Review: Arcane Roots, The Horns, Hempstead Road, Monday, October 19 ****** Nothing less than a stunned silence greeted Monday’s remarkable Horns debut by little-known three-piece Arcane Roots – a response that had nothing whatsoever to do with a disappointingly low turnout at the Hempstead Road venue.

The Guilford-based outfit, traversing the M25 for the first time, were, quite simply stunning; producing some truly breath-taking modern, melodic rock music of astonishing technical quality.

At times outright aggressive and at others almost beautifully delicate, their sound simply blew away the mere dozen or so punters huddled around an unusually quiet bar.

Yet, bereft of the support we’ve come to expect for local acts the guys still served up a performance few will forget in a hurry, producing a set positively dripping with passion, energy, and enthusiasm.

At times they were Muse, at others a Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac. At all times, however, they were brilliant; were technically superb with some lead guitar work that at times beggared belief. I for one was playing air guitar on the way home, wishing to God I had given up after merely mastering bar chords.

With supreme confidence bordering just the right side of arrogance front-man Andy Groves is the perfect for the job, with enough (sometimes one handed) talent to successfully blend often outrageous, positively self-indulgent solos with seamless rhythm work. Chuck into the mix his soaring, occasionally pained vocals and you’ve got one disgustingly talented individual and a band with the world at its feet.

To quote compare flabbergasted compare Pete Curtis: “Man, these guys can f*****g play.” They certainly can. Check out their myspace and be sure to be there when they return to the Horns next year.