Friday 19th March 2010

Long permed hair, Bandana’s, skimpy jeans and torn t-shirts were to be spotted aplenty on Brixton high street this evening, something not too often to be said in these modern times. Of course they were heading to the academy to witness the heavy metal harking, power chord striking, split jumping retro rock of the 21st centuries premier 80’s hard rock throwbacks Steel Panther. They are indeed a big draw and the sold out crowd is proof that they are a force to be reckoned with in their own right.

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It is true they have taken the 80’s hair metal parody so far as to be off the scale it’s coming back round again for a second go. Their male dominated attitudes, liberal sexual views and beer driven antics are comical to the point of absurdity, which is why they are so loved. No other band could get away with writing an album full of dick jokes and sexual innuendo and still have a solitary fan. Of course the reason is their outstanding musicianship and their sublime live shows (with a little glazing of nostalgia thrown in for good measure).

Their support for this evening’s performance was far from ordinary. In fact they were stunning! All three of them were! The Sirens were to be perfectly honest 3 very hot & extremely agile strippers who danced provocatively is progressively less clothing for the crowd to the sounds of Slipknot and Lamb of God. It was totally shallow & male adjusted but who else are you expecting to perform when the headline band’s greatest ambition is to go one month without contracting an STD? Just made me wonder why more bands didn’t employ these tactics to get the crowds through the door.

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The Sirens

After a substantial wait (probably due to setting up the camera crew who were filming this evening’s performance for a live DVD), Steel Panther emerged from the 80’s time machine and set up camp on their full 80’s stadium style stage setup complete with ramps, oversized drum kits and a mind blowing 24 full sized Marshall stacks!!!

Panther Look the part with typecast characters for each member Michael Starr the enigmatic lead singer who gets the girls, the hair preening, mirror obsessed bassist Lexxi Foxx, hard rock all night Guitarist Satchel and the dumb drummer Stix Zadinia. Self proclaiming that Heavy Metal is back is easy to understand once you have been panthered. Energy levels of this band are incredible, Starr, Satchel and Lexxi were constantly bounding round the stage, Starr even put in some impressive David Lee Roth style ball busting split jumps!

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Vocals tonight were superb! Snows voice propels to the higher ranges of human hearing as well as having a great deep rock and rolling roar. Early set highlight came in the shape of Party All Day sparking a massive sing-a-long and thousands of fist pumps! The Devils Horns were brandished at every occasion by both crowd and band, sharing in the absurdity!

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With only one albums worth of material it was always going to be a stretch to fill time. Good job they know a few jokes and are good storytellers! Each song was preceded with inter band banter of monologue length. This did begin to wear thin by the end, but again this wasn’t unexpected.

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Top tunes from the set included the 2 fingers up to mainstream music in the shape of Death To All But Metal,the polygamous triumphing ballad Community Property and all out comedy of Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) each played extremely tightly with Satchels guitar skills showing great prowess!

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A review of the show is not complete without mentioning their gimmicks which kept the show interesting. They recruited a bunch of strippers from the local joint to gyrate onstage during Stripper Girl, handed out foam Shocker hands for the song of the same name and I mustn’t forget the blow up dolls or confetti!

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After exhausting their repertoire the encore had to include the one thing they can do better than anyone else…80’s covers! Two of them in fact, both note perfect homage’s to days gone by. Avoiding as many clichéd bands as possible they settled on the great Motley Cru’s Shout At The Devil & an absolutely amazing version of Gun’s & Roses paradise city which really blew the roof off!

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A brilliant night of ‘Heavy Metal’ drew to a close and the Steel Panther boys they promised to be back and confirmed they’d be playing Download Festival in the summer (oh yeah!). This is one promise I hope they keep as tonight was man rock fun at its peak!

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