@ Newcastle O2 Academy, March 13 2011

Legendary Hanoi Rocks frontman and glam rock prince Michael Monroe and his band of rock n’ roll brothers always promised something special and kicked off a belting performance with Trick Of The Wrist.

That blistering 21st century anthem set the tone for the majority of a set showcasing Monroe’s latest offering Sensory Overdrive. It’s a great record and the songs sound even better live. 

The crowd at the O2 Academy seemed somewhat awestruck by the sinewy saxophone-wielding blonde before them: looking like he just stepped out of 1982 Monroe has lost none of his Jaggeresque appeal for all his 20-plus years of performing.

Segueing into Got Blood followed by Nothing’s Alright, it’s clear that he is still producing songs that emulate his past hits, while providing a new generation with the Monroe style of rock n roll. However, the intro to Not Faking It caused the most fervour early on and the crowd joined the party in fine voice.

Backed by a band comprising Steve Conte, Sami Yaffa and local hero Ginger, Monroe has gathered together a line up with some serious credentials. Impressive as they are, the baying audience were massed to see and hear just one name, and the mere mention of Hanoi Rocks provoked wild animation.

Back To Mystery City was swiftly followed by Malibu Beach Nightmare and some fabulous harmonica action ensued. This was the undoubted high point of the evening so far and the stunned crowd was left wondering if Monroe and co. had reached a premature peak.

No chance. Monroe had other plans and launched headlong and high kicking into Dead Jail Rock N Roll again delighting those who wished to sing along. The frenzied frontman pranced, writhed and swung his microphone until the lead provided a dramatic choke hold.

A few bars of Survivor anthem Eye Of The Tiger led Monroe to forgo lead vocals for drums, handing over to local lad Ginger to perform the Ramones classic Blitzkrieg Bop. A giant leap from the drum riser and the party was over. Smiling faces are all around, but Up Around The Bend was mentioned frequently en route to exit. Maybe next time Mike?

Viki Ridley