REVIEW: Darrell Bath – Roll Up (2015)


London rock n roller takes a break and goes back to his his roots

You might not know Darrell Bath, but it’s a damn near racing certainty that if you are reading this you know some of his work. Bath is London punk – cum- rock n roll star who has been touring with The Vibrators for a couple of years. He’s also worked with Nikki Sudden as well as The Crybaby’s. More pertinently to “Roll Up”, though, is his spell in seminal Brit Rockers Dogs D’amour and his tenure in Ian Hunter’s band.

Because for vast parts of this you’d swear it was a Dogs record, and when it’s not doing that it doesn’t half sound like Mott The Hoople.

That much is rather clear from the kick off. “Dancing With Devils Goombah” is all loose-limbed Stones-y rock n roll, it’s timeless, good time stuff. Very British too, merrily rhyming with “party” with “tarty” without a care in the world. Indeed this Britishness is shot through “Roll Up” even the countryfied “It’s In The Music” owes more to the streets of London than Route 66.

Students of Dogs D’amour will be able to recognise the songwriting style that’s found on the brilliant “Slimline Jim” – the absolute pick of the nine songs here. The characters, the story, the sound, it’s all here. Intentional or not, it works like a charm.

If it’s mid-paced troubadour stuff you’re after then “Clingin’ On” provides the necessary sustenance, but “Roll Up” does bluesy, 3am in the morning despair rather nicely too, “Eye For An Eye” stretches out to over seven minutes of Mott playing with Stones after a particularly wild night as they try and come down. Bath’s understated guitar work here really hits home.

Whilst “Roll Up” doesn’t always work – “Muppets” for example tries to be an offbeat ballad, but the lyrics that couple “hermit” and “Kermit” and “Miss Piggy” with “do the jiggy” fall wide of the mark – it is for the most part an extremely enjoyable record. Concluding with “Man Monkey” with its Springsteen-like harmonica parts, it is a record that Bath clearly enjoyed making after his two and a half spell touring with The Vibrators.

Something tells you though, that this is the sort of music he enjoys most and “Roll Up” is his labour of love. Quintessentially British rock n roll with absolutely no pretensions and straight out of the Diamond Jet Saloon.

Rating 7.5/10

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