Manchester pop rockers roll into town 

Who: Roller

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co.

When: Saturday, March 22

Loads of bands are given the title "hot new thing" when they first make waves on the media circuit but few can back it up after their debut album leaves the charts. Yet Brit pop rockers Roller seem to have proved their place among the mainstays.

With their electric and acoustic guitar riffs, yearning song lyrics and a lead singer with an easy-on-the-ears rock vocal range, they’ve managed to come out from the shadows of bad boy and fellow regional rockers, Oasis, with smash hit written all over them. The five-piece band has already shared a tour bill with Bob Geldof, Atomic Kitten and joined Spice Girl Mel C for her sold out world tour. In September 2001 they released their debut album, On Top Of This World, and gigged across Canada three times with it, achieving a peak college radio play position of No. 7.

Newcastle-born vocalist, Craig White and guitarist, Dave Boardman, met in college in Manchester in 1995. White naturally took up the lead vocal position in Boardman’s band, where the sparks of a strong musical bond developed. The band set out to tour the U.K. extensively. Their unique brand of guitar-led rock, encompassing melodic harmonies and White’s powerful vocals, produced not only a strong following on the road, but interest from radio and press.

With all the elements in place, Roller began to commit their new sound to tape in the studio. They closed out their first year in the business by winning the BBC’s online band of the year award and a rather nice regular route to Canada. White and Boardman, along with bassist Stuart Day, keyboardist Robin Mitchell and drummer John Cosgrove consider the maple leaf land their second home these days.

Their second L.P. effort, titled Impossibly Real , will no doubt build on those strong foundations. Their sound can be equated to early Stone Roses with perhaps a hint of Travis or Coldplay – without the sometimes whiny or depressing tone.

If you’re a guy who’s tired of the usual uneven guy to girl ratios around this town, you may want to buy yourself a ticket for that reason alone. The chicks tend to flock to Roller’s performances. With that said, they are hardly what you would consider a boy band or wimpy in any way. Their adept abilities with their instruments and their wide range of musical styles, incorporating solid helpings of pop, rock, soul and funk, are just enough to get you on the dance floor, or at the very least toe-tapping as you lean against the bar with your beer.

Tickets to Roller are available from the GLC, with doors opening at 9 p.m.

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