Reviewed by James Lavender
Readers, rather than giving you the usual review of a performance, I thought I would try something a bit different. Lonely The Brave had taken their latest tour to The Rescue Rooms, and supporting them were supported by heavy, rock riffers Black Peaks. Apart from the music, there was something which really struck me about the two bands, and that was the stage-presence of their lead singers.
Will Gardner was the classic frontman status. Screaming out his lungs like Eric Saner, the lead singer of Masterdon who influenced the Black Peaks sounds. He had a great deal of energy, passion and was actually bouncing off the walls. This was particularly effective on their final song, ‘Say You Will’, in which the raw energy in Gardner’s voice could have produced gail-force winds.
In contrast, when Lonely The Brave come out, you are immediately struck by the position of David Jakes, the lead singer. He doesn’t look directly at the audience, instead he looks sideways of the stage. Also, he is not at the front, rather he is at the back nearer the drummer. This is not classic frontman styling, but it is both intriguing and engaging. As a friend of mine said, “It looks like he has got some demons in him”. But is this just part of the act, or him actually bearing his soul out? Who knows, and to be honest, who cares? It’s part of what makes Lonely The Brave stand out from the crowd.
Speaking of standing out of the crowd, for the way in which Jakes is shy and retiring, the lead singer presence and antics is more than made up in the provocative and energetic presence of rhythm guitarist Mark Trotter. Much like Will Gardner of Black Peaks, he bounces off the walls and dives in the crowd, and leads the clapping and sing-a-long. If Lonely The Brave were Fallout Boy, Mark Trotter is the Pete Wentz to David Jakes’ Patrick Stump. The emotional intensity of Jakes perfectly complements the energy of Trotter, the band effortlessly play through some of the many roaring anthems on their debut album, The Day’s War. ‘Trick of the Light’, ‘Backroads’ and the finale ‘The Blue, The Green’ pull the audience in and get them singing along. They neatly contrasted this with some slower, quieter numbers such as ‘Dinosaurs’, and even treat the Nottingham audience to some new material for the upcoming second album, such ‘Boxes’ and ‘Radar’, both of which hint at a heavier sound.
Overall, these bands were effective performers in their own ways. Whilst Black Peaks went for the traditional approach of the frontman leading the crowd like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, Lonely The Brave’s David Jakes’ withdrawn, emotional performance drew the best reactions from the audience that night.
4 out of 5