If patience is a virtue, then April Wine must be one of the most virtuous bands of all. Starting way back in 1969, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the group persevered for more than a decade before making some real noise at the start of the 1980s, with the release of Harder…Faster. The 1981 follow-up Nature Of The Beast went platinum and took them over the top, spawning a slew of hits, including their defining tune “Just Between You And Me.”
By the time they reached England in the winter of 1981, April Wine were riding as high as they ever would. This DVD captures them in 1981 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon as they had completed the long journey from playing clubs to supporting act to headliners. The ‘81 lineup of guitarist, vocalist Myles Goodwin, guitarists Brian Greenway and Gary Moffett, bassist Steve Lang and drummer Jerry Mercer, were a well-polished machine from years of touring and playing together. What’s most striking about this show is the energy and precision that carries these songs, most written by Goodwin, who is certainly one of rock’s most underappreciated writers. The man could write hooks left and right, and if you haven’t listened to the band in a while, you’ll probably be taken by how many songs here you know. And it’s Goodwin’s angular rhythm sense that makes tunes such as “All Over Town,” “Telling Me Lies” and “I Like To Rock” so irresistible.
This no-nonsense set brings all the goods together, as the Wine crank out terrific performances of “Future Tense,” “Crossfire,” “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen,” “Just Between You And Me,” “Roller” and a blazing “I Want To Rock,” which closes the show. In between the concert footage, the band members are shown exploring London by bus, mainly goofing off. The whole thing is a lot of fun and a great trip down memory lane.
It might surprise you to learn that April Wine are still going strong today, with founder Goodwin and longtime members Mercer and Greenway anchoring the band. Check them out at www.aprilwine.ca.