Category Archives: Live Reviews

Live Review: Lewis Watson at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms

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A picture Lewis Watson put up on Twitter before the show

Singer songwriter Lewis Watson kicked off his UK tour in Portsmouth on Tuesday as performed in a front of a packed out Wedgewood Rooms crowd. Lewis is set to release his new album midnight this Friday (24th March) as the singer showed off some of his new music on the night. Slowlights joined Lewis on the night as the band certainly managed to warm the stage up in style. They played their new single I Tried So Hard which had a hint of Coldplay to it among their original sounding voice. They also played A Dream I Had and So Far which really got the crowd in the mood and you could tell although not everyone would of heard of this band, they managed to win over a lot of fans. With a new EP set to be released in 2017 for Slowlights, there is certainly a lot of promise with this band.

Lewis Watson then went to the stage as he played song from his upcoming album including his latest songs forever and deep the water. It was also nice to see Lewis perform some of his older songs from his debut album the morning such as Bones and Stay. The lighting was superb throughout the evening which really added to this magical evening.  Julie Thorp joined Lewis on the keyboard during his set and her skills really shined through on the night and added to the softness of Lewis’ voice superbly. The singer has certainly got a bright future ahead as he managed to connect with the Portsmouth crowd so well and provided a great stage presence throughout.

Live Review: The Stranglers at Southampton’s O2 Guildhall

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The Stranglers

Following their sell-out success of their Black and White Tour in March last year, The Stranglers presented the Classic Collection to coincide with the planned re-release of the entire Stranglers studio album catalogue from the period 1977-82. With them being halfway through their UK tour, the band performed at Southampton’s O2 Guildhall last night. They were joined by Ruts DC on the evening who were the perfect band to start the evening. Ruts DC played 7 covers from The Ruts that included It Was Cold and In A Rut. They also played Kill The Pain and Psychic Attack which was some of their own played on the night. The lighting was superb and it really got everyone in the mood. The Stranglers then went on the stage as the crowd roared for them to get on stage. They started up with The Raven which followed by Was It You? and Sometimes. The Stranglers also played their classic song Golden Brown  halfway through this amazing set as well as Peaches and you could really tell everyone enjoyed that one. They also played a Dionne Warwick cover titled Walk On By which was a really creative performance from Jet Black, J J Burnel, Dave Greenfield, Baz Warne and touring drummer Jim Macauley. A total of 22 songs were sung on the night that included the wonderful Genetix and Five Minutes. There was of course a encore as The Stranglers finished the night off in style with Go Buddy Go and No More Heroes.

Live Review: Ferocious Dogs at Southampton’s Talking Heads

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Ferocious Dog are just one of those bands who guarantee to get fans up on the dance floor and carry on dancing until the rest of the night. Ken Bonsall (lead singer) reached out to everyone in the crowd throughout the set that provided a very inclusive atmosphere. He made shout outs to everyone and kept giving everyone high fives. The band began with Gallows Justice which was the perfect song to kick things off. There were plenty of highlights throughout the set as they played the likes of Poor Angry and Young and Crime and Punishment. Dan Booth and Ellis Warning both also provided a great authentic sound that everyone in the crowd just loved. They played an almost reggae style song with Freeborn John about halfway through the set which a gave a different vibe to the night and added variety. When Ferocious Dogs played Hell Hounds, all hell went loose as it lead to a crazy mosh pit that saw a fair few involved. The banjo player and fiddler were both in sync with each other which added to the original music and amazing lights that was on show. They finished on Slow Motion Suicide as an encore which really was a great way to end an amazing night of music. Ken took some time to say hello to everyone in the crowd after the show and stayed for photos which is a refreshing sight for any band.

Live Review: State Champs at Southampton Engine Rooms

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State Champs

State Champs certainly brought pop punk to life on Thursday (10th March) as they were joined by Brighton band As It Is and Northbound joined them.

I managed to catch some of As It Is’ set before the main headliner can I honestly say these guys have a lot of potential and are set for a very bright future.

The lighting was absolutely amazing and gave an amazing presence for the venue. I managed to get right up close to the band and you could really see they put everything in to their set which was refreshing to see. They played songs from their latest album Okay which included Hey Rachel and really got the crowd going.

