1987 SABBAT

1987

JAN 29 – MARDI GRAS – NOTTINGHAM

Intro
A Cautionary Tale
I For An Eye
Hosanna in Excelsis
Stranger Than Fiction
For Those Who Died
The Original Sin
The Thirteenth Disciple
The Immaculate Conception
Kingdom Come
Beauty And The Beast

By Thy Command

KERRANG!

FEB ISSUE AARDSHOCK AMERICA WRITE UP BY GARRY SHARPE

FEB – FOREARM SLASH INTERVIEW BY PAUL MILLER

STACK ATTACK

INTEREST FROM GEOFF BARTON OF KERRANG! AND MALCOME DOME

BBC SESSION INVITE FOR RADIO ONE’S FRIDAY ROCK SHOW

“Most of the band had never travelled as far south as London before and even getting on a tube train was a real adventure for them.”

FEB 6 – MAIDA VALE STUDIOS – LONDON
A Cautionary Tale
For Those Who Died
The 13th Disciple

1987 BBC Session

““We recorded the ‘Fragments Of A Faith Forgotten’ demo on a four-track recorder in our rehearsal room and sent it off [to the BBC], and they wrote back offering us a session. We thought we’d hit the big time!
“People would think, as it’s a legendary thing and you look back and think, ‘Wow, the Friday Rock Show and Tommy Vance’, that there would be a little bit of glamour, you’d get put up in a hotel but, basically, back in the day it was hire a van, load your gear into the back of it; a real Bad News job, rattle down the M1 to Maida Vale sitting on a cushion with lots of cymbal stands precariously close to your head. It was all done in a day; you’d go down, set up, record, an hour to mix the songs and that was it.

MARTIN:

“We planned which songs we were going to record and rehearsed them hard. We did ‘A Cautionary Tale’, ‘For Those Who Die’ and ‘13th Disciple’, which became ‘Horned Is The Hunter’ when we recorded the album. It was all a blur; when we did the Sabbat session we travelled down in a hired Luton van, the big old boxy things, with my mate Phil from college driving because he was old enough and had a clean driving licence. We hired the van from some local hire company, and I remember that the van wouldn’t start afterwards. It was winter, absolutely freezing, and the battery was just dead! Of course, there were no mobile phones in those days, so we were all huddled up in the back of the van, freezing to death under a piece of foam rubber and of course a copper comes along and asks what were up to. We rang the van hire the following morning and they sent out a mechanic. We’d bought some porn magazine from a service stop on the way down and stuffed ’em into the glove compartment. Somehow, it had caused something to overheat and shorted the battery wires!
“We were very happy with the results, but it’s so long since I’ve heard them. That session, along with the Kerrang! interview, got us our deal with Noise, for better or worse. Sadly, I never got to meet Tommy Vance, which was a shame because it was the Friday Rock Show that got me into rock and metal when Tommy played Ozzy’s ‘Revelation Mother Earth’.”

FRAZER:
“It was the middle of winter when we headed to London for the Friday Rock Show, all piled in the back of a Luton van. It was brilliant; we spent a cracking couple of hours doing three tracks… and then we broke down as we were leaving. We were stuck in London all night, freezing cold; we were raiding skips pinching polystyrene to sleep on in the back of the van. Luckily Martin used to wear this massive cloak, so we were all huddled under that all night… it was one of those ‘bonding moments’ shall we say?
Maida Vale were lovely though, and let us back in the next morning to have a meal and warm up. Then the Friday Rock Show aired, and went over really well, so they repeated it. And that was when we seriously started the whole ‘Let’s find a record label…’ thing, sending off our demos. We sent a package off to Neat, who were obviously top of the list, but they sent back a reply like, ‘Sabbat? Russ Abbott?’ I think Andy’s still got all the rejection letters. Under One Flag said that they weren’t interested – and we were like, ‘How dare you!’ because we were awfully sure of ourselves, haha! But eventually Noise got in touch, and made us an offer, for a five album deal.
We gave the contract to Games Workshop to have a look at, because one of their wives was a lawyer, but she wasn’t a music lawyer so she didn’t have a clue and we signed the worst contract you can imagine. But it didn’t matter to us, because we were going to do an album on the same label that had Celtic Frost and Voivod. We did have to wait two weeks until Andy turned eighteen so he could ssign the contract though.”

THE FOLLOWING WEEK RETURNED TO MAIDA VALE TO MIX TRACKS

KERRANG! 135 DEMO REVIEW BY DON KAYE

[March 4 1987 – KERRANG! 140]

MAR 22- CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS WITH NOISE RECORDS BEGIN

APR 17 – MEETING WITH DON KAYE OF KERRANG!

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MAY – NEWSLETTER NO.1

FRAZER:
“Me and Martin were very good at having all these ideas and concepts, and Andy was good at writing songs; he had all these riffs coming out of him, literally every minute. But he was also very good at promotion… if one of us ever fell over, he’d tell Kerrang! Every gig we did, he’d be taking addresses and phone numbers of people, tirelessly networking… he did loads and loads of photocopying at his dad’s work. We had headed note paper and fliers and newsletters, constant press statements… because this was before the internet, and that was how you kept in touch with your fans.”

