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FROM MUSICAL PROGRAMMERS TO FELINE ONSLAUGHT
by Richard Karsmakers

08:33

I know it sounds the same as usual, but once again we are having
enormous problems with getting up. The warm hug of our sleeping
bags and the careful caress of the mattresses is addictive, and
we simply don't want to get up at all.
But we have to.
Today, we will visit Ben Daglish at Gremlin Graphics in
Sheffield, and David Whittaker in Bury (just above Manchester).
Tonight, Steve has a small surprise for us that he hinted at
yesterday but that we still haven't the faintest idea about.
We'll see.
Earlier - about half an hour ago - we heard the sounds of little
girls and a boy penetrate our dreams as Steve's children were
sent off to school. The Bak family was probably clearly awake for
an hour or so already.
Yet we dozed.
Outside, the sky is clear and blue - some scarce clouds dear to
interfere with this colour and get blown away slowly.
It will be a very nice day - a boxer-short day, if you ask me.
But now we indeed have to get up, wash ourselves and try to get
some breakfast. An interesting day awaits us - and I've got this
feeling that tonight will be something extraordinary!

Richard

09:30

Breakfast is, once more, in us.
Steve's wife, Dot as he calls her, is a very lovely woman
indeed. She just keeps on excusing herself for the bad state of
the room we're sleeping in, and the fact that she could only
prepare a standard breakfast for us.
She is far too nice, for we felt no reason whatsoever to
complain about anything. Everything is just GREAT, and we like it
all.
Stefan did succeed in astonishing her, though, by putting
sinnamon on his sugar-toast. This isn't that weird, but they were
to kid us with it for the rest of our days in South Normanton.
Steve's really a family man - he works to support his family,
mainly. I really envy him and I hope that I will later also
become a good programmer/game designer with such a delightful
family to support.

Richard

09:45

In a car.
But not just any car.
The car is none other than Steve Bak's, and it is leading us to
none other than Ben Daglish of no other company than Gremlin
Graphics in a town no other than Sheffield.

Richard

10:04

On the motorway, traffic isn't particularly busy. The landscape
glides by smoothly, and it is a beautiful sight with all the
hills - though the occasional factories spilling forth filthy
fumes form a blur on the land.
A nice and sturdy breeze is going through our hair, as most
windows in this car are either blatantly open or comfortably
ajar.
We're going right on schedule, and should be in Sheffield within
a quarter of an hour.

Richard

10:13

We just entered Sheffield.
Traffic is becoming more busy now, and the windows that used to
be comfortably ajar are now also blatantly open.
Steve tells us he's been to Gremlin before, but that it had been
quite a while. So the town didn't ring much more than some faint
bells for him.

Richard

10:23

The bend we just made took us right into Carver Street, where
Gremlin Graphics has its office in a place called Alpha House.
It's a street with some rather old brown buildings on one side
and a reasonably large parking lot on the other. There, Steve
will park his car.
It will be in the blazing hot sun, but we should be able to
survive that.
Just before we got here, by the way, we drove through a bus-only
street. The adrenaline is still clung to our bodies.

Richard

At half past ten we finally left the car and beheld Alpha House.
As we entered, our footsteps echoed lightly on the staircase. We
were ready for anything that might happen as we opened a door on
the appropriate floor (I believe it was the second).
Yet we were caught totally by surprise by something fate had in
stock for us as we knocked on another door labelled "Gremlin
Computer Training".
The door opened and we saw a female beyond any rational
description or human comprehension, a perfect piece of God's
creation that could only have been designed to fatally
flabbergast innocent and unsuspecting computer hobbyists and
nothing else. A rare beauty indeed.
We only saw her for an instant, and our sights were blurred by
instantaneous tears welling up as if we were walking through an
icy winter's storm that sought to drain the fluids from the very
marrow of our bones.
During that instant, she told us in a most enchanting voice that
Gremlin Graphics was "just down the hall on the right" while she
casually threw back her long beautiful blonde-grey hair over one
of her shoulders and pointed one finger in the proximity of our
target.
Boy, she was surely beautiful. I couldn't help but glancing back
a couple of times as we walking to 'just down the hall on the
right', to look whether she might perhaps re-appear from beyond
that cruel office door.
But, just like fate would have us lay eyes upon this luscious
feminine being, fate would not have her re-appear again - no
matter how much we seemed to crave for it.
Fate is hard. We were never to see her again.

