Rotating Leslie, Narration

Miss Fliss 14/01/2010

I last saw Rotating Leslie in 2006. Think I caught them on one of my regular visits to The Luminaire when I was scouting for new bands just by attending various venues faithfully. I remembered the insistency of their Fire! Fire! single, which I still have a band-made copy of, so thought I would see how they sound live almost four years on.

First off, it's important to note just how frantically packed Putney's Half Moon venue was tonight - hot on the heels of the news that the venue had been successfully saved after public outcry. The promoter that night certainly smiled at the turnout and atmosphere, and everyone else seemed in ecstatic spirits too. It showed the potential of the place as a showcase for young, new indie music as well as acoustic and folk acts.

The band before Rotating Leslie, Narration worried me somewhat by being overly earnest (heads thrown back as they cried out with emotive force) and feeling like Jeff Buckley in dual form. Telling us that one song was about a girlfriend wearing a Prince t-shirt whilst watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air didn't help in their music warming to me, either.

When Rotating Leslie kicked into action, I couldn't help but feel reminded of The Libertines' early gigs. The boots and the turn-ups on the jeans of the singer certainly called to mind wanting to be like The Jam too. I got to thinking about the glut of all-male bands with guitar bluster and tight jeans and wondered if there is a need for yet another band of this ilk. I got past all this, though, maybe because I saw this band a few years ago and was entertained so passionately; perhaps also because the tunes have so much charm. There's not just atypical indie fare going on here - crucially, it's all in the rhythm section. The structure of the songs hits me most - the waywardness, the playfulness; here a ska groove, here a dancey guitar workout. I notice the first five-string bass I've ever seen at a gig, and that's got to be a lively factor.

This outfit clearly practice to perfection and are professional stand-outs for it. I may well be tired of all-male all guitar bands and the homogeneity bred within, but Rotating Leslie go beyond the cliches. Fire! Fire! is still their best song, a mixed up, stop-start, genre-playful, ecstatic indie pop hit if ever there was one. More from that cannon and the future of male guitar indie will look brighter under their command.

Rotating Leslie Myspace