Gig Review

Reckless Love
Dear Superstar, Deadly Circus Fire
London, Barfly

25th October 2012

Reckless Love          Dear Superstar            Deadly Circus Fire

Reckless Love are currently towards the end of a month long tour of the UK, a stint that has included four nights in four weeks at Camden Barfly in London. Formed over a decade ago, the glam metal band have enjoyed some considerable success outside of their homeland of Finland, for those seeking confirmation of their growing popularity (myself included), tonight’s gig was a sell-out.

The first support act was Deadly Circus Fire. A quite frankly ludicrous name for a band if you ask me, however the lads on stage appeared of perfectly sound mind as they belted out a heavy brand of melodic metal with plenty of energy, trying their best to whip the largely static crowd out of their lethargy. Oh, did I mention they were sporting the kind of face paint that would give Gene Simmons the heebie-jeebies? Perhaps I’ll retract my ‘sound mind’ comment. The killer breakdowns, frenetic drumming and committed, snarling vocals were impressive if not a little far removed from what I’d expect from a glam-rock band’s support act. Although when you consider the fact they resembled cheese-induced Tim Burton nightmare on steroids, they were never going to come out and play T-Rex covers were they?

Next up was Manchester’s Dear Superstar, offering a mixed bag of retro rock riffs, dramatic choruses, cheekbones, quiffs and guyliner. The band tried their best to summon the seedy spirit of LA strip joints on ‘Brother’s in Blood’ an ode to groupies and touring, and finally managed to wake the static crowd during sing-a-long ‘Turn to Dust’ with crunchy guitars and searing harmonies, it’s clear that their live show is well-honed. Throughout the gig - as impressive as the musicianship was - it was difficult to look past the pouts, posturing, that make-up, and their brazenly misogynistic lyrics, because, for all the bravado and a West Coast US imagery, they’re essentially five guys from rainy Manchester. For Christ’s sake chaps, have some gravy on chips, stick some Ian Brown on and have a good moan. The illusion was further shattered when frontman Micky Satiar thanked the audience for reminding them that “the UK is way better than touring Europe” to which a northern voice from the crowd loudly responded “That’s bollocks mate, you’ve never left Blackburn!” And my night was made. All in all, a solid set that got the crowd going and set the tone for what was to come. To be honest, if I’d have fully known what was to come, I’d have been far less judgemental of Satiar’s eyeliner....

It was then time for Reckless Love to bring the night to a close, and by now the largely female crowd were ready to be rocked, 80’s style. Bounding on stage to the sound of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’, the Fins were ready to entertain and you could almost smell the pheromones in the air. Actually, I’m pretty sure in retrospect that it was hairspray and leather trousers. It’s not often one can say that they feel out of place wearing a blazer and chinos, however to quote Peep Show, I began to feel like Louis Theroux at the orgy, desperately attempting to avoid eye contact with any of the attendees, such was their enthusiasm for the impending set. Of course, I’m aware that the candle for Motley Crue et al still burns brightly for the masses, but I must admit that I’ve been blissfully ignorant to current bands such as Reckless Love, bands that enjoy such popularity by harnessing the nostalgia that exists for glam metal ‘cock rock’ cheesiness, however much like the dung beetle, I guess there’s a place of it, and it must be accepted that it dutifully fulfils a purpose.

The live show itself was an electrically charged beast, full of showmanship and balls-out (almost literally) confidence, lead singer Olli Herman’s vocals were impressive, full of power and range, like a young Axl Rose before he began channelling Keith Lemon, Pepe Salohalme’s guitar solos were lengthy, the band swaggered and the crowd loved every moment. There was even a drum solo interlude that warranted a rapturous reception from the throng of available women and denim draped men in the audience. ‘Born to Break your Heart’ and ‘Back to Paradise’ seemed to be crowd pleasers with their hooky choruses and choppy riffs. I even found myself tapping my feet and nodding my head. If I were to say that I wasn’t entertained by it all then I’d be dishonest, this was an entertaining gig, much like ‘Permission to Land’ era Darkness, you nudge, you wink, and everybody is in on the joke – it’s all light hearted fun until someone catches an STI. However, the longevity of Reckless Love seems to point towards a dedication and seriousness that contradicts their homeless Amy Childs make-up and Pamela Anderson hairdos and it’s exactly that unnerves me a little. They seem to take themselves seriously enough to succeed where the Darkness flashed in the pan. Of course, it could very well be that the whole concept is a long term Andy Kauffman style joke at the expense of the ticket buyers – part of me wishes that it is – but it could also be that in two years time, America and the UK are in the grasp of Reckless Love. After all, they have the live show licked, they have the catchy tracks and another wave of glam rock is overdue an outbreak. If that happens, lock up your daughters, open your medicine cabinets and find me a large rock to crawl under until it all blows over.

All in all, not my cuppa, but a musically and vocally impressive gig that went down well with the crowd and, I’d imagine, Max Factor too.

Deadly Circus Fire 3/5
Dear Superstar 3/5
Reckelss Love 3/5

Review By Jack Turner

 Reckless Love

Olli Herman
Jalle Verne
Hessu Maxx

 Dear Superstar

Micky Satiar
Adam Smethurst
Benj Ashmead
Stew Milton
Ben Grimsley

 Deadly Circus Fire

Adam Grant
Save Addario
Mike Enort
Paul Igoe

 Band Related Links
Reckless Love Facebook
Dear Superstar Facebook
Deadly Circus Fire Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?