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FM: 40th Anniversary tour Dingwalls Camden with Brave Rival

25th May 2024 Dingwalls Camden

FM have been reliable rock stalwarts for the last four decades. Combining big 80s melodies, keyboards, towering vocals and impressive rock riffs, they always hit the mark. Anybody who's seen them perform live knows they are also consistent at running a tight ship and putting on a great show.

The bluesy track 'Digging Up the Dirt' from 2015's 'Heroes and Villains album kicks things off. Steve Overland's voice never seems to age. His vocals soar effortlessly high on tracks like 'Tough It Out' as they did in 1989. Perhaps the rest of the band are also tapping into this magical elixir to always perform with a typically youthful exuberance. It's exactly this zeal that makes FM an exciting band to watch live. Keyboard player Jem Davis jumps around on his own little platform to the side of the stage, Jim Kirkpatrick manages to sass up the guitar solos in an understated way, relishing the moments when he and Overland play twin guitar solos. The all-important percussion team: Merv Goldsworthy and Pete Jupp don't let the energy drop for a second. One criticism is that the bass mix in Dingwalls seemed a tad over-dominant tonight.

'Does It Feel Like Love', Hotwired' and the quintessentially AOR track 'The Dream That Died', all go down a storm, while new songs 'Don't Need Another Heartache' and 'Out of the Blue' slot in perfectly. Of course, it wouldn't be an FM show without the awesome 80s 'That Girl'.

Their current tour not only celebrates 40 years in the biz, it also highlights that they are far from a legacy band. They have recently released a new album 'Old Habits Die Hard', and several of the songs from that album feature in tonight's set, along with some choice tunes from the band's history. It's a credit to a band like FM that while they have the die-hard followers who have been with them since the beginning, are also picking up new fans. We bumped into a young guy who loved classic 80s rock and this was his first ever concert!

Forget the naysayers who say that rock is dead, the universal appeal of bands like FM go to show that it is very much alive and kicking. Speaking of which, support act Brave Rival managed to pick up a few more 'Bravians' from their explosive set too. It may have been a short slot, but the band worked their brand of supercharged classic rock and blues and managed to have the crowd rocking to their songs like 'Five Years On'. Their second album, 'Fight of Flight' is out later this year and they will return to Dingwalls for their album launch in September.

Photos Gerry Driver


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