Brakes: Ruby Lounge
Guitarist Thomas White held aloft a pineapple before, obviously, ‘Porcupine or Pineapple’. Nobody seemed to want to receive said fruit so I waved my hands like the fan I am. The spiky fruit came forth from the stage, hit and bruised Miss S on the arm, and landed at my feet. Picking it up, I elevated the tropical delight at the requisite lyrical moment. Then, somehow, a fellow gig-goer persuaded me that I should pass it round the audience. In the spirit of fruit equality and redistribution I duly obliged.
I never saw the pineapple again and I’m regretting it now and probably for some time to come.
This was my first Brakes gig and I had high hopes. For once these hopes were exceeded. The set included the hits and new stuff, all welcomed with general whooping by a small but surprisingly vocal audience. In fact there didn’t seem to be a distinction in reception between the old and new stuff, with ‘Cease and Desist’, ‘Heard About Your Band’, the twistastic ‘Spring Chicken’ and Stetson-tipping ‘Jackson’ welcomed in the same spirit as the new and brilliant ‘Don’t Take Me To Space (Man)’. The guitars in ‘I Can’t Stand To Stand Beside You’ were nothing short of towering, to usher forth another reviewer’s cliché.
Two other things struck me. First, it was refreshing to see a band enjoying themselves so much. They admitted to having sampled the Manchester drinking pleasures of Mother Macs and Mat and Phreds and this would have had a lot to do with it. Second, despite a sense of cheer and spirited animation, Brakes can turn their hand to the intimate and moving with startling skill – encore ‘No return’ being the obvious case in point, but the pathos ‘The Most Fun’ was also worthy of note.
Oh and for the record, I don’t actually like Pineapple, but still wish I had the memento. At least, as John T rightfully pointed out, it wasn’t a Porcupine.
An older one:
And two new ones from the forthcoming Touchdown album (available and purchased at the gig before you think peer-to-peer)
Land and buy