Michael Monroe / Dogs D'Amour / Electric Eel Shock

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Michael Monroe / Dogs D'Amour / Electric Eel Shock - O2 Academy Islinton, London (UK) - 30 October 2019

Openers Electric Eel Shock came on to 'Iron Man' and immediately declared their love for eighties Heavy Metal. There was definite humour to their performance and they were aware that some of what they do is a cliché, the gurning faces and the extravagant poses and this self awareness meant that the crowd were definitely laughing with rather than at this band. The band's wit extended to telling the crowd that their CDs are cheap, made in China and only one half of them work, "so please buy two!" Also eye-catching was that the drummer played naked with just a long knitted tube over his vital portions and played with two sticks in each hand: he is clearly skilled, but like Tommy Lee takes a central role with all his antics and knows the value of an entertaining performance. All the gimmicks aside, they gave a competent performance of classic Metal and departed the stage leaving everyone smiling.

Dog's D'amour played a popular set full of their Classics like 'Billy Two Rivers', 'Firework Girl' and "Errol Flynn', but managed to get a few newer numbers in like '111' and 'I Don't Love Anyone'. Unlike his recent performance at the Lounge in London, Tyla was in a good mood and jokes were flying around, like "here's a new one" before they played 'How Come It Never Rains'. With the current line-up the playing is still more fifties and sixties than eighties, reflecting the way the Dogs have been for a few years now, with only Tyla as an original member with a more vintage style band, but the crowd definitely preferred to hear these songs rather than not at all and the band were popular, Tyla smiling throughout.

Michael Monroe opened with the new single from the new album 'One Man Gang' with justified confidence in the new record. Michael had new glitter ball and glo-stick star shaped props, but he didn't need this to dazzle the audience which he already did with his energy and athletic stage moves, jumping on monitors, doing high-kicks while standing on their very edge and closing several numbers with the splits. Still very apparent is the great chemistry between the band on stage and there were lots of heads on each other shoulders, smiling and hugs. Monroe, being a sensitive kind of guy, needs just this kind of supportive environment to give his very best and he simply shone. He is a master at engaging the crowd, standing on the barrier and running along it to say hello and get close to the fans, and even running along the drinks bar stage left to the back of the room to reach those further away.

In the middle of the show the band delighted the crowd by doing several old Hanoi Rocks numbers which have not been heard for a while, including 'Motorvatin'', 'Don't You Ever Leave Me', 'Malibu Beach' and 'Up Around The Bend', the latter while doing the 'can can'. Looking like a Rock star is as much part of Monroe's being as sounding like one and he always gives the full package no matter what. However, as well as being a great front man we were treated to his saxophone and mouth organ skills, this is very much a show of substance as well as style, and aware that Michael takes most of the attention the rest of the band were happy to watch him go while they delivered their part in the amazing show. The band did not miss out popular solo career numbers like '78', 'Trick Of The Wrist' and 'Not Fakin' It' as well as Demolition 23 classics 'Nothing's Alright' and 'Hammersmith' towards the climax of the show, it being no secret that Monroe loves these songs and almost always puts them in the set somewhere. Monroe always leaves the audience breathless with excitement, tonight was no exception.

Dawn Osborne

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