1979 – present (39 years)
And so it was that from the ashes of the Warrior there was formed a mighty Battleaxe…
So runs the ancient legend.
Sometimes legends can be true. Sometimes legends can be modern.
From the ashes of a band called Warrior there came Battleaxe.
Back in the early 1980s in the north-east of England four young men joined forces to embark on a heroic quest – to be one of the best heavy metal bands around.
In 1980 when Dave King (vocals) Brian Smith (bass), Steve Hardy (guitar) and Ian Thompson (drums) went into Durham’s Guardian studios to record the single, Burn This Town, they wanted to be one of the best good-time rock bands. With a deal from Roadrunner Records, the resulting album sold well, bringing them to the attention of Kerrang who said “these boys wield a mean blade which scythes through the small label production smog and scratches some genuine excitement into the grooves.”
Following the addition of Ian McCormack on drums, they built themselves up to be one of the regions most energetic and exciting heavy metal bands on the scene. Playing gigs across the country with bands like Saxon, Twisted Sister and Girlschool, recording sessions for Radio One’s Tommy Vance, Battleaxe scored legions of fans with their second album, Power From The Universe.
With all their hard work appearing to pay off, the band suffered a severe body blow on the eve of a showcase gig for Atlantic Records when guitarist Steve Hardy unexpectedly quit.
Yet Battleaxe soldiered on. After a period with a floating line-up, In 1987 John Stormont and Mick Percy came in, adding a twin-attack approach to the guitar, making Battleaxe’s sound more dynamic and exciting than ever before. Unfortunatley John Stormont left for domestic reasons and also Ian McCormack followed soon after. They were replaced with Jason Holt (guitar) and Stewart Curtan (drums). A large open air festival took place in Old Eldon Sq. Newcastle upon Tyne and the guys performed magnificantly but this was their only live performance with Battleaxe. This left the current line up (Mick Percy , Colin Simpson , Bri Smith , Paul Atkinson and Dave King ) as powerful as Battleaxe ever was, finishing a fantastic performance at Klenal Hall, Bikers festival in Northumberland. And this is Battleaxe!
The recording of their third album was put on hold as they went in the studio to record demo material (now released as the Nightmare Zone ep). Arguably, their most commercial material to date, it shows that Battleaxe was undoubtedly capable of holding their own with the bigger bands on the scene.
Unable to secure a deal to release their third album the band once again drifted from public view, losing the momentum that they had built up over the years. With heavy hearts, the original founding members, Dave King and Brian Smith decided to call it a day. It had been one hell of ride. Lots of fun, lots of laughs, hard work and energy devoted to climbing their way to the first division of rock bands but no one imagined or foresaw what good fortune lay ahead for the band in the next couple of years ahead.
So here we are in 2010…just when you thought the name Battleaxe NWOBHM Band would never be descibed as a serious up to date metal act again…they are back…
Battleaxe are now recording their third album Heavy Metal Sanctuary formally entitled Metal Edge then The Legion Unite. Early reports have described this effort as the best of 80s metal with an 'in your face' Bang on up to date production…
The band have also played their European debut at Headbangers Open Air in Germany and are scheduled for a few more shows on 2010 including Hard Rock Hell UK. and others.
Lineup: Dave King, Paul AT Kinson, Mick Percy and Brian Smith. In 2014 Sadly after a fantastic performance at Germany's KEEP IT TRUE Festival Drummer Paul AT Kinson, already unsettled with his co members in the band became even more disgruntled and in a heated discussion with Dave on the way back from the German Festival, we all agreed that the best way forward here was for him to stand down, allowing him more time to concentrate on his own band project AXXED ASSYLUM his Thin Lizzy Tribute act and other things. A new Drummer Rick Squires was very quickly brought in for the forthcoming BLOODSTOCK Festival 2014 for which Rick formally drummer with the Heavy Metal Kids and NWOBHM Salem performed brilliantly and proved himself in front of a fantastic crowd to be the right man for the job. You can see more of Rick's profile on our web site www.battleaxeuk.com
Finally after the long awaited release of HEAVY METAL SANCTUARY in Nov 2013 and POWER from the UNIVERSE in Feb 2014 the band received hundreds of acclaimed reviews for both albums to add to the list of reviews from their earlier Burn this Town special re release in 2013… The band are now working on their fourth album which a title of has not yet been confirmed but you can go to there face book page to learn a lot more about what's going on about that…. https://www.facebook.com/BATTLEAXE.nwobhm.OFFICIAL .
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