|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal, doom metal|
|Years active||1969–1974, 1993, 2010–2013|
Iron Claw were a Scottish heavy metal band currently signed to Californian record company and publisher Ripple Music. In March 2007 the band were mentioned in an article in Classic Rock called "The Lost Pioneers of Heavy Metal".
The band was started in the summer of 1969 in the town of Dumfries, Scotland by founder member Alex Wilson who recruited Jimmy Ronnie (guitar) and Ian McDougall (drums). They were joined by singer Mike Waller in early 1970. Wilson, the group's bass guitarist, decided to form a band after seeing a Led Zeppelin concert in 1969 and the band's name was eventually chosen by Wilson from a lyric from King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man". Wilson and McDougall's attendance at Black Sabbath's performance at Dumfries (which Wilson recorded, representing Sabbath's earliest live recording), convinced them to not only cover their entire first album and single live, but to consciously construct their sound around them. The band had originally performed covers by blues rock artists such as Free, Johnny Winter, Ten Years After, and Taste but soon began writing and performing original compositions.
In 1971 Wilson had to replace Mike Waller (when he left because he wanted to play guitar) and so two new members (Wullie Davidson, vocals / harmonica / flute and Donald McLachlan, guitar) were recruited by Wilson and this changed the sound of the band to a more structured twin harmony guitar direction. However in October 1971 when new recording sessions were looming, Donald McLachlan was asked to leave the band as Jimmy Ronnie was unhappy with his presence in the band. After the recording sessions drummer Ian McDougall left in May 1972 and was replaced by Neil Cockayne. The group finally broke up in 1974. In 1993 Iron Claw performed one reunion show for charity. In the late 1990s a German "bootleg" CD of some of the early recordings surfaced. In 2009 sixteen recorded songs from the early 1970s were remastered and officially released on CD by Rockadrome Records.
In response to the critical success of the Rockadrome album the band reformed in 2010 and began working on an album of new and unreleased material. New vocalist Gordon Brown was recruited by the three remaining members of the band to finish the album; Alex Wilson (bass), Jimmy Ronnie (guitar) and Ian McDougall (drums).
The resulting highly acclaimed CD, "A Different Game" was released internationally by Ripple Music in October 2011. In November 2011 Gordon Brown parted company with the band and following his departure Gary Hair was chosen to take over from Brown as vocalist. In March 2013 the band went their separate ways again.