The Boys are Back!
Firefest IV, Nottingham Rock City, October 27th 2007. I was one of the sold out crowd waiting 12 years for this gig. FM are possibly, strike that, probably one my fave bands of all time, along with Rainbow and Journey (so they're in good company for starters!)
This DVD is a little treasure, which I never thought would bear fruit. On the day in question half way through their set a power cut took out the amps and we stood and waited patiently for the power to return. I was in the front row of the balcony stood right next to the bloke recording the gig. His computer died and couldn’t get it rebooted. We were desperate to help him 'have you tried switching it on and off again' and so on. He was not best pleased. So how the hell did they manage to get it all down on DVD. Extras on the DVD are a little scarce, but include an interview from the day in question.
Apart from that we have ourselves a little gem of a dvd. My version is the numbered Limited Edition (1500 only) with audio cd of the same gig. The video quality is pretty good, and the sound quality is superb. If I wasn't actually there in person I'd be sceptical to say it sounded as good as a studio recording!
After 12yrs its good to see they can still cut the mustard, and on the night in question FM were as polished and professional as ever, only a little older and greyer. I just cannot understand how FM never made it as big as Bon Jovi and the like. Just as melodic as Bon Jovi, great songs like Bon Jovi, only FM had a better singer in Steve Overland, who has still one of THE best rock/soul/blues tinged voices that Blighty has ever produced. I just feel that they should have 'had a go' at cracking the US, then major success would surely have beckoned.
On introduction to the crowd, FM couldn’t believe their eyes. The smiles were huge, and even tears were shed (them and us). When I last saw them it was like we were all waiting for the end to happen, but now they had a full house with fans from all around the world wanting to pay homage. It would have been easy for FM to turn up, put in a crap performance, take the money and run, and clear off into the sunset. Thankfully it was the opposite, all the great songs, playing as tight as a gnats chuff, the harmonies were all there which has always been one of their forte's, and a backing choir of a couple of thousand who knew every single word
Not the original line up, I understand they tried to entice Chris Overland back for the gig. In my eyes they had to get Andy Barnett involved. A superb guitarist and headcase to boot. Just watching him on the night had me in stitches. He more than anyone else on this night showed how much this gig meant. Andy’s guitar playing has always given them a heavier, rockier edge.
All killers, no fillers, we got the lot • Over a 6 yr period FM produced 3 albums which were classic examples of melodic rock, in Indiscreet, Tough It Out, and Aphrodisiac. Its from these 3 which make up the bulk of the set list. Opening with the excellent 'Breathe Fire', then my two all time favourites, 'Face to Face', and 'I Belong to the Night'. Both sounding better than ever after been given an added and more up to date 'kick'. Classic upon classic followed in 'That Girl', 'All or Nothing', 'Only The Strong Survive', 'Frozen Heart' etc., etc. We even got 'the walk' on the 'Other Side of Midnight'. It brought back many a great memory of the gigs FM performed at my local, 'The Tiv'.
So the playing was superb, the singing was exemplary, and those of you who thought this type of music was dead and buried had better think again. FM are back, and flying the flag!
It was all rather excellent, a dogs bollox performance, and the icing on the cake at the end of the night was that it was not to be a 'one off'. Bring it on guys, you deserve it.