Live Review
Rolo Tomassi
The Well

Photography by Lee Goldup

Over a year ago, I squeezed into to the dark confines of The Well to see Rolo Tomassi. Surprised to see them again in such familiar surroundings, I turn out with the faithful for another crack, the band having just released a double LP of old tracks and rarities.

Barely visible above the heads of the crowd, diminutive singer Eva Spence writhes, screeching with a voice that could flay skin from bone. Taking a new direction, the raw crunching metal of ‘French Motel’ has less of the frantic twists and turns of old, but then, as a reminder that she can sing, as well as roar like a gutted pig, Eva whispers and swoons over the whistling synths of ‘Tongue in Chic’.

An eerie red glow and bloodcurdling howls further set the scene of Hammer Horror murder. The crowd become a restless tangle of flying limbs: a tinderbox that explodes with the opening chords of ‘Abraxas’. Guitar James crashes into his front-woman sister, the pair like animals readying for battle, while bassist Joseph Thorpe shakes as if his limbs are about to break free from his body.

Debuting songs from that rare material album, ‘Eternal Youth’, the supernatural prog of ‘Mount Celestia’ is a serious highlight. Building like the calm before a massive storm, guitarist Joe Nicholson hurls himself into the crowd, dragged down by a monstrous sea of hands.

The only misfire is the circle-pit action come ‘I Love Turbulence’, which turns into a conga line of giggling teenagers, providing a damp ending to a truly fiery rock show.

By Kate Parkin

Originally published in issue 28 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2011