Monday, 28 May 2012

Vim Fuego.

“Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” – Revelations, 13.4

There are only two places you’re likely to see a quote like that, if you don’t count this blog, and those places are some boring, rubbishy bible or the inner sleeve of a totally amazing Heavy Metal album. In this blog I would like to pose a very important question that I think each and every person on this accursed earth should ask themselves: Is Heavy Metal the most perfect form of music ever?

I’m going to stick my tattooed, headbanging neck out and say yes. Heavy Metal is the ONLY perfect musical art form. Not rock, not fucking soft rock but proper chunky, fast, galloping Heavy Metal. The difference between Heavy Metal and all other kinds of music should be pretty clear. It gives a shit. Other music wants you to relate, understand, sympathise or actually make you take stock of everything you’ve ever said or done. In other words, other music is manipulative. Other music is a liar. Heavy Metal isn’t like that. There is only one emotion in Heavy Metal and that emotion is FUCKYEAH! It just wants you to have a good time all of the time. No one has ever nursed a broken heart to Heavy Metal. It’s so infuriating when someone says “Every time I put the radio on, the song reminds me of him/her”. THEN LISTEN TO A METAL STATION, YOU TWAT. Heavy Metal won’t patronise you like indie music will. It doesn’t talk down to you, it lifts you up. Those guitar riffs are there to make you want to raise your fist in the air and shout “I ONLY HAVE ABOUT 85 YEARS ON THIS PLANET SO LET’S START LIVIIIIIIIIING!!!” Big, fat, cartoon guitar riffs and thundering bass lines and drums like bombs and lyrics that take you to the very heart of what it must be like to be an Orc.

And why not? Who in their right mind wants to wallow in real life? That’s why most indie music doesn’t make any sense. Music is escapism but if you listen to My Bloody Valentine or Arctic Monkeys or Ed fucking Sheeran where are you escaping to? Escaping to your own existence doesn’t seem like much of a journey to me. That’s the beauty of Heavy Metal. And it is beautiful, by the way. Heavy Metal isn’t about you (well, not unless you’re Genghis Khan), Heavy Metal is FOR you. It doesn’t want to see you down. It doesn’t want to remind you of your problems and it doesn’t want to hear your problems. Jump In The Fire by Metallica is a song that demands you get up off your cry-baby arse and join it, Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne is offering you a piggy-back and a slap in the face at the same time and if you put The Trooper by Iron Maiden on your iPod instead of Adele you will definitely walk taller and with a much more purposeful stride. And that’s good for your health. Healthy Metal.

Which brings me to this: Why is Iron Maiden not opening the Olympics? That just doesn’t make any sense. They’re the biggest band ever from East London selling over 85 million records and they definitely know how to put on a show. Instead we have Duran Duran. Let’s think about that. How many athletes train while listening to pumped up Heavy Metal and how many have pushed themselves to the very limits while listening to “Save a Prayer”? Does the Daley Thompson/Lucozade/Phantom of the Opera advert mean nothing now? Also it would just be nice if the London Olympics were represented by a band from London. Duran Duran are from Birmingham and even if the Olympics were held in Birmingham, Duran Duran still shouldn’t be asked. It should be Black Sabbath. When I saw Black Sabbath performing one of their many last ever gigs in 1997 I genuinely felt an incredible outpouring of love. As soon as I saw Ozzy run (he sort of ran) on stage my heart just grew. The first song they performed was War Pigs and for the next two hours 8,000 people bounced. We bounced because it was two hours of music that wanted everything outside that room to just fuck off. War, famine, heartbreak, financial ruin…these were all tedious and insignificant nothings next to four old men being very, very loud.