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As It Is

State Champs got on the stage and a packed out Engine Rooms started to scream. They started off with one of their more well known songs Losing Myself which went down really well and was a perfect way to kick off the set. There’s something about this band that gives something different to any other pop punk band and Derek Discanio’s vocals certainly showed that with their next song Hard to Please. With the lighting shining on, the band really put 110% in to every single one of their songs. Although the likes of Neck Deep and WSTR are currently leading the way for the UK Pop Punk scene, State Champs reminded where the genre began with the likes of Blink 182 and New Found Glory as they made their country proud.

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The crowd loving every minute of the set

They performed Shape shortly after with Eyes Closed following on after. Remedy was another well known song even for the neutrals that attended the gig and they made sure they sung this perfectly as it would sound on the radio. State Champs also played All or Nothing, All You Are Is History and Easy Enough before they slowed things down with some acoustic songs. They played Stick Around and If I’m Lucky which really brought the whole venue to a stop as you could just stand their admire all the lyrics. The band then got things going again with Perfect Score, Simple Existence , Breaking Ground and Elevated which finished off an amazing set from the New York based band. They did play one more song however for an encore which was Secrets, and this really really got the crowd going for one last time. On night I think the Southampton crowd done the local rock scene proud as they kept on singing and moshing throughout. It was a great night and if you’re near any of the remaining dates, I suggest you check these guys out.

 

 

 

 

 

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Live Review: The Amazons at Southampton’s Joiners

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The Amazons (photo by Ben Smith)

The Amazons played to a sold out Southampton crowd last Thursday (2nd March) and it was a night to remember for all fans.

Toreador were first up and they played such an awesome set, they really knew how to get the crowd going. They played some new music to try and kick off the night’s entertainment and they certainly knew how to get the crowd swaying. They played their single Hollow, that is on Spotify,  and it was a really good song and showed what they were all about. Overall the local band’s set was a perfect way to kick off the night and you can expect a lot more from these guys.

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Toreador

Cupids was then next up and they started off sounding a bit like Oasis but they soon started to kick in with their own unique. Their stage presence were amazing and they made sure that every fan got involved by listening to their songs despite the tiny venue. They really knew how to have a indie show. They played songs such as Good Things (Come To Those Who Wait) that really got the tiny venue in full voice. They also played a song  about having no money which was refreshing for a band to say this. Cupids are a kind of band that have plenty of potential and I think their support slot is just the beginning. 

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Cupids’ Ryan Comac (photo by Ben Smith)

The Amazons were then up last and from start to finish they were  awesome. They started with Stay With Me which would of been a familiar song for fans with it being out neatly a year. The set provided some awesome lights  and their single Ultraviolet really started to create moshes throughout the tight enclosed sold out crowd. This was the sixth time the band played in Southampton so you know they would be well received. They also played a couple of songs off their new album including newly released song Black Magic.

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The Amazons’ drummer Joe Emmett (photo by Ben Smith

Nightdriving was another perfect song for night and created such a good vibe throughout the building. The Amazons will release their new album in the summer and if it’s going by anything that we heard on the night then you just know it’s going to be good. They were really humble and thanked Cupids who are on tour with the band for the rest of the dates. 

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The Amazons crowd surfing

Although The Amazons are more indie, their set had a tiny bit of screaming involved which was really refreshing to see. Songs such as In My Mind and Junk Food Forever really created a fun atmosphere which allowed plenty of crowd surfing.

Overall The Amazons were really an  amazing band to witness and they are certainly got a bright future ahead. 

