I first saw Turin Brakes doing an acoustic set at Glastonbury in 2011. I was a sideline fan at the time and if truth be told, went along as side-kick for a friend.
They had me from the start. Their frontman Olly Knight lead the procession, riding the vocal waves alongside guitar riffs and drum beats. They took me on a journey and delivered me afterwards from a very sweaty festival tent, totally in awe of a band that succeeded in producing a sound even better than their studio album.
Since then I missed out on tickets a few times so when they became available for Islington Assembly Hall a year in advance, I snapped a couple up.
Turin Brakes get better with maturity. They are after all a band that has sold over one million albums worldwide during their career and frequently appear on compilations for the ‘noughties’. This isn’t the type of recognition which simply falls into one’s lap, it has been earned throughout the 17 years since the band first started in Balham.
The Islington Assembly Hall in London is perhaps the perfect venue for them, grandly ornate, quietly intimate and easy to reach the front row or hang back at the bar and still have a great view, relishing the sound.
Knight’s voice is the star of the show and whilst the band earn every bit of their place on stage, his voice can deliver fragile tones or booming vocals with magnificent force. This is a band which absolutely gets better with age. They are polished but not afraid to take old songs in a new direction, and work as a tight unit. Original fans blasted out words to each song and the band appeared deeply humbled by the reception they received from the London crowd.
Their new album Lost Property is a true testament to a band with Seventeen years under its belt. These days Turin Brakes are unlikely to hit number one in the music charts, twisted and skewed by the download Millenial generation, but if you have the chance to see Turin Brakes live, they are made for the stage, an audience, and will certainly not disappoint.
I’ll leave you with a couple of my recordings from the night. Enjoy.