Rival Schools, Camden Electric Ballroom 15/04/11

It has been a long wait for me to finally see Rival Schools again, a long wait probably for anyone since the last album was released nearly a decade ago! I first saw the band supporting A in Bristol Anson rooms, at the time they were considered heroes and Walter specifically a god due to his work with Quicksand and Gorilla Biscuits, so it was no surprise to see the support that night.

I witnessed the band for the second and last time the following year at Reading Festival on the Radio 1 stage, where they faired a little worse, probably due to the nature of playing at 4pm, or what ever the time was. That year too I (or maybe it was another?) I watched Trail of Dead on the Radio 1 stage, and again, and finally as head liners, they happened to be head lining Camden too…

That second gig was 8 years ago? It’s been a long absence, yet the fact I’m still spinning United By Fate even now tells a story itself over the quality of the album. It my most played according to my mp3 player and computer software programs…

With new album “Pedals” freshly released into the world they finally take to the stage, and for me Camden was the place to see it. I don’t know why I chose Camden, probably the proximity of the tour?

Anyway, the walked on stage to a rather muted audience reaction, which surprised me. Blew into “Wring It Out” and I was completely hooked. Note perfect throughout with a slight preference to older material they banged out crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser, the audience finally got into it, and gave a might dance for set closer “Used For Glue”

I just wish old Walter would work on his vocal delivery… Starting his lines a foot from the mic so you miss the beginnings, and singing the words slightly slower than the music, accentuating every word… drives me mad! But he gave a good front man performance, and is clearly comfortable doing Rival Schools right now. It won’t be long before he starts something new, so I’m left satisfied I caught the new songs now.






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