Role Models/The Loyalties /Shush/Billy Liar – Camden, The Black Heart - 2 September 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Saturday, 16 September 2017 04:30

Another year, another album launch show at the Black Heart in Camden – and, folks, another sell out! Role Models have built up a steady following over the past few years and have become a formidable live band as well as on CD. Tonight is no exception and, as with previous launch shows, tonight they have added a pretty impressive undercard.


Opening tonight from north of the border was one Billy Liar, who ripped through a set of songs by himself, with just his trusty guitar for support. To be fair to the capacity audience, you could have heard a pin drop as the likes of 'What We've Got' and 'Half The Man' punctured the sticky Camden night air and, along with new numbers, were lapped up by the crowd, who were entertained and impressed by what was on offer. Certainly one to catch in the future and one whose new record will be purchased.

 

Having not been a going concern for several years, next up were Shush – and, judging by the performance, you'd have thought they were playing live together every other night for the past four years. The band played a fairly brief set, opening with 'Got Caught In The Act' – and, bang, the electric party had started in style. By the time the band had got to 'Stay', they were on fire and their brand of hard rockin' poptones had ignited the evening. In direct contrast, the punchy 'Fuck You' was the sound of a band energised and feeding off the energy of the audience, and having the best of times - which only left the single, 'Retroversity', to finish off a very impressive and thoroughly enjoyable set.

 

The Loyalties - Camden

 

Next up were tonight's very special guests, and for one night only in old London Town were those reprobates The Loyalties. With the Black Heart bulging at the seams, we were ready - but were the band? Of course, they weren't, with rehearsals lasting a rumoured half an hour before the band retired for some refreshments. Anyway, the hour was upon us and opening with a thunderous 'Jimmy Does', it was like riding a bike: they were back in the groove and, although a little rusty, it's only rock n roll folks: nobody died (I hope they didn't) but I do know there were plenty of smiling faces leaping around and having a great time - which is kinda the aim right? Right! With reputations intact, the band sounded positively tight by the time 'Sofa Surfing UK' had shot its bolt. But, wait: 'Til The Death Of Rock N Roll' also sounds tight and the rock and roll has been turned up a notch or two. Kit Swing got in on the act for a blistering 'Will To Kill'

 

For a lot of the people present this was their first chance to catch a Loyalties performance, and I refuse to believe that there was one single disappointed punter inside this sweat box tonight. 'Rock And Roll Over' signalled we were nearing the end of the set - but this party certainly isn't over. 'So Much For Soho' seemed like the most fitting end to the set, as the curtain was lowered on a fine band and the Spencer/Jones songwriting partnership was once again championed loud and proud. There was still time for one more, and Rich Jones took over bass duties for a raucous 'Stockholm Sick Blues': then they were gone - which only left tonight’s worthy headliners Role Models to take this sucker home!

 

Album number three in the bag: a super confident band stretched themselves musically on the new album, and they were eager to introduce plenty of songs from 'Dance Moves' into the set tonight. The audience was bulging out the door as they broke into 'Broke My Back Disappointing You' from 'Forest Lawn', and they were off like a rocket. Role Models have the chops and the tunes to reach for the stars. Tonight is confirmation that they might have outgrown this comfortable venue, because you won't find a better band playing London Town tonight, that's for sure. By 'Manette Street', illuminated with added saxophone sparkle courtesy of Rob Hughes, it was hard to believe these guys weren't headlining somewhere like the Electric Ballroom - and this song has to be a hit! Damn, these guys are on fire and tonight.

 

Role Models - Camden

 

There wasn't much time for messing about between songs as the band dispatched 'Saturday Night Sailor' to a rapturous reception. 'Reach Me' was another new song played, and another that was received like an old friend. With a few obligatory technical issues dealt with tonight - nothing was going to derail the Role Models freight train and 'Evangeline' sounded like another hit live. 'Wizard Van' was the perfect opportunity for Rich Jones to arrive fashionably late to the stage for his dual vocal attack on this all out rocka that certainly got the crowd hopping and jumping around. Dipping into the back catalogue for old friends such as 'Lie For Today' showed that tonight was a fantastic celebration of what this band has achieved so far and how many bloody good songs they have.

 

Kit was back onstage for a splendid version of 'Obituary Writer' that worked so well live and added some variety, as the band just nailed it. As we headed for the final number there was time to knock out a blistering 'New Reason', with added Mellencamp thrown in for good measure. Which only left 'This Eventually Leads Knowhere', and then it was over, as smiling faces filed out the door having witnessed another triumphant night in London Town with the Role Models family. Can we do it again, please?

 

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