By Steve Ramsey [as emailed to and edited by Kevin Stewart-Panko]
By the time you read this, original NWOBHM death-cheaters, Satan will have had North America in their rear view mirror, probably finishing up their Japanese festival duties and heading back to jolly ol’ England to get back to annoying their wives and having their kids bug them about borrowing money and the family automobile. By their own account, it’s been a grand and successful time where some long-standing dreams were fulfilled, for both fans and the band themselves. Not many could come out on top having a mid-week show compete with King Diamond’s travelling carnival, but with a little ingenuity, Satan illustrate the smarts and resiliency – and the tunes rule too, eh! – that should see them sticking around for a long time to come.
Over to the West Coast for the final leg of the Satan’s Fall 2014 tour. Today, it’s a very special show for us in L.A. When we were starting out, we dreamed of coming over here and playing shows at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go and CBGB’S in New York which has unfortunately closed now. They were the two venues we kept hearing about in the late 70’s. Everybody has played here at some point in their career.
We didn’t have a lot of time after flying from Austin, but managed to grab a bite at the Rainbow bar up the street from the gig that we’d all heard about. For these last four shows we would be accompanied by Magic Circle and share a bus with them on a couple of the days here. Their guitarist, Chris Corrie, was our driver on the East Coast tour in April and after hearing his stuff while travelling we invited them to play on the Fall tour. Great band.
Among the other support acts were Widow from Virginia. Our friend from back home, Geoff and his wife Moira, who live on the East Coast, flew over to see us for a couple of days and he got some great shots during the show that are up on Facebook (www.facebook.com/officialsatanpage). Also Katon from Hirax and Schmier from Destruction came out to see us too. There was a big crowd for this one and the show was fantastic. We had it filmed too for posterity and can’t wait to get back home to watch it and show our friends and family. The promoter was really happy and said he’d have us back anytime too.
Another special event for us today. The other place we were reading about all of the time in the early eighties was the Bay Area metal scene in San Francisco, California. We were rumoured to be popular with a lot of the bands that came from this area in the early days like Exodus and Death Angel and know that is true now having met them all at festivals in Europe. Sean married an American girl and lived here for ten years too.
We drove up from L.A. in the van with Magic Circle; a bit of a drive, around eight hours with breaks, but we were kept entertained by the banter and wisecracking between Brian and their singer Brendan. Some of the scenery was magnificent and we saw the biggest amount of cattle ever in one place; it seemed to stretch for miles. We met up with Brian Lew before the show. He is one of the founders of the great Whiplash Magazine, who we remembered doing press with in the early days. He was accompanied by Tom Christie, who also contributed and was instrumental in finally getting us over to California, with Scott Shapiro, the promoter giving us that chance to do so at the Elbow Room.
Space Vacation opened up the proceedings, then an other great set by Magic Circle was followed by Slough Feg, a band who, like us, were around in the eighties. A packed out show and a great crowd. It was like coming home (especially for Sean).
A day off in San Francisco. Some of us went to Alcatraz and others to the Golden Gate Bridge. We sampled the nightlife by going to a crazy bar called Zeitgeist that Sean remembered going to a lot when he lived here in the nineties. It was a punk bar now; not the kind of bikers bar that he had attended back then, and we had some food and a few beers. Sunday night and the place was open until 2AM blasting loud music outside in the beer garden!
We flew up to Portland today. Magic Circle took the van up in two stages of around five hour drives, but we didn’t fancy that at all! They picked us up at the airport and on the way to the hotel we stopped for something to eat at a Wholefoods store, much to the delight of the vegetarians. We were looked after during the evening by a lovely girl called Meadow.
The show at the Rotture was to be a big surprise. It was really well attended for a Monday night by a very receptive crowd. Our support bands were Spellcaster and Danava along with Magic Circle, of course. A strong bill. Meadow had sorted out an after-show party and along with Dennis, the promoter, took us to a really freaky bar called Lovecraft’s, which was a theme bar adorned with memorabilia associated with the author H. P. Lovecraft. A Gothic kind of spooky place with a full-size coffin that Brian had his photo taken in.
On to the last show in the U.S.A. A comfortable three-hour drive to Seattle, Washington. The venue, Highline, was owned by promoter Dylan and sold vegan food which we enjoyed during the day before transforming into a gig in the evening. King Diamond, who was on tour at the same time of the year as us, was actually playing on the same night. A Wednesday night and competition from another band meant we weren’t expecting a big crowd. Henry, our tour manager, decided that we should play after King Diamond finished and that people who had a ticket stub for his show could get into ours half-price. He then came up with the idea of charging 6.66 dollars for those fans!
At 10.30PM there were suddenly hundreds of people turning up and the show was full to its 350 capacity and sold out. Dylan hadn’t expected this to happen at all and sold out of beer. He treated us to an open bar once the place was closed and we partied ’til dawn together, a great end to a very successful tour.
Stay tuned for Satan’s first official live album – a celebration of 6 U.S. shows in 6 states in 6 days and their live debut appearance on North American soil. Trail of Fire – Live in North America is set for release on November 18th from Listenable Records.