RECKLESS LOVE @ Camden Barfly, London 25.10.12 (extreme extended review edition).
So tonight is the final show of Finnish rockers Reckless Love’s massive month long UK tour. Phew! The guys have been on the road throughout October, and have spent every Thursday night right here, at Camden’s Barfly. They’ve had their own little residency here, something you would usually see on the streets of Vegas or in the City of Angels. But tonight’s show is the climax of their hectic touring schedule, and they made sure it was an explosive ending.
There have been many surprises during Reckless Love’s Octourber. They’ve had special guests join them onstage during their Barfly residency, with members of Jettblack and The Treatment getting up to help shred Camden apart. Both bands have previously toured with the Merry Metallers, so it was great to see the reunions onstage. Other tour surprises included a variation of excellent cover versions, a different one for every city. I had seen the band perform in both Norwich and Nottingham previous to the final London date, where I witnessed Def Leppard’s Hysteria (a popular cover of theirs that I’m sure long time Reckless fans have seen at some point) and Judas Priest’s Living After Midnight. There was also the addition of bonus song Push on the setlists every night, a tune from the Japanese edition of either Animal Attraction or their recently released Born To Break Your Heart single. A wonderfully winter themed song that is catchy as hell, with just a little hint of cheese. (We’re talking about Reckless Love, of course there is cheese).
Back to the Barfly though, and the last performance of the Animal Attraction 2012 World Tour: The UK Edition…
The setlist was perfection, adding much loved songs from their debut that were sadly missed off at some of the other UK dates. It was also long, a 19 song setlist, far longer than anything else previous on this tour. Brilliant!
The band walked out to whistles, screams, cheers, and raised fists before smashing into Feel My Heat. The opener from their debut and the song that once started the old shows here at Barfly, the crowd erupted into chorus along with frontman Olli Herman and didn’t miss a beat. From there they wasted no time and fell straight into Wild Touch, another debut favourite, and followed it up with Born To Break Your Heart and the classic Beautiful Bomb.
Then we were thrown a curveball. Coconuts. Probably the bands’ most hated track from their Animal Attraction album. The song that has every fan and critic confused and the one that most people truly loathe. Either everyone in the room was drunk, or people were just willing to embrace it and sing along anyway. But it was soon over, and we got back into the rhythm of things.
Dance, Back To Paradise, an ear shattering drum solo courtesy of the topless tattooed Hessu Maxx, Speedin’, Sex (which was a lovely surprise, as the only ballad they usually play at shows is often now given to Fantasy), Animal Attraction, bonus song Push, and On The Radio. The crowd, and indeed the band, are sweaty and delighted. The singing, dancing, fisting pumping, headbanging, arm swaying and clapping don’t falter once. During a little break, Olli’s now infamous Hustler t-shirt with the slogan “Sorry Boys, I Only Blow Kisses” (I’ll leave you to make up your opinion on that…) was peeled from his back and thrown into the crowd. His parting words were it had been with him all tour and he felt like he should leave it as a parting gift to the beautiful UK. A girl behind us caught it and was delighted. It smelt really bad. She’s welcome to it.
After a breather, guitarist Pepe roared straight into a deafening guitar solo, almost clocking a few people on the squashed front row with the neck of his Fender. This lead us into Romance, and then Badass.
After having done so many shows, it doesn’t seem like the band can be bothered with the charade of leaving the stage, waiting for chants of “RECKLESS LOVE, RECKLESS LOVE”, and then running back on only if you scream for them loud enough. So instead they stand onstage and let the crowd scream anyway as Olli asks into the microphone “do you want more?!” Wouldn’t it be a surprise if one day a crowd screamed back “no”? But of course we want more, so we’re given Hot, without doubt one of Reckless Love’s most popular songs. For a while the band just let the crowd sing it note for note, word for word, perfectly. It’s a catchy and fun tune, definitely a good one for summer fun.
