Despite about 10% of the local population being away for the weekend due to the Swansea match at Wembley on Sunday, there was a solid turnout to see Brother and Bones for their second performance at Sin City in two years.
Creating a storm on stage is what Brother and Bones seem to do best. To hear the transition of the material on their new EP from a recording studio to the stage was fantastic – and clearly it had a strong impression on the audience who chanted the words as though they’d been rehearsing for this night in advance.
The control each member of the band had through each song recalled the same instinctual passion they brought to the stage last year, and the re-working of some of their older material only adds to this.
Impossible as it may seem this band is better than ever; churning out waves of energy that had the crowd screaming themselves hoarse for an encore by the end of the night. This was truly a superb performance by an outstanding band, and hopefully one that will go on to achieve higher recognition later this year.
The guys were keen to head upstairs to see Jurassic 5’s The Kill so unfortunately there wasn’t time to catch up with them at Sin. However they did manage to email the Siren once they were back on the road to let us know what they’ve been up to since we saw them last.
Their music selection seems to have changed slightly since the last time we spoke. Current artists being listened to include Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin (in particular their live album from 2009 Celebration Day), Me’Shell N’Degeocello and Biffy Clyro.
When asked about their favourite places to gig (asides from Swansea, of course), Robin cites both London and Cornwall. James is more specific, and writes about the Deaf Institute in Manchester and a new venue for this tour – “Open” in Norwich.
“Swansea has to be up there in terms of post-gig carnage,” was Si’s response. “London is always good, Manchester is a great place too – Deaf Institute has a great gig space, good length bar (Coyote Ugly reference), friendly people and some awesome drinks like the Flaming Zombie!”
Their plans for 2013 are essentially to tour as much as possible. They have a few shows lined up in Europe including some of the summer festivals.
“We love gigging and being on the road,” James wrote, “so that is always high on our priorities list. However we’re excited about the prospect of getting some new recordings done- hopefully the album if all goes to plan- but at least some new tracks. We would really love to do a support tour at some point, get in with a band that can help introduce us to Europe and also help us raise awareness by playing in 1000+ venues.”
Robin is pleased with the reaction the band has had over their new EP so far.
“We’re stoked with how it started with the iTunes top 10,” he wrote. “People seem to like the tunes. We made good steps in the recording process and it’s given us a stronger knowledge for getting the album right!”
“For All We Know and I See Red have become almost the highlights of our live shows, as lots of people are singing them which means they must have been received well, right?” James said. “And like Rob said, it’s helped us figure out what we’ll change and keep with regards to sounds and songs when we finally get to work on the album. To get into the top 10 of the iTunes rock chart with no funding or radio was a massive achievement for us and a huge pat on the back for all the hard work.”
I asked them what it was like to come back and perform in Swansea at the same time as the rugby, again.
“Swansea and Sin City are great,” Robin replied. “We’re treated really well, enjoyed the gig with a super responsive crowd and had a stomping, jaegermeister-filled night after.”
“Sin City is somewhere I think we’ll always come back to until we can’t fit any more fans in,” James added. “It has that sticky underground vibe to it, which we love. It’s the kind of place people know what they’re getting. Plus Gary and Pete look after us really well there. They’re very accommodating, almost too much (where I end up blacking out on the roof terrace for two hours, waking up on my own and having to make a solo mission back to the hotel).
“It’s actually quite annoying about the rugby as we all used to play and really love watching it. We managed to catch a little bit of it all huddled up around an iPad streaming it during soundcheck. As long as Wales win then we do too, it’s a good night. The atmosphere could be completely different if that wasn’t the case!”
Asked what their plans for 2013 are and whether they have any advice for aspiring musicians, Si responded with his hopes for an album recording, more gigs, and different hair styles and facial hair. A return to Swansea is also hoped for – another “carnage night out, lots of drinks, great stage and even better crowd”.
“For the future, summer shows and festivals,” James added. “Hopefully a new release of some sort (we don’t know what yet, maybe a single or another EP?) It would also be nice to get a new video out, maybe a little one of this tour.
“My biggest advice to other bands and musicians is you have to be thick-skinned and driven. My Granddad once said to me when I was starting out, and which has always stuck with me: ‘Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die’.
“I’ve always wanted to be on stage and the dream is to be successful and be able to make a proper living through music, but I’ve had to work bloody hard to get to here and we’ve not even scratched the surface in the grand scheme of things. I know we have so much work to do and sacrifices to make. Bring it on.”
By Roisin O’Connor
Brother and Bones’ new EP, For All We Know, is available for download on iTunes. Check out their website for information about music, merchandise and upcoming tours.