Reckless Love / Jettblack Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 28, 2010    
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Reckless Love, Jettblack – Moho Live, Manchester (UK) – September, 18th 2010

As if there weren’t enough gigs happening at the Academy venues in Manchester these days the longstanding Moho Live has now also thrown it’s hat into the ring for more traditional rock gigs with Tyketto and others already having played here during the summer. Despite having a stage that’s stuck away in a corner and not sufficiently high enough to be able to see the band unless you’re right at the front, it’s one of those little tucked away places that you become immediately comfortable in, helped no end by the friendly door and bar staff who don’t look down their noses at rock fans like they’ve just got off the shuttle from Mars. To be honest the opening band, whose name escapes me and has now disappeared from the Moho website, were pretty painful and in a style that’s neither glam nor modern rock, although the drummer was quite good.

On the other hand I was looking forward to Jettblack immensely as I’ve been enjoying their debut album for a good few weeks now. The quartet from High Wycombe play a style of commercial hard rock that I feel should give them a healthy crossover audience being somewhere inbetween the bubblegum pop-metal of tonights headliners and traditional British hard rock. They have two frontmen in Will Stapleton and John Dow who not only share lead vocals (although Stapleton is currently the most used) they share twin lead guitars on the wiry riffs and solos. It’s actually hard to say if one is better than the other, which is definitely a good thing as there’s no dip in either performance when they swap over. Songs like ‘Slip It On’ and ‘Two Hot Girls’ have simple catchy riffs and big choruses but the likes of ‘Fooled By A Rose’ and the big power ballad ‘Not Even Love’ show more depth to their songwriting and the band have mature heads on young shoulders. The delightfully titled ‘Mother Fucker’ pounds along at breakneck speed on a tight twin guitar riff and Matt Oliver’s busy drums whilst both ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ and ‘When It Comes To Lovin’ have riffs and choruses that you can’t get out of your head. Sound-wise it was a little less than perfect but Jettblack are onto something here and have the style and substance to appeal to all age groups.

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Of all the new bands taking glam into the next century Finland’s Reckless Love are perhaps the best equipped for stardom. Merging the music of the 80s with a rock solid drum assault from Hessu Maxx, Reckless Love certainly offer nothing that hasn’t been seen before, but they do it very well and manage to mix in a few different styles in the process. The catchy ‘Feel My Heat’ starts the set with some high kicks from singer Olli Herman, and whilst it takes the sound a while to settle down he unfortunately has microphone problems during ‘Romance’ and is helped out by a rowdy audience who are only too happy to take up the slack. Olli’s similarity (or is that homage?) to Dave Lee Roth comes through in his exaggerated stage moves and high-pitched yelps during the tacky ‘Sex’ and silly singalong to ‘So Yeah’, whilst they’re well on their way to delivering the whole of their debut album with the huge ‘Back To Paradise’ and pounding ‘Love Machine’. To pad out the set there’s a rather unnecessary metal cliché guitar solo from Pepe and a slightly better drum solo from the talented Maxx, but it’s back to business with a gritty ‘Badass’, simplistic ‘Born To Rock’ and the crowd reach fever pitch as Olli’s Billy Idol t-shirt comes off for ‘Wild Touch’.

Up until this point I’d been reasonably impressed but the connection between band and audience changes to a whole other level for a tremendous encore of ‘Beautiful Bomb’ and ‘One More Time’ where things begin to bode really well for their impending Firefest appearance. With a riotous crowd and a bigger stage I’m sure phasers will be set to kill.

Phil Ashcroft

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