LIVE REVIEW: TURIN BRAKES
Buffalo Bar, Cardiff
Thurs 29 Oct
words: ANGHARAD BROWN photo: JAKE MORLEY
Turin Brakes: a band who, a few years ago, I would have stepped on a small child to see live. Each time I’ve seen them perform they have been nothing short of amazing. Their beautiful harmonies causing more than one hair-stand-up-on-back- of-neck moment. Therefore I couldn’t believe my luck when I heard they were heading to Cardiff as part of Pete Lawrie’s new set of gigs, upstairs in a room with only a 120 capacity.
As Pete Lawrie came on stage, it was clear that he had a big support base with him. As he began to sing, I looked around and noted that I was one of the few who didn’t know every word. His songs are three-minute bursts of soulful, radio-friendly music that sees him destined to do well. As his set came to its conclusion there was a bit of banter with the late-arriving Turin Brakes, who told the audience they’ve been enjoying listening to their back catalogue in The Promised Land. This sets the tone for the rest of the evening, friendly, unpretentious musicians, performing in a friend’s lounge after a couple of beers.
Finally, after what felt like decades of waiting for some live dates, Turin Brakes opened with The Door, soon followed by Pain Killer – their biggest hit to date. After a few tracks it became obvious that Gale and Olly were warming into their live performance. These two seemingly shy, grounded and perhaps slightly awkward musicians almost seemed a bit embarrassed to see the enthusiastic crowd embrace their music. Following a large number of their biggest songs from each of their four albums, they announced that their new album would be out in March 2010.Their set also included a cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, which beautifully suited their voices and gave it a folk twist, moving the song away from its country origins, before they closed on Save Me.
After an encore was demanded (one that was faintly protested by the band), they hesitantly sang Red Moon – a song that wasn’t on their set list, but was insisted upon by an over-enthusiastic Craig David lookalike who promised to buy them a pint if they sang it.
This last minute gig – only scheduled two weeks before due to a last minute cancellation – pleased the audience and hopefully sees the resurgence of a beautiful folk band. Despite their obvious lack of live performances and practice, I feel it is the best time I’ve seen them yet.