So, next, we knocked on the proper door.
We entered another office filled with men wearing suits and
ties, and girls that looked as if they were a piece of the
furniture decoration for the mere sake of sitting there and being
beautiful.
They led us to the sound lair of Ben Daglish - music programmer
and co-founder of Gremlin Graphics (which he did together with
Anthony Crowther). There was a written piece of paper on the
door, obviously written by fellow-employees, stating that the
'music made in this room is no doubt excellent' but that it 'has
the tendency to distract colleagues when the door isn't closed'.
Wow...a creative "shut-the-damn-door-'cause-we-don't-like-the-
bloody-noise" sign.
We knocked.
We listened.
Someone said "yeah" (or did he say "enter"?).
We entered.
Hanging back in his chair with his feet high up on a table sat
Ben Daglish, a cigarette dangling losely and casually on his
lower lip, with rather untidy hair ("Gee, I didn't know you was
gonna take pictures! "). He's much more a total musician that
drifted off to computers, as it would turn out.
The room was filled with various synthesizers, an electric
guitar, a four-track tape recorder, a large mixing desk and some
computers - the most important of which was, of course, an Atari
ST running "Twentyfour". He is sitting on a chair that makes
frantic noises that indicate it will not last much longer.

First, we were in for a small let-down.
Ben had not been able to do the "Trap" music for ST NEWS. He
told us he could do it as a "Twentyfour" .SNG-file, but it simply
wasn't worth doing it on the damn ST soundchip because it would
then lose most (if not all) of its quality.
Too bad. So we would have to discard that piece of music for
this issue of ST NEWS.
Bad feelings of David Whittaker 'suddenly being unable to
produce his piece of music' invaded my mind - luckily, these
would turn out to be mere figments of my somewhat pessimistically
deranged imagination.

Anyway, we went on with Ben to do the interview which he had
already promised to grant me in about March 1987.
Here be it.

