||MICHAEL MONROE, ISLINGTON ACADEMY
19th April 2011
After having given a listen to their newly released album 'Sensory Overdrive' and absolutely loving it, I really wanted to check these guys out live as from all accounts it was pretty much guaranteed to be a cracking night.
The first thing that hit me walking into the Islington Academy though was the heat. Damn, it was hotter than hell in the venue and I swear the world and his wife was there. A crowd rammed in and wall to wall with old rockers and hellraisers right down to those getting their first look at the rather fabulous Michael Monroe.
And fabulous indeed he is, looking lithe, incredibly fit and healthy, a complete rock 'n' roll superstar.
Bouncing on with blond mane shaking, Monroe and the boys blast through the mad intro into the rollicking 'Trick Of the Wrist' with the blitzkrieg punk pop of 'Got Blood' hard on its heels.
By the time we hit the belligerent blast of 'Modern Day Miracle' and 'Motorvatin' everyone's dancing around like demons, sweating buckets and not giving a monkeys!
The set wings its way through a great collection of songs from Monroe and Sami Yaffa's Hanoi Rocks days right through to tracks from the new album, and the new single '78' stands its ground with ease, a storming, stomping rocker that sees Ginger wringing the living daylights out of his guitar with much glee.
This is a band of seriously fine and very tight musicians and they appear to be enjoying themselves at least as much as we are! 'Love Song' cranks up the pace to the max with some boisterous old style punk, and 'Malibu Beach' sees Monroe looking every inch a rock god as he throws some blistering saxaphone into the mix, moving on with a slice of wicked harmonica in the classic belter 'Dead, Jail or Rock 'n' Roll'.
Back on to much whooping and whistling for the encore and during the feisty 'I Wanna Be Loved' we are treated to a very 'Lost Boys' moment as Monroe hangs upside down from the rafters! Then to everyone's amusement and much enjoyment, with the band grinning like Cheshire cats, we switch into a brief rousing interlude of 'Eye Of The Tiger' and 'Riders On The Storm' before kicking into the final rock 'n' roll ripsnorter of 'Life Gets You Dirty'.
Effervescent and with seemingly limitless energy completely belying his years, this guy could not only give most 20-year-olds a run for their money but leave them skint and panting in his wake, and with the force of his band alongside him, this was a truly stunning show from Michael Monroe and the boys.
Pure kick ass, riproaring punk rock 'n' roll from one of the first and finest!