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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Trongate Rum Riots - Nice and Sleazy - 5/01/12 (Glasgow)

The Lemon Party aren't doing it for me.
It's no big deal though.
The problem isn't that they fall short of being a good band, but instead that I get the impression that I am seeing them on the cusp of attaining what they are aiming for rather than the witnessing what would be the final product.
It's as if the band are a work in progress, as all bands are of course, but in this case they are still hovering around a specific sound that they can lay claim to as their own.
There's some nice angular post punk guitar work on show and the arrangements of the songs, while busy, highlight that there's a great deal of talent on stage, but their whole set just seemed to scream 'come and see us in a year and we will blow you away.'
I don't think that that is an empty promise either.
So while I wasn't bowled over this time that not to say that I would personally write them off.
There's some good things going on and once they all zero in on a common purpose then it's likely that they will nail it.
I'd keep an eye on them.
It could be that there will be a reward for those who choose to hang about to see what The Lemon Party come up with.

Alba Roma annoyed me.
In fact they really really annoyed me.
It wasn't that they lacked talent, as there was no doubting that regarding their abilities as musicians no one was just coming out of the starting gates.
They can all play, and play to a very high standard.
The issue I had was with the lack of fire in the performance.
Bands who delve into the wild world of the Romany need to appreciate that there's a beautiful and anarchic aspect to the music.
The romanticized view is that around the campfire late of a night the work hard and play hard ideology is unleashed, and with a heady mix of alcohol and passion the music takes on a life of its own.
It can make you dance with wild abandon, or turn on a sixpence and pull a tear from your eye.
As an interpretation of that Alba Roma aren't quite there.
One possible solution after another as to how they could just push forward and grab at what they are clearly wanting flickered through my head as we went from the first to the third song.
What did they need to ignite the flame?
I gave up considering it when I glanced around and seen the abject boredom on my companions faces.
I asked if they wanted to go to the upstairs bar and both lunged at the offer like hungry lionesses.
After a couple of drinks and airing our views on just why Alba Roma didn't invoke a positive impression we returned to the cave downstairs to catch Trongate Run Riots, but found Alba Roma were powering through their last song.
To be honest it looked as if they had hit their stride, and maybe they just needed longer to get into the swing of things than I gave them.
Or then again maybe that's bollocks and the rum I had consumed had just kicked in.

Best band of the evening, and deservedly wrapping themselves in the headliner status, was of course the Trongate Rum Riots.
Prior to this baptism of fire all I had known about the band was based on recommendations from the Coffins, The New Hellfire Club and Darren and Miff of Gobo photography.
All of them have been unstinting in their praise of the bands live performances, and once your ear is bent for long enough the only way to get some respite is to give in and go and see whoever it is that is being promoted as the best thing since sliced bread.
Fair play though because they didn't steer me wrong.
There's no fat on this band.
Every member is pulling hard in the same direction and the cumulative effort from them is jaw droppingly impressive.
All three vocalists can effortlessly take the lead on a song and the harmonizing is pretty much spot on to.
The musicianship is virtually beyond reproach and the professionalism shown when some technical issues reared their ugly head provided an example of how they firmly grasp the concept of how 'the show must go on.'
Some far bigger and more famous bands could learn from them in this respect.
To my ears the original material is already of a standard that is yearning to see the inside of a studio
They must have an albums worth of songs that are all ready to go.
In fact this is the whole package already existing in the hear and now.
Some bands take years to get to where the Trongate Rum Riots are, and that they are there already prior to even getting a debut out is damn impressive.
With their folk influenced backbone this is the sound of the past resonating in the present with a drunken swagger coupled with a leer and a wink.
Some will mention the Pogues, The Levellers and such, when reaching for a comparison, but these guys are having a party at sea while they all have their feet firmly on the ground, and the rolling decks apparently suit the Trongate Rum Riots perfectly.
I can see a long future ahead of them.
Everything is in place for them to be the perfect festival band for 2013.

First gig of the year and it hit the ground running.

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