Live Review: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Manchester

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

peter brmc manc june 2015The Albert Hall, Manchester, June 29th 2015

I hadn’t considered the fact that it would still be daylight outside when BRMC took to the stage in The Albert Hall. This is possibly because on the whole I’m not used to attending gigs at venues that are framed by such beautifully large windows. The sun was shining down onto the stage as the band strode onto it, all black leather n jeans. Everything was at odds but then it occurred to me that this was the first time I was seeing Leah back behind the drum kit since her brain surgery and something just made sense. The band paid little to no attention to the fact the sun was out. They still created their own dark smokey atmosphere and before I knew it the sun had gone down and the band were close to heading off too.

That’s the only problem with BRMC gigs. As long as they can sometimes go on for, they still seem to all be over and done with so fast. The only part of the gig that felt like it went on for forever was when I found myself with a photo pass stood in the photo pit for three songs… and my phone. Yes. You read it. Me and a bunch of scary photogs and their big ol lenses vs me and my iphone 5s. They can laugh all they like though my pics were already doing the rounds Online by the time the band played their 6th song.

photo: poppedmusic

photo: poppedmusic

The Albert Hall is such a great venue and the fact that the stage is so high is great if you want to stand at the back and actually be able to see. It’s not always so great if you want to be at the front though  – it’s a bit like being front row of the cinema, craning your neck to get a good view. I moved around though and managed to pay my first ever visit to the upstairs of the venue, where I could overlook the chaos that was going on below me. This was particularly a great vantage point when Robert Levon Been took to leaving the stage and played into the crowd, got into the crowd, set the crowd on fire and left them as a pile of ash. Thankfully all at the end of the gig.

There were the usual thunderous moments during the gig; Berlin, Rival, Stop, Spread Your Love, and the set closer What Ever Happened To My Rock N Roll – moments when you could almost feel the ribs of the people at the barrier cracking as you watched the crowd lurch ever forward, a mass of sweaty limbs clambering toward the source of the sounds. Then there were other times that called for a little more decorum, if you can ever really be in a rock n roll band and call for such a thing. Complicated Situation, from the Howl album,  was one of these

photo: poppedmusic

photo: poppedmusic

such moments. That harmonica riff blazing, “no, screaming, shhhh … listen. now.” Both Robert and Peter took it in turns to play out one of their quieter musings. It was a nice way to give a break in the set without actually taking a break. American X was also reeled out. Much to my absolute delight. A track I had asked they play last time I was with them in Bristol a few years ago. It was well worth the 2 year wait, and many people took this time not to just enjoy it but grab a beer, and a toilet break. It is almost ten minutes long after all. But every moment of it pure bliss.

It was so good to have these guys back on British soil, to have them pound my ear drums to within an inch of going deaf (but for my ear plugs anyway), and even better to totally revel in the sheer atmosphere that this band create with their very loyal and excited fans, myself included, of course. I could go to one of these gigs every month but then it wouldn’t feel quite so special. Still though, two years is more than enough of a wait. Can we go and see them again now please?

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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