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By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Sunday, July 12, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

NWOBHM Legends, New School Team Up At Maverick's

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International Women's Day was four months ago but I made up getting in touch with my feminine side by surviving being the only male in my Office Admin course at Algonquin College and then catching a couple of women's soccer events followed by catching a show featuring two headbanging all-female legends of rock. If my assumptions on what karma is about stand to be correct I should be blessed with many tales of rock 'n roll debauchery and a couple of topless moments for the audience.

And blessed with the latter I was. Shame that the topless moments, however, were courtesy of Brian Stephenson of Toronto rockers OLD JAMES, whose last five minutes of their show featured the enegertic frontman wailing out their last number of the evening titled "Pastures". Given Brian's past stints in a few thrash/death metal bands over the years his latest band definitely showcased a lot of unbridled energy from his past years. Musically, OLD JAMES are mostly forging on the BLS/PANTERA sound in parts but their debut EP should hopefully showcase of greater things to come for them. This tour is already a good start.


From Stockholm back to my holm-er, home after a year and a half-long absence, Swedish rockers CRUCIFIED BARBARA make their triumphant return to Ottawa with more fury and purpose - as if such a thing were possible after their spectacular debut here back in 2013 while touring with CRASHDIET. The quartet comprised of Mia Coldheart (vocals/guitar), Ida Evileye (bass), Klara Force (lead guitar) and Nicki Wicked (drums) had also returned with a larger setlist following the release of their fourth album In The Red back in September from which they played a host of new songs such as "Electric Sky", "To Kill A Man" and their latest track, "Lunatic #1". The fan favorites such as "Rock Me Like The Devil" and "Into The Fire" still resonated well with the audience who managed to surprise the band members by knowing the words to all of their songs and singing along with them. An unforgettable show from start to finish as In The Red keeps CRUCIFIED BARBARA in the black (and I'll forgive the ladies for being unable for their second photo op with me).


Breaking all the rules since even before the BRITNY FOX song bearing their name was even conceived, NWOBHM legends GIRLSCHOOL turn up the volume even further as the quartet storm the stage and belt out "Demolition Boys" from their debut album. Lead singer/guitarist Kim McAuliffe, upon finishing the song, noted that "a lot of ya's" in the audience weren't even born yet since the band last played Ottawa in 1981. Safe to say that there's been a pretty long gap in between which she dutifully apologized for on behalf of herself, guitarist Jackie Chambers, bassist Enid Williams and drummer Denise Dufort. They're still 5 years shy of the ROLLING STONES' record for the longest gap between Ottawa shows - 34 versus the STONES' 40 - but we'll let that slide for the meantime.

Meanwhile, the band made up for a lengthy absence by playing lots of their classics such as "The Hunter", "Hit 'N Run", "Screaming Blue Murder" and "Race With The Devil". And with their latest and 11th studio album Guilty As Sin ready to be exposed to the masses this was also a crucial moment for GIRLSCHOOL to debut new tracks from the much anticipated album such as "Take It Like A Band" and "Come, The Revolution" ("because we could all do with a change" - Enid Williams before launching into the track) among other new and hard-hitting cuts. And for a band that had endured lots of hardship mostly in the form of rampant sexism throughout their career, GIRLSCHOOL as individuals come off as....very polite. I mean, the apology for the long wait in between visits was almost unexpected especially since many of us including myself thought that this was the band's first-ever visit to the city and we just assumed that Ottawa's concert promoters were mostly lame for never booking them in the first place but even for a not-very-noticeable false start on the ironically-titled "Watch Your Step"? So you missed a small cue during the intro. Could've happened to any band. Ask my friend Clammy who was at the show that night and he's played with GIRLSCHOOL twice (Sweden Rock Festival in 2012, Calgary a year later and this was the first time he'd actually seen GIRLSCHOOL live from the audience). Besides, the ladies already earned their street cred from the audience after name-checking the late Ronnie James Dio when they launched into their killer rendition "I Spy" which he duetted on a few years back; it was as if the man himself had smiled down on that performance from above.

The flawless performance culminated in a fiery encore version of the band's best-known song "Take It All Away" at which point it was time for GIRLSCHOOL to take to the stage for their final bow. And a promise was made to make more regular appearances in O-town in a timely manner as the NWOBHM legends were lauded by generations of new fans, demolition boys and girls alike.

Many thanks again to Christina and BlackWidow Promotions for never saying never on the idea of bringing GIRLSCHOOL to our fair city after a three-decade wait.



  • "Demolition Boys"
  • "C'mon Let's Go"
  • "The Hunter"
  • "Hit 'N Run"
  • "I Spy"
  • "Come, The Revolution"
  • "Never Say Never"
  • "Take It Like A Band"
  • "Screaming Blue Murder"
  • "Future Flash"
  • "Kick It Down"
  • "Watch Your Step"
  • "Yeah Right!"
  • "Race With The Devil"
  • "Emergency"
  • "Take It All Away"

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