Fireworks

Europe / King King (Manchester) http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9c/28/17/Europe-Joey-Tempest-Live-Rocktopia-Thumb-83-1538776206.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 02, 2018    
 
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Europe / King King - O2 Academy, Manchester (UK) - 14 September 2018

This brilliant double-header was kicked off by the excellent King King. There appeared to be well over two thousand fans already in attendance when the hard rocking Blues band hit the stage and opened the show with '(She Don't) Gimme No Lovin''; still, in my humble opinion, the best song Thunder never wrote. Glaswegian Alan Nimmo is the focus of the group with his blistering guitar and gritty, yet soulful vocals. However, King King are no one-trick pony and Nimmo was ably supported by Lindsay Coulson on bass, Wayne Proctor on drums and Jonny Dyke on Hammond Organ/keyboards.

The album that was represented the most was 2015's phenomenal 'Reaching For The Light', an album that has provided many staples from their live shows like 'Waking Up', 'You Stopped The Rain', 'Rush Hour' and set closer 'Stranger To The Light'; the latter saw the crowd afford the band a greater respect than their recent headlining show at HRH-Blues. The seven-song set also featured 'A Long History Of Love'. At times, you would be forgiven for not thinking this was the headline act such was the atmosphere within the Academy. What's so impressive about King King is that they are equally at home in front of a Hard Rock audience as they are a Blues crowd.

It's great to see a band pay respect to their past as well as continuing to deliver new music. Europe don't just live off past glories, nor do they forget their heritage, and perfectly combine all eras of their history. The crowd consisted of all age groups and it was evident from the start ("from the dark") that they had not just turned out to witness "that song".

The effective lighting served to provide striking silhouettes of the band members, but at times, this also made it difficult to see their features. The sound was loud but clear and accompanied by a great mix. Both new and old material were greeted with equal enthusiasm. The opening songs from their latest studio album ('Walk The Earth'), the title track and the powerful 'The Siege', started the show in a Heavy Rock style and it was evident from the get-go that the band were as tight nowadays as they've ever been. Joey Tempest arguably sounded better than ever, occasionally he talked to the audience but generally just allowed the music to do the talking. He did quip on a couple of occasions, "Sorted!", in reference to being in Manchester, although, to be honest, it seemed lost on most punters; also, it was not that funny.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Rock The Night' benefited from the beefier sound of the band since their reformation. Up next was my favourite song from 2012's 'War Of Kings', the superb 'Hole In My Pocket'. John Norum is a fantastic guitarist and I'd forgotten how "Metal" he can be at times, especially when played the Flying V during tonight's show. 'Last Look At Eden' was tremendous and Tempest took time to explain that 'New Love In Town' was written following the birth of his son.

I particularly enjoyed 'Firebox' and 'Riches To Rags' that were lifted from 'Bag Of Bones', my favourite post-reformation album. A couple of songs from 1988's 'Out Of This World' opus, 'Ready Or Not' and the superb 'Superstitious', received great receptions. A keyboard intro from Mic Michael to 'Turn To Dust' preluded Europe going all Heavy Metal on us. This was followed by 'GTO', the song being a last minute edition written at the Abbey Road Studios for the 'Walk The Earth' album and arguably the best song on that release.

Europe are one of the few bands that have aged well since the eighties and bass player John Levén looked like he clearly gives Tempest a run for his money in the Dorian Gray stakes. The surprise of the evening was just how good the power ballad 'Carrie' came across; the album version could be deemed to be very cheesy but here it was sublime. The oldest song, 'Scream Of Anger' from 1984's 'Wings Of Tomorrow', was another highlight. I'm not normally a fan of drum solos (Neil Peart notwithstanding) but Ian Haugland mercifully kept his brief and cleverly played it to a taped, backing track of the 'William Tell Overture'.

The main set concluded with 'War Of Kings' and the aforementioned 'Superstitious', the latter also included a snippet of the Whitesnake classic 'Here I Go Again'. The band then briefly left the stage before they then returned for a two-song encore of 'Cherokee' and "that song". There can be little argument, there are very few finer songs to conclude a show than 'The Final Countdown' which totally encapsulates the eighties.

The Melodic Rock World is the one place where Europe will always be welcome in the UK.

Mark Donnelly

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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