Lonely The Brave are no strangers to Nottingham. Tonight’s show is their third visit to the home of Robin Hood in just over a year. During the past 12 months, they have continued to grow having toured throughout the UK and Europe. This show sees them re-starting their UK tour after a brief trip to Germany.
With doors opening at half 6, the growing crowd are left waiting an hour for tonight’s openers – Black Peaks. Like the headliners, this Brighton quartet have been gaining a growing number of admirers over the past year. Tonight is no different as straight from the start they prove to be explosive and dynamic. Will Gardner’s incredibly admirable ability to harmonise and scream consistently comes off as compelling, alongside his band mates heavy and structured side. Even though there is a sense of unfamiliarity by the majority of the crowd, you’re left feeling that many walk away impressed.
Although Black Peaks’ long-awaited debut LP hasn’t quite arrived; it’s due out in late February, they still provide a stellar preview with recent single ‘Saviour’ proving to be effective with its bombastic tribal drums, thriving guitar, twisting bass and Will Gardner’s strong vocals. ‘Say You Will’ is alluring. Closing with ‘Glass Built Castles’, Black Peaks continue to impress and be one of the most exciting prospects in UK rock right now. (4/5)
30 minutes later, Lonely The Brave enter to a rapturous welcome from a busy room. Following a slow-burning cinematic entrance, they slide into ‘Kings of the Mountain’. Instantly the crowd back up vocalist David Jakes singing along. ‘Trick of the Light’ and ‘Backroads’ is welcomed with cheers, hand claps and a mass sing-along. It’s clear Lonely The Brave have a skill of uniting crowds with their brand of epic alt-rock.
It’s been said repeatedly that in David Jakes, Lonely The Brave have a special singer who can compel an audience with just his voice. No theatrics or showmanship, just a great set of lungs. Throughout, Jakes’ vocals soars without a hint of apprehension.
Whilst Jakes takes his familiar reserved approach to stage presence, guitarist Mark Trotter takes up the role as frontman with his enthusiasm to get the crowd involved and continuous appreciation of the packed room.
This tour catches Lonely The Brave in the midst of recording their second album, and tonight we’re given a sneak peak of it. ‘Boxes’ is a steady, earnest number yet still has that familiar LTB grandeur. Whilst ‘Radar’ is a through and through rock number with pounding drums and stringent guitars compliment Jakes’ warm vocals.
On returning to more familiar numbers, ‘The Day’s War’ bonus cut ‘River River’ is delivered with vigour with its prospering rhythm section. This is followed by the smoothly executed ‘Dinosaurs’.
‘The Blue and The Green’ is as astonishing and rapturous as ever, closing out the main show before the encore of ‘Black Saucers’ allows the Jakes and the crowd to have one final anthemic singalong.
With a growing arsenal of stellar songs that have the ability to connect with an increasing audience, Lonely The Brave tonight show they certainly have the capabilities to show they are one of the UK’s most impressive rock bands to emerge in recent years. No gimmicks. No boundaries. Just a tight, awe-inspiring band with bags of potential. (4.5/5)
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)