Rolo Tomassi @ The Joiners, Southampton (16/05/13)


With the swift blast of a synth the general chitchat of the crowd ceased, they knew what was coming from Sheffield’s Rolo Tomassi. Three albums already under their belts including 2012’s release Astraea and the band are still hard to box into ridged genre labels, although the term Mathcore is one that has become synonymous with the random and changing bursts of Rolo Tomassi’s music.

Front women Eva Spence looked every inch the girl next door. Sophisticated in her high waisted pencil skirt and neat bob haircut she grabs the microphone and unleashes chaotic screams that couldn’t be any further away from the timid mouse like manner she portrays off-stage. Spence’s screaming can only be compared to a possessed dinosaur and her ever-changing persona is very much like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The set was filled with some of the best songs Rolo Tomassi have to offer. The epic Synth drop of ‘Oh, Hello Ghost’ and the twiddley guitars of ‘Empiresk’ were brilliant but completely blown away by highlight of the set ‘I Love Turbulence’ which embodies the goings on in a schizophrenic psychopaths brain. The song changes its mind so many times it’s like an indecisive fat person trying to chose a tasty chocolate bar to eat. Spence breaks up her dinosaur screaming with what resembled a creepy child singing in a horror film. The complex sciencey noise, keyboard bashing and epic bass rifts breakdowns resulted in an epic mosh pit enveloping the room reassembling the inner workings of the large hadron collider. There’s a hell of a lot of collision taking place.

Rolo Tomassi are the most exciting thing to originate from maths since Pythagoras, and god who doesn’t love triangles. Although Spence put out a heartfelt apology to the crowd for the fact she was ill, no one in the room could have even guessed. Her performance was impeccable and the energy she bought was breath taking. In fact the whole set was so mad and so hectic it gave you an insight into what it must feel like to have a caffeine-induced heart attack. Rolo Tomassi are certainly one of the most dynamic live bands on the UK circuit, making maths that little bit more exciting with every note thrillingly played.

Rebecca Rayner

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