Arcane Roots are beginning to wind down after a summer of festivals. They have a few more dates and festivals to get under way before they tour the UK playing intimate electronic shows, and we headed to their one-off show at Gloucester’s Guildhall to see this brilliant band in action.
The bass-heavy rock quartet from Bath, Novatines (6.5) were the first to attempt to defrost the cool crowd gathered at Gloucester’s renowned Guildhall. Their sound, heavily influenced by classic rock, stood out from the style of other bands on the bill, but that didn’t phase the four musicians on stage.
It took a short while for Novatines to settle into their set, but ‘Medicine’ saw the band become less static on stage, and frontman Jamie Beale began to encourage the small audience to sing along. Each original played showcased their talent, with catchy choruses and funky bass lines, but unfortunately their sound fell on a tough crowd to please.
Locals I, The Lion (8) received a warmer welcome with their catchy post-punk sound and entertaining stage presence. With music easily comparable to that of Press to MECO and Black Peaks, the interest of the audience was captured immediately. ‘Ghost’ paired technical riffs with anthemic choruses, and with captivating vocal harmonies also factored into the equation, the gathered crowd began to really enjoy the music.
With a sound both comfortingly familiar and adventurously unique, I, The Lion very quickly had the audience entranced, allowing frontman Elliot and Chris to encourage plenty of singing, clapping and jumping. New single ‘Escape’ closed the band’s set, a song that was equal parts sing-along choruses and complex riffs.
I, The Lion’s stage presence and persona, alongside the energy, passion and enthusiasm that filtered into not only their live show, but also their songwriting, is one of the band’s many strengths. Their shows are of the same calibre of more established bands, and without a doubt, this will cause I, The Lion to become a much more familiar name.
Arcane Roots (9.5) are a largely influential band, and one that’s loved by many. While emotions were running high in Gloucester due to the announcement that the band would be disbanding later this year, the show that was put on was a celebration of a truly brilliant band that has the ability to both stick to their guns, and push boundaries like no other.
The unmistakable beat of ‘Off the Floor’ filled the room as the trio walked on stage and quickly launched into their hour-long set of genre bending brilliance. Each member of the band found their zen instantly, and as they moved around the stage doing their thing, the audience below fed off of their enjoyment and energy.
The most notable aspect of Arcane Roots’ music is the swift and dynamic changes they make; Andrew Groves’ vocal can be gently emotional one moment, and harsh the next, something that is reflected in the musical elements of the band’s performances too.
‘Leaving’ unleashed some particularly heavy, Biffy-esque riffs, which really encouraged the audience to give in, let go, and really enjoy the music. ‘Solemn’ was another song that combined weighty riffs with delicate keys, and stunning vocals that got the whole room singing along. The stunning electronic aspects that Arcane Roots incorporate into their music adds depth and dimension to their sound, and regardless of hearing their music before or not, anyone would find it easy have fun at an Arcane Roots show.
‘If Nothing Breaks Nothing Moves’ closed Arcane Roots’ set, after a beautifully heartfelt thank-you speech from Groves. The band’s beautifully harmonic vocals were joined by those of the gathered audience, and the song was the perfect way to close Arcane Roots’ solid set.