Brothers and Bones LIVE

There is currently no other band breaking out onto the folk-rock music scene that deserves your affection quite like Brother and Bones. They surpass their peers effortlessly with their spine-tingling, innovative, euphoric rock sound and have firmly established themselves as this year’s ‘ones to watch’. Unsurprisingly, it is hardly a select few music fans that have recognised and dutifully fallen in love with their unique sound. The Borderline fills up rapidly with a heaving mess of diverse, frantic fans of all ages who can hardly contain their overflowing excitement. Interestingly, this band’s live performance is so insatiably addictive that several members of the audience have come to witness the band for the second or third time. That these die-hard fans have eagerly jumped on board within the short space of time that Brother and Bones have been on the music scene, is clearly a product of their mind-blowing live performances.

Warming up the crowd for them, which is hardly necessary, is the sultry, folk songstress Moya. She saunters onto stage in a white cropped tee and flowing silver skirt, an outer image that perfectly encapsulates her free-spirited, earthy folk music. She makes a very understated and coy entrance, but it soon becomes clear that this is in order to let her talent do all the talking. Her powerful, controlled voice – which has a wonderful, soulful depth – fills the venue with effortless ease. Her vocals, which are the love child of Duffy and Christina Aguilera, need no more than to be accompanied by the humble jazz riffs of an acoustic guitar. Her songs flit between styles; from a funky, upbeat track with middle-eastern influences to the highlight of her set where she drastically changes the mood with a drop d key change and loop pedal that ignites a bluesy and sinister ambiance. Her diverse use of musical genres allows her to show off the versatility in her classic yet original voice. The only major drawback of her performance, however, was that despite all her musical efforts and even a breathtaking acapella moment, Moya never manages to seize the audience’s full attention. They continue to ferociously talk over her throughout her set which spoils the enigmatic atmosphere that she was striving to create. Perhaps this is down to her slight awkwardness between songs as these moments which she could have used to interest and entertain her listeners were thrown to waste. If she had been more commanding and more confident, she could have perhaps hushed the room to absolute silence, which would have allowed her music to flow freely into the hearts and minds of her audience.

Brother and Bones, however, suffer no similar fate and instead are greeted by an overpowering reception of frenzied fans the moment they walk onto stage. The only way to describe the opening of their set is like a rumble in a jungle; the guitars slowly slither out intricate, delicate melodies while the drums crackle like a waterfall of rain. These high-pitched earthly sounds slowly come together, vigorously building up pace and textures while whipping the audience into an even greater frenzy. The guitars in opening track Here Comes The Sun are seductively beautiful while the pounding, commanding drums drive the momentum forwards causing the venue to explode when the band hit the dramatic chorus. The band is flawlessly tight and like a well-oiled machine, which is surprising for one still relatively young. They have crafted their live shows to perfection – after one song they have every audience member in the palm of their hand. Part of this is due to the outstanding song-writing which is filled with contrasting dynamics of gritty, dirty blues riffs and vulnerable, intimate vocals which tease the audience and leave them craving more. In particular, their debut single Back to Shore can only be compared to the release of a wild, ravenous lion as it is filled with unbelievable amounts of energy, power and charisma. There is, in fact, a wonderful diversity to every song that is launched at the audience like a catapult. They ace every genre from blues to acoustic folk to classic rock, suggesting that they could effortlessly turn their hand to anything.

Despite being such a sturdy, tight-knit unit, it soon becomes evident that the singer is the glue that perfectly solders this group into one. Rich Thomas’ voice appears to be unbreakable as it is equally strong and beautifully heartfelt in both loud and soft dynamics and it is this unique ability that allows the band to naturally sway between musical genres, while taking the audience with them. Thomas becomes the clear, stand-out performer in his solo offering of Gold and Silver where every lyric is conveyed with a sincere depth of emotion. He has outstanding control over his voice, and with it shoots an arrow into every person’s heart. There is pin-drop silence during this performance as it quickly becomes a crime to talk over a man pouring his soul out to a room full of strangers.

Overall there is a raw, animalistic vitality to their performance which makes them one of the most formidable, must-see bands of the current decade. The most astounding feature of their set which keeps the audience hooked is their use of two drummers. This is like an untold secret in the music business which future bands should admire as it brings an unparalleled quality of sublime textures and bursts of sound to their live performance. The two drummers’ timing and precision is impeccable and sets the venue on fire from the word go. On top of this the collective five work closely together to fully control the stage. Each member moves sporadically onstage as if the animalistic energy of the music has captivated them, while every movement is perfectly calculated and orchestrated as if a true artistry is unfolding before your eyes.

One of the closing lyrics of their last song Don’t Forget To Pray, which was demanded for after a riotous encore aptly describes “a smile of your face” and although it goes without saying that every audience member leaves this venue with a beaming smile, this is an understatement. Everyone here, including the band, leaves with a new lease for life, a new sense of vitality and a sense of being re-born because of the uncontrollable energy delivered from this exquisite band. They give every last ounce of themselves to the performance, which leaves you utterly blown away.


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