Hailing from Birmingham, UK, the home of Heavy Metal, The Handsome Beasts kick started Heavy Metal Records as much as the label started them. They gave the label some of its first single and album releases, which helped to establish both the band and the label in the history of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (N.W.O.B.H.M.) In much the same way that Chrysalis was famously founded to give Jethro Tull a record deal, the same could be said of Handsome Beasts and Heavy Metal Records: regardless of whether the label would have started anyway, they certainly provided some of the original motivation to get it off the ground. The catalogue numbers “HEAVY1,” “HEAVY2” and “HMR2” were all Handsome Beasts releases, showing their place at the foundation of this label.
The band was made up of singer Garry Dalloway (“the original fat bastard,” according to Kerrang magazine) on vocals, Steve Hough on bass, Phil Aston on guitar and Pete Malbasa on drums. “The Beasts Within” in 1990 saw Maz Matrenko take over on guitar and Ray Richman take over on the drums. Numerous lineup changes have occurred since, with the tragic passing of Dalloway in 2006 meaning that the band were unfortunately left with none of the original members: however, they got together with Garry’s own ideal frontman (he had told the band “when I peg it, that’s the guy you want”) and have since played with a steady rotation of vocalists and bassists. Alan Nyland (guitar) Mark Boreland (guitar) and Mick Roobottom (drums) have been the core lineup of the band during this time. In traditional Beast fashion, you can still catch them playing live shows, around their home town of Birmingham and further afield: they simply can not be stopped!