Live Review: The Almighty, The Marquee, 9th March, 1990

Mighty Fine

The Almighty are one of the latest bands to get the buzz treatment at the Marquee. They already have a reputation for being a very powerful live entity.

After about 10 minutes exposure to the Almighty my ears were hardly bleeding but the thought occurred to me that seeing as the boys are Scottish, they must be one of the heaviest rock bands to come out of Caledonia. Now I'll probably get hundreds of letters from thrash fans in Scotland telling me about the dozens of Scottish Death Metal bands currently splitting craniums around the country. Maybe, but the Almighty aren't in the Thrash category. We're talking about Heavy Rock however boring and conventional that might sound to diehard Napalm Death and Mortal Sin followers.

Their debut platter Blood, Fire and Love has been circulating for some time and tonight they played most of it, but more of that soon…

Ricky Warwick on vocals is an imposing figure. Flowing black hair and a mean snarl, he doesn't take too kindly to members of the audience clambering/ diving onto the stage. The invaders are 'subtly' PUSHED back into the throng. Ricky's stage patter is a largely indecipherable savage growl punctuated by a torrent of four letter expletives, i.e. "f**k"… "f**k"… "f**k" and…er…"f**k!"

Ricky's pretty outspoken too, not a man prone to heavy moralizing or advocating cleaned-up responsibility.

"People say that there are too many songs about sex" (growl!)

Ricky's follow-up is abrupt.

"There's not enough f**kin' songs about SEX!!!"

A very apt cue for Full Force Loving Machine.

"I'm ready to overload," roars Ricky and the crowd start pumping feverishly!!

The Almighty are akin to a lewder, cruder Cult on amphetamines and have that kind of chunky, raw anthems that wouldn't sound out of place in an AC/DC or Motorhead album. Ricky's coarse, powerful vocals are complemented by the ballsy and solid rhythm section and the wonderfully named Tantrum on lead guitar.

Stand out tracks are the bolshy Wild and Wonderful with its deceptive acoustic intro and BIG chorus. You’ve Gone Wild isn't dissimilar to Youth Gone Wild by Skid Row but is possessed with a far greater sense of menace.

Resurrection Mutha and Blood, Fire and Love display the subtler, more eclectic side of the band. Yup, they've got one! Obviously cathedral organ intros and string sections can't be properly reproduced live the same way as on their album, but you get the point. (Temper) Tantrum enhances the two songs with some tasteful guitar.

During encores we get a typically explosive version of Motorhead's Bomber. They exit leaving the crowd ecstatic and baying for more.

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
May, 1990
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