Coney Hatch marks four decades of hard rock with new live album
Coney Hatch toured with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the ’80s, humorously receiving a face full of cat food from the old band. Along the way, Canadian hard rockers quickly gained a reputation for using more than their fair share of amplification.
In fact, their Wikipedia page specifically refers to their “loud and harmful to the ears live broadcasts.” Bassist and vocalist co-founder Andy Curran acknowledges that this is the truth in the commercial, crediting sound recorders who “would pin people to the back wall with outright volume.”
Curran says “part of the reason they did it is because you had four skulls on stage – starting with me [using] two 300-watt Ampeg SVT bass amps. In an interview with UCR, he said that Coney Hatch also boasted “two guitarists with Hiwatt and Marshall stacks, and a drummer who was hitting as hard and hard as he could 24/7”.
After almost four decades, they have tapered off in terms of volume. But Coney Hatch still carries his story of hearing assault as a “badge of honor”: the onstage introduction of his new live album, Live from El Mocambo, proudly hosts “Toronto’s Loudest Band, Coney Hatch”.
The tone of this fierce 70-minute collection is set by an opening rendition of “We Got the Night”, from Coney Hatch’s self-titled debut album in 1982. Live from El Mocambo then gives fair representation to the four albums in the band’s catalog, creating a memory worthy of fans who have followed their entire careers and a suitable introductory preview for the less familiar.
Listen to the original version of “We Got the Night” by Coney Hatch
For Curran, Live from El Mocambo captures the original concept he had for Coney Hatch. “The vision was really that of an Aerosmith type band. It’s like the Rolling Stones meet hard rock, ”he says. “I loved it about Aerosmith when they arrived. They weren’t polite; they were rough and tumbling.
Coney Hatch included the production of Kim Mitchell, founding member of Canadian band Max Webster who had an ’80s solo single called “Go for Soda”. Curran said Mitchell instinctively understood what they were looking for. “He told me that what he loved about Coney Hatch, when you go to see our band live, is what it is,” Curran says. “It’s four on the floor, meat and potatoes, two guitars, a bass, a drums, two singers. It’s kind of like AC / DC: what you see is what you get.
Recorded in the legendary Toronto Hall, Living in El Mocambo stays true to that same vision. “There is no automatic adjustment; there are no samples. It’s four guys, one bass, two guitars, one drums, two singers, ”Curran says. “I think that represents the group really well. When you come see us live, that’s how we sound.
It’s been like this ever since Coney Hatch shared the stage with Judas Priest all those years ago on the Metal Legends World Tour for Scream for revenge then hit the road with Iron Maiden, who supported the band just as ready for the metal horns Peace of mind.
Coney Hatch formed an instant alliance with Iron Maiden, who rolled out the red carpet by giving them as many backstage passes as needed. It was a decision that ultimately backfired, as the Coney Hatch camp threw epic parties “with the most beautiful women we could find,” Curran says.
Maiden guests began to drift down the hall to Coney Hatch’s post-show festivities, and discipline was quickly enforced. “It got to the point where the Iron Maiden guys were like, ‘You guys, that’s it. No more backstage passes for you! You are stealing all of our thunder. All of our guests come to party with you, not us, ”Curran recalls with a chuckle. “We got slapped on the hand on this.”
Watch Coney Hatch perform “Blown Away”
Still, those friendships remain: Maiden’s Steve Harris has tapped Coney Hatch in recent years to open for his side group British Lion. Harris also had the final say as Coney Hatch’s stint on the Peace of mind the tour was drawing to a close.
Curran’s guard was up, as he was well aware that the end of tours often brings last minute pranks: “They’re going to unplug your amps or they’re going to take the strings off your guitars.” You just have to be on high alert. In the end, Coney Hatch decided to “fight fire with fire,” he says.
“The very last show of the tour was in St. Louis, Missouri. We thought it would be great to go out and buy some whipped cream, pie plates and cat food and make some pies, ”Curran recalls. “We were going to take the stage and spread each member of Iron Maiden with a cat food whipped cream pie. We had them all made in our closet.
Coney Hatch’s tour director learned of their plans and shut it down. Ultimately, however, he had an ulterior motive that kicked in as soon as Curran and his band mates took the stage in St. Louis.
“He goes straight to Iron Maiden and says to all the members, ‘This is what the boys were going to do to you,’” said Curran. “They immediately get all the pies and halfway through our show, come out and bake us all a pie. We are covered with our own shit that we did for them. They picked us up and we couldn’t get them back, but they saved us a lot of time and we were covered in cat food. All our guitars were a mess.
“Be careful what you want,” Curran adds. “It was a spinal puncture moment.”
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