The Brooders played the Brudenell this Friday to a half-empty crowd of mostly disappointed faces, on account of headlining act Fighting Caravans dropping out a few hours before the show. Not that it matters in the slightest, however, because the band still managed to deliver a performance that would have dropped jaws, had not the entire crowd been clenching their teeth in excitement.
The highlight of the evening by far, The Brooders played a style of music which shifted between Slaves-esque punk and 90s-tinged alt rock and, while they didn’t exactly play any masterpieces, they played their songs with an intensity and atmosphere which was somehow detached, angry, and inviting, all at the same time.
The most interesting aspect of the gig was the enthusiasm of frontman Adam Bairstow, who spent most of the latter stages of the performance playing guitar riffs and screaming his lines from within a mosh pit which he himself had helped to initiate. At the climax of the performance, he literally threw his guitar to the ground so that he could bring the microphone stand down to the pit and continue his performance from below, which led to one audience member picking up the guitar and attempting to play the riffs himself.
Whether or not he was successful is not something I can adequately answer; the guitar’s tone was so scooped that it was practically inaudible over the rhythm section and the vocals. Interestingly, it didn’t even really affect the quality of the songs much.
The gig ended when Bairstow threw his guitar at the wall behind the stage, which didn’t actually seem to break the instrument, but I appreciated it nonetheless. It’s the thought that counts, after all.
“You should have been headlining!” shouted one drunken concert-goer during the set’s closing moments. I’m inclined to agree.