at John Dee, Oslo, Norway, December 14, 2005

Medio December, the Finnish legends Hanoi Rocks visited Oslo for the second time this year – prolonging the promoting of their latest release, Another Hostile Takeover. Just like last time, in January, Hanoi Rocks was more motley than any other crew you know. The highly energetic and colorful frontman Michael Monroe was enjoying himself a lot, and did more than his share to work on the audience to keep them entertained.

The charismatic and cool Andy McCoy, the man who owns a season ticket on the Rock ‘n’ Roll train to self-destruction, truly impresses everyone by the mere fact that he is still alive. “Could someone give me a joint? Please!” he plead from the stage. Just like last time.

Bloom og ChristellBesides the two founding members Monroe and McCoy, the Swedish boys Conny Bloom and Andy Christell were simply electric, the latter looking much more happy this time compared to what he did in January. Lacu on drums set the party’s rhythm nicely.

The opener, “Malibu Beach Nightmare,” put things straight: this was a party. Monroe’s sax solo reminded everybody on how alternative this band can be. Hanoi Rocks is today, as they have always been, a multi-genre unit, merging Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hard Rock, Glam, Metal, Blues, Punk and more – whatever you fancy.


They might not have had the best sound from the start, but as the show went on every aspect of the gig turned out better and better. The better-than-functional guitar action of the band today is (to a great extent) thanks to Bloom’s phenomenal musical skills. Whatever McCoy finds it hard to do through his daze, Bloom does right.

Anyway, Hanoi Rocks are true survivors. They have outlived a lot of the musicians/bands that once got inspired by them some twenty years ago. The foremost example: Axl Rose (Guns ‘N’ Roses). More than that, by their 2005 release, Another Hostile Takeover, they prove they still are capable of writing top level Rock songs that fit their live set greatly (e.g., “Back In Yer Face” and “Better High”).

However, let’s not hide it, their classic songs from the early 80’s are what really makes an audience happy. The highlights were by no doubt “11th Street Kids,” “Tragedy,” “Café Avenue,” and their old Creedence Clearwater Revival cover “Up Around The Bend.” Despite the fact that Hanoi Rocks are legends who really should’ve been playing nothing but larger venues, they fit the club format extremely well … a great thrill. May they tour all the way through 2006 too!

By the way: Maryslim from Sweden did a very decent job as the evening’s support act.

PS: Don’t forget to check out Conny Bloom’s way too undiscovered solo career material. His “Perfect Crime” video is a good start.


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