Nights like last night don’t come any better than that for me. A night whereby I can witness two of my fave bands of all time, Romeos Daughter and FM. A sight and sound I never ever thought I would witness again on the exact same stage and bill.
In fact I felt like Marty McFly! I’d just stepped into my DeLorean (well its a Passat really), hit 88 miles an hour, and planted myself firmly in 1987! Even some of the hairstyles were still in vogue from that era. You know who you are!
Entering onto the stage to rapturous applause from the Manchester crowd, FM could do no wrong. They were in town to support 25years of ‘Indiscreet’, their debut and definitely their most worshipped album. They were here to play the whole Goddamn thing!
With no fuss, FM went straight into ‘That Girl’, a song so good it was once covered by Iron Maiden! (cue the first of many goosebumps). ‘Other Side Of Midnight’ followed, and I sware that if you closed your eyes, it was 1987 all over again! Only this time, Chris Overland looked a little like Yngwie Malmsteens younger (and thinner) brother. Without harping on too much, classic followed classic, and the highlights for me were, ‘I Belong To The Night’, a song I’ve loved live as it just kicks ass compared to the album version; ‘American Girl’ a song which should have sent FM to the US and mega stardom; ‘Face to Face’ complete with obligatory audience participation – If you don’t know this song, you’re not allowed to buy a ticket, and the classic ‘Frozen Heart’. A special guest was in attendance for an added surprise on ‘Heart Of The Matter’. Yes people, for one night only, back from a recent tour of Neptune and Pluto, Mr Didge Digital. For when you think its never too much to have one keytar, FM sported two (yes TWO!). That was special indeed! And it was great to see Didge back on the same stage – cue a sea of mobile phones to capture the occasion.
If you thought just listening to ‘Indiscreet’ was enough (I’d have gone home ecstatic at this point), what was about to follow made this an FM gig of a lifetime. FM camped their set firmly in the ‘Indiscreet’ and ‘Tough It Out’ era. The second half opened with ‘Dangerous’, which only ever appeared live in the early days, and ‘Let Love Be The Leader’. ‘Tough It Out’ was up next, and Overland had me at ‘Whoa-o-oh’. This album should have sent FM stratospheric, and the remainder of the set was ‘T.I.O-tastic’.
‘Dont Stop’, and ‘Does It Feel Like Love’ followed, before classics ‘Bad Luck’ and ‘Burning My Heart Down’ complete with Jupp’s obligatory dance moves, closed off the set. FM returned for ‘Hot Legs’, a song that they made their own 20-odd years ago and was a perfect finale.
In Steve Overland, FM have one of the finest singers ever to grace a stage. Put this together with the mighty rhythm section of Messers Jupp and Goldsworthy, master ivory tinkler Jem Davis, and the best guitarist I’ve seen play for FM with a fire and passion like Jim Kirkpatrick, it all makes for one special formula, and one very special night.
FM don’t play to fans, they play to family and friends, as its rare to see a bond like this between the two. Everyone sang, everyone went home 100% ecstatic. The song selection (and performance) was unparalleled. A point stated as I chatted to friends after the show.
This was the best FM gig I have witnessed in over 20 years of seeing the guys, and I say this on great authority as I must have seen them 20 times over the years. If you were lucky to witness this short tour then you caught a very special night indeed. I’ve never had goosebumps so many times in one night, even two hours later. After a sing-a-long night like last night, my voice is totally buggered. Absolutely fantastic.
Set List –
Intro – Pink Panther Theme
Other Side Of Midnight
Love Lies Dying
I Belong To The Night
Face To Face
Heart Of The Matter
Let Love Be The Leader
Tough It Out
Does It Feel Like Love
Burning My Heart Down