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Live Review: Turin Brakes – Friday 26th March 2010 – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK

3 min read

Turin Brakes have been around for over a decade now. The duo made up of Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian are probably best known for singles Painkiller (Summer Rain) and Underdog and containing one of the most recognizable and astounding voices in the acoustic folk pop circle.

It’s not too often that we get a chance to see these guys in concert and this was a gig not to be missed so I went down to the Shepherds Bush Empire to see these guys put on what proved to be an incredible night.

The evening started at 7.15pm with Scottish country singer Delta Maid. Armed with only herself and a guitar and transforming the venue into an intimate lounge set up with the addition of her own red/blue lounge rug she gently warmed the crowd up before second support act Pete Lawrie was ushered on with his Bob Dylan inspired set. Wearing a Dylan t-shirt he turned the evening up a notch with a husky voice belting out well crafted and catchy folk/pop numbers.

At around 9pm Turin Brakes took to the stage and went straight into their set with new single Sea Change. With incredible finger picking by guitarist Gale only matched by the powerful vocals of his front man this was the perfect start to the set and a showcase of undoubtedly one of their best songs to date. Moving through the best from all of their albums from the past decade the band seemed to be really enjoying themselves throughout the night. Singer Olly Knights seemed to be enveloped in his performance at times showing genuine sentiment and emotion towards their work and appreciation for the audience.

The venue was perfect for the band. Both the floor and first level were packed. Though the second and third levels were kept closed this gave the night a more intimate feel. The band were able to showcase their raw talents with 2 songs Mirror and Rocket Song being performed acoustically without mics and at times a capella at the front of the stage in arms reach of the crowd. This encouraged the crowds participation to sing along with the band.

Throughout the night the band showed their humorous side with Olly at one point doing the moonwalk across the stage after fellow member Gale threw out suggestions as to what they could do with such a large stage.

New tracks Apocolips and Paper Heart were given rapturous applause but the stand out tracks of the night had to be Underdog and Painkiller. Both had the energy that have made this band what they are today – true craftsmen of quality pop songs.

Tonight saw a band that has come a long way in ten years. They have developed and perfected their own sound and in the process constructed a catalog of undeniably some of the best records of the past decade. Tonight saw a band at the top of their game and I for one will be front row the next time these guys are in town.

Setlist:

The Sea Change
Mind Over Money
Mirror
Feeling Oblivion
Never Stop
72
Paper Heart
Apocolips
Painkiller
Fishing For A Dream
Dark on Fire
Long Distance
Slack
Love Is All You Deserve
Rocket Song
Underdog (Save Me)
Future Boy
The Road
Stone Thrown
Red Moon
State of Things