The N1 shopping centre is a rather soulless place. And tonight its slightly suburban 02 Academy (formerly Carling) plays host to Finnish rockers The Rasmus, returning to the UK after a four year hiatus to promote their new self-titled album, released here a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the comeback single ‘I’m A Mess.’ Catchy, right?
The band emerge into a sea of flashing camera phones. We’re forced to watch first song ‘Stranger’ through the lens of the girl in front. However, we’re pleased to note that lead singer Lauri Ylonen still wears the black crow feathers that fluttered our wannabe goth teenage hearts back in 2004.
They’ve promised to play ‘a song from every album (of which there are eight). Unfortunately this means the majority of newer ones are lost on the audience, in particular during the band’s self-professed ‘campfire moment’, a duet with guest Tanya Wells on ‘October and April’ which slows the pace in what’s been an otherwise fairly upbeat show.
‘First Day of My Life’ and ‘Guilty’ from their major UK release ‘Dead Letters’ both get a great reaction. We find ourselves singing along, a little embarrassed at first that we still seem to remember the words.
The Rasmus have never been preoccupied with being cool though, and their fans love them for it. They came here to have a good time and as the opening line of the band’s biggest hit ‘In The Shadows’ kicks in, the whole room is estatic.
We dance, we sing and for a brief moment, we flash back to the old Astoria, eight years ago, two school leavers with badly dyed hair at our first gig unaccompanied – and loving every minute of it.
Words & Pics: Natalie Gardiner