When I arrived I was surprised to see that Brudenell Social Club was strangely quiet especially for a band which has played sold out gigs in some of London’s well-known intimate venues. The band set up their equipment on the dance floor rather than on the stage in order to get closer to the small but appreciative audience. I saw sights that I have never previously witnessed at that venue, the crowd sat on the steps leading to the dance floor and one man drinking tea in the corner. This gave the impression of an intimate, unplanned gig for family and friends as the whole audience were well versed with their repertoire.
This was a set deserving of a bigger crowd, their rumbling bass lines, frantic drumming and guitar riffs had a really energy to them. Whilst the guitar riffs were heavy at times they also displayed a level of intricacy and creativity. Each track had well thought out peaks and troughs and great vocal and guitar melodies, the occasional involvement of a saxophonist was well placed adding to the overall sound.
The Soft Pack showcased a lot of new material in their set, ‘Tallboy’ was particularly good with its catchy chorus. ‘Head On Ice’ was really high energy and reminiscent of The Horrors but with lighter tones. They also played plenty of material from the previous album the highlight of which was fan’s favourite ‘Answer To Yourself’.
The ability of singer Matt Lamkin really impressed me, his vocals were incredibly clear and his talent really shone through. He has the enviable skill of being able to supply soft, delicate vocals when it is required and then within seconds he can switch to a rasping, piercing tone. This ability gives added gravitas to each different style and emotion he is portraying.
Credit must go to this group of interesting and talented musicians because they didn’t let the smaller than expected audience faze them and they stuck to the set list they had previously planned. They really gave the crowd value for money and they put a lot into their live performance. They revealed on stage that other American bands had told them that Brudenell was the best venue in the country, I hope next time they choose to play here word has spread and they get the size of audience they deserve.