With support from Vernez and Hardcore Superstar
KOKO London 22nd November 2013.

The M1 was kind to me today, as was the weather, so I managed to get parked in Camden Town with plenty of time to spare, however, I missed Vernez, sorry, I did get into the venue in time for Hardcore superstar, but Security wouldn’t allow me into the pit as the gig had just started so I had to watch from a very cramped corner of a packed out KOKO! If you go to the bands Facebook page, there is a video of them performing “Above the Law” (which is a great track) shot at KOKO, where you can see me stood in the corner, looking rather annoyed about the situation I found myself in! lol

Hardcore Superstar are a mish mash of glam and hard rock. Hailing from Sweden, the band consists of Jocke Berg – vocals, Vic Zino – guitar, Martin Sandvik – bass and Magnus “ADDE” Andreasson – drums. The glam genre seems to be making a real comeback, thanks to the likes of Steel Panther and The Darkness and if you look at the number of gigs these guys had last year compared with 2013, its almost double! Having never seen them before, I got a real sense of the days when Def Leppard were a formidable force. Is Glam Rock back, I hope not, but if it is, I hope its short lived but with Hardcore Superstar being more musically than glam rock, this may be a poor comparison.

From the side lines I could see everything, just couldn’t take pictures, however, from my observation post I could see Hardcore Superstar were whipping up the already full capacity crowd, into a frenzy. Things got even hotter when Berg asked for some sexy people to come up onto the stage and over the barrier the sexy people went – head first.  I’m betting that the security appreciated having to pull them all over whilst also trying to prevent more from coming! Once on stage, several gorgeous girls ran around kissing the band members in turn, which I’m sure none of them were complaining about. Then, a rather tall Swedish bloke, their band manager I think, handed out (quite appropriately) shots of Jaegermeister for one of the encore tracks “Last Call for Alcohol”. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, with one young lady in particular, high jacking a microphone and proceeding to give us her rendition of the track in a drunken karaoke-esq style!  Awful, thankfully the rest of the band drowned out the sound!

With both the guitarist and lead singer in high spirits, they both jumped into the crowd, jumped on top of the speakers and seemed to be having a real blast, playing in front of this crowd! To finish, Berg sang an acapella version of “We don’t celebrate Sunday” which then built into the full on rock and roll anthem that’s given this band their biggest hit to date.

Set List: 1. This Worm’s For Ennio  2. Moonshine  3. One More Minute  4. Kick on the Upperclass  5. My Good Reputation  6. Into Debauchery  7. Guestlist  8. Long Time No See  9. Dreamin’ in a Casket  10. Wild Boys  11. Someone Special  12. Above The Law  13. Run to your Mama  14. Last Call for Alcohol  15. We Don’t Celebrate Sundays

Did you know, Josh and Keith from Buckcherry were actually introduced by their tattoo artist? Formed back in 1995, they now have six studio albums under their belts, the latest being ‘Confessions’,which was released this year (2013) but it was the album ’15’, which was released back in 2005 that made people stand up and take note of the band,  sending it platinum and earned the band tours with the likes of KISS and AC/DC. I think its safe to say these guys are real superstars and I’m stood three feet away – tell me that ain’t pressure!

Keith Nelson - Buckcherry

As the band arrived on stage one by one, the crowd got ever louder, thank christ I had ear protectors in! Josh started the show fully clothed, which was a shame (in a non gay way) as he does have a pretty good body so the ladies tell me ,with some fine tattoo art that would have looked great in the photos. Instead, for the first three tracks anyway, he had a nice fitted black shirt, silver/reflective Aviator sunglasses and a hanky wrapped around his bonce.

Josh Todd - Buckcherry.

Again, having never seen these guys live, this was a real treat, that was until someone thought it funny to throw beer at us photographers! The pit was rammed tonight, but I’m not complaining as it just goes to show how popular these guys still are, especially where the media are concerned! That maybe because they’ve only done seven dates on this tour, in the UK?

Xavier Muriel - Buckcherry

Opening song tonight was a fan favourite, ‘Lit Up’, taken from their debut self titled album. The band have been well documented, especially when it comes to the honesty within their lyrics and this track is a great reflection of that statement and well worth a listen for that reason. After observing the band for a while, I came to the conclusion that Josh is a younger version of Mick Jagger, with all the moves of said master and the voice of Steve Tyler from Aerosmith.

Josh Todd - Buckcherry

Buckcherry are a very energetic band and certainly know how to pose for the many cameras that were watching their every move. At one point, I looked up to observe and all the photographers looked as though they were watching a game of tennis, left, right, left!

Stevie D. - Buckcherry

When all said a done, Buckcherry are a great rock and roll band, that have appeal on a large scale and tonight they played some great tracks that spanned their career and included personal favourites of mine such as ‘Everything’ and ‘Sorry’. The entire crowd seemed to enjoy these as much as I did, if the loudness of their singing was anything to go by!

Kelly LeMieux - Buckcherry

Full Set list; 1. Lit Up  2. Rescue Me  3. All Night Long  4. Dead Again  5. Everything  6. Sorry  7. Dead  8. Sunshine  9. Porno Star  10. Gluttony  11. Nothing Left But Tears  12. For the Movies  13. Crazy Bitch  14. Wrath  15. Onset

Review by Jay Hawkins and photos copyright KOKO London and Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)