Support: Moneen, Kevin Devine
It’s always special when Brand New come to town. At their last outing in Manchester, back at the Apollo in February 2007 the band performed the genre defining Deja Entendu its entirety (bar one song). Anything could happen tonight.
First on, Moneen did just enough to get the night off to lively start, even if their blend Canadian alt rock did sound a few years too late, perhaps due to drawing a little too heavily from 2006’s The Red Tree. Kevin Devine followed and although the crowd may not have been too responsive to his breezier melodies, he put on a brave effort. A closing Nirvana cover did little to salvage the cruelly unappreciated set, with my only complaint being the missed opportunity by Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey to join Kevin for opener ‘Cotton Crush’. Hopefully Kev will have better luck supporting Manchester Orchestra on their mid July jaunt of the UK.
Opening with old favourites ‘The Shower Scene’ and ‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows’ there seemed to be a real urgency with Brand New. However, not so much an urgency to be heard, more so an urgency to get the older stuff out of the way. Even a rare outing for ‘The No Seatbelt Song’ felt a little forced. With a few more crowd pleasers aired; in the shape of hit ‘ Sic Transit Gloria…’ and a sublime acoustic rendition of ‘Play Crack In The Sky’, from then on the Long Island quartet (now completed with an additional guitarist for live performances) concentrated on material from their last release The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Of Me. In addition, two new songs from their forthcoming album got an airing, the first, believed to be called ‘Gasoline’, the second, ‘Bride’, both showcasing a similar sound to the DAG era, albeit less progressive, more sharp and focused, fuelling (pun intended) speculation that their next effort may only be around 30 minutes long. With the always-intense ‘You Won’t Know’, followed by an extended ‘Welcome To Bangkok’; the latter complete with additional drummers, rounding off the set, once again Brand New left the crowd in awe, on a very sweaty night in the academy. There really is no one else quite like them.