Camp HRH, March 11 2017

Like a Finnish hurricane blowing through Camp HRH, Michael Monroe whipped up a storm on his latest visit to Wales. Whether cavorting across the stage – mic stand aloft – with a wild smile and little care for his bandmates or diving into the crowd like a kid caught up in his very first rock concert, the veteran frontman was in scintillating form.

Irrepressible. Irresponsible. Irrevocable. Call him what you want but Monroe still screams bona fide superstar and arch entertainer at a time when so many of his younger peers struggle to find their X factor. The former Hanoi Rocks singer has always looked the part – all glammed up with a punky pout – but there’s substance as well as style. Vocally Monroe still causes a stir and after kicking off with a quartet of solo cuts, his visceral version of The Damned’s Love Song causually threatened to trump the original.

Flanked by the super cool Steve Conte and long-time ‘Rocks star Sami Yafa, a crazed Monroe was given licence to roll back the years and roll with the punches. The 54-year-old had already chanced his arm with one impromptu trip into the crowd before he headed to the VIP barrier and stood tall, preaching to the masses. That it all ended in a rather ungainly fall was faintly amusing rather than utterly catastrophic – although it could easily have been the latter.

Demolition 23’s Hammersmith Palais, the iconic Malibu Beach Nightmare and deliciously debauched Dead, Jail Or Rock N Roll threatened to bring the house down before Monroe appeared to get mixed messages about just how long was left. Apparently confused (and possibly concussed), he insisted I Wanna Be Loved before racing through set closer Up Around The Bend with the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age.

One of the standout sets of HRH AOR V, Monroe’s show was breathless and breathtaking, raw and raucous. It was the very essence of rock and roll. The embodiment of Hard Rock Hell.

Setlist

78

Old King’s Road

Trick of the Wrist

This Ain’t No Love Song

Love Song

(The Damned cover)

You Crucified Me

(Demolition 23. song)

Back to Mystery City

(Hanoi Rocks song)

Nothin’s Alright

(Demolition 23. song)

Hammersmith Palais

(Demolition 23. song)

Malibu Beach Nightmare

(Hanoi Rocks song)

Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll

I Wanna Be Loved

(The Heartbreakers cover)

Up Around the Bend

(Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)

*Exclusive Image By HRH Festivals Photographer Simon Dunkerley