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Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
10th May 2015

Liz Medhurst: Photos by Dave Craig

liz medhurst


It was Melodic Rock heaven tonight in Shepherd's Bush with a flawless performance by FM, who keep delivering more and more of the good stuff and continue their ascendancy that was re-booted with the 2007 reunion.

This was the final date on the headline UK 'Heroes And Villains' tour and the live show is just as engaging as the album with a setlist that encompassed their entire career.

With European shows and festivals to come, there are plenty of chances to see FM on the road, and you will not be disappointed.

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Support for tonight started with Belfast rockers No Hot Ashes, who started to build the energy with an appealing set. They were followed by special guests Romeos Daughter, continuing their long association with FM.

Leigh Matty's voice is rich and strong and out of the newer songs in the set 'Touch' was a real highlight, blending well with fan favourites.


We had been suitably and skilfully warmed up by the time FM came on stage and everyone was on their feet right from the start with the single 'Digging In The Dirt' from the new album. It's punchy and rocky and everything good, segueing perfectly into 'I Belong To The Night', an anthem that you can't help but belt along to, air punches pretty much compulsory.

From here the hard groove of 'Wildside' provoked an immense reaction from the crowd and these first three tracks were enough on their own to mark the gig as worthwhile and there was plenty more to come.

We had a bit of a slow down for 'Closer To Heaven' and then back to great riffs with 'Let Love Be The Leader'. Tonight was just quality track after quality track, the setlist bookending early and current period FM continued with the likes of 'The Shape I'm In', 'Blood And Gasoline', 'Tough It Out' and 'Life Is A Highway'. Riches indeed.


'Frozen Heart' was another slow interlude which was a good moment for a trip to the bar before the groove returned with 'Crosstown Train'. It was clear that the band were enjoying every minute, as was I.

It was a relentless run of even more crowd favourites to finish the main set, which closed perfectly with 'Bad Love' before a complete change of pace with the encore which kicked off with a beautiful predominantly solo voice and piano 'Story Of My Life'. Steve Overland had been in top vocal form all night and this was a real chance to shine.

And it couldn't have been more perfect when with the last song, 'The Other Side Of Midnight', Jem Davis left his keyboard rig and joined Merv, Jim and Steve at the front... with a keytar. Mock all you like, I don't care, I bloody love keytars.

FM are the masters of this genre and are always consistently brilliant. I have been thinning out my possessions over the last few months, including CDs, and having just done a count; my remaining collection contains more FM than Journey, Europe and Def Leppard combined. It's the right choice.


Digging Up The Dirt
I Belong To The Night
Wild Side
Closer To Heaven
Let Love Be The Leader
The Shape I'm In
Tough Love
Blood And Gasoline
Frozen Heart
Life Is A Highway
Crosstown Train
Tough It Out
That Girl
Burning My Heart Down
Bad Luck

The Story Of My Life
The Other Side Of Midnight

Tour Dates:
June 20 – Rock The Ring, Switzerland
June 21 – Graspop, Belgium
July 12 – Bospop, Netherlands
July 25 – Ramblin Man Fair, Maidstone, UK
July 26 – Steelhouse Festival, Wales, UK
July 31 – Skoksröjet, Sweden
Aug 1 – Helgeåfestivalen, Sweden

Click here for Mark Taylor's exclusive video interview with FM about 'Heroes And Villains'.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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