Lonely The Brave at The Deaf Institute: Live Review
Words and photos: Anthony Firmin
It’s the first gig of the year and I am running late, a fog has descended today and it’s making driving perilous. Fortunately House of Wolvxs guitarist Peter Clough is in the audience and is able to pass on a few words about openers She Makes War “shockingly bad, almost made me go home”, I am guessing he was unimpressed, I was glad I was late.
I first came across Loney The Brave when they played with Exit State at SoundControl and that must have been 5 years ago, I was instantly enamoured by them. When the news came last Spring that singer David Jakes had departed the band I was shocked yet unsurprised; his emotive voice helped shape the bands overall sound, but the mental health issues surrounding his performance anxiety were well known and presumably became too much.
And so the band are playing this tour to introduce their new frontman, Jack Bennett, well known to Manchester audiences via his solo project, Grumble Bee, who we saw supporting Arcane Roots last year. Along with being a singer Jack is also a musician, song-writer and producer and so will bring a interestingly new dynamic to the band.
They bounce into action, diving into River River and quickly continuing with Control. If there are nerves then they are not showing through. The band give a quick introduction to their new singer and the audience respond by shouting for new songs, it seems he has been accepted already. It is interesting to see Jack in action - obviously he is more crowd friendly and more visual and I am surprised by the similarities in vocal tone to Jakes.
The band are constrained by the Deaf institute’s small stage, the last time I caught them was at Club Academy when my current favourite band Black Peaks opened for them; there they had much more room to move around, bassist Andrew Bushen is struggling to contain himself whilst flinging his instrument around.
Their enthusiasm hasn’t diminished as they plough through their emotionally charged post rock with aplomb, the crowd responding accordingly with shouts of “go Jack” showing the new singer certainly has the approval of those here, on Rattlesnakes he certainly demonstrates his abilities.
My favourite song The Blue, The Green ended the main set but the band didn’t waste much time in heading back for an encore featuring a trio of crowd pleasers - Call Of Horses was stunning, Backroads (a favourite of Jack’s with him being a fan before he joined) and Black Saucers finishing the show on a bouncy note.
With the crowd fully behind them, along with performances like this, the future is undeniably bright for Lonely The Brave – bring on the new material which both the crowd and myself are baying for.