Atomic Rooster includes: John Du Cann (vocals, guitar); Vincent Crane (organ); Paul Hammond (drums).
Personnel: John Du Cann (vocals, guitar).
Liner Note Author: Chris Phillips.
Recording information: The Marquee, London, England (1980).
Unknown Contributor Role: Paul Hammond .
Recorded, as the title makes plain, at London's Marquee club in 1980, this is an uncompromising portrait of Atomic Rooster at their comeback peak. With the core duo of John du Cann and Vincent Crane recently reunited with classic-era drummer Paul Hammond, this scintillating recording captures the band bathing in the respect and adoration of an entire new generation of fans, the denizens of the so-called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that grew up alongside, then exploded ahead of, the punk mainstream of the late 1970s.
That Atomic Rooster was an odd band for this new crowd to follow is evident from the moment Crane's trademark organ cranks into focus -- one suspects, in hindsight, that it was the trio's "classic" status, rather than any peculiar love for their occasionally jazzy improvisations, that initially drew in the crowds. But band and audience relished their encounter anyway, with the UK hits "Tomorrow Night" and "Devil's Answer," in particular, drawing serious applause. Those other Rooster classics, "Death Walks Behind You," "Gershatser," and "Seven Streets" are similarly well-received, while more recent material slides effortlessly in alongside the oldies. The result is a far stronger album than devotees of Atomic Rooster's first incarnation might be expecting, and a far fresher one than their vintage status would have suggested. ~ Dave Thompson