One of the highlights of this years Uprising Festival is the return of Leicester legends Crazyhead to the De Montfort Hall stage. Having reformed with four fifths of the original line up – Ian Anderson, Alex Peach, Kev Reverb, Rob Morris and, from a later incarnation, Pete Creed last autumn for a number of gigs, this year sees the band making a welcome return to The Hall for the first time in many years. We caught up with Alex Peach ahead of the festival.
Crazyhead never claimed to be part of the metal scene that the festival is known for promoting. How do the band see themselves fit in to that? “We were asked to do the festival by the promoters who know we can rock as good as anyone and it was a great pleasure to accept a De Montfort Hall slot” Alex explains. “As for the metal tag Crazyhead have always been a Garage Rock band straddling genres. We always resisted being labelled: that’s why we invented our own genre Urban Bastard Blues. It’s all rock and roll and we always rejected being labelled “Grebo” (a label created by the music journalists for the wave of bands – Gaye Bykers on Acid, Bomb Party, Hunters Club, Pop Will Eat Itself and others that roared out of the Midlands in the mid 80s) back in the day.”
Reviewing the ‘comeback’ gigs of last year, Alex acknowledges the challenge in making it happen. “Getting the band back together was a tall order after all those years but the Swamp Delta project (a band featuring Alex, Ian and Rob alongside Robber Byker of the Gaye Bykers and, seasoned guitarist, Anthony Smith) helped lay the ground work and show it was viable. Kev and Rob had been playing with the Marinucchis which meant we were all match fit as it were. What brought it all together was being offered the Indie Daze 4 festival last year. That gave us the impetus to fire the beast back up. It could have all ended there if it went badly and nobody came, but from the first rehearsal the old magic was there, we gelled really quickly and were the same old tight rock your nuts off monsters from the off. The gigs were all stormers and by the end of it our confidence was restored.”
Throughout the band’s history, they have played a number of festivals. What memories or highlights did Alex have, I wonder? “Highlights include a Anti Apartheid festival somewhere south, about our 4th gig, where we were so loud and sweary someone called the police who arrived just as we were driving out. Glastonbury 88 where the power failed and we encouraged the audience to throw mud, thrashing the stage, throwing the microphones into the audience and Kev chinned the stage manager when he got all aggressive after. Reading Festival 1989, absolute storming set. You can get the DVD from our Bandcamp. Rare bootleg reboot. The three festivals we did for the British Council as part of cultural exchange through the Foreign Office. Crazyhead represented the UK officially in communist Moscow at the Interchance Festival, gigs in Romania and the Namibian Independence Festival in the same year. These were newly opening up countries at a time of the ending of the Cold war and Apartheid. We saw history happening and met all the diplomats. I remember talking to the new Romanian Minister of Culture in our hotel while he showed us vids of the violent revolution that had happened 2 months earlier.”
Crazyhead play De Montfort Hall for Uprising Festival on the 26th May.