at The Carling Academy, Sheffield, U.K. July 4, 2008

THE BANGLES (Live at The Carling Academy, Sheffield, U.K. July 4, 2008)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Every now and then we at Metal Express Radio like to feature a band that you wouldn’t normally expect to see on a Metal site. At first thought, The Bangles wouldn’t usually be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rush, Judas Priest, and Kiss, after all they’re just some Pop band from the 80s right? Wrong!

With links to the 70s bubblegum Pop Metal legends The Runaways, which featured Joan Jett and Lita Ford, through their long-time, but recently departed bassist Michael Steele, along with songwriting contributions from the likes of ex-Kiss six-stringer Vinnie Vincent and Heart, and Cheap Trick songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, as well as guest appearances on their last album, the excellent The Doll Revolution by The Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl confirms their credibility as a Rock band of some repute.

As the band hit the stage to “Hazy Shade Of Winter,” with its catchy riff and wonderful harmony vocals, The Bangles proceeded to dazzle the sell out crowd with their trademark breezy, feel-good Melodic Rock.

It may be so that The Bangles are known primarily for their numerous hit singles, including the ode to everyone’s Monday morning, “Manic Monday,” and the set closing mega-hit “Walk Like An Egyptian,” yet dig a little deeper into their rich catalog and you’ll find some quality self-penned material like the dreamy “Different Light” where Susanna Hoff’s silky, sweet voice soothes and caresses; the buoyant “Be With You,” with its irresistible melody sung by drummer Debbi Peterson, or “Single By Choice,” penned and sung by guitarist Vicki Peterson just before she met her husband.

Susanna Hoffs, with her signature Rickenbacker guitar, cut a stunning figure dressed all in black looking better than most women half her age. If she could sell her secret for keeping her youthful vigor, she’d make a fortune. Sisters Vicki and Debbie too seem to have avoided the ravages of time that have afflicted most of their peers and they all seem thrilled to be on stage and performing together again.

The Bangles are something of a rarity in the music world today. Not only do they play their own instruments and write their own material, they all sing lead vocals, well all three original members do with new bass player Abbi Travis contributing to the four part harmonies so central to The Bangles sound.

With quality Pop/Rock music being something of a rare commodity these days, The Bangles return is like a breath of fresh air. The wide mix of people in the crowd from leather clad Rockers to middle-aged couples and teenagers is testament to their wide appeal across the genres. As a live act, The Bangles put on a fine show interspersed with some light-hearted, charming banter with the crowd allowing their personalities to project out into the crowd. Quite simply, it’s hard to resist their brand of guitar-driven harmony drenched songs and on a hot night in Sheffield it was the perfect combination for a great summer’s night out.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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