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Wolfsbane: Wolfsbane Save The World

Still howlin’, still mad, reassuringly.

Through no fault of their own (you can blame business machinations and Rick Rubin), Wolfsbane were often dragging defeat from the jaws of victory in the late 80s.

An underwhelming major-label debut (the production was underwhelming, not the songs) did them no favours, though never blunted their creative bent – check out the willfully OTT Kathy Wilson, released after the flat-sounding Live Fast, Die Fast.

Little wonder that after the band splintered, Iron Maiden were keen to pick up Blaze Bayley to replace Bruce.

Wolfsbane echo their early years in the raucous Smoke And Red Light, and truth be told, most of the album still has the eccentric, inventive, gung ho approach they were best known for.

It’s as if Van Halen (DLR era) had come out of a Working Men’s club in the Midlands. And who can ask for more than that?

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.