Romance - Islington Academy 2, London (19th November 2015) - LIVE REVIEW
Romance - Islington Academy 2, London (19th November 2015) - LIVE REVIEW

Romance – Islington Academy 2, London (19th November 2015) – LIVE REVIEW

This Romance article was written by Jack Dodd, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Gavin Wells.

Variety is the first word that comes to mind when looking around at the audience members for tonight’s gig. Young and old, rockers and scenesters, male and female have packed into attendance at the North London venue, to witness a live show from a band that pride themselves on mixing the old with the new.

This is the third date on their current Dance With The Devil UK tour and this evening’s homecoming gig highlights why Romance have so much potential. Thundering on stage around 21:30, opener ‘Untitled Love Song’ sets the tone for the rest of the show. The fast, jagged riffs of guitar player Jon Hartz Wild and a solid backline of drummer Cillian Sheil and bassist Harry King provide the perfect accompaniment for frontman Jamie Lovatt’s juggernaut of a voice.

It is this voice that gives the band its individual neo-rock sound. Almost like The Cult jamming with Billy Idol, Lovatt is just as comfortable belting out the high notes as he is crooning out low ones that are deeper than a wishing well. ‘Suicide’ highlights a darker side to the group but is delivered in a manner that seems to give hope out of a horrible situation. The surprisingly upbeat chorus makes the song a contradiction that is hard to forget.

‘Burn’ is a tune that wouldn’t have been out of place on the 80’s LA rock scene and it goes down just as well in 2015 with audience members getting passionately involved and singing along.

Wild is quite simply a machine of a guitar player. Built in the vein of Johnny Ramone he seems a man intent on getting the job done. He is always moving and his energy is something that seems to translate through the rest of the band as they hurtle through their set.

Single ‘Dance With The Devil’ is met with expected exuberance from the audience who get dragged in by the hooky chorus and almost shamanic vocals.

As the set comes towards its end the crowd get a special treat. Led Zeppelin classic ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is covered in epic fashion and the reaction is one of complete joy. This nod to past idols is something Romance execute perfectly, and Lovatt’s voice is shown off one final time before the band leave the stage to great applause and adulation.

With a debut album out next year and continually expanding fan base Romance are a love story to keep an eye on.