What is your date and place of birth?
Ben: 31st of July 1966.
How did you end up in the computer business?
Ben: Em...all sorts of little things. My dad was involved in
computers, and then I entered a competition at school and I ended
up winning a BBC Micro. And then I met Tony Crowther whom I met
at school and we started making demos. I was about fourteen,
fifteen. The first thing I did was the Death March for "Potty
Pigeon" (a Gremlin game on e.g. Commodore 64, ED.), and then
ripped off "Equinoxe V" for use in "Loco". I've been involved in
music a long time. I also went to University but I didn't finish
my degree because I was bored shitless. But I came back and did
some more music, also for other people. I formed "WE Music", and
later I did most work for Gremlin - I do all the music they want
me to do. Gremlin were expanding about two years ago and they
offered me a regular job. I said "yes" and they gave me lots of
toys (Ben looks around at the stuff in his lair). This is a very
easy job. Although it is a job, I don't treat music a job. I
treat working on a computer as a job, and that is what I do from
9 to 5. The rest of the time I can spend to do all the sorts of
things I want to do. I don't do stuff outside office times.
What are your other interests besides computers?
Ben: (Already giving the answer before I finished off the
question) Music. And I read lots of science fiction. That's about
it, really.
What do you hate most about the software industry?
Ben: (Acting like someone's little brother) "My Amiga is better
than your ST!" I don't know. I hate the consumers - little spotty
kids who don't know anything. It bugs me that there is sort of a
whole generation sitting in the bedroom, playing games, talking
about computers, working with computers, doing computers at
school. A computer is a tool. Like a pen: Just because you use a
lot of pens, you're not only talking about pens. It's a tool. I
enjoy playing games and stuff, but there's a hell of a lot more
to life.
You mentioned playing games. Which game do you like most?
Ben: "Cards". I like patience games. That's all I ever play. I
like things like "ECO" (from Ocean, ED.). I enjoyed it, but I
didn't play it. I mean I enjoyed it because it was an original
idea. I like original ideas but I have nothing against shoot-'em-
ups. I really liked "Master of the Lamps" as well (Commodore 64
game from Activision with very good music as well, ED.). I liked
the music of "Master of Magic" (with music by Rob Hubbard, ED.).
I think I rang Rob and said: "The bizz, man, the bizz!" It was
really impressive. He did a lot of research for it as well.
What about the lousiest game?
Ben: What's the lousiest game? I really couldn't say it because
it would be incriminating me and the company. I seldom play
games. I only play games that I see and say "That's good!". I
don't play games that I see and say "That's a load of crap!". I
don't know. I mean it bugs me when people get out commercial
versions of games that are even worse then the PD versions, like
"Invaders".
What do you consider to be your best achievement on the ST?
Ben: Em.....the "Ramrod" stuff is quite nice, that Gremlin will
do in ...eh...Octoberish. It's big and it's really nice. It's
absolutely beautiful. The attention to detail is so....good.
(Ben turns around and loads some stuff on his ST. "Ramrod" is a
3D scrolling game. It is quite neat, as far as we could judge
from some 'screenshots' he loaded in a drawing program. Good
graphics. The idea of the game is to stop the character from
getting bored, and therefore you have a lot of slot machines and
stuff to amuse him. The music is also sort of boring after two or
three times around and then he has to find CD's and put them in
the CD player to prevent him from getting bored.)
Please tell us a joke.
Ben: What's the average readership? Er....actually my favourite
joke is a cartoon. That will be a bit difficult. You've got this
theatrical agent at his desk at this 20th storey office block.
And there a bloke outside the window flappering his arms, and the
agent says "Nah...not much calls for bird impressions these
days!". Then there's this other one that also involves a
theatrical agent. He's sitting there and in comes this bloke
carrying a box. He opens the box and out of it comes this
miniature grand piano. And the box also contains this little
bloke, a foot high, with tails, bowtie, the whole lot. He sits
down at the piano and plays the Moonlight Sonata. This guy simple
sits down and says "That's simply amazing. Where the f@*k did you
find him?" And this bloke says "Well, it was really strange, I
walked through these woods and suddenly I heard a voice screaming
for help. It's this fairy, caught in this bush. So I untangled
her and she told me I could have anything I want. But I think she
must have been slightly deaf, since this is what I've got: A
twelve inch pianist."
What car do you drive?
Ben: I don't drive. I think cars should be banned. They drain
the energy resources, kill people, pollute the atmosphere...the
list is endless, really.
What's your favourite book?
Ben: (Sighs deeply and blows large puffs of smoke) I don't know.
I've got favourite authors. Too many.
What's your favourite film?
Ben: (Turns around and starts playing a familiar title tune on
his synth) "The Magnificent Seven". A classic piece of music.
It's incredible; I've seen it about twelve times. And then
there's this film about the life of John Belushi. That's really
frightening. He used to do, like, half an ounce of Coke (the
white, powdery stuff, ED.) a day. That's a ridiculous amount of
money spent on Cocaine.
Now you mention Cocaine - what's your favourite food?
Ben: This thing with cottage cheese, pasta, broccoli, carrots,
cream, eggs, lots of parsley. Vegetable tureen (spelled right?).
And your favourite drink?
Ben: Straight tea. Which is pretty strange, since I only drink
coffee at work. We have this crappy coffee machine here. But I do
drink beer.
What's your favourite band?
Ben: Weather Report (I: I never heard of that). YOU NEVER HEARD
OF WEATHER REPORT? IT'S PATHETIC!
I don't know what's happening
to kids today! (Stefan: I am older than you! Kids?!)
(Ben starts an elaborate description of "Weather Report", their
rather abstract jazz-rock and the individual players. They are
the top, according to Ben)
Ever heard of Malmsteen, the guitar player?
Ben: Oh, Yngwie. He's all right. (Adding, with a rather smug
look) I've got a friend who plays guitar faster. OK. He's fast.
He doesn't particularly do anything for me. I enjoy his
virtuosity, but I've got a friend who plays guitar rather well,
too. About as fast as Yngwie. He's hitting 18-20 notes per
second. But that's how you talk about Yngwie Malmsteen - you talk
about the number of notes he plays per second. You don't talk
about Malmsteen's latest composition. The future might bring even
faster players.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
Ben: Chemicals; alcohol. I don't know. Everything. Music,
generally. I am involved with music every waking hour, all the
time, constantly, irrespective of what I'm doing. Music generally
is always there - I can't live without it. So music is my main
inspiration, really. I'd like to say, you know "There was this
beautiful morning and I looked out and saw the trees sort of
glinting with sort of little droplets reflecting the light and I
thought: That's a tune that goes..." (Ben starts playing some
music you might find soothing when looking at the here described
scene) Yes. I sometimes walk around and I see something that I
think would go like "DOM DOM" (really heavy voice).
What tunes are you working on at the moment?
Ben: I just finished doing the tunes for "Continental Circus"
(for Tecque, through Mastertronic, ED.), and I just work on the
Amiga version of "Gary Lineker's Top Shot" (Ben turns around and
starts playing some of the tunes in there, which sound really
nice and lively). It had to be a two-minute, sporty tune.
OK. What's your opinion about software piracy?
Ben: What's that? Gee.... (blowing some more puffs of smoke) It
depends on what you consider to be piracy. If you mean buying a
disc and running a hundred copies and sticking them in substitute
boxes, I think that's disgusting. That's serious crime. But it's
also like taping records. I don't know anyone who hasn't got an
illegal copy of something. Look at my "Cards". I thought it was
PD but it turned out to be from Microdeal. Someone just gave me a
copy. I mean there's hacking and there's piracy. Hacking is a
sort of hobby.
What's your worst habit?
Ben: Smoking.

