Michael Monroe UK Tour 17

Michael Monroe / Role Models / Liberty Slaves

Rebellion Bar, Manchester, UK

30th November 2017

Rating: 5/5




rolemodels1 Dec 17Tonight is the opening night of a short UK by the legendary Michael Monroe, someone who I’ve always wanted to catch live, and as an added bonus he’s bought up and coming punk and rollers Role Models along for the ride. Sadly we arrive too late to catch anything meaningful from opening act Liberty Slaves, but the few tracks we do hear as we’re in the lengthy queue to enter the Rebellion Bar indicate they are a heavyweight rock ‘n roll act with all the attitude and swagger you’d expect from a band opening for Michael Monroe. The crowd in the venue is a mix of punks, rockers and glam rockers that pretty accurately reflects the legacy that Michael Monroe has left in his wake, those who only remember the heyday of eighties glam rock are in for a surprise as his solo career has reflected a harder edged punk influence and is closer to Motörhead or The Wildhearts, both of whom he has collaborated with.

rolemodels15 Dec 17But first up it’s the Role Models who are still riding high on the release of criticality acclaimed full length, Dance Moves, their third album in as many years. The Role Models kick off with Lie For Today and their mix of punked up rock ‘n roll clearly strikes a chord with tonight’s crowd, and it appears that the combination of Role Models and Michael Monroe may well be a match made in heaven. The Role Models manage to twist all the best elements of punk and rock’ n roll into their all too brief thirty minute set, in which they include material from all three of their full lengths. Tracks such as (I Broke My Back) Disappointing You sound better than ever, and for me the Role Models seem to deliver tonight’s set like it’s their own headline show, and had this been the case I’d have left a happy man such is the energy and quality of their set.

rolemodels8 Dec 17Tonight the Role Models played like their lives depended on it on a tour has afforded them the exposure they deserve, and if they continue like this then 2018 could well be their year. The material from Dance Moves fits seamlessly into their set, and as good as they are on record nights like tonight confirm that this is a band you really need to experience live. The Role Models have collectively lived the rock ‘n roll lifestyle and their songs reflect their experiences, as a result what you get is a genuine rock ‘n roll sound that embraces the New York punk scene, but with an attitude and sound that have made a smooth transatlantic crossing. They close their all too brief set with a supercharged This Eventually Leads Nowhere that confirms their status as one of the best bands out there.

michaelmonroe12 Dec 17Before Michael Monroe hits the stage it’s no surprise to see that the Jack Daniels is flowing freely at the bar, it would seem that some habits just aren’t worth changing, and the Rebellion Bar is at capacity for a rare intimate club show by a true original. Whilst the glam rock scene might have taken it’s image from Michale Monroe, many of the bands missed the point on the punk sensibility that accompanied the attitude, and as a result they have fallen by the wayside, whereas Michael Monroe has carried on doing what he does best with absolutely no compromise. He enters to the enigmatic strains Ennio Morrione and then kicks things off with sleaze punk of Demoltion 23‘s Nothin’s Alright, any preconceptions you may have had about a Michael Monroe show are well and truly trashed as the opening number owes more to the likes of the Dead Boys than it does to Hanoi Rocks.

michaelmonroe13 Dec 17Over the last few years we’ve lost many of what could be called rock ‘n roll outsiders and legends, but tonight’s set by Michael Monroe confirms that we haven’t quite lost all of them yet, he carries the stage presence of someone has lived the life and whilst the majority of the set owes a bigger debt to sleazy rock ‘n roll than the shows we at The Punk Site would usually cover, you just can’t deny a true icon and original when you’ve see one in the flesh. During his set he parodies the established rock ‘n roll cliches of those that followed in his wake and he delivers an energetic set that covers his entire back catalogue, from Hanoi Rocks through to Demolition 23 and across his prolific solo career. There’s a distinctly hedonistic feel that is carried throughout tonight’s show, something that has pervaded his entire career, and if you can fault tonight’s set then you just don’t love rock ‘n roll.

