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Jon Hinchliffe


The Reunion of the 1980 Line up in 1999

Last Modified On 21 Mar 2009

Paddy Goes To Hollyhead\Praying Mantis - 26 July 1999 - Shebeen, Acton, London

Reunion Line up in Action

These are my personal observations of the London date of the tour. They are very subjective so probably worthless but I am happy to share them with you. I hope someone else who went to a gig will write a review for me. It doesn't matter if you English is poor. Mine is terrible!

As I was with the last set of Mantis Dates I was eagerly awaiting tonight's gig. In fact I had been on edge for days before. I like the 99 Band lineup a lot. But they haven't quite caught the 80's version to me. Tonight was going to be a major delight or a big mistake. I was really looking forward to hearing Tino and Steve on Lead vocals. Chris of course has sung lead in recent years.

First I sat through the soundcheck of A Question of time and Lovers to the Grave. From this I knew it would be a great night.

Paddy Goes To Hollyhead from a couple of weeks before

Next came Paddy Goes To Hollyhead featuring Chris And Tino. I have actually made the trip to London to see these 3 or 4 times before and usually enjoy them. They are only a cover band but they are a lot of fun and they do good twin guitar versions of some really daft tunes such as "These Boots are made for walking". Tonight after the soundcheck they were nothing. I just wanted Mantis.


And around 6.45 that is what I got. The ultimate line-up of Mantis performing the Ultimate Mantis songs including my all time favourite "Beads Of Ebony". They in fact did everything from "Time Tells No Lies" except "All day and All of the Night" and "Rich City Kids". They also did "A question of time", "30 Pieces Of Silver" and "Captured City". I had initially be gutted when they didn't do "Captured City" and Steve's vocal song "Running For Tomorrow". But luckily the band decided to give them a try out around 10 PM after having had some beer. We also got "A Question Of Time" yet again but I am not complaining.

Tino with new hair cut!

Tino's vocals were just as I remembered them which again makes me feel sad he decided to hand over the lead mic. Of course his guitar playing was as good as ever.

Chris with Dave Potts

I think Chris with all the Paddy's work is enjoying these warm up gigs more visibly than on the last set of warm up dates.

Dave Potts

I wondered how Dave Potts was going to play since I don't think he has played drums much in the intervening years. As far as I could tell he did an excellent job.

Steve Carrol

Steve Carrol's vocals were excellent again much like the album. I believe Steve is not as keen to sing again now as he hasn't even been doing backing vocals like Tino. It was fascinating seen how Tino and Steve shared the Lead Guitar and how quite often they played together. Unfortunately Steve's amp was a little low powered and his leads lost in the overall sound. I can't say mix as only the vocals were going through a mixing board.

Chris and Steve Carrol

The sound in general in the Shebeen was very bouncy. I think the room was something like 20m x 40m with the band on a short side. It is a typical function room for an English pub except it is being made into a good music room. The musicians hope something will be done to dampen the sound a little as a recent make over continues to take place in the room.

Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep and 81-87 Mantis vocalist) was in the audience but claimed he couldn't recall the words for an impromptu reunion with his old band mates. It was a shame but at least we got the missing songs from the set at the end. I had to leave before Paddy did a final set I hope Bernie didn't get up and sing with them (he did the previous week) I had one of my best gigs ever. I wish Mantis had more UK warm ups and a full tour of Japan to make a trip worthwhile. With luck there will be a live CD of the Japanese date. I wonder what will happen with Steve and Dave now. The 99 line-up is still working on the follow up to "Forever In Time". I certainly wouldn't be sad to see a Mantis double bill tour. Of course it would be hard work for Tino And Chris but great for the fans!

Just before decided to play again

Set List

Warm Up

  1. A Question Of Time
  2. Lovers To The Grave

Main Set

  1. A Question Of Time
  2. Panic In The Streets
  3. Thirty Pieces Of Silver
  4. Lovers To The Grave
  5. Beads Of Ebony
  6. Cheated
  7. Flirting With Suicide
  8. Children Of The Earth

Game For Some More

  1. A Question Of Time
  2. Captured City
  3. Running For Tomorrow

The Poster from Japan (Thanks Yoko)

Review from Classic Rock Magazine Issue 8 In The UK.

Praying Mantis/Tank/Samson/Trespass
Metal Crusade '99, Hibiya Park, Tokyo, 1 Aug 1999

For The First time in two decades, Praying Mantis - featuring original guitarist Steve Carroll and drummer Dave Potts - reunited to emphasize the powerful melody of their songs. Brothers Tino and Chris Troy, on guitar and Bass respectively, were on fine form, and 'Lovers To The Grave','Cheated' and Panic In The Streets' have seldom sounded better.

To Close the proceedings, everybody trooped back for a reasonably horrible romp though 'Roll Over Beethoven' before Mantis' Tino Troy cried out, 'See you in ten years time!'

A little closer to home next time please!

Geoff Gillespie (who interestingly was the UK coordinator for the festival)

Praying Mantis Set

  1. A Question Of Time
  2. Panic In The Streets
  3. Running For Tommorrow
  4. Thirty Pieces Of Silver
  5. Lovers To The Grave
  6. Beads Of Ebony
  7. Cheated
  8. Flirting With Suicide
  9. Children Of The Earth

The concert has been released by Pony Canyon on a Double CD - NWOBHM 20th Anniversary Festival - Metal Crusade '99 PCCY-01418. Cheated is left off the set.

For a Real Audio Player go to the Real Audio Site
My recommendations of where Praying Mantis CD's can be found are here

If you have any photos or reviews from Japan. Please share them with me and the other fans.

More photos from the UK gig are Here