Friday, 22 April 2011

Iron Claw - Dismorphophobia (1970-74)

(review by Alex
Wilson - Iron Claw bassist).


Formed in the summer of '69 in Dumfries, Scotland, by yours truly on bass gtr, I recruited Jimmy Ronnie, 15 years old, on lead gtr, and Ian McDougall, 15 years old, on drums. They were, quite simply, the best local musicians on their respective instruments even at that young age.

We were heavily influenced by seeing Black Sabbath in November 1969 playing at Dumfries Youth Club, playing their, as yet, unreleased first LP. (By the way, it cost 12 pence admission to see them, that's approx. 20 cents!).

I still have a tape recording of that evening, it's very rough but you can hear Sabbath's original style.....

We decided to start writing our own songs, and recruited a vocalist, Mike Waller, 16 years old, in December 1969 who was also from Dumfries.

Although we started by playing Sabbath covers (eg Warpigs, our live version recorded with the original Sabbath lyrics on 16th July 1970 at Moffat, Scotland), we realised we had to get our own material, and in Edinburgh, 17th September 1970 made our first attempt at a studio recording, 2 songs, "Mist Eye" and "Sabotage", recorded and mixed on the same night on a 4-track machine.

Then on 5th December 1970, we travelled to London and recorded our first attempt at an LP, 8 songs recorded and mixed on a 4-track machine, again all in one day, with only one guitar overdub.

This first LP, entitled "Claustrophobia" featured a "heavy" side, and a side with what we hoped could be potential singles.

Black Sabbath were touring with Curved Air in January 1971, and since we were still big fans, met them after their Edinburgh show.

They remembered us from Dumfries and other shows we'd been to, and asked for a copy of the LP tape.

We travelled to Newcastle the following night and gave them a copy of the tape to see if they could help us on our quest for a record company.

The next thing we knew we were getting warned off with a threat of being sued for sounding too much like them!.... Mike Waller left mid-May 1971 and thus came to an end the first incarnation of Iron Claw...


Jimmy Ronnie (guitar)
Wullie Davidson (lead vocals, flute, harmonica)
Alex Wilson (bass)
Billy Lyall (Mellotron, piano, saxophone, percussion)
Ian McDougall (drums, percussion)

Tracks :
1 Claustrophobia 5:05
2 Let It Grow 2:42
3 Gonna Be Free 3:37
4 Lightning 3:35
5 Pavement Artist 5:16
6 Loving You 2:34
7 All I Really Need 3:13
8 Take Me Back 5:06
9 Knock 'Em Dead 2:51
10 Winter 6:00
11 Strait-Jacket 4:52
12 Rock Band Blues 4:08
13 Real Mean Rocker 3:17
14 Spider's Web 3:11

Enjoy ! ! !

10. Winter (6:00)




1 comment:

  1. What happened next? Maybe I have to poke through this blog to find out -- don't mind doing so. Just discovered Iron Claw on youtube for the first time. You guys were awesome.

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