Rock Zone UK

Steel Panther and Mia Klose – Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 15th March 2014

What a difference a year makes … or then again, in some cases not so much. They say the more things change, the more they stay the same – yet in the case of Steel Panther I firmly believe the opposite is true. More of that, and them, later as the breaking news (and, perhaps, most startling thing ever reported by Rock-Zone UK) is that I ventured away from not just The Railway but the North of England! This fine spring Saturday saw the dynamic duo from RZ venture south to Wolverhampton. Amazingly, we made it back in one piece, didn’t require passports and the locals were friendly (except those who appear to travel to gigs all around the country for whom the concept of “personal space” is anathema and, worse, decide that you would be far better off watching the show via the 4″ inch screen of their smartphone! Permission to say coc…. perhaps not?

As ever, the UK have such a soft spot (oo-er, missus!) for the Panther that the tickets for this tour, once again, sold out fast and the early queues were a sign of a city ready to be entertained – and for just short of three hours that is EXACTLY what we got. Now I am not reporting that Steel Panther played for three hours, rather the crowd lapped up the whole  experience including, rather fabulously for a change, the support from Mia Klose and her band of merry men.

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Like I said at the start, what a difference a year makes. 12 months on from my review of the rather splendid debut, “London” (still online, here http://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2013/02/17/mia-klose-london/ ), and the many shows by the diminutive, Swedish femme fatale rocker have clearly paid dividends. I caught her set at last year’s HRH AOR and was  impressed but, if I’m honest, not totally blown away. I have now re-listened to “London” and it sounds even better than I remember, and the new additions to the band, including the arrival of Kalle Arheden on guitar and, the very splendid, Henry Rogers (Touchstone & DeeExpus) on drums have completely re-invigorated the live sound and show. The sound improvement was even more impressive, given the traditional support slot sound issues often found on tours of this magnitude – such a shame BUT (you see, another very big but) what I witnessed was a female rocker who grabbed hold of the audience and kept their attention. In fact, not just held it, kept grabbing more and more of the audience – proving that Mia, the woman and the band, have much more rock and roll substance than just a pretty face. As I said, Mia plays countless shows (and still appears to have boundless energy!) and you can catch her with SP on a few more nights of the tour plus supporting RZ faves Falling Red in Carlisle (April 12th) and headlining at The Railway, Bolton (see, you knew it couldn’t last!) on April 13th (ticket details, including how to pay by card, available at www.railwayvenue.com) – once again, listen to Uncle Davey and do yourselves a favour … check Mia out in the live arena it’s 80s but not as you know it.

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Unlike, of course, Steel Panther – quite obviously, 80s rock EXACTLY as you know it. As with all their shows, if you are  (a) easily offended or (b) without a sense of humour  … STAY WELL AWAY! There is nothing for you to see here … leave it to us that “get” the joke. What you have here is a band made up of, arguably, three of the greatest musicians in the world plus Lexxi on bass, who pay a loving homage to the music that makes up the soundtrack of my life. Very rude, blue in parts, with inappropriate gags that make them so loved all topped off by VERY impressive musicianship (the bit that gets overlooked by those who focus on the joke) and tonight saw the packed Civic Hall really enjoy it. With a set made up of mostly their most well known tracks, they did throw in 3 from the forthcoming , and very long in the making, “All You Can Eat” album which is due 31st March (worth the wait because, as the band pointed out last night, Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t paint the Sixteen Capel overnight!). Female audience members didn’t need their arms twisted to jump on stage (and remove items of clothing) for “Gold Digging Whore” and at one point, in response to a sign in the audience, dragged up Paul to play Satchel’s guitar for “17 Girls in a Row” – well done dude, you must have balls of steel! As for Steel Panther … the more they stay the same, the more they change … more talent and, to be honest, the songs get better (and funnier) too.

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The Steel Panther tour continues:
16 March Manchester, United Kingdom -Apollo
18 March Newcastle, United Kingdom – Academy
19 March Glasgow, United Kingdom – Academy
20 March Sheffield, United Kingdom – Academy
22 March Cambridge, United Kingdom – Corn Exchange
23 March Bristol, United Kingdom – Academy
24 march Nottingham, United Kingdom – Rock City
26 March London, United Kingdom – Brixton Academy

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Set list:
Eyes of a Panther
Tomorrow Night
Asian Hooker
Just Like Tiger Woods
Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
Let Me Cum In
Guitar Solo
Turn Out the Lights
Hair Solo (genius, Lexxi, genius!)
Gloryhole
The Burden of Being Wonderful
Gold Digging Whore
It Won’t Suck Itself
Death to All but Metal

Encore:
Community Property
17 Girls in a Row
Party All Day

 

More information at:

www.miaklose.com

www.steelpantherrocks.com/

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