The Academy isn’t too busy when Brothers come on stage, and it’s pretty clear from the first song who the audience are here to see. The end of each song sounds more like the audience of an amateur gold tournament, mostly apathetic but a few spatters of unenthusiastic applause.
The only thing I’ve heard about this band is ‘all the bits you hate about Oasis’ so I don’t have high expectations. They actually seem to be somewhere between Oasis and Alphabeat, with lots of happy poppy choruses, although nothing catchy enough to really get people involved. Their five vocal assault was quite impressive, some lovely harmonies, but a little uninspiring, they could have explored counter-point melodies and got the female backing vocalist a little more involved.
The whole set was underwhelming to say the least, but I could imagine them working a lot better in a smaller venue, with their own fans.
With chants of ‘Skinner’ coming from the crowd almost constantly from the end of Brothers’ set, the crowd is set to blow when he walks on stage. The audience really go wild, I can’t see a single person not jumping during those first minutes.
It all calms down again, letting people dry off their beer soaked t-shirts but the good vibe stays. Skinner is a master of the stage, stalking about and really taking command of the crowd. It’s a little odd when he stops a song to ask a guy to fight him though, and not too rock’n’roll to tell the crowd ‘I’m getting in, support me’. I doubt many other frontmen would ask so nicely before leaping into the audience.
The Streets sound is excellent, the tight band along with the DJ really do a superb job of recreating the songs at album quality, but with a little extra punch. With such a solid backing the vocalists are left with nothing to worry about except getting the words out and entertaining the front row.
The sold out venue means visibility is poor, but when the band kicks into a famous tune it’s doubtful anyone can really see, the amount of people jumping around is spectacular. The songs from the first album, Original Pirate Material, seem to go down the best while some of the newer, slower songs provide an opportunity for many to hit the bar.
It’s a leery night, but one filled with good spirits. Skinner brings it down a bit, announcing that this is the last tour the band will be doing, which results in a huge room full of boo’s, but he makes up for it with an excellent encore, getting everyone singing along with ‘Fit But You Know It’ and ending the night on a massive high.
Review – Ben Duff
Photos – James Hough