LIVE: Lonely The Brave / Moose Blood @ The Lexington, London [15/10/13]

By Ben Tipple

The fact that The Lexington is a neigh-on comprehensive list of who’s who in the music industry tonight provides a concrete indication of how far Lonely The Brave have come in the past 12 months, and indeed where they are heading. Already being relished with praise from all angles, the band find themselves firmly under the microscope as the crowd begins to thicken. This sold out headline show is destined to become one of many in the near future.

Although the majority of the crowd are biding their time either downstairs or elsewhere, Moose Blood truly come into their own today. Complaints by frontman Eddy Brewerton of vocal issues are evidently unfounded as his cracked voice engulfs the room, all the while backed up by near-perfect musicianship. For a band already composing some genuinely unique melodies, their live performance is increasing in stature at each stage. It won’t be long until Moose Blood are enjoying the same mainstream hype as tonight’s headline act.

Lonely The Brave emerge from a wall of smoke – a consistent feature of tonight’s performance – to a suitably understated intro. Maintaining the balance between grandeur and subtlety, it preludes a set brimming with hearty atmosphere. The quintet rely upon the harmony between the ground shaking numbers and the more subdued compositions. Splicing the more delicate songs between the likes of ‘Black Saucers’ and ‘Deserter’ helps to build the bigger tracks to their epic status by avoiding a unsustainable high.

As a demonstration of the album, it is clear that thought has gone into the records structure, yet the similarities of the sounds do leave certain moments behind. The lack of any onstage performance or substantial crowd interaction does little to improve these. Fortunately however they are few and far between and the sheer explosiveness that these moments foster are largely justifiable. Without the lows there can be no real highs.

Instead, tonight is an expression of musical and visual emotion. The band are clearly elated by the pride emanating from those who have followed them from the beginning, including a wealth of family members. Frontman David Jakes is momentarily lost in his own music, wondering towards the centre, captivated in a trance before returning to his well-documented back of stage position.

The occasional mishaps are overshadowed by the sheer intensity of the sound. An unplugged guitar is quickly repaired, and Jakes wins his evident fight with his presumably sore vocal chords with a few sharp punches to the sternum. Even the glaringly absent encore – not even the crew appear sure whether it was supposed to happen or not – does little to distract from the dense emotional atmosphere left in the band’s wake.

There are small creases to iron out, yet tonight Lonely The Brave manage to prove how they are hitting all the right buttons, and why they will demand your attention.