Broken Records at The Lexington
It seems to be very fashionable nowadays for modern music acts to pack out their stage with as many members of possible; long gone are the days of a tight-knit three-piece, with acts like Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire ruling the airwaves with their countless members. Broken Records are the latest indie/folk act with a clan of personnel and a broad smorgasbord of interesting instruments. We headed down to The Lexington lounge bar to discover how they hold up in the live arena.
The first striking feature when entering the bar is the sense of prestige that is all around: there isn’t a speck of graffiti or damage in sight and the stage is beautifully set. A sign above the bar reads “if you require earplugs, please ask”, indicating that either noise levels reach painfully high levels or this is the politest joint in all of London. The crowd eagerly await the arrival of the band to discover which is true.
As the Scottish lads finally arrive onstage little time is wasted before diving straight into their electric set, with all seven members playing behind lead singer Jamie Sutherland’s raw voice, attempting to complement its gritty presence. At times it almost seems as if there are too many people on stage, with peripheral members awkwardly attempting to join in with the main percussion in a way that makes Bez seem like a musical genius. Despite the substantial room being packed out there is quite a timid response from the older audience that leaves a slightly awkward ambience between each song.
The instruments are rotated throughout the set in an almost Arcade Fire-esque fashion, with the clear highlight being the introduction of the violin, giving the set a new lease of life and creating a refreshing change to the rustic American rock vibe. The overbearing reliance on structured old-fashioned guitar parts, combined with Sutherland’s gravely iconic voice, mean at best the band sound like a Scottish version of The Gaslight Anthem. However, despite the usage of numerous instruments there is also a sense as it goes on that this familiar sound is somewhat stale.
For further information about Broken Records and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Toska here: