It is always a fun night when Steel Panther come to town! I have seen almost every one of their London shows since 2010 but tonight was my first time seeing the American glam-metal band play the stunning Roundhouse. Less than a month ago I saw Patti Smith at the same venue, but the entertainment this evening could not have been more different. Tonight’s sold out show was the fifth of their twelve-date Sunset Strip Live Europe and UK tour (which began with three dates in Ireland). The tour-announcement read “For the first time ever, Steel Panther performing one massive set of original songs and 80s classic hits”. This was going to be something different indeed, more akin to the band’s pre-Steel Panther times playing covers as Metal Shop / Metal Skool.
Even for a Sunday night there were the usual fixtures of a Steel Panther crowd – men (and women) dressed in disgracefully tight leopard-print leggings, long wigs and bandanas ready for a fun evening, and the room filled up pretty quickly. DJ Matt Stocks hit the decks to play some 80s classic rock tracks to warm up the crowd, before Greek guitar hero Gus G took to the stage.
After an instrumental introduction Gus and his band went on to play the title track of his debut album Fearless (released last year). Recognise the name? Gus G was a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band between 2009 and 2017, as well as playing in his own band Firewind. There is no doubting that Gus G is a phenomenal guitarist, and he treated the crowd to a selection of tracks from Fearless as well as a couple of covers, including a great version of the Dire Straits classic “Money For Nothing”.
After Gus G’s set DJ Matt Stocks returned to spin a few more tunes before Steel Panther took to the stage, launching straight into one of their classic tracks “Eyes Of A Panther” from their debut album Feel The Steel (2009). From the very start Steel Panther were ridiculously entertaining, as always.
The evening was part rock show, part comedy show and those who had seen the band live before recognised a lot of the banter about blow-jobs and erotic liaisons. It should all be terribly offensive (especially these days when everyone seems to be offended by everything), but the thing about Steel Panther is that you either get it or you don’t. With tongues firmly rammed in cheeks and exaggerated on-stage personae everyone in the room knows not to take the antics of the four guys on stage seriously… apart from some of the bar-staff who seemed a bit shocked when a cry of “show us your boobies!!!” came bellowing from the stage (and was met by a huge cheer from the crowd).
Steel Panther also never seem to age. Granted this was the closest I have ever been to them, but after ten years of this they are all still full of energy, each playing their self-curated roles superbly. Stix is a beast on the drums with a cheeky grin, Satchel repeatedly melts the faces of the crowd, Lexxi (now back from sex-rehab) tosses his hair and checks his lipgloss in his hand-held mirror, and lead vocalist Michael struts around the stage. All of them looking like they are beyond pleased that they can make a living out of doing this.
As well as all the fan-favourites like “Poontang Boomerang”, “Community Property” and “Death To All But Metal”, their covers of 80s classics such as “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Livin’ On A Prayer” were superb. Michael did a surprisingly convincing impersonation of Ozzy Osbourne as they performed “Crazy Train” – complete with slicked-down hair and circular sunglasses.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday night. If you are easily offended or don’t have a sense of humour then you won’t enjoy Steel Panther, but if you get it then you will love it! A new album is reportedly in the works, if they can drag themselves away from repeatedly pleasing the ladies.
Photos by Katie Frost Photography
Steel Panther Set-List:
- Eyes of a Panther
- Goin’ in the Backdoor
- Shout at the Devil (Mötley Crüe cover)
- Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
- Asian Hooker
- Poontang Boomerang
- Kickstart My Heart (Mötley Crüe cover)
- Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
- Satchel Guitar Solo
- Party All Day (F*ck All Night)
- Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard cover)
- Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
- Community Property
- Death to All but Metal
- 17 Girls in a Row