Words By Tom Frodsham.
Sunday nights can be a bit daunting for many of us. Work on Monday, still a bit hungover from the weekend, got to get up early tomorrow. Maybe that’s why when a promoter like Now Wave book Roosevelt’s dose of disco in for a visit to Manchester, it’s hard to resist the distraction from those Sunday night blues.
Contrasting the ice-cold temperatures out on Oldham Street, a packed out Night & Day Cafe was as humid and hot as a summer’s evening, full of bodies ready to be swept away on waves of hypnotic beats. This year, Roosevelt – aka Marius Lauber – produced self-titled debut album that’s bursting with psychedelic disco anthems, and must be a consideration for any ‘Best debut albums of 2016’ lists as the year nears its end.
He opened with the feel-good track ‘Wait Up’, automatically capturing the audience’s attention for the night. The rapture from the crowd didn’t decline all night. If anything it grew with every song.
Decorating the entire back wall of the stage, panels of flashing neon lights were timed perfectly with the music. One song blended into the next, just like on your old Ministry of Sound compilation cassette from back in the late 90s, keeping up the momentum all night.
The gloriously synth heavy tracks like ‘Night Moves’ and ‘Colours’, with their punchy piano beats, sounded incredible live, both performed as extended versions and receiving a massive reception from the crowd.
“The last time I was in Manchester was at Soup Kitchen four years ago. Only 10 people showed up, so it’s great to see so many of you this time singing along,” he recalled.
Lauber took turns on keys and guitar throughout the night. On tracks like Fever he showed off his Nile Rodgers-esque guitar riffs, bringing out that good, old fashioned disco sound. He ended with a funky cover of Womack & Womack’s classic, ‘Teardrops’, with an added sprinkling of the Roosevelt signature sound to it, on what was a night that didn’t only provide Manchester with a truly decent dose of new age disco, but a reason to make Sunday nights the new night of choice gig-going.
Roosevelt played at Night & Day Cafe on Sunday 27 November, 2016.