Concert review – Meatload

Meat-Loud – Lichfield Guildhall – Sunday 22nd October

Reviewed by Ben Macnair

Released on October 21st 1977, Meatloaf’s epoch marking album Bat out of Hell would go onto be one of the most commercially successful albums of all times. Fusing the stage presence and mighty lung-power of Meatloaf, with the florid piano, keyboards, and song-writing talents of Jim Steinman Bat out of Hell blended screaming heavy metal guitar, with rock solid bass and drums, and almost baroque keyboard techniques to produce music that was effortlessly tuneful, technically demanding, and against the prevailing musical trends of disco and punk that were also popular at the time.
The tribute band, Meat-Loud gave Bat out of Hell and many of Meatloaf’s other songs some fine interpretation when they played at Lichfield Guildhall on Sunday 22nd October, forty years, almost to the day since Bat out of Hell was released.

The group, led by Andy Plimmer on vocals also consisted of bassist Rob Norman, guitarist Jonathan Walters, Henry Salmon on keyboards, drummer Marc Garfield and Paula Tuckley on vocals. The second half of the concert consisted of Bat out of Hell performed in its entirety, whilst the first half consisted of such well known Meatloaf songs as I’d Lie for you (And that’s the truth) Dead Ringer for Love and Life is a lemon and I want my money back, whilst Paula Tuckley was allowed some time in the spotlight for her version of Marc Coen’s Walking in Memphis, and Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.

The musical pedigree of all of the player’s was in evidence throughout the concert, with the dextrous guitar and keyboard playing reaching the same high standards of the album. Performing one of the most popular and well known albums of all time is always a risk for any band, but the group put very few wrong notes into such pieces as Paradise by the, Two out of Three ain’t bad, Bat out of Hell, or the ballad Heaven Can Wait.

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