Review: Gerard Way & The Hormones at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Gerard Way on stage at The Wedgewood Rooms. Picture: Paul Windsor
Gerard Way on stage at The Wedgewood Rooms. Picture: Paul Windsor
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Apart from a show two weeks ago at Warner Bros corporate HQ in the states, this was the first ever solo gig by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way.

Announced on Monday, tickets went on sale on Tuesday, and sold out within a minute for last night’s show.

As demonstrated by the fans queuing outside the Wedge from yesterday morning, it’s fair to say that this was one hotly anticipated gig.

And as soon as he stepped on to the Wedge’s tiny stage in a blue suit and a shirt and tie, it was clear: Way is a Rock Star.

With his shock of dyed orange hair and a debut entitled Hesitant Alien, the nod to David Bowie circa The Man Who Fell to earth is obvious.

Way is a seasoned performer though, knowing that he’s able to make his devotees bounce or clap with a louche flick of the wrist, or wrapping himself in a multi-coloured boa thrown on to the stage.

His old band were always that bit smarter than their emo-pop-punk-alt-rock peers, and Way has carried that over in to his solo work.

At first listen – the album isn’t out until the end of September – most of the material isn’t as heavy as MCR but there’s a definite nod to the likes of The Strokes and Killers. There is also a fair bit of glitter and glam thrown into the mix – if Zero Zero doesn’t tear up rock night clubs across the land soon I’ll be amazed.

Current single No Shows receives the best response of the night, followed by a faithful cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain obscurity Snakedriver, which while great, lends the main set a curiously downbeat end.

There were encores of two more new songs, which left the crowd on a high, but anyone expecting any MCR material would have been sorely disappointed – like Mr Bowie, this was all about reinvention.

Seeing a star more used to filling arenas and stadiums up this close is always interesting – and Way did not disappoint.

Next stop Reading and Leeds Festivals, then the world.