Jonjon introduces us to Berlin-based Canadians, Rooftop Runners:
It isn’t easy being a new band or act, and it probably never will be. Touring small venues with tiny audiences in unfamiliar cities has to be, especially when starting out, a less than glamorous lifestyle. I caught Rooftop Runners in late January in their first London gig in a Camden venue with signed pictures of Madness and Amy Winehouse staring down from the walls. It was a chilly Monday night at the time of the year when London hibernates, when it’s a fight to get people to leave the comfort of the couch, or do anything really. Some bands may write off the experience and treat the performance as a rehearsal. I would if the audience numbered six people.
Rooftop Runners are thankfully professional. They’d spent the days handing out flyers and working hard to gain some recognition and an audience (never easy as Camden isn’t, despite its claims to the contrary, an inviting area for performers or audiences). They put a huge amount of energy into the show and despite the lack of atmosphere worked well with what they had.
One of the reasons they’re professional is because Rooftop Runners aren’t new to performing. Two Canadian brothers (Vancouver Island) based in Berlin (don’t hold that against them) having trained in dance and spent several years in Europe, they’re at ease with performance and attention or lack there-of. An empty venue on a weeknight in freezing London doesn’t worry them.
For an inexperienced band, their debut EP is relatively polished. Four tracks fly by with elements of indie and dance (with none of the associated negatives those terms used together may invoke). It isn’t going to set the world on fire immediately, but it is a great start. It’s difficult to judge a band on one EP but there is something interesting here and a great deal of energy when they perform live. If you get a chance to see them live, take it.
Words by Jonjon