The Old Romantic Killer Band
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- Escobar, Wakefield »
- The Old Romantic Killer Band »
Make no mistake about it, if Old Romantic Killer Band drummer Bunse wasn't onstage tonight he'd probably not be safe here. Clad in eyeliner, covered in tattoos and with hair long on one side but short on the other, he'd certainly be a target for the Wakefield ASBOrati.
Hell, even DiS is asked if we're playing the gig tonight because our hair is - relatively speaking - long. Let's review the band rather than the town, though, because the ORKB are well worth talking about.
Theirs is a stripped-back, rough-as-sandpaper take on the blues; one that couldn't be more different in sound and aesthetic to the band they're playing with tonight (The Lionheart Brothers), nor, indeed, the act to whom comparisons are going to be as inevitable as they will be lazy.
But where The White Stripes as a live proposition have become increasingly indulgent over the years as they march on towards those ten nights at O2, The Old Romantic Killer Band are two hungry, lean young bucks. There's not an ounce of meat on these bones.
And their drummer, despite the androgynous appearance, is certainly no Meg White. He can actually play, and with no little dexterity - in places, it sounds like he's drumming for a thrash-metal band. But it works, and then some. Vocalist/guitarist Harry, meanwhile, bashes his Telecaster with such aplomb that it's necessary to re-tune between each song.
Forthcoming single 'You Don't Know How To Love' (due in March on Bad Sneakers) is the poppiest pick from their current repertoire, but bearing in mind they've only been playing for six months there's plenty in that canon already to set pulses racing.
In strict blues tradition, these are songs predominantly about love, lust, and the massive gulf in between. They're about betrayal, jealously; about men and women getting along, and not getting along - in other words, the strongest of emotions. And it shows, too: when Harry unleashes a blood-curdling yelp at the close of the introductory instrumental, his anguish is almost tangible.
At the other end of the set, during 'So Much Love To Give You', the singer writhes on the floor as he uses a bottle to slide along the neck of his guitar - a classic trick, and one borrowed from their bluesman of choice, Son House. By no means does it come off as mere homage, though, because tonight The Old Romantic Killer Band are the real deal; a genuinely exciting prospect for 2k8 who surely won't remain under the radar for much longer.