Like the late-'70s punk movement which inspired its D.I.Y. credo, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal spawned hundreds of exciting young bands all over the U.K. -- even in such isolated reaches as the town of Jersey, located in the remote Channel Islands, from whence came Legend.
Formed in August 1980 by Mike Lezala (vocals), Peter Haworth (lead guitar), Marco Morosino (rhythm guitar), Eggy Aubert (bass), and Dave Whitley (drums), Legend quickly built a local following in their native Channel Islands, but found it difficult to attract any attention from the mainland, eventually deciding to release their self-financed, eponymous debut independently in July 1981. In due time, tracks from the album made it into the hands of DJ Tommy Vance, whose Friday Rock Show on BBC's Radio One was then among the most popular showcase for emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal talent. Most importantly, Vance's endorsement increased the band's visibility and earned them various prominent opening gigs with major acts when the same acts visited their neck of the woods, including a brief stint with the mighty Thin Lizzy. Rhythm guitarist Morosino departed soon after, but Legend soldiered on and recorded their second effort, Death in the Nursery, as a four-piece, released in July 1982. But despite showing much improvement and garnering positive reviews, no amount of talent seemed capable of overcoming the band's state of isolation. And when they finally did schedule a proper British tour in early 1983 to support a newly recorded four-track EP, they were forced to cancel at the very last minute when bassist Aubert suffered a serious injury. Haworth's brother, Neil, was eventually drafted to replace him, but their momentum had been lost and Legend sadly performed their last concert at London's Marquee Club in January 1984.
Legend's cult status continued to grow over the years, however, and the grass-roots success of 1998's Retroshock 1981-1984 collection eventually paved the way for 2002's all-inclusive career Anthology. This, in turn, encouraged guitarist Haworth to give it another go, and he reunited with most of the original lineup to record 2003's Still Screaming comeback. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
Mar 04 FridayDresden, Germany Eventwerk Dresden