Turin Brakes know how to make the Lon­don Pal­la­di­um feel as inti­mate as a rough-and-ready base­ment pub venue. They start by intro­duc­ing songs from their brand new album. Over the next cou­ple of hours or so, the band take us on a jour­ney back and forth over the past 18 years, many mem­bers of the crowd hav­ing been on that ride with them from the begin­ning – the sense of a loy­al and pas­sion­ate fol­low­ing is pal­pa­ble. The long and mutu­al­ly reward­ing friend­ship which has seen Ollie Knights and Gale Parid­jan­ian make music togeth­er since school comes across on stage, with Gale’s humor­ous and extro­vert per­son­al­i­ty act­ing as a foil for Ollie’s more intro­spec­tive nature.

This Turin Brakes tour comes cour­tesy of new release Invis­i­ble Storm, a col­lec­tion of tracks that sees the band take a bit more than the usu­al tweak or two that they cus­tom­ar­i­ly make with each new release; there’s an evi­dent desire to exper­i­ment and shake things up on the pro­duc­tion side of things. They open with the first album track Would You Be Mine, fol­lowed by Wait For Me; fur­ther new songs are pep­pered through­out the set.

Per­formed live, the new mate­r­i­al fits right at home with the rest of their out­put and does­n’t feel quite as dif­fer­ent as it does on the album. Of their new songs, par­tic­u­lar­ly strong is the lush Fleet­wood Mac-sound­ing Lost in the Woods, drums and bass pro­pelling the dreamy bal­lad, over­laid by rip­ply gui­tar. Ste­vie Nicks’ smokey vocals would sound great on this. Turin Brakes may tweak the for­mu­la but their dis­tinc­tive sound is some­thing that is intrin­sic to the band – a warmth that per­me­ates their pro­duc­tions, the angsty lyrics, and those har­monies which have remained as pow­er­ful and unique­ly emo­tive as ever. 

Ollie asks if we remem­ber “The Opti­mist LP”. Er yes, all 2,000 of the Pal­la­di­um’s most­ly mid­dle-aged audi­ence con­cur before the band play Future Boy. Lat­er, back from 2003’s Ether Song comes the tor­tured Rain City, with a reminder that “this song is in con­text now”. 

Two encores close the evening, includ­ing moody and dra­mat­ic Black Rab­bit and – yay! Under­dog plus the wist­ful Keep Me Around. The evening ends with a birth­day cake for drum­mer Rob Allum – it is undoubt­ed­ly a mem­o­rable evening all round.


Rob Allum birthday on stage at London Palladium
A big hand for the birth­day boy

Turin Brakes
Lon­don Palladium
15 March 2018

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