Band Questions »  [SOLVED] Nutz
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  • Anyone remember 70's journeymen, Nutz?
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    Yep, but I must admit vagely as I never had any of their albums. For those not in the know, this might help:

    There also is a band called NUTZ on the Metal for Muthas 1 compilation...
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    Name: Nico
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    It's indeed the band on Metal for Muthas. Members later played in Rage (UK) and Nightwing among others. They have released a live album last year.

    This is their YouTube channel - some nice videos to check out!
    Also worth a look is this pretty good and in-depth article on them by Malcolm Dome.

    Their MySpace has some nice pics, too - plus this history:
    Starting out from the streets of Liverpool (the birth place of some of England’s finest bands, most notably of course “The Beatles”) talented guitarist/songwriter Mick Devonport sought out the best musicians from the city to form a scouse super group to conquer the world, following in the footsteps of previous Liverpool bands. First recruit was powerhouse drummer John Mylett. John had his own tight distinctive style of drumming, powering the band along with flexibility using every single space of skin on his mass array of drums whilst adding thunder to the proceedings with his bass drum footwork. The Mylett drum solo mid-set was always a wonder to behold. There weren’t many bass players who would not be swamped playing alongside this God of Thunder, but one was found in Mr. Keith Mullholand, who always played his bass as if he was a lead guitarist. He used to wear Doc-Marten boots on stage, as he stomped around so hard on the stage often breaking the wooden planking as his feet added another dimension to the rhythm section. Of course there, leading this trio was the mercurial Mick Devonport, a Jeff Beck admirer, who had practiced so long and hard that he was a match for his mentor, certainly more consistent, with great songwriting skills. A flamboyant showman with a wonderful sense of humour. But a front man still had to be found. Whilst the three of them were sitting in the local pub watching the telly, the Cadbury’s crunchy bar advert came on with a raunchy soundtrack and a terrific vocal over dub. “If only we could find him”, they thought. A quick phone call later and they found out that the young lad was a local Liverpool boy playing in the Cavern the very next day in his own band. That night lead singer David Lloyd was persuaded to break up his band and front this new quartet, aptly christened “Nutz”. A residency was set up at the Cavern for the night time, and during the day they recorded their debut album. It was released in 1974 and, quite frankly, did not live up to expectations. Apart from two songs “Joke” and “Round & Round” it was not truly representative of their stage show. A re-think was in order. Back to the studios, and this time they put the edge into the songs. Right from the opening guitar break of 1975’s “Nutz Too” opener “Natured Intended” you know how hard rock is supposed to be played. Seven hard rockin Mick Devonport rockers including the head bangin “Sinner”. A cover of Pete Pizer’s “Changes Coming” and three David Lloyd Ballads, including the beautiful “The Love That You Lost”, with John “Rabbit” Bundrick (later of Free & The Who) on piano. “Nutz Too” got to the outer regions of the British Charts. Then a couple of bad decisions put a spanner in the works. A tour of America was a disaster as the albums weren’t even out in the States due to complications with unions over printing rights. This tour losing them impetuous in the U.K., and sinking the band heavily into debt. But record company A & M Records stepped in and put them onto the Black Sabbath European tour of 1976, which gave the band excellent exposure, but was not a happy tour as by now Black Sabbath had turned into warring factions and were about too implode. Again salvation seemed to be on hand as Nutz were added to the mid-afternoon time slot on Saturday’s Reading Festival, at the time the major rock event of the year. They went on for their forty five minutes set at the peak of their powers. When they came off, the crowd of 95,000 were baying for more. However, the contract said forty five minutes, no more, or they would be fined. Management for A & M records were there and told the boys not to go for an encore. In those circumstances who do you listen too? A suit from the record company or 95,000 screaming fans? They went back on playing 2 encores before the plug was pulled on them. A & M Records were furious. From that moment on tensions between record company and the band where at breaking point. The band went back into the studio to record a new album, recruiting Kenny Newton on keyboards to fill out the sound. “Hard Nutz” was released in 1977 with very little publicity and the band were sent out on the road with Welsh trio “Budgie”, label mates on A & M, but combining Budgies decline, Nutz blowing the headlines off stage every night, and the advent of the dreaded Punk Rock, it stood no chance. In 1978 A & M completed their recording contract with Nutz by releasing “Nutz Live Cutz”, an amazing album of pure raw hard rock ‘n’ roll including a great version of the Nutz anthem “Wall Banger” clocking in at 12 minutes, plus tracks spanning all three albums. But with no publicity, A & M holding a contract that would run another 2 years, no financial support to tour, the album, which should have been huge, flopped. The moral of the story: don’t upset the suits. So Nutz had to sit out their contract, but this was not the end...... So, with “Nutz Live Cutz”, their last album with A & M Records, languishing in the bargain bins of record shops, and A & M holding a further 2 years recording contract over the band, the future was not exactly rosy. Keyboard player Kenny Newton left to form Nightwing, who carried on with their own brand of Bombastic rock until 1984. The only way that the remaining nucleus of the band could stay together and see out their two years of contract was to sing for their supper at the Savoy Hotel, Guernsey in the Channel