Then we’re given a little treat, for our ears only at this very last show of Reckless Love’s Rocktober. A working title named Bad Lovin’, a song that is apparently due to appear on their next album. Now this is where the magic was. It was a song very reminiscent of their first album and was far superior to anything on Animal Attraction. This was like Reckless Love roots, and it was bloody brilliant. You could almost see the fireworks erupting from the stage. The band rocked it out hard and the crowd were loving it. The cheers were phenomenal. They then finished off a crackin’ set with the Reckless Love classic, One More Time. And it truly was one more time, one last time, for this portion of the UK. Until the next time.
All I will say is keep an ear out. The next album seems like it might be promising, and hopefully make up for Animal Attraction and get back to the Reckless Love of yore. (Sorry, Animal fans…) We can only wait and see.
Photo’s by Laura.
Say hello to Wildside Riot, the latest rock band to emerge from the UK’s underground scene, unleashing their debut video and single, Wildside Riot.
Fronted by veteran rocker Rocky Shades, formerly of 80s glam metal band Wrathchild, these boys have be taught by the best. Having done some small circuits in Nottingham and Birmingham earlier this year, the band have just unveiled their new website and are looking at setting off on tour later this year.
Check out their video, see what they’re about, and if you want more you can find it here: http://www.wildsideriot.com/
Actress Liv Tyler in her singing debut covering INXS’s Need You Tonight.
The recording and video were done to promote Givenchy’s new perfume Very Irrésistible Givenchy Electric Rose, the company for which Tyler has been the face of since 2003. She is also a representative for Pantene hair care, returning to the position after representing them back in 1996.
Liv is no stranger to the rock ‘n’ roll limelight. Her father is none other than Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and she grew up with musician Todd Rundgren as her stepfather. Her mother Bebe Buell is also a musician, and was a reknowned groupie back in her younger days. So it’s no surprise Liv has finally turned her hand to dabbling in the music world.
Electric Rose will be availble for purchase in stores from April.
Spinefarm Records presents The Next Big Thing: featuring Reckless Love, Jettblack and The Treatment @ The Garage, London 02.02.12
Although it’s a weekday and there’s a slight chill in the air, that doesn’t stop a sellout show from rocking the joint tonight at London’s Garage.
Spinefarm Records presents three of its best signed acts, those of which include British bands Jettblack and The Treatment, and Finnish favourites Reckless Love.
Starting the evening were Cambridge boys The Treatment, a band I was losing my virginity to tonight. After only listening to their album very recently and being rather impressed with the initial exposure, tonight only heightened that feeling. Their stage presence is powerful and energetic, and they provided a really raw and ballsy attitude to their music, something I love seeing from musicians and hearing in their work. Starting their set with the fantastic Departed, the crowd took no time at all getting involved with the electric atmosphere. After a cracking opener, they followed with The Doctor, Shake The Mountain and Just Tell Me Why, amongst others. Semi-ballad Nothing To Lose But Our Minds got the best reaction, with a huge sing-a-long and a garrison of swaying arms and cups of beer in the air.
Following on from such a magnetic performance were fellow Brits Jettblack, a fantastic hard rock act hailing from just outside the city in High Wycombe. After having a hugely successful year in 2010, the boys have waned a little due to problems getting their next album recorded. Nevertheless, tonight they still proved themselves as high flyers in the business and put on an explosive performance starting with Get Your Hands Dirty. Already revved up and raring to go, the crowd got in on the action by clapping and chanting along to the catchy chorus. Slip It On, Two Hot Girls, and Fooled By A Rose were all included in the set, as well as the standard mid-set ballad provided by Not Even Love. A few new tracks were thrown in the mix too, and although their reception wasn’t as roaring as the known songs, the crowd stopped to listen more and take in what was being offered, and they still managed to reel in an enthusiastic response. Jettblack’s new album is definitely going to be one to look out for.
