There are live shows and there are Hives live shows, and the Scandinavians used three decades of experience to mesmerise for over 90 minutes on Saturday in what was one their biggest ever London headline gigs.

The five-piece have always had a reputation as one of the best live bands around and the weekend’s gig in West London cemented their place on rock’s top table after a ten-year hiatus, which on this evidence has only served to increase their popularity and gained them a new generation of fans in the process.

First up though were Essex-piece Bad Nerves who acted as the perfect appetizer for the Swedes. Blasting though their set at a ramshackle pace with each track no more than 250 seconds, the group’s formula of thrantic Ramones-esque powerpop drenched over melodic, catchy vocals works impeccably. Every track had the audience simultaneously moshing along to the instrumentation and singing in perfect symmetry. There was a risk a band such as this would be more suited to a more intimate venue, but they rose to the grandiosity of the occasion and picked up a few hundred new fans in the process.

The stage was then set for everyone’s favourite Swedish rock ‘n’ roll band and in suitably Hives fashion the first four members came out to deceased Polish composer Frédéric François Chopin’s funeral march before blasting into ‘Bogus Operandi’. The main man of the hour, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, then made his way onto the stage to conduct proceedings.

The gig was unrelenting from there on in with a mix of tracks that took from each of the band’s records, with the frontman his normal charismatic, hilarious self as he continued to talk to the audience in the third person and declared The Hives ‘Weather Gods of the North’ for bringing what was London’s first sunny weekend of the year. Striking the balance of being funny in-between songs and adding to the overall spectacle is one of music greatest tests. Almqvist passed this test with flying colours and had the sold out Saturday crowd in the palm of this hand.

Highlights came in the form of classics such as ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’, ‘Walk, Idiot, Walk’, and set closer ‘Tick, Tick Boom’. It’s also a testament to the extensiveness of tracks they can call upon that they didn’t even need to play former classics ‘No Pun Intended’, ‘A Little More From Little You’ and ‘Die, All Right’.

Randy Fitzsimmons may have died but The Hives are well and truly alive.