Reckless Love – Rock City, Nottingham: 6th December 2014

Reckless Love
Rock City, the iconic rock venue in the heart of Nottingham, was the venue for the third night of the ‘Blast From the Past’ tour from the Fabulous, Flamboyant Finnish, Glam Rock Four, Reckless Love. I have seen them four times before and, so far, have always enjoyed their shows, although I like many of their songs, I tend to like them live more than on vinyl (CD, MP3 – whatever!). Third night of the tour, my third ever gig at Rock City, and first in over fifteen years took place on a cold, miserable night in December. Despite that the queue outside looked far from miserable but from past experience, you’d have to be Scrooge to feel anything like misery at a Reckless Love gig!

The First
The first act of the evening were the appropriately named The First, a five piece melodic rock band from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and it was the first time I’d heard of them but they must be popular, judging by the number of likes they have on Facebook. The gig started bang on time with a piano intro announcing their arrival on stage. Young and energetic they reminded me of Toseland. I didn’t manage to get hold of a set list but during the opening song Benny yelled ‘Nottingham! How the fuck are you?’ and at the end of the song ‘We’re a band called The First – thank you for having us!’  Benny was very expressive and the guitar players were bouncing! Benny asked if anyone in the audience was or had been in a band as the majority of it sucks but getting to play on the main stage here makes it all worthwhile. One song I did get the title of was Shark Attack with it’s great drum beat and screaming riffs it got everyone dancing. To enthusiastic applause at the end of their set they asked if they could get the house lights on for a picture, and Rock City obliged. They’re nowhere near as glamorous as the Finns (Shark Attack is the nearest they get to fins! Joke) but it was a good pairing and they certainly got the crowd warmed up ready for a bit of Reckless Love!

The First
Band Members:
Benny Salter – Vocals
Rob Knight – Drums
Adam Masters – Guitar / Vocals
Ben Knowles – Lead Guitar
Ben Taylor – Bass / Vocals

Reckless Love
Reckless Love

The Boys are Back in Town (by Thin Lizzy) and some green back lighting and dry ice heralded the arrival on stage of the Four Finns who are Reckless Love! The band who are like a box of chocolates! There’s something for everyone and they’re certainly popular with a couple of the PlanetMosh rock writers of the fairer sex, and my team leader David Farrell! I like a dark hairy one, erm well perhaps not hairy chocolates, and as I said as said last time I reviewed them here as soon as the Topless Pirate (my fan-girl reference to Hessu Maxx) walked on that stage topless the chances of me not enjoying the show were remote, to say the least. Thankfully the drums were raised so I still had a reasonable view from my vantage point leaning against a pillar. Pepe and Jalle, who are both pretty easy on a female rock chicks eye too, also arrived on stage!

Reckless Love
Reckless Love

Hessu’s jungle drums started the opening song Night on Fire from their 2013 release Spirit and then some exceptionally loud cheering could only mean that good looking and glamorous blonde frontman Olli Herman, who I had the pleasure of interviewing before the show (here), had arrived on stage in a puff of blonde smoke! In skin tight pants which would make many an eye water, dark shades, fingerless leather gloves and a tight red and black vest top leaving his tattooed muscular arms on show he owned that stage the minute he appeared! Arms straight up, throwing his mic stand around, hair flying everywhere he’s comparable to enigmatic front men David Lee Roth and Michael Monroe. Good Evening Nottingham, shouted Olli, followed by a loud scream and he was in particularly fine lung for the word ‘Fire’ which is repeated throughout the song on a regular basis. Loud applause followed the opening song then came So Happy I Could Die the second (and their latest) single from ‘Spirit’ Olli, who had removed his shades by this point screamed ‘Good evening Rock City Nottingham! We are so happy to be here. The last time was over a year ago. Was it? I can’t remember but what I know is it’s way too long!’ Olli then told us he didn’t think he’d heard anything worth listening to on the radio for so long which could only lead into On the Radio a great tune from their second album ‘Animal Attraction’ with riffage similar, in places, to that of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer  and Olli saying ‘This is the sound of Pepe’ and pointing to him. Olli had his arms up, Jalle and Pepe with guitars held aloft and even Hessu stood up twirling his stick (I still feel faint at the memory of him twirling his stick!)

Reckless Love
Reckless Love

Next up came one of my favourites, from their first self-titled album, the song Badass which had Olli bouncing around like Tigger on heat with his shades back on, then off again and ending with a blood curdling scream of  the word ‘badass’ and Olli at the front encouraging everyone to clap. It finished with Olli mic stand aloft asking ‘That was a real blast from the past wasn’t it? How many were here in basement when we first played in 2010? Indications were that several in the audience had been. The next one, was again, from ‘Animal Attraction’ and Olli said that when they wrote it they tried to write a rock song that was nothing like a rock song. He asked ‘Who has the balls to play this riff?’ and pointing at Pepe announced ‘This thunder fingers right here! He’s going to play’ and the song was Dance a more funky number which had people singing along. I had presumed the audience would be mainly female but there was a fairly even split of men/women I even spotted a dodgy wig and this time it wasn’t mine! Screaming riffs, pelvic thrusting to put Tom Jones to shame and the chorus ‘She said dance with me’ was accompanied by pink lighting.

