All of life is here in Stokes Croft on a Saturday night, and a goodly number of them were at The Croft for the launch gig for Bravo Brave Bats Purple EP. Their third EP in twelve months.
I have already spoken in praise of this collection of six songs, clearly their most consistent and run throughout with a confidence and maturity that doesn’t diminishing their innate sense of energy and vitality. So how would these numbers play out live?
The Croft is either a bit odd or full of charm and character, depending on you point if view. With conflicting gigs in the two rooms, the girl band didn’t stand a hope confronted with the visceral onslaught that is the established Bristol underground band, Big Joan, whose stone faced (well more or less) pile driving set clearly went down very well with much of the packed room.
On a personal note I was more seduced by the charms of Glis Glis who opened proceedings for the night. Their drummer is a hidden gem and the amazing octave jumping bass produced sounds as far from a bass that you could wish to imagine. With some material online it would be great to see what they can produce in a studio setting.
Squeezing three bands into the evening made for a nice full schedule but it did mean that BBB didn’t come on ’til 10.30 and with the curfew set for 11 it didn’t leave the main talent with quite enough time IMHO. In the event they played a nice full forty minutes with a nine number set. The six numbers from the EP were sandwiched between the opening, Pedalling, and closing, Wagons, with A Hymn tucked in along the way.
I freely admit to be biased but, even after quite a time without gigging, they sounded great, possibly the best I have heard them. Seems to me that the considerably assured and sure-footed performance goes hand in hand with the quality and maturity of the new material. I recall the first time of seeing them at The Louisiana where the guts, energy and excitement shone above the musical performance. But here we are a bare twelve months later with a very different proposition, of course the drive and energy are still there but now wedded to a confidence and sense of direction that allows them to do a song like Last Song as well as Wagons.
Alerted early on by the Fair Nicola that there would be ‘surprises and interactivity’, Robots saw the handing out of maracas and general shaky things to join in with, and a flock of balloons some with fee EP tokens inside, launched over the crowd. It did the trick, a lot of getting involved and Glis Glis members mounted the stage to add to the percussion.
Closing song Wagons finally saw Hector indulge in his throwing-himself-around-on-the-beer-strewn-floor antics, Ieuan and Dan pounded away and then, all too soon it was over. Forty minutes without hardly drawing breath, I guess they are never going to do a two hour set with medical support.
They seemed to have a good time, the crowd clearly did, and frankly who wouldn’t. Let’s hope that the new EP gains them yet more admirers and who knows, if this is the progress you can make in one year, what will they be like at the end of 2012?
A few more pix from the evening can be found here if you are interested.