Support: Heartsink, Superlove
NOTE: Now for this UK tour, Roam decided to have two bands from their respective venues hometown play open for them on every show. This was only one on this particular night as due to unknown reasons, one of the band; We Need To Talk dropped out of the show.
Despite one of the opening bands dropping out, this meant Heartsink were the only local band opening the show. This was a revitalised Heartsink that I was watching because as I’m concerned because I’ve watched these lads play a few times in the last year and compared to that, they were raw, powerful and emotionally tapping into their greatest tracks, along with some amazing new belters, all for the crowd to consume. ‘Starting Over’ which the crowd did respond well to was the standout track for them because it sounds as if this is the time taken with this one was right which could mean larger and brighter things for them in the near future. It sounded more personal to vocalist Zac Roughton and based on their performance, just amplified the track to a different height alongside the additional vocals from Bassist Bryn Portas. I do hope they’re able to capitalise on this in the future because based off of this performance, it just seems inevitable.
In all honesty, as well, their sets sound quality was by far the best in my opinion. I don’t know if this was down to the equipment, knowledge of the venue but when they played their set was the clearest to make out from the vocals and when (*SPOILER ALERT ON SETLIST FOR ROAM) Hand Grenade came on, it wasn’t until that which Roam sounded good on the night.
Next on was Superlove. For the atmosphere of the whole room, it should’ve been a lot more receptive but I think the genre-bending didn’t work out too well in this lineup on the evening mainly because I was getting more Indie music vibes from the band. Not to say that it wasn’t a good performance from the Bristol Trio as ‘Big Lies, Boy’ is definitely the highlight of their discography but there is more fine-tuning which needs to be done before they take the next steps.
So, I’ve been into the quality of the sound quickly earlier in this post but I just wanted to address the venue as well, namely that the ceiling of The Basement was well too low for any crazy moshpits to happen during Roam’s faster track choices and I understand that it’s an Independent Venue tour where I’m not attempting to take anything from it but to me, the Basement for a gig such as Roam was a very inadequate space to house it, especially since there were two beams built into the structure of the building meaning if you watched the performances from a certain angle, your view is completely blocked and there’s these benches slap bang in the middle of the room (Which I believe could’ve been moved to the side) which did nothing to help if anyone from the bands wanted to join things in the middle of the crowd. Enough of that, now onto Roam.
No matter what, this band always gives one hundred per cent. I’ve seen them play a handful of times and they’re always getting better fan reception and that in turn comes from the releases they have. This tour was also in support of their latest record, ‘Smile Wide’ which came out in September 2019 where you see this is them refining their sound and stepping away from the more Pop-Punk side of things but them finding who they are and this translates into them live as well. ‘Hand Grenade’, ‘Pirhana’ and ‘Playing Fiction (Which I do realise is off their second record, ‘Great Heights & Nosedives’ but it shows how they’re responding to being on tour for so long and just how they operate when it comes to their production. Now, things can only go up for the band because while they’re still getting a few pits going and some stage dives from members, what they’ve done for these opening bands is just so important because everyone who goes along now has no excuse to not go to one of their local venues. They’re showing that the scene is more than just the venue and there’s so much potential out there at the moment.
Some of their older and punchier tracks such as ‘Deadweight, ‘Hopeless Case’ and ‘Alive’ were all met with good applause which also produced some of the better moments of their set. Roam might be more atypical of the contemporary artists but they will always belong to the Pop Punk and Rock families.