After doing Ben's interview, we went to have a look in some of
the other of Gremlin Graphics' rooms. We e.g. saw a guy called
Fungus The Bogeyman (his real name, also present on his credit
card!!) programming a racing game with REAL snow on the window
that looked very neat.
After that, we decided to once again listen to the sounds of our
stomachs barking viciously at us: Time for lunch.
At a quarter to one, we sat in a pub called "Le Metro", opposite
Alpha House. I treated us all to some Lasagna, and we devoured
the food with relish.

13:15

After visiting a small software shop near Alpha House, which
also turned out to sell my own "Atari ST Virus Killer" (formerly
known as the "Virus Destruction Utility"), we are now once again
in the car and heading for David Whittaker.
He lives in a rather small town called Bury, a couple of miles
due North of Manchester.

Richard

14:05

Steve has just stopped the car at the "Heart's Head Moor" break
on the M62. The sun was growing to be pretty hot, in spite of the
comfortably and sometimes even blatantly opened windows, and our
throats were crying out for some Coke.
Steve is really, so it seems, a bottomless pit. Apart from the
fact that he smokes like hell, he also drinks at least 10-15 cans
of Diet Coke each day.
We are now 35 miles from David Whittaker's home, and Steve
reckons we should arrive there at approximately three.

14:18

We just left the break after buying Coke and visiting the local
toilets.
One for the road!

