Rosetta Stone live performances were surprisingly well documented by their dedicated fanbase in the early 1990s. Despite the fact that many shows were taped, only a few ever emerged outside the tight fan circles and tape traders (unlike The Sisters, who were often bootlegged to vinyl for public consumption).
Over the course of time, I’ll share different recordings from different eras of the band, charting a marked progression and development in their sound. Most dedicated fans will have heard the famous Under The Rose live album, recorded at live at Leeds Warehouse in 1991 by the King/North/Young three piece line up. This 1990 bootleg will be a real treat for those that loved Under The Rose, as it shows the band in action as a two piece, the year before the recording sessions for An Eye For The Main Chance and the resulting expanded line up. We have a stripped back, rock and roll set – all flanger soaked guitar and frantic riffing between lead and rhythm parts.
Part of the joy of bootleg collecting is hearing how your favourite artists came to the sonic conclusions they finally put down on their albums. You hear the song as its still growing up, which has a magic all of its own. As well as this you get hear unreleased tracks and unique live touches – Rosetta were excellent on the intro tape front, which got progressively more and more ostentatious throughout the early 90s.
I’ll be sharing a few more Rosetta gems over the coming weeks, aiming to chart their changing sound and attitude. Stay tuned.
Huge thanks to photographer Andy Forster, who took the snap above (from the very gig featured here). He did most of the classic era Rosetta Stone photography, live and in the studio. Including album covers and on set at video shoots. When I approached him about sharing some of his archive to go with these posts he was extremely generous – so another treat for the fans will be some of previously unseen photography!
Live photos at The Marquee by Andy Forster.
Load out photo by Anthony Hawkes. Loading out from Dock Road rehearsal studios with Porl King, manager Ramone and Martin from the band Playtime providing some assistance.