If you like your music hot, sweaty and real, the UK’s Pig Iron are for you! This hard rock powerhouse formed in 2001 and have been getting the job done ever since with musicianship based in the great traditions of the blues and metal, proving there is life in traditional rock’n’roll yet. The melody this band combines with serious riffing is just plain awesome.
Pig Irön play their first rehearsal together in the basement of The Peel in Kingston-upon-Thames. Joe Smith on drums, Dave Pattenden on guitar, Johnny Ogle on vocals and blues harp and Hugh Gilmour on bass are brought together by their shared love of the classic hard rock of Motörhead, MC5, The Doors, Monster Magnet, The Guess Who and Pentagram.
A year after their inception, Pig Irön play their debut on 20th June 2002 at The Peel in Kingston. Two weeks before the gig, Dave announced he can’t make the show (Dave: “The Mrs has booked two weeks in Benidorm without checking with me!”). Whizz-kid guitar-slinger Ben Ash is drafted in for the gig. His amps know two volumes: LOUD and OFF.
Bruce Dickinson and Janick Gers decide to check out Pig Irön, and once discovering what all the fuss was about, Bruce invites Pig Irön to appear in session on his BBC6 Radio Christmas Special. The only catch is that Bruce has to sing Deep Purple’s ‘Space Truckin’’ with the band. This is not a problem.
Pig Irön perform ‘The Ballad Of Thulsa Doom’ and ‘Biker Lord’ to a small but appreciative audience at the BBC’s Maida Vale MV4 studio. As promised, Pig Irön allow Bruce to sing on the aforementioned Deep Purple classic. Much beer is drank.
Pig Irön play their first major London date, supporting Budgie at London’s Mean Fiddler (RIP). The rest of 2003 is spent gigging with the likes of Orange Goblin and The Almighty’s Ricky Warwick, and writing material for their and much anticipated, imminent debut.
The band begin recording what will be their debut, “The Law And The Road Are One”. The same month they make their first live appearance in Sweden. The resulting live recording from the show is later released officially as “Helvete Ja! Live In Sweden”.
A highly limited, and now very collectible 100 copies of “The Law And The Road Are One” are pressed just in time for the band’s second visit to Sweden, this time to play in Gothenburg and Stockholm. The first pressing soon sells out.
“The Law And The Road Are One” receives an official release, and according to Metal Hammer, “Pig Irön’s debut is a perfect introduction to their gritty, Southern tinged rock,” and according to Classic Rock “Big Rock is BACK: fuck off riffs, 60 fags a day vocal, and power chords that hit you like a jeep cherokee with bull bars. It’s no surprise the band look every inch the scary-ass cowboys they sound like.” Pig Irön do not feel inclined to argue.
Pig Irön are invited to support Iron Maiden at London’s legendary Hammersmith Apollo in aid of Clive Burr. The concert is a resounding success, and according to Kerrang! magazine, the band “go down an absolute storm…If you can win over a Maiden crowd in less than 40 minutes you must be doing something right.”
“The Law And The Road Are One” appears in end of year poles, including the 20th best album in Classic Rock’s Best 50 Albums Of 2005. Not bad for a CD that had cost the band £150 to record.
Pig Irön begin recording what will become “The Paths of Glory…Lead But To The Grave”. They will spend 18 months making this, their full length debut.
“The Paths of Glory…Lead But To The Grave” is finally released. Reviews are uniformly good, from positive to raving, with Classic Rock reckoning the album has “some of the biggest riffs ever committed to tape and an overall sound that manages to cram the best bits from the last 35 years of heavy music into nine heroically brawny blues metal anthems.” Ben Ash finally joins on a permanent basis after Dave announces he “has to go on tour with Iron Maiden next year”.
“The Paths of Glory…Lead But To The Grave” appears in many end up year poles, becoming Classic Rock’s 13th Best Album Of 2007. Much celebrating is done by all.
Pig Irön undertake a tour supporting a reformed Waysted, and much fun is had by all. It is doubtful as to how “reformed” Waysted actually are.
Pig Irön enter the legendary Toe Rag studios in Hackney to lay down two tracks that will eventually appear on “Blues+Power=Destiny”. It’s the only time the band will record as a five piece, complete with “duelling” lead axes.
The band are invited to play Hard Rock Hell’s Clive Aid stage. The gig is a resounding success, not least for being joined onstage by the Satanic Sluts (featuring Georgina Baillie) on the closing number ‘The Pentagram’. This is the last time Dave performed with the band.
“Helvete Ja! Live In Sweden” is released as a stop-gap, whilst the band concentrate on writing material for “Blues+Power=Destiny”. Sadly, Dave decides to move to Canada to pursue a career as a filmmaker. He is much missed.
Pig Irön make a second appearance at Hard Rock Hell, which again
is a complete success.
They return to Hackney’s Toe Rag with Ed Turner at the control desk in order to record the remainder of the album. Recording live, without a computer or pro-tools rig in sight, the album is finished in a mere four days. The band are very pleased with the result. The same month, ‘Lord, Kill The Pain’ is also hailed as one of the best songs of the noughties by Classic Rock magazine.
5th APRIL 2010
Pig Irön release their first (ever!) single. It’s a recording of ‘Another Mule…” also made at the same Toe Rag sessions that produced the latest album, but this time featuring the belting, bluesy vocals of Emma Wilson. As the song has already appeared on the band’s first three CDs, it’s not included on the track list for “Blues+Power=Destiny”.
17th MAY 2010
“Blues+Power=Destiny” is released, on CD, download and 12” LP!
19th MAY 2010
Pig Irön play their only UK gig to support the release of “Blues+Power=Destiny” at London’s Crobar on Manette Street.