Volume 90, Issue 72

Friday, January 31, 1997

big stick


Rock and roll Rob-bery

Returning to his old stomping grounds, Toronto native and Western graduate Robbie Roth brings his Robbie Roth Band to Call The Office Saturday night. The show is Roth's first gig in London since a Blues Brothers send-up at The Shot while he was a student a few years back.

Getting his start plugging away in Kiss cover bands competing in the Toronto high school battle of the bands scene, Roth has been expanding his musical horizons and creating original compositions ever since.

The band, a septet consisting of Roth on rhythm guitar, Jamie Michaels on lead guitar, John Abrams on bass, keyboardist Neil Shankman, drummer Al Witz, Al Godfrey on saxophone and Ida Gold on background vocals, provides a fresh blend of tight, jazzy rock with a funky Chili Pepper-esque backbone that complements Roth's soulful voice exceptionally well.

Citing his musical influences as being "all over the place, mostly classic rock," and characterizing his lyrical style as "basically stream of consciousness," Roth is looking to bigger and better things in the future.

"We have upcoming shows in both Rochester and Toronto (a return to The Opera House following a sold-out show last year), and a friend of mine has been peddling our new demo around in Los Angeles with a really receptive response."

Having recently recorded a superb four-song demo (highlights include the Steely Dan-tinged "Emily In Tonic" and the funky "Noel Coward") that has been getting airplay on Toronto's CFNY's morning show, Roth and company are looking forward to returning to London and giving his compositions the extended treatment live shows allow.

–Michael Dacks

To Contact The Popped Culture Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997