Live Review: Kings of Leon at Birmingham’s Genting Arena

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Concerts like Kings of Leon are the ones I enjoy the most! By Isabelle Pollock. Those concerts where the band purely focus on the music. The ones where the passion and love for the music they’re playing touches everyones hearts and souls in the arena. The ones where you feel at home and you never want to leave and don’t want the night to the end.
These are the concerts that I live for….
The Nashville Southern bluesy rock band formed of brothers Caleb Followhill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Nathan Followill (drums, backing vocals), Jared Followill (bass, backing vocals) and their cousin Matthew Followill (Lead guitar, backing vocals) are known for their well recognisable 5 syllable records titles, iconic creatively designed artwork covers, 7 sensational albums filled with stunning bluesy, folky rock guitar and bass riffs, compelling drum intro’s and riffs and dominant husky vocals.
The arena lights start to dim down.The curtain slowly begins to rise, and red lights and smoke illuminate the stage.The lads start to walk closer to the front of the stage, as they play the intro to ‘The End’.
 Everyone screams and cheers for the wonderful band, including myself, and we were all completely unaware of the magical, phenomenal 27 setlist concert we were about to encounter.
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 From a choice of 7 brilliant albums, it must have been hard to choose this final setlist, but they certainly picked many of their best tracks including some old classics and favourites of mine such as ‘Molly Chambers’, ‘The Bucket’, ‘Sex On Fire’, ‘Use Somebody’, ‘On Call’, ‘Closer’ and ‘Pyro’ and some stunning tracks of their latest album WALLS including ‘Find Me’, ‘Reverand’ and ‘Waste A Moment.’
Another reason what I loved about the concert was that they didn’t talk much inbetween the songs.Like…Why would you even want to keep stopping and talking, especially when it only 2 hours set and you have over 7 albums?! And certainly if you had individual talents like all the lads, all you’d want to do is showcase them and perform and play as much loved songs to your fans and the lads certainly succeeded in doing so and making their fans unbelievably happy.
 A superb band, who certainly do not disappoint! If anything, you’ll be leaving the arena wanting to hear more. Full of classic bluesy rock and musical talent, you’ll be spending hours, days after the concert listening to their music and appreciating the variety of music they have created and shaping the modern indie/bluesy rock ‘n’ roll scene.

Live Review: Fun Lovin’ Criminals at Southampton’s Engine Rooms

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Fun Lovin’ Criminals

New York City band Fun Lovin’ Criminals entertained a packed out Engine Rooms on Saturday (11th February) night in Southampton.

Soul band The Milk joined them on the night and were a perfect way to warm up the crowd. They played such songs as Wanderlust that really gave a great vibe to the gig. Another song  Deliver Me was aimed at all the proud parents in the crowd and lead singer Rick Nunn made sure he sung this song with pride. They then played What Did I do to My Love which was about ‘fucking up in the last seven days’. One of the last songs played on the night for The Milk was Don’t Give Up on the Night which was a perfect way to end a really pleasant set.

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The Milk

 

With the crowd constantly filling, up there was hardly anywhere to move in the venue and then Huey Morgan, Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser and Frank Benbini walked on the stage. The venue then erupted with cheering which says a lot for a band who have nearly been about for 25 years.

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Fun Lovin’ Criminals

They played Fun Lovin’ Criminal first which quickly followed by Passive/Aggresive. After Huey had a bit of banter with the crowd talking about Portsmouth and quickly stopped when he realised he was digging himself in a hole. The band then played classics Loco and Smoke ‘Em. Fun Lovin’ Criminals of course played their hit song Scooby Snacks halfway through and managed to fit in 15 songs before their encore including Love Unlimited. The last three songs on the encore included We, The Three, Up on The Hill and Big Night Out which was just a great experience for everyone in the venue. It certainly showed that the band have not lost any of their entertainment value and I’m sure they will continue doing this many years to come.

Live Review: Green Day and The Interrupters at London’s O2 Arena

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Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong

Green Day showed their fans why they are still clearly one of the best entertaining bands in the world at London’s O2 Arena on Wednesday (8th February). The Californian band who has been showcasing their punk rock for the last 30 years invited fellow Californians The Interrupters to a packed O2 Arena. The quartet showed why they were picked to support Green Day as their 11 song set was truly a treat for everyone in the arena. Having recently released their new album Say It Out Loud last year, Aimee Interrupter and the band truly rocked the shit out of the venue and put everything into their performance. The Ska Punk rock band performed their classic song A Friend Like Me that really kicked off the night in amazing fashion.

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Next up was By My Side from their latest album and it seemed to me that they were just getting started with this song as thousands of people were enjoying the feel good music. This was followed by White Noise and then Take Back The Power. The Interrupters are a kind of special band that don’t come a long too often, they managed to get everyone on their feet and just enjoy some really uplifting music. Songs such as She Got Arrested and Media Sensation were a real highlight of the set as they then played a The Selector cover titled Too Much Pressure. The band finished on Family which was a great summery of the gig as it felt like everyone was brought together for that moment. The Interrupters even managed to start a circle pit where they said ‘Do it for Green Day’ which was a fantastic moment for the band. Green Day also raided the stage in fancy dress pranking the band. Overall it was a perfect way to set up Green Day as Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool were set for an incredible 30 songs.

