at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 28, 2024

THE HIVES (Live at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 28, 2024)
Photo: Mick Burgess

In sharp contrast to the previous nights rather sedate monochrome show by Drone legends Sun O))), Sweden’s The Hives came on like a veritable whirlwind of energy and pizzazz with their punchy brand of Punk wrapped up in delicious Pop melodies and skyscraping hooks, this was the perfect start to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

They may have been together now for over three decades, yet they perform with a verve and enthusiasm usually reserved for those making their first tentative wide-eyed steps into the Rock ‘n’ Roll world. Much of that energy comes from charismatic frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist who never stayed still for a moment, whether jumping off the monitors or down into the photo pit and into the crowd.

Songs from their recent album The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons including opener “Bogus Operandi”, “Rigor Mortis Radio” and The Clash flavoured “Smoke and Mirrors” are up there with their best and were welcomed like long lost friends by the hugely, lively and appreciative crowd.

Bedecked in matching black suits with natty fluorescent lighting bolts The Hives cut a rather dashing figure which belied the Punk Rock fury of “Good Samaritan” which ignited the moshpit into a swirling frenzy.

Blessed with cool Rock ‘n’ Roll names, guitarists Nicholaus Arson and Vigilante Carlstroem pumped out the riffs while drummer Chris Dangerous and bassist The Johan and Only powered it up from the back with Dangerous in particular summoning reserves of energy unknown to man.

The insanely catchy “Come On” had the crowd singing along and “Tick Tick Boom” was an explosive end to an incendiary night.


  • 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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