Nuclear Assault + Candlemass + Dark Angel – 04/10/89 – Hammersmith Odeon

I was there for Nuclear Assault, and I knew little about the support acts, other than they were considerably heavier than what I listened to at the time.  I was a massive fan of Game Over and Survive, and although Handle With Care was a bit of a let down, there were still a couple of decent tracks on it. This was a much heavier gig than I’d previously been to, and the crowd was quite a bit different. I guess they were much more of a hardcore/crossover crowd (personally, I don’t think Nuclear Assault were ever anything other than plain old Thrash Metal though) and I felt far less ‘at home’ than I had at say Metallica or Maiden. This was not the right venue for this sort of gig. These sort of bands should be seen in a smaller, darker, standing venue, so it didn’t really work, given the total lack of stage set (I think there were backdrops, that was all though). They looked a bit lost on the big Odeon stage. I remember nothing about Candlemass and Dark Angel, other than they were too heavy for me, I knew nothing of theirs so it was all just noise really.

Nuclear Assault Sounds advert Oct 1989

Nuclear Assault were average, to be honest. Not particularly tight, not a great sound, and a little agoraphobic looking. John Connelly is a poor frontman, not a great singer and a pretty average guitarist, not that their style of music particularly requires virtuosity anyway. The set was rather short (all their tracks are 3 minute frenzies, so not entirely unexpected) and they appeared, even to my inexperienced eyes, to be almost going through the motions. The trashing of the drum kit by Glenn Evans at the end looked a little too much like a band not having a great night of it, rather than pure Keith Moon rock ‘n’ roll excess. And they didn’t play Happy Days, which was just about my favourite metal song at the time. On the whole rather disappointing.

Nuclear Assault ticket Oct 1989


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