As a denim-clad hard rock-loving lad, I was always keen to find new heavy metal bands to listen to.
So when I came across a 12-inch EP single by a South Shields band called Mythra, I duly purchased it, played it and was most impressed by the music.
One thing though, the record came in a plain paper wrapper, which, to a young whippersnapper, was rather boring.
But unperturbed, I decided to decorate the sleeve by gluing some suitably garish images onto it.
Unfortunately, the glue seeped through the paper and onto the vinyl, so when I went to play the record again, the needle simple skated across it – disaster.
However, all was not lost, WH Smith (from where I bought it) had a second copy which I snapped-up and kept, plain cover and all.
And the reason for this tale? Well, the hard rockers from Shields, who reformed a few years ago, will soon be releasing more metal music, as local lad Vince High explains.
“We have a brand new album out on April 28, entitled Still Burning, released worldwide through the German High Roller Records,” says Vince. “It was recorded in Poland last October with producer Bart Gabriel who is a big name on the European underground heavy metal scene.
“The new album is a follow-up to our 2015 release Warriors Of Time: The Anthology which is a collection of what are considered to be our classic tracks, recorded between 1979 and 1982, plus bonus tracks written and recorded in 2015.
“As reported in the Shields Gazette at the time, Mythra played their reunion show in February of that year at Brofest UK, after which offers of further live work and recording came in immediately.”
The band still has a strong fan base across the world and is regarded as being among the pioneers of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene, having recorded that aforementioned EP, called Death & Destiny, back in 1979.
“Since our reunion show we have played live festivals across Europe, including the legendary Keep It True festival in Germany last year, which attracts over 2,000 metal fans annually,” adds Vince.
Alongside the new album release, the live work is also continuing, with the band having already lined up several European Festivals. In addition, they will be flying to America in October to play their first ever show in the USA at Frost & Fire in California. Along with vocalist Vince, the band is made up John Roach, guitar, Alex Perry, guitar, Maurice Bates, bass, and Phil Davies, drums.
“We are all originally from South Shields,” reveals Vince, “apart from Alex, who is from Hexham.
So if you like your music loud and proud, give these local lads your support and hunt out a copy of their new album – but keep the glue pot locked in the drawer!
Sticking with the music theme, reader Harry Thompson got in touch following the appearance of a photo of one of South Tyneside’s most cherished record shops.
“Re you photo taken in the ‘new’ Handy Shop in 1984,” writes Harry, “20 years or more earlier, I was a regular shopper at the original Handy Shop, which was situated in Walpole Street before being destroyed in a fire.
“The shop was run by the same gentleman featured, and his wife, and was extremely popular as a place to buy cheap second-hand records of all music styles.
“As well as popular artists of the late 50s/early 60s like Elvis, Cliff, Brenda Lee and Roy Orbison etc.
“There was also the chance to buy recordings by older established artists such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, and also jazz and blues classics.
“I still have many Handy Shop purchases in my collection, including Sinatra’s Songs for Swinging Lovers, Ray Charles in Person, and numerous Elvis singles.”
Do you still have your collection of vinyl records, singles and LPs?