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The Underworld, Camden,London 25 March 2004

Back again for their second visit to the Underworld in under a year and good to see an increased turn out. As an aside there are growing numbers of classic rock and metal gigs in & around London and each is getting sizeable turnouts which is good to see. Just proves that the more a band tours, the more word of mouth/reviews spread and crowds increase. The Underworld has a very strong line-up for 2004 and full marks to them for putting on these bands.

Anyway, back to the gig... first of the support acts was Tony Bacardi & the Shakespearos. Never heard of them before and they had more band members than ELO on stage! Talented guitarist and the line- up also featured a flautist, but as with many bands they are let down when the vocalist starts to sing. Enjoyed the music but not the singer.

Honest John Plain as befits his name played honest, no holds barred punk meets rock `n' roll. Very tight three-piece band, featuring a superb drummer who was from the John Bonham school of pounding. A band made for the live circuit due to their energy and sheer enjoyment factor.

The Heavy Metal Kids took to the stage and rocked from the off! Lots of new songs from their 2003 comeback release `Hit The Right Button' including `Blow It All Away', the superb pop punk of `Message' (a radio hit that never was), `100 Skeletons' and `Gotham City'. Old tunes were there as well in the shape of 'Chelsea Kids', `She's No Angel' and ' The Cops Are Coming' (an encore last time round) plus encoring with `Delirious' (a staple of Hanoi Rocks live show). The second encore descended into chaos as you had stage invading bimbos, an ex-member of 70's punk band Splodgenessabounds and Drew, the man who books all these bands, all joining in.

Some sound problems as I personally couldn't hear Danny Peyronel's keyboards at all but all in all another fine night of rock `n' roll with a healthy dose of punk attitude. Not as quite as good as last year's show to be honest but still a great way to spend a night out. Fans of modern bands/artists like Butch Walker, Sum 41, Good Charlotte et al, should go see the originators who still put on a damn fine show.

Review: Jason Ritchie

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