This tour has been powered
by self produced wind! Never
have I experienced ANYTHING like
the amount of constant
flatulence produced between 6
‘nearly’ grown men! You know
when you pass through and area
of the countryside that has that
animal waste smell that rapes
your nostrils? Well our tour bus
was like that ALL the time! That
and the aroma of Gouda Boy’s
trainer boots, (Micky). Just
when the smell became semi
bearable, somebody else would
offer up there ‘Balloon knot’
and squeeze out another ‘Guff’
making a further contribution to
the atmosphere. I’ve booked
myself in to a private clinic
when we get home to the UK to
have the linings of my nose
surgically ripped out so I can
grow some new ones and try and
restore a decent smell up there
Thanks to Nat, Arnaud and
all the other great
photographers who pointed and
clicked at us! And from the UK
we had 12 very SPECIAL guests in
So with the night conquered, and 1000 or so French hard rock fans happy it was off to the hotel for a few beers and a well earned night’s sleep before a 5 hour drive into southern Germany for the next show. Mannheim is a huge German industrial city with several impressive castles as you approach, built for the city’s protection back in the day I imagine! Anyway we were playing at the famous ‘7er club,’ and the owner Rainer ‘Fish’ Stowasser was on hand to greet us with his fantastic FOH (front of house) sound man, ‘Ike.’
A big ‘Thank You,’ to our
photographers at the ‘7er,’
‘On-stage-Pics.de’ and Anima
Nigra for some truly fantastic
The venue in Aschaffenburg was called the ‘Colos Saal.’ What a truly excellent venue. Fantastic size stage, three, 40 foot lighting trusses, huge PA with a massive sub sound! Brilliant crew and I could go on and on! Hildegard and Carsten came to see us from Motl (Music on the line) Check their site out, it’s all about keeping music current and fresh and out there.
Thank you one and all for
your endless support, we love you!
I thought I would take you
back, way back to where it all
started for the Tygers, with some
never seen before photos. Please
bear in mind these photos I am going
to share with you were taken in the
days of non digital photography! Yes
I know, we used to put a roll of
film in the back of a camera, wind
it on and when the 12 or 24 shots
were taken the film had to be
developed. Ah, the endless trips to
Boots the Chemists to pick up the
pictures, hoping they had all come
out and not too many were dark, out
of focus or just plain useless! Some
of these photographs you haven’t
seen before and indeed some I
haven’t seen before! I’ll talk you
through them and give you the
background to each photograph.... So
let’s get on with it! Where to
start, where to start? Well at the
beginning I guess!
If I only had that Ibanez ‘Moderne’ guitar now, I believe they are worth in excess of half a million pounds! As the music came together, so the shows started coming in. Let’s start at the Rex Hotel in our home town, Whitley Bay in 1978. It’s Wednesday 17th of May and I receive a call about tea time to say the headline band ‘Oasis,’ (a local Newcastle band at the time) had pulled out of their show at the Rex and could we step in? When we arrived, there was another local band called, ‘Moulin Rouge,’ who were going to be the opening act. I remember we spun a coin to see who would headline and the Tygers won! Here is a picture of us performing with our home made backdrop made by Rocky’s mum! You can see Mark Butcher our first singer adjusting his amp level ‘Up’ as he said Rocky and I played far too loud. It must be a singer thing as I seemed to have had this argument for the last 40 years! At this point I must point out Rocky’s gold painted platforms, very 1978!
Mark left the band on the
16th of August 1978 and by the
end of that month we had
recruited a new singer called,
Just stepping into January 1979, one night we ventured down to the amusements on the sea front in Whitley Bay. Here are a couple of shots taken in one of the amusement halls....
Then there was the famous, ‘Crisps, Pop and Balls,’ photo taken on the sea front, next to one of those ‘viewing huts,’ overlooking the north sea.
Someone then had a good idea
to go to an airfield and have our
picture taken beside an old tiger
And then there was the beach
scene and this picture afterwards in
one of those photo booths....
Here is an excerpt taken from a book written by John Tucker. The book is called ‘Suzie Smiled’ which is all about the NWOBHM.
After a very busy spring/ summer opening up for just about everybody, in July 1980 we went into Morgan Recording Studios in Willesden, London and recorded our first album, ‘Wildcat.’ While we were recording it was decided we would add to our line up with another guitar player. So after the album was finished we auditioned about 80 hopefuls and Mr John Sykes was the chosen one! This is an early promo shot from a professional photo shoot done in London.
Here is a photo of us waiting to go on stage at Reading Rock Festival 1980. It was John’s first big gig with the band, and a mere 40,000 people waited to greet us!
After Reading we went straight out on our own headlining tour, all the way through September of that year. Every show was sold out. Here is a shot of us at the Newcastle Mayfair.
