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"One Again Into The Breach My Friends."
21st October 2015

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 again!
When we arrived at Dover for our crossing on Saturday morning we heard via the radio that the Euro Tunnel was closed because of migrant trouble and all traffic was transferring to the various ferry companies. So it was pandemonium to say the least! We took our place in the queue at Dover and waited.... We were then told the port of Calais was closed as the trouble had spread and the French authorities were awaiting police re-enforcements! Anyway the gods of rock and roll must have been helping the French as well, because we were on our way within the hour. Once on French soil, and a little over 3 hours and 15 minutes drive time we arrived in Fismes for the headlining spot at the British Steel Saturday Night IV festival.

With no dressing room available and no local crew to help unload the tour bus, it wasn’t the best start to the day, however we overcame these problems and prepared for our appearance. Here are a couple of live shots from the festival....

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 the audience.

‘These girls and boys know how to roar!’

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 shots.

And with freshly made bacon and egg sarnies in our bellies, courtesy of Rainer’s wife, ‘Moni’ it was on the road to Darmstadt City for our day off. When we arrived the boys found an Irish bar to drink in and we all dined on delicious Turkish lamb kebabs for tea! Tuesday the 6th of October saw us roll into Aschaffenburg and check into the very picturesque, ‘Landhotel.’ Set on the top of a small mountain with fantastic views, the place was magnificent! This was one of the tables outside!

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!

Throw Back Thursday...
25th September 2015

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!
Here is a photo of Rocky and me in my parents back garden taken by my Dad in the summer of ’77. Rocky and I had not long known each other, but you could tell it was going to be the start of something big!

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, Jess Cox.
Next up is the ‘Mingles gang.’ Mingles was a night club on the sea front in Whitley Bay. We had a residency there every Wednesday night, (winter ’78 onwards) and this was a photo taken on the 6th of December of that year. What a fantastic bunch of youth! It’s a bit blurry but you get the gist!

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 moth
Bi-plane! One of the photos from this session was used for the back cover of our first single on Neat Records, ‘Don’t touch me there.’

And then there was the beach scene and this picture afterwards in one of those photo booths....

Ok so let’s move on a bit in time. Spring of 1980 saw the Tygers on a major record label, MCA and on the road opening up for Gillan, Magnum, Scorpions, Saxon, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden. Here’s a live shot of Rocky and me at the Apollo, Glasgow on the 4th of March 1980 supporting Gillan.

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 ’82.
Here is Jon, me, Fred and Rocky’s nose!

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!


8th September 2015

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!”
There’s loads more photo’s in the photo section on the main Tygers site, check ‘em out!

31st July 2015


Hi People, how are you? As usual we start with the travel Itinerary for the shows. Four days, two festivals, five flights and a bucket load of laughter! This blog will be slightly different from the usual ones as it will have no live shots! All the photos will be of us with our friends from other bands.
So an early start from the North East of England, (no change there then!) too meet up with Craig at his home, leave one car, jump in another and off to Manchester airport. The first sets of flights were courtesy of British Airways, Manchester to Heathrow and then on to Stuttgart.

Of course there was time for a quick pint!

When we arrived in Germany we were met at the airport and taken to our hotel.

Tom showing us he always takes care of, ‘down below,’ with
55 sheets of Andrex!

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 Christian

Also staying at our Hotel in Germany were the Anvil boys.

Robb and Craig



Robb and Robb!

After breakfast it was on to the show....

Some ‘tourists’ checking out the arena!

And the dressing room shot! With Frank our Dutch tour manager
(RitchieRoo, our regular TM couldn’t be with us so Frank stepped in.)
Our lighting guy and our Manager, Tom.

I know I said no live shots but this one is really of our fantastic audience,
14,000 of them!

Craig and Bob Moon @ the merchandise stall.

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!”

But when we did arrive, what a fantastic hotel, complete with indoor tropical forest, lake and bar, with a pool and gym on the ninth floor! And the express elevators to the 17th floor just topped it off!

 The Tropical forest bar

 01.00am beer!

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 festival....
Robb, Toby (guitar tech) Craig, Andy (drum tech) & Mick

Our personal security guard...

And the man who made all this possible, the festival owner and all round nice guy...Bosse ‘Zinny’ Stagman

Mr Michael ‘Muelli’ Muller from Jaded Heart

Mr Simon Wright Ex AC/DC & Dio was in the next dressing room to us, and came to say ‘Hi’ just as we came off stage!

Then the signing session...

When we were all said and done it was back to the hotel to meet up with old friends and new!

