Whilst rummaging through a box of treasured old rock magazines owned by Mr Rockbrat and myself, I found issue # 197 of Kerrang! from July 23, 1988 – so whats that now, almost 25 years ago? I guess it is. Whilst perusing the mag I stumbled across what I thought was an artcile about spoof UK metal band Bad News. The bad news was that I was mistaken – and this handsome lot were called none other than UK rock hopefuls – Ninja. Hailing from Scotland, these jocks were at it from the mid 80s, and like so many others of their peers – there was support slots at the Marquee, NWOBHM stalwarts Spider covered one of their tunes on their 1986 album ‘Raise The Banner’, and they even rehearsed as Brian Connolly’s back up band as ‘New Sweet”, yet none of it came to much. In an episode straight out of Spinal Tap though, the lads funded their own showcase gig at the Leicester Square Empire in London to a crowd of 2500 fans (really?) and plenty of industry and label reps present. The boys even made up their own tour jackets to hand out to prospestive record company suits, and if you can believe the article, “Two Geisha Girls were flown in from Japan to hand out floral bouquets in the shape of the Ninja logo” – and at the end of it? Zippo – except a 10 000 quid bill! The bottom line being – these guys could have sounded like Bon Jovi, but with mugs like that, record companies would have given em a wide berth as they had marketing appeal of zero. Have a bo peep at the lady killer top left – last time I saw a face like that it had a hook in its mouth. Teenage girls wanted posters of Kip Winger and Bon Jovi on their walls. Nuff said. Apparently they cut a demo – which I’d be open minded enough to listen to.