Time to sharpen the swords, polish the shields and lower the drawer bridge my friends as today, we have yet another contender vying for the title of “Most Ridiculous Looking Band In Heavy Metal”. How can the mighty Manowar not make the list ?! Sure they rock, sure they’ve nearly made Mr Rockbrat’s ears bleed in the live environment (1994), and sure I at one time owned all of their records BUT, they have long appeared on the Rockbrat humour radar and today we have the bow and arrow pointed straight at em. But first, I called to Odin for a sign and yes – there is indeed much to like about Manowar. Eric Adams, Joey DeMaio and Co have penned some out and out metal classics eg ‘All Men Play On Ten (don’t laugh), ‘Blow Your Speakers’, ‘Fighting The World’, AND they also dig black leather, play loud rock n roll and ride motorcycles. But there is also much to laugh about. They signed an early record contract in their own blood (with a paramedic standing nearby) ! They were once listed in the Guinness Book Of Records as the Loudest Band In The World ! (I recall painfully cramming pieces of bog roll in my ears before I saw them to stave off potential hearing loss – talk about a wimp, wishing to preserve my hearing and all. Sound the viking horn – False Metaller in the midst (mist). They’ve also donned the fur-wear since the early days of their cave….err career. It is a joke isn’t it ? The clothes I mean. oh it’s serious, my mistake. Wonder where they got the furry loin cloths from during the bands’ early days ? Can’t just stroll into Macey’s and grab yourself a pair now can you ! By the way, does anybody know if Canadian HM artist Thor ever doubled billed with Manowar ? and if so, was mammoth meat or bison on the band riders ? It’s a fine line between stupid…and clever remember. You can see where guys like Rick Mayall and Christopher Guest obtained inspiration from. Joey DeMaio has sported his furry loin cloth (I’m laughing as I type that) for thirty years now and you know what ? I reckon he should donate one to Cleveland’s Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum. It could be in a glass case adjecent Gene Simmons cod piece and Blackie’s crotch-hugging saw blade. But I digress – enough below the belt humour. I remember DeMaio looking out to the London Marquee crowd at the aforementioned gig during a break in the set for those few ‘non believers’ who were not performing the ‘clutched wrist-held high’ nonsense which Manowar and their fans both identify with. He was ready to kick someone’s ass man – the big brute. Even in just a loin cloth, you can still kick ass. Bizarrely, I also remember seeing some fat dork at a Dictators gig quite recently sporting his allegiance to Manowar by donning a tee-shirt (as if most punters in attendance needed the rock lesson that Funicello was in Manowar – thanks Einstein). They’re a good look the Manowar tee, no they are. Or make that most jet blakk HM band t-shirts with a bold band logo on front – usually featuring some horrific, hell-fire imagery of ol’ Beelzebub – the chicks dig that kind of thing. If that dufus was hoping for the Dics to crank out a Manowar tune he was dumber than he looked (is that possible ?) Does anyone know the story behind Ross The Boss cranking out the heavy metal power-chords with Manowar after his years in the 70’s as a NYC punk ? I’d sure like to know. So there you have it folks. Manowar. Real loud. Real men. The Real Deal. Now where’s my copy of ‘Intravenus de Milo’ got to….