Uriah Heep plan nostalgic shows with Lawton
Uriah Heep mainman Mick Box says the band are aiming to deliver nostalgia during their upcoming shows with stand-in frontman John Lawton.
He’s returned to cover for Bernie Shaw, who’s bowed out to receive routine medical treatment. As a result, fans at Heep concerts across Europe in May will be entertained by Lawton, who fronted the outfit between 1976 and 1979.
Box says: “I’m delighted to welcome back my old mate to the band. With Bernie off duty for a short while, John was the most obvious choice. Having worked with John on a recent feature film called Love.net, I knew his pipes were in great shape, and that he’d be accepted readily by the Heep fans.
“All credit to John: once he’d heard of the problem and was asked, he re-arranged a lot of his schedule to fit in with ours, which was really cool.”
The guitarist feels it makes sense to focus on material that Lawton’s familiar with. “It will probably be a nostalgic set, drawn from the 70s,” he says. “It would be unfair to ask John to start learning songs from the last studio recordings – they have Bernie’s trademark vocals all over them.”
And Box still recalls a moment where Lawton’s delivery was key to Heep’s profile, as they performed their track Wise Man on Top Of The Pops. “If ever there was a song which did not give a hint of the band’s hard rock background, this was it,” he explains.
“I was worried we’d be accused of selling out to commercialism. I needn’t have worried – John sang it so powerfully that he not only made the song his, but hard rock fans loved it too.”
Bassist Trevor Bolder was recently sidelined as he concentrated on a cancer battle. He’s determined to be back in the fold in time for Heep’s appearance at the Download festival in June.