ARTIST: Rolo Tomassi
VENUE, TOWN: The Haunt, Brighton
DATE: 22nd October 2012
Photos by Rachael-Emily.com
MAIN REVIEW: Rocking up to this gig as a blank canvas, I was an impressionable mould ready to be stunned. I vaguely recognised the name Rolo Tomassi but had no idea of their sound or style. These kids have yet to be pigeonholed into a genre due to their mash up of tunes and this was clearly apparent with the mash up threads in the room. It’s a sea of stereotypes – there are 80s punks with Chelsea cuts, hipsters with their back to front caps, tie dye shirts and acid wash denim jackets, four-eyed band geeks, and metal kids with waist length hair accompanying ridiculously baggy cargos (which conveniently can hold not only one wallet BUT 10 BECAUSE THEY HAVE SO MANY POCKETS! HOW CAN ONE PERSON REQUIRE THIS MUCH LEG STORAGE SPACE?!)
Main support act Oathbreaker are a bad ass Belgium band with the raddest female vocalist EVER! The lights become sinisterly red and curious faces turn towards the stage. Their heavy and moody intro might trick you into thinking they’re a death metal band, but they’re hard and fast. With female lead vocalist Caro hidden screaming beneath her amazingly long hair and the bassist spending most of his time sullenly rockin’ out facing his own amp, it’s clear that these guys are lost in their music – and so is the crowd, hypnotized in a slow motion unison head nod. Despite minimal audience interaction, these kids have an allure.
The crowd’s collective head-nod progresses into a slight mosh as the set goes on. Yet, as good as these guys are, it’s clear that the crowd are holding back to unleash themselves on Rolo Tomassi. The stage turns dark and the crowd’s hit with a wave of synth. The simplicity of Rolo Tomassi’s presentation is striking: no cliche clothes to be seen here. And female vocalist Eva Spence wears her trademark cute brown bob with minimal make up and the sweetest damn dimples you’ve ever seen.
The crowd gaze in awe as the quintet start to bust out their brutal tunes. Hitting the audience with hardcore tune after epic hardcore tune, Eva Spence and synth/backing vocalist James Spence go nuts with metal power stances and headbanging. Their beautifully enchanting intros, carried by Spence’s sweet angelic vocals, drop kick into grindcore-like guitar chords, insane drumming and banshee screams.
Closing the set with ‘Oh, Hello Ghost’ there’s a sudden uproar in the crowd. An eerie synth begins as the red lights flicker, before the booming bass breaks in, whilst Eva’s untainted voice accompanies. Drummer Edward Dutton starts tapping away and then everyone goes crazy. Here’s the climax, the moment the crowd had been awaiting throughout the entire show, and people start stage diving. As the song finishes, Eva words up their new album ‘Astraea’ – due for release on 5th November 2012 – and graciously thanks the audience. What a magical gig.
– Tommy Doll