NOT many bands would relish the idea of following the mighty Federation of the Disco Pimp on to a stage.
Facing a crowd warmed by the Federation's bruising, muscular funk didn't faze the latest arrivals from the extraordinarily productive Leeds jazz-improv-rock scene, Roller Trio, however.
The Rollers, as it now seems safe to call them without evoking half-mast jeans and tartan, are an impressively self-contained unit.
Loading article content
Their music, often restlessly shifting moods, requires mutual trust and camaraderie to negotiate its intricacies and while developing a fast rapport with the crowd through saxophonist James Mainwaring's cheeky tyke persona, they also projected a confident us-against-the-world demeanour.
Their having the same instrumentation – saxophone, guitar and drums – as their fellow graduates from the Leeds scene, uncompromising noiseniks trioVD, makes comparisons between the two bands inevitable and although the Rollers have a similar jagged edginess, they also have a melodic side that trioVD haven't shown yet to my knowledge.
The music's well worked out, with tough saxophone riffs set against Luke Wynter's spacey- bassy guitar arpeggios moving into deep harmonic squalls and proudly asserted grand themes, the shifts marshalled and driven by Luke Reddin-Williams' authoritative drumming.
Mainwaring's John Zorn-like tuts and chokes and circular breathing-built momentum drew enthusiastic applause but ultimately, a little more of the tenderness that he shows on certain YouTube clips would have added another, welcome dimension to a sound that majored on the abrasive.