One of the most spectacular, if sadly neglected, British bands of the mid-’70s, the Heavy Metal Kids straddled the eras of glam and punk with such effortless ease that neither genre has ever seemed entirely comfortable with them.
Not for the Kids the succession of compilations and tributes with which the CD age has gifted so many of their peers; not for the Kids the awed accolades of a generation of future stars, raised on their high energy rock and dazzling visual flash. But for anybody who is in on the secret, the three albums which the Heavy Metal Kids unleashed between 1974-1977 represent the missing link in the story of Brit-pop, the bridge which links the Small Faces to Oasis, the Action to the Jam, and any other two points you care to mention.
In the beginning… there was Mickey Waller, Ronnie Thomas, Keith Boyce, Gary Holton and Cosmo… a gang of boisterous boys from South London and the East End. It was late 1972… Armed with a world-wide record contract with the home of Led Zeppelin and Aretha Franklin, in January ’74 they went into London’s Olympic Studios to record their first album, HEAVY METAL KIDS.
They toured Britain and the continent to exhaustion, establishing their brand of rebellious, raucous rock ‘n’ roll… inspiring a generation of other rebels and setting the stage for an all-out revolution that would change the face of popular music only three years later.
They appeared in ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ on the BBC, broke every record there was to break at London’s Marquee, did Reading Festival (as they did every single year they were around) and just played, played, played…
In ’75, the lads recorded their second album ANVIL CHORUS and hit the US on a whirlwind tour with the likes of Alice Cooper, Kiss and Rush. True to form, the tour was full of adventure! They got kicked off the Kiss portion, after Gary and Danny were spotted rolling with laughter on the side of the stage at the sight of Gene Simmons’s hair catching fire while doing his ‘fire-swallowing’ routine.
Back in the UK after a tour of Europe, in ‘77 they went on to record their third album, KITSCH. The Heavy Metal Kids’ 26 year tea-break begun with the sad passing of the legendary Gary Holton… but their cult status has grown over the years, around the undeniable influence they had on the birth of the punk movement and the new wave of British heavy metal.
In 2003 Ronnie, Danny and Keith, the surviving heart and song-writing core of the HEAVY METAL KIDS returned by recording the walloping great album, “HIT THE RIGHT BUTTON” and featured in several articles in Classic Rock Magazine, such as this one. They even had a stint with John Altman (Nasty Nick from EastEnders!) on Vocals.
Join us at The Factory Live for a special Friday night of live music as the Kids take over Worthing!