Gig review: Lonely the Brave at The Marble Factory, Bristol

Cambridge alt-rockers, Lonely the Brave, have had a steady rise since their formation in 2009 and 2014 first studio release, ‘The Day’s War’. Since then, they have re-released ‘The Day’s War – Victory Edition’, containing more tracks than on its original form. With fans queuing outside the venue since 5.30 for doors at 7, it was set to be an evening to remember.

The support band, Black Peaks, burst onto the stage energetically with intelligent, aggressive progressive post-hardcore rock (as they label themselves). Simply put, the band was outstanding; I had not heard of them before this gig, but they captured the room with each member of the 4-piece playing flawlessly, whilst also conjuring a whirlwind on stage. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on in years to come.

The crowd awaited the headline act excitedly, the venue full at this point. With the atmosphere buzzing, Lonely the Brave took to the stage in Bristol, serenaded by the screams of their awaiting fans.

If you have not seen Lonely the Brave before, they do not have a typical 5-piece rock band dynamic onstage – singer David Jakes takes his position in front of the drum kit and behind his remaining 4 and 6-stringed colleagues, spending the entire gig with eyes closed or averted from the crowd, half facing away and not saying a word in between songs. Guitarist Mark Trotter takes the role of frontman, proclaiming the band’s love for Bristol in response to a particular amorous fan.

Lonely the Brave’s set had depth, despite their repertoire of studio albums being limited to just the one; the songs translated well to the live setting and were received warmly by the audience. The band played two new, unreleased songs – ‘Dust and Bones’ and ‘Radar’. What Radar lacked in drive and intrigue, Dust and Bones made up for in bounds; the song has drive and grit with catchy vocal refrains. Certainly one to look out for in their upcoming Spring 2016 release.

Overall, the performance was solid – a little pedestrian at some moments and not particularly memorable at others. All songs were cleanly performed, mirroring the album versions for the most part, but many were missing the extra venom which would have whipped the crowd into a frenzy, rather than leaving them smiling and bobbing their heads.

Their show only really hit fifth gear in the form of their encore performance of ‘The Blue, The Green’, with Jakes powering out ‘I wanna know what it’s like, so I can feel it inside’ to the delight of the crowd as the night hit a crescendo at its climax.

Perhaps one shouldn’t blame the band for a performance which lacked a little energy, considering their month-long tour is approaching its close, but the proficient, accurate performance of songs will only satisfy, not exceed expectations.

Check out Greg’s interview with the band here

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