The Pretty Reckless, live in London

Support: Heaven's Basement, Nothing More

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Taylor Momsen and her merry men came to Brixton Academy on a cold Wednesday evening. Could they heat things up a bit? Here’s what we learned…

Nothing More’s Elaborate Ideas Fail To Connect With This Crowd

One part chunky djent-esque riffs, one part big US radio rock vocals, the Texan natives offer an odd mix that has been turning plenty of heads this year. What really catches those present off guard though is their unconventional stage show. A contraption that holds a bass guitar while three men frantically tap at it and spin it around, plus a whole load of banging drums, where all four members are at it at one point, looking like an amateur production take on Stomp. While you get the impression the band are trying their damnedest to be unique and innovative, it undoubtedly impresses some present, but leaves many more somewhat perplexed as to what is going on.

Heaven’s Basement Are In Desperate Need Of Some New Ideas

While there are glimmers of hope, such as Fire, Fire being a bit of fun, Heaven’s Basement’s set is largely a snooze-fest of the highest order. Clearly every single thing about this band is the by product of binge-watching rock behemoths crushing megadomes in the ‘80s. The problem with this is that in the six years this band have been active they don’t seem to have injected any of their own ideas into the mix. As frontman Aaron Buchanan saunters around stage like a low-budget Mick Jagger and proclaims that this is the first time they’ve played Brixton in ten years it’s a surprise their dust-covered dad rock ever escaped their local pub at all.

Momsen Sure Knows How To Make An Entrance

We would have loved to be a fly on the wall when it came to discussing the audio that would be used for the band’s arrival on stage at Pretty Reckless HQ. After what we imagine was a lengthy meeting, the band settled on an audio track of Taylor Momsen having an orgasm. Maybe real, maybe fake, we can only speculating but her giggles and moans sounded pretty genuine. While it’s certainly a bold way to make an arrival, it goes on far too long and leaves many in attendance more awkward and red faced than watching a Carry On film with their nan.

Her Performance Is Shockingly Lacklustre

If the chants of “Taylor, Taylor, Taylor!” didn’t give it away, this show is all about Taylor Momsen. After such an audacious intro it would be no surprise to expect her to gleefully be the centre of attention throughout, but it’s sadly not the case. While her raspy vocals have a touch of the Courtney Loves to them, that’s where the similarities end. Not being able to come close to Love’s charisma, not giving a fuck attitude and general badass demeanor, Momsen barely moves throughout and for the most part just looks like a slowly gyrating mannequin, with about as much personality to match.

While Their Big Hits Offer A Saving Grace, It’s Not Quite Enough

It’s undeniable that they have a handful of bangers in their arsenal – Make Me Wanna Die, Heaven Knows, Miss Nothing and Why’d You Bring A Shotgun To The Party, are all top draw Americana-tinged rock numbers on record, and while they get arms in the air tonight, it’s not enough. They are odd attention-grabbers in a set full of meat and potato rock being delivered by a soulless band and an uninspiring Momsen. It leaves the whole evening as a huge disappointment from the Gossip Girl star and her merry men.

Pretty Reckless Setlist

Follow Me Down Since You’re Gone Sweet Things Miss Nothing Dear Sister Absolution Why’d You Bring A Shotgun To The Party House On A Hill Make Me Wanna Die Heaven Knows Going To Hell Fucked Up World