Review: The New Roses – Plymouth, Junction

The New Roses/The Outlanders/The Kites

Plymouth, Junction
November 2023

Review and Photos – Rob Wilkins/Celtography

Those who know me, know that I get a real kick out of seeing bands in tiny, grassroots venues, where the beer doesn’t cost as much as a ticket and the crowd and band almost seem to share the stage. So seeing one of the bands that were a huge influence in the birth of the ‘New Wave of Classic Rock’, interrupt their tour with another NWoCR giant, Massive Wagons, to pop in a night in the much regarded The Junction in Plymouth, could not be missed!

Kicking off the evening were two bands that represent another institution from this part of the world, The Outlanders, and The Kites.

Both bands are a product of the incredible Livewire youth music project that gives youngsters in Plymouth and the surrounding area, not only a “safe space” but also access to an extraordinary venue with professional quality lighting, sound, and staging.

Find out more about Livewire, here.

Taking to the stage first, The Outlanders really impressed and their progress since I last saw them is clear. Combining catchy, well-crafted, energetic songs with ever-improving stagecraft and audience interaction they soon bring warmth to the venue. There is a melodic complexity to their sound that is becoming more and more mature. Check out new release “Out of Sight” and look into the future a little if they continue to progress at the same pace.

Following on were The Kites. With a classic rock vibe to their sound and songs that reflect their hometown, their sound contrasts nicely with the band they supercede. They also have a more visual stage presence, particularly with the Jaggeresque swagger of their singer and the Uli Jon Roth-like style of guitarist George. Unfortunately tonight they had “one of those nights” where a series of technical issues interrupted the set and stopped the flow that I have witnessed before. One of those things that can happen and they kept pressing on admirably. Check the EP “About Time” for more glimpses of the future.

So on to the headliner. Playing a full set tonight instead of a support one gives German rockers The New Roses the chance to stretch their legs and explore much more of their catalog. From the outset, vocalist Timmy Rough is in his element being so close to the crowd, and flirts outrageously with the females at the front. His voice is the fulcrum of the band’s hard rocking, having both range and power allied to a raw gruffness that adds emotion to every lyric. Guitarists Norman Bites and Dizzy Daniels share the melody and rhythm duties between them with Bites providing the flamboyance and Daniels; the structure. Urban Berz (drums) and Hardy (bass) provide the driving rhythm that is the foundation for their energetic and pacy brand of rock and roll.

It is a struggle to understand why these guys aren’t MUCH bigger. The material is commercial, tuneful, and immensely enjoyable; spanning ballads through to the heavier end of the spectrum. The set highlights for me? “The Lion in You” soon brings the crowd to life. “Nothing But Wild” is a throwback to the past glories of a more glamorous era in rock. “All I Ever Needed” slowed things down for an acoustic break, and of course, “Thirsty” had the crowd in raptures.

All of my personal signs of a great gig were there. My knees hurt from foot tapping and bouncing so much, my throat hurt from singing along, my ears were ringing and my face hurt from smiling through sheer enjoyment of a cracking band having a great time in a sweaty, tiny room.

Hopefully, we will see them back in the UK VERY soon as they deserve to be right up there with the leading lights of that NWoCR scene.

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