As years go, 2018 has been pretty special for ‘Rolo Tomassi’. The release of their fifth album ‘Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It’ has been widely acclaimed as one of the stand out albums of the year. Add to that a fully sold out UK tour with ‘Palm Reader’ and a string of brilliant festival performances, there have been very few moments where the hardcore quintet have not been front and centre in our hearts and minds. After embarking on another tour in the latter half of the year, ‘Rolo Tomassi’ end the year by playing at Scala in London; the largest venue that they have headlined in the capitol to date.
Scala - 9th November 2018
We arrive at Scala just in time to catch the second half of opening act ‘Cassus’; a ferocious screamo band from Norwich. Seamlessly blending monstrously heavy riffs and vocals with beautiful moments of melodic singing and intricate guitar work; ‘Cassus’ are a perfect opening act for ‘Rolo Tomassi’ and we hope to see them again soon to catch the full set.
Hailing all the way from Norway, ‘Blood Command’ are a band that we have been desperately waiting to see live for some time now. Describing themselves as “deathpop”, the sextet sound like no-one else that we have encountered so far, combining disco, dance music and hardcore together into something wholly unique. Lead vocalist Karina Ljone generates such a high level of energy and entertainment that it is impossible not to get swept along for the ride. This is not to detract from the rest of the band who match her step for step in a vivacious set of non stop party hits primarily from their two latest records, but also packed full of surprises including a fantastic switch into ‘Bryan Adams’ mid song.
Finally, it is time for ‘Rolo Tomassi’ to claim the Scala for themselves. This marks the fourth time Spirit Level has seen ‘Rolo Tomassi’ since our inception at the start of the year and they have set the bar phenomenally high for themselves. With that in mind, it is truly something that this is without a doubt the best performance that we have seen the quintet play so far. Karina Ljone may have had the most energetic stage presence of the night, but there is something about the way that Eva Spence carries herself on stage that is truly hypnotic. Powering through a 14 song setlist that spans their entire career, there isn’t a single moment of respite. ‘Rolo Tomassi’ have come a long way since playing house parties as teenagers, but it is clear that their ambition has not wavered one bit and tonight truly feels like a crowning moment for one of the UK’s most celebrated underground bands. Climaxing with a sensational rendition of ‘A Flood Of Light’ during which the ceiling erupts into a fountain of balloons and a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the friends, family and fans who have supported them throughout their career; ‘Rolo Tomassi’ leave the stage to rapturous applause. 2018 has been a spectacular year for ‘Rolo Tomassi’, but we can’t see their career going anywhere but upwards from here and 2019 looks set to bring even more fortune to one of the countries most treasured and talented bands.
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