Last Wednesday, we left Chiswick and headed out to Camden to a legendary pub and music venue called The Dublin Castle. The Dublin Castle has been home to music from the likes of Madness, to Blur, through Coldplay, Supergrass, The Killers, The Arctic Monkeys, Billy Bragg, and Amy Winehouse. This is the place that has been rocking Camden for over 28 years. Unsurprisingly, we were very excited to head out to this haunt of rock and roll royalty.
One of our favourite rock and roll bands – Red Rose Empire – had been invited to perform at the Dublin Castle. We have only seen Red Rose Empire rock out in smaller venues, and having loved that experience, we were greatly anticipating the full rock experience from the band. The guys have this way of drawing the audience in (with their music and performance), and before you know it you become a Red Rose Empire groupie (and I mean that in the musical sense…)
There were five bands invited to perform on that night, and Red Rose Empire expected to be on around 9/9:30ish.
We arrived at the pub at about 8pm, and were invited to have a drink with the band and their lovely ladies before the gig. We did feel lucky (and quite rock n roll) to spend some time with them.
When it was time for their performance, we all made our way inside the ‘gig’ room, which was quite a big (by pub standards). There were about fifteen people in the room waiting for the next band to come on. It was quite a substantial stage, but the guys set up and made the stage their own.
There was a buzz of anticipation in the dark room, and then Paul Claxton (front man and singer, songwriter, guitarist) looked out into the room, smiled and introduced the band. Paul has such a natural way on stage, and such a wicked sense of humour, so that he wins the audience over even before the music has started.
Then Red Rose Empire exploded into rock n roll action.
We’ve only ever heard them play in small pubs before (not quite sure if it’s all been acoustic) but judging by the sound quality this was full on electric magic.
All three (Paul Claxton, Rick Keating and Paul Rowland) are hugely talented in their own right, and when you watch each one in action, you can’t help but be impressed. Yet, they come together so well, with Paul and Rick also adding to the vocals, and Paul adding to the guitar layering. They make it look so easy, and that comes down to all of the effort they put into the band.
By the second song, the room had filled up, and there must have been thirty to forty (could have been fifty people) all loving the vibe and the music.
By the third song, we were all dancing and having a full on party!
That’s what Red Rose Empire do so well, not only are they kick-ass musicians, but they have a way of rocking an audience and turning any gig into somewhere you love the music and you just want to party on. When Red Rose Empire perform they create a space where you can let your hair down, and be a bit rock n roll.
Unfortunately for us, the band only performed four, or five songs (some of their own stuff and then a few covers.)
By the time they finished, the crowd inside the room were chanting, ‘More, More!’
I guess that’s when you know, it’s been a great night!
Thanks to Red Rose Empire for such a fun night out!