Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Brother and Bones

The one thing I don't understand about Brother and Bones is how they can be so good and yet not be hugely well-known! One thing is true though, their fans are definitely a dedicated bunch.

I'm happy to say that I fall into this category, just behind two of my friends. And how exactly can we judge that we are in the 'dedicated fan category'? Well, by travelling for five hours down to Manchester to see a Brother and Bones gig that took place on Monday (13th) night of course!

We arrived in Manchester on Friday evening and spent Saturday and Sunday shopping and sightseeing...and watching seemingly endless episodes of Friends. By the time Monday evening rolled round, we were thoroughly rested from our everyday lives and ready for a bit of music.

The venue was only a ten minute walk away from where we were staying - and can only be described as quirky; featuring Good Dolly/Bad Dolly wall paper in the ladies as well as a disappointing lack of hand soap. I'm going to take the opportunity now to point out something I probably should have put in at the start of this post - the tickets for the gig were cheaper than the fare for the Megabus which took us back to bonnie Scotland, totalling at only 8 each! 

The support act for the evening was a man (whose name escapes me unfortunately) in a farmer's jacket and a trilby, producing a melancholy acoustic sound which began to sound a bit 'samey' after a while. Though, that's not to say I didn't appreciate the lyricism of some of his songs - one line (I wish I could call memorable, but I can't recall exactly what it was) went something like "I wish the b***h had died". I think there was a "f**k in there somewhere. At the time it made me laugh so I'm pretty gutted I can't remember it correctly.
The man with the hat...

Then, what everyone had been waiting for happened: Brother and Bones took to the stage in all their three-guitarists-one-percussionist-plus-a-drummer glory.

The band in full swing

I had been told a few times beforehand that the band were a lot better live than they were on CD, so I was ready to have my mind hole blown because (in my opinion) Brother and Bones sound next to awesome on CD. And I'm glad to say they didn't disappoint, plus my mind hole was indeed blown.

Brother and Bones opened with the five tracks from their new EP To Be Alive which, although in keeping with their sound, clearly are progressive pieces. The most notable being the track after which the EP was named. Here's the YouTube video so you guys can check it for yourselves.  

The rest of the gig comprised of older songs, all equally, stunningly performed, led by Richard Thomas's soulful vocals.

I have to say though that the band member who really stole the show for me was the percussionist Robin Howell-Sprent (what a name!), who rocked his socks off and looked as though he was having almost as much fun as the audience!

The audience was fairly small (around thirty maybe?), but what we lacked in numbers we made up for in sheer enthusiasm for the brilliant music being played on stage. Every song was loudly applauded and every beat bobbed along to. I think it's fair to say that Brother and Bones are great performers but their audience are damn good supporters!

This was made even more apparent by the encore the band received and the way my friends and I had to fight our way through the crowd to the table selling band merchandise. That was where I bought Brother and Bones's new EP for a fiver and got it signed by all five members of the band!!! I don't know if it's hard to tell, but this made me very happy.

Then came the cherry on top of the cake. We managed to get our photo taken with Brother and Bones. This made me even happier.

I suppose that's another upside (for fans at least) when a musical act like a band isn't hugely well known (despite being mind-hole-blowingly amazing); they can connect with their audience. For example, Yiannis Sachinis (drummer for Brother and Bones) is following my friend on Instagram, and after the gig, the band stayed for drinks with the audience. You won't get that at a Sabbath concert, that's for sure.