Proud in Stroud – Brakes, Sub Rooms, Stroud 21/4/06.
Bombing their way blitzkrieg style through twenty songs in less than forty minutes, Brakes certainly mean business. Stroud’s historic Subscription Rooms provided the perfect platform for lead vocalist Eamon Hamilton’s homecoming in Brakes’ headline performance at this ‘Hubs in the Subs’ spectacular hosted by ‘The Hub’ Stroud musician’s collective.
Anger-ridden high volume, high powered classics I Can’t Stand to Stand Beside You, Pick up the Phone and new B-side Porcupine or Pineapple delivered at break-neck speed blended in perfectly with the harmonious If I Should Die, The Most Fun and Country inspired NY Pie to provide the ideal recipe for this no holds barred, full on performance.
Following a dramatic 100 mph opening, the tempo slowed as Brakes were joined on stage by cornet player Phil Sumner for You’re So Pretty and – appropriately enough – guest vocalist Matt Eaton for The Most Fun.
If Brakes’ cover of the classic love song Jackson – featuring second guest vocalist of the evening Bel Atherton – was the A-level in terms of crowd pleasers, recently re-released single All Night Disco Party was the PHD – introduced by Eamon yelling “playing in Stroud is fucking ace” to anchorman guitarist Tom White. And wasn’t it just? The furore of the crowd’s approval could be felt right out in the wings of the ballroom with the movement of the timber floor.
Judging by the heavy guitar based new song Cease and Desist – taken from the forthcoming album – the future for the brothers White, Marc Beatty and Eamon Hamilton looks dazzling. Minimalism being the name of the game, the main set met an abrupt end with the quintessential Brakes micro-song Comma, Comma, Comma Full Stop.
Following a brief pause for breath the band returned for a short encore. Audience members took their partners and barn danced beneath brass chandeliers suspended from the high ornate ceiling as the evening closed with an atmospheric version of the delightful Tabitha and an unprecedented reprise of All Night Disco Party – “because it’s Stroud.”
Words: Sarah Nicholls