By Daisy Balmont
Hailing from Eastbourne, ROAM are a five-piece outfit who specialise in melodic pop-punk, akin to the likes of Knuckle Puck, Trash Boat, and Boston Manor. Their career began in 2012, and so far consists of two studio albums and three EPs; the most recent of which being Great Heights and Nosedives, released in November 2017 on Hopeless Records. ROAM are only the second UK band to be signed in the history of Hopeless Records, suggesting they could be ones to watch.
Back in December, I had the pleasure of seeing ROAM on the second night of their Great Heights and Nosedives UK Tour, at Think Tank, Newcastle. Supported by Stand Atlantic and WSTR, ROAM put on a show crackling with energy and full of sincerity. Stand Atlantic set the scene of the night with ‘Coffee at Midnight’, performing together with energetic stage presence and wonderful chemistry. Personally, I thought that Stand Atlantic’s performance was impressively polished for such a young act, and would encourage any fans of the genre to keep an eye out for the Australian act in upcoming years.
Throughout the night, the grungy, garage feel of the music was perfectly complimented by Think Tank, with its small size and walls plastered in band posters and album covers. The venue created a wonderfully intimate setting, allowing the audience to feel connected to one another as well as the bands. The energy and enthusiasm of the audience was wonderful, easily outdoing crowds over twice the size. You could really feel the passion everyone had for the music, regardless of whether they were big fans of each band or not. For this reason alone, I would wholeheartedly recommend Think Tank for anyone looking for a great night out centred on a passion for music.
WSTR were next to take to the stage, playing ‘Footprints’, ‘Fair Weather’, ‘Graveyard Shift’ and ‘Lonely Smiles’. Picking up the pace, the crowd began to crowd surf (despite the small size!) and really lose themselves in the music. The band’s live performance reminded me somewhat of Neck Deep; the only down-side I could see was there were sometimes moments wherein the lead vocals felt a little forced.
Finally, ROAM played their set, with the highlights being ‘Alive’, ‘Cabin Fever’, ‘Flatline’, ‘Curtain Call’, ‘The Rich Life of a Poor Man’, and ‘Playing Fiction’. The set and lighting of the gig were both extremely simplistic, even lacklustre; however it in no way hindered the atmosphere and energy of ROAM’s performance and was possibly due to the venue size in any case. In my opinion, the band sounded pretty good live, and quite true to recorded sound, although I think that their drum setup overpowered the vocals and guitars at times and could be improved in future live performances. I will say, though, that this may simply be due to the fact that it was only the second night of the tour, and perhaps they had not quite gotten into the swing of things at this time.
Overall, ROAM were wonderfully grounded, excited to be sharing their work with the world, and connected to their audience in each song. Speaking to fans over the evening, many feel that the band have progressed a great deal since their debut album, and I would agree with this. It was clear to me that they were comfortable and confident in their performance, bouncing off the audience’s energy with a mix of old and new favourites, and delivering one of the most enjoyable and sincere performances I have seen in a long while.
ROAM are currently on tour with Knuckle Puck in Australia, but will return to the UK supporting Tonight Alive in March 2018.
Photograph: Major Press