PHOTO CREDIT: ASICiT Photography/Ryan Brucass
WORDS: Ryan Brucass
Above the Rescue Rooms bar area you will find the Red Room with a small stage in one corner, which was the scene for SAYWECANFLY’s gig supported by BRAD DEAR and KENNETHS. This hidden part of Rescue Rooms has a more intimate feel- like a small show at your local pub.
Singer/songwriter BRAD DEAR opened the show with an acoustic set of folky songs. He engaged with the audience well, pausing between songs to explain some of the stores behind them e.g. Special Brew which is about running away and finding a new town to live in with a girl he liked when he was younger. Brad’s solo performance had a stripped back mood as he normally plays with a full band: anyone lucky enough to have tickets to the sold- out Twenty-one Pilots gig at Rock City on Saturday 27th February 2016 can stick around to see the full band playing in the basement.
KENNETHS took us straight back to the 80s with their hard and fast punk rock. Frontman Joshua immediately tried to engage the audience claiming to be the headliners SAYWECANFLY, stating “I know I look at lot different in person, right?!” while Lewis laid down a funky bass riff over Aicha‘s drums. They then launched into a set, which sounded much grungier than their studio sound. One number which stood out was What Happened to the Radio about, as Joshua put it, “how terrible the radio is nowadays” and how music isn’t the same as what they listened to when they were younger. KENNETHS put a lot of energy into their set: Joshua got up close and personal with the crowd taking his guitar out into the middle of them during one song; Aicha was moshing behind the drum kit making her curly hair fly around, joining in with backing vocals for some songs; and bassist Lewis moved around the stage and stood on the edge of the drum kit to vibe off Aicha. At the end of the set Joshua crowd-surfed while Aicha took a photo on her phone.
Most of the SAYWECANFLY band had taken their places on stage. Jeff, Pat and Aaron were all ready but where was front man Braden Barrie?! As the screams of teenage girls filled the room, he finally made his entrance in style from a back-door, appearing behind the crowd and followed to the stage by his camera. It was Braden’s first tour with a full band, which gave his music more of an emo rock vibe than that of a solo singer/songwriter. Braden started the set with an acoustic solo before his band joined in. He paused between songs to talk to his fans and sip tea which was slightly bizarre but “so British” as one fan shouted out. Braden’s vocals were slow and soft, while Aaron’s guitar riffs had a bluesy vibe especially when he used a slide for some songs. Pat’s drum beats changed to suit the style of the songs, pausing completely during some of the more emotional parts. Jeff switched between playing bass and keys showing the versatility of the band. The lighting was static red for the whole performance, which gave the stage an eerie glow. The crowd really enjoyed the set singing along from beginning to end and waving the lights on their phones in the air during a particularly sad song. Braden stayed behind at the end of the set to sign autographs and pose for photos with his fans.