Pick Your Rock and Metal

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Sad news

A NUMBER of reliable sources are reporting the sad news that Trevor Fleming, guitarist with Sweet Savage, has passed away.

At this time there is no formal confirmation, but if it is so then this will be sad loss to those nearest and dearest to Trev and the wider Sweet Savage family.

It is also time to reflect on the contribution Sweet Savage - in all its incarnations - made on the metal scene in Northern Ireland, and further afield.

Yes, everyone can quite that Vivian Campbell was once a member, and that Metallica covered Killing Time, but few can actually recall what the heady days of NWOBHM were like.

Sweet Savage were among the select few that were caught up in the heady days when the brashness of punk was combined with musicianship of early bands like Purple.

Savage were regarded highly enough to get airings on Tommy Vance's Friday Night Rock on BBC Radio 1, and if my pre-alzheimer's memory is not failing me they also got a play on the covetted John Peel Show, as well as a slot in Sounds before Kerrang! spun off from that mag. Hell, they were even granted a BBC Session recording.

The sound of Sweet Savage, despite the NWOBHM tag, was always rooted in a Northern Ireland that produced - and still does - many acts that defy genre classification. Yes, SLF, Van Morrison, The Undertones, Therapy?, Ash, The Answer etc can all be slotted into one pigeon hole or another, but really there is a magical chemistry about 'Norn Iron' music that Savage exemplified.

Sweet Savage endured much too-ing and fro-ing in terms of line-up and reformed several times from the ashes of previous incarnations. There is a much awaited new album that is virtually in the bag at the time of writing. We hope that it will be a suitably loud and rocking tribute to Trev.

There is one thing we want to hit on the head right here - Sweet Savage deserved none of the pre-pubescent twaddle posted about them on various forums whenever they were slotted to appear. For some children the appreciation of what a dedicated set of musicians can do will never really be known. Those children prefer to notch up the 'mega' gigs they've been to, or rave about some obscure act that few will know and even fewer will care about. If you don't 'like' a band, or they don't conform to your narrow definition of 'metal' then there is no need to publicly offer views that speak more about your own vanity rather than genuine critical comment.

Sweet Savage were in toto man enough to rise above such crap.

If you are fan of metal in its broadest sense, then the passing of Trev will cause you to pause in silent reflection.

I've seen Sweet Savage on quite a few occassions, but two will stand out in my boozee addled brain: ripping apart the Queen's Student Speakeasy one early Saturday evening in the 80s and a gig a couple of years back in the Spring and Airbrake. Neither one of these were perfect shows, but they were perfectly passionate metal affairs.

We offer our condolences and deepest sympathy to Trev's family, his bandmates and the many friends he gathered throughout the years. Rest In Peace


Jonny said...

Monk has just confirmed Trevor's passing. As stated above - condolences to all his family and friends

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Anonymous said...

What a great blog Jonny - We thank you so much, I will pass this link on the Trevor's family as i know they will be very touched with your words. Once again thank you so much, from Speedo & Ray (Sweet Savage)

Jonny said...

To Speedo and Ray - I really wish that I had gotten to know you all -better; from afar I was just another fan, another face in the crowd, and a sometime critic, with very, very few bad words to ever say about SS. It was never about accentuating the positive, it was about reflecting the joy I felt. I am grateful and thankful for the times I enjoyed the music, shouted aloud lyrics and had a damn good time! I wish I had known Trev better. That I am just another sad 40-something fuck with a passion for great music can be the only sort of tribute that I can pay. Trev RIP, Sweet Savage stay savage in his memory!

glenn said...

Dio's putting a band together, and he only wants the best. Our condolences to Trev's family, friends and band mates from Simon, Tom, Terry and myself from the Trucker Diablo camp.