“The Nottingham Tapes” by Hanoi Rocks

Artist: Hanoi Rocks
Title: “The Nottingham Tapes”
Label: Cherry Red UK
Release Date: 6/10/2008
Genre: Glam Rock
Rating: 4/5

According to the liner notes that come along on the packaging of the film, the recording for Hanoi Rocks’ “The Nottingham Tapes” is the result of a film crew’s decision to leave their equipment set up from the recording of an all day Trash Rock affair at the same venue where this show would take place. After watching only a couple of songs from the show I had to say that not only the fans of Hanoi Rocks were lucky that this was done, but also any fan of bare bones Rock and Roll with a Trashy/Glam edge to it. Formed in 1979, Hanoi Rocks were one of those bands who were ahead of the times when it came to their genre and should you know your Rock history, you will recall that not only did the Punk material of the day inspire them, but also the classic Rockers of the fifties and sixties. This allowed the band to stand high above the competition in terms of the strength of their material and find them come to inspire bands like Poison and Guns ‘N Roses in the years that would follow. The show was recorded at The Palais club located in Nottingham, England and it captures a full sixty minutes of fun time music. I was a little disappointed to see the limited camera angles, but this was done in 1984 my friends, and the means for super and extravagant video recording sessions was not par for the course yet. The viewer is limited to shots from the far stage left, and some close ups, and additional views from behind the drum kit. From this I am guessing this was no more than a two or three camera shoot. However, despite some of the lacking in the visual sense, I found no such issue with the audio portion of the show. The band sounds excellent and all of the instruments are captured perfectly. As a matter of fact, it sounds so good that I will assume that there was a feed to the soundboard because you really don’t hear any audience noise during the show.

The set list is top notch and includes greats like “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” and “Tragedy”. This latter number finds singer Mike Monroe rather intense and I would have liked to see more of the reaction of the audience during this one. They deliver a great cover of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Up Around The Bend” and I understand this was a staple number in the band’s set during their heyday. The show is energetic from beginning to end and since the recording is so strong you get a really good idea about how the band was in concert. From this film it is rather easy to see why so many bands found them of influence. Proving that lead singers can do more than sing if they want to, “Underwater World” finds Monroe playing a saxophone when he isn’t laying down his vocal parts in the song. The obviously fun night comes to an end when drummer Razzle and Monroe switch places to perform “Rockaway Beach” by The Ramones and during the song we find the audience jumping onto the stage to dance with the band and to stage dive. They don’t stop coming up for the length of the tune and are very visibly keeping the stage crew busy. Monroe shows he can also handle himself behind the drum kit and Razzle didn’t do a bad job either as a front man for a few minutes. After kicking that much ass during the show one can allow him a little bit of fun in the front as well. The lineup of the band has changed over the years but this show finds its most revered roster with Mike Monroe (vocals/saxophone), Razzle (drums), Nasty Suicide (guitar) and Sami Yaffa (bass).

The bands climb up the ladder of musical success would be halted rather abruptly when drummer Razzle was killed only eight months after this show was filmed. The tragedy happened while driving with Motley Crue’s Vince Neil from a party and the ensuing accident injured several but Razzle’s condition was much worse. This DVD takes you back to a time when the band was on the rise and on fire and is a must have for fans of the Glam Rock genre in its earliest stages. Today’s music world finds Monroe still touring under the band name with Andy McCoy (guitar) and several others. There are no bonus features about the band but there are some samples of other DVD concert films that Cherry Red UK has released.

Track Listing:
1. Back To Mystery City
2. Up Around The Bend
3. I Can’t Get It
4. Motorvatin’
5. Lightning Bar Blues
6. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
7. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
8. Tragedy
9. Malibu Beach
10. Underwater World
11. Don’t Follow Me
12. I Feel Alright
13. Taxi Driver
14. Blitzkreig Bop

Official Website: http://www.hanoirocks.info

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