Ro Shambo @ The Consortium

This Et Al, Ro Shambo and The Marlins Live at The Consortium August 24th

by Kid 73

Dragging people out on the Sabbath is a right bitch. Sure, churches can do it but that’s during the daylight hours and it doesn’t involve dancing and drinking (1% communion wine and shuffling during hymns doesn’t count). So when I descended the stairs to the belly of The Consortium I was surprised to see a crowd, ready-assembled whilst chatting and propping up the bar. Over the next hour or so there was a mad, headless session where I ended up having to run out and get headliners 'This Et Al' a 16” Snappy Pizza (a 'build your own pioneer' with chicken, bacon, mushrooms and a sidecar of chips… in case you're interested - of course you fucking are!) and talking to loads of people helping to prop up said bar. There was a proper atmosphere here tonight, nice. Regrettably, I missed the first few songs from The Marlins but I did get settled in time to hear the last song. This one is our last song and it’s called… whatever you want it to be called” said one of the trio of guitarists, glibly. Shame, I didn’t get the name but it was a ripsnorter of a tune played tighter than the 'spray on, peel off' jeans that are en vogue. It was a break-it-down, build-it-up spectacular and gave The Marlins all the hallmarks of a band with fire in their bellies and a kickass intent. Part Foo Fighters, part Weezer and part Machine; if they lose the indifference they might just make it. I was given a CD at the end (or rather my mate was given it but immediately handed it to me) and I am going to listen to it some more, so there! Oh, and the drummer was damn good… just thought I would mention that. Ro Shambo took to the stage and if I hadn’t known any different I would have thought they were from Madchester. I don’t know, possibly it was the singing up to the mic or the lead singer's on-stage swaggering or wearing a polo buttoned to the top, but something kept reminding me of Madchester's finest. Masters of melody and an upbeat tempo throughout made the crowd, most of which consisted of their fans, break out in dance, cheers and whistles. The magnum opus of 'Cover Me in Ecstasy' complete with synth and backing vocals was a true, anthemic call to the dance floor. Like a red rag to a bull, the sound of the Korg rallied the troops. Pop-funk-rock with attitude. Someone seems to have found their groove. This Et Al were camouflaged against the red walls by their choice of red and black attire. Unlike the walls, however, they knew how to play instruments. Unperturbed by 30% of the crowd's dispersal after the local bands finished, they played a blinder of a set. Full of pizza and confidence they proceeded to de-construct and rebuild melodies with whackingly brash guitaring punctuated by pounding drums. Atmospheric, moody and with massive chunks of FUCK YOU they tripped from song to song - knee jerking all the way. This has to be one of the best night's music I have heard in a while from the not-so-famous bracket of musicians. They didn’t whinge, they got their shit sorted with the soundman, they worked their asses off and had a shithot time... and so did the crowd. No prima donnas, no attitude (except where it should be... on stage) just a group who seemed to love what they did. I highly commend them and recommend booking them if you get the chance.