Richard

15:02

We're now on a dirt track with lots of holes in it, which Steve
told us is a back entrance to David's house - and a much shorter
one for that matter, though it is slightly less comfortable.
As I write this, we behold a small white house with a satellite
dish on the roof. David's realm. The back of his house looks out
over large meadows that spread out across the landscape - quite
an inspiring environment if you ask me.
The house is in an area where only small, detached house are
built. Each house has a nicely groomed garden.

Richard

In spite of his famous professionalism, David is again a very
shy person, slightly slender and with eyes that seem to gleam
constantly with an undefinable kind of sparkle.
It was a small house indeed, with a modern, tastefully decorated
living room, a small hall and a small room that was crammed with
various computers and loads of disks - the sound realm.
I was honoured (and relieved) to see a large note hanging on
that room's wall, stating "11 july Karsmakers Panther Music". How
could I have had the indecency of even thinking that the music
should not be ready when it is being made by someone as
professional and reliable as David Whittaker? For, whatever
people say about the similarity of his musix, he's extremely
reliable and professional (Steve also told us that several
times!).
He proudly booted up his Amiga and we soon heard some splendid
music he was doing for "Xenon II" (Mirrorsoft, ED.). If we would
have had an Amiga at home, we would have drooled even more than
we did, for it was indeed splendid. There were some original
studio tapes from 'Bomb the Bass' lying around which he used to
take the samples from. It is surely a very modern piece of music.
At 15:37, we sat down in the living room and interviewed the man
that is probably on the base of most sound programmers in the
world. A man who has done a considerable amount of work in the
last four-six years.

Let's start off with your date and place of birth. What are
they?

David: The 24th of April 1957, Bury.
How did you end up in the computer industry?
David: Em...I bought a VIC 20 and I was in a band making music,
so I started trying to make music on the VIC 20. And I was then
writing computer games and I was then writing my own music and
sound effects - which nobody else did, so I did all theirs. And
more and more people wanted me to do music and not the
programming. That's how I ended up. I played keyboard and guitar
in that band.
What are your other interests beside computing?
David: Music (laughs), cars...eh...going on holiday, drinking.
What do you dislike about the software industry?
David: Lots of sharks, and lots of unprofessional programmers.
Can you specify perhaps?
David: No.
What do you think is the best game ever made on the ST?
David: Em...."Super Sprint".
And the lousiest game?
David: "Obliterator".
What computers have you worked on?
David: I worked/work on VIC 20, Commodore 64, MSX, Amstrad,
Amiga, ST, PC, BBC, Atari 8-bit, you name it.
What's the most recent stuff you've been doing on the ST?
David: (Takes out a large disk box and starts mentioning)
"Ghostbusters II" (Activision), "Amnios" (Microdeal), "Barbarian
II" (Psygnosis), "Xenon II - Megablast" (Mirrosoft), "APB"
(Domark), "Wonderboy in Monsterland" (Images), "Sporting
Triangles" (CDS), "Lone Wolf" (Audiogenic), "Eye of Horus"
(Denton Designs, which is for Logotron), "Future Sports" (CRL),
"William Tell" (Intelligent Design, but it might be Martech),
"Infection" (Virgin Mastertronic), "License to Kill" (Domark),
"Jaws" (Screen 7), "Dogs of War" (Elite), "Rodeo Games",
"Archipelago" (Logotron), "Project Millenium 2.2" (Activision),
"Ozzy Games" (Tynesoft), "Iron Lord" (Ubisoft), "Rock'n'roll
Pinball" (Tynesoft), "Real Ghostbusters" (Activision), "Zombi"
(Ubisoft), "Outrun Europe" (U.S. Gold), "Super Stuntman"
(Codemasters), "Skateball" (Ubisoft), "Superman" (Tynesoft),
"Weird Dreams" (Rainbird), "Stealth" (Activision), "Blazing
Barrels" (Firebird) and some older ones. We're now about one
year ago.
What do you think is your best achievement on the ST?
David: I don't know. I don't know. I leave that to other people
to decide.
What car do you drive?
David: A Renault 25.
Which tools do you use to program?
David: "Devpac" on 16-bit.
What's your favourite book?
David: I like all Douglas Adams books.
And your favourite film?
David: Either "Aliens" or all "Star Wars" films.
Your favourite food?
David: Curries.
Favourite drink?
David: Campari - when people are paying me, Campari.
Favourite band?
David: It was David Bowie. Now it's Queen and The Smiths. I've
got all their CD's.
Who do you think is the most interesting person in the software
industry?