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The Interrupters (photo by Guy Shankland)

With Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop and then The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Green Day finally went on stage as they transformed the O2 Arena in to a magical place. They started off with Know Your Enemy which was the perfect way to kick off the set. The beat to that song certainly sends shivers down your spine and it was a surreal experience. Straight away Billie Joe got someone out of the crowd to help out and as always he showed amazing character to hug the person and make them feel part of the band for that very moment. Next up was Bang Bang from their latest album Revolution Radio which always had a controversial twist to it with the lyrics ‘No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA’ added to it. The title song of their new album was then sung that really got the crowd going and it was nice to see fans enjoying their new stuff. Another controversial twist was scene on with Holiday with the lyrics ‘No Trump, No Trump’ being repeated. Billie Joe then confessed he is a weirdo and said before ‘Tonight is about freedom, I wanna hear all the weirdos.’ Another two songs from the American Idiot album saw Letterbomb and the classic Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Green Day then played one of their older songs Longview and got someone up on stage once again dressed as superman.

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Billy Joe Armstrong soaking in the atmosphere

 

There then was a contrast of new and old as Green Day played Youngblood followed by 2000 Light Years Away. Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool also put on one hell of a show with Jason White on guitar, Jason Freese on keyboard and saxophone. Billie Joe put on a rather fetching hat for Hithin’ A Ride as they then played three older songs When I Come Around, Christie Road and Burnout from the Dookie album. One thing that was a bit surprising that Green Day didn’t play arguably one of their most famous songs Wake Me Up When September Ends.   They then dedicated Scattered to The Interrupters which closely followed by Minority, with a harmonica solo, from the album Warning. Are We The Waiting and St Jimmy was then performed by Green Day and the two go so well together as they do in the album.

Green Day performing Youngblood.

Then a special moment happened as Billie Joe invited a girl called Rachel, who was disabled, to the stage for their Operation Ivy cover Knowledge. The girl rocked the hell out of the lead singer’s guitar and they got to keep it. It proved Billie Joe and the band are true gentlemen and deserved a every minute of their 2 and half hour set. Another cover Do You Wanna Dance, originally by Bobby Freeman, then followed as then the brilliant King For The Day. With the song seeing a lot of saxophone, Jason Freese made sure he put on awesome show for Green Day with a great Careless Whisper solo to end it. Green Day then did a melody of songs including Shout / Always Look on the Bright Side of Life / Teenage Kicks / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / Hey Jude.

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London O2 crowd

With Shout, drummer Tre Cool went to the stage and performed as Billie Joe took his place on the drum set. On what was the last night of the tour, Green Day then performed their latest song Still Breathing that has topped the charts with Forever Now following. Two encores then followed with American Idiot then the brilliant Jesus Suburbia that lasted around ten minutes. The second encore was an acoustic brilliance with new song Ordinary World then the classic and magical song Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life). With confetti then going down on to the thousands of fans, it was an amazing way to finish of the night in London as well as their tour!

Check out all the photos of the night below!

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Live Review: Seaway, WSTR, The Gospel Youth and Fair Weather at Southampton’s Joiners

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WSTR (photo by Ben Smith)

Tuesday night (24th January) at Southampton Joiners was a pop punk dream with the likes of WSTR and Seaway heading the evening. Local band Fair Weather was first to perform as they really got things going. They provided an inflatable emoticon to pass around the crowd as they interacted with everyone right from the beginning. They played a Neck Deep cover of December, which was great and got everybody in the venue singing along to it. They had a few originals too that sounded great and the lead singer really had a decent pop punk style voice.

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Fair Weather (photo by Ben Smith)

Next up was Brighton band The Gospel Youth who once again put on a great performance. The band recently signed to Rise Records, and they got to show what they were all about with new single The Miles We Are Apart. Featuring Samuel Little, Julian Bowen, Kev Deverick, Tom Aylott & Kurtis Maiden, every single member really put in 110% as they kicked off their tour. The Gospel Youth are set to release their new album Tired Eyes And Heavy Hearts Always Lose this year and on the night they played songs from their EP Empires. It was an awesome way to set up another up and coming band WSTR.

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The Gospel Youth (photo by Ben Smith)

 

Fresh from releasing their new album Red, Green Or Inbetween, WSTR put one hell of a show on that saw a lot of people getting on stage with them. It was a great way to start their tour showed the people of Southampton what Pop Punk Liverpudlians are made of. Lead singer Sammy Clifford  and the band started off with a song from Eastender’s Phil Mitchel which was comedy genius from the lads. With Creeper’s drummer, Dan Bratton, in the crowd, Sammy made sure he wore his Creeper shirt. For the first time they played Bury Me and Nail The Casket live from their new album. They also played Punchline and a fan favourite Graveyard Shift from their debut EP SKWRD. Overall it was a great set and really set the stage for Canada’s Seaway.

