In the way that time changes most bands, The Pretty Reckless have managed to still hold a core fanbase whilst still evolving. Taylor Momsen was a mere teenager when the band released their first track and everyone by now knows the Momsen’s story of child actor turned rock star. She has come to be the focal point of The Pretty Reckless but is backed up perfectly by the professionalism and musical familiarity of the rest of the band.
The Cruel Knives, formerly Heavens Basement, but with a few line-up alterations, fill the only support slot on this tour. Their set filled to the brim with guitar solos courtesy of Sid Glover, and Tom Harris’ vocals don’t fall too far away from the previous vocalist so it won’t make it hard for fans of Heavens Basement to grasp the route The Cruel Knives are taking. The music, however relatively unknown to the audience having only just announced themselves as a band, feels matured and well-rehearsed. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
If you were idly going about your business and chatting to friends whilst the band made their way onto the stage, the recorded sexual noises were enough to stop you in your tracks abruptly. Feeding into Follow Me Down, but it’s Since You’re Gone where Momsen releases her demon, growling her way through the self-assured lyrics. “Since you’re gone, my life has moved along quite nicely actually.” Guitarist Ben Phillips opens the track in a whirling tone, acting as Momsen’s right hand man as she sings the tale of having such a better life now that a certain someone is out of it.
Undefeated by tangled microphone wires, Momsen echoes her way through hit after hit, and she’s not afraid to show the fans exactly what her voice can do. She is the epitome of a vocalist that any band would be happy to have fronting them. Her storming vocals are stunningly similar live as they are on disc and makes everything seem effortless, including holding the audience in the palm of her hand. The obvious crowd pleasers; Make Me Wanna Die, My Medicine and Going To Hell possibly played a part in the main reason non diehard fans turned up tonight. The first song ever released by the band back in 2010, Make Me Wanna Die is that track everybody knows and loves and hit number 1 in the UK Rock & Metal charts back in 2010, but not everyone knows all the words to and when Momsen flung out her microphone during the bridge, half of the crowd sung a different line to the other.
No matter the occasion, the venue or the time, The Pretty Reckless seem to pack out their shows and this entire tour was sold out. If they continue to produce albums on an ever increasing level of maturity and song writing skill, they will continue to sell out venues everywhere they go and much like this show in Manchester, people will gladly freeze themselves just to get a spot on the barrier.