The very first band I saw at the very first proper gig I went to was Love/Hate. Back in those days their intro involved their then bass player Skid cavorting around the stage with a cross made of Budweiser cans. It went on for ages.
Happily their own support act this evening, Knockout Kaine, seem on a mission to resurrect this idea of band making a grand entrance. Less gratifyingly when they do eventually start their set after an extraordinarily long intro tape, they do so with a glam rock version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” We have said before that Queen have no place anywhere near music and we remain steadfast in that view.
RTM hasn’t listened to a great deal of glam rock recently, but KK tick all the boxes in terms of clichés. In addition to a ballad called “Backseat Rodeo” they have a song about drugs called “Crystal Eyes,” which probably gives you a flavour of the songs on view. Nothing original, but big dumb fun – which, when you think about it, is kind of the point.
Just over 20 years ago Love/Hate were, to RTM, a seriously big deal. We once queued up outside Virgin Megastore in
to meet the group when album three “Lets Rumble” came out.
We are transported back to those times when “The Boozer” kicks off this 80 minute romp through their songs. There is, of course, a caveat to this. There is only one original member on show, singer Jizzy Pearl. In fairness, though, he has managed to assemble a reasonable cast of characters alongside him. Kerri Kelli, in lead guitar is an ex Alice Cooper cohort, while on bass is Robbie Crane once of Ratt.
The band are clearly enjoying themselves too. The crowd is bigger than they might have expected, in fact the only thing that is letting the sound down is the rather erratic sound. Even this is laughed off by an affable
, who says it reminds
him of a show “back in the motherfucking day” with a smile. Pearl
As might be expected the stuff from the stellar debut album “Blackout in the Red Room” one of the most underrated records of its generation goes down best “One More Round” is a huge singalong, as is “Fuel To Run,” while “Mary Jane” remains as catchy as ever.
What might be a surprise, though, is that songs from the second album “Wasted In America” and the aforementioned “…Rumble” sound fresher than ever. “Evil Twin” although lost in feedback is fabulous and “Spinning Wheel” is full of sleazy charm.
Best of all, though, is the encore. After “Why Do You Think They Call It Dope” comes “Ace Of Spades” with its punky sneer to the fore, before closing – as you knew it would – with the huge riff of “Blackout In The Red Room.”
Ok, so this was an evening that offered nothing new whatsoever, but occasionally you only need a band to let you wallow in nostalgia. And, dammit, that’s exactly what Love/Hate served up tonight. Superb.