Monday 10 March 2014

Theatre Royal - Doubt

Single review by

As we, and many others, established quite some time ago, Rochester band Theatre Royal are exceptionally good at making music. Their album 'At The End Of The River, The Sea...' is something of a minor masterpiece and if you don't own a copy then we suggest to see to that promptly. They've delivered more fine tunes since then though, and this week offer up two new tracks on the single 'Doubt'. The word "classic" is very overused, and I'll be one of the first to hold my hand up to that one, but what the band are aiming for here is a slightly retro song in style, but one that sounds current in the way it's made. It wouldn't fool the experts on Antiques Roadshow, put it that way. You need only look at the video for proof. Vintage looking microphones, instruments and attire (although the scruffy-haired, bearded bassist perhaps didn't get the memo), and even a 1950s picture of Cliff Richard on the wall to top it off.

The song isn't rock n' roll particularly, more a mid-tempo track, but one that's built in a precise manner so that fans of music from that era are as likely to fall for its charms as those who embrace modern guitar bands. You could say that people like Richard Hawley or even Elvis Costello have trodden similar paths, although you couldn't get them mixed up. The guitar sound is perfect, as is the short and simple solo which is reminiscent of the time they had in mind. B-side 'Waking Up' is perhaps more typical of the indie-rock sound that the band have displayed in the past, although they keep is short, sweet and snappy instead of the sweeping anthems we know they can muster up at the drop of a hat. It compliments the A-side really well, showing two sides of a band who should be big news by now (having a somewhat generic name doesn't make them the most easy to Google, and they may be part of the reason). As long as they're happy being our little secret, then we can't complain; they never fail to deliver the goods.

Theatre Royal's website

Stream or buy the single

Catch them live:

SAT 15 MAR The Barge, Gillingham, UK
WED 19 MAR The Waiting Room, London, UK
SAT 03 MAY Maidstone Fringe Festival 2014, Maidstone, UK

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