 

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MAY 23 – NOTTINGHAM COLLEGE CLIFTON SITE ( charity gig with Engine/S.Y.Z./Old School – dedicated to Dave Halliday of Hell )

JUN 6 – MARKET SQUARE – NOTTINGHAM – ENGLAND
Intro
A Cautionary Tale
I For An Eye
Hosanna In Excelsis
Behind The Crooked Cross
For Those Who Died

The 13th Disciple
Stranger Than Fiction
A Dead Man’s Robe
The Harbinger Of Death
[Race Against Time cover]
By Thy Command

6/6/1987 Nottingham CD
6/6/87 A Midsummer’s Nightmare CASSETTE

 

“It was our biggest gig so far and it scared the shit out of us!” the guitarist readily admits. “The P.A. guy we use, Kev Jackson, also works for the council in organizing this annual outdoor music festival. They have a few juvenile jazz acts and a few oomphah bands then round it off with a rock band. Now usually a band called DAWNTRADER do it, but the council wanted a change and asked Kev if he knew of another act that could pull a crowd, so we got the job! We pulled the second biggest crowd too after the SEARCHERS who had monopoly on the grannies.”

JULY – BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD RECORDED AT YEW TREE FARM, NEWARK WITH KEV BOWER

As well as the album you’re also recording a flexi-disc for the dungeons and dragons mag “White Dwarf”. A strange move? “Yeah, it is a bit weird I suppose! What happened was that John Blanche the art editor of ‘White Dwarf’ had been looking for a band to do a flexi-disc for a long time. He just happened to hear our session and then got in touch. We’re recording it with Pete Tatershall and the song is based on one of their games called ‘Warhammer’. Martin wrote the lyrics and now it’s called ‘Blood for the Blood God’. The mag just gave Martin a big pile of books and he wrote the song from that. It’s not your usual horror type metal and the lyrics fit in very well with our imagery. ”

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JUL 21 -ZHIVAGOS NIGHT CLUB – NOTTINGHAM – ENGLAND

Although the lack of suitably large venues in Sabbat’s neck of the woods that can accommodate their ideas (not to mention the fact that venues keeps banning them!) has curtailed much of their gigging opportunities, Sabbat have managed a few shows in the Nottingham and Midlands area. Their pinnacle of achievement, at least stage-wise,
was before some 600 rabid Metal fans at Zhivagos night club in Nottingham alongside Deuce, Thunderchild, boogie merchants Engine and headliners Hell.

Their stageshow, dubbed a ‘Satanic Opera’ by the band, features a variety of effects and props. Apart from the usual run-of-the-mill dry ice and flashbombs, they utilise swords, battleaxes and even a shield that explodes!

FEATURE IN SLAYER MAG VOL 5 [NOR]
ROCK HARD [GER]
METAL HAMMER [GER]
STEEL SHOCK [FRA]
THE ORGAN NO.5 INTERVIEW
ESCAPE MAG (AS SABBATH!)
HEAVY MAG
KERRANG! LIVE REVIEW
METAL HAMMER [UK] VOL 2 ISSUE 12
KERRANG! 168 ALBUM REVIEW
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE MAG INTERVIEW

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AUGUST – NEWSLETTER NO.2

TRENT POLYTECHNIC

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AUG 11 – DINGWALLS – CAMDEN LOCK – LONDON- ENGLAND [w Virus/Vulcan Death Grip]

FRAZER:
I remember we did a gig at Dingwalls, August ’87, with Virus, and we were terrified; when we got down there it was just punks everywhere, and everyone had bandanas and had come on a skateboard. Virus were this punk band who had become a thrash band, and it was totally their crowd. We got into a heated argument backstage: Andy and Negus never really liked dressing up, but me and Martin were all over it …’We’re characters, we’re performing!’ and all that , ‘We are Sabbat, and they have come to see a Sabbat show.. if they don’t like what they see, they’ll go home…’ And we went out there, and did it in full kit, and it was just fantastic, people were flying everywhere. I remember saying afterwards, ‘I told ya!’ If we hadn’t dressed up, we wouldn’t have felt right: that was part of the whole Sabbat experience.

MARTIN:

“The whole atmosphere was terrible. We had to wait two hours before we could get into the venue. We weren’t even using our own gear and we wanted to go home even before we went on. All I’ve got to say is this: all those cabinets that Virus use are empty, what’s the point of that? It was a poor representation of what we are capable of doing.”

“We’d like to play London gigs more often, as long as they’re decent ones,” says Martin. “We’ll play with any band who’s singer’s not called Henry…”

For those that haven’t yet seen you, could you describe a SABBAT show?

“We try to be a visual experience as well as a musical one which is why we have the exploding shield and other silly things. Martin has recently started to act out bits too. SABBAT aren’t a ripped t-shirt sort of band – we like to put on a show.”

Is there any crossover from the rock audience at your gigs or is it all thrashers?

“Standard rock fans I guess. There are more thrash fans in the area now which is good but we don’t get any spikey haired glam fans at our gigs! I suppose a SABBAT fan is just your average nutter!”

