Live Gig Review and Photos: Karan Dutta
On 29 November 2016, Islington Assembly Hall played host to two currently touring acts; Broken Witt Rebels (“BWR”) and King King. I won’t get into the latter band in this review as its already been covered in a separate article, however, there is plenty to write about BWR and their show from that evening.
A four piece band from Birmingham, BWR recently released their single Georgia Pine and have been touring the country to promote their self-released album. With a raw, gritty, dirty south sound, combining the finer parts of Kings of Leon and Lynard Skynard, these gents definitely have a sound that is readily identifiable. With Danny at the helm on vocals and guitars, a genuine showman engaging the crowd and not to mention the perfectly waxed mustache tips on Luke, the stage presence these guys had was evident from the outset.
Georgia Pine had a great deal more to it delivered live relative to its album counterpart. A more prolonged and structured intro to the track coupled with some new wah based solos added an unexpectedly new dimension to an already solid track. Moreover, BWR was supremely tight when delivering this one live making it a testament to their ability to deliver on stage just as well as they do in the studio.
Danny knows how to use his pipes to delicately accent notes in the melody as was evident on Getaway Man. Through the opening section, adding little inflections and accents to each line, Danny’s voice bordered on a quiver yet maintained the power of the vocal melody throughout. The range of vocals in this track bears recognition, Danny hitting multiple octaves through the track, commanding his vocal chords to vibrate with a resonance that for certain rumbled up from his gut, the effect of which was an acid soaked tone cocooned in a honey glaze of melody. Some serious power in this man’s voice.
BWR played a couple of new tracks that evening starting with Bang Bang. A solo vocal melody kicked off a funky guitar that saw Tranter groove with the open high hat staccato drum beat and bumping baseline. A thumping interlude with a bump bump bump style bass gave way to a fierce chorus that had the entire band singing whilst Dudley bashed the cymbals and high hat. Bang Bang is definitely on the bolder side of their compositional repertoire and to be fair to the lads, they make it work.
Equally, another new song from their arsenal saw Davis and Dudley develop a groovy base layer over which Danny belted out a howler of a vocal line accented by Tranter’s guitars at the end of each verse. Heavy tremolo work on this track by Tranter, Dudley building the tension in the track up until the guitars break into what could only have been an ode to an old Hendrix lick. Well played Sir Tranter, we all saw what you did there and liked it.
Guns, the second last song of the evening, cut clearly in the mold of an Arctic Monkeys or a Kings of Leon style track, is another popular song of BWR‘s, though more so with their younger fan base. A deviation from the album version had Danny change up the vocal melody on the track. I suspect this may have had to do with the visibly strenuous use of his vocal chords through the evening but would like to believe it was simply the band improvising one of their new hits to mix it up for the fans.
Overall, a great evening of music with BWR delivering an energetic, explosive and entertaining set. These guys are definitely on their way to achieving greater successes in the coming years, their most distinguishing asset being a sound that is uniquely identifiable as them which I believe is what most of their fans love and certainly what I’d credit the band for.
Danny Core – Vocals & Rhythm guitar;
Luke Davis – Vocals & Bass;
James Tranter – Vocals & Lead Guitar;
James Dudley – Drums & Percussion