After the ‘Wildcat’ tour came a change of vocalist. Once again auditions were held and we choose Jon Deverill out of 120 possible’s. New band photo’s and back into writing and rehearsals for the next album, ‘Spellbound.’ Here’s one of the record company’s official promo photos.
One of the many writing sessions at Linton Colliery community hall, Northumberland January 1981.
Taken during the recording of ‘Spellbound,’ at Morgan Studios.
And our answer to the Beatles Abbey Road shot...The Tygers Whitley Bay promenade ‘Zebra crossing’ shot....
Spellbound was released and entered the British charts in the top 20. A British tour ensued and here are a couple of photos from that tour. The first one is a photo from the opening of the show at Newcastle City Hall 1981, the second is also from that City Hall show.
Reading Top Rank, August bank holiday weekend 1981...
And a photo of John and me at the Marquee Club, Wardour Street, London. This show was to launch the ‘Crazy Nights’ LP. The date....November the 5th 1981!
We had a press release party later that night with a Crazy Nights cake at the St Moritz club across the street from the Marquee
Then back to good old Whitley Bay for a few beers...
Some of my original guitars, now sadly long gone!
Around that time we had a big feature in Sounds music newspaper. This was one of the shots taken for the article but never used.
Just after a 5 week tour
opening up for Gillan in Europe
John Sykes was getting itchy
feet (well itchy fingers!) so to
speak and left to audition for
Ozzy. His replacement was Fred
Purser. We recorded the ‘Cage’
LP and supported it with a
lengthy UK tour, followed by a
headline French tour. This was
taken from the UK ‘Cage’ tour in
And a, ‘I’ve got a good idea let’s all stand in a line’ photo of us all in a field somewhere in the French countryside!
The next photo is from Reading Festival 1982, when we headlined the ‘B’ stage with Iron Maiden headlining the ‘A’ stage.
And a rare shot of me using an ‘SG’ during the song ‘Tides.’
After Reading we flew out to Japan where we did 5 shows in 7 days. All 4000 seating and all sold out! This was taken in the middle of the song, ‘Slave to Freedom.’
I hope you have enjoyed our little trip down memory lane. The band today is stronger than it has ever been. If you get a chance to come and see us live please do, but more importantly come up and say ‘Hi’ we love meeting folk!
The 2015 AMBUSH!
Here we go again, travelling out to sample the amazing Italian hospitality and sunshine, oh and play a huge bikers festival in Cologno Al Serio near Milan. With the usual crazy Tygers travel arrangements, flying via Frankfurt we arrived at Linate airport, Milan at mid day.
However I must at this point, tell you what happened while we were in Frankfurt airport. While waiting for our connecting flight to Italy, Craig and I needed to take a pee! So off we went to one of the many public conveniences. This is a photo of the sign on all the cubical doors!
However, it’s not the sign on the door I want to tell you about....as I went to push open one of the cubical door’s all I could hear was loud wind being passed in sporadic bursts! I collapsed with laughter not daring to look at Craig. The person in the cubicle must have heard me chuckling and started to join in laughing! While still farting! Craig was laughing so much he ended up weeing on his shoes. Anyway I digress...back to the matter in hand. We boarded our next connecting flight and a couple of glasses of wine later we were landing in Milan. We were met by Benny the local agent and promoter. He told us the weather was cool by their standards, only 37 degrees Celsius! Believe me it was chokingly hot, so it was a relief to get in his MPV and take advantage of the aircon! After a short rest,
Several bottles of and a quick ‘Bed rehearsal’ at the hotel we were off to the festival.
Fantastic PA and Lights, and a great stage crew made our sound check run very smoothly. After the sound check it was time to look around this amazing festival site. If you are into bikes, my goodness, literally thousands of them, Harley’s, Ducati’s, MV Agusta’s, Benelli’s and so many more.
There was Thai boxing, custom car show, motor bikes having a tug of war, every type of fast food you can think of, (including the finest pepperoni pizza and Italian smoked sausage you could imagine!) fare ground rides and mobile shops selling everything! There were even mobile tattoo artists, and of course a Sherman tank and field gun!
Ok, on to the live stuff. A big shout to Marco Mac Brambilla for his fantastic live photography.
And a BIG shout to our
fantastic audience. Once again
Italy, “YOU ROCK!”
Tom showing us he always
takes care of, ‘down below,’
Quick freshen up, and then off to the Bang Your Head festival site for a ‘wee dram!’ (That’s Scottish for a drink! My Mum’s Scottish!) Thought I would include a couple of pictures of the main Bang Your Head stage being built several days before...
The basic stage structure.
Loading in the lights and
huge sound system.
First up I meet two of the guys from the German metal thrash band Kreator, who were headlining on our performance day. Kreator did a cover version of one of our songs from the ‘Spellbound’ album, ‘Gangland,’ which they released in 1987!
