Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Soundhouse
Welcome to the official home of the Heavy Metal Soundhouse. Based in London, UK, Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Soundhouse and The Bandwagon spans from 1975 to 2006 and is renowned as the birthplace of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
The rich history and archives relating to the 'The Soundhouse Story' includes Iron Maiden, 'The Soundhouse Tapes', Lemmy and Motorhead, Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Judas Priest, Pete Townshend, April Wine, Samson, Angelwitch, Praying Mantis, Saxon and many more.
With original Soundhouse testimonials from Steve Harris, Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, Kevin Heybourne, Geoff Barton of Sounds, Malcolm Dome of Record Mirror, MTV, The 80’s Pure Pop Website, The BBC h2g2 Website, Bob McGrath of Record Collector and Paul De Noyer of NME.
"I suppose the most important thing was the demo tape was being played at the Soundhouse by Neal Kay, so that really was the first break ... It was with Neal Kay"
"I am really impressed by this place. In America we don't have disco's like this. I didn't think that this many people would be here, or that it would be so intense. We have a place opening in America, but I don't think that it would be as good."
"This place is where it's at, it's fuckin' A!"
“The actual term 'NWOBHM' came from this one night at the legendary Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Bandwagon when Angelwitch and Samson played and some journalist (Geoff Barton) wrote in Sounds that 'it was a new wave of British HM' hence NWOBHM”
Kevin Heybourne, Angel Witch.
"Neal Kay reminds me of a seafaring captain who stands on his bridge, exhorting one last mighty effort for king and country, from a crew who would willingly follow him to the depths, because they know he is one of them. His rapport with the fans is based on mutual respect and brotherly love."
Malcolm Dome. Record Mirror, 1980.
"Gigs at the Kingsbury club were followed by a general mellowing in the me(n)tal attitudes of the owners of the various other London venues, with the result that Iron Maiden were at least able to work regularly, graduating quickly from the pubs to halls of the size and status of the Music Machine."
Geoff Barton, Sounds. 1979.
"You can’t underestimate how important The Bandwagon and Neal Kay’s Soundhouse was … Neal would play the music and everyone would go along and the bands would turn up. But not just up-and-coming bands. People like Ted Nugent and April Wine ... It wasn’t even in central London … they travelled all the way up to Kingsbury! ... Kingsbury! ... It was very, very important and it worked."
Jerry Ewing. 20th Century Box Documentary.
"Unable to solicit a response from record companies, Iron Maiden sent a three-track tape to Neal Kay, DJ at north London's hard rock disco, the Kingsbury Bandwagon Soundhouse. Kay's patronage of Iron Maiden won them an instant welcome."
"The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) phrase was first coined by Geoff Barton at Sounds, but much credit is also due to DJ Neal Kay, whose help in giving bands like Iron Maiden and Praying Mantis (as well as many others) their first break was crucial. EMI Records were quick off the mark and with Kay's help they produced the compilation album, Metal For Muthas, which put many bands on the road to fame."
80's Pure Pop.
"The music from this period was even louder and harder than before, and the 1980's would produce some of the heaviest metal bands ever. Venues like the Hammersmith Odeon and the Marquee in London, Castle Donington and Neal Kay's Bandwagon became Meccas for fans."
"The Soundhouse, with Kay's huge sound system and light show taking the place of a band, air guitars are brandished to the sounds of Rush, AC/DC and crucially to the tapes of struggling young groups. Under Kay's benevolent dictatorship, the Soundhouse has become something of a heavy rock shrine."
Paul Du Noyer. NME, 1980.
"A turning point in their (Iron Maiden) fortunes came with the opening of Neal Kay's Soundhouse Club in London which specialised in HM."
Bob McGrath, Record Collector.