Broken Records @The Deaf Institute, Manchester 03.02.11

They’re a passionate band that packs so much into their live performances that you can’t help feel a swell of emotion flood inside your body. Their lead singer’s got long hair, they have a delicate and tranquil string section and their numbers go past that of a conventional-sized band (seven members in total), whilst their music evokes imagery of an art deco backdrop amidst neutral and atonal cold colours. No it’s not Arcade Fire (although comparisons have been drawn), it’s Broken Records.

Feb 3rd, 2011 at The Deaf Institute, Manchester / By Alex Yau
Broken Records Tonight they prove that their live show is one that traverses a variety of landscapes. It’s a beautiful grandeur that soars over the great canyons, releasing all inhibitions whilst at other times; it’s a quiet, gentle experience. One that sees you standing in a peaceful field as it rotates around you gently with no care in the world. ‘A Leaving Song’ is a majestic tapestry of rich music. It’s that spark of inspiration that comes suddenly rushing to your head as the guitars flutter along and the strings light up slowly in a glistening gesture. ‘If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’ follows a similar pathway, feathering along at a windswept pace whilst the contrasting ‘A Promise’ adds sombre and sentimental dimension as Jamie Sutherland looks particularly at one with himself, eyes closed, as if he’s crying his heart out. It’s an empathy that the crowd feels as the sweeping pianos reach out as the sorrowful violin swans along. This is Arcade Fire in a classic noir film, about to meet the firing squad.

It’s a shame that the Deaf Institute is empty tonight. For those present, the music makes them feel at one with the band. It’s a beauty that not many bands can do and as you see the breaks in the crowd, you feel that the band deserve a much grander stage that matches the scale of their music.