The two Michael’s!

When a Scorpion met a Tyger!
Herman Rarebell and Craig.

Francis Buchholz and wor Gav

Late night drinking with....
Steve West, Rob Marcello, Bob Catley, Me & Joe Retta

Tony Clarkin and Me


Now I do feel we have left Jack out of the frame so to speak, so here are a couple of action shots...

Thanks for all the fantastic photographers who have provided us with too many wonderful shots to look at!
Paul Bossenmaier, Henrik Hildebrandt & Paolo Manzi, to name but a few.

Stay tuned in folks, more to come....

10th July 2015

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!

When we arrived at the festival site there was a light wetting rain coming down but it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of rockers that were arriving alongside us. Dave Ritchie, the main man was there to greet us and give us the low down on the day ahead. Our accommodation was in an old 19th century hunting lodge which was supposed to be haunted!
By tea time the rain had cleared away and the sun had got its hat on! (Hip hip hip hooray, the sun has got his hat on and he’s coming out to play!) Sorry I’m getting carried away! Along with the weather improving, this also brought different problems...Scottish mini monsters, about a million and a half of them. Midges! The festival site was right next to a lake and over they came, black clouds of blood sucking aliens! The night progressed nicely with great sets from Tysondog and Holocaust, amongst others then at 22.30 it was Tyger time!


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.

Neil’s really caught the moment as I’m sure you’ll agree? After the show we all retired to the hunting lodge, along with Dave the festival organizer and a few bottles of prescription alcohol. Vodka, rum, whiskey and wine. Tales were told and stories were recalled and as the alcoholic mist descended, one by one tired Tygers went back to their cages! The next morning the sun was up way before us and the day looked glorious. Breakfast, loading up the tour bus and goodbyes done it was off to find the A1 to old London town! With a slight de-tour to collect Craig’s cymbals (which we forgot, oops!) We arrived at in London, around tea time. The place was buzzing rock fans everywhere! Debz the festival promoter was on hand to meet us and lead us to our dressing room and hospitality (Food and drink to you!)

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.
And now for the live stuff...The first picture is one of the best I have seen of Mick, it reminds me of Tommy Bolan back in the day! What do you think?

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!
In the middle of ‘Slave to Freedom’

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!”


18th June 2015

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!

Mick was keen to show us his Superman under crackers, although as you can see from the photo he forgot to put his usual sports socks down the front! Moving swiftly along, it wasn’t long before the fuel warning light came on and panic set in to find a fuel station. There are no fuel stations between Calais and Dunkirk, so we pulled off the motorway to desperately find some diesel in one of the local towns. With the gauge saying 11 miles left before pushing! We were getting very concerned. We arrived in this small town and I could see two bikers sitting talking to each other on a park bench. I got out the bus and asked if they knew where the nearest filling station was. One of them very kindly told us to follow him on his bike as the directions would be too difficult to follow, and we couldn’t afford to waste a drop more fuel! 3 kilometres later we found our oasis! The miles to go gauge said ‘0'

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,
Erwin Poppe
John Scheffers
Luc Ghyselen
Gerard Hamels
Jean Luc Devos
I tell you what, I wish we could take you lot on every tour. What fantastic shots, some of the best we’ve ever had!
And the final shot after the festival ended....

The three wise monkeys......
Mick, Gav and our tour manager Richieroo!
So what about the unexploded bombs I hear you cry? Well we were delayed about 3 hours, which wasn’t too bad however the nine hour trek at 62mph from the port of Dover to Newcastle-upon-Tyne was a bit of a killer!
Until the next time people.......

Tygers & Motörhead
14th May

Timeline ... Friday 3rd September 1982.
First night of the Cage tour and it’s in my hometown, Newcastle-upon- Tyne at the fantastic Mayfair Ballroom. The sound system we had hired for the entire tour to melt people’s ears was from Audio Lease, the same company Motörhead used time and time again. The tour was a sell-out and when we came to play the Oxford Apollo (now called the New Theatre) on the 14th, little did we know we would be having visitors! We arrived on a sunny afternoon and were met by the concert promoter, Adrian Hopkins, who was promoting the tour. The crew were busy at work unloading our two forty- foot trailers and rigging the stage set ready for sound check. I was looking out into the empty auditorium when I felt a slap on my back which nearly dislodged my lungs! A loud laugh followed by, “Robb, nice to see ya, hope you haven’t broken our PA?” It was Lemmy and I could see Phil (Filthy Animal) Taylor in the background talking to Kevin Riddles, the bass player from our support band, Tytan. In a flash, from behind Lemmy’s back he produced his legendary flight case made especially for a litre bottle of Jack Daniels! “Want some?” Stupid question really, so we went to the side of the stage and started drinking. Phil wandered off somewhere and Lemmy and I chatted about what we were both up to. Lemmy told me Eddy Clarke had left the band in May after a show in New York and they were looking for a replacement guitar player. He said to me, “How’s your situation?” to which I replied, “I’m good where I am, we’re selling out most places and doing pretty good”. Nothing more was said on the subject. Lemmy and Phil stayed for the gig and came to a couple more shows on that tour. I told our manager at the time (Tom Noble) about the conversation. He smiled and told me to go and write some more Tygers’ songs! If you have ever met Lemmy, you will know he is one of the nicest men in Rock & Roll. A true gent and a legend in modern day music!

