CURRENT OR LAST BAND LINE UP (1978-2021):
VOCALS: Rob “Rocky Shades” Berkley
GUITAR: Mark Boreland, Alan Nyland
DRUMS: Mick Robottom
BASS: Shawn Till
GUITAR: Maz Mitrenko, Porky, Paul Robins, Phil Aston
VOCALS: Garry Dalloway, Simon “Mongo” Hall
DRUMS: Ray Richman, Ted Duggan, Pete Malbasa
BASS: Neil O’Neil – The Finn (Ricochet, Damien), Steven Hough, Simon “Fungus” Fielding, Mark Knight
Handsome Beasts Chronology
Heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M. band from Nuneaton, England, formed in 1972. Fronted by singer Garry Dalloway (nick-named “the original fat bastard” by the Kerrang! Direktory Of Heavy Metal), they quickly became local heroes.
Paul Birch, who rated the band very highly, tried to get them a record deal asking numerous major labels if they would be interested. They weren’t, so he founded his own label, Heavy Metal Records, to release the first Handsome Beasts EP, “All Riot Now” in 1980.
In 1981 “Breaker” EP was released again by Heavy Metal Records. In this EP the ‘digital spiral technique’ was used, it played “Crazy” or “One In A Crowd” depending on where you put the record needle at the beginning, a gimmick later used by Kiss. A little later, “Sweeties” EP was also released by Heavy Metal Records.
Dalloway, bassist Steve Hough, guitarist Phil Aston and drummer Pete Malbasa played further gigs in the midlands area before recording their debut LP “Beastiality” in 1981 and in the same time Aston was replaced by Paul Robins. With an outrageous but humorous cover, the album showed that musically Handsome Beasts still incorporated massive blues influences into their heavy metal sound. The album featured only four new songs, “David’s Song”, “Another Day”, “Tearing Me Apart” and “High Speed” as the rest of the material was previously released in their EP’s.
When in the middle of the 80’s, N.W.O.B.H.M. started to fade-out, it was time for Handsome Beasts to call it quits.
However in 1990 Garry reformed the band with guitarist Maz Matrenko, Ray Richman on drums and they released “The Beasts Within” album. Another album was recorded during the 90’s titled “Little Sister” but was never released.
In 2004 the band released the “04” album with a new line-up of Garry (vocals), Ray Richman (drums), Alan Nyland (guitar), Mark Boreland (guitar) and Sean Brennan (bass).
In 2005 Ray Richman left and was replaced on drums by Mick Roobottom.
Unfortunately Garry passed away in August 2005 due to a heart attack, only shortly after recording another album. There were thoughts by the rest of the members about the band’s future, but they remembered Garry saying 18 months earlier and while watching the front-man Simon Hall of Beholder, a local covers band: ‘when I peg it, that’s the guy you want’.
Shortly after Garry’s death, the band indeed asked Simon if he would like to sing in some gigs in the memory of Garry. These gigs went quite well and the band decided that Simon was right after all, Simon was the right guy and so they asked him to join the band permanently.
Garry’s last album was finally released in June 2007, entitled “Rock And A Hard Place”.
Simon left the band in late 2007 and was shortly followed by Si Fielding (a bass player from Beholder who joined Handsome Beasts in the summer of 2007).
In December 2007 the band found a new front-man, Rocky Shades. He was the singer from the legendary Wrathchild, a band with whom Handsome Beasts were mates back in the Heavy Metal Records days. Besides the new vocalist, a new bass player joined, Shawn Till, a friend of Mick’s who for the last couple of years had been fronting a Motörhead tribute band called Motörkill.
Currently Handsome Beasts are still active, playing some gigs and preparing material for a new LP, however no original member is left in their ranks.
16 April 2021