LIVE: Lonely The Brave @ The Lexington, London

By Ben Tipple

Lonely The Brave have never been flamboyant. These words were never destined to celebrate a sudden overt showmanship, nor lament their introverted stage presence. I will note that vocalist David Jakes is now facing the crowd, but that seems like an odd thing to commend. Instead, I will laud their songs, because let’s face it, that’s what Lonely The Brave really have.

It’s no surprise that a set filled almost exclusively with tracks from an unreleased album isn’t going to welcome any huge singalongs. Those are reserved for the backend of the set, dominated by the final one-two of ‘Backroads’ and ‘The Blue, The Green’. The unfamiliarity doesn’t affect the crowd though, as one particularly enthusiastic onlooker provides some oddly specific supportive heckling. The room is almost entirely filled with those who have heard the old material to as close to death as their longevity will allow. It’s now time for something new.

As they run through their forthcoming sophomore release out of sync, the formula hasn’t dramatically changed. Yet it all feels slightly darker. Instant heavy hitters are few and far between, with recent single ‘Rattlesnakes’ proving to be the closest relative to material from their debut. Yet as ever, Jakes’ vocals elevate some of the more pedestrian moments. ‘Things Will Matter’(the new record’s title) will clearly bear its fruit after some dedicated listening.

It’s a luxury Lonely The Brave can afford. Their infallible fan base has been formed, and the immediacy of the majority of their earlier material has paved the way for something more complex. At least in its unknown state, it’s material to be interlinked with their huge choruses, but there’s clearly nothing to stop it reaching and surpassing the debut on repeated listens. Having toured the same material for some time, it’s unsurprising to see Lonely The Brave take a subtle but definite shift. For the complete material’s first live outing, it’s undoubtedly enticing if not exciting. Come the record’s release, the latter is easily within their reach.