FM have taken took their time to follow up their well received comeback album Metropolis, but after celebrating 25 years of their classic ‘Indiscreet’‘ debut with live shows last year, the finest melodic rock band forged on this side of the Atlantic are opening 2013 with a bang.
Two albums worth of new material is now ready for release, just ahead of a UK tour, and fans willing to pledge money, various assembled industry figures and the odd figure from other bands were invited to a unique early evening playback in the small room of the 02 Academy.
The band mingled freely while we got to hear a full playback first of Rockville, then of Rockville 2, which was initially funded via Pledge Music but now been released alongside the full album.
With the beer and chat flowing it was hard to concentrate in detail on the music and a full critical judgement will have to wait for a proper listen. However first impressions were that they were in the classic FM style, but with a diversity that bodes well for repeated listening with the likes of the slightly funky ‘Only Foolin’ and ‘High Cost of Loving’ making the biggest initial impact.
However the icing on the cake was a special half hour live set in the middle, and a full electric one rather than the acoustic show I had been led to believe. The invite only nature of the event seemed to relax the band and there was even more camaraderie evident on stage than usual.
For my part, hearing them open with Indiscreet’s AOR classics ‘I Belong to the Night’ and ‘That Girl’ in a small club like this was bringing back memories of the days around 1986, when my brother and our other teenage friends used to rock out to them down the old Marquee and were convinced- sadly misguidedly- that they had the image and radio friendly tunes to follow Bon Jovi into the charts.
In Jim Kirkpatrick, FM have a guitarist perfectly suited to the old material and he and Steve Overland came together for some tasty twin lead guitar solos on the relatively rarely played ‘Hot Wired’, but it is Steve’s uniquely expressive and soulful vocals that will always be the real trademark of FM, showed off to good effect on the bluesy ‘Closer to Heaven’.
After ‘Dangerous’, with its massive chorus and Jem Davis’ keys kicking in, had me wondering just how it was omitted from Indiscreet, another oldie in ‘Other Side of Midnight’, complete with their synchronised stage moves, ended the set.
While the live material was a great nostalgia trip and a lovely coda to the ‘Indiscreet 25’ tour, the real celebration tonight was to hear a band many of us thought were lost to music for good looking to the future and sounding so fresh doing so.
Review and photos by Andy Nathan
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 31 October. Next session 17 November.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 31 October 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 2 November 2021.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Featured Albums w/c 15 November 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 MEMORIA AVENUE Memoria Avenue (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 FANS OF THE DARK Fans Of The Dark (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 HANNAH JAMES & TOBY KUHN Sleeping Spirals (Jigdoll Records)
Power Plays w/c 15 November 2021 (Mon-Fri)
THE FORGOTTEN Interstellar (FiXT Noir)
QUILL Riding Rainbows (indie)
DEAD REYNOLDS Uninspired (The Fort)
CAVALCADE Dreaming About (Golden Robot)
HANNAH ALDRIDGE Sinking (indie)
GREYHAVEN All Candy (Rude Records)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!