Battleaxe (band)

Battleaxe (band)

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Battleaxe

Landscape = yes
Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Genre = Heavy metal
Years_active = 1980-1988
Label =
Associated_acts =
Current_members =
Past_members = Dave King
Brian Smith
Steve Hardy
Ian Thompson
Ian McCormick
John Stormont
Mick Percy
Jason Holt
Stewart Curtin
Colin Simpson
Paul Atkinson

Battleaxe were a heavy metal band from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. As one of the notable bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, they started out with the name Warrior and morphed into Battleaxe sometime in early 1980. The band consisted of Dave King (vocals), Brian Smith (bass), Steve Hardy (guitar), and Ian Thompson (drums). After playing around the area and honing their chops, they entered the studio to make a demo called "Burn This Town". In doing so, they garnered the attention of Roadrunner Records and the result was their first album, "Burn This Town".

Cover art

When the album was first released, the cover art was not what the band wanted and in fact, they were quite embarrassed with the cheesy painting of a guy on a motorcycle wielding a battle axe. The graphic looked amateurish and the band worried what it might do to their reputation. However, the music did the talking and the album sold well. The band began developing a reputation in the region as a solid heavy metal outfit.

Changing of "Ians"

Sometime after the recording of "Burn This Town", maybe on tour, Ian Thompson either quit or was fired and another Ian, Ian McCormick, was brought in as their new drummer. This new dynamic added a different spark to the band and they continued building their reputation. Their efforts paid off when they entered the recording studio in Inverness, Scotland and did their second album, "Power From The Universe" for the Music For Nations label. This album showed a more refined and mature Battleaxe and contains the opening track "Chopper Attack."

Personnel changes

Success seemed to be on their doorstep as they tore up venues throughout England. However, on the eve of a major appearance at a festival where Atlantic Records was showing some interest in the band, Steve Hardy quit and they had to pull out of the lineup. This was a severe blow to their career and put the band on hold until they could regroup. There was a rotating door of musicians until 1987 when they recruited guitarists John Stormont and Mick Percy. With this dual guitar lineup, their sound fattened and added a touch of versatility that was not possible with one guitarist.

Unfortunately, this promising new lineup lasted only a few months before John Stormont, and soon after, Ian McCormick left for domestic reasons. They were replaced with Jason Holt on guitar and Stewart Curtin on drums. This lineup only performed one gig at Old Eldon Square, in Newcastle.

tabilizing lineup

The lineup finally stabilized with Mick Percy, Dave King, Brian Smith, new guitarist Colin Simpson, and new drummer Paul Atkinson. They gigged around England and did a spectacular gig at Klenal Hall Biker’s Festival in Northumberland. Plans were made to record a third album and they went into the studio to record the demos that were to become the recently released "Nightmare Zone" EP. The third album was originally going to be called "Metal Edge", but they were not able to secure interest from a record label back then and the band began to fall apart. The two remaining original members, Dave King and Brian Smith, finally decided to call it quits and so was the end of a valiant effort.


Battleaxe was one of those English heavy metal bands that had a lot of potential but because of numerous lineup problems, their dream was never fully realized. One can only wonder where they would be now if they had secured a record deal for the third album, or going back a ways, if Steve Hardy had not quit on the eve of their major breakthrough. As it is, they left a legacy of two great albums and an EP. Battleaxe will go down in history as one of those bands that never quite realized their potential but had a great time trying.

As of 2005, original member and the voice of Battleaxe, Dave King, has resurrected their long out of print albums and dug up material that will eventually be released as the album "Axed". They are available through his website listed below.

Members "For Burn This Town"

* Dave King - Vocals
* Brian Smith - Bass
* Steve Hardy - Guitar
* Ian Thompson - Drums

Members For "Power From The Universe"

* Dave King - Vocals
* Brian Smith - Bass
* Steve Hardy - Guitar
* Ian McCormick - Drums

Post "Universe" Lineup 1

* Dave King - Vocals
* Brian Smith - Bass
* Ian McCormick - Drums
* John Stormont - Guitar
* Mick Percy - Guitar

Post "Universe" Lineup 2

* Dave King - Vocals
* Brian Smith - Bass
* Mick Percy - Guitar
* Jason Holt - Guitar
* Stewart Curtin - Drums

Final ("Nightmare Zone") Lineup

* Dave King - Vocals
* Brian Smith - Bass
* Mick Percy - Guitar
* Colin Simpson - Guitar
* Paul Atkinson - Drums


* "Burn This Town" - Single - Burn This Town/Battleaxe (1981)
* "Burn This Town" - Album (Original Sleeve)(1983)
* "Burn This Town" - Album (Redesigned Sleeve) (1984)
* "Power From The Universe" - Album (1984)
* "Burn This Town" - CD Reissue (2005)
* "Power From The Universe" - CD Reissue (2005)
* "Nightmare Zone" - EP CD (Recorded 1987) (2005)

Discography compilations

* "Roxcalibur" - Burn This Town & Battleaxe (1982)
* "Hell On Earth" - Ready To Deliver (1983)
* "Metal Battle" - Ready To Deliver (1983)
* "Welcome To The Metal Zone" - Chopper Attack (1985)

External links

* [ Official Homepage]
* [ Swedish Fan Site]

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