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romeburns leeds20210703The Fox and Newt, Leeds, UK
3rd July 2021
Rome Burns and Stella Wembley

Back to concert business. ROME BURNS played in Leeds, UK, on July 3rd, 2021. They were supported by newcomer STELLA WEMBLEY. It was great to be back in a real club with a real concert after long months of nothing… This was a Covid socially distanced event though, seated only. The UK public seems to be very cautious upon the return to more freedom, however the limited capacity was sold out tonight.

< Stella Wembley

STELLA WEMBLEY is a relative newcomer, and as far as I am concerned a rising start of the scene. She is an Italian girl with a powerful unique sounding voice. She has an attention to detail unlike many and is a mesmerising performer. Her live sound and recorded sound are very both very impressive with a melodic approach to her song writing that is instantly appealing. She has two albums behind her. Her classical vocal training includes opera and she has performed as lyric soprano in many of the well-known theatres and cathedrals.

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Music & Performance
This is the second time I have seen STELLA WEMBLEY play in the last few weeks - initially discovering her at West Coast Gothic, Blackpool mini-festival. She arrives on stage dressed in a red mini-dress, with a long tail, she is a stunningly attractive girl with an aura that surrounds her wherever she goes. She has organised and promoted tonight’s gig, as well as playing - and has taken an unusual decision with the lighting for her appearance. I have noticed she has an exceptional eye for detail, beforehand she had lit candles at every table within the crowd, and provided her own stage lighting. It was a very simple approach with two LED panels, with little to no reliance on the venues lighting system. This provided a dark, subtly lit and very atmospheric stage set - which I know from her mind-set this was very deliberate, she has an urge to paint a picture with her performance.

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Now this had me cursing initially as a photographer, but I had to admit it was massively better for taking pictures than the harsh single LED that the venue provided for ROME BURNS. Stella brings her unique powerful voice, her mesmerising stage presence and characterful guitar playing to Leeds tonight and we were all in for a treat. The great mix is complimented with her solo keyboard playing, and I have to admit I think she is a startlingly good performer. She powers through her set of melodic, well-constructed songs - blasting through a moment of gremlins as though nothing happened. The set was video-filmed throughout, please keep a watch out for the recording appearing on social media and the like. I again massively enjoyed seeing STELLA WEMBLEY play live, I predict great things ahead for her in the scene - highly recommended.

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01. Black Sun Rising
02. Driven like the snow (The Sisters of Mercy Cover)
03. Images of Death Remix
04. Today is not tomorrow
05. Images of Death
06. Alone again
07. No rays of sun
08. Music to watch the boys to (Lana Del Rey cover)
09. I’ll meet you sometime
10. All That I Need

Music: 8
Performance: 8.5
Light: 7
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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Rome Burns

ROME BURNS are a Post-Punk Gothic UK band with roots that stem back to 1995 and several albums behind them. Their latest album was released in amongst the angst of Covid, ‘All Monsters to Angels’. Their sound is very much of the mid-90s guitar driven Gothic sounds, and they have kept true to their roots with a loyal following. They have supported the likes of THE CRÜXSHADOWS, GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, THE LAST DANCE and INKUBUS SUKKUBUS.

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Music & Performance
ROME BURNS arrive on stage, with Simon Satori in fine flamboyant form, dressed in a bright red-tailed jacket adorned with insignia and handkerchiefs fasten to his wrists. He is every bit the showman! Joined by David Jael and Nevla on guitars, they hit the stage with a fine opener, ‘A Plague on Both Houses’ and from this moment it’s pretty obvious they were determined to come back after Covid with a bang! They played a balanced mix of classics from their back catalogue right through to the recent new album ‘All Monsters to Angels’ - the first live airing of these songs for the fans. I instantly liked this new album, and it’s such a shame it arrived during the bleakness of Covid - now it’s time to let the tracks breath.

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Simon is on fine form with his characteristic command of the crowd, his distinctive performance has not faltered due the forced live hiatus of the last few months. He taunts the crowd and invites the crowd into his world with his gestures and facial expressions. He is part lead singer part actor once on the stage, and certainly has a thespian quality about his stage presence. Vocally he is flawless, a great performer. The guitar playing is driven, and raunchy - yes it has a certain raggedness to it this evening but I like this quality - and certainly any rustiness is forgiven after the past few months. Great job guys! The band put together a fantastic overall performance, thoroughly enjoyable - a fantastic evening with a great band, recommend you catch them when you can.

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01. A Plague on Both Houses
02. Splitting Adam
03. War of the Pygmies
04. Escapologist
05. Boddhidharma
06. See No Evil
07. Coordinates of Control
08. Rebecca Eureka
09. Captains Song
10. Your Woman
11. Blue Boy
12. Non Specific Ghost Story

Music: 8
Performance: 8.5
Light: 7
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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All pictures by Kevin Stevens

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