Live Review: Arcane Roots, The Bodega (08/05/15)

Taking to the stage fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled so as to squeeze in as many songs as possible for a packed out Bodega crowd, Arcane Roots’ commitment to their ever-growing following evidently continues.

As the three-piece from Kingston-upon-Thames deliver a soaring repertoire from Left Fire to ‘Over and Over’, their frontman, Andrew Groves, talks openly about the things that continue to motivate them to write and produce a sound that encompasses everything from math, through post-hardcore, to choruses suited for stadium rock. A passion for their trade, a dedicated fan base and a progressively more dynamic live performance – all tied in with talks over a new record deal – has seen Arcane Roots go from strength to strength since their formation in 2008. Having garnered widespread attention following various support slots for both Muse and Biffy Clyro on their respective European tours, the group arrived at the Bodega, in the midst of a month long tour of the UK, to a rapturous response from Nottingham’s contingent of followers.

A passion for their trade, a dedicated fan base and a progressively more dynamic live performance has seen Arcane Roots go from strength to strength.

The opening tracks chosen by the group display the full range of their various influences, sounds and, crucially, their enviable technical ability – ‘Slow’ showcases their capacity for anthemic, though still decidedly alternative songwriting reminiscent of recent Biffy Clyro releases, whilst tracks like ‘Triptych’ demonstrate a technicality bewildering to behold in the live arena. As well as previewing new tracks to feature on a yet unreleased LP, they play songs like ‘Million Dollar Question’ from their 2011 EP Left Fire with alterations and improvisations that come naturally with having toured them for so long. Such changes keep the performance fresh, and elicit audible surprise from those well-versed in their back catalogue.

Commanding what seems to be a relatively niche crossover point between popular alternative music and their math and hardcore influences, Arcane Roots demonstrate perception not only in complementing and blending elements of these genres to carve their own place, but also in anticipating the appeal of their sound to adherents of all these genres. Although in a relatively small venue, still being a relatively small band, the whole venue joins the group in the white-knuckle revelry of ‘Energy is Never Lost, Just Redirected’, and can sing every word to their flagship finale track ‘You Are’.

You can expect to hear a lot more from Arcane Roots very soon.

As songwriters, this group have always been talented – now with a more confident live performance, a bigger label to back them, and increasing exposure just in time for a new album some time next year, you can expect to hear a lot more from Arcane Roots very soon.

James Noble

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