Scholars are five chaps from London who make passionate indie rock music and deserve to be massive! Having formed about 6 years ago, the Hemel Hempstead based outfit have watched their peers get to an almost arena bothering status, and although everyone loves an underdog, with a live show as energetic as they come and big tunes to match, I’m hoping that once their long awaited debut album drops next month, people will finally start to take notice of this excellent British rock act.

Anyway, before I get carried away telling you how great Scholars are, we’d best talk about the two bands supporting them at The Roadhouse this evening, as they are also fine examples of underground British rock music. First up are Lancaster based quartet Cry Baby Aeroplanes who I rather envy; extremely talented young chaps who make super tight, super catchy rock songs, with bluesy vocals, killer harmonies and in places resemble the loud/quiet dynamism of US alt rock heroes Manchester Orchestra. An impressive opener.

Next up are Northampton trio Ocasan who are another well suited support act for Scholars playing more super tight, more catchy rock tunes but with a more poppy disposition and strong grooves throughout, they remind me of later day Fall Out Boy with hooks that current Brit rock faves Don Broco would be proud of. They also have ace three part harmonies and their drummer pulls the best drum faces I’ve ever seen. Another strong support.

Scholars seal the deal as tonight’s headliners, playing as if their lives depend on it. Frontman Sam excitingly leaps from the stage to the crowd, trying to involve and engage everyone present and, in a sense it’s almost better that there isn’t a particularly large crowd here as everyone present loves this band and seem to enjoy being personally serenaded by Sam throughout the set.

The band treat us to a good chunk of new songs from their debut album ‘Always Lead, Never Follow’, which sounds like it’s going to be classic sounding rock debut. The new songs they play tonight are all urgent in their delivery but with big choruses; the spiky punk tones of ‘Bad For Business’ and the head nodding rock stomp of ‘Ties’ and ‘Rage Concern’ are all examples of this. What helps make Scholars such a force to be reckoned with, aside from their charismatic frontman is how each member individually has a prominent part in making their live shows so good; The super quick powerhouse drummer Mike, who excels on new single ‘Black and the Blue’, Bassist Chris gives the absolute hit that is ‘Blinda Data’ a super slick yet strong bass groove and guitarist Eden and Cal complement each other brilliantly with their dual backing vocals and guitar licks adding particular flare to a frantic rendition of fan favourite ‘Wreck’.

Scholars are a band that play with conviction and tonight’s set was thoroughly convincing; they can play, they have the energy and they have the tunes all in absolute bundles too! Prepare to get to know your new favourite band.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.