It’s a Tuesday night at Borderline – a dingy cellar bar in Soho, one of those November nights when sauntering around tube stations and stepping over strangers on escalators seems like it might not just be worth the effort to see a little known band from Edinburgh. But sometimes the effort is in fact worth it.
Two weeks ago, Broken Records released their second album, Let Me Come Home, and having just spent some time in the summer supporting The National, what we see tonight is a band – who may not be the finished article, just yet – full of confidence, eclecticism, and a desire to show a bit of originality and wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Fronting the six piece group of bedraggled and bearded Scotsmen – who seem to change instruments every five minutes – is lead vocalist, Jamie Sutherland, and his brother Rory, who emphatically sends the rest of the band into a frenzy with his erratic and frantic violin playing.
Broken Records sound jumps between euphoric stomping anthems, to slow bar room ballads, which need a quiet and respectful audience, and tonight’s audience seem to be just that. “If you’ve left your hipster trousers at home tonight, feel free to enjoy yourself”, says Sutherland, who seems to have a knack at keeping the audience entertained between the constant shuffling of bass players becoming guitar players and trumpet players becoming pianists.
It takes the band just over half the set to get the crowd properly warmed up, but there is no doubt that tunes like ‘Home’, ‘Lies’, and ‘Until The Earth Begins To Part’, have attracted a loyal following who sing along with Sutherland to the end.
They refuse to do an encore, with Sutherland asking the crowd to simply clap loudly after the third last song. Cinematic, daring and different – definitely worth leaving the house for on a Tuesday evening.