Razor sharp rock and roll trio Lord Rochester have their guitars and maracas at the ready for a gig at the Legion next month.
The three-piece released their latest record The Shetland Sessions this summer, with nods to “red tins” and Up-Helly-A’ included for good measure.
Drummer Tim Matthew is known to many in the local scene as the man behind the sound desk, though he is excited to be on the stage for the triple bill in Lerwick on 8th October which also includes Trookers and First Foot Soldiers.
Russ Wilkins (guitar and vocals) and Saskia Holling (bass and vocals) have played in numerous bands over the years.
However, the trio was formed in 2008 following the cancellation of a Bo Diddley gig on the mainland. A group was needed to fill the slot; Matthew picked up some maracas, learnt the drums and Lord Rochester was born.
“The idea was to keep the band super small, small enough to fit in a car,” he said.
“The simplest set up was a floor tom, snare drum and a cymbal. Maracas is a big part of the Bo Diddley sound.”
The snappy, tweed-sporting rockers certainly pack plenty of punch and Matthew says there is plenty of space between the instrumentation too.
“Rock and roll is all emotion, it’s emotion and it’s dance music,” he said.
“It has to appeal to you on a really basic level. Initially, its whole point was singing about sex and that’s what the name means.
“One of the things we did was to keep it musically pretty basic … I think rock and roll should be simple and raw and by keeping it like that it means we can let go and enjoy a gig, without having to care about the technical intricacies.”
“Most of the songs are structurally pretty rigid … but we definitely play things off each other and sonically there’s more space because sonically there’s no bass drum.
“The job of the bass drum is being done by the bass guitar and it gives it a slightly lighter, slightly less rooted sound.”
As a group Matthew says they don’t get the chance to play together very often, but when they do they make sure they make the most of it.
Their last Shetland gig was back in 2014 and the other members travelled north to record the four-track EP in Walls Hall.
The band spent a day recording the songs they’d just written and Matthew said the group preferred to record the bones of the track together live.
“We find it impossible to replicate that atmosphere multi-tracking,” he said.
“We stick on things like backing vocals and monkey noises … the main block of the band we always record live.”
- For much more music news and interviews see Music Matters in this week’s Shetland Times.