Romeo's Daughter / Mad Haven

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Romeo's Daughter / Mad Haven - Nells, London (UK) - 29 February 2020

Mad Haven had travelled from North Wales tonight, and according to their backdrop have been together since 2011. However, they still look about 17, albeit with long hair like a young Skid Row, so I wondered how young they started. They are a three-piece with the vocalist doubling up on guitar. They delivered a professional, fairly long set with a typical Hard Rock offering, a slightly modern take based on a NWOBHM foundation. If there's a criticism none of the songs were very memorable or stuck in my mind, and for such a young band they could have thrown more energy into their performance. They were not a particularly obvious choice as support for a Pop Rock band, but they didn't suck.

Romeo's Daughter are, of course, veterans and consummate professionals live. They have a new bassist who looks a little like Vinnie Paul crossed with Steven Seagal who quietly, as a new man would, played his part. The attention is, of course, on Leigh Matty and her vocals and she was in fine voice, looking immaculate as usual. Craig provided his usual lovely guitar solos with a big smile.

They kicked off with big hit 'Heaven In The Back Seat' and so it was a big energy start. The crowd were pretty much all long-term die-hards who knew all the words. The venue tonight is usually a Jazz and Blues club in Kensington rather than a well-known Rock venue in Camden, but nothing was going to stop them attending, and at the first break the reaction from the crowd was deafening which, of course, was a shot in the arm for the band early on.

It was a long set of eighteen songs, mostly made up of stuff from the naughties and the nineties including singles 'Bittersweet', 'Alive' and 'Radio', reminding us that the band have done a lot since the first album, but as we reached the end of the set there was a block of songs from 1988, including the well-known 'Inside Out', 'I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night' and the first single which has not been in the set for a while, 'Don't Break My Heart'. For an encore we got acoustic versions of 'Talkin' Love' and new song 'Since You Went Away' from the latest EP, before final big blowout 'Wild Child'. I have never seen this band do a bad set and love to see them carrying on their legacy, with a promise of more dates as this last run of UK dates has gone so well.

Dawn Osborne

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