January 25, 2005, John Dee Club, Oslo, Norway & January 27, 2005, Tavastia Club, Helsinki, Finland

HANOI ROCKS (Live at John Dee Club, Oslo, Norway, January 25, 2005)
Photo: Per Olav Heimstad

January 25, 2005, John Dee Club, Oslo, Norway

Reported by Per Olav Heimstad

One year ago, Hanoi Rocks canceled their Norway gig. This year around, they kept their promises and entered a sold out John Dee Club in Oslo.

Along with Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy, the two remaining members from the more than twenty years gone original line-up, this glam gem of Finland is restored by no one less than Conny Bloom (guitar) and Andy Christell (bass) – former members of the late Electric Boys, the fabulous Groove-Funk-Metal band from Sweden.

Together with Lacu on drums, they all sure made it clear from the start that they were throwing a party on this night … and the band was quite a sight. More motley than most crews around, they sweated rock and roll from the very beginning until the very end.

Hardworking Michael Monroe, with his shaved armpits and his saxophone, separates himself from most other front men one might know. Andy McCoy on guitar is a mystery. Anyone who knows how hard this guy has lived the rock and roll life should be impressed by how well he still can perform his craft. He has had more than his share of drugs and alcohol. Put him next to Keith Richards, and the latter will look like Elijah Wood.

Anyway, it was good to see, at last, the very skilled Conny Bloom on a Norwegian stage. One may wonder why he has chosen a band unit who’ll never play any of his many classic songs from his past in the Electric Boys, or as a solo artist. One may wonder too for how long he’ll stay on this ship before he turns towards opportunities big enough for him to perform his own compositions. In April, when the band releases their new album Another Hostile Takeover, we will know to what extent Bloom has been trusted to participate in the song writing duties in Hanoi Rocks’ present line-up. Venture to guess that giving him the backing vocal and guitar solo honors once in a while (e.g., on “Taxi Driver”) probably won’t keep him in the band forever.

However, this evening Hanoi Rocks made everyone present fully believe that rock and roll by no means is ever going to die. The music sounded timeless – regardless if it was “Malibu Beach Nightmare,” “Oriental Beat,” or “Tragedy” being played. All present surely will welcome them back anytime!

Two days later, Hanoi Rocks found themselves in their home country:

Hanoi Rocks’ Second Coming

January 27, 2005, Tavastia Club, Helsinki, Finland

Reported by Metal-Katie

On the eve of the release of Hanoi’s latest album, the band offered some exciting news. The line-up had undergone a major change and the bass player and second guitarist were about to be replaced by none other than the former Electric Boys power-duo, Conny Bloom and Andy Christell. Both new members have a previous connection to the Hanoi family tree since they used to be in a band with former Hanoi drummer Gyp Casino. Enough with the trivia facts. Let’s move on to discussing the show!

It has become a custom of Hanoi to play at Tavastia at the end of each year, and this time, probably due to being tied up with the recording of their new album, the dates were moved up to January. Friday’s show was the second one of the two sold out shows at Tavastia Club in Helsinki.

Being a hardcore Hanoi fan requires a certain dress code, so once again many fans with teased-up hair, glamour outfits, and mascara-heavy eyes showed up. This year’s hot item seemed to be a replica of the red hat Michael Monroe wears. Another interesting item was an autographed Hanoi t-shirt on sale on the merchandise stand. Those who witnessed the first ever shows of Hanoi Revisited a few years back, could marvel at the hefty price deduction that particular item had undergone.

The show started with the familiar intro tape of 70’s Batman show. Everyone to the Batmobile! After that, the audience was hit by something that can be compared to a speeding train, leaving the entire audience hoarse and sweaty in its tracks. This must be the best lineup Hanoi has ever had. Forget all that nonsense and demands for the original line-up and go and see it for yourself!

Conny Bloom stormed on stage looking like a bizarre mix of a Reggae-ed up Lenny Kravitz and younger McCoy. The next breather the audience got was at the time just before the encore. The set was so tight that there didn’t seem to be any breaks between songs. The songs just floated into each other. The pace was so fast, that at one point even Monroe had trouble getting the harmonica on his lips on time after having just finished singing the previous song.

This line-up is truly amazing, and having such energy and talented players in the band seems to have brought the spring back into guitarist Andy McCoy’s step. McCoy has never looked so happy to be on stage. Andy was even whirling around on stage like he used to do, but this time, instead of a cigarette on his lips, he was sporting a healthy smile. Also, what about all the leaning against each other’s backs that Andy and Conny were doing? The joy of playing together seemed to be mutual, and it looked and sounded like Conny and Andy were having fun trying to “out-show” each other.

Likewise, what about those perfect harmonies Conny and Christell were doing? There has never been such good harmonies in the Hanoi camp. Many songs also had little jams in them, which haven’t been there before, and Conny even played two solos. How’s that for giving the second guitarist the limelight?! It was so moving to once again see a Hanoi line-up on stage where each member was there by their own volition and not just there playing the role of a sidekick.

The show was also a lesson in professionalism. Singer Mike Monroe seemed to be upset about something and was in a uncharacteristically hostile mood for most of the show, but this didn’t seem to effect the rest of the band … instead they all pushed on full blast. Luckily, Monroe got the stick that was bugging him removed by the end of the set, and the usual charming smile was on his face again by the time he came back on stage for the encore, while trying to pogo with Christell.

All seemed to be well again and the audience was treated to a sight of Mike sharing the microphone each with Conny, Christell, and Andy. On top of this, Monroe boosted up his stage acrobats by climbing over the drum set and switching places with drummer Lacu for the “Taxi Driver.” Surprisingly, Monroe did the drumming while Lacu showed us all that he has the rock star moves covered, and sang half of “Taxi Driver” with style before heading back behind the drum kit. The show ended with “I Feel Alright,” which had parts of “Radar Love” added into it. It also included Monroe’s demonstration of Chuck Berry’s duck walk.

True, this was all just the start of the tour. Imagine what the shows will be like after they get some more dates under their belts and really hit their groove! Miss this tour at your own risk!


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.