I Love Heavy Metal a very popluar song from Spirit, with it’s Unskinny Bop by Poison vibe, had everyone singing along and Olli with his arms up as lots of classic and well loved bands were mentioned like AC/DC, Kiss and Motley Crue. Pepe at one point with his back to us holding his tiger striped guitar aloft for riffs. Back to Paradise a good rocking one, had Olli covering the stage, Pepe playing and pouting before Olli went off whilst Pepe played a short guitar solo. Olli came back on stage pointed to Pepe and said ‘Cheers. That guy sure knows how to play guitar. Playing guitar is not the only thing he can do, He also writes beautiful melodies’ and asked if we wanted to hear one from the the first album (Reckless Love). A ‘Blast from the Past’ which has one of his favourite guitar riffs. He says he know Motley Crue stole it! ‘This is called Sex’ a good sexy song which led straight into the next one, the slower more mellow Edge of Our Dreams a popular song which had everyone singing along. At the end of the song Olli said ‘Ladies, that one is from Spirit and it’s a thank you to you guys. You keep out dreams alive. Thanks for coming to see us, we are touched and the touch you give us is a Wild Touch

Reckless Love
Reckless Love

After touching us wildly Olli advised that ‘Nottingham really is a rock city, always the highlight of our tour’ and asked ‘How many of you are going to party tonight?’ then ‘I’ll ask again, because I am. There are two perfect reasons for having a party. One it’s a Saturday in Nottingham and two it’s Independence Day in Finland’ ‘Are you going to party tonight’ He then warned that if you were going to party you might end up with a broken heart but ‘Don’t do that. Leave that shit to us because we were Born to Break Your Heart‘ yet another popular one, which had Olli hair flying, then holding his mic over the audience who were applauding wildly. Then without further ado they went straight into Beautiful Bomb the last song of the main set which had most people in the audience dancing and Olli finally removed his vest to reveal his beautiful (bomb) body! Thank you! Good night saw them exiting the stage.

Reckless Love
Reckless Love

They didn’t leave for long as after some raucous applause they came back on, and whilst it wasn’t long there was time for a costume change and Olli was sporting a black and white checked, sleeveless, fitted cowboy shirt. The first of three encore songs was  Animal Attraction a great sexy song, with Pepe playing some screaming riffs, Hessu throwing his arms up and twirling his drum sticks, and all the band looking really happy to be performing for us tonight. Olli then said ‘OK Nottingham, I’ve got to let you know this tour is called ‘Blast From the Past’ for a reason. We always have a blast and next time we’re gonna have new material for you’ ‘Something from our first album. Are you ready for a Romance ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, on the guitar Pepe’ ‘On bass guitar Jalle Verne’ ‘The guys who makes a living beating the hell of things with sticks’ (Ooh I felt quite giddy at the thought!) ‘Hessu Maxx’ (I think my scream deafened my own hard core ears!) ‘I am Olli’ then he asked us to give it up for the the road crew and introduced them all by name, but I wasn’t quick enough to write down all the names with correct spellings, and also the merchandise man, who  he suggested we call and see before going home. Aptly, as I was starting to feel a little warm, the final song was Hot with the chorus ‘Hotter Than Hell’ a bass drum beat then again ‘Hotter Than Hell’ more bass drums. More clapping, pouting and stick twirling ensued then it really was the end. Lots more cheers and Olli’s ‘Nottingham let’s have a party’ then ‘Thank you so much. Have a great evening. See you again soon’ and all four fit as ____ Finns came to the front for bows. Hessu was the last to leave and before he went off he tapped the mic asked us to Shush and when all was quiet he opened his can of beer so we could hear the lovely sound of the ring pull coming off the can!

Although a few people had left there was still more clapping and calls for more and Olli came back ‘Are you going to make us work overtime? Awesome, cos we love our jobs! Are you sure you want one more?’ from the response it was obvious we were sure. Olli said this was going to be the ‘Last Blast From the Past’ one which ‘First came out in 2009’ and was a great one for an encore One More Time which had everyone dancing and all the band looking to be having a great time. That really was the last song, we got more bows. Hessu threw his drumsticks out but, alas, I never managed to get hold of his stick! Maybe next time! A fantastic show, fun and entertaining from start to finish and I would defy any Glam Rock fan to claim otherwise!

Reckless Love
Reckless Love

Set List: –

Night on Fire
I’m So Happy I Could Die
On the Radio
Dance With Me
I Love Heavy Metal
Back to Paradise
Edge of Our Dreams
Wild Touch
Born to Break Your Heart
Beautiful Bomb
Animal Attraction
Final Encore
One More Time

Band members: –

Olli Herman – Vocals
Pepe – Guitar
Jalle Verne – Bass
Hessu Maxx – Drums


About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!
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