Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe
Electric Ballroom
London 15.10.2015
Review by Kristiina M.
Photography by Svenja Block

This is not the first time I have seen Michael Monroe, as a matter of fact I have seen this band numerous times through its 5 year existence, but it’s the first time I have been asked to review a gig, so here we go.

The current line-up of the band consists of -well of course- Michael Monroe (former Hanoi Rocks front man and as flamboyant and super powered a performer as there possibly can be!), fellow Hanoi Rocker and former New York Doll – Finland´s “TV Person Of The Year” and world music guru – Sami Yaffa on bass, another former New MMYork Doll and also known from his self-titled Crazy Truth and NYC projects and a super talented song writer, guitarist and singer – Steve Conte on guitar, former Wildhearts, Amen, Loyalties member and Pure Rawk Magazine´s Guitar Hero Of The Year in 2014, Rich Jones on guitar and finally, the infamous Karl Rockfist of Danzig and Chelsea Smiles fame on drums.

This collection of people looks good on paper, looks dangerous in pictures and on the stage has never disappointed, so expectations for this evening´s show are high. But boy, do they deliver!

Stepping out of the shadows like a bunch of rock ’n roll Clint Eastwoods, with their axes high they kick out the show with “78”, the first single from Sensory Overdrive, and the crowd loves it from the very first moment! After this, without a fear they jump into “This Ain´t No Lovesong” from the new album, Blackout States, then the new video single “Old King’s Road”. “Trick of a Wrist” drives the crowd mad followed by a Hanoi Rocks classic, “Oriental Beat”. I feel like a kid again!

It’s hot in the audience already and it doesn´t get any cooler with “The Ballad Of The Lower East Side” that makes people chant Hallelujah all over the place, then “The Man With No Eyes” from Michael´s previous solo work, and another track from the new album, RLF and oh yes, we all rock like fuck, as they say.

Then visiting good old “Hammersmith Palais” – and London is definitely not boring tonight – before “Going Down With the Ship”, at the moment my favourite track from Blackout States. Asking if we “Got Blood” before getting into more Hanoi Rocks “classics” – omg – to me these all sound old and dear and brand new at the same time: “Tragedy”, “Malibu Beach” and shaking the whole audience and the ballroom, “Up Around The Bend”, the CCR song that Hanoi Rocks recorded for their album Two Steps From The Move back in 1984. If there ever was doubt in anyone´s mind, this MM (9)blew it all away – the crowd is jamming, singing, laughing and hugging each other, the night is loud and sweaty and everybody is happy. “Dead Jail Or Rock´n´Roll” ends the set and we cry for more.

Luckily there are still encores to come – one I had really missed was Demolition 23´s “Nothin´s Allright” which used to be the opening song of MM gigs in 2010 and now I got it, and last but not least, “I Wanna Be Loved”, a good old Johnny Thunders tune. Yeah Michael and crew, I feel like I have certainly been loved by you tonight, totally spoiled with all this greatness and given back my youth again, looking at you climbing up the stage structures and hanging down singing like a maniac.

Thank you Michael Monroe, we will certainly see again. This was the best gig this year, quite likely, and will be – again again and again. THANK YOU.


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Steve Conte MM