at Northumbria University, Newcastle, U.K., November 27, 2013

Trying to explain the essence of Rock ‘n’ Roll to someone from another world would require nothing more than a visit to a Michael Monroe show. With a limitless abundance of pure energy, passion and attitude Monroe personifies what Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about.

Two albums in from calling it a day from Hanoi Rocks, Monroe is if anything getting better with age as his music goes from strength to strength. His latest album Horns and Halos is the sound of an artist at the very top of his game.

Michael Monroe

Aided and abetted by former Hanoi Rocks/Demolition 23 bandmate, the super cool Sami Yaffa; ex-New York Doll guitarist Steve Conte and one time Danzig drummer Karl Rockfist, Monroe has the band to fulfil his Rock ‘n’Roll vision. The absence of guitarist Dregen off on his own solo tour may on paper have looked like a crushing blow to Monroe. In reality however, the addition of Rich Jones (Amen/The Black Halos) was a master stroke and even after only a few shows together proved to be something of a formidable replacement.

Michael Monroe

With a potent Punk fuelled energy part New York Dolls, part MC5 with a huge injection of Chuck Berry right through the middle there was barely a pause for breath from the opening salvo of “Horns and Halos” and “Trick of the Wrist.” Monroe wasted no time climbing up on the amps, jumping across the stage and out into the crowd while forcibly manhandling his microphone stand at every opportunity.

With the bulk of the set made up with material from his last two solo albums showing that Monroe is rightly proud of his latest work ensured a set list that was fresh and vibrant with “78”, “TNT Diet”, a ferocious “Soul Surrender” and “Eighteen Angels” all bristling with energy.

Michael Monroe

Fans of his older material were not forgotten with Hanoi Rocks gems “Motorvatin’”, “Malibu Beach” and a tremendous run through the rarely played “Underwater World” keeping them more than happy while the Demolition 23 classics “Hammersmith Palais” and “Nothing’s Alright” added the requisite punch.

Monroe even had space for a couple of choice covers with The Damned’s “Love Song” / “Machine Gun Etiquette” being almost purpose written for him while his take on The Heartbreakers “I Wanna Be Loved” was the perfect choice.

Michael Monroe

It’s difficult to leave a Monroe show without feeling totally exhilarated. The high energy performance and infectious Punk drenched Rock ‘n’ Roll is the perfect way to leave a hard day at the office behind. Monroe shows no signs of slipping into a graceful retirement and if anything is heading into a new golden period of his already impressive 30 year career.


  • 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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