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.

broken witt rebels at Water Rats

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

NOTE: Broken Witt Rebels were set to tour with Brantley Gilbert but this is now cancelled.

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