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Let us introduce to you Roque Junior, four chancers from various provincial towns across Northern Ireland whose worlds collided for but a brief but glorious two year spell until October 2004. The ringmaster was Phil Woolsey, formerly of chart-bothering pop punks Joyrider, with the rest made up of the embers of Ninebar International, a lazy bunch of underachievers who never let ambition get in the way of a good party. After a phenomenal support slot with Gomez, Ninebar spluttered to a halt, rethinking their working methods which eventually resulted in a change of direction. The big old trademark pop choruses were still there, but new tunes seemed to be progressing in a more guitar driven direction.
After much deliberation, the name Roque Junior was determined after a Bosman Ruling free transfer from a dormant indie project in Portadown (Roque Junior of course being the dodgiest player in the mighty Brazilian soccer set-up!) Roque Junior came to the attention of Dublin chart-toppers The Thrills, who promptly booked them for support duties at their sold-out Belfast show. The two bands got on famously and the Thrills camp were impressed enough to invite the band for another support slot in Derry the following weekend.
Without marketing strategies and the naviete of thinking a good tune would carry them through, Roque Junior were just too lazy, or cynical, (or both) to push themselves as any big new thing. They built up a substantial hard core of admirers for some incendiary live shows including gigs around Ireland and supports with Stephen Malkmus and The Wannadies, but lacked any enthusiasm to place product on the shelves. Oddly enough they did manage an acoustic live performance on BBC Radio Ulsters George Jones Show one sunny afternoon!
The band managed two studio sojourns, the first resulting in the Beaten Path session, which included Beaten Path, Smile Shaped Mouth, Ninebar International (confusingly a tribute to their former moniker!!) and Stupid Songs. The band mutated into a masonic type sect where members acknowledged each other through bizarre codes and handshakes, but musical output ceased shortly after the final recording session which spawned Shi She Said, Panama, You Were Warned Then and Que Se Vaya.