Photos From The Archives – Angel Witch (1986)
Angel Witch’s new studio album ‘As Above, So Below’ is a good enough reason to raid the archives for a shot of the band. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Kevin Heybourne in 1977 under the name Lucifer Angel Witch split up in 1981, with just their one eponymous album and three highly-prized singles to their name. Back in the heyday of the NWOBHM fans loved the Angel Witch, but the press hated them; really hated them. Why? Because they could, I suppose…
Heybourne reformed the band the following year, and then seemed to reform it on a regular basis; it was often hard to tell if they were defunct or just between line-ups. But by 1986 they were working as a four-piece, with bassist Pete Gordelier, drummer Spencer Hollman and, crucially, vocalist Dave Tattum lining up alongside Heybourne as the band gigged in support of their third album ‘Frontal Assault’.
In September that year they were on the bill at the first ever Eindhoven Open Air Festival, alongside the likes of Chariot, Satan, Onslaught, Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone and headliners Joshua. However, their contract stipulated that they play as a three-piece. It appears that the Dutch organisers had no time for Angel Witch as a quartet and, although the band by no means now resembled its most famous incarnation (and, in fact, had started life as a four-piece) it was a straight deal of three ’Witches on stage or no ’Witches on stage. Despite this, on the day Angel Witch were truly breath-taking, and showed why they were so beloved by the masses. The music was exciting, the atmosphere was electric, and the crowd were ecstatic. It was one hell of a show from one hell of a band.
‘As Above So Below’ is due out on 12th March on Rise Above Records
Words and photo © John Tucker February 2012