Turin Brakes at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
South London duo Turin Brakes return home for their show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. After 14 years together, over a million records sold and a top 5 UK single, they are now commencing their largest tour in more than ten years. They are joined by seasoned band members Rob Allum (drums) and Eddie Myer (bass) and the effect is truly astounding.
Turin Brakes, aka Gale Paridjanian and Olly Knights, cast a demure presence on stage. Known for eschewing technology during their album recordings it is a similar affair at their live shows where only a few puffs of smoke glide over the minimal set. “We tune because we care,” says Paridjanian with proud devotion and it’s true, there are no gimmicks here, music is all that matters. These sincere, resonant soundscapes are greeted with rapt attention from the passionate audience who bop serenely to the beat.
Citing influences such as Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd and Chuck Berry, Turin Brakes’ set is a fine mesh of musical genres which intertwine with expert precision. From gravelly blues to mellifluous folk, gaudy saxophones and distorted flute the band showcase music in all its multifaceted brilliance. The metallic twangs of Paridjanian’s soaring slide guitar in new single Time and Money spill out into sweet vocal harmonies giving a mellow feel. Knight’s reverberated echoes glide eerily above the thundering drums and crashing guitars of Emergency 72, emitting a psychedelic ambiance reminiscent of Pink Floyd. The Sea Change is a welcome distillation of sound with delicate harmonies and soft fluid guitars, harking back to the band’s early acoustic sound which won them a Mercury music prize nomination in 2001.
Knight’s voice is the star of the set, gliding into high-pitched accents and swooping into grainy spoken tones with ease. In the epic hit Painkiller Knight’s vocals sail ethereally over the chiming cymbals and grainy electric guitar. The pair’s dulcet harmonies are simple yet polished, ringing out with sublime force.
The evening finishes on a melancholy, yet lovingly nostalgic note as Goodbye is dedicated to the late Lou Reed. All is still through the morosely beautiful melody sung with imploring sincerity. It’s an enchanting end to a tumultuous evening and a fitting testament to Turin Brakes’ musical prowess.
Photos: Alejo Garcia
For further information and future events visit Turin Brakes’ website here.
Watch the video for Time and Money here: