Black Country, New Road at the Irish Centre - Spring Tour 2023
After spending the last year playing various gigs and festivals, as well as releasing the Bush Hall gigs on spotify, new BCNR have had a chance to refine their sound. Nearly a year on from their last gig in Leeds, it is clear that their fans are only growing (and not just in height - why are BCNR fans so tall!?). The Brudenell is no longer an adequate size but the band sold out the fourth biggest venue in Leeds.
Following the drawn out anticipation created by In the Air Tonight, the band emerged and quickly began their set with the now familiar saxophone tune of Up Song. A nice addition from the earlier shows is that the crowd has now had a chance to learn the lyrics. It was lovely to hear people enthusiastically singing along, confirming that this new direction has very much been embraced.
The set included three unknown songs, including Horses from Georgia Ellery, adding a fourth extremely talented singer to the mix. But the best of the songs remain those led by Tyler Hyde whith melodies infected with emotion. Dancers in particular makes for a captivating live performance, playing to BCNR’s strengths, the song allows the eclectic mix of instruments and voices to come together in a chaotic instrumental, leading to a powerful built up finish.
The next move for BCNR is definitely to define themselves on a recorded album, giving them a chance to experiment even more with their sound. The live based start has certainly been an unusual way to debut music, and it would be great to see their songs evolve in the studio.
Words: Lucy Clark