Gerry Hectic

14:15 15th April 2005

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If you are holding an exhibition of photographs by Roger Sargent called, ‘Future Legends –The New Faces of British Music’ there is no better way to launch it than have some future legends play live.

In a small marquee erected behind the Gallery, Lupen Crook took to the stage. Unannounced and clearly nervous, it’s just him and his acoustic guitar. But this is no Conner Oberst or Willy Mason.  This is a dark, strange and more interesting proposition.  He enforces this with a heavy strumming technique. Clearly growing in confidence and enjoying the occasion, he started announcing the song titles and ended with ‘Mathilda V’, ‘Lucky 6’ and ‘Dick Strange & The Nasty Boys’.  I asked him what ‘Lucky 6’ was about. Sheepishly he said, “Child Abuse” before reconsidering and suggesting “anything that gets you through”. He’s from the Medway area and comes over as likeable but confused.  Possibly just too much is going on to focus? He says he likes honest lyrics such as Willy Mason but really likes the Warp label (Prefuse 73, LFO, Aphex Twin etc) and would like to do a Syd Barrett classical album. Not sure if he’s having a laugh here but he’s already been described "a romantic and dashing acoustic genius". Yet to prove the ‘genius’ element but don’t rule it out.

It’s fair to say that the Metro Riots ain’t ever going to be acoustic genii. They might like to think themselves as romantic and dashing but only in a rock’n’roll way. The DJ finished playing The Stooges ‘T.V. Eye’ before lead singer Damo charges into the first song in front of a fair cluster of female fans. He’s warring a jacket with a "Captain" armband. It’s a clear sign he’s in charge. The sort of legend that you want to worship.  Living rock’n’rock dreams when rockers rocked. Legends like Pop, Jagger, Hendrix and Marriott.  There’s a bit of all them here with MC5, New York Dolls and Zeppelin thrown in.  . 

This is a raw rock sound and gets the crowd going.  Not enough for Damo’s liking but I suspect there’s not much that can meet his octane-fuelled testosterone. The rest of the band is Danny on guitar, Ollie and Sam, a.k.a. “the rhythm section". The tracks on the EP are ‘RIP Mother’, ‘These Small Faces’ and ‘Lured Into Roulette’. The latter is manic live and you know these boys will not be contained to playing in a small tent for much longer.
 
Apart from being an unofficial member of The Libertines, Roger Sargent has photographed all the current crop of bands like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, The Zutons, Kaiser Chiefs and many more.  He’s got an ability to spot bands before they break it big time and has taken some stunning images of them. So why would he bother becoming the manager of the Metro Riots?  Go and see them and you’ll know immediately if you have the same passion as him for ROCK!

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