Later this month, the original lineup of The Almighty – Ricky Warwick,Stump Munroe, Floyd London and Andy 'Tantrum' McCafferty – will play their first show together since since Tantrum left the band in 1992.
The reunited quartet will play Glasgow Barrowland on November 30, Manchester Academy on December 1, and London Kentish Town Forum on December 2. Tickets are on sale now.
Below, guitarist and frontman Ricky Warwick and drummer Stumpy Monroe set the scene for Act Four in the band’s long, on-off career.
These three dates, which mark thirty-two years since the original line-up of The Almighty last played together, are now eleven weeks away.
Monroe: Aye, they’re screaming towards us. Tomorrow Floyd [London, bassist] is coming over to put me through my paces.
It had been a long time since you played drums, Stumpy. How is the prep going?
After nigh-on fifteen years away I’ve eased myself in gently, taking half an hour or forty-five minutes whenever I can. I’m struggling with [the song] Powertrippin’, but it’s slowly coming together.
Why did it have to be this line-up of the band for these shows?
Warwick: Much as we love Pete [Friesen, the Canadian guitarist who had two spells with the band] and he remains part of the family, it needed to be the originals. It was only announced in January, but Stump and I have been talking about this for more than two years. Covid and the old cliché about life being too short were what convinced us. We’ve lost so many people from around the band, in the end we said: “Yeah, let’s do this.”.
And if Pete turns up with his guitar he can play a song or two?
Warwick: Absolutely. He’d be more than welcome.
Will you be playing a ‘best-of’-style set?
Monroe: It will be a good selection from the first four albums, though a couple from album five [Just Add Life, 1996] have also been floating around. We’ll have to see how they fit into the set-list.
Warwick: Powertrippin’ and Crank [the third and fourth studio albums, from 1993 and ’94] were big albums for us, and we’ll include some stuff from those, but the first two [Blood, Fire & Love from 1989 and 1991’s Soul Destruction] introduced the band and are seminal.
It sounds like they will be quite lengthy shows.
Monroe: Too bloody long, if you ask me [both laugh]. Looking at the set-list, it could be an hour and forty-five minutes.
Warwick: Probably a bit more than that, I think.
Monroe: It’s a lot for a bunch of old men. But remember, when The Wildhearts were in their twenties they’d only do forty-five minutes.
Ticket sales have been strong, with Manchester the only one yet to sell out.
Warwick: Manchester is very close now, just a few tickets remain, and the other two [Glasgow and London] sold out very quickly, which was amazing.
Monroe: Glasgow went in a day, and London wasn’t far behind. I’m told that we’ve sold more tickets in Manchester than we did at our peak.
How does that make you feel?
Monroe: Nervous. And honoured. We are close to selling seven thousand tickets, which is quite a feat.
What’s interesting is that there will be people at these shows who have never seen The Almighty before, let alone the original band.
Monroe: With so many tickets sold, that will probably be the case. There must be those that got into us via their older brother’s records, and if we can turn their heads that’s even better.
Warwick: Floyd tells me that his kids never experienced the band, so he’ll be bringing them to show them what their dad used to do.
Monroe: I’ve never seen them either.
Warwick [laughing] The Almighty, or Floyd’s kids?
Monroe: The Almighty. All I’ve ever seen is the back of your head.
Why did you pick Balaam & The Angel as special guests for these dates?
Warwick: We’ve known them for so long. We used to play with them at the Marquee [in London], they’re a great band and obviously there’s a Scottish connection with the brothers [Mark, Jim and Des Morris are originally from Motherwell].
Monroe: We could have got a new, up-and-coming band, but most of our audience probably wouldn’t connect with that.
Warwick: The Almighty were always more than just a metal band, so stylistically it’s a good fit.
Product-wise, will there be anything new to mark the reunion?
Warwick: Yeah. We are re-releasing the first two albums on vinyl and a special gatefold limited-edition on vinyl.
From the first announcement, it was made clear that the group had no intention of recording what would be the first new album since PsychoNarco in 2001. But if the gigs go spectacularly well would you reconsider?
Warwick: I’ll go with ‘never say never’. Sorry if it’s cheesy, but we’ve all got so much going on in our lives at the moment that I really can’t look past the first show.
Do The Almighty still have anything left to prove?
Warwick: I think we already did that, with the number of tickets we’ve sold.
We ask because in the past certain critics dismissed the band as bandwagon jumpers.
Warwick: I’m very proud that we were always a formidable live band, but right from the start Stump and I knew that we wouldn’t make the same album ten times over. That’s okay for some bands, but not for The Almighty. Our air of unpredictability was something I always liked about us