Review by Darren Kerr
Photography by Rodney Gitzel
Roach was a different bug altogether. Ron Roach is a little guy with a big talent for melody. He has a captivating voice, and can pull off a great falsetto and a reggae-fied croon worthy of Joe Jackson. He also rocked like a happy moppet, and alternated regularly between acoustic guitar (both distorted and deliciously phased) and electric. There's something really cool about seeing someone hit the big bad effects pedal when they're going for it on acoustic guitar.
I've always like the djembe in a rock 'n roll format (Zolty Cracker's power folk always comes to mind), as it always seems to make the music more earthy and real. Roach's rather active djembe player was also smacking cymbals with his hands, and he continually knocked over the cymbal stands, making anyone close by into a drum roadie. Again, the bass player (the same one for Hemant Rao?) was stellar throughout; whether he was doing chordal interplay or high extended runs, he never failed to give the pulse a melody.
The band took us through two sets of clever, hooky pop, and played pretty much everything from their self-titled album of last year. My favourite track, "Nightmare Sessions," was particularly powerful, as was "Long Live Pop." The crowd really enjoyed the band, too, especially one liquored-up sailor-looking guy who toasted the band loudly after almost every song. Catch them at our Christmas charity benefit...
Considering copying some of the images from this story?
Please read this first. Thanks.