Brandon Flowers at Brixton Academy
Entering the stage with his new album’s opening track Dreams Come True, wearing a signature glittery sequin jacket, Brandon Flowers is a star, with or without The Killers.
The performer brings perfect pop to the Brixton Academy, delving deep into the 80s, the years that most inspired his songwriting and style.
The stage is bare, with long-haired choristers, synth-players and seasoned multi-instrumentalists – it could just as easily be a Stevie Nicks show.
“[This place] really makes me feel good, really good. Every year on October 4th there’s a pilgrimage taking place in Mexico where they walk 60 miles to Magdalena. I wrote a song about it and I will play it now: it’s Magdalena.“
Flowers’ sounds are very expressive, reflecting his deep and eclectic character; his songs are never banal and it’s not a coincidence given the effort he makes to do something different.
With synth loops, dry sequencers and four-to-the-floor drumbeats, it’s hard to tell if this is the Brixton Academy or a 1980s New York basement club. That’s the effect of stand-out new number Can’t Deny My Love.
“I’ve been reworking on some The Killers songs…” the Las Vegas frontman says as he launches into a stripped-down, melodramatic rendition of Jenny Was a Friend of Mine: acoustic guitars, soft bass lines and light marching drums.
The biggest singalong comes as soon as he plays major The Killers hit – with a full-on band – Read My Mind, the track that consecrated them as a band larger than their synth indie-rock label.
The evening’s highlight is a rendition of Jacques Lu Cont’s Thin White Duke Mix (producer Stuart Price’s alter ego) remix of fan-favourite Mr Brightside, just before the encore. And it’s during the encore that The Pretenders’ own Chrissie Hynde comes on stage to duet on the notes of Don’t Get Me Wrong and the lovely Between Me and You.
“This is something that embarrasses me; I’ve been coming here for 12 years now, my wife is here and… come here!” he says inviting his family – wife and two kids – to join him and say hi to Brixton. He dedicates the joyous second single Still Want You to them.
Flowers’ solo career may not be as relevant as The Killers’, but it’s certainly necessary; it’s a smaller, more personal canvas sheltering his uncontainable personality and bottomless creativity.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
For further information about Brandon Flowers and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Can’t Deny My Love here: