Gig review: Turin Brakes – Acoustic at The Engine Shed, Lincoln (30th November 2021)

A very special evening for me. Not only was it the first time I’d seen Turin Brakes live (despite being a fan for nearly 20 years… better late than never, though!), it was the first live event of any kind that I’d been to for 2 years. The band, comprising Olly Knights, Gale Paridjanian, Rob Allum and Eddie Myer, were clearly happy to be playing to live audiences again after the long draught imposed by the pandemic restrictions.

The venue was The Platform, a small low-ceilinged room upstairs in The Engine Shed, part of the University of Lincoln Student Union. There were maybe 150 people, rather warm in their winter clothes! The stage was not very raised but I was quite near to the front. I had a decent view of Olly and Gale’s passionate singing and their fingers rippling along the frets, less of a view of Rob’s percussion and Eddie’s bass playing. The section of audience I was in paid rapt attention to the music, but the people near the bar and at the back at the room could be heard chattering (rude of them, I thought) during the quieter songs.

The support act was Kevin Pearce, a singer-songwriter from Essex who was endearingly awkward and wowed me with his incredible voice. One particular song, ‘Freezing’, sent shivers down my spine. The lighting was pale blue to match the song.

Turin Brakes were fantastic. Their live acoustic versions are even better than the recorded ones. Although the gig was not advertised as part of the Optimist 20th Anniversary Tour (which took place in October and included the whole of their debut album), there were a good number of songs from it anyway. There was at least 1 song from every other album and I was lucky to hear most of my favourites. They opened with ‘Sea Change’ and closed their 2nd encore with ‘Slack’. In between, the set list included (in the order I have remembered them, not the order in which they were played): ‘Dark on Fire’, ‘Pain Killer’, ‘Long Distance’, ‘Underdog (Save Me)’, ‘Emergency 72’, ‘Outbursts’, ‘No Mercy’, ‘Apocolips’, ‘Come and Go’, ‘Keep Me Around’, ‘Mind Over Money’, ‘Fishing For A Dream’, ‘The Door’, ‘We Were Here’, ‘Lost in the Woods’, ‘Feeling Oblivion’ and I think another which I noted down as ‘the one with the la’s’ and now I can’t work out what I meant. A really generous number of songs!

If you love guitars, beautiful melodies, amazing vocals, ballads and uptempo songs… please do check out Turin Brakes.

Tour poster from Facebook.

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