Back again for what is fast becoming an annual visit, there is a fair queue outside before the doors have even opened with fans dressed in their glam metal best and some have even face painted themselves with the sugar skulls that adorn the cover of their latest album ‘Spirit’.
Tonight’s openers were Dublin based Only Rivals. Through no fault of their own, they are not well matched as a support band for Reckless Love. The person responsible for booking the support bands needs to really take a proper look at Reckless Love and what they are about, as they made the same mistake last year booking Mallory Knox as support. That said like Mallory Knox, Only Rivals put on a really good and solid performance. They maintain an upbeat set, as different members take turns to sing lead vocals and they do a fantastic job of warming up the audience, who are thoroughly enjoying the unexpected performance before them. I would like to see Only Rivals again in a smaller setting with a better mix of bands around them. Well done to the guys for winning over what could have been a difficult audience.
Laura Wilde was main tour support, a sassy looking young blonde who has just the right amount of quality attitude, dresses the part and is not too shabby a singer or musician either. Some of London’s Australian fraternity had certainly turned out for tonight’s show by their fellow native. Laura cracked out some guitar moves and little riffs during her set which featured songs from her debut release ‘Sold My Soul’ and a cover of a song by fellow Australian’s AC/DC. She had some decent songs and although it seems I misunderstood the song titles, there was a good little star-spangled number about touring across the USA that I enjoyed.
As Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ emanates over the PA system, the temperature rises as predominantly women get a little warm under their tops at the prospect of four very attractive Finnish men taking to the stage (I was no exception), the excitement starts to build, the photographers all jostle for the best spot in the photo pit and out from behind the black curtain appear Reckless Love’s Hessu, Pepe, Jalle and Olli oozing style and swagger, with better eye make up than I have managed to muster tonight, or on any night in fact. Like it or not, this band is as much about the look as it is about the music. You don’t come to a Reckless Love gig expecting to hear the finest quality music played or sung flawlessly, you come to hear good, fun songs played well, have a really good time with your friends and perhaps, if you are like me, to lust a little too.
Olli had recovered from whatever ailment he was facing at the start of the tour which fellow Planet Mosh reviewer Louella Deville commented on in her review of the Manchester show (which can be viewed here). On previous occasions seeing Reckless Love, I have found Olli’s voice has faltered at times, but tonight he was on fantastic form from “I love heavy metal, can’t get enough, can’t get enough” through to “I can’t stay with you forever, baby you’re the best fun that I’ve had , so one more time one night together, make it mad!”
One of the great things about Reckless Love is their sing-a-long choruses in songs like ‘On the Radio’ and ‘Beautiful Bomb’, both of which featured early on in tonight’s set. O2 Islington Academy’s punters were certainly singing their hearts out.
Credit must go to the pounding of the bass lines by Jalle and of drum kit by ladies favourite Hessu Maxx. They too seem to have put in significant effort to practise since I saw them last and have certainly upped the standard of musicianship in this band, proving that they are not just four pretty faces.
It was great to hear ‘Wild Touch’ included and although initially stopped by Olli as he saw an argument going on in the front rows (some girls it seems lacked gig etiquette and had reduced another girl to tears with their behaviour), once it re-started, ‘Wild Touch’ gave Pepe a chance to whack out a solo and some quality playing, much to the delight of my guitar loving friend.
Of the songs from the latest album ‘Spirit’ that are played tonight and there were a fair few, ‘Sex Drugs and Reckless Love’ I would say was best received by the audience, who leaped up and down and were practically scrambling for the band. Tonight’s energy was infectious and goes both ways. Reckless Love came up to the mark tonight and proved themselves worthy of the adulation. I only wished I was a little more in the thick of it without my cumbersome camera bag, it was certainly the most fun I have had at a Reckless Love gig. Roll on next year.
Reckless Love Set List
I Love Heavy Metal
On The Radio
Born To Break Your Heart
Dying to Live
Edge of Our Dreams
Back To Paradise
Sex Drugs & RL
So Happy I could Die
Night On Fire
One More Time