Gig Review and Photography by Lee Allen

The Barr Brothers

Out on King’s Heath High Street, the night is cold and misty but upstairs the air hangs heavy with expectation for the sold out visit from Montreal natives The Barr Brothers.

Michael King

Michael King

First up we have a solo set from Boat to Row’s Michael King, who is nervous. “I didn’t expect it to be this busy so early” he quips as he lays out a piece of paper with lyrics written on it – “I was going to try some new stuff but I’m not sure now” but try he does, and with some success as the now packed room falls silent to listen to the delicate folky musings. Brilliantly played and with a clear and smooth voice Michael dispatches songs new and old with seeming ease and the crowd reward him with a rousing round of applause at the end of his set.

The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers

Now if I’m honest I know very little about The Barr Brothers so here are the things I do know:

  • They all live in Montreal
  • They have two albums
  • They have a lady who plays the harp who is neither a brother or a Barr

Before tonight I had listened to one song on YouTube and that’s it – I wanted to go in blind (or deaf if  you like). What I found was a band that layered sound on top of sound to build swirling soundscapes while the bands harmonies drifted on top.

The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers

At times their sound reminded me of Band of Horses… other times a psych version of Wilco – a really intriguing proposition. Despite it being a sold out crowd they were very quiet and the tired band (it was the last night of their UK tour and they had just driven from Edinburgh) seemed quiet reserved.

The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers

I would like to see them again in a bigger venue where the band have room to move and open up a bit more and maybe take the crowd with them. Tonight they were good but I feel like there is definite brilliance waiting to come out.

The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers

See the full The Barr Brothers + Michael King photoset on our Flickr profile.

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