KISS AT BERCY ARENA PARIS
By Lynne Hyland Photo by Ross Halfin
Three decades in the music business and still giving children nightmares with the vision of ancient flesh spilling out of black lycra and an inch-thick layer of Polyfilla smeared across the face.
No, not the latest Madonna photoshoot. We're talking rock gods Kiss, who've strapped on their stackheels to return to Europe for the first time in almost 10 years.
Having given up all pretence of ever retiring, the New York quartet are celebrating 35 years of crazy, crazy nights by recreating their Seventies Alive show, right down to the original costumes.
Okay, there may be a couple of new faces in the band this time, but who cares when there's plenty of greasepaint to keep the illusion going?
Besides, Kiss has always been about Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, and on a warm night in Paris the main men were back in all their splendour.
Stanley, demonstrating exactly why he needed his hip replacing recently, spent the entire two hours wiggling his backside like somebody had slipped itching powder in his strides.
Simmons stalked around in thigh-high monster boots, breathing fire, spitting blood like a man who's overdone the flossing and, of course, unfurling That Tongue at every lady in range.
All their trademark over-the-top trimmings were here - levitating drumkits, exploding guitars and more fireworks than the Rooney wedding.
But pyro alone doesn't make a 35-year career, and while the explosions created plenty of smoke, the real fire came from the music. From the opening wallop of Deuce to the ribcage-rattling Parasite, the band were as tight as Stanley's kecks. And when the band launched into I Was Made For Lovin You, the entire arena partied like it was 1979.
So, do I still wanna rock 'n' roll all nite and party every day? You better believe it.
Kiss release the KISSology DVD boxset throughout Europe at the end of the summer