Rolo Tomassi
The Well, Leeds, Tuesday 26th January 2010
Review and pix by Hellen Burton

Upon listening to Rolo Tomassi’s aptly named album Hysterics, initially at least, I was not all that impressed. What I heard was noise, incoherent noise. However, seeing a band live breeds fresh perspective often missed by tired ears.

The stage is calm and clouded in smoke; the silhouette of a petite female, doll-like in the half light, creates a false sense of security before the opening crash of ‘Fofteen’. This girl, with a ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ persona, excretes such a vocal harpoon, that one could only describe it as that of a demonic beast, befitting of this experimental punk, math/spazzcore quintet from Sheffield. Stalking the stage with such confidence it is hard to believe she is only 19.


The force of the vocals, heavy guitar and manic Jazz synths, hit the crowd like a tsunami and every so often the synth player throws himself into the pit causing it to erupt and spew fans up and over on to the stage!

Closing with the tormented screams of ‘I love turbulence’, the beast’s howls are occasionally tamed into a voice more akin with an angel's. Conjoined with metal riffs and eerie keys (which wouldn’t seem out of place in a B movie), the perfect end is provided for what has been a frantic, schizophrenic, disjointed and exhausting spectacle, that can only be witnessed to be understood.

Words and Pix by Hellen Burton

Thanks to Ian Cheek for sorting us out!