THE PRETTY RECKLESS - Notting Hill Arts Club, London - 12.05.10
THE TRANSITION from actor to musician is extremely hit and mis. You could be looking at the next Jared Leto or you could, God forbid, be witnessing the next incarnation of Dogstar, the ill-fated bar band fronted by Matrix actor Keanu Reeves. Tonight, this dingle West London venue is at maximum capacity as three quarters of The Pretty Reckless make their way onto the stage. The young, mostly female crowd barely even acknowledge their presence, though, as many of them fiddle nervously with their cameras and wait with bated breath. It’s clear who they’ve come to see tonight and when TV’s Gossip Girl actress-turned-frontwoman Taylor Momsen finally charges onto her first ever UK stage, she’s greeted with cheers, screams and a lightning story of camera flashes.
Within the very first song any doubts about whether or not she can convincingly front a band are dead and buried. She is physically and vocally everything that a frontwoman could wish to be. Her voice alone demands attention - the perfect balance of radio-friendly harmony and husky grunge-growl echoes that of a young Courtney Love - and while the other members of the band are awesome musicians, competing with Taylor’s presence and charisma is pointless. Heavy riffs and wailing solos rock the ting room and the crowd are at the Gossip-Girl-gone-grunge’s mercy as tehy shut along with the choruses of Make Me Wanna Die and Zombie.
Armed with superb voice and some killer tunes, tonight Taylor has proved beyong doubt that she’s much more than just an actress playing the part of a rock star.