13.5 C

Weapon – Set the Stage Alight


Genre: N.W.O.B.H.M./Heavy Metal
Country: U.K.
Label: Blood & Iron Records
Year: 2016

New Wave of British Heavy Metal ’79 Revisited is a compilation album of various songs by various artists of the N.W.O.B.H.M. The compilation was assembled by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and music journalist Geoff Barton and released in 1990 on Caroline Records and later Metal Blade Records. On this 2cd combo Weapon’s track entitled “Set the Stage Alight” is featuring on the first cd as number 8 track. But there’s more about this band than an appearance on a historical compilation. Weapon’s sound was heavy as fuck, based on dirty rock n’ roll and had this proto thrash speed that intrigued young Ulrich when he was planning Metallica’s musical direction. You may believe that this is too much of an exaggeration, but Weapon is one of the bands that influenced Metallica on their first steps.

Check this quotation from Metallica’s Biography ‘Damage Incorporated’ Published on 2006 below: ‘Metallica opened its early live sets (and ‘Kill em all’ album) with ‘Hit the Lights’, a song that begins with a noisy two – chord flourish meant to evoke the opening of a concert. However, in a further illustration of NWOBHM’s important role in Metallica’s musical direction, the opening chords- drum fills and all seem to have been lifted directly from Weapon’s ‘Set the Stage alight’, the 1980 release from the influential fledgling NWOBHM band. ‘

Weapon were formed somewhere back in 1980. Two founding members Danny Hynes and Jeff Summers were looking for a band to join and a singer for his band respectively, placing ads on the wanted section of the UK’s legendary Melody Maker. Jeff’s band ‘Fast Relief’ got Danny as a singer and a couple of weeks later replaced their rhythm section adding bassist Baz Downes and Bruce Bisland as a drummer, as they also changed the name too (of course…).

weapon motorhead posterThe band even though have toured with Motorhead on the 32 date ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ UK Tour’ back in 1980’s autumn, had released only one single, the double A-sided ‘Mad Mad World’ / ‘Set The Stage Alight’ in 1980. They recorded several tracks for an album to be called ‘Set The Stage Alight’ which didn’t actually see the light of day until 2003 when it was released on Zoom Club Records. The band toured for the next 18 months before management/contractual problems arose, forcing the band to split.

This compilation is actually a re – issue of the 2003’s and long time out of print cd “Set the Stage Alight”, containing all their early recordings. The band is back in action with a new album behind them, so the time is right to have available again the “Set the Stage Alight” anthology. This 35th Anniversary Edition has also a 20 page booklet with band history, lyrics, many rare photos and two live bonus tracks with the original line up after the band reforming.

The sound is raw and has this characteristic smell of alcohol and sweat from the early 80’s. The songwriting is totally top notch as “Set The Stage Alight”, “Liar”, “Take That Bottle”, “Remote Control” and “Mad, Mad World” definitely prove. NWOBHM fanatics already have it!


Giorgos Tsekas
Giorgos Tsekas
"Κάποτε Όταν Θα ‘χουμε Καιρό... Θα Σκεφτούμε Πάνω Στις Ιδέες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Στοχαστών, Θα Θαυμάσουμε Τους Πίνακες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Ζωγράφων, Θα Γελάσουμε Με Όλους Τους Χωρατατζήδες, Θα Φλερτάρουμε Όλες Τις Γυναίκες, Θα Διδάξουμε Όλους Τους Ανθρώπους" Μπ. Μπρεχτ

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