Music

Just A Reminder That Neil From ‘Art Attack’ Used To Shred In A Metal Band

A true Renaissance man.

Neil Buchanan from Art Attack

Some of us had our entire childhoods shaped by Neil Buchanan, the chirpy, smooth-voiced host of Art Attack.

Clad in a red shirt with a big, white collar, his head topped by a sensible haircut, Buchanan was the kindly, intelligent host that mainstream television too often lacks.

He was silly, of course, and the giant artworks that he constructed on the floor for the benefit of a camera hanging up in his studio’s rafters had a kind of mischievous, jester-like quality to them. But when he needed to be, he could also transform into a mage, with real information to impart with real care.

You know all that, I’m sure. But did you also know that Buchanan was in a metal band?

See, almost 15 years before he ever stepped onto the Art Attack studio floor, Buchanan was a founding member and guitarist of heavy metal act Marseille. Originally called AC/DC — no, seriously — the band were forced to change their moniker thanks to the success of that little Australian group of the same name.

But that initial setback aside, the group enjoyed some real success. Winning Britain’s first-ever battle of the bands in 1977, the group went on to tour with avant-garde metal act Judas Priest, as well as Whitesnake and UFO.

One of their earliest singles is probably their best known. Titled ‘Kiss Like Rock & Roll’ and produced by Nazareth’s Manny Charlton, the song is a rollicking, vengeful thing, full of Buchanan’s rattling guitar playing.

Marseille burned through members infamously quickly, and Buchanan left the group after four years, shortly after the release of their second album.

But he wouldn’t be gone for good — decades later, he returned for a 2010 reunion concert. That gig, much of which has been uploaded to YouTube, has a wonderfully strange, anachronistic feeling, as a bunch of metal legends make music together for the first time in 20 years. Oh, and while dressed in extremely stylish leather jackets.

So there you have it: Neil Buchanan is one of our culture’s true Renaissance men. Long may he run.


Photo Credit: Art Attack/Facebook