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Tank have been cited as influences by massive bands such as Metallica and Nirvana. The history of this legendary band goes back a long way and is full of great albums, alcohol fuelled debauchery and several line up changes.
Tank were first formed in Croydon, South London in 1980 by former Damned bassist Algy Ward and the brothers Pete and Mark Brabbs on guitar and drums respectively.
Algy's growling vocals, Pete's riffs and Mark's powerful drumming gave them a punky metal edge that soon earned them support slots with the likes of Girlschool, Diamond Head, Angelwitch and Motorhead, and a record deal with Kamaflage Records.
Their 1982 debut album 'Filth Hounds of Hades' was produced by Motorhead's Fast Eddie Clarke and spawned tracks such as 'Shellshock', 'That's What Dreams Are Made Of' and 'Stormtrooper', all of which are still live favourites to this day. The album also earmed the band legions of fans.
It was quickly followed later that same year by the 'Power Of The Hunter' album. The album included songs such as 'Walking Barefoot Over Glass' and the title track and the band's already strong following continued to grow.
In 1983 Tank became a four piece with the addition of Mick Tucker on guitar and gained a record deal with Music for Nations. Mick had previously replaced Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) in White Spirit when the latter left White Spirit to join Gillan. Lars Ulrich of Metallica later said;
"When they recruited guitarist Mick Tucker, they got into a two guitar style with lots of melodies and harmonies and had such fuckin' strong songs".
Indeed Mick's songwriting and guitar style added much to third album 'This Means War'. The title track, along with songs such as 'Echoes of a Distant Battle' prove Lars' words to be true. Tank had made a major leap forward musically, leaving behind their punky origins to become a true metal band. As Kerrang's Niel Jeffries put it;
"The addition of ex-White Spirit guitarist Mick Tucker for this third album has made a mountain of difference... there's an almost classy touch to the mayhem straining the speaker grills that had me impressed!"
Sadly this 'mountain of difference' was not to be built upon as Algy refused to tour the album. Soon after Pete and Mark Brabbs quit the band. Pete retired from the music industry but Mark went on to play with bands such as Paul Samson's Empire, the Nicky Moore band and for a time moved to New York as a much sought after session drummer. We shall be hearing more of Mark later in the story.
Over the next few years Tank went through a series of drummers, firstly Graeme Crallan (also formerly of White Spirirt) followed by Michael Bettel, Gary Taylor, Bruce Bisland and Steve Hopgood.
A replacement for Pete's guitar playing was easier to find. The first and only choice was Cliff 'The Riff' Evans. His guitar style perfectly matched Mick's and a chemistry was immediately formed which took Tank to another new level on the 'Honour And Blood' album. Check out the powerful title track and other live favourites such as 'The War Drags Ever On' which Kerrang's Mick Wall described as "a nuclear explosion".
Tank were indeed back on form and back to live performing. When the album was heard by upcoming bay area thrashers Metallica, they insisted Tank accompany them on their 'Ride the Lightning 1984' Tour. This was Tank's finest hour in Europe to date and with new blood in the band they stormed Metallica's fans.
While Algy was the frontman and leader of the band he was also slow to follow up Tank's success and it was three years before the next album came out. 1987's 'Tank' album was for many fans too little, too late. Not enough was done to promote the album and the band effectively split up in 1989.
However, the demand from lo
The Sindercombe Social - 2 Goldhawk Road, White City, London W12 8QD
Smart bar with plates displayed on exposed brickwork, hanging lamps plus craft beers and pub grub.
Jasmine (Thai) - 16 Goldhawk Road
Firm favourite with Empire staff and touring personnel alike.
The Defector’s Weld - 170 Uxbridge Rd, W12 8AA
A local pub serving a quality selection of beers, real ales, cocktails & wines, as well as homemade British pub grub.
O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire is the trading name of Academy Music Group Limited. Registered in England. Company number 3463738. 211 Stockwell Road, London SW9 9SL.
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