The Pretty Reckless + The Cruel Knives @ O2 Brixton, London

Spread the metal:

The Pretty Reckless + The Cruel Knives

@ O2 Brixton

5 November 2022

Photos and review by E Jepson

Fans flocked to the streets for tonight’s performances, making a full circle around the venue; some had been stood there for hours before doors opened just to get to the front to see their favourite band. Right on time, the doors opened and the crowd flocked in, making a quick pit stop to buy merch before flooding into the venue room.

First up tonight was The Cruel Knives, a British rock band formed in 2017. On stage tonight was vocalist Tom Harris, guitarist Sid Glover, bassist Rob Ellershaw and drummer Al Junior. Immediately the band had the crowd engaged with their hypnotic rock. Lights pranced around the room, rhythmically copying the band. Though it was only the start of the night, the band had the crowd’s full attention. Both the band and fans danced away with not a care in the world. Hues of all colours bounced off every surface. As they say, time flies when your having fun, and it certainly did tonight. Before anyone knew it, Tom announced it was the band’s final song.

The American rock band The Pretty Reckless powered their way onto the stage to perform an incredible set. Selling out the 5,000-capacity venue was the perfect end to the UK leg of their Death by Rock and Roll tour. Formed in 2009, the band (consisting of vocalist Taylor Momsen, guitarist Ben Phillips, bassist Mark Damon and drummer Jamie Perkins) have accumulated an incredibly devoted fanbase worldwide. Ben, Mark and Damon enter first, closely followed by Taylor dressed in a short red dress, black boots and a leather jacket which she quickly removed. With the best lighting in a gig I’ve ever seen, a spotlight chased after Taylor as she danced her way across the stage, with the combination of all of this the band riled up the room incredibly quickly. Fans danced and sang along like there was no tomorrow.

Mixed into the organised chaos of the event was a fan request song – “Just Tonight”, followed shortly by a Halloween song with Taylor making sure everyone in the room knew that Halloween was her favourite holiday. As fans flocked to the bars at the back of the venue throughout the night, the bar staff took the few moments they had every now and then to dance and sing along as well. Purples, reds and blues flittered their way around the venue, matching the audience’s dancing. As Taylor moved across the stage every step felt purposeful and every movement and sound was calculated perfectly, making the hole performance seem effortless. As Taylor danced she her long blonde hair flew around cascading over her face every time she momentarily paused on the risers either side of the band.

Performing with such high energy for the full set must be incredibly tiring, but Taylor managed it incredibly well, not pausing for a moment the entire time. As the dancing lights faded away, the band came to the end of their incredible set. A fantastic evening full of entertainment.