Spider (UK) - Rock N Roll Gypsies

edited December 2022 in Year-1982


ARTIST: Spider (UK)
ALBUM: Rock N Roll Gypsies
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2007, Krescendo, KRECD5


LINEUP: Col Harkness - vocals, guitars * Sniffa - guitars * Brian Burrows - bass * Rob Burrows - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 A.W.O.L. * 02 Talkin' 'Bout Rock 'N' Roll * 03 Part Of The Legend * 04 Did Ya Like It Baby * 05 Them That Start The Fight * 06 What You're Doin' To Me * 07 Lady * 08 'Til I'm Certain * 09 Rock 'N' Roll Forever Will Last * 10 All The Time


If making a career out of recreating Status Quo's greatest riffs was Spider's ambition then they certainly came close.

Hailing from the bright lights of Merseyside, Spider made their initial mark trawling the grimy clubs of their native area, enough to build up a local following.

Signing to the 'Alien' label, the band released several singles in the early 80', including 'Children Of The Night', 'College Luv' and 'All The Time'. Amazingly R.C.A. picked them up, a matter which led to dissension with Alien who claimed rights to a b-side of a single Spider recorded for their new label.

Regardless, Spider's debut hit no 75 on the British charts, no small feat, their audience feasting on their brand of Quo like boogie, a style which Quo themselves were slowly moving away from. Whether or not Spider came close to emulating their heroes wasn't an issue. They missed the mark but performed admirably.

The Songs

From the opening bars of 'A.WO.L.' you might assume a cover of Quo's 'Down, Down' is on the card, such is the exactness of the sound. Noticeably Spider lack the same crunch as Quo, the riffs not as driving, and the lead vocals somewhat unrefined. It's acceptable however and makes for some engaging headbanging if you can overlook their deficiencies.

'Talkin' Bout Rock n' Roll' was the lead off single from the album, and makes use of Slade like harmonies, harmless good time rock.

'Nine To Five comes on like 'Metal Rendezvous' era Krokus in the riff department, while 'What You're Doing To Me' is a hefty slice of 12 bar boogie, with that eternal chugging riff in the background that never once lets go.

'Lady I'm Dying For You' is even more heated, utterly relentless in its quest to find the perfect boogie tempo, although this has a distinct NWOBHM aura, not unlike the Tygers Of Pan Tang circa 'Spellbound' and 'Crazy Nights'.

Sadly 'Till I'm Certain' takes a mild ballad direction, a token inclusion one would think. Normality is resumed with another pair of Quo clones in 'Rock 'n' Roll Forever Will Last' and 'All The Time' which takes me back to the days of Quo's 'Dog Of Two Heads'.

Bonus track 'Gimme, Gimme It All' opens with a rousing 'raise the banner for rock and roll' chant before kicking in similarly to Rose Tattoo's 'Astra Wally', with unfortunately not an ounce of that bands muscle.

In Summary

The fair chart placing wasn't enough for R.C.A. who dumped the band, leaving Spider to sign with A&M for 1984's 'Rough Justice', which led to their demise from that label also, the band folding for good following 1986's 'Raise The Banner (For Rock 'N' Roll').

Sadly for Spider only select bands can make a career out of the same riffs and it wasn't to be for them. Deep down you sense there's an element to their music which isn't quite as addictive as the Quo boys, or any other boogie greats for that matter.

They gave it their best and the sentiment was there, and in all fairness you could do a lot worse. Recommended.

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