Reckless Love – The Treatment – Collateral. Nothing in this world will beat that simmering heat in the pit of your ready soul. That nerving knowledge of fast-approaching rock ‘n’ roll. Of impending crassly good times and ice cold beer. It’s even better when it’s being brought to you on a Tuesday night when Sunday feels a distant memory and the next weekend a far-fetched dream. Reckless Love come to London as a quarter-week promise that will temporarily release us from the mundane.
Reckless Love – The Treatment – Collateral
Electric Ballroom – 6 September 2022
Words: Monty Sewell
Photography: Robert Sutton
The Finnish natives saw this now in-action tour previously postponed four times. So now, like many other band fans across the world, their audience stand at their feet awaiting the show pledged to them many, many times. However, with the release of their fifth studio album, Turborider in March earlier this year, it seemed to be unexpectedly good timing for them to be back on the road.
The Camden Electric Ballroom hosted show opens with Collateral. To describe this band’s performance in one sentence would be this: if an opener can get the crowd raising their horns in the name of rock ‘n’ roll within the first five minutes of a gig, you’ve got yourself a winner.
Frontman Angelo Tristan conducts the audience with the wild ambiguity of an ’80s stage mogul, all big grins whilst support from his band on backing vocals lends a perfectly layered addition. They play through the fantastic Mr. Big Shot, Promiseland and Lullaby whilst also introducing us to the new song Sin In The City (out 14 October). An unfortunate technical error means the build-up acoustic intro to Merry Go Round is cut, but this by no means causes a loss in momentum as the guys smash out this last number with an arena-sized blast. Fingers crossed, they come back round this way soon.
A Highway To Hell stage entrance is a bold statement. But if one supporting band can pull it off, it would be The Treatment. The Cambridge natives bring their thundering energy to the Ballroom on a night that keeps getting bigger. Originally, Dan Reed Network was billed to bring their rock, funk, and soul edge to the night, but an unfortunate ongoing injury sustained by one of the band members meant a reluctant pull from the tour was necessary. This meant The Treatment had to put on a decent show and win over a crowd who were not expecting to see them in the first place.
They crack on with Let’s Get Dirty, all signature hair throws and onstage fiascos. I’d last seen them a few pre-pandemic years back and was instantaneously lost in their drilled hard rock dedication, no bead of sweat wasted. Tonight looked as though it would be the same, if not better. Let It Begin, Under Water and Shock In The City followed before they pulled out the new material with Devil In The Detail.
The highlight surely is the double trouble guitarist wombo combo of Tagore And Tao Grey. The duo erupt in energy, acting as one entity as they high and dive across the stage, swapping and contorting around each other whilst throwing out killer riffs. The Doctor, On The Money and Rat Race are brilliant orthopaedic killers as half the venue breaks their necks in the head-bang. Wrong Way takes on a solid form as Tom Rampton brings the heat on lead vocals, being the ever-raspy powerhouse rock god that he is.
As they near the end of their set, it’s a Get The Party On sweat fest but with no less stylised force than at the start. “I’m gonna say thank you a billion times, and I’m not even sorry!!” With a gorgeous Gibson Explorer and Gibson Les Paul providing bone-crunching solo swaps, the final frontier becomes a melody blast extravaganza. A job well executed by The Treatment, who seemed to have well earned the crowds’ respect.
On with the main act. As a self-confessed Reckless Love show virgin – but a hard drive of pre-gig research – the audience that had now filled the venue looked exactly as I had imagined: glamorous, dirty, sexy, leather-bound music outlaws looking for a good time. Reckless Love are the Hair Metal meets synth wave Scandi icons who signify their entrance to the stage through the classic sound of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town (though, of course, their version ends on a synth twist).
Dressed in casual white suits with varying under t-shirts, the band accessorise in their own unique way with an image you could pick out of a lineup with your eyes closed. Frontman vocalist Olli Herman dons tinted sci-fi sunglasses whilst bassist Jalle Verne wears a sun-soaked fedora style hat.
The punters move forward as the band bound onstage, with Herman immediately jumping up onto the centre podium, arms raised in the air. They bring out the big initial statement with the title track from their latest album, Turborider, before ravishing us of our energy with Outrun, Monster and Back to Paradise. With the synth sampler being a very prominent part of their entire musical catalogue, I was eager to see how the Metal side would fair onstage. Turns out, rather flipping well. Pepe Reckless on guitar is the imposing, axe-wielding legionary who services every roaring riff and solo melody line with all of his wild perfection.
Herman is a constant converser with his attentive fans, comfortable in Love’s fun-loving image as any two-decade long-running band would be. “Hands up if you need to work tomorrow?! Well, so do we, but we don’t give a shit. We’re gonna get high on you!” As the suit jackets come off, the cheek-to-cheek grins continue, and so do the good times.
We get a dose of proper ’80s Metal suave with an Ozzy Bark At The Moon cover, which raises pulses accordingly.
Kids Of The Arcade, Like A Cobra, Edge Of Our Dreams, Eyes Of A Maniac and Badass slot in sagaciously as Reckless Love continues in their fantasia display of a fantastically dedicated show. The blown-out anthemic choruses are a constant theme, with a definite rawer sound coming out than on their albums.
Another trope of the night is the great vocal audience appreciation from the bands, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the industry. Gone are the days of the ‘we do what we want, and you’ll still love us!’ attitude of the distorting drunken onstage antics. Herman lends to this idea again, thanking the crowd again for their dedication and support throughout the years.
Hessu Maxx provides wonderful drumstick tricks in-between fills whilst breaking out some striking percussion and varying signature beats. The band finishes with belt-tightening renditions of Night On Fire and Hot, ending their one-and-a-half-hour onstage run with a smash.
For the live music scene, this year has been a forward-pushing one. For the first time in what feels like a lifetime, bands have been able to finally get out on the circuit without the risk of another shutdown. Because of this, the reach for high standards seems larger than ever as the need for bands to satisfy their postponed tour fans’ thirst is unrelenting.
Tonight, it’s safe to say Reckless Love have done just this. An abundance of charisma finely lining their well-versed musicianship come together to form quite the show. Let’s hope to see them cross over into our threshold again soon.