Brute Chorus/Skeletons & The Empty Pockets, The Harley

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AN impressive XRay Horse promotion sees London-based Brute Chorus check into a packed Sheffield venue on a national tour for their eponymous new album.

Added to that is some fine local talent in the form of Risky Heroes, the fast rising Pirouettes, and a relaunched Skeletons & The Empty Pockets boasting an impressive new set.

Arriving just too late to catch the former, Pirouettes certainly make their presence felt with some fast paced guitar-led tracks. Atmospheric guitar riffs and a driving rhythm section lay a great platform for Thomas Bower to deliver powerful yet conversely understated vocals on the likes of Phaedra’s Ghost. They get a positive send off but the reception for Skeletons dwarfs it by many decibels.

Since headlining the unsigned stage at Leeds / Reading Festival in 2009 there has been a lull in output and appearances, but tonight they roared back to form. Liam Creamer’s vocal range and power is frightening, coupled with a band of exceptional and highly animated musicians, especially Matt Westley, the most dynamic of bass players. Closer In The Woods might just be the pick of a memorable set.

Following that proves a tough ask for Brute Chorus whose bluesy folk veers towards rock at times. Their sound doesn’t quite do it for a throng still coming down from the Skeletons. With another top vocalist in charismatic showman James Steel, their opener Lazarus grabs the attention but the audience starts to drift away despite some exceptional songs in oldie Hercules and wonderful closer Chateau.

Sean Bruce