There’s a real buzz, a sense of anticipation in the lead-up to the Broken Witt Rebels heading on stage at The Water Rats. The audience are crowding to the front and there’s a bank of photographers jostling for position. It’s great to observe this young band making such headway. I spend more time than I should watching bands perform their socks off – musicians who so often never get the recognition they deserve, and it fills me with despair and frustration. So it’s a real pleasure to chart Broken Witt Rebels’ rise – getting themselves a solid foot on the ladder. Actually, both feet are there and they’ve started the steady climb. But anyway, enough of the metaphors.
There’s no easing into this set. The band come out all guns blazing, starting with Low from the new EP Georgia Pine. It’s a swaggery number with full rock guitar cred, and it gives Danny Core the opportunity shows off the range of his vocal ability – that plaintive, pleading tone of the verse, the soaring chorus, all done with soulful energy.
Cloud My Day is sounding good, James Tranter’s guitar and Danny’s vocals working a magic synergy. A couple more numbers in, Danny introduces two new songs, Come on Over and God Knows. Broken Witt Rebels are currently in major songwriting mode, so this may be material for future albums. Title track Georgia Pine follows, this strays more into Kings of Leon territory with a strong rock vibe. The band have now relaxed into the performance and are interacting with each other – there are more smiles in evidence too and the crowd are loving every minute.
The set ends with Shake Me Down from Howlin’, and they play Queen Bee for the encore. Absent from the set is The Getaway Man from Georgia Pine, my favourite track – a less linear number which they performed at the Rising Stars gig. But that’s a minor quibble, so I’ll content myself with crossing my fingers it’s on the set list next time I see them.
Broken Witt Rebels have more gigs coming up in the next couple of months. No doubt an album isn’t too far away. I’d recommend going to see them now before you’re having to fight your way to the front.
Broken Witt Rebels’ new 5‑track EP Georgia Pine is released on April 15.
This Feeling put together a well-balanced four-act night. Naropa opened with an dancey indie set, followed by Liberty Ship from Sheffield, whose set was an uplifting mix of indie rock. Broken Witt Rebels were followed by Bright Young People who put on a excellently grungy set with shades of Nirvana.
WHO: Naropa, Liberty Ship, Broken Witt Rebels, Bright Young People – This Feeling.
WHEN: April 2, 2016
WHERE: The Water Rats, London