Finally, headliners Reckless Love graced the stage with your typical cheesy hair metal apparel - huge hair, denim and leather, glow in the dark guitars and glittery personas. Still using Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town to emphasise their second outing on our shores, they warp the music to fire into Animal Attraction, also the title of their second album. With only an hour slot they quickly fired out the hits, following up with Speedin’ and Born To Break Your Heart. They then reached back into their catalogue to pull out favourites from their debut, a collaboration of hits including Badass, Romance and Back To Paradise. Disco anthem Hot got a massive reception from the crowd, with hundreds of pumping fists and a multi vocal chorus. Their latest single On The Radio gets an outing, with the music video vixen herself partying in the crowd, and then the set is polished off nicely with the Reckless Love classic Beautiful Bomb and sensational summer time song One More Time.
If tonight was about showcasing some of the best of the best of Spinefarm’s groups, then that was exactly what was delivered. Excellent showmanship, fantastic songs, thriving party atmosphere, and a successful night of outstanding modern rock ‘n’ roll.
Photos by: Xilaii Photography
Nordic Britain: A new Viking age?
This is something that’s greatly interested me for a while. I myself enjoy the Scandinavian music scene and have liked bands from that region for some years, so I’m intrigued as to why it’s suddenly so popular. So I wrote a little something to try and process these thoughts and the recent fascination behind Scandinavian music.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: All the views expressed herein are personal opinions, and do not reflect any work from musical artists or individuals. They are not intended to cause offense.
PHOTOS: All photos are copyrighted to their original owners. Neither myself, nor anybody else who runs Let The Music Do The Talking own them unless otherwise stated.
The last 18 months appear to have given way to a rising popularity of rock and metal from northern Europe. Could it be that Scandinavia is the new home of rock ‘n’ roll revival, or are we suffering from a modern day raping and pillaging?
On reflection of the last two years it seems that 2009 was the beginning of a rebirth of an almost lost music scene, in which many an ‘80s throwback began worming its way back into the mainstream rock scene. Call it what you will – glam metal, hair metal, sleaze rock, cock rock – they’re all adjectives used to describe the genre and the sub culture it created, something that Scandinavian bands have been recently reviving, and the origins of which are likely to have come from the Sunset Strip some time around when most these new age “glammies” were born.
What some describe as “the decade of decadence” the 1980s was really the parent of this scene’s founding, where hairspray, makeup, and shoes taller than the Empire State Building were the common dress of the day. Although the initial “glam rock” phenomenon really started sometime in the ‘70s, with bands like New York Dolls and KISS first donning the platforms and lipstick to shock patriarchal heterosexual audiences, the image and music style didn’t really take off until the new decade, where it started to become a big trend. There then came a huge surge of bands with teased hair and shiny spandex, screeching into microphones about promiscuous sex, parties, drink and drugs.
Nowadays it all seems like such a cliché, but I remember chatting with Richard at an after party at Lincoln’s Tokyo, the drummer for Los Angeles based group Vintage Trouble. He grew up on the Hollywood glam scene and shared some of his memories and experiences with myself and a friend. He more or less told us that back then it was a way of life. It was new, exciting, and had that perfect rebellious streak to it that appealed to teenagers and young adults. You couldn’t walk the streets without some young band thrusting a flyer at you to get you to go and see their show. The streets were littered with posters, flyers, probably a beer can or two. It does sound cliché, it really does, but back then I guess this was how it was, no stereotypes about it. It was new and fun.
The glam rock scene began to die out towards the end of the decade, and was especially flaky in the early ‘90s when grunge became the more appealing musical genre, and teenagers were all about angst and anarchy instead of having fun and partying. Music looked as if it was taking a deeper, more cynical edge to life, lyrically expressing inner demons and social problems of the time. The days when all people cared about was fucking bitches and jacking up and trying to find the next big community party had almost died. There were more important things going on than worrying about the hangover from your boozed up weekend, and musicians seemed to prefer to reflect this in their art. That’s not to say it was all doom and gloom, and grunge and other genres that came from that decade (dance and trance to name but two) are still influential and exciting musical sounds even to this day. But when the ‘90s really hit, “glam” rock was almost long gone, and became a lost artifact from once upon a time.
