It was only last year when Lyadrive, one of the N.W.O.B.H.M.'s most underrated bands, released a demo collection called "The Sands Of Time" to much critical acclaim. The fans loved the precious vinyl album issued by High Roller Records. As a result, singer Nick John and drummer Lee Burrows delved deep into their archives and have come up with another absolute gem bearing the name of "One Night In London". Lee explains how the new album came about: "Steffen at High Roller Records had mentioned to us the possibility of a further LP release, if sales and feedback were good enough for "The Sands Of Time". I guess that was the case because here we are again! In our original four year span Lyadrive had recorded a few of our gigs, mostly on cassette on cheap equipment. The same could be said of our early demos, so we had quite a task trying to come up with good quality recordings. So, after much debate between Nick and myself, the idea of a half live, half studio LP seemed the best way to go." Nick chips in: "We obviously didn't want to only include different versions of songs already released in some format or other. So there are a few new numbers and this is the first live stuff we've put out, with the exception of the couple of numbers from the 1999 Astoria gig on our "Post Millenium Blues" CD." The live side of the album features five numbers recorded in March 1984 at Brunel University, Uxbridge, West London, namely: "We've Got The Rock", "Another Time Another Place", "Lazerwind", "Young Lover" and the irresistible "Steal Away The Night". Singer Nick John has a tell to tale about the venue where the material was recorded: "It was in the Kingdom Room at Brunel, a venue I had seen Wishbone Ash, Be-Bop Deluxe, After The Fire and Penetration in a few years earlier. It had about a 500 to 600 capacity and the ceiling was quite low, I would regularly hit it with my mic stand! The gig recording is very rough and ready, very bootleg-sounding (which is what it is of course!) but we played pretty well and the crowd went for it in a big way. We had played there quite a few times supporting various bands and had got ourselves a following by then …" Even more interesting is the studio side, which features five previously unheard recordings: "Give Me Wings" (re-mix), "We've Got The Rock" (re-mix), "Here Comes The Night" (re-mix), "On A Clear Day" (demo) and finally "Berlin" (demo, pre-Tempest Ride).
A lot of people might not even know that Lyadrive have, virtual at the same time as "The Sands Of Time" was released on vinyl, put out a CD called "Post Millenium Blues". Lee explains: "This brings you up to date with what we've done since the CD "Another Time Another Place". It contains recordings including a reworking of 'Rock Tonight' from "The Sands Of Time" (now called 'Drop The Bomb') and a song called 'Vigilante', which we were playing live in the final year of the original Lyadrive. It also contains three 'new' tracks, two written by Guy Wilson which we recorded back in 2000 ('Colours' and 'Someone Else'). The third was written in the studio in 2007, which sprung from an idea from our original guitarist Steve Jones. It's called 'Black Waters Rising'."
The re-formed Lyadrive even appeared live in 2008 on a bill together with London friends Elixir. Lee can't hide his joy: "It was a blast! Once we knew we were on the bill, mid-January '08, it was all go! Obviously Nick and I have been boring everybody we know stupid about the band but, now we had to actually put the band back together and rehearse a set, for the first time since the "Another Time Another Place" CD was released. None of us are next door neighbours these days, so logistically it was a bit of a headache. Not least when we told Steve Jones. Our original guitarist really wanted to take part in the show. "So what?" - you might say. Trouble is, these days, he lives in Alaska! The gig itself was great. It's become a regular festival, organised by Phil from Elixir on a very 'communal, no big stars, all chip in' kind of aproach. Everybody gets 45 minute sets and actually, all the bands used my kit as the basic set up for the drums. The only slight downside on the night was that some of the potential fans for the show, were probably watching Opeth at Brixton Academy. It was still a healthy turnout though, good enough for them to be doing the festival again this year ..."
By now, die-hard Lyadrive fans will probably know that the band started out calling themselves Tempest Ride and even recorded a song for the seldom seen compilation "The Bridge Album". However, the new vinyl release does feature a number, namely "Berlin", which even pre-dates Tempest Ride. Was there ever any more stuff released by Tempest Ride or was it all strictly Lyadrive material after the compilation was released? Lee answers that one: "I suppose 'Fortunes Of War' was technically recorded by Tempest Ride, as it was the same recording session we did 'Another Time Another Place'. Nothing else, apart from some dodgy live stuff which you will NEVER get to hear, ha! Interestingly though, the last track on the studio side of this LP, 'Berlin', pre-dates even Tempest Ride! Pre-dates me, Steve and Dennis too! This ones Nick's baby ..." Nick takes over: "I had been in a band called Cry Havoc (very Shakespearian!) with Barrie Fleming - he became Tempest Ride's first rhythm guitarist. We did some demos at a home-studio in High Wycombe on 4-track and 'Berlin' was, I guess, the best song out of those sessions. It's very clumsy lyric-wise but I thought it quite profound at the time! The drummer was Tim Turan, who is now a really well-known mastering engineer who does loads of new heavy stuff. I met him again at his studio in Oxford with Paul Samson - when Paul was still alive and we were re-mastering some Samson tracks for a compilation I was putting together called "The Best Of British Metal" which came out on Delta Music in Germany (now deleted)." So, did Tempest Ride ever appear live? Lee: "Yeah, as I said, you will NEVER get to hear it! We did two gigs as Tempest Ride late in 1981. Before getting the call from Al Bartlett to do the "The Bridge Album", we'd actually split up for four months. That's another story…" Nick closes off our very interesting conversation on a funny note: "I'm quite prepared to sell the tapes on ebay if the price is right. Anything over a pound will do!"