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  ROGUE MALE, SOUND, LONDON
By Pippa Lang
3rd April 2011
pippa lang



rogue male

Looks like rejects from the auditions for Mad Max have swarmed the stage, as clouds of dust billow forth like Angry Anderson's just been splattered all over the highway (with a final one-fingered salute, of course).

Actually, it's ancient mavericks Rogue Male, who've surely been alive as long as Mel Gibson, and don't look like they've had a wash since well before the apocalypse.

This post-apocalyptic image wore well in the 80s, and, lucky for Jim Lyttle's scary-looking ensemble - the world being in a permanent state of atomic suspense - it doesn't look out of place in this decade either.

With original guitarist Johnny Fraser-Binnie replacing Bernie Torme, who played on RM's resurgent 2009 album, 'Nail It', the set is a hybrid of old and new, proving that the 80s and noughties aren't that far apart, especially if you've been in cryogenic suspense in between.

RM throw out melodies with relentless energy and enthusiasm, anthem upon anthem played at breakneck speed through a set that seems to be over before it's started. Openers 'Cold Blooded Man' and 'Street Credibility' (touch of The Beastie Boys' 'Fight For Your Right (To Party)' here) from the new(ish) album rev up the set with hooks buzzing about like rampant flies.

But by 'Take No Shit' halfway through, feels like just a tad too much on the throttle, flies getting swatted by irritated, slightly startled youngsters waiting for headliners Beholder. Not suggesting RM write a ballad – but isn't a rollercoaster more fun than a straight track?

With all this dust, dirt, sweat and spittle flying from the stage, I have to worry about RM running out of steam. I mean, you can't run a 'Crazy Motorcycle' with no fuel, can you? Let's hope last number from 1986, 'Unemployment', doesn't become the anthem that defines them.

That would be a real shame.

Pippa Lang


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