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Witchfynde are a British heavy metal band, which was one of the forerunners of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the late 70s.


Early days[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Witchfynde were formed in DerbyshireEngland in 1974 by bass guitarist Richard Blower and vocalist Neil Harvey. Richard Blower discovered Montalo (Trevor Taylor) in a band called Atiofel. When Richard left the band in 1975, they reformed Witchfynde with lead guitarist Montalo, bassist Andro Coulton and drummer Gra Scoresby, and soon recruiting vocalist Steve Bridges. The band released their first single, "Give 'em Hell" in 1979 and released its first full-length album, also entitled Give 'em Hell, on Rondelet Records in 1980. A major attribute to success may have originated by the frequent airplay on the Friday Night Rock Show, hosted by Tommy Vance on BBC Radio 1. The band gained some exposure by touring the United Kingdom with Def Leppard in the summer of 1980. The band's sound incorporated a mix of influences, such as progressive and hard rock, with various aspects of the heavy metal sound as well as prominent use of satanic imagery.

Second album and change of musical direction[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In 1980 the band released their second album Stagefright. Like their debut, it was recorded at Fairview Studios in Hull and is considered their most experimental work to date. During the period the album was released, bassist Andro Coulton was replaced by Pete Surgey, who was an obvious choice for the band as he had a good reputation on the local scene.

Departure with Rondelet Records[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Around the time of the band's second release the relationship with their label Rondelet Records became increasingly strained to the point the label withdrew the band's funding. This made things very difficult for Witchfynde and eventually led to the departure of vocalist Steve Bridges. The band then recruited the new singer Luther Beltz and began working on the third album Cloak and Dagger; it was released on the small label Expulsion Records but due to bad production and the fact the label went bankrupt shortly after the album's release, it did not receive good promotion.

Mausoleum Records, fourth album and split[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In 1984 the band signed a deal with Mausoleum Records to release their 4th album Lords of Sin. During the recording of the album, bassist Pete Surgey left the band and was replaced by Edd Wolfe, who had played in one of Luther Beltz's former bands but by the time the album was released he was replaced by Al Short, who played in the band Race Against Time. Although the band considered the album their strongest to date, it received very bad reviews from critics, with the final blow delivered when Mausoleum Records went bankrupt; as the result of the album's bad promotion the band became totally disillusioned with the music business and split up.

Reunion, 1999-present[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In October 1999 Montalo, Gra and Luther began to discuss the possibility of a reunion due to a resurgence of interest in the band after the release of the Best of Witchfynde CD in 1996, which sold well. Pete Surgey rejoined the band on bass, but during rehearsals Luther Beltz announced that he no longer wanted to participate to the reunion and the band replaced him with vocalist Harry Harrison, a longtime fan of the band that was introduced by Pete Surgey. The band then began to work to their 5th album The Witching Hour which they released on Edgy Records in 2001. Their first three albums were re-released by Cherry Red and Lemon Recordings. A new Best Of album was released in 2007 by Lemon Recordings.

The band then began work on their 6th studio album called Play It to Death which they recorded at Bandwagon Studios and released in July 2008. Towards the end of 2008 due to Harry Harrison's ill health and other commitments, Luther Beltz returned to front the band for the Play It to Death UK Tour.

Line-up[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Current line-up[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Luther Beltz - Lead Vocals (1980–1984, 1999, 2008–Present)
  • Montalo (Trevor Taylor) - Guitar (1973–1984, 1999–Present)
  • Pete Surgey - Bass Guitar (1980–1983, 1999–Present)
  • Gra Scoresby - Drums & Percussion (1973–1984, 1999–present)

Former members[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Steve Bridges (vocals)
  • Andro Coulton (bass)
  • Alan Edwards ("Edd Wolfe") (bass)
  • Dave Lindley (drums)
  • Ron Reynolds (guitars)
  • Dave Hewitt (bass/vocals)
  • Neil Harvey (vocals)
  • Luther Beltz (vocals)
  • Richard Blower (bass guitar)
  • Tez Brown (drums)
  • Harry Harrison (vocals)

Discography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Give 'em Hell (Rondelet, 1980; reissued by Lemon, 2004)
  • Stagefright (Rondelet, 1980; reissued by Lemon, 2005)
  • Cloak and Dagger (Expulsion, 1983; reissued by Witchfynde Music, 2000)
  • Lords of Sin (Mausoleum, 1984; first 10,000 copies came with Anthems live EP)
  • The Best of Witchfynde (British Steel, 1996)
  • The Witching Hour (Neat, 2001)
  • Play It to Death (Neat, 2008)
  • Royal William Live Sacrifice (live album) (Neat, 2011)
  • The Lost Tapes of 1975 (Vyper Records, 2013)

Singles[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • "Give 'Em Hell" / "Gettin' Heavy" 7" (Rondelet, 1979)
  • "In the Stars" / "Wake Up Screaming" 7" (Rondelet, 1980)
  • "I'd Rather Go Wild" / "Cry Wolf" 7" (Expulsion, 1983)
  • Anthems 12" (Mausoleum, 1984)
  • "Conspiracy" / "Scarlet Lady" 7" (Mausoleum, 1984)

Wytchfynde[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Demo 2000
  • The Awakening LP (Demolition, 2001)
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