The Pretty Reckless – 02 Insitute Birmingham 20th January 2017


The Pretty Reckless were supported at this sold out gig by The Cruel Knives who are a 4-piece rock band featuring Sid Glover (guitar) and Rob Ellershaw (bass) who were previously in Heavens Basement together with Tom Harris (vocals) and Al Junior (drums).  This was their second gig and they played with enthusiasm and swagger, although for me some of the songs had a too heavy emphasis on the riffs from Sid which seemed to change the direction of the song.  The sound was loud with heavy emphasis on the guitars.  The audience seemed to be enjoying it and they certainly got the crowd nodding along.  This is a band to watch out for and currently launching their debut EP on Pledge Music.

After a bit of a wait it was time for The Pretty Reckless who came on to Follow Me Down.  Taylor Momsen (vocals / guitar) was wearing a long line leather coat over a short T shirt dress, leather leggings and high heeled boots.  Ben Philips (lead guitar), Mark Damon (bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums) are very accomplished players and provided a great backdrop to Taylor.

The set contained a mixture of older tracks combined with ones off the latest album and featured Make Me Want to Die, My Medicine, Take Me Down, amongst others, which got the audience singing and clapping along.  Taylor certainly seemed to have a devoted audience who knew all the words and were not shy in singing along with her.  She has a raspy, gravelly tone to her voice, although 2 rows in the vocals could have done with being up a notch or 2 as they were, on occasions, hard to hear.

I thought that Taylor would be a snarly, unsmiling lead but I was really wrong as she seemed genuinely happy with the reaction of the crowd, beaming away and throwing herself around the stage like a banshee.

This was a full set played by a talented band, I am not sure that the drum solo was needed but this may have just been me as the crowd seemed to love it.  I think I increased the average age of the crowd by at least a decade, however it was great to see so many young people out at a gig, with such a strong, female lead.



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