The Veg Bar Gig Review

Last Friday night I encountered The Rolled Notes for a second time. Rocked so hard when first I saw this Glaswegian trio of blues and freak-beat firebrands I was inspired to write a short piece devoted to the performance. I passed this review along to a friend and spinning as it wills the Universe's synchronicity had her turn up at the pub several weeks later with their name on a flyer for the inaugural Club Whip-Lash at Brixton's Veg Bar, and we both happened to have the night off.


The show was in the basement below the restaurant, a neon lit bar, bare walls and a low ceiling, the sort of place you 'use the tip of your boot if you have to touch a plug socket' I overheard one of the band advising his mate. The perfect setting for the 60's garage all vinyl soundtrack and The Rolled Notes, incongruously first-up on the bill for some reason or is the world truly upside down. Incendiary from the outset lead-man Kevin Smith's sharp and fast paced flamboyance on the guitar had the place shaking. Together with his spider fingered bass Campbell Linsay playing tight Cramps rock rhythms like a top-down hot-rod ride on the esplanade, surfboards in the back seat; and hard hitting drummer Colin Gordon, a metronome on old fashioned trucker speed keeping time in the centre of the guitarist's firey-loops and silver-flashes that never let-up. Toward the end of the set the song Mother Teresa lyrically characterised the extravagant attitude of their sound, fore you certainly will not catch these three in anyone else's 'slipstream'. 

There were murmurs on the night The Rolled Notes might be putting together a club show of their own in the near future, I 

can only hope this comes to fruition and I have the night off again...

Nic Zietsch

First Gig Review

The Rolled Notes - You missed I understood all this broken glass... the band had left and I was sitting out the back having one more near the tables they had been sitting at with their friends and admirers. Littered around were the slivers and broken crowns of three or four smashed glasses... The Rolled Notes had it tonight, and The Bread and Roses a little refurbished estate pub with all that room out the back got a much needed dose of potential. Ck Smith, front man of the newly formed Rolled Notes initially took to the stage alone playing a mean 60's garage guitar and stomping his own rhythm section out on the stage boards in leather heeled loafers. After three songs he thanked the crowd and brushing the incongruous Noel Fielding bob out of his face introduced two of his closest friends Campbell Lindsay (bass) and Colin Gordon (drums) from home-town Glasgow. The Rolled Notes were straight into it, tighter than the Stones when they still had rhythm and the blues but decided to go surfing instead. The sharp intensity of Smith's guitar work whirled in around the psycho-surfer bass lines and built long hard-shaking rides with his drummer that never let up. They had the whole place going for it, girls in leather jackets and lipstick twisting down at the front, drunk-assed rock-jocks thrashing, baying for more while necking snake-bites and kidy-speed. The band were dragging people off the high-street two blocks away and even the local bar-flies were curious for the first time since late 1990. In these times of homogenised post-modernism it is all too refreshing to see a new band whose influences are so unashamedly multifarious that their style and sound is not just another too obvious plagiarism from one the former greats. And as The Rolled Notes were applauded off the stage to wild calls for more I imagined The Sonics and The Cramps playing-off at Strychnine for their own fair share of these new interlopers. It wasn't until I was at the bar ordering that last drink that I realised what it had all been worth. One bar tender was telling the other: "I can't believe we only paid them 30 quid" "What? not between them?" the other asked incredulous, and having seen the band paying for their own drinks with buttons off their coats I couldn't believe it either. I understood all this broken glass... 30 quid was plenty of reason for a little hard earned angst at having their voodoo so blatantly undervalued. Then again it could have just been just been the snake-bites. In either case The Rolled Notes wont have to put up with that sort of thing long, they wont be playing for free in out of the way estate pubs much longer... Panama Jack.