Review by Paul Davis, Photos by Mark Lloyd
Tonight Love/Hate’s ‘Blackout 13’ tour arrived in the Midlands and it’s hard to believe it’s 23 years since the release of the classic Blackout In The Red Room.
Support band on this tour were Lincoln’s rising stars Knock out Kaine.
After their ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ intro tape, Knock Out Kaine open their set with a cover and it’s Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. As a statement of intent it does the trick, getting the attention of the crowd before showcasing songs from their recently released debut album House of Sins. It’s a performance that justifies their tag as one of the most hotly tipped bands this year, their sound is a real throwback to the sleazy glam of the eighties. Motley Crue and Guns ‘n Roses influences are never far away.
‘Set the Night on Fire’ is introduced as the new single and would have been a big hit when this brand of rock was in it’s heyday. On ‘Backstreet Romeo’ Dean Foxx’s vocals have a certain Axl Rose quality to them, ‘Little Crystal’ and ‘Time’ sound awesome and set closer ‘Somebody Save Me’ is another song with a huge chorus. It’s a big year ahead for Foxx, guitarist Jimmy Bohemian and the rhythm section of Danny Krash and Lee Byrne.
Although not being the Love /Hate line-up that produced the much celebrated debut album,(bassist Skid Rose, guitarist Jon E. Love and drummer Joey Gold are long gone and, it seems, retired from the music biz), frontman Jizzy Pearl has put together an impressive line-up featuring Kerri Kelli (Slash’s Snakepit, Alice Cooper) on guitar, Robbie Crane (Ratt) on bass and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) on drums.
The songs from the debut album are greeted like old friends and hearing them live again makes you realize that with the right timing and a little bit of luck, Love/Hate could have been huge. As it turned out, there was always more love for them here in the UK than in their homeland. Most of the set is made up from Blackout in the Red Room and follow-up Wasted In America, although ‘Spinning Wheel’ from the third album Let’s Rumble is a popular choice with the Slade Rooms crowd.
Jizzy Pearl rolled back the years tonight, despite battling with sound problems for large parts of the set. The crowd needed no encouragement to join in on the likes of ‘Hell, Ca., Pop.4’ and ‘Fuel To Run’. If the main set had been well received, then the encore reached new levels of craziness down the front with fists pumping and beers flying.
When an encore consists of ‘Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?’ and ‘Blackout in the Red Room’, there’s not much else you can ask for, add a cover of Motorhead anthem ‘Ace of Spades’ and it’s perfect.
Love/Hate return to the UK at the end of the year for Hard Rock Hell, a warm-up show in the Midlands would be most welcome.