Rolo Tomassi – The BBC Sessions: Exclusive Album Stream

The nigh-on-impossible to define quintet rake through their BBC sessions and stream them exclusively with The Independent

Rolo Tomassi, from left to right, Tom Pitts
Rolo Tomassi, from left to right, Tom Pitts

Revered as one of the UK’s most intrepid and idiosyncratic bands, Rolo Tomassi have collated their BBC Sessions and are set to release them on vinyl, CD and digitally on 27th May through Holy Roar records. But if you can’t wait that long, the sessions are available to stream below exclusively with The Independent.

Recorded and mixed at the eminent BBC Maida Vale studios, the release presents two separate sessions, with the songs arranged in reverse chronological order. Tracks 1- 4 were originally aired 5th February 2013 on Daniel P Carter’s Radio 1 Rock Show, showcasing three songs from the band’s third album Astraea, plus the addition of standalone single Old Mystics. Tracks 5 – 9 were originally recorded for Huw Stephens and aired 4 months prior to the release of their debut album Hysterics 8th May 2008.

Rolo Tomassi have been pushing boundaries and subverting expectations since forming near Sheffield in early 2005. These two distinct sessions showcase the irrefutable progression the band made between 2008 - 13, evolving from the schizophrenic polyrhythmic chaos of their earlier days (I Love Turbulence, Film Noir) to the beautifully evocative sprawling haunted masterpieces (Illuminare, Empiresk) that litter their later work. James Spence (vocals / keyboards) provided us with an exclusive insight into the two sessions that make up the record ...

(Derek Bremner

HUW STEPHENS SESSION

I Love Turbulence

Digital History

F**k the Pleasantries, Let’s Rock

Beatrotter

Film Noir

I think the first thing you feel going into Maida Vale is the history. As you enter the studios, the photos on the walls remind you of that history and I'd spent plenty of time listening to live sessions bands had recorded for Steve Lamacq, so I could visualise all these bands I'd loved being in that room which was very exciting. It didn't feel like we should have been allowed in!

If I remember correctly, there was a load of graffiti on the walls as you entered MV4, the studio we were in, which The Mars Volta had done (specifically, their drummer at the time Thomas Pridgen) and gotten into a lot of trouble for. As young, impressionable fans of the band, we thought it was amazing. Maybe more due to the fact they'd been there recently, not the graffiti element of it...

We were told we could only record X amount of songs and at that point, a lot of our material was around the 1 minute mark, so we asked if we could do more songs if we played them faster and back to back. I hadn't listened to this for a while before Alex (Fitzpatrick, head of Holy Roar Records) re-started the conversation about releasing it and I can't get over how fast we play some of those songs. I genuinely can't remember how to play most of them now.

ROCK SHOW SESSION

Howl

Old Mystics

Empiresk

Illuminare

This happened a few months after we'd released and started touring our third album Astraea. I still have a pass for the building you get given on entry as part of a framed collage of Rolo souvenirs I've kept over the years.

My standout memory from this trip was nervously asking one of the engineers if we could use the piano for our track Empiresk. I was glad I did in the end as that track came out as the best one we've done there (in my opinion) and it was a treat to get to play a piano live with the band, something I'd never been able to do before.

We've incredibly grateful of the support we've had from the BBC and numerous DJ's there over the years. It’s a real honour to have had the opportunity to do these sessions and we're pleased to be able to make them available for people to listen to again.

The BBC Sessions is released on Vinyl, CD and Digital on 27th May through Holy Roar Records. Rolo Tomassi are playing a select few dates around the UK including HRX, an all-dayer celebrating 10 years of Holy Roar Records

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in