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A cold wet miserable February night does little to deter the punters in Liverpool’s  Shipping Forecast which is pretty much sold out, and with just cause, as topping the bill are The Rialto Burns. Having formed a mere two years ago the uninitiated may assume that these guys may have a way to go, not so, as within only a handful of gigs they bagged themselves a deal with Indie/Dance label Gung-Ho Recordings and released their first single ‘Radiate’ to critical acclaim in June 2010. A plethora of gigs around the UK ensued and it’s with palpable anticipation that the masses gather in the ‘Hold’ (basement) and eagerly await the return of the Indie five-some.

Opening the set with ‘Back to Life’ Adam’s rich deep vocal delivers the lyric ‘....walk these streets tonight’ and its rather poignant as the band  are doused in red light crammed under a bare beamed low ceiling surrounded by paint peeling walls. Evocative, melodic and riff rich, it’s a promising start. The upbeat thumping ‘Release’ is nothing short of anthemic and precedes the bands forthcoming  EP ‘For the Asking’ which is scheduled for release on 28 March. Catchy keyboards and rhythmic guitar make a perfect canvas for a raw yet melancholy vocal; precise drums punctuate the bass laden backline like a racing heartbeat, and a smattering of electronica ensures the track holds together effortlessly. It sounds underground and its cool – utterly uber cool.


The obviously popular ‘Slow Fade’ is dedicated to absent friends and ‘Fingers and Thumbs’ is notable for its varied pace, melodic backline and aching lyrics, definitely a single in the offing, should  they ever need to choose! Covering U2’s New Years Day was a mid set surprise, but interjecting the familiar guitar riffs with electronic keys and a dark haunting vocal was jaw dropingly inspired. Concluding the set, with the beautifully crafted ‘Radiate’, from their first EP, the room is packed and the crowd join Adam’s angst laden plea ‘God save us all....’ with their fists punching towards the ceiling in appreciation. Leaving the miniscule stage to the resonating sound of applause it’s all over way too soon.

There are no theatrics with this band, no set performance, no gimmicks, they don’t do ‘stuff’ but their stage presence is captivating. It’s easy to draw reference with Joy Division, New Order, Dépêche Mode, Human League, The Smiths, The Verve, Killers, KOL et al, but TRB seem to have extracted all the dark and edgy bits and adding their own intellect and a dose of sub zero attitude have managed to produce a bang on contemporary Alt/Indie sound that just stands out as being, well, totally different. With their first album already due for release in the summer and a growing amount of industry interest I very much doubt that TRB will be playing to packed stuffy basements for much longer so best catch up with them now while you still can.


Back to Life
For the Asking
Cold Hands
Slow Fade
Show me your colours
Fingers and thumbs
New Years Day (Cover)
While you sleep

EP ‘For The Asking’ – on sale March 28th

Review by Jo Poole
Photos by Tom Gainer (TLGphotography)