19 Sep 2021

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Capital Theatre - Single/Video Review: People

24 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to catch Capital Theatre in concert, and their catchy, layered, art rock approach to music certainly struck a chord. Since then, I have eagerly been awaiting the release of the album, but until that comes to fruition, we will instead just have to play this single, People. They are currently working as a trio, although that may change in the future, and comprise Paul Reid (drums, ex-Rubicon, Loves Ugly Children), Adam Stevenson (vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar) and Roy Oliver (guitar). What strikes one immediately is the quality of the production, as the sound is huge, multi-dimensional and so punchy and clear indeed. Mind you, one would expect nothing else from Mike Clink, who has previously produced albums such as Appetite for Destruction and Rust Never Sleeps. But while he has got the sound, it would be nothing without the band and the song, and this delivers from start to finish.

I have been racking my brain to come up with a proper comparison, and all I can say is that there are elements of Coldplay, Muse, and U2 coming together with melodic rockers such as The Babys. It starts with an infectious fractured and distorted guitar riff, which is soon joined by pounding drums, and more guitars underneath the lead which are joined by the piano. The song keeps morphing and changing throughout, with phrases and licks brought in, discarded, and returned to again. I have been playing this on repeat in an attempt to be able to find the words but know I have come up terribly short. Lyrically, the song is inspired by Shakespeare’s famous quote from “As You Like It,” saying, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” Musically it is packed full of layers, and so many important elements. Adam’s vocals are at the forefront, and his piano is incredibly important, as are the small keyboard flourishes, while Roy’s guitar is at times strident and others riffing hard and then at the back is Paul who keeps changing his attack throughout. This is not a standard verse/chorus/verse number but is something that does not attempt to fit the norm and takes on another approach altogether, full of stops and starts as the band switches from the gentle and melodic to something that is far more sweeping and grandiose. All of this in just 3 ½ minutes.

The song feels immense, and it is only right that there is a well-constructed and thought-out video to go with it. This shows the band playing on a platform in an art gallery, where the pictures come to life and while initially the characters are doing their own thing they all eventually stop and watch the band. BTW – love the make-up guys, makes me think fondly back to bands like Discipline. This is a stunning rocking number that contains elements of progressive rock, art rock, and melodic rock, all wrapped around huge riffs, wonderful performances, and great vocals. Definitely one to discover.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )


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