The New Roses are making up for lost time to launch a concerted push on the UK. Big in their native Germany, for some reason it has taken three albums and an EP, culminating in last year’s ‘One More For the Road’ release, to raise their profile here in the UK. They had certainly previously escaped my radar- but I picked up on a buzz around them this year both from friends and on social media and got the opportunity to catch them on the London date of an extensive two week nationwide tour.
An added incentive was two rising UK bands, though mid-tour Departed unfortunately did just that, leaving The Brink to provide the main support. Energetic and enthusiastic, they made a positive impression. Tom Quick was a confident singer with a raspy voice drawing comparisons to an early Jon Bon Jovi, while there was plenty of onstage movement notably from bassist Gaz Connor and rhythm guitarist Izzy Trixx with their matching asymmetric hair flailing.
The likes of ‘Never Again’ and ‘Take Me Away’ were enjoyable if unoriginal, and when Tom strapped on an acoustic guitar ‘Wish’ had real commercial potential.
I did sense though that different influences were at play within the band- Tom appeared to be in the melodic rock mainstream and others, notably guitarist Lexi Laine, favoured a heavier style which showed through on songs like ‘Burn’ and set closer ‘Don’t Count Me Out’.
‘Are You With Me’ – which reminded me of the likes of Stereophonics or Manic Street Preachers at their rockiest- also featured a successful singalong, and a promising set justified the faith Frontiers Records have shown in signing them.
When the New Roses came on stage, the crowd was somewhat smaller than the Facebook event page had led me to believe, but fans more familiar than I was gave them an enthusiastic reaction, singing along to the catchiest of opening pairs in ‘Every Wildheart’ and ‘Forever Never Comes’ with its ‘who-oah’ refrain.
Photo: Peter Noble
It occurred to me they are a difficult band to pigeonhole, being far removed from the German stereotype epitomised by the Scorpions and Edguy, yet also falling outside the blues rock, Zeppelin-influenced bands that seem to predominate in what we can now call the New Wave of Classic Rock. Instead their combination of supercharged rock’n’roll and a certain rootsiness remind me more of the Georgia Satellites and a number of similar bands such as The Poorboys that followed in their wake.
I had read about country influences but even on songs that leant in that direction like ‘Second First Time’, singer and rhythm guitarist Timmy Rough showed more of a heartland rock sensibility. Others such as ‘Gimme Your Love’ were more straightforward rock n rollers, though Norman Bites (sic), as the latest of a long line of blonde flying V toting German guitarists, was adding a complementary harder rock edge.
Photo: Peter Noble
A number of the songs had a boogie-ish feel to them, notably ‘It’s A Long Way’, featuring a singlaong, where the AC/DC influence extended even beyond the song title, while catchy anthems like ‘Fight You Leaving Me’ and ‘Life Ain’t Easy For A Boy With Long Hair’ went down really well. Timmy had a good stage manner, not to mention near faultless English, and the band whizzed through the set with barely a pause for breath – and indeed drummer Urban Berz was admonished when his ‘solo’ went on for more than a couple of bars.
Photo: Peter Noble
The biggest crowd reception yet was to rock out to for ‘One More For The Road’ which seems to have already become their anthem, and there was something almost E Street Band-ish about its sincere but joyful passion. I expected it to be the last song, but instead that honour fell to ‘Without A Trace’, building from a slow, roostsy beginning.
By the time of the encore, people were letting themselves go down the front, including members of The Brink and their entourage, and were rewarded with some fast paced, low slung riffery with ‘Thirsty’ which segued seamlessly into a cover of ‘Old Time Rock n Roll’, proving those classic American influences, and ending a generous set of well over an hour and a half.
I arrived curious and left a confirmed fan. I hope the hard roadwork they put in this winter pays dividends and that they deservedly become mainstays of the scene on this side of the channel as well.
Review by Andy Nathan
Photos by Andy Nathan except where indicated
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