1999: The year that was to mark the turn of the century. The last year bands would be affectionately remembered as ‘those guys from the nineties’ and were instead, about to embark into the era of the noughties next to Destiny’s Child and S Club 7. At this time, it couldn’t have been easy to work your way into an industry with such a mish-mash of music: Akon, The Darkness, and Dido to name but a few, yet Turin Breaks have managed to make a steady, small and humble imprint onto the music industry, where they are now onto their seventh album, Lost Property, released last month. This four-piece band from London could be compared with the likes of Starsailor and early Elbow, however their originality and intricacy gives the quartet a unique sound not to be underestimated.
Following the release of Lost Property, the band have set out on a tour across the UK with a number of dates already sold out. On the 24th February, 2016, I was lucky to get a chance to review them at one of Southampton’s venues, The Brook. The building is a little out of the way from Southampton’s accessible centre, and sits past Portswood, surrounded by a building yard and a closed-down B&Q. The location made me a little apprehensive, but as tickets were going fast at £22, I reckoned I must be going to something a little out of the ordinary, and was proven right. The venue was absolutely packed. There was not a space to stand downstairs and the balcony floor above, I wondered if it might collapse with the amount of fans that had crammed themselves into the venue.
True, I was perhaps one of the youngest people there, but the atmosphere was buzzing. It was incredible to see such a well established fan-base and I managed to find a spot on the balcony to watch the first artist: Tom Speight. This young, energetic, singer-songwriter did well to keep the crowd’s attention. Despite such a charismatic presence on the audience; his melodies were delicate and lyrics were beautiful, if not haunting at times, with the help of his backing vocalists and performers.
In the twenty minutes’ interlude between the artists, I took the chance to move down to the bottom floor of The Brook to get more involved with the crowd. I’m not exactly tall, so it was a bit of a struggle to see over the heads in front of me, but with such an excited atmosphere, it didn’t really matter.
Fan footage from the gig:
It felt like a long time before Turin Breaks finally appeared on stage, but when they did they were met with a wave of enthusiasm. For a band that has been playing continuously for over fifteen years their stage energy and clear love for what they do was still apparent to see, and it was evident that the crowd truly loved them for this. Playing songs from various points of their musical career, right from their pilot album up until some of the most recent songs, Turin Brakes had the crowd wrapped round their collective thumb for over ninety minutes of blissful music, ranging from feel good and bass heavy jams to seductive melodies that brought a soothing and peaceful atmosphere to the otherwise energetic crowd. After a few drinks it was tempting to just close my eyes and let the music wash over me, yet before I knew it the band had performed, left and returned for their encore, and left the stage for a second and final time that evening, leaving their audience to slowly filter out satisfied, yet eagerly awaiting the next time Turin Breaks would appear in Southampton to play again.