Live Reviews

Blizzard Of Ozz, Apollo Theatre (Glasgow), 12th September 1980
Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy! When that time - honoured chant starts raising the rafters it can mean but one thing.. Namely, that former Sabbath frontman the perenially popular Ozzy Osbourne, is back and on the evidence of tonight's performance more with a bang than a wimpier.

The Apollo being not only the Blizzard's first stop on their 17-date nationwide tour but also, with the exception of two "secret" warm-up gigs, their first live appearence as a band there was a good deal of pre-gig tension backstage. Ozzy was particular concerned. Would the kids still remember him? Would he still mean anything in these metal-ridden times? Well, happily, the answer to both proved a hearty not 'alf!

Not only did the embroidered ones still remember him but they made the point quite clear by shouting his name both before the show and at every opportune moment during it as well.

Frankly, it was enough to bring a lump to the throat particularly at the beginning when, after a brief Omen-style intro tape, the curtain parted a fraction to reveal the man himself, looking fitter and healthier then ever before, his arms raised in the traditional two fingered salute, whilst the crowd returned the tribute with as many decibels as they could muster.

Before the show, however, I'd been a mite concerned that the Blizzard might simply content themselves with reworking Sabbath's finest moments but, in the event, they chose not to take the easy way out. With the exception of the instrumental 'Dee' they ran through all the new album plus the B-side of the current single 'Crazy Train' and only 'Iron Man', 'Children of the Grave' and encore 'Paranoid' remained as potent reminders of those heady days of yore.

And whilst at first Lee Kerslake (drums), Bob Daisley (bass), Randy Rhoads (guitar) and Lindsay Bridgewater (keyboards) sounded a touch edgy and nervous it didn't take them long to find their feet.

The king is back and this time his crown looks firmly lodged indeed.

Review by Dante Bonutto

Friday night at the Glasgow Apollo. The houselights were up, roadies milling back and forth onstage yet sizeable pockets of the crowd remained rooted, defiantly calling for more. And backstage it was chaos. Oversized bouncers shoe-horned into their Levis trying to organize the 50 or so jubilant fans determined to claim an autograph and a handshake from their hero, whilst outside another cheery mob lay seige to the stage door. Not a particularly novel scenario it's true, you'd probably find much the same euphoria at a Rod Stewart or Kate Bush bash, but when the hand everyone wants to shake is attached to former Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne then the whole time-honoured ritual assumes a distinctly less hollow significance. Sabbath, y'see, were unique, a band the critics loved to hate and the kids themselves just loved, but for many, myself included, Ozzy was the best thing about them. A working class boy from Brum who got off his arse and made good but who never scorned the ranks from which he'd risen. He was the kids and they really were him, it was really as simple as that. And now, after many moons of soulsearching and footfinding, Ozzy has blown back on to the scene with Blizzard of Ozz, a new band consisting of mostly old faces. On drums we have the redoubtable Lee Kerslake (ex-Uriah Heep / Blind Ambition), on bass Bob Daisley (ex-Widowmaker / Rainbow) and on guitar Randy Rhoads (ex-LA band Quiet Riot and former college guitar tutor), a new name at present but with a lightning technique, smacking of Schenker, Moore and at times Hendrix. It shouldn't be long before he gains the clenched-fisted approval of the denim cognoscenti. As the Apollo was the first date on the band's 17-date nation-wide tour and, with the exception of two "secret" gigs in Blackpool and Cromer under the name Law, their first live appearance together there was a good deal of pre-gig tension backstage. Happily, though, that's where it remained despite a few technical hitches the evening proved a joyful celebration of Ozzy's return with every one of the two thousand plus crowd willing them to do well and the spotlessly attired Ozz obliging them.