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Roadhouse, London 7 February 2010

Photos by Noel Buckley

Photo by Noel Buckley

FM are in town for the first time in some 15 years to promote their first album proper in that time with the forthcoming 'Metropolis'. I was very excited when I heard the band had reformed to play the Firefest a couple of years back ,and was hoping for a full blown reunion. With the success of the Firefest gigs the band are back to give it another crack of the whip.

FM, photo by Noel Buckley

The last time I saw FM was back in 1991 at the Marquee Club around the corner in Charing Cross Road when the band were Taking It To The Streets.  A night when the band managed to get Glenn Hughes out of then hibernation to perform the Stevie Wonder classic 'Superstitious'.

The Roadhouse is an American themed bar located in the heart of Covent Garden Market and was a popular rock hang out in the glory metal days of the late 80's.  Later tonight the Superbowl final was showing here in the early hours.  It was going to be one of those long nights.

The place was packed out with fans, with many familiar faces from those days and also many media hacks including a strong turn out from our very own Get Ready To ROCK! team. 

Merv Goldsworthy, photo by Noel Buckley

Also there were a few rock celebs here too joining in the fun.  Of course Romeo Daughter's Leigh Matty was here cheering on her partner Merv Goldsworthy on the FM bass, but also ex-Rainbow warbler Doogie White, Bad Company's Mick Ralphs (more of him later) and propping up the bar was Motorhead's 'Fast' Eddie Clarke.

The party was in full swing listening to the playback of the forthcoming release 'Metropolis' which will now be released at the end of March, and a little rocker it is too. The son of Mick, James Ralphs did a short acoustic set but unfortunately he was drowned out a little bit by the noise of chatting and the clinking of glasses.

Steve Overland, photo by Noel Buckley

FM came on stage to an impressive explosion of ticker tape launching into the recent single 'Wildside', a stomper of a track that has blown away the mullets.  New boy Jim Kirkpatrick delivers a blistering solo, sending out a message that he is best guitar player the band have ever had.

Followed by two tracks from the debut 'Indiscreet'. The opening lines of 'Face To Face' were sang in fine unison by the crowd saving Steve Overland the job of doing it, he could only smile back. 

'That Girl' and 'Don't Stop' quickly rocked by, before giving us three more new songs.  The title track, 'Over You' and 'Flamingo Road' were all lapped up by the faithful.  The new FM songs remind me of Honeymoon Suite and oddly enough latter day Bad Company.

Jem Davis, photo by Noel Buckley

It was good to see the old B-side 'Dangerous has been resurrected to good effect. At times it was easy to forget that keyboardist Jem Davis was there, because due to the size of the stage Jem played along adjacent to the band surrounded by fans. He could have done a Rick Wakeman special and ordered himself a curry and got away with it.

Jim Fitzpatrick and Mick Ralphs, photo by Noel Buckley

It was a trip down memory lane encore time. 'Frozen Heart' the track that started it all had us singing along followed by the Bon Jovish 'Bad Luck' which had us rocking, but the surprise was seeing Mick Ralphs joining the band for a run through of the Bad Company hit 'Feel Like Makin' Love' which was sublime. A second time for Steve Overland to play alongside a Bad Company member, the first time being with Simon Kirke when he joined the Overland brothers in Wildlife back in 1983.

The smiles on the band's Face to Faces said it all. FM are back. Flipping Marvellous.

Set List : Wildside / Face To Face / That Girl / Don't Stop / Metropolis / Over You / Flamingo Road / Only The Strong / Blood And Gasoline / Dangerous / Hard Day In Hell / Burning My Heart Down / (I Heard It Through The) Grapevine...encores Frozen Heart / Bad Luck / Feel Like Makin' Love

Review by Mark Taylor

Photos by Noel Buckley

FM is one of the Ten for 10

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