Michael Monroe @ Stone Free Festival 18/09/16


An afternoon with rock n roll royalty

They are two things that are guaranteed when you buy a ticket for a Michael Monroe gig. The first is Rock N Roll music of the highest quality and the second is 100% pure energy and untamed vitality.

Either of those guarantees is worth the admission price alone but put together is one package and your attendance is no longer requested it is required.

“This Ain’t No Love Song” kicks things off in typically ebullient fashion and as the following 45 minutes proved this band does not do slowing down.

Monroe strikes the perfect balance in his setlist with mixes old classics with new classics. Fans of the sublime Hanoi Rocks get treated to a raucous “Malibu Beach Nightmare” which goes down like the greatest hooker of all time.

A choice was provided by Mr Monroe to the sweating masses. Do they want “Tragedy” or “Up Around The Bend”? Both, seemed to be the general consensus but it was the breakout single from the bands debut album rather than Creedence Clearwater Revival cover that won the day. Good choice.

Monroe’s stint as leader of the shortlived but brilliant band Demolition 23, which also starred bassist Sami Yaffa, was remembered with the punk genius of “Nothin’s Alright”.

A couple of modern classics in the shape “Trick Of The Wrist” and the anthemic “78” are delivered and received with the same passion and intensity as the established historical numbers.

Another track that deserves to stand alongside the finest tracks in the Monroe back catalogue is “Superpowered Superfly” and in the live environment it reaches even loftier heights than the recorded version.

Monroe is renowned for the quality of his band mates and in guitarists Rich Jones, Steve Conte, Yaffa and drummer Karl Rockfist he has the perfect backing with which to deliver his unique showmanship.

The short, but oh so sweet, set was completed by the ultimate set closer in “Dead, Jail or Rock ‘N Roll”. All in attendance are glad he chose the latter.

If one of the unconverted asks you what is Rock n Roll. The simplest thing to do, and the right thing to do, is put on a Michael Monroe record, turn it up 12 and watch as the slow realisation dawns on them that they have just discovered something that we have known all along. It will be priceless, just like the man himself.

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