Rolo Tomassi

Sense-shattering salvos from Sheffield

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Watching Rolo Tomassi in an ‘intimate’ venue like Oslo is an experience that sets your nerves on edge.

They’re fearless, aggressive and at times unnerving to watch as Eva Spence’s eyes bore into the audience and she cavorts, marionette-like, across the stage. Remaining outside of the mainstream for their 10-year career, Rolo Tomassi have proudly kept on doing exactly what they want, from their lengthy and technical fretboard explorations to the proggy, melodic breakdowns on their latest record, Grievances.

Kicking off the show with Stage Knives, Eva swings from wild-animal stunted screams to ethereal being. Despite the band’s undeniable presence, it’s a show that’s geared towards people already familiar with their material. Thankfully, there’s plenty of them in attendance; the room is packed and there’s a moshpit for the whole show. The closest they come to audience interaction is when drummer Tom Pitts decides to crowdsurf, and is replaced on the kit by a crew member for five minutes.

Tom Pitts goes in search of the new wave

Tom Pitts goes in search of the new wave (Image credit: Derek Bremner)

Shades of Pink Floyd, At The Drive-In and even Trash Talk are present as they power through older tracks Kasia and Howl, before ending with the dark but delicate All That Has Gone Before and Illuminare. They’re a fascinating spectacle – not always easy listening, but one of the most powerful live shows you’ll see from a young British band.