If you have your finger on the ever-changing musical pulse, you’ll know by now that New York quintet The Bravery are going to be everywhere in 2005. They recently topped the BBC’s list of bands to watch this year, an accolade claimed by none other than the million-selling Keane 12 months ago and have already caused a stir amongst the indie crowd with their debut Unconditional EP.
Their sound, like fellow countrymen The Killers, is largely lifted from the 1980′s – forthcoming single An Honest Mistake is a rather impressive and concise take on New Order‘s Blue Monday. By December, they’ll probably have completed a year of tours over here and Stateside, appeared at a few summer festivals and will have at least a couple of ubiquitous singles that everyone knows the words to.
In short, they’re the betting man’s tip to replicate the success of The Killers, Razorlight and Franz Ferdinand last year. That’s the plan, anyway – we’re still only in February and this is The Bravery’s first proper headline tour of the UK. If they can prove they’re more substance than style rather than vice versa, mass adulation almost certainly awaits.
As lead singer Sam Endicott swaggers on stage just in time for his vocal cue to set opener Unconditional, it’s clear that the audience are in for one hell of a show. Not only do his band look the part – lots of hair gel and eyeliner aside, the songs on display this evening are startlingly immediate and unashamedly catchy. Simple, well-crafted pop songs are evidently the rage at the moment (The Killers and The Kaiser Chiefs will vouch for this), which is certainly a good thing if tonight’s performance is anything to go by.
The aforementioned track begins with a tantalising synth driven introduction and features an unforgettable hook – watch out for a re-release sometime later this year. They’re far from one trick ponies however: take, for example, the gloriously upbeat Swollen Summer, which has future hit single written all over its juggernaut of a riff or Fearless, which requires a straitjacket to prevent you dancing aimlessly to.
Lyrically, it appears that Endicott has been rather unlucky in love and is often seen begging for some form of redemption – “I’m a liar but not a cheat,” “Forgive me if I’m out of line, I can’t control myself sometimes” (Out Of Line) and “Don’t look at me that way, it was an honest mistake” (An Honest Mistake). With failed romance being a theme common to most of us, The Bravery may well be a new hip soundtrack to those messy break ups.
After eleven songs of their own and a searing rendition of INXS‘s Don’t Change (well, they’d run out of original material), they leave an enchanted and beer soaked audience behind. It’s been a fun filled, action packed and occasionally exhilarating 45 minutes – like a one night stand that leaves you begging for more. The Bravery are here to kick start your party and you’d be a fool to ignore them.