Band: FM & Romeo's Daughter

Venue: 02 Academy, Newcastle

Date: 8 May 2015

 

With a packed weekend ahead of us what better way to get the ball rolling than with bout of Melodic Rock by two of Britain’s finest, such was the demand for tickets, the concert was upgraded to the big room and well should it be, as these two titans of the genre rolled into town and totally rocked the roof off the O2.

First up Romeo’s Daughter led of course by the vocals of Leigh Matty, along with stalwart members Craig Joiner, Ed Poole and Andy Wells.  The band rolled back the years and also brought a touch of the new with tracks from their fantastic new album 'Spin'.

Opening up the set in fine style with ‘Trippin Out’, immediately the band had the crowd rocking as the air filled with melodic bliss.

Then it was taken to new heights as the band ripped through the classic 'Addicted To The Animal’, with the crowd in fine voice from the off, as they sang out loud and proud along with Matty.

The first of the new tracks from 'Spin' was next, the excellent 'Radio' which went down a storm with the Geordie hoards, as did the next new song ‘Touch’ when it was unleashed.  Again the crowd were clearly loving the new stuff as much as the classics.

Matty’s voice has never lost any its soulfulness as the band rolled by the years with the ballad ‘I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night’.

Their short but impressive set was closed in style as the band rocked out with ‘Wild Child’, another solid crowd favourite.  I would have loved a longer set from Romeo’s Daughter because they have so many great songs, not just the older songs, but the new album has some great tunes and I would have loved to have heard the likes of 'Already Gone' and 'Enemy' performed live.  Hey, maybe next time! 

Next up were British Melodic Rock legends FM.  A band that have been on a roll since their reformation show at Firefest in 2007.

Like Romeo’s Daughter before them Steve Overland, Merv Goldsworthy, Pete Jupp, Jem Davis and Jim Kirkpatrick brought a taste of the old with a touch of new as they brought the classics and songs form the new album Heroes And Villains.

As the band walked on stage the cheers went up even before a note was played.  The crowd here tonight were clearly right behind Steve and the boys as the opened up proceeding with the storming ‘Digging Up The Dirt’ from 'Heroes and Villains’, as Overland’s sublime vocals filled the venue. 

It was straight into ‘I Belong To The Night’ on which Overland just oozed melodic bliss, while Kirkpatrick threw out the melodic riffs like confetti, with the backbone rhythm section of Jupp and Goldsworthy kept it real, with Davis the cement that holds it all together on the keyboards.

The whole band brought their A-Game tonight for sure, as they rocked things up a bit with the superb ‘Wildside’, before bringing the tempo down with the soulful ‘Closer To Heaven’, as Mr Melodic Rock Overland showed his class as he melted even the hardest of hearts with this one.

Kirkpatrick opened up the classic ‘Let Love Be The Leader’ like it was made for him.  This gave the Geordie choir a chance to get in on the act with a little "Whoaoo, Whoaoo" action.

It was back to the new album for ‘Shape I’m In’, a track currently on rotation on Radio 2 and rightly so.  It’s a corker!  Then it was straight into fan favourite ‘Tough Love’, before the Geordie choir was back in the game as they sang along with Overland to ‘Blood and Gasoline’.

It was then to the 'Indiscreet' album for the excellent ‘Frozen Heart’, which still sounds a good today as when I first heard it and it still sends shivers down my spine for all the right reasons.  Then it was back to the new album for the wonderful ‘Life Is A Highway’, as once again the band showed their rockier side.

The backing track of a train whistle meant only one thing, there was a ‘Crosstown Train’ coming our way, again the rockier side of FM was brought out with Kirkpatrick lighting up the fret board, before Davies really brought in the heat and ripped up the keyboard on ‘Tough It Out’.

What FM set wouldn’t be complete without ‘That Girl’ and tonight was one of those nights as the band ripped up a veritable musical storm once more.

The set closed on two giant FM classics, first up with 'Burning My Heart Down’, which had everyone bouncy along in fine fettle, before rounding off the set in style with ‘Bad Luck’.

The band left the stage to monstrous applause and it wasn’t long before they were back to put the icing on a great night of melody rich rock as they kicked off the encore first with the ballad ‘Story Of My Life’, with just Overland and Davies taking the spotlight for this one, although soon to be joined later by rest of the band who laid down the backing vocals for this song.

The night was rounded off with ‘Other Side Of Midnight’ which meant that Davies could step from behind the keyboards as he brought out the keytar and rocked the stage along with the rest of the guys.  This rounded off another wonderful FM show, although it has to be said, the real icing on the cake for many was when Jupp stepped from behind the kit and showed off his Mayfair Ballroom t-shirt, a reminder to many when Newcastle rocked every Friday and Saturday night.  Those times may never come back but the music of the era still is as strong as ever and the bands tonight showed just that. 

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

 

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