|Dead End Drive-In: Now Showing - FM|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 20 May 2012 04:30|
FM - 'Live In Europe' (Riff City Films)
When the concept behind this Dead End feature was being floated around URHQ I have to admit I got really excited, racking my brain cells trying to come up with suitable "B-movie" type headlines with which to title our upcoming reviews. That was of course until we finally settled with the far snazzier artwork that you see above instead. One such title I simply could not throw away though coincided with this the latest live DVD from the loveable gang of UK AOR veterans known as FM landing on my desk. So without further ado ladies and gentlemen of planet Uber Rock welcome one and all to the very first showing of "I Was A Teenage FM Fan Club Member" Rated X.
Okay I may be over egging the AOR pudding slightly here, but I really was a member of FM's fan Club back around the time of 'Indiscreet' round about '86 - '87, and to cut a very long story short "it wasn't exactly what you would call a fan-tastic experience". Anyway why I'm actually telling you all about all this is that more recently the band having found out I was a huge fan of the original line and why I admitted I couldn't make any of the recent 'Indiscreet' anniversary shows, they actually sent me a signed copy of this DVD - for free! Now that's how you go about making up for lost time guys...and I sincerely thank you for this very kind gesture.
This all new DVD of course doesn't actually feature footage of the classic Overland, Overland, Jupp, Goldsworthy and Digital line up playing live in Europe (nah this is all about the here and now and is not a nostalgia trip by any means), but it does include more than a fair share of songs from the band's genre defining debut and (in my opinion anyway) hugely disappointing follow up, all squeezed in tightly alongside tracks from their most recent 'Metropolis' album to make for a whopping 107 minutes of AOR eye candy.
Filmed in true "fly on the wall" style during 2011 the main feature footage follows the guys during some of their key shows played with Journey and Foreigner in Germany and Ireland, with added footage from Graspop and Download (2nd time - playing in the tent), and what 'Live In Europe' manages to capture is the real spirit of what FM is really all about. Largely shorn of the blues rock trappings of the Andy Barnett era of the band, it's a real delight to see the original trio along with Gem Davis and newest member, guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick grinning like cheshire cats whilst playing to the size of audience their musical legacy truly deserves.
This is never more evident than on the bonus footage contained within 'Live In Europe' where the five guys once again return to the stage of the Hammersmith Odeon for a nine song support slot with Thin Lizzy. Here the pairing of 'Face To Face' and 'That Girl' actually manages to raise a rather large lump in my throat as I'm suddenly transported back to my days spent wearing baggy pink suits and gelling my mullet to absolute perfection.
Retailing at around £8 and being only initially available at the band's gigs, this DVD was made for real fans of the band, as it's what you might call "a little rough around the edges" when compared to equivalent big budget releases. However it actually looks like being something of an FM collectors item already as the limited signed copies that were also subsequently made available via the band's website appear to have all just sold out. So, you know what to do guys and gals? I tell you what - write to the guys in FM telling them to press more copies, and who knows, maybe, just maybe your dreams just like the ones of this Teenage Fan Club Member might just come true. (Or you could click on the Amazon link at the bottom of this review and pick up one of their last remaining copies - Uber ED)