Roller Trio

James Mainwaring - saxophones and electronics
Luke Wynter - guitars
Luke Reddin-Williams - drums
Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
23rd October 2015

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

Young they may be but the Roller Trio, heralded upstarts of the British jazz scene, arrived in town with three sell-out London shows under their belts after travelling to acclaim around Europe.

Tonight's crowd, while nowhere near capacity, did not deserve the 'only about five in the audience' throwaway line from James Mainwaring towards the end of the concert.

After all they had sat through, and enthusiastically shown their appreciation of a swashbuckling outpouring of raucous and insistent electronically enhanced sounds from the sax, accompanied by some driven and uptempo rhythmical drumming and complementary melodic lead and bass guitar riffing, from the other band members.

So why are they getting all the plaudits at so tender an age?

It's the intensity of their offerings that has caught the listeners imagination. The first of their febrile unannounced eruptions of noise hinted at ska Madness. Powerful bass and ignited drums competed with pathos from the sax, before a wail in the air and some over-egged reverb brought closure in a cacophony of togetherness.

This piece segued into dark drums and Eastern sounding vibrato on the sax and mounted into a guttural wall of pyramidical collective outpouring.

Before you could retune your ears there floated out restrained metronomic drumming and melodic guitar. Over-amped the saxophone might have been, but it was to have its mellow moments as well.

Eventually Reddin-Williams was given his head and Wynter spluttered into life as mind-dead honks on the sax numbed the senses once more.

We could have been in a casbah crawling with snakes and scarab beetles, as exotic eruptions of tinny sounds from Mainwaring took the strain from the unusually quiescent drums, as a reflective change to alto sax exponentially claimed the high ground.

A big bluesy solo from the drummer used all of his artifice and most of the tools of his trade; there was some marathon driving closed bass beat, before a sax rejoinder, which did not relent in it's screaming Hellish cyber geek bravura before warm down.

Yes, it was mostly ear splittingly discordant but riveting stuff, which ended with a pre-announced encore. This wound up like the whine of a demented out of control washing machine and, as it subsided, that was it.

The boys were gracious enough to mingle with those departing devotees who had occupied the mezzanine bar to chew over the fat. Miss them at your peril.

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