Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We Were Promised Jetpacks + BrakesBrakesBrakes @ North Star Bar

There was a UK invasion of the most enjoyable sorts last weekend up at the North Star. Scottish bands We Were Promised Jetpacks & The Twilight Sad were joined by England's BrakesBrakesBrakes for musical antics. Full disclosure, since I saw The Twilight Sat at Monolith and had social obligations that evening I did not stay for their set.

Having missed WWPJ's set at Monolith I was eager to see what these boys had to offer on stage. If you haven't made it a priority to check out their records get on it. Pronto. What you will not experience while listening to those records though is a well phrased live show supplied by a young band well aware of what it takes to sound good live.

They began with a tease of a start on It's Thunder It's Lighting and built it up to a, well, thunderous break of energy at the end of the song. The quartet's stage presence is for the most part stoic when noodling their way through their tight and alluring riffs. Focusing themselves on factors such as the nontraditional bass/drum interplay in songs like Conductor. However, on songs like Short Bursts and Quite Little Voices, when the band hits its lyrical apexes they explode with true rock out physicality. Railing on their guitars and almost howling as times into the mic. Lead singer Adam Thompson is incredibly comfortable on stage and knows very well how to manipulate the mic to project his voice perfectly for each song. There were a few off moments with his amp that he was able to quickly adapt. So much so, that had he not mentioned it, most of the mesmerized audience wouldn't have noticed the difference. They closed it out with Ships With Holes Will Sink and a drum solo that destroyed me. As this group's repertoire grows and they have more material to craft intelligent sets like they did on Saturday I have no doubt the audiences (not to mention venues) will expand as well.

The Breaks (or as they are known in the states BreaksBreaksBreaks) took the stage next with a much more seasoned and assorted set. Drawing from the talents and experiences of a group consisting of members (or past members) of British Sea Power, Tenderfoot and Electric Soft Parade the band has a lot of internal influences and it was evident in their live set. They got off to a bit of rough start, later credited to a nasty blister on the drummers hand. It seemed as though the members were just a little bit out of sync with each other. However, lead singer Eamon Hamilton managed to pull them all together within two songs of their start. Employing a little humor and some excellent vocals.

The Brakes, compared to WWPJ, have a much more weathered and varied sound. They wavered between a raucous and snarky punk side and a more traditional alternative delivery. Songs like HeyHey are infused with energy and performed accordingly while simpler romantic pop songs like Leaving England/First Dance were given a low key and tender treatment. Eamon broke any predictable pattern by dropping off beat tunes like Porcupine Or Pineapple and a cover of Johnny Cash's Jackson into line up. As they got further into their show their quality and ease became much more apparent. Had they not been dealing with extraneous annoyances like blisters and started off without a hitch I'm sure the entire set would have been just as entertaining.

The gang of three have a few more dates together stateside and if those are in your general area I'd get yourselves out there. But at the very least get down to your local independent record store and buy their records.

It's Thunder & It's Lightening - We Were Promised Jetpacks

Why Tell The Truth When Its Easier To Lie - The Brakes

1 comment:

Mikey McFly™ said...

If you need a photographer for some of these events lemme know I have the artillery