|MARSHALL LAW - very heavy and proud of it. This legendary band hailing from Birmingham (the birthplace of OZZY and JUDAS PRIEST amongst others) offers up intense, shredding metal powered by the exceptional talents of vocalist Andy Pyke, twin guitarists Dave Martin and Dave Rothan and bassist Tom Dwyer.
Formed by ex-DETROIT, DAMIEN and VIVA vocalist Andy Pyke in 1988, the band benefited in their early days from the enthusiastic management of Birmingham DJ Dave Juste and the seemingly tireless ability to undertake enormous tours, including supports to LITTLE ANGELS and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, building up a loyal fan base along the way. The original line-up featured Andy Pyke on vocals and drums, together with ex-CHINAWHITE and SHADOWLANDS guitarist Dave Martin (who had also been involved with ELECTRIC WARRIOR, an act that featured UFO guitarist Rik Sandford), guitarist Darren Horton and bassist Malcolm Gould. The band later added drummer Alan Kelly who ultimately left to join SHY and was replaced with Mick Donovan. Darren Horton also left to later form SIAM and was replaced by former REALM and IVORY guitarist Andy Southwell. This line-up recorded the demo 'Future Shock' in 1988.
Shortly afterwards, the band signed with local label FM Revolver and recorded their first album 'Marshall Law' which was produced by REDBEARDS members Ian Allen and Dave Keates. It was decided at this point to replace bassist Malcolm Gould (who promptly formed LOVE AND WAR) with Roger Davis (previously with ROULETTE) and the band still continued to gig hard. Mick Donovan was then replaced and another record for FM Revolver followed, the mini album 'Power Crazy', which debuted new drummer Lee Morris. Andy Pyke meantime was to contribute guest vocals to CEREBRAL FIX's version of JUDAS PRIEST's hit 'Living After Midnight'.
A change of management to the same organisation that handled MAGNUM saw the release of a third album, 'Powergame', with production by ROBIN GEORGE. This saw excellent sales including Japan where over 35,000 copies were shifted in the first few weeks and reached number 6 in the national Rock chart. A thousand copies were also pressed up on the band's own System X label (which they still release material through today) for sale at gigs. A live album was also recorded but was to remain unreleased for some time and the band ultimately chose to take an extended break, playing their last gig at Nottingham Rock City in September 1992. Dave Martin reunited with original drummer Mick Donovan in a new project, Andy Southwell formed an acoustic act, Roger Davis found employment with erstwhile LITTLE ANGELS vocalist TOBY JEPSON and Lee Morris joined high profile Gothic Rock act PARADISE LOST.
Directly due to unceasing fan pressure MARSHALL LAW duly reformed in late 1995, signing with Neat Metal Records to issue the well received live album 'Law In The Raw'. Much to the surprise of the band the label's press release for 'Law In The Raw' mistakenly attributed these recordings to a support to JUDAS PRIEST, although the concert was in fact taken from a headline gig. Still essentially a studio project at this stage, the band did manage a brace of local gigs utilising the rhythm section from NOISEGATE. In 1997, the band recorded 'Metal Detector' which once more pulled in worthy reviews with increased sales in Germany and Japan. The band recorded the follow up 'Warning From History' in early 1999 which included guest contributions from Steve Grimmett of GRIM REAPER and LIONSHEART and MAGNUM's Tony Clarkin. This outing saw the band's first release in South America with Rock Brigade Records in Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Shortly after recording the band dispensed with their existing rhythm section pulling in ex-RECKLESS DAUGHTER, SHOCK TACTICS and SIAM bassist Andy Faulkner and former BENEDICTION and WHITE TRASH drummer Paul Brookes. To promote the album the band put in a show at the 'Bang Your Head' Festival in southern Germany sharing a bill with DEEP PURPLE, W.A.S.P. and MOTRHEAD as well as a performance at the Wacken Festival playing to over 30,000 people.
During 2000 the band recorded a version of SLADE's 'We'll Bring The House Down' with a guesting Bev Bevan of BLACK SABBATH on drums. Although the track was produced by the esteemed Terry Thomas of BAD COMPANY repute, it would remain consigned to the vaults until it emerged as a bonus track on the 2002 Sanctuary Records compilation 'Power Crazy - The Best Of Marshall Law'. The band again decided at this point to take extended leave and during this period Andy Pyke hooked up with former MARSHALL LAW and PARADISE LOST drummer Lee Morris, EXCALIBUR and HARDWARE guitarist Paul Solynskyj and ex-SLAMMER guitarist Milo Zavenic to tour Holland in a METALLICA tribute band DAMAGE INC. Some of Andy Pyke's earlier recordings also surfaced with the release of a vintage live DAMIEN album.
Late in 2004, the band were yet again swamped with requests from fans to reform permanently and by April 2005 had recruited bassist Tom Dwyer, a scene veteran holding credentials with BARDICHE, HEAT, SCREAMING DEMON and IRON SKULL. Again utilising NOISEGATE's Chris Green on drums, the band played several UK shows supporting ZODIAC MINDWARP and SHY. By October the band had completed demos for a new album before taking a winter break, ready to enter the studio in early 2006. However, drummer Chris Green decided to leave the band early in 2006 and was promptly replaced with Pete Hunt, a veteran of DRAGONFORCE and GEARED 4. Prior to entering the studio though, the band suffered a major blow in February when guitarist Andy Southwell, a band mainstay since 1988, exited amicably to pursue other interests. Within days his replacement had been revealed as being SEVEN WITCHES guitarist Jack Frost, an American scene veteran having high profile experience with SAVATAGE, METALIUM, THE BRONX CASKET CO., SPEEED and FROSTBITE. However, conflicts between the schedules of both the band and Jack Frost could not be adequately balanced and he exited in June. His replacement, announced in mid-July, was Dave Rothan, previously of DIRTY MINDS, the GRAHAM BONNET band and 80s covers act ROCK$TAR. Pete Hunt also left the band in November 2006 to concentrate on other projects and the band are currently looking at potential replacements.
With a very successful headlining UK tour recently completed and the band's rousing performance as mainstage openers at this year's BLOODSTOCK UK METALFEST, the band are going from strength to strength and are quickly re-establishing themselves as one of Europe's premier metal bands. The 'Powergame' album is about to be re-released worldwide via Majestic Records and a new album is scheduled for completion by the end of 2006 with a planned release early in 2007. The band will also be embarking on a larger tour in 2007 which will see them in Europe, the US and Japan.