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rhombus01HMV @ Kingsgate Shopping Centre, Huddersfield, UK
15th October 2022
Rhombus

It feels surreal to be hovering near a shelf full of Star Wars figures, in a record store in the middle of Huddersfield watching RHOMBUS, but that is exactly where I find myself on a Saturday afternoon in October. It’s national album day and music giants, HMV, are hosting gigs in their stores across the UK. RHOMBUS was formed in 2003 by Edward Grassby (vocals and base) and Rob Walker (drums and percussion). Their eclectic style of music has amassed a following across Britain, Europe. The current line-up is Edward, Rob, Alixandrea Corvyn (additional vocals) and Lee Talbot (drums). The band are here to promote Their latest album: ‘The Longest Day.’

Music & Performance
The band start with ‘You depend on you’ - it’s a strong, punchy track as an opener, both for the gig and on the album. RHOMBUS give the same performance that they would if they were playing at any more conventional venue. Instead of a stage, however, the band is ensconced in a corner of HMV in a shopping centre, surrounded by blush pink balloons and seated in front of a backdrop that consists of movie posters including: ‘Platform 9¾’(Harry Potter), ‘The Mandalorian’, ‘ET’ and ‘Batman’. “Don’t pop these balloons,” Edward tells the other band members, “We’ll have to pay for ‘em!” The crowd is a mixed bag of Goths and shoppers (see what I did there) the Goths turned up to see the band, the others came out of curiosity. Standing next to me, a woman in a yellow anorak, videos the entire set on her phone. Outside in the mall, there is a mobility scooter, from where a woman, casually dressed in pale pink leggings, is watching the gig. The faux number plate reads: ‘Lucifer 666’. It somehow adds to the peculiarity of the entire event.

Neither the thunder or torrential rain outside has dampened their enthusiasm of the band, or the crowd. The band become visibly more relaxed in their surroundings, and this is obvious in their performance. I try to take video footage of the band, but it’s a little shaky due to my swaying to the music. I can’t help it, it’s an intrinsic reaction. RHOMBUS is not the atypical goth band;  the enraptured crowd is indicative of their wide appeal. Along with the gaggle of goths, easily discernible by the cloud of black attire - there is a steady stream of ordinary shoppers. They poke their heads round the door - and stay for the rest of the show. A few people have wandered in and out, amongst them a couple of kids with their hands over their ears - bless them as they are not used to musicians who don’t use auto tune. Edward pays homage to them. “We kind of miss them now.”

rhombus02

As well as their most popular tracks from the longest day like ‘Magnificent,’ ‘The longest day,’ ‘No Victim’ and ‘Sodium sunrise’, the band also play a few other tracks like ‘Timeless and Elegant’ - from ‘Here be Dragons.’ There is a real sense of camaraderie within this band that is evidenced by their interaction with each other. RHOMBUS remain animated between tracks, entertaining us with banter. ‘Magnificent’ lives up to its name. The song is beautiful, Edward and Alixandrea’s vocals in perfect harmony. To be honest with song titles like ‘Magnificent’ and ‘Timeless and Elegant’ this review almost writes itself for me! The penultimate track ‘Always hope’ - was released as a fundraiser for Ukraine earlier in the year. The song is uplifting on this rainy day and in the present political climate. We sometimes need a reminder that the sun will rise again.

The finale ‘Here be Dragons’ is superbly delivered. Alix waves her hands in the air during the chorus, a few goths and one or two non-goths alike, wave along with her. There is no encore, no-one minds. They just witnessed something fantastic and unique - a treat on this wet and wild weekend. Currently the album is available to buy on CD but Michael Unwins from MANUSCRIPT, has produced a vinyl copy of the album. This may be available as an extremely limited edition very soon. We divide music into genres, but RHOMBUS transcend the limitations of being a ‘goth’ band - attracting an audience from all walks of life. As the show ends, the crowds disperse but quite a few people are milling around and flock to the front to investigate the merch. I’m sure RHOMBUS gained a few fans from outside the subculture, on this rainy afternoon, in Huddersfield.

Setlist
01. You Depend on You
02. Mythos
03. The Longest Day
04. Timeless and Elegant
05. Magnificent
06. No Victim
07. Amarinthine
08. What You Wanted
09. Always Hope
10. Sodium Sunrise
11. Get Over Yourself
12. Anywhere
13. Here Be Dragons

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10

rhombus01

All pictures by Michelle Corns
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