Live Review

Brand New, Brooklyn Bowl, London

4th June 2015

The band are fearless in their execution.

There’s a grin etched onto the face of Jesse Lacey. As he goes to throw a plectrum into the crowd, all smiling disbelief and exhausted applause, Dinosaur Pile-Up rush the stage and embrace him. It’s a familiar gesture, with Jesse having done the same at the close of the support’s set hours earlier.

It’s only been a little over thirteen months since Brand New last played a headline show in London but new track ‘Mene’ has, like a bolt of lightning, galvanised their fan base. Tonight’s show at The Brooklyn Bowl sold out instantly. There’s a sense that those in attendance have been counting down the days for it to begin – the same sense of disbelief that confronts the band at the conclusion of the evening, is present at the beginning. As are Dinosaur Pile-Up.

Tasked with support, the Leeds three-piece come out swinging. From the hammering introduction of ‘Arizona Waiting’, through the bounding hook of ‘Peninsula’ until the crunching snarl of ‘11:11’, Dinosaur Pile-up are prickly, confident, and relentless. A deliberate pause here, an indulgent riff there, the band are fearless in their execution.

It’s the rolling thunder of ‘Mene’ that reintroduces us to Brand New tonight but that isn’t the only new thing shared. From the teasing wail that leans into ‘Millstone’ to the crowd’s preemptive choir at the start of ‘Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t’ that forces the band to play catch up, Brand New are finally at ease in this position. The deathly march of ‘You Stole’ sends an atmospheric shudder through the crowd while ‘You Won’t Know’ binds them in screaming unity.

“I’m sure it was a difficult choice between us and Take That,” currently playing the adjoining O2 Arena, starts Jesse. “Thanks for making the effort to support independent music. Take that, Take That!” he laughs before diving into a fierce run through of debut album favourite ‘Mixtape’.

And while the recorded material of Brand New seems timeless, it’s these flourishes - the playful use of the shadows and the constant ebb of sound - which amplifies the moment. Strangers sing in each other’s faces and friends stand arm-in-arm as the band manage to draw new breath from old material. A solo rendition of ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’ demands voice-shattering participation with the refrain overflowing from the song. “Crush their dreams,” says Jesse to guitarist Vinnie Accardi as he falls into ‘The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows’, wringing the last scraps of voice and physical reaction from the jubilant crowd. There’s a sense of free-spirited adventure underpinning every move Brand New make tonight. From the shape of the set to Vinnie turning around and watching himself on the video screen during ‘Jesus’, Brand New are at once indulgent and masterful.

Photo: Jay Maude

Tags: Brand New, Reviews, Live Reviews

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