Boutik Rock - Feb 2010
Now, I don't really do Metal, but Boutik Rock is a showcase, Set The Tone had made an effort, not only to turn up, but also to bring some merchandizing, talk about what they do, and generally be just as passionate about music as I am. I reckon I ought to give them a chance to put their money where their mouth is, so beer in hand, I treck along to the Rotonde.
The Rotonde is only about ½ full when the guys come on. As the background music won’t stop, they just grunt, click in & drown it out. A quick look round the room at the reaction to the first few bars, and EVERYONE is sporting a HUGE grin. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re here to ROCK!
Something that comes across straight away is the personalities on stage: the ogre with the microphone storming around the stage like he owns it; the grizzly bear next to him making his bass look like a poxy cut down broomstick, the panther & wolf guitarists, one faithfully thrashing out chords on his SG, the other stalking the audience with his iron stare and gleaming skull, spanking out licks from a remarkably unremarkable Les Paul. I really didn't notice the drummer, other than they'd nailed him to a stool at the back so he didn't fly off on a collision course with the rest of the band.
There’s a huge variety in the music they play. Yes, it’s all metal, but the variation in the keys, tempos, chord progressions is phenomenal. Despite the ‘scream’ style, there’s a lot of clarity and technique to the vocals - this is not belching into a microphone - this is seriously impressive. “This is the first time we’ve played this song live” they announce, and launch into a number that is so wonderfully complex in its structure and progression that it would be worthy of early Genesis. But it would have taken Genesis an extra 10 minutes to play that many notes. This is very, very good musicianship and composition work. We also were treated to a few bars of the lead guitarist’s stunningly good voice, which had more than just a hint of David Coverdale about it.
I would highly recommend a Set The Tone gig to any rock fan, regardless of the type of music you “usually” listen to. It's a real pleasure to listen to songs that are so varied, so well executed, such a tight band, and a real passion for what they do that is totally infectious.