Turin Brakes have had hit singles and captivating albums since their debut album was released over a decade ago. I have always been drawn to their distinctive vocals and folk-edged sound that provides less obvious layers and subtlety in their music. Vocalist Olly Knight delivers a mix of lullaby-esque tunes – at once slow and meditating melodies and then uplifting and ‘soundtrack-to-summer’ lyrics, delivered with pace and energy. Many of their previous contemporaries are no longer on the scene, and the fact that the venue is full to the brim is a testament to their passion as well as their strong fan base.
The band played a sold out show at the Concorde 2 and their distinctive vocals and tunes provided a great opportunity to reminisce about how their music has been part of my soundtrack over the last fifteen years. Their performance of Future Boy was celebratory – they penned it when they were only 16; it is then that you begin to realise that the band have grown up as musicians in the spotlight. It’s a creative spirit that’s proven by year upon year of output. The sound was great and the mass were enthusiastic. The crowd was a mix of old indie kids and as well as younger fans too. The band put on a great performance, the vocals echoed around the Concorde 2, and there was a good atmosphere, kind of lift you off your feet delight. Olly Knight has the ability to silence the crowd with his voice, you just want to hear more, without the elbowing and bar queues, you get moments of feeling sung to individually.
The band also took time out to talk to their fans, and thank them for coming along. They were both genial and welcoming. The Concorde 2 has the happy effect of making you feel like you’re in a small venue even though the capacity is 600; I was at the back and could see the band pretty well. For me, the opening chord to Emergency 72 was particularly memorable and it was really fantastic to hear live. The band belted out Save You and Painkiller and it was a welcome reminder of the upbeat, catchy guitar pop tunes that they are known for. I really enjoyed seeing this band and they delivered a charming and memorable performance, which hopefully they’ll continue to do for the next fifteen years.
By Lou Clement