So what has this got to do with Scandinavia? Anyone familiar with a world map knows Los Angeles is at almost opposite ends of the earth to the colder regions.
Scandinavia has always had a thriving alternative music scene, even in the bleakest of years. Bands like Hardcore Superstar and Backyard Babies, who started their careers in the carnage of the 1990s, had a substantial amount of success in their shared home country of Sweden. Entering into another new decade, the ’00s, provided them with Swedish Grammy nominations, and Backyard Babies managing to collect awards for “Best Hard Rock Act” in 2002 and a “Best Album” award for their 2003 release Stockholm Syndrome. We can’t forget the heavier metal bands either, like Finntroll, Turisas and Dimmu Borgir who all started their musical careers in the late ’90s too, hailing from neighbouring countries Norway and Finland. It was also in the early ’00s that popular present day bands like Crashdïet and Reckless Love began banding together, and would eventually be selling out tour dates and bombarding the European rock charts with their tunes. It seems that while the UK was attracted to techno laser lights like a moth to a flame, the Scandinavians were keeping the dying spirit of rock ‘n’ roll alive all through the dry season.
But how did all this end up becoming such a popular scene in the UK in recent years? Was it always there? Maybe I was just unaware of it until I started discovering more and more bands, and it was perhaps coincidence they were all snus sucking Scandos (and that is not an insult, snus is probably one of the best things I’ve ever put into my mouth). But part of me also questions if it has something to do with the foreign exotic? No matter where in the world you live, there’s always an attraction for that foreign element, something a little different to your own culture. Sexy accents, interesting customs and beautiful countries, and maybe the UK just wasn’t providing the kind of music we lusted for. But if it were that, why should it matter? Music is music, there to be enjoyed, and the origins of it should not reflect its enjoyment.
But then of course, the younger bands who presently are in their late 20s or early 30s are likely to have grown up listening to the very music that once glittered in Hollywood, and want to carry their passion for it into their own records. There is something about its style that is truly captivating, or so I believe, which is why maybe so many modern day bands appear to be reviving it in their own careers. And although the costume differs somewhat these days from the early “glam” look, it’s still a term very much used to describe a lot of the influences and music. With the exception of the heavy metal bands, of course.
Although slow we may be, we seem to have caught the rock revival bug. Opening up our doors and giving long standing bands their much overdue credit – Finntroll, Turisas, and Dimmu Borgir have all accessed a new lease of life – we’ve also paved the way for up and coming bands to showcase their talent with our lust for sleaze culture. But why are they all Scandinavian? Is it really the new home of rock ‘n’ roll or are we getting a twenty-first century incursion?
I was talking about this exact topic with a friend who I met last year, and he laughed and told me he thinks it’s just coincidence they happen to all be from neighbouring countries. I’m also inclined to think this scene hasn’t only just started to grow, I think it’s always been there. For example, if you use older bands like Hardcore Superstar, they’ve been touring successfully in the UK for a number of years. Maybe it hasn’t anything to do with a new teenage “phase”. Maybe the interest has always been there, and maybe it’s just because my circle of friends and acquaintances are all into that music so the intake seems larger than it really is. The only thing I can conclude that’s perhaps really changed is the media’s acknowledgment and coverage of hard rock groups.
And if media culture is becoming increasingly more open to varying musical genres, then has it made it any easier for newer bands to break out of Europe? Houston, Dynazty, Sister… more Scandinavian bands who have been slowly marching our way wafting their new releases under our noses. And to be honest, they smell pretty good. But a conversation Mark and I had with Joel suggests otherwise. I remember him telling us they’d found it difficult getting the right agents and promoters to get themselves over here, and that it’s still a really tough business. Although Dynazty, in my opinion, are first class and more people need to give them the time of day.
So perhaps the glam metal, and rock and metal scenes in general, never really died after all, not in the Nordic countries anyway. And after speaking to people working in the music industry, both in performance and business, is doesn’t really seem we’re getting invaded at all. Rather, the media and fans are simply accepting more music from Scandinavia because it appeals to what we want to be hearing, and that perhaps the scene was always there, just in the wings waiting for something interesting to come along.
