I met up with Brooders just before their gig at Lughole, Sheffield, as they waited for the evening to begin. They are a three-piece who come from all over the UK but now reside in Leeds. They’ve spent the last three months studying music at Leeds College of Music. Originally ‘Honey’, they evolved into Brooders last year and have been honing their style and sound ever since.
They have a definite psychedelic/grunge sound going on – somewhere between Nirvana and Radiohead with a noticeable influence from The Wytches and The Pixies. All three musicians grew up listening to the likes of Biffy, Smashing Pumpkins and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Liam Naylor (on drums) cites his Dad as a big influence on the music he listened to growing up. ‘Dad was into classic rock like ACDC and Iron Maiden so I was brought up listening to that.’ Adam Bairstow (lead vocals/guitar) on the other hand was weaned on Red Hot Chilli Peppers and still listens to them now. They are excited about their upcoming tour with Glass Mountain coming up in June 2017.
They all produce music together. Adam pioneered ideas for the EP they’ve just completed but things have changed and now all the band have creative input. Adam is pleased about the collective responsibility of writing now. ‘Our band is no longer just the Adam Bairstow experience!’ he joked.
Brooders have a small but committed following who wandered into this dark little club just on the outskirts of Sheffield city centre for their set which would then be followed by Cellar Door Moon Crow. The place filled with an enthusiastic crowd anticipating great things.
Brooders opened with Thrill Killer from behind a silver grid of chicken wire. A very heavy bass rhythm repeated by Adam Speare under the John Lydon-esque growl of ‘I’m a killer!’ was heightened by heavy thrashing on drums.
Haze began with a slightly lighter rhythm on lead guitar descending into a grunge-punk vibe as Adam mounted the amp and stood high above the crowd to play his solo. Talented playing led into thudding repetition from bass before a closing drum roll and rattle.
Brooders shifted the pace to gentler, slower and slightly creepy with Cling reminiscent of early Pixies again with discordant repetition and slow steady heavy drums taking us through the stuff of their lucid nightmares. An angry call of:
‘Why are we still talking
Talking over nothing?’
They then performed Amnesia, a new track for excited fans this evening. A complete change of rhythm with a syncopated beat and much slower swing over a low growling buzzing bass although still nodding to indie-rock. We were taken with the band as the piece races forward projecting crazed energy from the lead singer as he cries ‘ I open up my eyes for you!’
The lead singer continued this highly excitable energy throughout the set, a complete contrast from the quiet and humble Adam backstage.
The pace changed once more with Say Your Prayers, a slow and steady beginning with a melodic slow bass in the style of a lullaby. The mood was calm but with an eerie undertow as Adam sung
‘Go to sleep with your eyes wide shut’
It continued to darken and unease the audience as he shouted:
‘Go to sleep
In the dead of night
Your bones will break
Without a fight’
Blue Eyed Prince had a delicate beginning with a series of gentle acoustic chords and poignant chorus:
‘The blue eyed prince is gone
His song it shall be sung
Forever is too soon
And I’ll buckle and break just for you’
The sweetness of the lyrics contrasted cleverly with the heavy bass, a grungy thrashing mess of emotion before the piece restored itself back to its heart-wrenching finale.
Finishing with Melancholy pulled the audience into a final collective of singing/shouting/dancing with more powerful vocals:
‘Close your eyes and count to ten
The world will stop and start again’
then led into a thrashing growl of the chorus.
Their signature style seems to be powerful indie musings on life, the universe and everything in between and a highly energetic set. I felt I was at the start of something here tonight in this tiny club on the outskirts of Sheffield city centre. Brooders are a young talented band on the road to wherever their continuing hard work and opportunity may take them.