Denim And Leather: The Rise And Fall Of The NWOBHM – Michael Hann


It’s hard to understand nowadays the importance and the impact of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal; the musical movement that appeared and reigned supreme throughout Great Britain in the late 70s up to the first couple of years of the next decade. The one thing that usually passes unnoticed or if you prefer it’s not heralded as much as it should be is the undeniable fact that NWOBHM was also a social movement with music being its epicenter. In between 1978-1982 the youth of Britain picked up a guitar, formed a band and tried to make its escape from the harsh and strict environment of their neighborhood. They harnessed the energy with sharp, fast riffs that were in vast contrast with the so called dinosaur rock that focused on lengthy solos and complex songs.

Michael Hann gathered in one excellent book exclusive interviews with almost all the main protagonists (and not only) of NWOBHM. Musicians, journalists, producers, label executives, DJs and various other people take us back in a journey through time and space as we learned all about the situation right before and during the appearance of NWOBHM. We get to know all its characteristics and what eventually led to its demise. “Denim and Leather” is a fascinating book as it paints a detailed image of the movement and its social references. And this is exactly its strong point as we learn far more details from what was going on in Britain back then with quotations straight from the horse mouth. Geoff Barton, Malcolm Dome, Alan Lewis, Def Leppard, Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head, Angel Witch, Witchfynde, Neal Kay, Tom Allom and many more remember those years with fondness (although, we gotta say that the predominant figure of Geoff Barton is only featured through comments made in the past as he didn’t get back to the author).

Now, if you are looking for an encyclopedia of NWOBHM or a “who is who” book of the movement, this is NOT your book. In fact you won’t read anything about obscure bands. Again, this is not a reference book of the movement. What this book is all about is a great time capsule as Hann –through comments and interviews with the people who were there back then- takes us back to the clubs, the rehearsal rooms, the venues, the studios, the pubs, the recording deals…the youth naiveté! And who can be a better interviewee than Lars Ulrich himself who at the ripe age of 17 travelled from the States to England to meet his idols…Diamond Head! Beat this!

“Denim and Leather” is an excellent book and we recommend it to every fan of music. Trust us…you will love it!