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ROAM - The Basement, York 03.02.2020

To celebrate Independent Venue Week, Pop-Punk band ROAM embarked on a two week non-stop tour of some of the most intimate venues the UK has to offer, in particular the absolutely tiny Basement in York.

Kicking off the evening was local four-piece Heartsink. A fairly young band with loads of energy, they proved to be a great opening act with their brand of Pop Punk. Some highlights of their set include the gang vocals in their second song, the song titled ‘Sid From Skins’, the heavier riff in ‘Memories’ and the breakdown in ‘Taking It Slow’. They had a brilliant internal band chemistry, but the one complaint that I have is the fact that when the bassist took lead vocal duty on a couple of songs, it was extremely difficult to hear. Aside from that, the evening started well.

Bristol trio Superlove - the main support for the entire tour - continued things in good fashion with their heavy Pop Punk style. I found that they had more energy as the set progressed (although their opening track ‘I Love It’ was phenomenal, as were the songs ‘Book A Holiday’ - a track reminiscent of DON BROCO with an amazingly heavy riff and loud-to-soft chorus/verse structure which the band comically dedicated to the trousers of a woman in the front row, and the song ‘Untouchable’ which had one of the best basslines I’ve heard from an up and coming band in a while. Unfortunately the band were plagued by illness, so they perhaps weren’t at their best, but if the set they played was subpar, I would love to see what they can do when they are at full strength.

Now, finally to ROAM. Having seen them on their previous co-headline tour with Australian band With Confidence in September, I had an idea of what to expect from the Eastbourne-bred group, but those expectations were completely and utterly shattered. It was the band’s first time ever playing in York, but the reception they received from the crowd was phenomenal. Both the band and the audience were full of energy, with lead vocalist Alex Costello playing perfectly to those in attendance, even crowdsurfing towards the end of the set despite the extremely low ceiling of the venue, saying he wanted us to “Squash him against the roof like a fly”. Playing songs spanning their eight-year career, there was something for fans old and new. Older songs like ‘Head Rush’ were received equally as well as newer songs, such as opener ‘Better In Than Out’, the first track from their latest album 'Smile Wide'. It’s great to see a fairly big name like ROAM supporting the smaller venues across the country, something some bands would deem a risk and avoid doing, but this just proves that they care about the fans who’ve gotten them to where they are today, and it will be interesting to see what they do in the future. All in all, it was a great gig full of typical Pop Punk attitude and community spirit.

Review - Gordon Rae

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