Cardiff rockers Fire On The Roof are quickly creating sparks across the UK rock scene having only formed as a band earlier this year – after meeting through social media.
The band’s members are an intriguing combination, with Somerset-hailing Luke Prior fronting things up flanked by crazed Lithuanian axe wielder Artūras (Guitarthur) Eidukas and “Gypsy Lowender” Conor Kelly from the darkest depths of North Wales on bass, with the “cooler than cool” Welsh Cypriot Tony Haralambos ruling the drumkit.
And as for the unusual band name, they tell us: “After a shoutout on a local musicians band page, and after a couple of weeks of tearing up anonymous open mics, we had one of our chicken shop jam sessions rudely interrupted by the Fire Brigade evacuating the building screaming there was a “FIRE ON THE ROOF!” A false alarm caused by the sheer heat of the jam, there was no turning back.”
The band saved up enough pennies from cover gigs across Cardiff to cut a record with top producer and local legend Romesh Dodangoda (Kids in Glass Houses, Funeral For a Friend, Motorhead) at Longwave studios. He has added his trademark touch to the band’s raw rock sound in a punchy, catchy three-track debut self-titled EP.
It starts in impressive fashion with a hit of drums and a fun rocky riff that leads into the winding opening verse of Tell Me. It intensifies with bursts of guitar chords, then another funky riff that feeds into an engaging chorus of “Just tell me when will you lie with me again, Just tell me how can you lie with me right now, Just tell me why do I feel this way inside, Just tell me something that I don’t already know.” The pace drops right down with repeats of “Just tell me” then big high-pitched swooping guitars build the intensity towards a big burst of chords that bring the track to an energetic ending.
The pace drops down in the chilled out intro to London Sunset, which meanders beautifully through opening verses then a bigger chorus with a delicious guitar lick behind the vocals “With a London sunset in my eye, I know the best is all ahead.” The song builds up after a second chorus, with an awesome prolonged guitar solo stealing the limelight from Luke’s hugely engaging vocals.
Final track, the brilliantly named Electric Sheep, opens up with a mini bass riff and flicking guitar licks that continues through an opening verse owned by powerful vocals, then explodes into life with a funky darting guitar riff that plays over rockier vocals. A rolling guitar riff builds into a solo over repeated vocals of “For me, for me” and feeds into a final rockout of the ridiculously catchy chorus.
This is a superb debut EP from a really exciting new band, and it’s safe to say the band are equally excited. They told us: “It feels good, we’ve finally got something to show when asked. It’s been amazing how many great bookings we had through word of mouth but it feels good to have some tangible evidence of what we are about!
“We’ve worked fast but we’ve worked hard. The tracks were picked to be attention catching and have a good amount of cross appeal I think we’ve achieved that, it’s like a snapshot of what we are about.”
The band draws influence from classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, through to old school blues, funk and Motown and more modern day rock like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arctic Monkeys.
And in terms of what inspires their distinctive rock style they explain: “Sure when things spark our interest they get a track, we’ve got a broad range of topics in our set from the personal to the political. However, a lot of the time the theme will evolve from the words which flow from the melody, so in a way topics can be incidental.
“No matter what we do, we try to have fun with it, and we hope that comes across in the sound. Its quite high energy stuff, and catchy we would hope.”
That sense of fun absolutely comes across in their debut EP, and I suspect even more so in their live shows. You can see for yourselves with two upcoming London gigs at The Fiddlers Elbow in Camden on Wednesday 25 October, then The Spice of Life in Soho on 8 December. More info on their gigs is here.
As the guys tell us: “Our live show is where we want to connect with people. If you like our stuff you have to come down to a gig, you would have a great time with us at the front if nothing else! We are always looking for good gigs in the UK and abroad so keep your eyes and ears out, we could pop up anywhere.”