michaelmonroe4 Dec 17Thankfully Michael Monroe eschews the final encore ritual and just carries straight on through the night and until way beyond tonight’s curfew, of course this includes an amped up version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, Around The Bend, that was one of Hanoi Rocks classic singles and this gets an approrpriately rapturous reception by the packed Rebellion Bar, and a finale of Dead, Jail Or Rock ‘N Roll  and the Johnny Thunders classic I Wanna Be Loved keep the show going long into the night, and ends a perfect set that has run for the best part of two hours. Following his set escape from the venue was impossible until the capacity crowd is sure that his set has actually finally finished and that Michael Monroe has finally left the building. Tonight the combination of the perfect support slot from the Role Models, and the energetic career spanning headline set from Michael Monroe, means that tonight’s show was hard to fault on any level

michaelmonroe6 Dec 17Tonight’s sold out show by one of rock ‘n rolls veterans was something that you need to experience live, his band, including his long term partner in crime Sami Yaffa, has an authentic rock ‘n roll feel that was carried through the entire set, and this contributed to making this one of my favourite shows of 2017. The Role Models part in how much I enjoyed tonight can’t be underestimated, whilst they owe a debt to Michael Monroe they bring their own style with an adrenalized hybrid of power pop, punk and rock ‘n roll. As we finally head out into the freezing Mancunian night I’m left thinking that It’s not often you can say you saw a living legend, but I feel like that was what I experienced tonight, and you really can’t ask for much more from a cold and damp Thursday night out in Manchester.

rolemodels6 Dec 17Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here, and you can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

Michael Monroe‘s website can be found here

The Role Models Bandcamp is here and their Facebook page is here

The Punk Site review of the Role Models’ Dance Moves album can be read here

Liberty Slaves Facebook page is located here

Sweeping Exits Glitter And Blood

Sweeping Exits

Glitter And Gold

Matriarch Queen Records

Rating: 4/5




Sweeping Exits are self styled trans queer vampires from Oregon, their music combines the stomp of 1970’s Glam Rock with the attitude of the first wave of punks, especially early signings to Stiff Records such as The Damned, The Adverts and The Radio Stars, combined with a horror sensibility that lies somewhere between The Misfits and The Rocky Horror Show. Glitter And Blood is a concept album, but don’t let that put you off as this is no prog rock opera, the album tells the story of a vampire rockstar who becomes queen of the vampires and brings about the destruction of the human race.

The tale that lies at the dark heart of Glitter And Blood is broken down into sixteen bite size chunks, the album starts with an ominous glam rock influenced opening that gives way to a Roxy Music influenced second act, in the third act of Glitter And Blood the punk influences start to come to the fore on I Only Dream In Black And White. From here on in the tale unfolds in true b-movie stye with equals parts glam rock, early punk rock and dark cabaret, along with a hint of rock ‘n roll, forming the soundtrack to their modern horror fable. Glitter And Blood is one of those albums that really should be heard in one sitting, the mix of styles combined with the storyline that runs through the album makes this one of the more idiosyncratic releases of 2017, and it’s an album that certainly digs it’s fangs into you.

It must be said that Glitter And Blood is a faintly ridiculous concept, but when did that ever stop anything being fun? Sweeping Exits have produced an album that is a captivating cartoon punk rock horror show from start to finish, which is just as well as this is only the first instalment in a planned four album odyssey through the high camp tale of the queen of the vampires, and if the following three instalments are anything like as good, and even half as much fun, as this macabre glam punk concept album then I can’t wait for the next instalment to be released.

Glitter And Blood will be released on June 9th via Matriarch Queen Records

The Madding Crowd Release ‘January Begins’ Single

madding-crowd-jbThe Madding Crowd formed in Manchester in 2010 and the they harbour a wide rang of influences in their unique sound, including glam, punk, rockabilly and prog rock, which makes them a band that is almost impossible to define. Their new single is released on October 5th and will be available from that date as a pay what you like download from their Bandcamp page. The new single is taken from their forthcoming EP The 78th Bridge on the Rochdale Canal which will be released on November 26th, with an EP Launch gig that same date at The Miners in Moston, North Manchester.

January Begins is available as a pay what you like download from October 5th here