Don’t you find it sad that rock as a whole is breaking into factions like glam fans, thrash fans, hardcore etc?

“No definitely not! We don’t want glams at our gigs thank you!”

[August 15 1987 – Metal Forces 25]

AUG 27 – CONTRACTS SIGNED WITH NOISE

Anyway, Noise Records did reply to the tape and asked for another demo. The end result of that of course is that we’ve signed and sealed everything with them and we’ll start recording our debut album on September 14th. In fact Noise spent an extra 25% on getting our contract written up in English.”

“With the Noise contract,” adds Martin, “people were telling us, ‘Don’t sign it,’ but we did. Bands who were doing well at the time – Celtic Frost, Helloween, Kreator – were all on Noise. We had complete artistic freedom, but not for the right reasons. It was because they didn’t give a flying fuck.”

SEP 7 – A WEEK OF PRE-PRODUCTION OF H.O.A.T.T.C BEGINS IN LONDON WITH PRODUCER ROY ROLAND

SEP 14 – LEFT LONDON AND TRAVELLED TO HANNOVER TO HORUS SOUND STUDIO TO BEGIN RECORDING H.O.A.T.T.C

FRAZER:
I packed my job in and we went off to Germany for a month, on ferries and trains – with all our bloody gear! we went into Horus two weeks after Kreator had been there, which was mental, because we kept finding bits of paper with lyrics they’d left behind. It seemed like the most amazing thing ever, being in a studio for a month in a foriegn country, but with hindsight, I’m moe like, ‘We spent £25,000 that we were never going to recoup…!’
We got an advance when we signed too. We got £1300 each; we really thought we’d made it… I even bought a CD player, haha! Little did I know that was the only money I’d ever see in my entire career playing with Sabbat…
We recorded everything live, but we were recording songs we’d been playing for ages, so it was brilliant. We took our own guitars, but were sent over to a music shop to choose the amps that we wanted to use, so of course I went straight over to a Trace Elliot rig – because it was glowing green and looked ace.
Everything was really exciting – we were all in Germany, on our own, and you basically lived in a flat upstairs. We wouldn’t start recording ’til ten at night, then we’d finish at about four in the morning, and then we’d walk to the main road and go and have our dinner, ‘cos the pubs were open 24 hours, it was just insane. It was two solid weeks of that when we were recording – and it was all the darkened lights and candles and all of that – we were young and daft and you do these things. You want to sit there with all the moody atmosphere, it was great fun. Roy got really into it, it’s his voice on the intro – that was the invocation, the main prayer from the Satanic bible, we were heavily influenced by that book.
The only thing that let it down a bit was, because we put so much music on there, the tracks were quite quished on the vinyl. There was 50 minutes of music, it was a bit compressed.

“While we were recording he [Roy Rowland – producer] turned off all the studio lights and had candles flickering, which made things pretty hard for me,” recalls drummer Simon. “He really got into it.”
“He got up at six o’clock in the morning to record a thunderstorm for the song ‘Dead Man’s Robe’,” says Frazer. “He was out in the front yard with two microphones in the pouring rain. Then he edited it and stuck it on the album.”

“Doing the first album out in Hannover was a great experience,” recalls Andy, “‘cos none of us had ever been abroad not even on a family holiday type of thing. The idea of four lads going out to Germany for five weeks, getting pissed and recording an album was a right laugh. I remember drawing a swastika on Martin’s head when he was unconscious!”
“I’ve been bought drinks and a meal once for telling this story,” Martin admits, “On the ferry to Germany, me and Simon had shared a bottle of Jack Daniels and passed out. They woke me up in the morning by chucking a pint glass of water over me when we landed in Holland. Noise had sent us on the train – 24 hours to bloody Germany – and I’m wondering why every customs guy is picking on me. It wasn’t until about sixteen hours after we’d got off the ship – we’d been across the Dutch border, the Germany border – and on one of the trains they had little vanity mirrors on the back of the seats, so I turn round and realise in marker pen I’ve got a pair of glasses, a Hitler ‘tache and a swastika on my forehead!”
“And a pair of fangs,” corrects Andy. “It looked good. It did look good. I think you actually swung for me after that.”
“Did I? Here’s me wondering why all these customs guys were checking my arms for needle marks.”

STUDIO REPORT FOR METAL HAMMER MAG [GER AND UK]

We could have supported Celtic Frost and Kreator when we were playing in England, but that would have meant that we would have had to go on tour immediately after recording this album.”

OCT 7 – PHOTO SESSION IN BERLIN

OCT 9 – RETURN TO ENGLAND

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD RELEASED IN WHITE DWARF MAG ISSUE 95 WITH FOUR PAGE FEATURE

1987 Blood For The Blood God

[Nov 1987 – White Dwarf 95]

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NOV – NEWSLETTER NO.3

NOV 24 – ROCK CITY – NOTTINGHAM- ENGLAND [w Vow Wow/Tigertailz]

Discussions for planned tour with SATAN spring 1988

[Nov 26 1987 – Metal Hammer 14 Vol 2]

DEC 3 – SECTOR FIVE – LEICESTER- ENGLAND

KERRANG! 168 ALBUM REVIEW