Apologies for not posting much recently. I thought I'd post some entries from the Armed & Ready section of the early days of Kerrang over the next few weeks. I love picking up an old music magazine and reading the Next Big Thing section. These days The Next Big Things tend to be a bunch of beardy folkies from Connecticut wearing washed-out T-Shirts and flares. That's all very well, but it's much more fun to go back to the days when the Next Big Things wore denim jackets, ill-fitting spandex and gave you an address at the bottom where you could buy their five track demo tape for £3 plus a SAE.
So let's start with Exciter, who were Dutch, and in some ways an early metal version of Hanson, featuring three brothers, of whom the youngest was a mere 14 years old. The author of the article, Geoff Barton, didn't seem that impressed: "untogether" and "a little shambolic" were usually code words for "worse musicians than Venom". Still, getting in Kerrang! at 14 was no mean feat, and it was a good name.
Stand by for Exciter! As the name implies, the band's 'greatest idols' were Judas Priest. A thoroughly normal obsession for any young group, you might think. But what isn't so normal about this lot is that (1) they're Dutch and (2) they contain a member who's a mere 14 years old!
Out of the four members, three are brothers: very much a family affair. Gert Admiraal plays bass and sings lead vocals. Walter Admiraal is the drummer and Marcel Admiraal is the aforementioned youngster on the lead axe. Odd man out is Marc Karsten, also a guitarist.
I'm lifting these facts from a letter sent to me by one Harry Dijkema, informing me of Exciter's existence. 'They play now a year together', reports Harry, 'and they have their own equipment and they change it in Marshall. three of the boys are working and from their money they buy good equipment.
'Gert' he continues, 'writes all the songs from the band and they are much influenced by the bands from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal like Raven, Saxon and Iron Maiden.'
Exciter's two-track demo tape is at the very least, uh, interesting. Although 'Meet You in Hell' and 'See the Diamond' sound untogether and a little shambolic they are, by the same token, extremely frantic and very, very heavy. It's as if the band have the ideas, but not as yet the technical abilities to make them work to their best advantage.
The Klaus Meine-style voice is something of a turn-off, but the smallest Admiraal (see him on the far right of the picture) more than makes up the inadequacies in the vocal department with his astonishing virtuoso guitar playing.
The boy is a star! And Angus Young had better watch out: if Marcel chose to, he could dress up as a satchel-carrying schoolboy onstage and do it legitimately!
Source: Kerrang! no. 3, September 1981.