The history of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal pioneers Lyadrive from North London goes back to the very early '80's, when they recorded a song called "Another Time Another Place". The band was, at this stage in their career, still called Tempest Ride and the number was released on a compilation called "The Bridge Album" in 1982. Soon after, they changed their name to Lyadrive and recorded a 7" single for Bridge Records, featuring the two numbers "Anytime" and "White Dress", which saw the light of day in 1984. After failing to get the elusive album deal, Lyadrive disbanded towards the mid-'80's ... Only to make a short comeback in 1998, when they released their fantastic "Another Time, Another Place" CD on Minority One, which consisted of new recordings of old demo material (plus a cover of Trespass' "One Of These Days").
"The Sands Of Time", Lyadrive latest vinyl-only offering for High Roller Records, can be seen as the sister release to "Another Time, Another Place" as it features all the original reordings of the classic 1982/83 demos (with a total playing time of 49 minutes and 7 seconds). Drummer Lee Burrows elaborates on the material of "The Sands Of Time": "The new vinyl, as the title suggests, is five original demos and our first six studio recordings, two of which have never been heard before by the public. It seemed to be standard practice at the time to record at least two songs when you went into the studio, thus giving you the option to compare them in real time and decide which looked more likely to sound better. So when we recorded the track 'Another Time Another Place', we also recorded 'Fortunes Of War'. Likewise 'We've Got The Rock' at Ebony was coupled with 'Spinning The Wheel'." Supporting the new vinyl release on High Roller Records, Lyadrive will also be playing live again, as Lee Burrwos is proud to announce: "Well as it happens, due to the wonders of the internet, we have managed to hook up with Phil from Elixir. You probably know that he has been running a gig for the last couple of years called the 'British Steel Festival'. Well, we have been asked to play on the bill this year! We're really looking forward to it! As you may have noticed, we have kept an extremely low profile for the last few years, however, these sort of gigs are the things you want to do. Phil has really pulled out the stops this year and got the festival into a major London venue, which will hopefully get past the usual Brit apathy regarding attending gigs. I went to the festival last year, which was in Milton Keynes and I'd say probably 70% of the crowd were from anywhere but the UK! The gig this year is at the Underworld, Camden, London NW1 on Saturday 26th of April. We're hoping to have a few fans swell the crowd this year."
"The Sands of Time" is at least a substitute for the album Lyadrive never released after the single. Back then, it was rumored though that the band had been in contact with Loose Records (of Xero fame) and even CBS. Singer Nick John explains: "We were always heading towards doing an album, but while we were of course happy signing to Bridge Records for the first compilation album ("The Bridge") and the "Anytime" single, (and grateful to Alastair Bartlett at the label for putting up the money), we knew that they only had limited distribution and we needed to try and move on. With Ebony, there was talk of us putting a single out, but Shy and Savage got a lot of attention and the label was putting all their money and efforts into supporting them, and rightly so. So when Loose Music approached us with the album and two-single deal, we decided it right to go with them. We certainly had enough good songs by then and were doing a lot of gigs, so it was a logical step. And they had Xero signed, who were on "Metal For Muthas 2". Shame how it turned out though! But I have recently been in touch with Andy Titcombe, who ran the label back in 1985, and we are still talking! It should be remembered he lost his job when the company crashed too."
One thing a lot of people always wondered about was why the band changed their name from Tempest Ride to the rather cryptic Lyadrive. Lee Burrows explains: "There was a '70's band called Tempest and we thought it was a rubbish name to be honest. Lyadrive came out of a determination not to get pigeonholed. That certainly worked!" Nick John: "Your mates mess you around ... my first band 'Cry Havoc' got nick-named 'Fried Haddock' which was actually hilarious. Then 'Tempest Ride' got called 'Ten Pence Ride"' which didn't exactly inspire a quality act! 'Lyadrive' was too difficult for anyone to bother messing around with!"
There are not many examples of a N.W.O.B.H.M. band covering a tune of another N.W.O.B.H.M. band (Mendes Prey's version of Demon's "Wonderland" springs to my mind), so Lyadrive's rendition of "One Of These Days" from the mighty Trespass (on the CD "Another Time, Another Place") is certainly a little oddity, as Lee Burrows explains: "Looking back, I think it was a pretty sensible choice. Trespass were, if not one of the top bands in the N.W.O.B.H.M. field, certainly one of the names people into it would know. Thanks to the inclusion of this track on 'Metal For Muthas 2', 'One Of These Days' had also become a bit of a minor classic. Initially, I think we were thinking of doing 'Warrior' by Riot but were persuaded to stick to a N.W.O.B.H.M track. Thanks here are due to Vinyl Tap Records, who were the people initially interested in putting something out back in the '90's."
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)