Great stuff from Lord Rochester at popular Legion gig

Lord Rocherster put on a fine show at the Lerwick Legion last night. Photo: Chris Brown
Lord Rocherster put on a fine show at the Lerwick Legion last night. Photo: Chris Brown

Following a good day, it was a good night with some vintage retro rockin’ roll from Lord Rochester at the Lerwick British Legion on Saturday night.

It was “let the good times roll” with the veteran trio nicely sandwiched between local bands Trookers and the First Foot Soldiers.

Drummer and sometime fiddle player time with Lord Rochester is locally based Tim Matthew well known as a sound man transformed into a manic drummer. His sticks were replaced by maracas to help produce an unique twist to their stripped back fifties sound.

He was assisted by the demure and alluring Saskia Holling, also known as “Lady Buck”, on a stylish bass “fiddle”, and topping off the whole show was Russ Wilkins with square “Bo Diddley” axe and main vocals. As a band they have a snazzy and well thought out image.

Build-up for the rhythmical rock ‘n’ rollers was provided by firstly the First Foot Soldiers, a veritable jukebox of anthemic rock.

Robbo Balfour was dynamite on both vocals and drums, no doubt a tricky operation, the musical equivalent of rubbing your stomach and patting yourself on the head? Arthur Nicolson just gets slicker and tidier with every gig; could some rockier self-penned songs be the next musical route instead the sedate singer-songwriter one?

Shuan Strachan Jnr provides a solid anchor with his bass lines and Chris Thomson is able to add some well crafted sounds on keyboards. And half of them are in the Trookers – what more do you want?

The Trookers who I originally encountered at Oxjam, were the unassuming duo of Chris Thomson and Robert Balfour with promising pop songs. They now both a bit hairier and serious and their sound has been strengthened and beefed up by the addition of the languid scribe Chris Cope on bass and multi-instrumentalist Erik Peterson, already revelling in the local music scene, on drums.

Their mixture of mellow and rhythmically edgy original songs, nicely topped by sweet harmonies, warmed the evening up nicely to lead up to the main act.

No Spring chickens, Lord Rochester were still able deliver the goods. The threesome play, as Tim Matthew pointed out earlier, “primitive rock ‘n’ roll” – just right for a Saturday night.

It was a power-packed set. One punter confided to me that if the drummer had played any longer than 40 minutes “da arms wid be hangin aff him”.

The night ended with another helping of the First Footers, joined at the beginning by some guests on two Stones classics Gimmie Shelter and Tumblin’ Dice.

Their version of ELO’s Mr Blue Sky seemed very apt as Shetland still experiences an Indian summer. The First Foot Soldiers may just cover covers, but they cover them so well.


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