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Given that the Hall is ‘pretty’ rammed and the bar is relative quiet it’s evident that we have a mid/upper-teen demographic here tonight and are going to use sobriety as proactive means to extract every conscious moment of enjoyment possible. How refreshing and complimentary to the welcoming atmosphere of The Wulfrun Hall. Francesqa opened with a youthful, energy charged, indie-rock, set of tight songs that will benefit from the hectic tour itinerary next February lending them the experience to establish and refine a niche identity.

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Originally called The Reckless, disputes over previous claims on the name led to the added prefix. Now, one may speculate why they chose that particular adjective. Does it incite a sense wild, but ironic abandon? Or perhaps, given American alt. Rock’s preference for the single entendre, it refers to seventeen year old, founder member, Taylor Momsen’s, undoubtedly appealing looks. Actress, model and burgeoning rock-chick role-model, the audience are in awe.

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She certainly holds the stage with her lithe stature, swooping blond hair and panda eye mascara. For so young a larynx she can hold her own against a backdrop of bulldozer grinding chord platforms with cats in the alley showdown snarls. For this reviewer, I’d agree with previous commentators that the music is somewhat generic but none the less for that. The crowd were utterly engaged and the songs were wisely kept snappily short and devoid of tiresome fey virtuoso indulgences. ‘My Medicine’ in particular stood out for its stomping, anthemic crowd sing-along insistency that reminded one of Joan Jet’s ‘I Love Rock & Roll’.

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It was a short set that suggested a paucity of original material, confirmed with covers of Audioslave’s ‘Like A Stone’ credibly done and, somewhat unimaginatively, ‘Supersonic’ an Oasis homage.

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The encore was interesting in that Momsen sang two acoustic numbers seated on the drum riser, a confident diversion from the norm. Last song, and by Momsen’s invitation, ‘Make some noise!’ the kids dutifully obeyed as the war machines from Mordor and bass riffs strangulating the synapses, exploded into ‘Make Me Wanna Die’. Now this one does deserve a place in the ‘let’s go mental’ Rock Pantheon. All this and probably still no driver’s license or drinking in bars. Kids today, eh?

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Set List: Light Me Up, Since You’re Gone, Zombie, Miss Nothing, Just Tonight, Medicine, Like A Stoner (as listed), Supersonic, Factory Girl. (encore) Islands, Nothing Left To Loose, Make Me Wanna Die.

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Gig Review by John Kennedy
Gig Photography by Ian Dunn

One Response to “The Pretty Reckless + Francesqa @ The Wulfrun, Wolverhampton, UK – 15 December 2010”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Well done guys; thanks Ian :o)

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