There's no other way to say it. My favourite band of all time (along with Slave to the Grind era Skid Row). And I managed to miss them when I was younger, so many, many times.
But then, last week...
Hee hee hee!!!!
I waited 20 years to finally see these fellas. And good god, it was worth it. Bannerman's is a small but important venue in Edinburgh for rock and metal music, especially these days. Sadly, circumstances meant that it wasn't the full original line up playing but lead singer Jizzy Pearl (I love how he's kept that name after all this time) along with a touring line up of Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper, Slash's Snakepit), Robbie Crane (RATT) and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley). And they were fantastic, all of them, really doing justice the originals. I missed a chance to speak to Jizzy (who brushed past me when he entered the pub itself), who was good enough to hang out with the fans for a bit (but we did bump fists during the gig, which made my day) but I did get to speak to Robbie Crane and Matt Starr several times, who were friendly, down to earth and approachable dudes.
|Touring bassist Robbie Crane, formerly of RATT.|
Love/Hate were one of those bands in the late 80s/early 90s who really weren't appreciated for who they were and what they did. A lot of folks didn't get into them for one reason or another but they completely spoke to me (how wanky, I know) when I was 19. Lumped in with the hair metal movement, they stood out from the rest of that lot for me and actually had something to say about the rock lifestyle of excess; I think a lot of their stuff still stands up and is remains relevant. They've more than their fair share of bad luck but keep at it. Real rock musicians who persevere through good and bad.
Jizzy's voice is still amazing - after all those presumed years of rock n'roll excess, he looks after himself - and in all the entire band were amazing. I think they were a bit taken back at our response. Jizzy's said himself that the UK always seemed to love them more than anyone else.
And there was very little about the night that seemed nostalgic all that much nor did it seem like faded stars trying to recapture previous glories. This was balls to the wall music. A bunch of guys still doing what they love and doing it amazingly and with a real passion.
I think Love/Hate's continued existence is an example of one of the beliefs I try to live by; if you love something, do it, no matter how old people say you are. The other way lies darkness, old age and the end.
An amazing and ferociously good night. Here's hoping it's not another 20 years before they come back to Edinburgh.