Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017

Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017Glass Mountain + Brooders @ Cuban Embassy, 14th June 2017

Tonight, in that semi-hip outer centre area of Birmingham, Moseley, a new venue hosts Bradford/Leeds band Glass Mountain on their first headline tour. Regular readers of BrumLive will have probably noticed that they’ve had good press from myself and I make no bones about the fact that I believe this band are going places. Tonight though, the headline band become the support act to their city and tour mates Brooders, a surprise to me as the majority of the crowd there early on appear to be there for Glass Mountain. First support came from singer/songwriter Jessie Dipper.


When Glass Mountain make their appearance what looks like new pedal boards for guitarists Lewis and Harry is tantamount to carrying around an orchestra in their kit. They immediately set about creating an orchestrated soundscape with adept skill right from the opening track of “Home In The Weather”, and this wall of ever changing sound and noise stays with them throughout the set. This wall of sound is adjusted by the use of (currently very much in fashion) capos, glass slides and dexterous touches that almost reinvent Indie guitar playing whilst William and Jonny on bass/keyboards and drums respectively, add texture and dynamics. The drum and guitar purist of my youth would have probably considered the use of keyboards and electronics as cheating. Thank god for age and wisdom!

Reasonably new song “Gin Flows Through My Veins” leads the way towards what is a gloriously abrasive mid part of the set. “Medicate” and “Overthinking” (which gets a cheer before they strike the first notes) are a feedback drenched and rhythmically awkward pairing that could throw the casual watcher off balance. For me this is a perfect pairing and the tension in “Overthinking” with it’s dark humour, borderline caustic in fact, drops perfectly into sync with my aural brain patterns. “Cowboy Song” from their second single is a beautifully crafted song of, to my mind, optimism and positivity, yet Harry manages to sing it with a feel of fragile self doubt. It sits together perfectly because it sounds so sincere. It’s a song that stays with you in spirit and makes you feel good about the world.

Glass MountainGlass Mountain

“Wait All Alone” is new and I have to admit to struggling with it but I have learnt from experience that almost all their songs have this effect on me and require several listens.  I do not feel perturbed by this. Whilst “Ghosts”, an early song is changed up in arrangement possibly – it sounds a little different. These two songs whilst not my favourites are book-ended between the two epics of the set as “Glacial” sees us through to the closing sounds. I can only quote a friend, who on seeing them for the first time described them as “the best bits of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine” and with the sounds from those pedal boards how can I disagree.

Glass Mountain

Next up are Brooders, a name I have heard banded about but have no prior knowledge of. I speak to them briefly before the gig and I can say that these  young, friendly and softly spoken Indie looking guys …. turn into full on rock animals when they hit the stage. Holey moley!!! You are not going to find too many musically explosive trios in Brum on this particular summer evening. They defy pigeon-holing.  It’s rawk, alternative rock, grunge, powerpop-Indie-grebo-psychedelic-gunge…. oh hell, I have no idea!!  What I do know is that these guys are going to appeal to a wide crossover of music fans. What I can also say, without doubt is that they’re loud. Very loud.  The kind of loud that makes the wall mounted speaker shake itself apart… and it did!

Brooders

The two Adams on guitar and bass make it look easy, a little sideways look to each other and they instinctively know where they are going. Liam on drums is a powerhouse of a drummer and is locked in with the barrage of bass notes that bounce tightly around.

BroodersBrooders

For maybe three or four songs I’m trying to drop anchor on the sound but it’s so damn hard. Flashes of an angry, faster, louder, fuzzier Pearl Jam are there but every time I think I am sure of this then they throw something else into the mix. They defy my musical hook so the best I can say is that these guys rock and it’s inevitable that they are going to be back soon. Probably as support on tour with some Charlie Big Spuds band. Inevitable!

Brooders

Yet another crackin’ Birmingham gig that was badly attended. Worse still is that it was free entry. I despair at what this city has become musically and tonight makes me think I should move back to West Yorkshire which is a hotbed of bands at the moment.

Glass Mountain setlist

Home In The Weather
Gin Flows Through My Veins
Medicate
Overthinking
Cowboy Song
Wait All Alone
Ghosts
Glacial

Review: Mark Veitch
Photographs: Ian Dunn

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