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LondonNet: London Music Guide
LondonNet Gig Review

White Rose Movement

Islington Academy
11 December 2006

White Rose Movement at Amazon >>

Originally hailing from Norfolk, the London-based White Rose Movement is a hodgepodge of '80s sounds, echoing Depeche Mode, Devo and The Cure, with a contemporary, guitar-driven backbone...

It seams unfair to call them an '80s keyboard pop band, because they really do rock and their sound is surprisingly fresh.

Initially scheduled for September, this show and the rest of the UK tour had to be pushed back until December after lead singer Finn Vine blew out his voice and was told to rest it – doctor's orders.

Seeing him live, it's no surprise he'd lost his voice. Full of energy, Vine swaggers around the stage radiating cool and singing like hell. He is a great front man and the crowd eats it up. Whether he's pacing the width of the stage or going through robot-like spasms atop the monitors the audience is with him every step of the way.

Vine is tall and gangly, reminiscent of a youthful Mick Jagger, if Jagger sounded like Robert Smith and played in Devo.

The band itself is great. They've got a sharp sound, a tight set of guitars and a hard-hitting drummer. They could go more techno or more rock, either way the crowd bounced and danced along.

Highlights of the show included their album's first single Love is a Number, which rounded out the first set, and the Nine Inch Nails-tinged Alsatian. In all White Rose Movement is as fun as the Scissor Sisters and rocks a whole lot harder.

The support band, Rubicks, was fantastic, if a completely different sound. Comprising a girl a guy, a bass and a guitar, and a synthesizer that made a whole lot of noise, Rubicks was a mixture of Blondie, Sigur Rós and feedback.

Singer Vanessa Red sounded like Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, only with less screaming (good) and with no drummer (bad). While tunes were great, a drummer to go along with the noise machine would have rounded out the rhythm section and made for a more powerful live set.

- Stephanie Hall

White Rose Movement at Amazon >>