they would have been more suited to being the opening act, that way not as many fans would have had their heckles up and taken a pot shot at the band during their performance.

When all comes to all they did a great nostalgia gig, they brought back the past but where can they realistically go from here? This kind of music is sadly long gone and shouldn't try to be revived.

There is a new breed of British heavy rock and it's being fronted by the band we saw play second today. They should have been much further up the list than they were. Not quite sure what will happen when they play Germany later this month.

Someone's made a bit of a boob taking these guys on by the looks of things here today. The lead singer didn't even know the words to the old material never mind the new stuff. It's not like they had only just found out about doing the show, they'd had plenty of opportunity to practice just like all the other bands we'd seen here today.

Could he have been more obvious about it if he'd picked up the song sheets from the floor and sang from them? This is not what we have come to expect from the high quality of bands Z usually put forward for us to watch perform.

They died a thousand deaths here today and other than being a Tygers of Pan Tang cover band I really can't see them being able to change peoples minds about them. I did actually enjoy the songs but I was in the minority and I am also a realist when it comes to what makes other people tick. This didn't make anyone tick.

Rob I'm sorry but you have to admit this is true. This new band of yours is not the Tygers of Pan Tang, and Z you have to admit this isn't the sort of band you would normally sign so both of you only have yourselves to blame for tonight's little performance.

All said and done if the songs from the sampler are anything to go by I will still be looking forward to the release of their album. Whether I would want to see them play live again in the near future is perhaps another question altogether.

Setlist: Detonator, Lonely at the Top, Story so Far, Secret Agent, Mystical, Firepower, Hellbound, Love potion No. 9, Rock n' roll Man

 

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