Michael Monroe - Universal Records, Kensington - 26th November 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Craggy   
Friday, 03 December 2010 05:00

michaelmonroeband2010It was brought to my attention that Classic Rock were offering the chance to win tickets for an intimate acoustic performance by Michael Monroe and his new band, followed by a chat and a general signing of Monroe-related material. Not believing that I had the slightest chance of winning I decided to enter anyway. Well by Christ I won! This news was a three pronged attack of greatness as firstly I am a big Hanoi Rocks/Monroe fan; secondly I'm also a massive Wildhearts/Ginger fan; and thirdly I couldn't afford tickets to Motörhead this year so was going to miss the live show. Well, this more than made up for it (only a guest appearance by the 'Head could have topped it).


I saw the guys play a live show earlier this year in Islington and, like most of us Über Röckers, was blown away by how good they were. Michael Monroe is always great entertainment, and I thought Hanoi were excellent the last time I saw them, but to be honest, this new band are even better.


I was eager to witness how this would transpose to an acoustic performance. Arriving at Universal I have to admit to being a little more than excited. After being forced to sit and watch Bon Jovi videos with the sound off for around 45 minutes I was almost bouncing off the walls. Eventually we were led into a tiny studio room where the guys were set up and waiting to play. After introductions and a little messing around they opened up with an excellent version of Demolition 23's 'You Crucified Me'. It was strange to see Michael Monroe contained within such a small space as he often makes the most of the stage area. Restricted as he was he still managed to take command of the room, and we were offered up the delights of Johnny Thunders's 'You Can't Put Arms Around A Memory', and Hanoi's 'Lightning Bar Blues'. Ginger and Steve Conte provided spot-on backing vocals, highlighted by the hilarious impromptu cover of Prince's 'Purple Rain'.


The band finished with a rousing 'Hammersmith Palais', and after a short but tight set I wouldn't be surprised if more acoustic shows are born out of this. They certainly should be because it worked brilliantly.


After the show we were all led to the café area where we had a good old chin wag and competed with each other to see who had the rarest material they wanted signed. I think my better half won, which she continues to be most pleased about. The band were gents and it was great to hear a little about the current tour with Motörhead, even if I have been unable to attend.


It all happened in a whirlwind. From the moment I'd found out I'd won the tickets to the moment I was walking back out of the door, I felt spaced-out of it all. The cold November air thrust me back into reality, carrying the memory of something a little bit special.