G.M.T. & the Handsome Beasts Live @ Queens Hall, Nuneaton (UK) - 27th October 2006

The Handsome Beasts kicked off the night with what was old fashion NWOBHM. No complaints there as it was rather refreshing in a strange kind of way. The guitarist soon showed us all a distinct Zakk Wylde sound, complete with the Les Paul target guitar (the sound was quite superb), in fact you could not fault the overall sound of the band, even with the lead singer's jibs at the sound engineer.

The band was solid and tight, however, they were definitely not Handsome Beasts, and I mean that in a nice way. Great bunch of guys as we chatted with 'em after. They seemed to remind me of other bands from the NWOBHM era, although I couldn't place a finger on whom. The singer was entertaining with his banter between songs and had there been a larger audience I'm sure they would have had them head-banging into the palm of their hands. I look forward to a new CD from this bunch.

So onto the main band we had all come to see, G.M.T. They were to say the least, very loud, very tight, and rather excellent.
We were treated to great mix of songs from the Torme and McCoy school of rock. Included in the set was a song from McCoy's post Gillan band, Mammoth, 'Fatman'. The set seemed to be lacking any of Robin Guy's past material though. It did seem to be a Torme McCoy project, judging by the album credits.

A lot of shouting for Gillan material, which was not surprising considering the amount of Gillan songs played…. 'Trouble', 'New Orleans' and 'Smoke On the Water', which was introduced as a kind of cover.

The set was kicked off with a rousing version of 'Wild West', followed swiftly by 'Star'. We got a selection of new songs also from the new Bitter and Twisted album. 'Cannonball' and 'Rocky Road' (a heavy rock sounding Pogues type song) are my faves from this at the moment. Gotta say though that the encore was a little weak for my taste.

McCoy was solid in his bass playing although his dress sense was as good as ever, topped off with the ever present dark sunglasses, beard and bald head. Torme (dressed in his standard regimental jacket) didn't over do the soloing and had all the poses down to a T. I could still visualize him playing Reading festival. He has aged a little but ain't we all. He can still play amazingly, even though a little loud for most. I've not seen Bernie play since his days with Phil Lewis fronting the band, which was probably about 15 years ago. Robin Guy was, well, to say the least amazing! What a drummer and what a showman! This Guy is breathtaking to watch! Got chatting with him before the band went on, and mentioned to him, that I'd supported Bernie's band at the General Wolfe in Coventry about over 20 years ago. Robin said he'd tell Bernie (never thought he'd tell him).

Anyway hung around after the band had finished with the hope of meeting Bernie again. He came out from the dressing room and headed straight towards me and surprisingly shook my hand 1st. He went into full conversation with me. I don't know how true it was, but he said he could recall meeting me, and the gig at the General Wolfe all those years ago. He then proceeded to tell me a few personal things, about staying out of the spotlight for numerous years and spending time with his family. John McCoy joined in the conversation and surprised me at how friendly and funny he is, as he looks and seems so unapproachable. He joked that he remembered me too!

Upon meeting the guys and reflecting back, it made me think how still down to earth and genuine they are. It's always a pleasure to chat with band members that I've looked up to over the years. And even more pleasurable to find that they are not up their own arses, like some who don't give ya the time of day! Good on ya GMT! I'd go see them again and look forward to it!

They certainly rocked my 44th Birthday! My ears were shot to pieces the next day and the Guinness and Newkie Brown certainly gave me a BIG hangover!

by Fred the Gutter Cat

If anybody has any photos from the GMT gig and would like to see them in this column, drop me a line @ EMAIL