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Rolo Tomassi - The Cockpit, Leeds - 25th October 2012 (Live Review)

Monday, 29 October 2012 Written by Ben Bland
Rolo Tomassi - The Cockpit, Leeds - 25th October 2012 (Live Review)

Concerns always follow a band that disappears from regular touring for the best part of two years. After the tour cycle for their last record, 'Cosmology', finished, Rolo Tomassi lost two members and, aside from the occasional show, mostly fell out of the public eye for a time. Anyone who worried the band had lost their way, however, has now clearly been proved wrong. 'Astraea', the bandís return, is about to be unleashed and prove itself as the most comprehensive work the band has produced to date. Furthermore, their return to the hard graft of touring has, of course, been a great success.

ImageThe strength of a Rolo Tomassi headline slot can be measured largely by how average they are often prone to making their support bands look. Tonight Goodtime Boys and Oathbreaker both turn in impressive sets of chaotic hardcore, but both lack the presence and, perhaps, the breadth of imagination that is later exhibited by tonightís headliners. Opening up, Goodtime Boys are perhaps a little too reliant on the dynamo performance of frontman Alex Pennie (yes, the guy who used to be the annoying one in The Automatic) for visual spectacle, but their half hour on stage demonstrates that they are also ones to watch. Oathbreaker are more visceral in nature, landing somewhere closer to the harsh sludge of fellow Belgians Amenra. They let the music do the talking, although frontwoman Caro is an intoxicatingly ferocious presence during the heaviest moments of the set.

Despite that, nothing that precedes Rolo Tomassi here tonight can match the bombardment of technical expertise and uniquely colourful songwriting that the quintet are here to show off. Material both new and old hits home with full force, prompting enthusiastic responses from both the pit and the enraptured headbangers. It is worth emphasising how well new bassist Nathan Fairweather and new guitarist Chris Cayford fit into the band at this point. Both look completely at ease and some of the finger work is dazzling to behold. Similarly, the remaining three original band members are all on top form. The moments when Eva and James Spence unite on vocals make for particularly powerful additions to the schizophrenic sonic battering ram that this band produces.

There really are very few bands capable of producing such interesting and diverse heavy music both live and in the studio. With 'Astraea' set to increase the bandís profile ever further and with live sets as good as this in their arsenal, Rolo Tomassi are well on their way to amassing an ever larger army of converts to their distinctive cocktail of genius.

'Astraea' is out on 5th November via Destination Moon. Check out Stereoboard's review here.

Rolo Tomassi UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue October 30th 2012 - Arts Centre, Norwich
Wed October 31st 2012 - XOYO, London

Click Here to Compare & Buy Rolo Tomassi Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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