And that volume is what it’s all about. Why listen to some acoustic boy wailing about how he doesn’t fit in with this cold, cold existence when you have noise that bricks up the outside world so we don’t have to even register it? I mean if a song doesn’t make you feel like you’re charging on a horse while thrusting a sword in front of yourself it can’t really be much of a song, can it? But then Heavy Metal is whatever you want it to be really. To some I suppose it must be dark and serious and meaningful. It’s even political sometimes. I’ve never got all that. To me it’s just fun, energetic and brilliantly daft. I’m sure there are Metal fans out there who don’t really like to admit this but there’s not too much difference between our superb music and a big, camp, brilliantly daft West End musical. Have I lost you with that bit? OK, let me try to win you back with two wonderful Heavy Metal facts. Firstly, Black Sabbath are a four-piece band with three vegan members (The Smiths only have one vegan member and it’s not even leather-wearing, cheese-eating Morrissey) and secondly, the song that toppled Mistletoe & Wine by Cliff Richard off the top of the charts was Iron Maiden’s Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter. God, I love Heavy Metal.

Of course, I love my indie music really but I’m glad I had those Heavy Metal teenage years. I can’t tell you how fucking fed up I am right now (mainly because I don’t know you and it’s none of your business) but it isn’t my Rough Trade 5-disc boxset I’m turning to. It’s Heavy Metal. Loud, obnoxious, unpopular and ridiculous Heavy Metal. I guess I just relate to it.

Recommended listening: The Real Thing by Faith No More, Among The Living by Anthrax, Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden, Powerslave by Iron Maiden, Master of Puppets by Metallica, Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Reign In Blood by Slayer, Holy Diver by Dio, Blizzard of Ozz by Ozzy Osbourne, British Steel by Judas Priest, Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister (Well, I like it), Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson,  Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? By Megadeth and pretty much any AC/DC album. It’s a basic, pretty obvious list but if you’ve never given Heavy Metal a go because you think it looks stupid just remember that looking stupid is fun and funny. Fun. Just remember fun when you’re next listening to your fucking indie music next time.

That’s the schmaltziest blog I’ve written in ages but I get the feeling tomorrow’s will be furious. I’ve noticed that the comedy world has decided that Mrs. Brown’s Boys is actually very funny indeed and, oh look, it’s won a BAFTA. I feel fucking sick.  

If you like being embarrassed as much as I do or just want to point and laugh at my many embarrassing moments then why not go to Michael Legge's Private Hell on the 3rd June with guests Richard Herring, Catie Wilkins and Dab & Tench or on the 1st July with Nick Helm and Bridget Christie? Shows start at 3pm at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, London (nearest tube Oxford Circus) and it costs an unbelievable £5.  

Or you can get more Legge embarrassment at the Edinburgh Fringe. I'm very proud and happy to say that my show, Michael Legge: What a Shame, is on nearly every day of the fringe at the fantastic Stand Comedy Club. Here's info:  

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Michael Legge said...

And here's a lovely bit of news...

Dave said...

This is the exact sort of thing people send you unsolicited every day, but it could cheer you up (in any occasion ever):

Anonymous said...

"The difference between Heavy Metal and all other kinds of music should be pretty clear. It gives a shit."
Exactly. Indie music, whilst in a state of producing some fantastic bands, of which i'd say Bright Eyes personally stands out for me, Indie seems to be in a state of being a fashionable music brand at the moment, something to be into to be edgy. Heavy metal doesn't suffer from being a fad because it's almost expressly against that.

If you're into Slayer/Black Sabbath I suggest Eyehategod (
or Electric Wizard (

Michael Legge said...

Very well said, SJ.

Holly said...

I still feel cheated out of hearing you do Flight Of Icarus thanks to your Karaoke Circus trickstering last EdFringe. I WAS SO EXCITED AT THE PROSPECT OF MAIDEN KARAOKE. MY FAVOURITE BAND. BAH.

One of the most FUCK YEAH! forms of heavy metal is heavy metal about how FUCK YEAH! heavy metal is, and so I give you Heavy Metal Universe by Gamma Ray.

Martin said...

It was "Saviour's Day", not "Mistletoe & Wine" (also: I am a cock).

Good excuse to link to anyway.

Michael Legge said...

Was it? I do apologise. Still excellent work though.

Ad said...

Quite possibly the greatest thing you've ever written (including the "give me your shoe" post). Quite possibly the greatest thing ever written about music. Just like those who are about to rock, I salute you.

Steve J said...

See also Mary Hopkin, she must despair.