It felt weird to be heading to the last ever tour of Brigade tonight, especially as the band still have the best years ahead of them. But saying that assurances early on were made that this wasn’t the end of the band completely. Brigade will continue to play live and make music but on a smaller scale. Which looking on tonight’s performance is a good sign as the band played a set in good spirits and in good form.
The first band on were “The Recreants” (I think). I must apologize, as they weren’t on the original bill so I wasn’t too sure of their name and I couldn’t find them online, which was a shame as they delivered a memorable set. The band contained the night’s dose of indie music, offered in a welcoming fashion with interesting vocals and cool hooks.
Next on were ‘The Rupture Dogs’ a lively band who used crunchy rifts to their advantage inter-cutting with raw vocals crafting an effective interchange. The screams in particular reminded me of how Dave Grohl chooses to scream, with a raw growl creeping over his voice. An added texture was also achieved through his Belfast accent, which crept through reminding me of other Irish bands such as Snow Patrol and fighting with wire.
Third band on the night was Kill Goliath, the calmest band on tonight’s bill. The band accompanied soft guitar tones with sharp bass and drums. Live, their sound is able to drift across rather than hit you hard which allowed their set to flow effortlessly for the audience to digest. The band did have heavier moments on display but the consistency of the vocalist controlled the band to remain a more mellow outfit.
Acting as main support tonight was Portsmouth based Munroe Effect. A band that bring an immediate presence to the stage, launching themselves into a distinct wall of sound. Musically on offer you will find an array of different elements, throwing intimate melodies into the path of hard hitting riffs interchanged with haunting vocals and powerful full on screaming. The singer in particular was keen to make full use of the space available moving out into the audience to mark his territory, losing himself in his art form. As a live band you get a real sense of their music as it unavoidably hits you from all directions. The screams in particular are released with such venom your able to hear them without the vocalist using the microphone which is some feat. This intern added to the different use of textures built up within their performance.
Finally hitting the stage to top off the night, Brigade entered in good spirits performing a set-list cataloguing their career in music so far. In between songs early on front man Will Simpson pointed out this was the first ever show in their history that he forgot to put in his contacts, giving the Southampton fans an accidental exclusive with the front-man turning to his glasses for the show. Luckily the change in eye-wear didn’t hinder the performance as fan favorites such as ‘Together Apart’ pleased the respectably sized crowd. Added to the mix, songs of latest album ‘Will Be Will Be‘ slotted in nicely in-between material from their previous offerings 2005’s Lights and 2008’s Come Morning We’ll Fight. Despite being their last nationwide tour the band showed they hadn’t fallen out of love for their music adding a bit of swagger and joyfulness to their show exaggerating every move they make on stage adding a sense of life to their songs. Will also managed to let out the odd cheeky smile when looking over to audience members singing along.
In this day and age of music it’s getting harder and harder for bands to make money in the industry, meaning more and more bands have to evaluate how they work in the future. Fair credit has to be given to Brigade, despite a reasonable following they made the decision they could no longer commit to a touring cycle, a reality that many bands face when looking to find the balance between making music and earning a living. On the looks of tonight’s show they have the potential to make one off shows in the future special events every Brigade fan wants to attend and, with their catchy hooks and sing along choruses, why wouldn’t you?