Metal Mirror were formed in the county of Middlesex in 1979, at the height of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement. One year later, they released one of the most legendary 7" singles of the whole period, namely "Rock & Roll ain't never gonna leave us" (with "English Booze" on the B-Side) on the M+M Records label. Expert Malc Macmillan remarked in his book "The N.W.O.B.H.M. Encyclopedia" (I.P. Publishing, Berlin, Germany, 2001): "The record remains a rare and sought-after item, and has, in terms of value, now been in the ‚three figure club' for quite a long time." This does have a reason, as singer Cameron Vegas explains: "There were only 1,000 singles pressed. But I know for a fact that over 300 were accidentally destroyed." Before disbanding in 1982, Metal Mirror only ever played about 30 live shows (the tracks for "Live in London" were recorded on June 15th 1981, at Dingwalls Club). It was one specific gig which Cameron remembers very well indeed, due to the sheer number of Metal Mirror fans present: "The ‚Talk of the Abbey', in Neath, South Wales, had about 1,000. I think that was the biggest."
Before releasing their own single, and not many people know that, Metal Mirror did record a professional demo tape: "Yes, there was a 3-track tape, it has a black cover wit Metal Mirror in white, the tracks were ‚Lady', ‚Wild Cat', ‚Strike' and ‚Knives and Dives'. There was another cassette released after the single, this had an orange cover, and I think Metal Mirror was in black, but I'm not sure. The tracks were ‚Tiger of the Street', ‚Crazy' and ‚Midnight Eyes'. ‚Midnight Eyes' reached number 9 in the Heavy Metal charts in ‚Sounds' music paper."
The third track officially released on vinyl by Metal Mirror in the eighties was called "Hard Life" and surfaced in 1981 on the Heavy Metal Records compilation album called "Heavy Metal Heroes". The deal with Paul Birch's label came about as following: "As I remember, we paid them 100 pounds and in return we were meant to have an equal percentage with the other bands on the album, plus a few copies. All we got back was a cheque for a 100 pounds and a few copies. But our manager did the deal with the record company, so we don't know what really happened."
A possible full-length album by Metal Mirror was on the cards for 1982 but unfortunately it was never bound to happen in the end, as Cameron Vegas sadly remembers: "Yes, we were actually in the early stages of prepraring the album. It was to be called ‚Commit no Nuisance' and the title track was recorded, along with another track called ‚Montana Violation', both these tracks have never been released. The sleeve was designed and it was a photo of us standing in a street outside the studio in London. There was a very old sign on the wall we stood next to, it said ‚Commit no Nuisance'. That's how we got the title. The band split whilst making the album, so sadly it was never finished."
"Live in London 1981" on High Roller Records therefore is the full-length vinyl debut of one of the most talented acts of the N.W.O.B.H.M. era. It does contain several unreleased numbers such as "Getting higher", "Tiger of the Street" or "Running for a living". A second Metal Mirror album is due to be released on High Roller later in the year!
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)