FM – Robin 2, Bilston – 2nd May 2015

First up tonight was Belfast band, No hot ashes.  They are a band that formed in the 80’s before splitting a few years later.  After 25 years apart they reunited a couple of years ago.  As you’d expect, most of the set is songs from the 80s but they do introduce one as being new.  It’s a great set, with the band looking at home on stage, and frontman Eamon Nancarrow laughing and joking with the crowd between songs.  I’m surprised the band don’t have a higher profile, but assuming they don’t split up again then I’m sure they’re going to grow significantly in popularity.  A short but great set.

Romeo’s Daughter came next.  Their new album, Spin is a great album and happily we get a couple of songs from this album as well as old classics.  Singer Leigh Matty has a wonderful voice and sounds fantastic tonight.  The band are all spot on musically and like Leigh, look to be having a great time on stage.  There’s a big crowd for their set here at the Robin 2, and the band get a great reception. The new songs go down very well but the two classics they choose to end the set with are hard to beat.  A fantastic set from a top class band.


Trippin’ out
Attracted to the animal in you
Inside out
I cry myself to sleep at night
Wild child

Finally once the stage was cleared it was time for FM, starting quite late (and playing till well after 11pm).  as with Romeo’s Daughter, I’ve seen FM several times in recent years and I still can’t work out why they aren’t headlining much bigger venues than this as they release top quality albums and are a great live band.  Like Romeo’s Daughter, FM have a new album out (Heroes & Villains), and they open the set with “Digging up the dirt”, the first track off the album.  They only play a couple of songs from the album, but since it’s their ninth album they have a fair bit of choice when it comes to putting together a setlist, so we get a set with songs from across their career including fan favourites, new songs, and one or two more obscure tracks that they haven’t played live for a long time.  It’s the sort of well balanced set that has something for everyone.
It’s a flawless performance from the band – they really do put on a great show.  If you get chance to go and see FM, do it – you won’t be disappointed.


Digging up the dirt
I belong to the night
Closer to heaven
Let love be the leader
Shape I’m in
Tough love
Only the strong survive
Blood and gasoline
Life is a highway
Crosstown train
Tough it out
Burning my heart down
That girl
Bad luck

Story of my life
Other side of midnight

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.