Here I am with Jurgen and
Also staying at our Hotel in Germany were the Anvil boys.
After breakfast it was on to the show....
Some ‘tourists’ checking out
After the show, the signing session went on so long we missed our dinner (Which was fillet steak and king prawns!) because we had to leave for the airport to fly to Stockholm. However there was time for a very quick photo with...
Michael Amott & Jeff
Loomis from Arch Enemy
Taking our seats on our 4th
flight in two days!
We flew from Stuttgart to
Berlin and then Berlin to
Stockholm, arriving just after
midnight. Unfortunately our
Swedish friends had forgotten
about us and there was nobody to
take us to our hotel! “Taxi!”
The Tropical forest
Off to bed around 02.30am, for some beauty sleep, to be ready for our tea time appearance at the Vasby Open Air festival. Around 15.00 we get a call to say our car has arrived to take us to the show. It’s only a stretch limo!
Fun in the back seats!
Us with our crew at Vasby
Our personal security
And the man who made all
this possible, the festival owner
and all round nice guy...Bosse
When we were all said and done it was back to the hotel to meet up with old friends and new!
Now I do feel we have left
Jack out of the frame so to
speak, so here are a couple of
Thanks for all the fantastic
photographers who have provided
us with too many wonderful shots
to look at!
The next run of shows for us, were here in the sunny old UK! First up was the fantastic, ‘Wild Fire Festival,’ in a place called ‘Biggar,’ in South Lanarkshire. With our usual, planes, trains and automobiles for us to all meet up, we rendezvoused at Darlington train station then set off to the first of our three headline shows. We had a very pleasant road trip up to the Scottish Highlands and at one point it seemed like we were driving through the clouds!
It was a great pleasure to be asked to headline this newish festival, and as you can see there was a full house! Sorry I mean marquee! Here are a few live shots from the event, thanks to Neil Henderson for the excellent pro photography.
As you can see it was a fantastic NWOBHM bill. Being in the capital city lots of our friends from both within the music business and outside the business came to see us. Our VERY special guest, indeed, MY very special guest was Richard Laws, AKA ‘Rocky,’ the original Tygers bass player and co-founder of the band. I haven’t seen Rocky for 29 years and I can’t begin to tell you how fantastic it was to see him again. Here’s a photo of me, Rocky and his daughter Emily, who also came along to the show.
And a photo of Tom, Jack, Rocky and me in the bar after the show.
New and old!
Rocky gave me his seal of
approval for the band which is
of great comfort it really means
a lot to me.
Wor Gav, our very own Rock’n’Roll bass guitar monster!
Iacopo, giving it large! Nice photo Sally!
‘Little Bobby Weir,’ as my band mates like to call me!
Mr Craig ‘Fraggle Rock’ Ellis. Stix, kicks and licks!
Thanks to Sally Newhouse for
the great photos!
Before the show we were contacted by Miss Veronica Freeman, who is the singer with the American metal band Benidictum. She has also just released a solo album as well. Veronica asked if she could ‘Duet’ with Jack on ‘Don’t Touch Me There’ ‘Of course’ we said and here are the two of them in action!
And finally the end of the show.....Thank you to everyone who came and sang your little hearts out with us, we really appreciate your ‘Roar!’
Two down, one to go...So Sunday morning the drive north, up to Selby to play Yorkshire’s 1st NWOBHM festival.
A big thank you to Ian, the main man at the Venue in Selby for looking after us so well. The great gathering of bands on before us really set the scene, thank you one and all!
And finally...last but not least, it was a weekend for bumping into old band members from way back when. On the train to London last week I was ‘spotted’ by this very smart gent in 1st class. As I walked by a little voice said, ‘Hi Robb. Do you remember me?’ I wasn’t sure to be perfectly honest, but there was a vaguely familiar look about him! He pointed to a book on the table in front of him and I saw the author was a Mark Butcher. Then the penny dropped and I shook his hand with great warmth. Mark Butcher was the Tygers first singer back in 1977/’78. Mark did the first 25 shows with the band before we parted ways. It was a real pleasure to meet him again after, dare I say, 37 years!
“Rock ‘n’ Roll, it’s a funny old game!”
Here we are again, Europe bound, more club show’s more festivals and of course more Tyger frolics! As seems to be customary these days we set off at midnight, making our way down the country picking band members up as we go. With the usual level of humour and debauchery developing as we get further down the road! With driving laws as they are now our tour bus is governed to 62 miles per hour, which makes progress somewhat laboured. However, there is more time for piss taking! We were booked on the 08.25 sailing from Dover to Calais but we missed it due to traffic on the M11 and the A2. We were also told when we checked in at Dover, our 12.25 sailing home 3 days later had been cancelled due to the discovery of 2 world war two unexploded bombs! Calais was to be closed from 07.30 till whenever, until the bombs could be safely removed. Anyway at 09.25 we floated out on the briny, heading for the port of Calais. The first show was the venue in Tilburg, Holland. The weather was fantastic and not long into the journey the thermometer topped 33 degrees. It was too much for some of our elite cast and clothes started to be shed!
