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The Urbane, Laconic, Herringthorpe, Rotherham UK, 3rd April 2004

First visit to Rotherham for these two bands made a few people go home very happy.  Opening act Laconic took to the stage with a fine set of acoustic folk type rock, a sort of Waterboys but with a female voice.

Front person Jenny Bailey is a talented vocalist and guitar player, and she even played a couple of fine tunes on piano too. Her voice is quite powerful, as it came across well through the P.A, and the band were very tight in their approach to their music.  To me, they are an outdoor type of band, giving that festival feeling you tend to get on a summerís evening with a cool beer in your hands.  With a couple of supports under their belts to bands like The Bluetones, I can see a gap for this type of sound, and with songs such as Summerís Here and Take It Away, it wonít be long until they get noticed. Other highlights were Alive and Tired Eyes, both of which were performed on the piano.

The low numbered crowd then welcomed The Urbane onto the stage.  Singer guitarist John Mitchell has played with class acts such as Arena and John Wetton, and has always been a fine player when he has visited Rotherham with those bands.  With two albums to date, Neon and Glitter, The Urbane are a Nivarna/Soundgarden type rock band, and a notable fact was they supported Texas legends Kingís X on their tour of Germany.

Opening with Chain Smoking from the album Glitter, the band soon stamped their authority on the crowd.  A few were familiar with the sounds as Hate My Radio from the same album followed.

Now, on drums was the former (and current? - Ed) It Bites stickman Bob Dalton, and his playing and backing vocals gave the band a nice crisp edge to the whole sound.

The next three songs for me were the highlights of the set, Parachute, Loop and Immaculate, and there was a splash of The Police with Donít Stand So Close To Me thrown in for good measure too!

Staring At The Sun from Neon is a fine tune too, and you have to agree Johnís song writing is impressive from many outside influences. Title track Glitter got a big cheer from the crowd, and a special bonus was Time After Time the 80ís pop tune from Cyndi Lauper.

The band left the stage to a nice applause, and I donít think it will be very long before they will be back again in Rotherham after this good performance.

Danny Mayo

The Urbane



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