British rock band Uriah Heep are including Tallinn on the itinerary for their 50th anniversary tour later this year, and will be playing in the Estonian capital on November 15.
ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" reporter and Uriah Heep fan Hannes Hermaküla caught up with Uriah Heep's longest-serving member, guitarist Mick Box, via a video interview.
"Yes indeed we're very much looking forward to it," Box said.
Uriah Heep have played in Tallinn before. "Every time we go there, we toast with the old Vana Tallinn," Box joined.
"It's going to be a great celebration of the 50 years of Uriah Heep, it's going to be a journey from the very first album to the latest one; it's a great journey too – a roller coaster ride of emotions. But at the very end of it, the smile on people's faces will say it all."
"Playing live is your first love," he went on, noting touring and gigging predates any studio or commercial success that Uriah Heep or any other band can have.
The band was the first to play in the Soviet Union, in December 1987, with the advent of the Glastnost' era.
"We never thought we would go to Russia, to be honest´," Box went on.
"We had a saying in Uriah Heep that if we couldn't come to the music we'll take the music to the people," adding that Bulgaria, Hungary and East Berlin were among other venues the band played at a time when the iron curtain was still fact.
Interviewer Hannes Hermaküla had his own take on the band's status even while Estonia was under Soviet occupation, recalling how he and friends traded rock LPs at a time when such items were in short supply in Estonia.
"To go there and play the music and find out how well received it was," was reward in itself, Box noted, saying he had heard many similar stories from those who remembered the era.
"It does the heart good. No matter how difficult it was to get there, the reward was always the audience's faces," he went on.
The band is also releasing a new album post-tour, but is unlikely to premiere any of the songs at the Tallinn concert, Box said.
"No – I'll tell you why: If we play anything new in the concert, by the time I've changed my jeans in the dressing room, its up on Youtube. It's the way of the world now."
The full "Ringvaade" interview, in English, is here.
Uriah Heep play the Alexela Kontserdimaja in Tallinn, starting 7 p.m. on November 15 2022.
Founded in London in 1969 – the 50th anniversary tour had to be postponed with the pandemic – the band took its name from the main antagonist and sycophant in the Charles Dickens novel "David Copperfield".
Popular across much of Europe as well as the U.S., their native U.K. and worldwide, the band are widely thought of as pioneers in hard rock, heavy metal and prog rock, with albums such as "Return to Fantasy" and "Demons and Wizards" good examples of this.
Mick Box has been the only constant during that time in terms of personnel, which has seen many changes. One of the longest serving of the former members was Trevor Bolder (bass), who joined the band a couple of years after David Bowie broke up the Spiders from Mars, and stayed on for most of the time after that, up until his death in 2013.
The current lineup is: Bernie Shaw (vocals), Phil Lanzon (keyboards), Dave Rimmer (bass), Russell Gilbrook (drums) plus Box on guitar.
Editor: Andrew Whyte