ALTERNATIVE rock band, Lonely The Brave, brought a good atmosphere and even better music to Manchester’s Club Academy last night. With many of the mixed crowd donning band t-shirts and ranging from as young as six-years-old up to 60, everyone was there solely for the Cambridge band’s top  performance. Quays News entertainment reporter Hollie Rees was there too…

Warm up for the evening was delivered by up and coming Brighton band, Black Peaks. Previously going by the name Shrine, the four-piece spoiled the good sized crowd with a half an hour long set full of energy, headbanging and sweat.

Vocalist, Will Gardner, literally screamed and shouted the lyrics to tracks such as ‘Glass Built Castles’ and ‘Saviour’ while his fellow band members provided backing vocals and put the remainder of their energy into skillfully playing their respective instruments.

Some of the crowd sang the lyrics back to Gardner while throwing their bodies around, with others up front at the barrier uncontrollably throwing their arms in the air. Although still fairly unknown as a band, they have been described as “exceptional” by Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe. After already supporting the likes of Deafhaven and Arcane Roots, last night confirmed the belief that they’re picking up fans along the way and will soon be a lot more renown within the rock world.

black peaksIn the half an hour break before the main attraction, Lonely The Brave, the venue gradually filled out even more. As the clock approached their stated stage time, the stage lights switched to an ambient red and an elongated instrumental preceded the five-piece’s entrance, filling the crowd with anticipation and cheers.

Getting straight to it and treating the audience to a faultless live performance of songs from their 2015 album, ‘The Day’s War‘, the close-knit Manchester audience gave the group a very warm welcome. By the second, and one of their more well-known catchier songs, ‘Trick of the Light’, most of the crowd were singing and moving along.

This continued on as the band burst into ‘Backroads‘, also taken from the album, and even more of the crowd joined in with the emotionally-charged lyrics – some of which appeared on many of the band t-shirts worn by fans just infront of me.

Myself and many others watched in awe as vocalist, David Jakes, sang and threw himself around the stage, losing himself in the performance and stopping only to shout out to the crowd “How are you doing Manchester?” Three of the other four members provided backing vocals, creating a pleasing collaboration that fit the explosive instrumental harmonies well.

The set list continued with a slower track taken from the album, ‘Science‘, which changed the atmosphere in the room and consisted of a yearning rendition of simply stunning lyrics followed by a very powerful instrumental, washing an overwhelming feeling over everyone in the room.

lonely the brave 2Jakes carried on his interaction with the crowd, exclaiming “Manchester, you are edging towards the all time number one spot!”, which was obviously met with cheers. He then went on to make one lucky fan’s evening by urging the crowd to sing ‘Happy Birthday‘ to a girl with the name Emily. Before carrying on the performance, he encouraged everyone to give a round of applause for support, Black Peaks.

As the evening came to a close ‘Black Saucers‘, an intense and powerful rock song, and catchy track ‘The Blue, The Green‘ both appeared on the set list. Jakes kept pausing throughout the performance to allow the crowd to sing the lyrics to him instead of the other way around. Overheard after the gig, a satisfied fan said to his friend that he was “so glad they played Black Saucers.”

The performance as a whole was packed with emotionally-driven songs delivered in a powerful yet effortless way. I looked around as couples embraced, parents smiled as their children enjoyed the music and friends shared drinks and sang along together. Lonely The Brave managed to bring everyone in the room together and left a very real sense of warmth behind after making their exit.

By: Hollie Rees

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