The Rumble Strips

The Rumble Strips

They sounded a bit like Dexy’s. What’s not to love?

Date: February 20, 2010

Venue: Rescue Rooms

Anyone who’s ever heard Dexy’s Midnight Runners will know that their street-urchin new wave soul is unique. Or rather it was unique, seeing as The Rumble Strips have seemingly pillaged their blueprint and given it a modern sheen gleaming with a brassy parp, just to throw Kevin Rowland and his lawyers off the scent.

There are those that doubted they’d get away with their brass-weighted indie-soul, and there are times when their search for the eccentric is just too cloying, like on the plain stoopid show-closer Motorcycle.

But largely the array of trumpets, trombones and assorted horns form a smooth union with Charles Waller’s almighty warble as it quivers with wave upon wave of intensity, aiming for a bigger space than the Rescue Rooms can offer it.

It’s on the newer stuff that they’re at their most potent. A series of melted trumpet-fuelled rollicks boasting warble-pop choruses that blast away the wax from your mucky tabs with wind-tunnel force are delivered superbly. Not the Only Person is at the apex of these, Waller’s lungs bursting with exertion.

If that sounds nothing like Dexy’s arch blue-eyed soul or raggle-taggle gypsy-folk, try the plain daft Dem Girls, with its sax-bolstered stomp being every bit as unconventional as Kevin Roland’s crew at their most idiosyncratic.

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