Bandolier Kings are a project paying tribute to Welsh hard rockers Budgie. Back in 1975, Swedish guitarist Janne Stark discovered Budgie and his first band TNT even covered the song “Napoleon Bona Part 1.” Fast forward to 2007 and Janne, now with numerous albums under his belt, again pays tribute to Budgie by covering the song “In for the Kill” on his first album by Mountain of Power. Mountain of Power are one of Janne’s side projects where he pays tribute to the 70s hard rock bands that influenced him growing up, bands like Budgie, Captain Beyond, Montrose, Trapeze, Mountain etc. The albums were released by US guitar label Grooveyard Records. In the beginning of 2019 label manager Joe Romagnoila asked Janne if he’d be into doing a tribute album dedicated solely to Budgie. The reply was instant – Yes!! They started wading through the vast audio legacy of the power trio and came up with enough songs to fill a CD to the brim (and more). Janne is a guitarist and bassist, not a singer. So, while he started arranging and demoing the songs the task of finding a singer to shoulder the quite unique vocals of Burke Shelley begun. It was actually harder than expected. Finally, Joe came up with the idea to ask singer/guitarist Tony Spinner, a musician in his own right who has also played with Toto and Paul Gilbert. Tony was all in!
Since Janne isn’t a drummer he asked his old friend Peter Hermansson (220 Volt, Talisman, John Norum) and he took on a bunch of songs. Steve Williams, Budgie’s drummer since 1974, recorded the drums for a song from before he joined the band, Ian Haugland (Europe) recorded a couple of songs and so did Jesper Persson (Alicate). Janne plays bass on the entire album, except for one song, where he asked John Gallagher (Raven) to handle the four strings. Janne also shared his guitar solos with several other players, including original Budgie guitarist Tony Bourge, Kyoji Yamamoto (Bow Wow) and Mikael Nord Andersson (who produced the last four Scorpions albums, plays additional guitar live and has formerly played with Roxette, Nord etc.).
Some comments from Budgie members Steve and Tony:
Steve Williams: “Imho one of the best recorded tributes to Budgie. Proud to have played a small part along side Tony Bourge and a drummer I’ve always admired, Europe’s Ian Haugland. Tony Spinner does a great job on, what some would say, was the most unique part of the Budgie sound, Burke Shelley’s vocals.”
Tony Bourge: “I have now heard the tracks and it is the best meal i have ever had! You and the guys have made me feel something I thought I had lost. Mix is great, drums and bass, vocals and guitar work dish it up. So thank you and the band!”
Janne Stark – Lead/rhythm/acoustic guitars and bass
Tony Spinner (solo, Toto, Paul Gilbert) – Lead vocals and lead guitar
Tony Bourge (Budgie) – Lead guitar
Steve Williams (Budgie) – Drums
Ian Haugland (Europe) – Drums
Bill Steer (Gentleman’s Pistols, Firebird) – Lead guitar
Peter Hermansson (220 Volt, John Norum Band, Talisman) – Drums
Kyoji Yamamoto (Bow Wow, Wild Flag) – Lead guitar
John Gallagher (Raven) – Bass
Mikael Nord Andersson (Roxette, Scorpions, Nord) – Lead guitar
Mats Karlsson (220 Volt) – Lead guitar
Jesper Persson (Alicate, Carnival Sun) – Drums
Darren Welch (Impeccable) – Lead guitar
Don Mancuso (Black Sheep) – Lead guitar
Joe Romagnola (Charachter) – Lead guitar
Read our review here.