A packed house in the Globe for this much loved band and huge respect should be given to the promoter at Major Minor Productions for delivering a sold out show with a fantastic sound quality in a city that is losing venues at an alarming rate. Let’s hope the Globe goes from strength to strength.
Hand of Dimes – fronted by Nev MacDonald (Skin/Kooga) and Neil Garland (Kooga) are definitely one to watch out for with an album due for release in 2015. Their set included songs from the latest EP including ‘Sail On,’ a song that starts off slowly acoustically and builds, and surely destined to become one of their anthems.
Since FM reunited for the Firefest a few years ago, they have rightly reclaimed their place at the head of the table in this genre of music, no band does it better or makes it look so easy.
Starting tonight off with ‘Tough Love’ and ‘I Belong To The Night’, FM set out their intentions to give the fans a great evening straight from the off, and the first four song salvo is rounded off with ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Let Love Be The Leader’, the crowd not being given a chance to catch their breath.
Steve Overland’s voice in ‘Closer To Heaven’ is simply majestic and also showing us that he is no slouch in the guitar solo either.
Indiscreet favourite ‘That Girl’ is then followed by ‘Wildside’, a song that really takes on a whole different sound when played live, a really bass and riff heavy intro courtesy of Pete, Jim and Merv, instantly grabbing your attention.
The band seem to be enjoying themselves on stage, always joking with each other and smiling, and that passes on into the crowd creating a great atmosphere with Steve Overland interacting with the fans and encouraging them to sing in almost every song which they duly oblige. This is a predominantly Welsh crowd so the roof tends to lift off a lot during this show.
‘Tough It Out’ the title track of their sophomore album is another song that takes on a different persona in the live arena and then it is time for the band to play the song that really started it all off for them back in 1984 with ‘Frozen Heart’.
Jim Kirkpatrick gives us a glimpse of how talented a guitarist he is with the solo work in ‘Metropolis’ before the band launch into ‘Over You’. In an age where auto-tune seems to be the devil of the music industry, and rightly so, it is such a pleasure to see all five members of the band singing backing vocals and adding to the wall of sound.
‘Crosstown Train’ and Burning My Heart down bring the set to a close with the latter song getting Pete Jupp off his stool to get the crowd going, while Jem Davis on keyboards adds a harmonica to the intro; if you are not already moving or clapping your hands at this stage then there really isn’t much hope for you.
This crowd are not about to let these guys finish just yet, they are enjoying tonight and they don’t want it to end. So demanding more and chanting for the band to come back on they get what they wanted with Jem taking to the keys while Steve takes centre stage and proceeds to sing ‘Story Of My Life’ later being joined by Jim and Merv Goldsworthy supplying backing vocals. If anyone can make a song sound poignant in a live surrounding then Steve Overland has the voice that can do it.
One last foray into the FM catalogue gets everybody jumping with the ‘Other Side of Midnight’ featuring Jem bouncing around the stage with his keytar. However, there is one more card left to play as Steve introduces Nev MacDonald (Hand Of Dimes) to the stage to crank out FM stalwart and set closer ‘Hot Legs’, trading vocals between themselves, laughing and joking all the way through, the way a rock gig should be.
Back in the 80s these two vocalists were touted for immense greatness and for whatever reasons it never quite happened, thankfully they are still on the scene and are still giving it all they have got – but more importantly they both seem to be enjoying it much more this time around.
The venues may be smaller than the 80s but the talent is still in abundance and genuine class will always rise to the top. A truly fantastic night and one you should catch while you can.
Review and photos by Darren Griffiths
Setlist: Tough It Out/ I Belong To The Night / Don’t Stop/ Let Love Be The Leader/Closer To Heaven/That Girl/Wildside/Does It Feel Like Love/Tough It Out/Frozen Heart/Bad Luck/Metropolis/Over You/Crosstown Train/Burning My Heart Down/Story Of My Life/Other Side Of Midnight/Hot Legs
Gig review (Southampton, 21 November 2014)
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