The Brink are aptly named. They stand right at the start of their career with a new album ready to go next year. Given this, as you’d expect there is plenty of exuberance about their set. Taking the interesting step of starting with their new single “Little Janie” the five piece, in truth, give off the air of a band that is just happy to be on a proper tour. It won’t be their last, either. Songs of the quality of “Never Again” and the hints of Bon Jovi in “Take Me Away” will see to that. You can always tell how serious a band like this is by their ballads, and “Wish” is a big old thing, and you always have to look for a swagger, “One Night Only” has that in abundance. At this stage in their career, the fact they don’t just stick to the same old thing is impressive too. “Burn” is darker, “Don’t Count Me Out” their last one is absolutely sleazy. Tom Quick can roar out his vocals too, Lexi Laine (the most rock n roll name of the year) soars his solos, while Izzy Trixx (the second most rock n roll name of the year) gives things a real kick with her rhythm. The weather might mean they’ll play to bigger crowds than this, but they are on The Brink.
Not for nothing do The New Roses play a cover of Bob Segar’s “Old Time Rock N Roll” at the end of their set here – it is after all, all they’ve ever wanted to play. But it’s not just that. It’s the way they get The Brink onstage to celebrate the end of the tour with them. The camaraderie, the vibe.
This is a special band and these are special moments that they intend to enjoy.
An hour and a half or so before all the end of tour hi-jinks the quartet had given notice of their class. “Every Wild Heart” is a brilliant song. It is far from their only one.
Cards on the table here: The New Roses are one of the few bands that I didn’t know before doing this site that have become genuine favourites. If there’s a band better at taking the sounds of the 80s rock that I grew up with, giving them a – slightly – modern makeover and writing arena ready anthems, then to be frank, I haven’t heard them.
But the best thing about TNR is even more simple: if they weren’t here tonight, then I am willing to bet you that they’d be somewhere watching a band a bit like this. Except not as good, obviously.
“Forever Never Comes” has a hook big enough to hang your raincoat on (and given the near monsoon that was coming down tonight as the fans came in it was needed), “Dancing On A Razorblade” is too good a song to be tossed out third in. But it is and that is TNR’s right, and as they also do “Dead Man’s Voice” early on, you get to see in microcosm, what they are all about. Choruses, fun, rock n roll, a little bit of country here and there – and in the case of singer Tommy Rough a grin that never really goes. Even when he does the singalong bits with the crowd in “Long Way” – which also gets cowbell bonus points – it never seems like a chore for him.
As well as a frontman, hard rock needs a gun slinger of a lead player, and with his blonde hair swinging Norman Bites is every inch one and when he does the acoustic duet of “Fight You Leaving Me” with Tommy, you can’t really fail to think of Jon and Richie doing “Wanted (Dead Or Alive)” way back when.
“Life Ain’t Easy (For A Boy With Long Hair)” is gloriously tongue in cheek, before “Devil’s Toys” is a bit of a masterclass, and “One More For The Road” is the perfect tonic for a touring rock band.
Before the aforementioned Seegar stormer ends things, there is “Thirsty”. A song so catchy it should have come with antibiotics attached, and I can’t help but reflect on the vagaries of all this. What is it that makes some bands stars? Adam Levine from Maroon 5 has created controversy this weekend by trotting out his argument that there “is nothing happening in rock n roll”. It’s hogwash, of course. There are umpteen fine bands out there that there that are striving for a seat at the rock top table, to freshen it up with some new blood, to force their way in. The New Roses happen to be the best – and nothing that happened here changed that opinion.