The Rumble Strips Tour North America

The Rumble Strips- for the Grateful Web

In 'Girls and Weather', The Rumble Strips have recorded a truly classic debut album.  With their somewhat eccentric origins in Devon, the four young men from Tavistock have fashioned a set of songs steeped with huge, life-affirming choruses all awash with the optimism of youth. This is a  band whose sound and look is entirely their own: thundering drums and  piano, brass to stir the soul and singer Charlie Waller's voice – a  thing of rare beauty and power suggesting the arrival of a genuine new  star.

Among the band's most passionate fans is producer du jour, Mark Ronson. Having heard Rumble Strips' spine tingling reworking of Amy Winehouse's 'Back to Black', Ronson fell in love with the band. He promptly invited Charlie to sing lead vocals at his acclaimed BBC Electric Proms performance at the London Roundhouse last year, with Charlie's performance widely declared the highlight of the evening. Further guest appearances have followed as Ronson and Charlie's relationship has blossomed, with the most recent show seeing Charlie being flown out to Coachella to sing with Mark.          

"Girls and Weather" opens with Charlie hollering as if his life depended on it, "I ain't got no soul". What follows is 12 songs bristling with energy, frantic rhythms, wide-eyed yearning and certainly no little soul.

Indeed, the Young Soul Rebel spirit of the singles 'Alarm Clock' and 'Motorcycle' is evident on the album, but the record also takes in a range of less expected (but no less profound) influences: the gorgeous harmonies are born out of the band's love of 1950s doo-wop, whilst the epic nature of Charlie's song writing recalls the oddball genius of both Adam Ant and Queen (as imagined by the Stax house band).

Elsewhere, the brass on 'Oh Creole' is like a rousing, doom laden Van Morrison classic, whilst the E Street holler of 'Hate Me (You Do)' owes its anthemic quality to Tom Gorbutt's inspired saxophone opening. Clocking in under two minutes, August single 'Girls and Boy in Love' is all hand clap rhythms, Motown piano and gorgeous, bitter sweet melodies - a festival anthem for certain.

Recalling the achingly close, three part harmonies of Rubber Soul era Beatles, 'Don't Dumb Down' is a scathing tale of faking to impress.  Key lyrics:  "You don't come from London do you? / But, sometimes you sound like you do / What the hell is that all about?"

The album closes with arguably it's strongest moment.  Built around a huge, Talking Heads-esque piano rhythm, 'Hands' is an extraordinary piece of song writing. Charlie's almost spoken word delivery is like an anglicized Springsteen, as he talks of finding himself, "on the hard shoulder of the motorway / to my feet I tried to complain / but I don't think they were listening", as the song build to almighty crescendo.

The Rumble Strips are a truly special group:  Pure, sad and romantic. Theirs are songs that strike a chord with the masses, whilst remaining enigmatic and standing alone from the crowd.  

2008 US Fall Tour

10/2/2008     Princeton, NJ        Terrace Club      

10/4/2008     Philadelphia, PA     Johnny Brenda's

10/5/2008     Washington, D.C.     Black Cat

10/6/2008     Carrboro, NC         Cat's Cradle

10/7/2008     Atlanta, GA          The Earl

10/8/2008     Orlando, Fl          The Social

10/9/2008     Tallahassee, FL      Club Downunder    

10/10/2008    New Orleans, LA      House of Blues

10/11/2008    Austin, TX           The Parish Room

10/14/2008    San Diego, CA        Casbah

10/15/2008    Los Angeles, CA      Spaceland

10/16/2008    San Francisco, CA    Pop Scene      

10/18/2008    Portland, OR         Doug Fir Lounge

10/19/2008    Seattle, WA          Chop Suey

10/20/2008    Vancouver, BC        Media Club

10/23/2008    Minneapolis, MN      7th St. Entry

10/24/2008    Chicago, IL          Abbey Pub

10/25/2008    Madison, WI          Der Rathskellar    

10/27/2008    Newport, KY          Southgate House

10/28/2008    Detroit, MI          Magic Stick         

10/29/2008    Toronto, ON          El Mocambo        

10/30/2008    Montreal, QC         Zoo Bizarre       

10/31/2008    Cambridge, MA        TT the Bears

11/1/2008     New York, NY         Bowery Ballroom

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