South London’s Turin Brakes Join us on Saturday
How many pundits frantically casting their runes back in 1999 for predictions for the new millennium would have foreseen that Turin Brakes would be releasing their seventh studio album in 2016? Back then, they were hotly-tipped young ingénues, and we all know what usually happens to them in the heartless world of showbiz – but while many of the rest of the class of 2000 seem forever frozen into the faces in their yearbook pictures, Turin Brakes are still making their way through the century’s changing landscape.
Turin Brakes was created by Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian, in a millennial South London bedroom, more out of a shared need to express a hidden message they’d both caught at the century’s end, than in a grab for stardom. Enlisting the membership of long-term collaborators Rob Allum and Eddie Myer, the band carries on because the message is still there, still hidden, still with something to say. 2010’s Outbursts was followed by 2013’s We Were Here, written on the back of a continuous live touring schedule driven by their fans’ need to keep tapping in. Sending out continuous streams of under-the-radar transmissions to whoever tuned in to hear, the band found their audiences staying, then growing, as more and more listeners tumbled to the secret.
The cover artwork of their new album Lost Property shows an urban spaceman marooned in a deckchair as, behind the winter lawn, half-hidden shapes loom in the dark. The intimacy and warmth that Turin Brakes have taken along with them down the years, but this time reaching up towards something bigger, more epic in scope and darker in hue. It’s a sound yearning for the wide open spaces of the USA but rooted in the grimy streets of South London, still unique, still unforgettable.
Sixteen years of touring across continents have sealed their reputation as a fearsome live act, able to hold any size crowd with the sheer chutzpah of their no-hidden-tricks raw and direct onstage presence. Turin Brakes carry on their secret life, and with a new generation of artists like Max Jury, Aquilo and Benjamin Francis Leftwich starting to beat a path to their door to collaborate, it looks like the secret is getting out. With a new album recently (and successfully) launched, the band has been rehearsing the tracks ready to take them out on the road, which can present its own set of problems not necessarily foreseen at the writing and recording stages. “So far, everything has gone pretty smoothly I am glad to say,” Gayle says. “The bit we are thinking about is where exactly to put it in the running order. You have to make sure that your live set is balanced, and works up to a good ending.”
After seven albums – and over a million records sold – we think that Turin Brakes might just have that set list sorted by the time their European tour starts in April, and it’ll be just perfect for the London Acoustic Show in September!
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