So, I guess we can all be safe in the knowledge there’ll be no burning sacrifices to Thor any time soon.
KISS and CRÜE to tour.
KISS are only a couple of days away from fully completing their new album, and news around the web says that bad boys Motley Crüe are going to be joining them on tour later in the year. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted!
Monster, the band’s 20th studio album, is due for release in June. Alongside it’s release will be a new book, and a DVD with 10 hours of footage.
And of course, the King of Rock N’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley was also born on this day. So have this fantastic tune to rock your ears tonight.
Like my co-writers, I’ve been to stupid amounts of events this year. I guess that’s what you get when you have an insatiable appetite that’s difficult to quench. So when the task came of trying to pick ONE concert and ONE album that have been my favourites this year, I breathed a dreaded sigh.
A lot can happen in the space of a year, and there’s been a tremendous amount of events and just as many new records that I’ve really loved. I’ve been lucky enough to get to see some acts from my early teen years that brought a wave of nostalgia with them, like the Murderdolls and Wednesday 13. I’ve been graced with the presence of my favourite modern day band, Crashdïet, more than a good handful of times this year, and got to share with them some excellent drunken memories. I saw my girl crush Katy Perry do an outstanding show in the States, and saw bands I never thought in a million years I would ever get to see - Twisted Sister, Mr. Big, Rob Zombie and Motley Crue. I’ve had revisits from fantastic performers such as Hardcore Superstar, Michael Monroe, and Papa Roach, and also met and watched relatively unknown bands like Dynazty, who are definitely some of my new favourite people.
So as you can see, it’s been a whirlwind – and that’s just a selection of the ones I can remember off the top of my head. And in all this wonderment, it’s extremely difficult to pick a single event that I enjoyed most all this year. It’s a toss up between Katy Perry and Def Leppard/Motley Crue/Steel Panther, the only actual arena tours I did this year. And I think I’m going with Leppard and Crue. Def Leppard were absolutely outstanding, I always enjoy seeing them play as they’re professional, precise, and perfect, and always play a fantastic selection of songs. It was my first time seeing Motley Crue and I have to say I was a little disappointed (you can read Caris’ review of the Sheffield show here). They were slightly flat and had no “wow” factor to them. So then, why is this my favourite? I can sense your confusion, and rightly so. But it was my first time seeing them, I broke the Crue Curse, and being my second favourite band I felt I’d finally completed a life ambition, and that’s why I think I still enjoyed them. And Steel Panther were still entertaining, despite myself doubting whether they would still be able to pull in the laughs. Also, there is something magical about arena shows. The atmosphere, the energy, the noise of thousands of people buzzing with anticipation, and the mass congregation soaking up the moment alongside you.
Now, my decision for favourite record surprised me. It was a battle between Dynazty’s Knock You Down and Miss Behaviour’s Last Woman Standing, both relatively smaller and unknown bands. And I ended up choosing Last Woman Standing. It surprised me because I’m not usually a fan of AOR/Melodic rock, and as a live performance band I much prefer Dynazty. But Last Woman Standing ended up on my iTunes by pure luck, and it struck a chord within me that I just couldn’t work out. Nonetheless I really enjoyed it, and had it on repeat far more than I ever expected to. I’ve covered both Miss Behaviour and Dynazty in previous posts (go here for Miss Behaviour and here for Dynazty), and I feel both bands, although very different in genre, are both highly underrated. So I urge you to check them out and see what you think.
Other albums I enjoyed a lot this year were Vintage Trouble’s The Bomb Shelter Sessions, Beyonce’s 4, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Reckless Love’s Animal Attraction (after a lot of re-listening and re-adjusted expectations, trust me! And I’m not actually all that ashamed to admit it either, oddly enough…)
So, there you have it. My very small insight (but rather large explanation) of what I liked most this year. You have no idea how difficult this was, and I’m still a little unsure of some of the decisions! But what I am 100% certain about, is that I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2012.