Gig review: RECKLESS LOVE – Islington Academy, 10 October 2013

Over three years and now three albums since they exploded onto the scene, Finnish glam metal revivalists Reckless Love have defied critics who thought they were a flash in the pan and in the words of one of their songs have made it last.

They will never appeal to those looking for something musically or lyrically more substantial, but no-one writes catchier songs, or are such a fun live act. A near sold out Academy was a good mixture of those of us who remember the late eighties heyday of this music and a new generation of fans, although in my view they would have been better off leaving the Rock of Ages wigs at home.

 Coming on stage in studded leathers which they swiftly stripped off, they opened with the tongue-in-cheek tribute I Love Heavy Metal and another new song in Bad Lovin.

Looking like a young Michael Monroe, Olli Herman is a master frontman and the whole band exude a sense of fun, but artificial assistance was not needed as the crowd was a forest of hands in the air to insanely catchy anthems like On the Radio, Born to Break Your Heart and Wild Touch.

 It is a measure of their  material that Beautiful Bomb, the song that brought them to wider attention can be casually slipped in to the set relatively early.

They cleverly mixed familiar material with songs from the new album Spirit, some of which such as Edge of Our Dreams and runaway Love showed a pleasing step forward in maturity.

However in this cheesy genre there is a fine line between affectionately respecting your roots and dumb self-parody and I did have to cringe when Sex and Drugs and Reckless Love was introduced.

Fortunately Back To Paradise and the title track of their last album Animal Attraction got things back on the straight and narrow.

After a somewhat short hour long set there were a trio of encores as lead-off single from the new album, Night On Fire gave way to Hot, which, catchy even by their standards, had the whole place jumping, and One More Time brought things to a joyful conclusion.

To adapt Bon Jovi, this was about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.  S Club 7, as so often, were wrong – there ain’t no party like a Reckless Love party.

Review and photos by Andy Nathan

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