David: Interesting? I'd say Bruce Everiss; he used to be with
Imagine and recently Codemasters. More specific on the ST, I
think Rob Hubbard is the most interesting, and Steve's second
(Steve smiles, a little embarrassed).
What are your main sources of inspiration?
David: Being in a good mood. I am very bad at making music when
I'm miserable.
What's your opinion about software piracy?
David: I have nothing against anybody trying to break into
programs for their own benefit, just for their own knowledge. But
I don't think it's right to share it with your friends.
What do you think of people ripping music, people ripping YOUR
music from games?

David: Well, I don't mind. I think it's quite flattering, isn't
it? But if it means that I'm gonna lose money I don't like it.
What's your worst habit?
David: Drinking.
How many pieces of music have you done on the ST, and how many
pieces of music have you done in total on all formats?

David: About 76 on the ST, and approximately 600 on all formats.
What is the average time it takes you to compose a tune?
David: About two days. The original "Panther" tune (on the
Commodore 64, of which the ST version is included in this very
issue of ST NEWS, ED.) took about half a day, since I already had
it as a song for the band I was in. Converting it to the ST took
about an hour. But don't tell anybody (laughs)!

16:28

We're on the good old dirt road 'back exit' from David's house,
back to South Normanton to fetch us some decent meal if such is
allowed possible.

Richard

17:40

We couldn't resist to stop once more at one of those motorway
breaks, and stocked some more Coke and stuff like that.
We can't live on air alone, you know.

Richard

18:50

Back at Bak's. The two little girls are now in, and I just
learned one of them - 7 year old Angela - some Dutch: "Ik ben
Angela" (which means "I am Angela").
Steve's two little girls are what one'd call 'adorable': Two
very cuddly kids that I wouldn't mind having if one day I would
decide to have children (and a girl would be around who wouldn't
mind having them, too). The other girl, Catherine (most of the
times called Cathy), is 9, and his son Philip (Phil, mostly) is
15.
Now I understand truly why Steve's a family man.

Richard

20:30

We're preparing ourselves for the 'surprise' Steve had been so
mysterious about for the last day - which turned out to be a
visit to a heavy metal club called "Rock City" in Nottingham,
where London Horse, Annihilator and Onslaught (headline act)
would perform in. And the nice thing: Steve himself is joining
us!
Unbelievable: The most famous ST programmer in the world goes to
a bloody heavy metal gig with us mere mortals!
We have also sent a nice Pink Floyd picture postcard to Jeff
Minter - to assure that he won't forget that we're gonna visit
him on coming saturday. We now just pray that he doesn't have one
of those already (for I suspect he must have them all by now).

Richard

21:15

We have arrived at Nottingham's "Rock City", in Talbot Street.
We already see some heavily dressed metallunatics walking in, and
fond memories of earlier concerts (specifically the Queensr├┐che
and Metallica one, in October last year) drift back into my mind.
Steve hands us the tickets he has bought (cheers, Steve! We are
in everlasting debt to you!) and we enter the club.
Our ticket numbers: 78 and 79.
On the way to Nottingham, we went through the legendary Sherwood
Forest, the place where Robin Hood helped the poor and helpless
by robbing the rich several centuries ago. It was an enormous
forest indeed (even in this time), filled with trees (strange,
eh?) and coloured darkly green.
It wasn't hard to imagine Robin and his lovely lady Marion in
there, nor was it hard to imagine Brother Tuck fighting someone
with poles on a tree trunk over a freshly flowing brook. As I
closed my eyes, I could vividly see the image of Little John,
too, scavenging the woods. There was an air of mysteriousness in
Sherwood Forest for sure. It could be clearly sensed as we gazed
out of the car's window into the vast greenness.
But thoughts of heroism and valiant fighting of old were soon
oppressed by the devious delights of the upcoming sounds...

