FM Dare Tyketto Islington Academy 25-5-23
Celebration is what this gig was all about.
Celebrating live music and friendship and the joy of melodic rock music decades in the making and getting the adulation they all deserve.
Packed houses countrywide with the audiences voting with their hard earned cash.
Is this the way forward with 3 bands of equal standing with rotating headliners venue to venue and each get an hour full throttle with no dips in quality or audience reaction?
From the grins on and off stage the answer is a resounding yes and with only 15 minutes between bands the road crew earn their money while we get a few minutes rest.
First up in London was Tyketto and from the get go Danny Vaughn is in full voice. Wow as he roars through Wings the second song is it really 32 years since Don't Come Easy? He sounds amazing and he means every word and implores you to do the same which we do with gusto.
New band member Johnny Dee on drums is back with Danny after 37 years since their Waysted days and we get a wonderful version of Heaven Tonight in celebration of the moment .
New guitarist Harry Scott Elliot deserves big kudos. He fills the big shoes of the departed Chris Green with aplomb and shows great knowledge of the original material playing within the framework and showing on the cover of UFO's Mother Mary ( a one off for London ) that he can shred with the best of them.
Chris Childs from Thunder on bass and Ged Rylands on keys add their class with great backing vocals too.
Danny leads us through a stunning Standing Alone before the only way to end a Tyketto show and the classic Forever Young which saw fists raised in the air and plenty of leaping in the air too and Danny visibly moved at the audience reaction.
15 minutes later and Dare hit the stage with Darren Wharton in trademark shades and flanked to his left by Vinny Burns. Thankfully from the last time I saw Dare when Vinny wasn't audible tonight the excellent sound system let Vinny burn and shred his way through when required the back catalogue.
Starting the set with 4 newer songs saw certainly around me a muted response from the audience but once the classics started their was no looking back.
Wings Of Fire and We Don't Need A Reason saw Vinny shredding for all he was worth and Darren in good voice.
Abandon's intro and I realised there was a keyboard player perched backstage right behind Nigel Clutterbuck on bass. He was sat low and with the dry ice not visible and very low in the mix too.
King Of Spades was dedicated to Phil Lynott before their 60 minutes was ended with Return The Heart and more audience adulation.
FM are one of the best live bands in the business and topping a bill of this excellence they take in their stride.
Opening with Synchronized Steve Overland is in wonderful voice and even after 4 shows in 5 nights he puts on a vocal masterclass.
FM play a career set list with songs right up to the present day with Killed By Love off Atomic Generation getting a great audience sing along.
Jim Kirkpatrick on guitar was the new fire in the band from 2010 and now producing quality albums in his in own right with the recently released Dead Man Walking and his short sharp fiery guitar soloing is always a show highlight.
The quality never dipped with Someday You'll Come Running a voted fan favourite although Steve asked please no more as he gasped for breath with plenty of water taken on too.
Tattoo Needle off Dead Man's Shoes was this tour's nugget and great soloing from Jim.
That Girl was followed by Bad Girl and then Tough It Out as the grins and laughter on stage increased as the end of tour neared ever closer.
FM ended with a track off last year's Thirteen album with Turn This Car Around and showed that 37 years into their career they write and record relevant music that touches people of all ages and long may this continue.
A stunning night out that we all want to do again and again with 3 bands at the top of their games showing quality music never fades.