Reckless Love 2014 By John Evans@Newcastle O2 Academy, December 4 2014

If Reckless Love opened Download’s main stage on day three next summer the scene would surely be set for a superior bill of 80s throwback metal. With ex-Gunner Slash, Motley Crue and Kiss to come it’s difficult to imagine a band better suited to whipping up a storm and capturing the mood. 

Whether it will happen remains to be seen. But make no mistake – Olli Herman and co. are the act best placed to keep the hair metal movement alive with their heady mix of singalong anthems, excessive solos, cheesy posturing and pure entertainment value.

Reckless Love have honed their set to such a degree that they’re in a position to teach Crue and Kiss a thing or two. Boasting the boyish enthusiasm now lacking in their jaded elders and an appetite for destruction missing from so many of today’s shoe gazing indie clones, theirs is a mantra founded on unadulterated fun and endearing passion.

This knockout Newcastle show was a belter. Night On Fire proved to be a remarkably apt opener and come the set-closing One More Time – a second encore to reward the frenzied masses – it was clear few bands do retro as well as Reckless Love.

If Hermann’s histrionics are hard to ignore then seasoned fans of this vibrant band know when to fix their stare on stunning guitarist Pepe. The axe hero is the star of the Reckless Love show and his fretwork sizzled as the fearless Finns kicked off their latest UK headline tour.

That the super slick Scandinavians are still bubbling under – rather than blazing a trail – remains a constant frustration for fans of fist-pumping pop metal. Alongside h.e.a.t., Reckless Love are the ‘for-real’ antidote to Steel Panther’s increasingly yawnsome sleaze – check out standout anthem I Love Heavy Metal and dare to say otherwise.

Simon Rushworth

Exclusive image courtesy of John Evans