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Cheap Trick: "We might not have progressed, but we started off pretty good"

Live Review

Venue: London Kentish Town 02 Forum

Everyone’s third-favourite band play a hard-rocking set of classics and covers

There might be bigger rock bands, but few are as popular with other rock bands as Cheap Trick. Anthrax have covered them, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers have cited them as an influence, Alice Cooper hailed them “America’s house band”, and Nirvana took their blueprinted marriage of Beatles melody and Black Sabbath power to a whole new audience.

“Kurt Cobain said, ‘We’re like Cheap Trick, only our guitars are louder,’” says Rick Nielsen, two hours before show time in a dressing room upstairs at the O2 Forum. The guitarist and principal songwriter, at 68, is still the nabob of nerd. Dressed in a suit, Cheap Trick T-shirt and trademark baseball cap, his rubbery features contort into a grimace. “I took offence at that. My guitars are pretty fuckin’ loud.”

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From the archive

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