Live preview: Blue Öyster Cult

Vocalist/guitarist Eric Bloom previews a rare UK appearance from the veteran New York band who’ll be helping to bring some heat to the winter chill at this year’s Hard Rock Hell.

**Blue Öyster Cult’s appearance at the Giants Of Rock Festival in February was the band’s first visit to the UK in six years. **

We almost got to play in London not too long ago, but that plan was wiped out by the Olympics.

Was it a little surreal to be at an English holiday camp in the dead of winter?

Minehead was a lot of fun… Walking between the buildings much less so. It was great to see our old friends Uriah Heep again.

Hard Rock Hell is something very similar. Is there a US equivalent?

There probably is, though we’d be unlikely to be booked for it. Why not? Well, because we were part of that scene’s formative days we get tagged as a heavy metal band, when we’re really not one. When we do play at metal festivals we inspire very different body movements in the audience [laughs].

Now that your toes are back in the water, what’s the likelihood of a UK tour?

You know, I really wish I could say. On Facebook, people ask why we’re not playing in North Carolina, Poland, Iceland. As if I have anything to do with that.

But presumably the band would like to do more than just the one show here?

Of course. The Robin 2 [in Wolverhampton], the Ferry [Glasgow]… all those places, but our booking agency tells us it’s just not economically possible.

It’s quite a coup for BÖC to have former Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton in the band.

Yeah. We ran into him when he was with Todd [Rundgren]. As a matter of fact, Kasim won’t be with us in Wales because he’s taking a short hiatus to work again with Todd, so Danny Miranda will be back.

If Blue Öyster Cult recorded a new album – which would be the band’s first in more than a decade – would Kasim get to write?

Were we to sit down in a room, then sure, he’d be a part of that. I’ll never say never to the possibility. But it’s like asking a fan of the [New York] Mets whether his [baseball] team will ever win the World Series.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.