Band of Horses – Brixton Academy, London – 03/02/11
It had been an almost mild day in London compared to recent weather and certainly compared to the blustering winds and rain that was being reported by my friends via Facebook.
A s I approached Brixton Academy the green lights were glowing from the roof and touts were everywhere buying and selling tickets for the evenings event. It didn’t look very busy even though I knew the gig was sold out. However, inside there was a bustle of excitement as Goldheart Assembly belted out their last couple of songs before exiting stage left. From what I heard they were a good band with some catchy melodies. Next up were Mojave 3 (pronounced mo-ha-vay 3) who were an interesting prospect from Cornwall. They are definitely a band to look out for in 2011. Band of Horses seem to think so as lead vocalist Ben Bridwell joined the Cornish outfit on stage to provide vocals for one of their songs.
The venue was about half-full throughout until nearer Band of Horses stage time as the Granite City syndrome – most often seen at the Music Hall – is not just contained to Aberdeen. Come 9 o’clock and the imminent arrival of the Seattle quintet, the venue was packed to the rafters and the anticipation was palpable. As the band arrived on-stage to the cheers of the crowd they got their set underway with Evening Kitchen before belting out songs from all 3 studio albums. Band of Horses took the crowd through a meandering journey of old and new whilst a big screen behind the band projected videos to accompany each song. The videos themselves were almost as impressive as the songs themselves as they switched between epic landscapes, to wildlife pictures, to home-made tour videos, which even included images from Scotland’s very own T in the Park.
Band of Horses returned the compliment and friendship by inviting Neil Halstead from Mojave 3 onstage to play guitar and sing Yer Feet with them. The set also included a cover of Summer Babe, by the band Pavement, to which Bridwell had previously gushed about listening to bootleg tapes of Pavement at Brixton and what an honour it was to be playing on the same stage as one of his idols had also played on.
Band of Horses played like they enjoyed every minute of headlining such a prestigious venue and judging by the smiles on their faces, I think they did.
My set highlights included Is There A Ghost? and The Funeral but the whole gig was thoroughly enjoyable in a venue, you can see why, is voted the UK’s favourite venue year after year. (4/5)
Words and pics by Telenovela.