21st April 2014

Thank you to Vintagerock for this post which I found on the internet recently while trolling for something entirely different about the Tygers! It’s fantastic discovering something ‘new’ from 34 years ago!

Tygers of Pan Tang

Newcastle Mayfair 15th February 1980
Newcastle City Hall 13th May 1981
Newcastle Mayfair 3rd Sep 1982

Tygers of Pan Tang, Newcastle City Hall, 13th May 1981 & Newcastle Mayfair 3rd Sep 1982
The Tygers of Pan Tang were formed in Whitley Bay in 1977. For readers who are not from the North East, Whitley Bay is a seaside town close to Newcastle upon Tyne. The original Tygers line-up was Robb Weir (guitar), Rocky (bass), Mark Butcher (vocals) and Brian Dick (drums), Jess Cox replaced Mark after their first 25 shows. 

They released the single “Don’t Touch Me There” in 1979 and the album “Wild Cat” in 1980. I saw the original band several times at gigs in the north east; I think at their old stomping ground, Mingles night club and The Rex Hotel, both on the sea front in
Whitley Bay, and possibly at the Old 29 and/or the Mecca ballroom in Sunderland. I also saw themsupporting Magnum at Redcar, Coatham Bowl and The Scorpions at Newcastle City Hall. John Sykes (later of Thin Lizzy) joined the band during 1980; soon afterwards Jess Cox left and was replaced by Jon Deverill.

The new line-up recorded their second album “Spellbound” and went out on a headline tour to promote it. I won a competition in a local paper and as my prize, I received a clutch (I think it was 6 or 8!) tickets for the City Hall gig, a sweatshirt, a copy of the new “Spellbound” album and some badges. Result! So I played my prize to get to know the songs ready for the gig. A group of us met in Steels club on the night of the concert and drove through to the City Hall in a couple of cars, clutching our free tickets (note the ticket stamped “COMPLIMENTARY”).

Support came from Magnum (a bit of an about turn, as the Tygers had supported them just a year earlier) and Alcatraz, who I can only assume were a NWOBHM band and not to be confused with Alcatraz (a Man spin-off band who I had seen a few years earlier) or Alcatraz (a band formed in 1983 by vocalist extraordinaire Graham Bonnet, guitar ace Yngwie Malmsteen and ex-Maiden drummer Clive Burr).
The City Hall was full for the gig, and the Tygers performed a set of class metal, fronted by the powerful front trio of Jon Deverill who stood stage front open shirted, mane of long hair, confidently and powerfully screaming the vocals, John Sykes who was already a rock star in his head and you just knew it to watch him, and founder and guitar anchor Robb Weir. They released a great version of “Love Potion No 9″ around the same time. John Sykes left shortly afterwards the tour to join Thin Lizzy, and was replaced by Fred Purser from Penetration, which is the line-up I saw at the Mayfair in 1982.

The Tygers were one of the best bands to emerge from the NWOBHM genre.
Robb Weir fronts a reformed Tygers to this day.

PS. I’ve just found this great flyer, in a pile of things in my room. It shows bands coming to Newcastle Mayfair (Rock on Friday!) in 1980: Vardis, Quartz, Anglewitch and Tygers of Pan Tang (with special guest DJ Alan Robson) all very NWOBHM. It also advertises “Forthcoming attractions in October: 5 Giants of the rock world: Gillan, The Scorpions, Cheap Trick, Motorhead, AC/DC. Tickets on sale now”......... Happy days.

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!!

24th March 2015

Show time comes round very quickly in the Tygers camp, and last month saw the band flying out to Rome to start this tour. Why are the flights always 06.30 in the bloody morning? Still it’s never too early for a pint is it?

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 photo,
Until the next time my little Tyger cubs!

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