It is incongruous, perhaps, that a show that ends with sweat dripping down the walls and a floor you could skate on, begins in darkness, brooding its way through its first song.

But then, it is more understandable if you take into account that the band involved is Walking Papers. So yes, while this is very much rock n roll show in a sweatbox venue above a rehearsal studio in a scruffy part of town, it is a show that is done on their own terms.

Much has changed since I last saw them too. The original band attracted interest because joining the charismatic frontman Jeff Angell were Duff McKagan (a bassist who deserves his big break somewhere…..) and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees. They aren’t here – Duff’s on tour with some band, and Martin is unable to join them – and in their place have come an assortment, but crucially one of these is a saxophonist, Gregor Lothian and he has helped changed the dynamic completely.

Meaning even songs from the brand new “WP2” album like that brooding opener played in darkness, “This Is How It Ends” have a fresh sound. Indeed, for every out and out rocker like the new one’s stand out “Death On The Lips” there’s a soul filled “Leave Me In The Dark” in which Lothian is at the centre.

Throughout the 90 minute set there is a time in the spotlight for everyone. Benjamin Anderson – who like Angell was a member of The Missionary Position, who’s “How It Feels” is played tonight) – takes his turn on “I’ll Stick Around”, laying the foundation superbly, but actually it Is Angell himself who rather more willingly than you might expect, plays the role of strutting frontman.

He takes frequent trips into the audience, injecting “Into The Truth” with a real electricity in the process, and the already energetic crowd forgets the temperature to respond. Indeed, the fun vibe of this comes through with Angell heckling the band as he stands in the front row: “play something that doesn’t suck….!” He yells.

For all that this is a rock show – and a pretty loud one at that – it takes the occasional foray into areas that many wouldn’t find. “A Place Like This” takes on an almost Tom Waits air as the jazz vibe comes over, and “The Butcher” is oddly unsettling, but works well in the context here.

“Capital T” reminds everyone that there’s a power chord in here whenever they choose and the debut records two anthem’s as it were – “Two Tickets And A Room” and “The Whole World’s Watching” – both show what fine cuts they are.

A thought hits as they play the latter. The whole probably isn’t watching, which on one hand is a shame – the talent on view deserves more – but then on the other, is that really what Walking Papers are about? Does music like this get made if you worry about such things? I’d venture probably not, and that seems to suit Walking Papers just fine.

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