In busy Brighton, there are plenty of music venues that host up and coming bands but Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar is the one that really sticks out to me. With a bar/lounge upstairs and the main area downstairs, there is a cool vibe in which everyone can hang out and enjoy the music. So it seems fitting that this is where Lonely The Brave make their mark on the town along with solo artist Hannah Lou Clark. Prior to this show, Lonely The Brave had been announced to play the main stage at Reading and Leeds, a prestigious event for any band.
Hannah Lou Clark is quite a softly spoken person. On stage, however, she is quite the opposite. As soon as she begins her first song, her energy and passion for playing is fairly obvious as she gets into the music straight away. Though the room is still filling up with people, they immediately pay attention to her playing and sway along to her songs.
As well as playing her songs Kids In Heat, Silent Type and My Game, Hannah played some new songs that were not as well known. The main thing that I liked about Hannah was that she had an energy that wasn’t over the top, yet it got the crowd in the mood for the rest of the show. Her small narration throughout the set allowed the audience to interact with her for the time that she was on stage and by the end it was clear that she gained some more fans.
Stick Mike’s is a fairly small venue, so by the time Lonely The Brave were due to be on stage, the room was filled to the brim with buzzing fans ready for the main act. With a sold out show, the band knew they had to bring everything to the stage, and they certainly did when they kicked off with the single Victory Line, perhaps to show their recent achievement. The whole band seemed to feed off the crowd’s energy although instead of singer David Jakes interacting with their fans, it’s guitarist Matt Trotter.
With Lonely The Brave’s debut album ‘The Day’s War’ being the centre of attention, the band play crowd favourite singles Trick of the Light, my personal favourite Deserters and The Blue, The Green. What made the latter so special was when Hannah came onstage and did a duet with the band and they created an intimate atmosphere where the crowd were attentive to everything they did. Though the two singers were standing on opposite sides of the stage, it was clear that they had a strong connection between them, something that tour mates form over time.
A sad note of the night and tribute for the band was before they played Diamond Days and Matt announced that one of their managerial members was leaving their family. The new song allowed the audience to be solemn for the band’s loss, but not so much that when Deserters started the crowd weren’t ready to mosh to the final song of the night. Everyone around belted each word out and it was clear why they were asked to play at Reading and Leeds.
Throughout the set they kept the energy alive with their rocky sound, however there was little interaction with the audience. Aside from Matt making the occasional comments about how great it was to be in Brighton, there was no mention about the announcement to play at the festival this summer or an introduction of any sort, though it seemed clear that the crowd didn’t need any of this, as they were more than happy to see the band and hear their favourite songs.
Overall Lonely The Brave put on a great show for the sold out event and it is clear why they have such a large fan base. They play the music that they love and that can be seen by every band member throughout the gig.
By Sarah Vaz