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:

I Can’t Stand To Stand Beside You

And two new ones from the forthcoming Touchdown album (available and purchased at the gig before you think peer-to-peer)

Don’t Take Me To Space (Man)

Red Rag

Land and buy


About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on April 15, 2009, in Gig reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Very green here, though not where fruit-lobbing is concerned – couldn’t they have sung about something smaller, like a kumquat? Did they do ‘Cheney? And are we going to get an album review as you’re ahead of the pack? 🙂

  2. Kumquat or Koala? Yep, did Cheney. Did you read this?

    “We are fundamentally responsible for the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, yes,” say Brakes. “If it hadn’t been for our 5-second epic song “Cheney” (lyrics: “Cheney, Cheney, Cheney, stop being such a Dick”), then it is without a doubt that McCain would’ve won, and died, and Sarah Palin would have become President and Ruler of the Known Universe by April 2009. We would’ve been releasing our new album “Touchdown” into a world in the grip of a nuclear winter, with no electricity for people to listen to the CD, and no Internet for them to download it from. We would still have toured it, though,”

    Never a truer word. Will try an album review, but as usual no promises. Thought you’d be more appropriate for this one?

  3. Arf. Probably right as well. Tom White is a guitar god – did he kick anyone on crutches this time?

  4. oh and is that you in a t-shirt in the photo? i’ve always wanted one of these

  5. Mr. White with beard and axe-god shapes bore a passing similarity to Jack Black weirdly. And that’s my t-shirt pictured on the floor rather than on me (where’s the moob marks?). If I’d seen this one I would have got it:

  6. Yes, I think they share the same Rock Silhouette hem hem. Have just booked tickets for Dingwalls week after next! sorry for this fan froth

  7. my friend pete went to this gig, I know nothing about the brakes, only that THE brakes are a different band… I’ll have a listen, thx

  8. Jim – there is some confusion about the name at times, with them opting for Brakes Brakes Brakes now and again. Dunno about the other lot, but these are definitely worth a go. p.s. Your mate’s surname isn’t Collins is it?

  1. Pingback: Brakes: Touchdown « Both bars on

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