Venue: Crauford Arms Hotel, Wolverton
Reviewer: Phil W
It’s not often - even for a professional like myself - that you get to hang out for the evening with your rock n roll heroes, so as I found myself sitting in a beer garden, supping a beer with Rooh shortly before his set you’ll forgive me for having missed all the other acts on that evening. I’m sure they were great, the cream of Milton Keynes’s budding music scene, but tonight it was all about Rooh. “I’ve been thinking about recording an album,” the dude mused, a rolled up cigarette in one hand, a beer in the other. “We’ll see.” Ever elusive as to either his musical direction or future releases, their’s something undisputable natural, pure, and untainted about Rooh’s musical output. There might indeed be an album in the making, but only if it’s the right time. Only if the signs are right. Only if the course of the river happens to be flowing in that direction.
Sitting on stage, bathed in red and white light, in a venue that sounded vaguely like the interior of a submarine, Rooh called out to the soundman “maybe it’s too loud?”. That’s not something you hear often, but Rooh is a modest dude, never wishing to impose himself - and an overamped guitar would destroy the subtleties of his playing style. The auditorium is then treated to a tight and beautifully delivered set of acoustic songs. Tonight Rooh appears at ease, pacing his songs and letting them breathe, each one delivered with deceptive ease and a natural banter with the audience. Fan favourite Flat Rock had never sounded so good, the vocals delivered with particular subtlety which let every line shine.
Despite his youth, Rooh plays like a seasoned bluesman from another time. As my mate the French dude said, sitting next to me in the audience, “watching Rooh is like stepping into a time machine!” People just don’t write music like this anymore. But there is no imitation in Rooh, he’s not copying the skills and ideas of the past, he’s adding to their canon. This is the real thing, approached with honesty and modesty and delivered with cool and style. Rooh isn’t making things easy on himself, but this is the music in his heart and he’s staying true to it. If you want to hear a true local legend, check out Rooh. He’s a dude who knows where it’s at! He is, after all, a professional!