So with disaster averted, it was on to Tilburg where the awaited!!
So, first gig of the tour...sold out! For all those who came, “You Rocked!” we can’t wait to come back and Roar for you again!
This is quite a small venue, but MASSIVE on atmosphere and a great place to play. Our support band ‘Jackal,’ did us proud and at 22.00 it was show time. A big ‘Dankjewel’ to all our Dutch fans who really made our night. So on to the ‘Velvet Overlook’ studio, which was to be our resting place for the evening. Up, shower, breakfast and Belgium bound, to the Summerrock Open Air festival in Epre Mere. With plenty of time on our hands we checked into our very swish hotel and did a band photo session in there fantastic grounds. Here’s one of the shots...
And of course time for a quick beer, courtesy of the hotel owner....’Cheers!’
Next stop, Summerrock. When we arrived the site looked very impressive......
Straight to the back stage area for, you guessed it a few small beers. Well it IS very good larger in Belgium! Stella Artois I believe? (Amongst others!)
With the passes issued we ventured up on the stage and watched one of the opening acts from the monitor desk.
And at 20.50 local time, the Tygers hit the stage....
A big shout to our
phenomenal ‘pro’ photographers,
The three wise monkeys......
Tygers & Motörhead|
14th May 2015
34 YEARS AGO...
Nobody in those days could get there head around our band name and how to spell it! Here it is just in case you were unsure!!
So southward bound to Rome on our favourite airline!!
When we arrived at Rome airport, we were in the queue to show our passports again when this large smiling security guard approached us and said, “It’s Robb from the Tygers isn’t it?” “Hi, yes it is,” I said as I shook his hand. We were then whisked past passport control and security and fast tracked to the front of the airport where the promoters for the up and coming shows were waiting for us to drive us to the hotel. Our security man told us he was the drummer in, ‘Messerschmitt,” one of the support bands that were appearing with us on the bill that evening.
After a few hours relax at the hotel we were picked up by “Sixty Miles Ahead,” our special guests band for the tour. (Both Tygers and Sixty were travelling together in one tour bus, it’s far more fun that way!) Jailbreak venue here we come.....
So, first gig of the tour...sold out! For all those who came, “You Rocked!” we can’t wait to come back and Roar for you again!
Now I forgot to mention, the artist that has just done the new artwork for, ‘Tygers Sessions, The First Wave,’ travelled to see us in Rome from his home town, Naples. We first heard about Roberto through Skol Records who have released the new CD. Roberto specialises in artwork for more extreme metal bands but with the brief we gave him he came up with a fantastic idea and brought it to life.
Here he is in the centre of the photo...You can catch up with the rest of his work at www.todericoart.com
You know we find people travel from all over the world to see us, that’s without a word of a lie and our former manager Tom Noble and his lovely wife flew out to catch our show!
And on to the next show in Pistoia, Santomato, Italy. While we were on route to the venue we stopped off at the UFIP cymbal factory which is in Pistoia itself! Craig uses these cymbals and we were all very interested to see how they were made in the factory.
Yet another fantastic venue......
It was a huge rock cafe, with fantastic lights and sound system. And boy did they look after us! Welcome drinks, two foot square pizzas, pasta, fresh homemade bread, beer, wine stop, stop this is getting out of hand! A massive, ‘Thank you,’ to the owner and all the staff. Even when the toilets burst and overflowed into our dressing room they were straight on it, mopping up and freshening the air!
Would you believe this venue looks like this when empty and like this, when the action starts....
And after the show Gav with our good friend Giampaolo , sharing a small beer!
What a fantastic crew at the Santomato venue, thanks to Manila for the fantastic photos!
Next up, the Blue Rose Saloon in Bresso, Milan. I spoke to the promoter after the show and she said we missed the sell out by 12 people! I knew I should have made the lads in the band pay to get in!
On Sunday morning the 1st of March we set off to drive into Austria. Five hours of piss take and laughter in the tour bus! I have to say what stunning scenery as we entered this country, mountains, snow, and crystal clear water running in the streams, beautiful!
The venue was called the Bluesiana, in the town of Velden.
Not even our friends Metallica could boast they have ever had a two lane bowling alley in their dressing room, we did so there!
Here’s a picture of the comfortable end....
Another fantastic night, thank you all so much for coming to Roar with the Tygers.
Here’s Gav waiting to sound check.
And the end of the tour