Rolo Tomassi

Artist: Rolo Tomassi
Date: 8th February
Venue: Fibbers
Review: Tom Killingbeck
Rating: ****

Stopping off in York for a headline slot in the midst of a tour in support of Enter Shikari, electro-spazz-prog wunderkinder Rolo Tomassi pull a disparate crowd into Fibbers. Skunk haired tween scene girls, veteran metal warriors and befringed indie folk all pile into the scabby venue on a dreary Monday. Support band Blacklisters sound like the love child of Big Black and The Jesus Lizard, their 80s style noise rock wild and confrontational. Lead screamer Billy stalks the crowd, grabbing audience members and putting them in brutal headlocks. The skunk haired emos shit themselves in fear.

Everyone’s here to see Rolo Tomassi though, and when the band saunter onstage the venue suddenly seems packed. Singer Eva Spence appears to be a sweet girl – ribbons in her hair and her own arts and craft stall on the merch table. However, as their first number hits her possessed screams chill the blood as they echo across the room in a manner that brings Regan from the Exorcist to mind. The band’s sound is refreshingly original, melding together everything from vintage prog keyboard wankery to gameboy electro and, of course, metal grooves and hardcore breakdowns. At one point I think the band is genuinely playing the theme from classic Nintendo horror game ‘Castlevania’. The crowd, quite rightly, goes apeshit, and the moshers seem amusingly confused by the sudden tempo shifts and bizarre time signatures. One second they’ll try to start a circle pit to a massive metal riff, and then be caught short by a sudden foray into electro-jazz. Rolo Tomassi keep us all on our toes throughout their breathless set and, for such a young band, show up their contempories thanks to the sheer breadth of their music. Let’s hope they come back soon, and don’t forget about us when they ascend into the hallowed halls of spazzcore fame.

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