Watch Rome Burn Lights Up The South Sound Sky

In the world of rock, bands that operate as duos are a rarity.

It’s a unique two-musician team that can bring a big sound with a minimum of players.  Two local duos that I’ve seen recently are Atomic Agents and Juliet Tango.  Now that I’ve communed with Watch Rome Burn, I have a third one to love!

Watch Rome Burn
Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 7 September 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / Nehi Stripes Musiczine Seattle / kurtclark.us

On September 7th, Brothers Jestyn and Drew Cummings brought their stripped-down fuzz to the stage at Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, for Watch Rome Burn’s release of their new CD – “VOX HERETIC.” Their combination of guitar and drums gave life and attention to the music in a very simple and amplified way. The essence of their message came through loud and clear as a duo, and it was obvious they had been doing this for a while.

Here is the Set List for that evening:

  • Thief
  • Motley
  • On The March
  • Crystallized
  • Snakeskin – new
  • Never Mind The Heat – with Kian Russell
  • Retention – with Kian Russell
  • Crazy – with Kian Russell
  • Be What You Want
  • Hall Of The Mountain King
Watch Rome Burn
Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 7 September 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / Nehi Stripes Musiczine Seattle / kurtclark.us

I caught up with Jestyn last week and asked him about the show. “This was a huge show for us,” he said. “And it sure felt like a smashing success!”

Jestyn had great things to say – as many of us do – about Louie G’s in general. “We love playing there – Pete and his whole crew are always fantastic to work with, Chris Peterson rocks on sound and the food is amazing.”

The boys debuted a new song that night – Snakeskin – which is a thumping, bluesy grunge track that will be on their next release.

“After that, we were joined on stage by the mighty Kian Russell as a guest guitarist. He helped us kick it old school with two songs off our first album: “Never Mind The Heat” and “Retention.” We also performed our cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

Watch Rome Burn
Louie G’s Pizza in Fife WA, 7 September 2018. Photo by Kurt Clark / Nehi Stripes Musiczine Seattle / kurtclark.us

Kian Russell brought his authoritative solo skills to the set. It was at that point that I realized they didn’t have a bass player. With their music I never missed it!

“All in all it was a smashing, sweaty, rocking, dancing, grungy good time,” Jestyn said. “We’re always honored by the outpouring of support from the local music community at our shows. That’s a big part of what makes the Seattle music scene so great.”

Over the years, bands have mentioned to me that the Seattle scene is special, and Jestyn’s comment rings true with what I’ve heard from others.  Bands support bands here.  Together, musicians are lifting the whole community.  It’s something I’ve seen in this scene for a long time, and I’m glad it’s still a thing.  Jestyn agreed.

“We have a heritage here of bands supporting bands going back to the grunge era and before!”

He also added his accolades for those who made their night special.

“We at Watch Rome Burn extend a massive thank you to all the friends, family and fans who attended the show. Shout out, too for all the bands – Artemis Moon, Deathcoil, Stravinsky Riots, Glass Souls, Dedelectric – who came out to show us love.  Thanks to Louie G’s and Peter Kesling for hosting, Kian Russell for playing with us, and to Cindy and Kurt at Nehi Stripes for covering our set!”

Catch the boys in Watch Rome Burn at their next gig on October 26th: Freaky Friday at the Plaid Pig!

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