Richard

Wednesday, July 12th 1989

01:17

We're dead tired and our ears are rendered completely numb for
all sounds other than violent beeping and random noise that seems
to be generated somewhere in our skulls. Stefan is already lying
in bed, and I will join him in his great yet easy quest for sleep
soon.
The concert was grotesquely brainslashing, extremely
mindwrecking, obliteratingly skulltearing, blatantly
neckmolesting, grossly earslaughtering and unbelievably
thoughtdisabling.
We entered while London Horse had already started playing. The
volume of the amplification together with the acoustics of the
club made sure we could not speak at all. Whatever attempts for
verbal communications we would undertake, they would be
completely transmuted into the cacophony of heavy metal mayhem.
So we stopped trying soon, and simply watched the band. They
weren't particularly impressive, but the atmosphere was good.
There was plenty of stagediving to be seen (including girls that
did it!), and we generally had a good time.
When London Horse (they should have added -shit to it) stopped
and the stage was being cleared and changed for the next band -
Annihilator - the club was transformed in a heavy metal disco.
Some less deafening music was cast over the audience through the
speakers, and soon everybody was rhythmically headbanging to some
heavy metal - including Anthrax' "Antisocial" and later (to our
great rejoice) Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (along with
which Stefan and myself sang aloud).
It was really amusing to see about one hundred longhaired
headbangers bang their skulls on the fast pounding of the music
whilst all pretending to hold (and play) guitars, bass guitars
and drums ("Headbangers? People with dandruff problems!" Steve
quote).
Pity I wasn't drunk - or otherwise I might have joined in with
my 1 cm hairdo.
After about half an hour (I guess - one tends to lose track of
the fourth dimension in places like "Rock City") Annihilator was
appearing on stage.
They were brilliant - fast and furious, loud, and just good.
Even Steve was impressed by there mere fact of the drummer being
able to play so fast whilst retaining control over the rhythm.
Annihilator is a rather new band who have recently done their
debut album, "Alice in Hell" (which I was to buy when I got home
to Holland - it's great). They were surely much more impressive
than the Horse stuff we heard earlier - and they would turn out
to be more impressive even than the headline act, Onslaught.
When Annihilator stopped and the stage was being transformed for
this headline act, I went to the loo.
Normally, this wouldn't be worth mentioning, but what I beheld
in there was really strange: Dozens of headbangers washing their
sweaty faces and aching necks, drying them and combing their long
hair.
Really funny.
The smell there was quite awful. I never did like sweat
aftershave much.
Onslaught started at 23:15 and played for about one and a half
hour - quite an extensive set, I think. Their singer was lousy,
especially because of the acoustics of the hall and the enormous
feedback of the speakers. Our ears actually truly and honestly
ached when the guy started started unleashing his vocals. The
bass-player was about the best headbanger I ever saw, by the way,
and he pulled funny faces all the time, stuck out his tongue all
the time and threw beer at the audience. Great. And, again,
enormous loads of stagediving - which is rather remarkable for a
2-300 people hall, I thought.
But Annihilator was better by a long shot.
So I guess we really had a good time - 'we' meaning the three of
us minus our eardrums. When Onslaught stopped and had been back
for some 'more', we went out.
The night seemed to throw the aforementioned beeping and random
noises it us in violent slashes of sadism. Ouch. We nearly didn't
hear the car at all as we drove back to South Normanton - due to
the excessive times of being awake, Stefan didn't hear anything,
for he was soon fast asleep in the back of the car.

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