The Joiners, Southampton

Lonely The Brave

Lonely the Brave stopped off at The Joiners on their first headline tour of the UK having recently gained Radio 1 airplay courtesy of Zane Lowe and Dan P Carter. The title track from their “Backroads EP” was Zane Lowe’s “Hottest Record in the World” in October 2013, and they’re due to follow that up with a debut album later this year.

Their alternative rock sound was well received and the night was intriguing not only for their distinctiveness but for the bold choice of support act in the blistering Fatherson, of which there’ll be more of both later.

Three Times Over opened up first with an uplifting set to a crowd smattered with loyal fans. With a pop/rock sound full of hooks they seemed to relish the opportunity to get the crowd going and I was singing the riff of their closing song as I tucked into a pint between bands. Gigs at The Joiners are always memorable, especially due its heritage as a venue that has hosted bands who have gone on to fill stadiums. The 6 Minutes to Sunrise frontman seemed to think he was already playing Wembley as they took to the stage second. With a name that sounds like the title of a Dashboard Confessional song and a frontman that was very much the showman, their breathy vocals and emo stylings provided heart without heft.

While Lonely The Brave headlined tonights gig, Fatherson stole the show with a brilliant and mindblowing performance. It was very much a case of big beards and big sounds from the Scottish 4 piece. The crowd at The Joiners stood a few yards away from the stage as if in awe. Frontman Ross Leighton took the stage on his own to start their set with the title track from upcoming album “I Am An Island”, and halfway through his bandmates joined him to take it to a heavy climax.


Fatherson 12

It was a joy to watch them immersed in the performance of their cleverly crafted rock songs burst through with great guitar tones, immediate melodies and memorable lyrics. The humurously titled “Cat Stevens” was a particular treat with its loud/quiet dynamics and sounded massive. The flawless vocals stretched to the falsetto parts and set the tone for a very tight performance where no single moment went to waste. They garnered the crowd’s full attention and left many in the audience beaming and a bit taken aback.

Following Fatherson was going to be a hard act. So it was great to watch Lonely The Brave open with a quiet song that immediately showcased the stunning vocals of Dave Jakes. Standing towards the back of the stage and facing diagonally across it, his presence and voice is what draws you in. His voice is reminiscent of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder both for its quivering vibrato and emotional depth. The background of squealing guitars and driving riffs is somewhere between the punk rock of Gaslight Anthem to the post-rock of “insert band with long name”.

Lonely The Brave
Lonely The Brave 12

Guitarist Mark Trotter acts as their virtual frontman, mouthing the words and rocking out but it’s still hard to take your eyes off David Jakes. His soaring voice and intense performance is moving at times and a little unsettling at others. The middle part of the set seemed to tread the same melodic territory and, while I doubt this was the intention, felt indulgent. Perhaps itís the almost relentlessly haunting nature of the themes, which is both their strength and weakness. “Black Saucers” brought things back into focus with a huge performance and closer |Backroads” was undoubtedly the highlight. It was epic, soaring and cathartic. Long may they tread their distinctive path.

Band Web Links

Words By Tom Whitman.

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