Saturday, July 12, 2008

DVD: Hanoi Rocks - The Nottingham Tapes

Label: MVD Entertainment Group

Released: June 10, 2008

Recorded 24 years ago in England, The Nottingham Tapes finds Hanoi Rocks at the time of their major label debut, but don't expect any of that Bob Ezrin slickness to be a part of this live show. This is more along the lines of a home video. When the lights go down, the screen is nearly black. The camera angles aren't great and at times obscured. Visually, it might not be a great experience. While that does have it's downside, the film's strengths can't be discounted.

Hanoi Rocks were never about high-fidelity and choreography like their watered-down followers, they were about rock n roll purity and that's just what you get here. This is real glam, not a bunch of guys trying to look pretty, but the raw swagger that was once portrayed by the New York Dolls and is now practiced by the Gypsy Pistoleros with few other than Hanoi Rocks in between. The crowd participation on their cover of the Ramones' "Blitzkreig Bop" that closes the show is just more evidence that Hanoi Rocks had a lot more in common with punk than with the pseudo-glam hard rock that permeated the 80s.

Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy are still at it today (with one of last years finest albums, Street Poetry) and they still seem to have plenty of steam, with as much swagger and sleaze as ever. As good as they are on The Nottingham Tapes, I bet they can live up to that today and until they come around, this DVD is a pretty satisfying consolation. For all its lumps, it's as close as you can get to being there for rock n roll at its best.

Rating: 8/10

If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

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