Angelo Tristan hits the nail on the head. The Collateral frontman, not a man to ever not look like a rock star, is bare-chested, wearing his leather jacket as he bounds out on the Rescue Rooms stage and says: “Two of the best British bands, right here.” And FM are not one of those bands who pick support groups that are sub-standard, it just happens to be Collateral’s turn tonight and – as they showed a month or two back when MV saw them headline – they have never been better than they are right now.

“Glass Sky”, the set opener, their “comeback single” if you will, proves it –  but also proved that this is a brave new world – not a total change though, as the one of the other new songs they play, the big tear-jerking ballad “On The Long Road” fits in perfectly.

 But they cleverly interspersed this new material with a couple of their older, best-loved songs. “Big Shot”, and “Merry Go Round” (which is surely the Best Song Bon Jovi never wrote) are as good as any band of their type have got. With the songs, the star quality and a stage presence like they possess, surely this time for Collateral, it’s time for the big breakthrough.

Steve Overland references it. 15 years ago,  he says as he looks out across a Rescue Rooms that is packed to the rafters (almost literally as people are standing on the balcony high in the ceiling), the band reformed and made their live return in this very city.

It is 12 years since MV so with them open for Thin Lizzy around the corner and realised essentially that we were in the presence of greatness. As a consequence, I make no apology for saying that seeing FM is always something I look forward to. As the intro tape says: they didn’t mean to be heroes it just turned out that way. So will you welcome the mighty FM.

There are several songs they almost have to play. They begin with one, the fists in the air anthem “Tough It Out” and maybe it is just a little bit more strident tonight given that they are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

And those songs keep coming. “Killed By Love” and “Someday (You’ll Come Running)” (“I keep trying to get this out of the set but it just won’t go” laughs Overland) but the clever thing about FM, is that they’ve never been merely about nostalgia.

To that end their “Old Habits Die Hard” record was released that very day and there a couple of new songs from it. “Don’t Need Another Heartache” and the even better “Out Of The Blue” (the latter written by keysman Jem Davis) are not out of place, either.

The ethos of the band is perhaps best shown by the fact that old favourite “Synchronized” is followed by “Tell It Like It Is” which they barely played in the last 30 years, but he’s been dusted off now as a tribute to founding member Chris Overland – brother of Steve – who died last year.

And it doesn’t matter how many times you see songs like “That Girl” and the even better “Bad Luck” – which if Bon Jovi had played, would have gone gold – they’re wonderful.

“Hot Wired” is another that’s been dusted off here from the vaults, and the fact that “Turn This Car Around” – from the last album – has become such a life favourite is a testament to the fact this band always has something new to offer.

The encore is the same as usual – “Story Of My Life” underlines that they don’t call Overland “the voice” for nothing, before “The Other Side Of Midnight”  ensures it ends in raucous fashion.

I’m writing this a couple of days after the concert, but I was talking to someone who had seen them recently last night. Something we said struck home: However many times you see FM they have never played anything remotely that could be termed a bad show.

Quite simply, to watch them do what they do is to watch a master class. And they are the best melodic rock band in the world.

As Overland says, “40 years is a walk in the park, will be around for a long time yet.”

Old habits die hard indeed

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