|Love/Hate - Sutton In Ashfield, The Diamond - 15th March 2014|
|Written by Ross Welford|
|Thursday, 27 March 2014 03:00|
Say what you want about the '80s & '90s bands and their only-one-member tours, but some of them – just some of them – have no choice and are 100% committed to putting on a high standard RnR show. One man that can pull it off with ease, one man that continues to be a reliable performer for every band that needs presence and voice, one man that single handedly chose to drag a band around the world for years upon years without ever seemingly getting much help, is Jizzy Pearl.
I have seen this band perform many times and with many different players but they are still one of the few bands that give you bang for your buck EVERY time. This time the band has been put on lockdown for good after former members wanted to milk the cash cow again – even I know that Jizzo must be doing this half out of love because it sure as shit ain't for the money.
First up are Knock Out Kaine and they win a few fans with their set but the simple fact is that 98% of this crowd are here to see Love/Hate (2% thought bingo was on). KOK have made a decent album and one I would recommend you check out but I simply didn't get to see the band properly having met up with some fellow Love/Hate buddies from years gone by and memories and alcohol took over. I will try harder to be a KOK fan in the future though...
An excited crowd are here to enjoy themselves, to rock out with King Jizzo one more time, to bang their heads and shake their asses while the band rip through some undoubtedly underrated classics. New track from the uber-approved EP 'Crucified' rings out and hits you hard as excited faces sing along to 'Hanging You Out To Dry'. Jizzy looks happy – there's a decent turn out – and Jizzy Pearl's Love/Hate slip into the brilliant 'Yucca Man'. This track is twice as heavy live and the bass, drums and guitar pulverise you into submission – if Love/Hate recorded this at any point on this tour then it would blow your speakers out: a seriously hard hitting track with Pearl's voice still making him sound every inch like the powerful nuisance he always was.
There's no let up in quality as 'Tumbleweed', 'Spit', 'Fuel To Run' all blast out before the genius of 'One More Round' continues and the crowd are simply lapping up everything the band serve up. There's no resting on their laurels as this band are not here to go through the motions – it's as if this is being played in front of ex-band members such is the high driven passion and ‘I’ll show you’ attitude on display. Matt Starr on drums is a pure class act to watch whilst Chris Brady on guitar and the gurning Michael Ellis on bass can be more than happy with the love they received from the devotees in the crowd - both on and off stage.
The band continues to smash you over the head with the thunderous 'Tranquiliser', 'Spinning Wheel', crowd favourite 'Mary Jane', and it's then that you start to realise that this band wrote way more decent, quality tracks than they are often given credit for. 'She's An Angel', the excellent 'Evil Twin', the blistering 'Straightjacket' and 'Wasted In America'. Phew! Voices are cracking as every word is sung, every note is played and every drum beat hit as these fans are having as much fun as you could ever want. It's Saturday night and everybody is happy.
The fact the band can get away without playing 'Slutsy Tipsy', 'Superfragilistic', 'Boozer', 'Hell C.A.', 'Let’s Rumble' or 'Ola Mola' (yes, Jizzy we know you hate that track but once would've been nice. We Brits love it!) is testament to the quality they have produced over the years. What we do get is an encore of a random cover of 'Ace Of Spades' and the obligatory 'Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?' and 'Blackout In The Red Room'. It would end no other way.
The band seem happy, the fans are more than happy. We all look at each other thinking how great a night this is.
The bar was stocked (Skittle bombs rule!), the pockets ran empty, the handshakes are done, the pictures are taken and we all drunkenly stagger off.
Sometimes Rock N Roll really is the answer. Thanks JP, you are a great servant that has worked your ass off and written yourself into many peoples lives - you will be remembered for more than this one night*
*Unlike some eh, Jon E Love?
[Photo kudos to Andy Stewart]