Isles. So for two summer seasons these scouse boys entertained the holiday makers on those sunny tax free isles. But then fate took another turn. Geoff Appleby, well-known record producer and long time admirer of the band, hearing of their plight and seeing a change in the music scene with Punk bands being replaced by a return to the harder more refined days of yore (bands like Iron Maiden and Samson were making the waves in London), invited the band up to London for a showcase gig at the Greyhound in Croydon. The band hit the stage at 8.30 p.m. to a packed hall and were still playing when the house lights came up, having been called back to encore so many times that the crowd had 2 versions of “Wall Banger”, 2 versions of “Sinner”, and a new song called “Bootliggers”. Britain’s number one heavy metal D.J. Neal Kay was in the crowd. He was putting together an album of tracks from all of London’s up and coming new bands. The album was actually complete, but Kay held release of the album and asked Nutz to quickly record their new track “Bootligger”, and then added it on to his new album titled “The New Wave Of Heavy Metal”. The album was a smash hit and opened a whole new genre of hard rock. The newly formed Carrera Records were the lucky label to get their signatures to have a second stab at that elusive stardom. Carrera promised the world to the boys. New clothes were bought and a new image designed (lots of leather and bright colours) with more emphasis on David Lloyd as the front man with his mane of red hair and movie star looks. Studio time was booked and the band given as much time as they needed to put down an album as they wanted. At this point a name change was thought to be a good idea (whether it was or not, who knows?). So after the years of frustration behind them, the title of “Rage” was decided to be very apt, and suitable for the times. Carrera Records were not a big company and I believe they did the best publicity wise for the first album “Out Of Control”. It was also given a five star rating by the new tome of Heavy Metal “Kerrang”. “Out Of Control” is a perfect hard rock party album with every song being pressed along at full speed with a constant beat running through proceedings. The guitar solo on the opening track leaves you in no doubt that Mick Devonport had lost none of his chops during his sojourn in Guernsey. The single from the album “She’s On Fire” went straight to number one on the Bandwagon Heavy Metal chart. With David Lloyd’s vocals putting him at the top of the pile. A showcase gig was set up at the world famous Marquee club in London and immediately sold out, so another second date was arranged. In the audience were members of “Iron Maiden”, “Def Leppard”, and “Judas Priest”, all coming to see how this hard rockin heavy metal is done by the big boys. Needless to say the concert was a huge success with perhaps “Thank That Women” from the “Out Of Control” album being the high point. A tour of Britain’s smaller halls was lined up and the band gigged everywhere that people wanted to see them, adding Terry Steers on rhythm guitar to fill out the live sound. Terry was also great at rabble rousing the crowd as John and Mick showed off at the front. Rage were on a roll, so it was back in the studio to record the album that was perhaps the pinnacle of their career, “Nice ‘n’ Dirty”, with probably the most politically incorrect album cover of all time. As usual the boys wouldn’t back off by changing the cover, therefore most major record chain refused to stock the album. So whilst you could go to the concerts and hear all the great new songs such as “American Radio Station”, “Wasted Years” and new live set open “Silver And Gold”, it was almost impossible to actually buy the album. In hindsight, Carrera Records should of put their foot down and changed the cover, but that would of broken their ideal of allowing artists their freedom. “And anyway, lots of girls like touching other girls”. Then, once again, the world caved in on the boys. First they went out on nationwide tour with Uriah Heep on their Conquest tour, by which time all of the members of Uriah Heep hated each other and the tour had to be terminated mid tour due to the impossibility of getting the headliners on stage all at the same time. Dreadful revues didn’t help either. A Sounds Magazine headline read “The Agony & The Ecstasy” with a picture of Uriah Heep’s lead guitarist under agony and Mick Devonport under Ecstasy. The review went on to say the tour roles should be reversed and Rage should headline. This did not exactly help band relations on the tour bus. With the tour finished and Carrera Records in financial trouble Rage were bundled back into the studio for another album, something with a cover that they could sell. But after the experiences of the previous few months the boys weren’t ready and, quite honestly, the resulting album “Run For The Hills” is patchy at best. Carrera Records then collapsed in a financial heap. This really was the end for “Nutz / Rage”, younger bands were coming through. No matter how talented they were, their day was over. What is a travesty is that none of this marvelous music is presently available to the public. There must be a market for this music. John Mylett was tragically killed in a motorcar accident in Ibiza, two weeks after “Rage” were put to rest. John was so convinced that one day his band would make it, he had previously turned down the drum seat in Iron Maiden. The band as an epitaph recorded: “So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, under the name of “Spitfire” as they were convinced that certain elements of the press had it in for them. They tried to have a hit under the name of Spitfire………. Silly Fokkers. Later the remaining members of Rage gigged around the Liverpool scene with David Lloyd forming a band with Steve Morris called Sliced Bread. Steve Morris turns up again in Garth Rocket and the Moonshiners, which had a certain Ian Gillan on lead vocals and Keith Mullholland on bass. Keith Mullholland plays to this day with Mick Davenport in covers band the Space Cadets. The Nutz/Rage story is one of a great band, great days, and a great shame they never became stars.
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