Lonely The Brave | KOKO | 5 April 2017
Playing half-empty venues, from the front of the stage, to people not even there to see you, support slots can be challenging. But, fresh off their own headline tour, Lonely The Brave are certainly up for the challenge.
Nestled between Fatherson and headliners Mallory Knox, the Cambridge five-piece stuff eight of their biggest songs into 40 sweaty minutes characterised by circle pits, headbanging, raised fists, and enthusiastic shouting along from the punters who’ve almost filled KOKO already.
Leading from the front, guitarists Mark Trotter and Ross Smithwick launch the assault with that hypnotic ‘Black Mire’ riff before bass player Andrew Bushen and drummer Gavin Edgely drop in to add the bottom end. But it really kicks off when lead singer David Jakes slips onto the stage and unleashes that gritty voice. By the time he and the guitarists are trading lines on the chorus, the audience is theirs.
The kinetic ‘Dust and Bones’ keeps the momentum going, while adding a shade of light to their hard rocking sound, before a rumbling bassline introduces the melancholy low-key verses of ‘Deserter’. Of course, it’s not long before Jakes is soaring through the line “I see clear and I see that I want you” as the song builds in speed and intensity – before its sudden stop.
That intensity ramps up even further on the visceral ‘Radar’ but, even in all its full-throttle glory, the song is no match for set highlight, the sweeping ‘Jaws Of Hell’. Offering it all – a steady ascent, shimmering guitars, hypnotic drumming, and a vocal melody that could only be described as triumphant – in the space of five minutes, the stadium-ready anthem can only be followed by the back-to-back belligerence of ‘Backroads’ and ‘The Blue, The Green’ with that killer line “I want to know what it’s like/ So I can feel it inside” crafted to linger long after the band have left the stage, another audience wowed.