Vocalist David Jakes sticks toward the back of the stage, intensely belting lyrics down the microphone.
Last Tuesday night saw Cambridge alternative rock five-piece Lonely The Brave take to the stage at Bristol’s Exchange for the last night of their UK tour. Accompanied by solo artist Hannah Lou Clark as the support act, this show was expected to be one of many impressive nights for dedicated fans and new listeners alike.
Around 7.30pm, we all piled into the venue. For those of you who have never been to the Exchange before, it’s a compact place with nothing more than a main stage room and a bar – the ideal venue for such an intimate show. Once everyone in the crowd had bought their drinks, we rushed to the front and eagerly awaited the first act to step out on stage.
It’s rare to find someone unique in today’s music industry, especially when it comes to female vocalists. Hannah Lou Clark, however, is something new – somehow managing to blend those grungy rock vibes with some fresh, natural vocals. Put simply, Hannah Lou Clark is definitely one to add to your playlist this month. ‘Kids In Heat’ – performed with Lonely the Brave’s Mark Trotter – appears to be an odd, but fascinating combination of Gabrielle Aplin’s young, fresh harmonies and the unusual indie sounds of Marina and the Diamonds. The track was accompanied by ‘Silent Type’ and ‘My Game’ from the singer’s Silent Type EP.
Then, after another long wait after Hannah finished her set, out came the band we had all been waiting for. Kicking of the show with the anthemic ‘Victory Line’, Lonely the Brave were on top form. As usual, guitarist Mark would be the one warming up the crowd and rushing around the stage a little, while vocalist David Jakes sticks toward the back of the stage, intensely belting lyrics down the microphone. For someone who has never been to a LTB show before, this kind of stage presence may seem a little odd, but as the show continues in the same way, you start to realise just how well it works.
Without enough time for a breath, the band quickly morphed the end of ‘Victory Line’ with the fast, drum-heavy ‘Trick of the Light’. A fan favourite, no doubt, as the crowd soon got moving and singing along with Jakes. By the time the guys reached the end of ‘King of the Mountain’, every single member of the audience appeared to chant along with Jakes on the final lyric, “We could have just sat out the storm, now we’re kings of the mountain.”
Each fast, upbeat track (for example, ‘Black Saucers’ or ‘Deserter’) had the audience jumping around and dancing, while the slower, more anthemic tracks (such as ‘Call of Horses’ or ‘Dinosaurs’) left an emotional vibe within the crowd as everyone made an effort to join in with the vocals. The band describe themselves on their Facebook page as ‘five men trying to be something to someone’, and if the members of that crowd were anything to go by, they’ve managed to do just that.
Since the band recently announced the release of their new ’redux’ album (or rather, the new version of their old album), we had been expecting (and hoping) that we’d get a chance to hear a new, live rendition of ‘Backroads’. Unfortunately, not. But the band did treat us to a couple of new tracks, titled ‘River, River’, ‘Hope There’s Someone’ and ‘Diamond Days’. the former is featured on the new record.
However, what would a LTB show be without ‘Backroads’. Redux version or not, this incredible fan favourite and heartfelt anthem was the perfect ending to what was already an incredible night. With Jakes’ vocals echoing along with the crowd as we all sang, “I’ll be the sky and you be the bird,” it’s ONE to remember, that’s for sure.
Check out ‘Backroads’ right here: