This Lonely The Brave article was written by Steven Loftin, a GIGsoup Contributor. Edited by Hazel Webster. Picture by James Oakley
Deep below the surface of the Manchester Student’s union, under the weight of two other venues (though oddly this isn’t the smallest of the trio) lies Manchester Club Academy. A hidden gem that attracts the equivalent of bands, and we were graced with the brightest of them all. Cantabrigians Lonely The Brave have had a flourishing career so far. They’ve been rebuilt from the remnants of previous bands, gained critical acclaim from all angles and now they’re here, some four years later, after re-releasing their debut this year, road testing material from forthcoming album number two.
The atmosphere, with an almost sell-out crowd who were already thriving at the aspect of seeing their prodigal sons return, was electric. After support band Black Peaks, who spared no physical expense when it came to warming this crowd up, Lonely The Brave took to the stage to rapturous applause and welcome.
Opening with a new track, which is as yet unnamed, the crowd had no issue with being greeted with this unfamiliar material. Going straight into two of the three leading singles from 2014’s ‘The Days War’, we were treated with ‘Trick Of The Light’ and then into ‘Backroads’. When you watch Lonely The Brave live you notice that lead singer David Jakes isn’t your typical front man with a penchant for the bravado of the role, he positions himself, although his mic stand is central, neatly between Ross Smithwick on guitar and Gavin ’Mo’ Edgely on drums. This isn’t an issue in any format, his vocals do everything that his body language doesn’t. He continuously nails every song almost effortlessly. If you’re after energised enthusiasm you have the rest of the band who more than make up for Jakes’ inhibitions, without which it simply wouldn’t be Lonely The Brave.
Powering through a set consisting of fan favourites as well as multiple new tracks, the crowd only crave more. Smithwick mentions Manchester has been the best night so far, and it’s not hard to see why. Every song, new or old, gets a reactions of jurassic proportions, the quiet moments are few and far between and are filled with loud declarations of love for the band.
In total the audience are given three new songs, each as strong as its predecessors. The highlight of the evening is the encore ‘Black Saucers’ that is dedicated to a six year old fan. It’s a heavy, chaos-inducing finale that complements the entire set spectacularly, and picks you up as easily as it slings you down once it’s over. Lonely The Brave certainly are one of those bands whose heartfelt honesty, both on and off the stage, has helped form both a following and fandom that is neither hype nor silent. With even more new material on the way, the future is not only looking strong for them, it’s looking good for the future of music. A band like Lonely The Brave are rare; in style, lonely they may be, in attitude, they certainly are the brave.