Broncho Bring Back the Bliss to Belgrave

Joe Carter faced the elements to get a second helping of Oklahoman Indie Rock band Broncho after being charmed by their sonic aura in Montreal.

As Montreal’s brisk autumn winds began to rise and its temperatures slide, I was dragged to Bar le Ritz to see a band who I had never heard of. Eleven months and four days later, on a drizzly Leeds evening, I sauntered into Belgrave’s sparsely populated upstairs room to see Broncho once again. The intimate crowd suggested I was not alone in my Anglo-ignorance of the Oklahoman indie rock outfit.

Guitarist Ben King’s unexplained absence further added to Broncho’s compact setup. In spite of these atmospherically limiting factors, Ryan Lindsay (guitar and vocals) roused the eager crowd, plunging them into the anthemic opening tracks off their latest release, Bad Behaviour.

Though the crowd was small, they were far from stagnant. It didn’t take long for the infectious twinkly guitar licks of ‘Keep it in Line’ and ‘Sandman’ to bring all forty of us to a dance, tap or sway. The set fluctuated through Broncho’s almost 10-year-old discography: from their three chord belting garage punk origins on ‘Can’t get past the Lips’ to the cagey inciting drones on ‘Just enough Hip to Be a Woman’, flowing into their more current glossy and psychedelic art pop sound. Imagine putting the Black Keys, MGMT and Tame Impala in a food processor, add a healthy dosage of drone, delay and incomprehensible vocals, and you’d get something akin to Broncho’s sound. 

Like in Montreal, Lindsay’s vocals throughout the set were saturated reverb and the high tempo tracks were played in quick succession. An excessively oversized t shirt drooped from his slim bodily frame, which was jolting and contorting under Penny Pitchlynn’s driving basslines and Nathan Price’s thumping drums. The band was doused in extended flashes of red and white light, creating a hypnotic atmosphere and luring the audience into a trance like state. Ptichlynn and Price left it to Lindsay to project Broncho’s sleazy but fun sense of swagger, which itself was immediately disarmed when Lindsay made a typical gesture of southern hospitality – a birthday call out to a star struck fan in the front row.

Different country, different year but I can confirm they still emitted the same aura of individuality and verve that characterises this bodacious band. Safe to say, i’m likely to be going back for thirds.

Joe Carter

[IMAGE CREDIT: Ticketfly]