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WSTR (photo by Ben Smith)

Seaway returned to headline Southampton Joiners after playing alongside Knuckle Puck last year at the venue. And it was a great return for the lads as they played songs from their latest album Colour Blind. Once again the crowd got up on stage with the band that really showed how well Seaway connects with fans after all these years. The lads will be going on tour with fellow Canadians Simple Plan in March and this was just a taste to what these guys have in stall this year. It was a fantastic night overall and Seaway was certainly the cherry on the cake.

Live Review: Farro at Southampton’s Joiners

 

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Members from Greywind, Natives and Farro go on stage (photo by Ben Smith)

 

With some atmosphere gathering, the night kicked off with a lovely acoustic show by Irish brother and sister act Greywind. Steph and Paul O’Sullivan put on a magical show to open the night up. Steph’s beautiful yet strong vocals really shined through a tiny Joiners venue as Paul’s guitar playing was spot on as always. Greywind played songs such as Circle and Afterthoughts from their debut album, titled Afterthoughts, which is out in January. It was amazing to be right up close to them both as the supporting guitarist added some strong vocals. The duo ended with Forest Ablaze which was a perfect end to the first opening act. This brother and sister act have an incredibly bright future ahead so keep your eyes peeled for more from the two.

 

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Greywind’s Steph O’Sullivan (Photo by Ben Smith)

 

New Forest band Natives kicked off their set in a very positive manner with an incredibly catchy first song. Their second song Pray was just as catchy and you could really feel the drumming pump through your body. The drummer, Andy White, showed a very unique style and played while standing up.  Lead singer Jim Thomas’ voice really shined through and complemented the colourful lights. They then played their new single Passion that really got everyone moving to the beat.  Some of the songs they played was from their upcoming second album and managed to get the crowd clapping away. Thomas really engaged with the crowd and it was like every song had it’s own different connection. He also started to play the drums alongside White during the chorus. They finished with a song called Stop The Rain which was about the power of music, and it was certainly a great way to end a perfect set. The guitarist, Jack Fairbrother, played on a musical pad that sounded just great and added a very unique feel to the evening.

 

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Natives’ lead singer Jim Thomas (photo by Ben Smith)

 

 

Farro then took the stage and the lighting was fantastic with projected stars to begin with and simply his logo to follow. Josh started off with his well known song On The Wire to get the crowd going from the word go. The four piece support also created an awesome sound in such a small venue. The brilliantly catchy Color Rush then followed and the genre was completely different to Paramore as like it was all set. It was really feel good music and having heard a little snippet in rehearsals I didn’t expect any less. It was refreshing to see Farro engaging with fans in this intimate setting as he is most use to playing arena tours and festivals. It was the penultimate gig to their tour and despite a few technical issues, Farro remained professional as ever.  Josh and the band played a new song and really got the crowd clapping. Farro then played a slow song titled Island that got a lot of people swaying and really was a sweet song. It did get more heavier as the song went on however and it provided some awesome riffs from the supporting guitarist. Twins Jay and Rod joined Josh for an even slower acoustic song titled Home which started with an almost acapella sound with Farro’s voice chipping in for the verse. It was another sweet song and almost describes Josh’s new genre in a single song with a very mellow vibe but you could tell this song meant a lot to the singer. They also covered Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal in another great acoustic style cover with a tangerine and pure vocals. He sung a song about his brother Zac, about parting ways and wanting to be super close and having to grow up. He gave everything to this song and the lyrics were as powerful as the actual song with ‘I don’t wanna lose you’ referring to his brother. It was probably his heaviest song on the set, and you could tell he put 100% into every last bit of it. Josh then played Say The Word which was about letting down somebody. Farro then covered Coldplay’s Charlie Brown which was a massive hit with all the crowd. The singer then added another new song and offered fans a free T-shirt for a winner of a dance off which was great fun. His penultimate song saw members from Greywind and Natives joining Josh on stage. Finally Farro sung his album title song Walkways to finish off a night of very high standard and enjoyable music.

 

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Josh Farro (Photo by Ben Smith)

 

Check out galleries from each band on the night with photos taken from Original Rock’s very own Ben Smith below.

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Natives

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Farro

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