The gig was sold out, which was no surprise. Things are changing in the music industry, it started with a rumbling and is working its way up to a roar on par with Anastasia “Stars” Walkers vocals.
No longer is it being filled with Pop Princess with nothing to say and indie boys still believing trying to recreate Oasis’s Definitely Maybe is what the public want. Bang Bang Romeo’s first headline “Wicked Souls Tour” as part of the release of their new single ‘Bag of Bones’ is part of that change and it’s a change that has been a long time coming.
In the interests of full disclosure this is not the first time I have had the pleasure of seeing this band. I’m a straight up fan and am quite simply in awe of the force to be reckoned with that is Walker, she has a seemingly never ending vocal range coupled with an almost obscene level of power for a venue as intimate as Retro. This band has fully earned all the praise I will effusively throw at them. She seduces the audience with charism and wit, converting every member into the exponentially growing Bang Bang Romeo army and creating singalong participation to songs yet to be realised from their debut album set for a release in June.
There is refreshing realness about not just their performance but their songs too. “Shame on you” doesn’t weave a story about perfect fairy tale love it’s speaks about something messier and ultimately more exciting. The ones you know deep down are bad for you but you want them anyway. That ones that put passion in the pit of your stomach, the ones that’s have to stay a dirty little secret but that always make you go back for more. Where as the more slower paced “Chemical” doesn’t just tug at the heart strings it scratches and pulls, its makes you want that kind of pain and longing as you know the highs would have been worth it.
Another fan favourite of the night “Natural Born Astronaut” and one of their finest tunes to date, has the tightly woven unit firing on all cylinders. It perfectly showcases Richard Gartland’s thunderous drums and Ross Cameron’s unique guitar work. The set flew by way to quickly leaving the audience desperate for more of Walker mingling within the crowd and climbing furniture around the room interacting with the audience on a genuinely personal level. If you haven’t experienced this band yet, you need to do it soon, with tour support with Pink in the pipeline they are set for greatness and these nights where Walker is free to roam amongst her starry eyed audience will be a distance memory and thing of the past.
Another honourable mention of the night has to go to Macclesfield’s newest offering Queen Cult fronted by the quirky and enigmatic Maisie Johnson. Despite still to have any releases they quickly managed to grab the attention of the audience and had Bang Bang Romeo watching with excited eyes at the side of the stage for most of the set. With intricate time signature stages and punchy vocals and the bands playful interactions on the small stage they gave a set littered with twist and turns that perked the audience’s attention before the main event of the eagerly awaited the headliners.