FM – Album Orientated Rock Music at its Finest

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Gateshead Glasshouse ICM

4th of May

Review and Photographs by Linda McDermott

I’ve been looking forward to this gig for a few weeks now as I first saw FM at AOR Hard Rock Hell in March and was very impressed by how smooth and laidback they were.

Tonight, they play at The Glasshouse in Gateshead, a place I’ve not been to before but was really looking forward to going too. The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, to give it its full title, is nestled on the banks of the Tyne River and from the outside it is pretty impressive. Inside there is a buzz about the place as people mingle at the bar area before heading into the hall. The room has two balconies and a very high ceiling and having just watched the support band, Collateral, I know the sound is exceptional and I can’t wait to hear FM play here.

FM are a band that are celebrating forty years in the music industry and to commemorate this they have released their fourteenth studio album ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ to coincide with a UK tour throughout May and June.

The band have had an amazing career starting in 1984 when brothers Steve and Chris Overland teamed up with Pete (drummer) Merv (bass), and Didge (keyboard). They toured with the likes of Meatloaf, Tina Turner, Foreigner, Gary Moore, Bon Jovi, Status Quo and Whitesnake. Like any other band, there were a couple of changes in the line-up over the years, but the band continued to release a string of albums up until 1995.

After a 12 years sabbatical FM returned for a one-off headline gig which turned into them staying together and taking to the stage with the likes of Journey, Thin Lizzy, Foreigner, Heart and Skid Row, as well as making an array of festival appearances. More albums and tours followed and now here they are forty years in and the band are now Steve Overland – Vocals & Guitar, Jem Davies – Keyboards, Merv

Goldsworthy – Bass, Jim Kirkpatrick – Guitar, and Pete Jupp – Drums.

So, with the stage now set up and ready everyone was poised and waiting for FM to deliver what they do best. As the lights went down and music started to play there was a voice over introducing the band as a huge cheer erupted around the room. The band came on and took up their positions on the stage and launched into their first song ‘Digging up the Dirt’ from their album ‘Hero’s and Villains’, which went down a storm and set the mood for the rest of the night.

Set List

Digging up the dirt

Tough It Out

Killed by Love


Don’t need another Heartache

Every Time I Think of You

Out of the Blue.

The Dream that Died


Say it like it is

Closer to heaven

Does it Feel Like Love

That Girl

Bad Luck

Hot Wired

Turn This Car Around

There is no doubt the guys have honed their craft and are skilled at what they do, and their delivery of each song is a testament to their outstanding talent and creativity. I love how FM just make it all look so easy; they just have a relaxed demeanour about them as they play a set full of classic numbers such as “That Girl’, ‘Synchronized’, and ‘Turn This Car Around’, and many more that are all full of melody, bluesy guitar riffs and singalong choruses.

The new album ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ is no different, why change a winning formula? Tonight, they played ‘Out of the Blue and ‘Don’t Need Another Heartache’ from it which are both singles and already known by their devoted fans as they sing along to the choruses.

With forty years in the business, they have amassed a great following, and the venue is full of dedicated fans who as I look around me are having the best time. This is only FM’s second date of the UK tour but I think the band are going to see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd as they move from venue to venue.

Halfway through the performance, the band take a moment to acknowledge the support band, Collateral, who played a cracking set, giving the crowd some brilliant classic rock songs to set the mood for the night. (See separate review).

The night is so all encompassing that it’s hard to believe that we are heading to the end of it. This is down to the guys laid-back approach as they effortlessly deliver hit after hit, leaving the audience captivated and longing for more.

After the last song was played the crowd just erupted with cheers and there was no way the band were leaving the building, let alone Gateshead without another couple of tracks. Very wisely there is an encore and Jem comes back onto the stage to play the start of ‘Story of My Life’. With keyboards stacked high in the corner of the stage, I don’t know how he doesn’t get confused by them all, but he doesn’t, and he plays a fantastic solo before Steve and the rest of the band return for the much-appreciated fans who are reluctant to leave.

As the final chords of their very last song ‘Other Side of Midnight” are played the crowd erupts into loud and thunderous applause, and cheering as the band take a bow and Pete makes a heart shape with his hands. What a fantastic night everyone has had watching FM celebrate their remarkable journey.

Trying and catch them on one other dates over the next two months if you can and help them celebrate this remarkable achievement.

Tour dates and website

Out of the Blue



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