When it comes to kick-starting your weekend, is there a better way than getting yourself down for a rock show! Well, tonight that’s exactly what this crowd is doing in Leeds tonight for Hanoi Rocks legend, the one and only Michael Monroe. Hot off the release of his latest album release, One Man Gang, Monroe is touring the UK with guest support on each night. Tonight he has Chemia and The Electric Eel Shock on the bill, so this could be quite the show!
As the doors open there’s not much time for the crowd to get in before the first support act Chemia is on stage. For many a ticket holder, they were instead welcomed by the sound of this band’s hard rock performance. Now I’ve never heard of theses guys before tonight, but I’m certainly a convert after that performance. Although the room is only half full, they put their heart and soul into the performance and even manage to coax some crowd interaction out of the room which is always difficult for non-headlining acts. Throw in some blues and the crowd were eating up everything this band had to offer and what they did offer was definitely impressive, to say the least. The stage is only small on the Brudenell but these guys made sure to own what space they had available. While there may not have been any large showmanship, they were still able to keep you captivated on their performance.
As the bands did a quick changeover, the crowd were kept entertained with some classic singalong tracks which kept the vibe going. Nothing however was gonna prepare the crowd for the next band of the night, which was Japanese The Electric Eel Shock! The sheer energy that this trio emanated was just infectious and there was no denying the excitement this band had to be playing tonight. I mentioned earlier about the difficulties which can be faced with trying to get crowd interaction, these guys decided to take on the well-tested method of calling members of the crowd “Bastards” before heading into the very names track which got the room chanting it back. On top of a kick-ass performance, the frontman was genuinely funny and relatable as he joked with the crowd about buying merch. It’s not all fun and showing off though as these guys have some genuine talent as can be seen by watching the drummer wield four sticks and the heavy aggressive riffs which are produced. Even if you’re not a fan of their more aggressive style of music, these guys are worth checking out of you get the chance for the pure performance that they manage to give out.
We were now well into the night and it almost times for the man we’ve all been waiting to see. It was at this point that the room began to really fill and you got the sense of the sell-out show. As per tradition, the lights went down and the band hit the stage, with the biggest reaction going to Monroe himself as he came bounding up with a colour changing LED torch. Kicking things off with the first track off the new album, before heading into “Last Train To Tokyo”, it’s clear that the crowd were die-hard fans and were familiar with the album already. Continuing with tracks from this album, Monroe proved he’s still got what it takes not only to create cracking albums but also how to perform on stage and keep an audience completely captivated from start to end. As he headed into some of his earlier stuff with “Ballad Of The Lower East Side” and “Black Ties and Red Tape”, the crowd were eating it up. We were even treated to some classic Hanoi Rocks with “Motorvatin'” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me”. If anything can be said about Michael Monroe, it’s that he is a performer through and through. He puts a whole lot of energy and enthusiasm into his show and that’s something that’s infectious as seen in this room tonight. Not a single person seemed to be having
anything but the best time, as they sang along beers in the air. Even as the night drew to a close, there was a sense of not wanting the night to end. Monroe and his band brought the set to an end with an encore which included “Low Life in High Places” and “Hammersmith Palais”. This was a great start to the weekend and one hell of a show from start to finish from all the acts on the bill, so if you get the chance, I’d recommend you check out the one and only Michael Monroe.
Review: Emmie Ellis
Photography: Mark Ellis // Shoot The Groove