Ask any Pom what they think of when they hear the words ‘The Italian Job’ and they will point to the 1969 film when London crooks use Mini Coopers to steal $4 million in gold in the city of Turin and escape to Switzerland. There are many famous lines in the film, but the one which has always stuck with me is when Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) turned to Arthur (Michael Standing) and says to hi after he blows up a truck, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”. FM were formed in London in 1984, and although this concert was recorded in Milan as opposed to Turin, they again showed just what can be achieved with experience, muscle and belief.
Although the band had time off for good behaviour between 1995 and 2007, it still features three founder members in Steve Overland (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Merv Goldsworthy (bass, backing vocals), Pete Jupp (drums, backing vocals) while Jem Davis (keyboards, keytar, backing vocals) joined as long ago as 1993 and even lead guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick has been there for more than ten years. FM have long been recognised as one of the top, if not THE top, melodic rock band in Europe and this album shows exactly why. The set included fan favourites and classic cuts taken from the band’s first two records, brand new additions to the setlist taken from their last two albums ‘Heroes and Villains’ and ‘Atomic Generation’ and some surprises, such as “Let Love Be The Leader”, a single originally released in 1987. Steve Overland is renowned for being one of the few singers to be entitled to have the “Voice of Rock” tag bestowed on him, but this is all about the band, a group of musicians who together create something very special indeed. Backing harmonies everywhere, hooks aplenty, and a crowd who were entirely grateful for what they were receiving.
The band were on form, the set list is great, the audience were receptive, and the overall sound is superb. Melodic rock albums rarely get any better than this.