LIVE: Brand New / Dinosaur Pile Up @ Brooklyn Bowl, London

By Chris Marshman

Tucked away in the cavernous 02 is the Brooklyn Bowl which tonight, houses around 1000 fans of a band who are more accustomed to playing venues nearly four times the size in the nation’s capital. It’s an impressive space, predominantly open plan with a vibe that tells you something big is about to happen. This will likely become the venue in which we see a lot of ‘intimate’ shows taking place in the future.

What is very clear about tonight’s events is that this crowd is here for the headlining band only. It falls to Leeds based Dinosaur Pile-Up to warm up the crowd and they do a decent job with what they’ve got. The band employ a Nirvana-esque type grunge sound that translates well in the openness of the venue. The crowd are respectful and they even muster a cheer when Jesse Lacey joins the alt-rock trio for the set ending ‘Nature Nurture’.

After a changeover that takes close to 40 minutes, Brand New finally take the stage to the tones of ‘Mene’ the first single to be taken from their upcoming full length and things don’t kick off in the manner one would expect, the sound is muddy with the vocals especially sounding isolated and drenched in reverb, it’s a muted opening to what would eventually turn out to be an incredible special show.

Things carry in much the same vibe when ‘Mene’ is followed up with two tracks from the band’s latest and most divisive effort ‘Daisy,’ and things only get going when the band launch into ‘Millstone’ with the crowd finally all unifying as one big “Whoa oh oh” machine. What follows is a spectacle and an example of how bloody brilliant music really can be. Lacey and co. ramp up the pace with the likes of ‘You Won’t Know,’ ‘Seventy Times Seven’ and ‘I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light’ every word goes unmissed by the crowd and the band are clearly feeling it on stage. It’s guitarist Vincent Accardi who displays this the most. The man gets completely lost in the music he’s playing and bounds around the stage with the energy and vigour that these songs deserve.

Brand New 2

Things take a brief and wholly needed respite with a rare outing for ‘Brothers/Untitled 03’ before the intensity is dialled up to 11 with four tracks from the band’s seminal 2006 release ‘The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me.’ There is literally nothing the crowd can do apart from stand back and watch with awe as the band, for the lack of a better phrase, absolutely lose their shit on stage with ‘Degausser’ providing a sensory overload of music and light that ends with Jesse Lacey clutching onto his guitar after breaking the strap mid mosh mere moments before.

An encore was always on the cards and as soon as Jesse Lacey arrives back on stage, alone and with a guitar, it’s clear that something special was about to take place. Dedicating the song to tour mates Dinosaur Pile-Up, the tones of ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’ soon begin to reverberate around the room. The crowd sing every word back to Lacey as if their lives depend on it. As the song begins to close out, Lacey seems to lose himself in everything that is going on and the crowd are more than happy to sit back and watch it happen, with everything culminating in an impromptu mass singalong as the band arrive back to the stage once the song is over. The smiles on the band’s faces tell it all. The singalong only ends once Jesse asks Accardi to break the crowds heart’s before launching into ‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows’ and five minutes of absolute chaos. It’s an incredible ending to what has been an incredible headline set from Brand New, completely whetting everybody’s appetites for what is surely set to be another career defining show at London’s Alexandra Palace later this year.