At Newcastle University, Newcastle (UK) 8th December 2018

A tour bus is certainly not the place to be when the dreaded lurgy is in the air and certainly not when you are a singer.  Even worse when the band features four layers of harmonies in their sound so when the Von Hertzen Brothers were all struck down at the same time this show looked doubtful especially when lead singer, Mikko, could barely croak a word on the morning of the show.

Despite a shaky start and a few vocal struggles during the epic opener War Is Over, Mikko kicked into gear as his voice warmed up and the fact that he managed to sustain a commanding vocal performance while so ill is a testament to his professionalism.

Jerusalem sounded magnificent with its soaring melody and layers of harmonies while the up-temp You Don`t Know My Name laid to rest the myth that Prog Rock is staid and boring.

A simply sublime Frozen Butterflies shimmered in its beauty and guitarist Kie, weaved his magic to create dynamic ebbs and flows while the glorious trademark harmonies drifted ethereally over the top.   It was absolutely captivating.

The tribal drumming of birthday boy Sammi Kuoppamaki drove the uplifting and melody drenched Long Lost Sailor towards one of the many highlights of the night while Sunday Child chimed with stadium Rock authority where you could imagine 10,000 lighter waving arms in the air.

After a quick rendition of Happy Birthday for Sammi, it was left to a forceful New Day Rising to bring the show to a rousing end and what could quite easily have been a cancelled show ended up as an absolute triumph.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess

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