Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Manchester Academy – 27/10/17
On Friday 27th, Manchester Academy opened it’s doors for fans of bluesy garage rock legends Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC). After releasing two new singles this year ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’ and Haunt’ alongside a huge tour it was an easy bet an album was following. ‘Wrong Creatures’ is set for release January 2018, it’s their first album in five years and BRMC all over are tingling in anticipation.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club kicked off their set with one of their new singles ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’, a daring move to open with a brand new song, but the audience loved it. Following this was an automatic crowd pleaser, probably their most well-known and well-loved song ‘Beat the Devil’s Tattoo’. When the guitar started playing that famous riff the crowd went into a frenzy, everyone was singing along and moving to this song.
BRMC played the longest set I’ve ever seen, rallying off a total of an immense twenty-four songs, they never withered or slacked during their performance, an attitude the audience reciprocated. Everyone in the room was giving it their all. As someone who has grown up listening to BRMC whilst I was a teenager, I was really eager to finally see them live. Their stage presence perfectly correlated with the genre and with their songs. All three members were effortlessly cool, and as you would expect by the band named, dressed in all black and suiting leather jackets.
It’s not often you find a band with two frontmen, and rarer that one doesn’t over power the other. However, BRMC’s balance of frontmanship subtly strengthened their live performance. Whilst Peter Hayes is slightly more reserved, Robert Been would come right to the edge of the stage, thrashing his guitar around and keeping the crowd excited.
Around the last third of their lengthy set, they played a few of their calmer songs, which allowed the audience to get a little lost in themselves, looking around the crowd had calmed into a sway to their melodic bitter sweet lyrics and slower tempo. But as soon as their usual upbeat garage rock tracks were back the crowd snapped back into it’s wild energy.
BRMC’s sound is authentic contemporary southern rock, they’ve added their unique twist to this by adding in the blues and the garage, a combination that has inspired bands across the world. But BRMC, along with other musicians, works of fiction, film and TV (e.g True Blood, especially it’s opening credits) all have something about them that’s almost sexual. It’s in the gruff guitar riffs, the dirty bass and heavy drums, the low but almost rough, horse vocals that create an atmosphere of desire. It’s something to do with southern charm and the rebellion against religion, it’s all these things combined, but the real key is in the lyrics.
BRMC saved some of their biggest hits until the end of the set, ‘Spread Your Love’ along with ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song’ were songs guaranteed to leave the audience on a memorable high of the amazing night they’d just had witnessing this incredible band live in Manchester.
Review & Photos – Holly Elizabeth