Orson - MEN Arena - 18.12.05

Growing up on the outskirts of the Hollywood, Orson met their fair share of wannabe's and fakers along the way, but being so close to the golden gates they couldn't help but be enthralled by the mystique and history of it all.

Since they signed their deal a couple of months ago at In The City, the band have been filming the video for debut single "No Tomorrow" and whisked onto the European tour with Duran Duran. When you consider that their only UK show to date was to 150 record execs downstairs at 14 Lloyd Street it's an unbelievable feat. Still it comes after 4 years hard work where they've honed their sound to the one we know now and while they jest about starting off as a country band who've gone through disco and death metal phases, the tattoo's adoring their arms points to a background in something considerably more hardcore.

"Bright Idea" starts off with roots reggae rock before launching into a huge 80s Hall & Oates chorus with Johnny Bentjen's bass line underpinning it. "Trying To Help" is stadium soul with Jason Pebworth coming across as a white Stevie Wonder to the rest of Orson as U2 with tight riffs exploding into epic grandiose statements. "Happiness" starts off like classic Jagger / Richard's composition before launching into the sort of chorus that the New Radical's Greg Alexander used to write ad infinitum towards the end of the millennium.

In comparison their debut UK single "No Tomorrow" is a little pedestrian, but in terms of fitting in with the zeitgeist this could slot perfectly between the Bravery and Hard-Fi. Much better is "Look Around", a touching piano driven ballad which recalls Elton John and is the bands lighters in the air moment.

A storming show that shows that you put Orson on any stage and they'll rock it. It won't be long before this band are headlining venues this size in their own right.

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com

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