Track By Tracks: Little Villains - Battle Of Britain (2023)

‘Battle of Britain’ boldly follows Little Villains’ third LP ‘Achtung Minen’ with a marked progression, rawness and defiance that certainly packs a punch! Recorded in Los Angeles by the band with James engineering and mixing down, the group are on fire.


MESSERSCHMITT kicks off the album and clearly shows influences by the Philthy Spectre of the Night and his reign on the drum throne. The marching band intro conjures up the atmosphere of pre-battle confidence that the Fuhrer’s agents exhumed as they climbed into their tiny cockpits in anticipation of fighting the enemy. Can a song be inherently evil? I’m not sure, but that guitar riff definitely is! The video for this song was filmed at The Red Lion, BS5 in Bristol – a proper rock den:


Like some sort of clock ticking, the acoustic intro throws light on some of the more metallic influence of old, especially as guitarist Owen Childs shreducates us with yet another original metal riff, manifesting in a double time turbo injection while James dreams up the fear of battle and Chris Fielden unleashes a barrage of drumfire!


Butcher Bird was the nickname given to the German FW 190 WW2 fighter. The triad intro and BMW radial starting up is the perfect introduction to this beast of a song. The riff is dirty and heavy but with swing, telling tales of success in the hand of Experten.

4. MUSH:

Mush is a very fun piece of music that is so old skool even Iron Maiden might want a cut! It’s tight and sounds great. A Guitar Center peach. Mush is something Phil used to say, like mate or buddy. A homage to Philthy.


Cinematic in its approach, perhaps with images of a land of lords and dragons, an artist falls into a creative block and madness as everything that is an original combination of song and picture has already been done! Sound familiar? The band perform this old piece that used to serve Airbus as a rehearsal warmup with many smiles worn.


Cleary, the group is having a lot of fun here. The song is an oldie. Written in the late ’80s by James, Nick, Simon and Chris (Airbus), it blazes along full of speed-rock metal riffs with Nick Davidge from Airbus joining in on guitar and vocals. The song was partly inspired by Airplane II: The Sequel. On the long-lost Airbus version of this track, Dr Stone’s words about pilot Ted Striker were used as the intro:

Prosecutor: Dr Stone, would you give the court your impression of Mr Striker?

Dr Stone: I’m sorry, I don’t do impressions... my training is in psychiatry.


Boy Next-door first saw the light of day being performed during the ’90s by James and Chris at concerts in the family aircraft hangar in Portishead UK, owned by Owen’s father, Paul. The opening riff is classically tuned to D grunge and splits punk rock with metal, giving a garage feel. A foolish A&R person once called the drummer “The Boy Next-Door” and said that he should move out of his home and “get hungry” just for image. Have you ever heard such nonsense? Anyways, it made a great song, and the video is pretty on point too:


The last lies somewhere between Hawkwind, Maiden and QOTSA. It has a moderate driving riff that by all means breaks no ground but instead waves the old skool flag sincerely. It’s about the foot soldiers’ anticipation of the final battle. Best leave it to play as the next song will be up shortly.


Watching You is an off-topic breather, with a blueseque AC/DC style arrangement. It’s written by James about being obsessed with his first bird. What a knob! Anyway, the song is hard and heavy, and James is again joined by Nick on vocals to keep the song’s original vibe, but squarely in Little Villains style. The video for this song was filmed at the Athena Rooms in Bridgewater UK, one of the studios the band use to prep for tour:


The jewel in the crown – see the reviews. Written by James, Nick, Simon, and Chris during the late 1980s, this piece has stood the test of time. It is – and will be – a classic of this genre. The fucking priceless track came about because of James’s love of WW2 history and aircraft. Also, the Spitfire is the most highly regarded piece of British arial history there ever was! In 1988, Chris, James, Simon, and Nick were immersed in rock and metal music, and ironically James’s nephew Owen Childs was just a newborn baby. Thirty-odd years later, Owen shreds as if he was always there on this one! The video for this song was filmed at Middlezoy Aerodrome in Somerset, UK, where Owen’s dad and brother keep their planes:

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