FM, It Bites and Vega Academy 2 Review 21.03.13


The AOR night begins with Vega. It has been almost two years since I last saw them at AOR Firefest in Nottingham Rock City. Vega opened with “Kiss of Life” from their debut album, noted as an AOR masterpiece. They captured an great 80’s feel with crowd pleasing songs such as “Into the Wild” and “White Knuckle”. There was a groovy illustration of showmanship, rhythm and compelling guitar work.

Vega truly draw you in with their hooks and charming persona. From start to finish, Vega have built up momentum for It Bites to enter the stage.

It Bites have always had this tag of being a quirky pop, progressive rock band. We rediscover It Bites tonight as they unearth their greatest hits from 1988 with ‘Kiss like Judas’ and ‘Calling all heroes’, with vocalist John Mitchell. Their set is an electric, symphonic ride that carries John’s unique melody. This is best seen in their latest music ‘Cartoon Graveyard’ and ‘The Big Machine’. After all these years there is still that fusion of passion through their arty rock. They are a strangely characterized band that may only appeal to an older generation but still made their amalgamated peculiar musical mark.

In 1984 the AOR band FM was formed and still to this day they have the songs, musicianship and personality. Kicking off the night with their new single from their new album ‘Tough Love’, an interesting way to start, was expecting ‘Frozen Heart’ or ‘That Girl’. They followed through with ‘I Belong to the Night’ and ‘Don’t Stop’, The crowds were erratic singing every work with fist pumping action to every cymbal crash. ‘That Girl’ was another cracker, which Iron Maiden covered as a B-side to their single ‘Stranger in a strange Land’. Things start to quieten and the audience wait in anticipation just when they can’t hold on any longer and keyboardist Jem Davis comes in with classic piano and guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick with the identifiable 80’s guitar tone to introduce ‘Love Lies Dying’.
They gave a great display of their work over the years including EP lovers like ‘Only Foolin’ and the goods from the album ‘Metropolis’.
Tonight was a remembrance of the f**king kick ass rock n roll times back in the 80’s and a celebration of how it is still living. Fm finale ‘Crosstown Train’, ‘Frozen Heart’ (got it in the end!) and ‘Other side of Midnight’.


Tough Love
I Belong to the Night
Don’t Stop
That Girl
Love Lies Dying
Hot Wired
Only Fooling
Let Love Be The Leader
Closer To Heaven
Over You
Bad Luck
Burning My Heart Down
Does It Feel Like Love

Crosstown Train
Frozen Heart
Other Side of Midnight

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.