The+Rasmus++band+photo@ Manchester Academy II, December 13 2012 & Nottingham Rock City, December 15 2012

It’s incredible to think that The Rasmus suffered an undeserved bottling at the Reading Festival some years ago.

And it’s great to see that this buoyant band is back to give that unappreciative audience the middle finger and thrill the fans who really matter. 

At both of these sensational gigs on the UK leg of their latest tour The Rasmus proved that that they are still the talented and accomplished musicians – backed by one hell of a voice – that deservedly tasted chart success and global acclaim.

The set and lighting was simple but effective and the unmistakable feathered silhouette of Lauri Ylonen appearing out of the mist only added to the drama.

The Rasmus truly are a force to be reckoned with and there is so much more to this band than meets the eye – that they deserve to achieve a much bigger profile in the UK is beyond debate.

Song after song was seamlessly belted out with older hits including Sail Away, Funeral Song, Livin’ In A World Without You freshened up and delivered with force.

One of the best ever live performances of Immortal -which actually outshone the album version – truly evoked the emotion of lyrics that still affect audiences worldwide.

In the middle of the set the band members convened to sit in a row at the front of the stage and an amazing acoustic session ensued. Truly captivating stuff.

Ylonen joked that there was more to this band than ‘the slitting of the wrists’ – something that nobody could Justify at this gig!

One of the highlights at the Manchester gig was when the band played Wonderwall with Ylonen on drums (which he has apparently been playing since the age of 10!) and Eero Heinonen on vocals.

But audience participation reached a peak at the Nottingham gig when the band were involved in a marriage proposal – although it seemed the girl concerned was more lovestruck with the band than her fiance to be!

The hits kept coming relentlessly with Ylonen’s vocals showing no signs of weakness and by the time In The Shadows came it was hard to see how The Rasmus could top their trademark anthem.

But the band threw in a number of new songs from 2012’s self-titled comeback album – the evocative Stranger was delivered against a starry backdrop to prove there’s still plenty of life yet in the feisty Finns.

These ‘stars’ certainly shone at both of these gigs and it can’t be too soon before The Rasmus return to UK shores – this time with the respect and the following they deserve.

Diane Goodrum