THIS show tonight was absolutely rocktastic and was one that I was really looking forward to, as even though I like many genres of music, classic rock is right up my street.

It also had its fair share of great light-hearted comedy injected into it because as the house lights dimmed and the air of excited expectancy started to build up, there was (what appeared to be) the usual theatre tannoy announcement about switching off mobile phones and the use of cameras during the show.

Only it turned out instead to be a very funny, short Monty Python-type sketch about someone annoyingly answering their phone and talking out loud - such was the lovable humour of these six talented Irish lads.

Then.....BANG....the stage lighting effects suddenly exploded into life and the band strutted onto the stage in true rock star style whilst playing the opening riff to Def Leopard's Animal. As they finished off that song and as the tumultuous applause for it had barely even started, they straight away hit the audience once again right between the eyes with yet another well-aimed rock classic, Alright Now by Free. I was completely won over at this point because that is my favourite rock song of all-time. What a fabulous start to the show.

These superb showmen certainly knew what songs to play and they lived up to their Rock Icons Show title as they had the room rocking in their seats right from the start with iconic songs that had the audience singing along and nodding their heads in unison to the pumping beat of the drums and anthemic guitar riffs.

Every song was a well chosen gem where, in particular, one slower song seemed to be the most talked about in the bar during the intermission. That song was the excellent Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd and where they also did it great and accurate justice.
Rock Icons show at The Forum (photo by Peter Downing)

There was no shortage of talent in this band, as was prevalent when some members changed instruments and also took turns on centre stage for solo lead vocal duties. This too added some excellent revolving variety to the show. There wasn't a riff or vocal part that they couldn't handle with professional ease. The humour, adlibs and banter with the audience in between songs was also very entertaining and demonstrated the warmth of their friendly and very likeable personalities.

Being the brainchild, four years ago, of its founder member and leader, guitarist and lead vocalist, Ed Hannigan, he told me that it is more than just a rock covers band, it is actually a 'travelling theatre stage show experience' with its own PA system and lighting effects, video backdrop and stage props, like the 'apparent' huge wall of Marshall guitar speakers behind them.

The stage set-up was great too, with drums and keyboards on risers to either side, which left lots of space for the guys to move around and perform in, as it was indeed a very animated show where the lads covered all of that space and often encouraged the audience to sing along too.

To sum up, these very talented Ireland-based lads have definitely done their homework, paying meticulous attention to each and every detail of the songs in order to be able to replicate them as close to the original as possible.

Tonight, we were treated to the popular hits of Deep Purple, Rainbow, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Toto, ZZ Top, Queen, and many more, and with a finalé of Status Quo's Rockin' All Over The World they had the whole Forum audience on its feet rockin' their socks off and baying for even more.