Live Review: She Makes War + Forgery Lit + James Brute @ The Louisiana (09/10/14)

Kicking off her UK/European tour with 36 dates across England, Germany and Brussels, first stop Bristol! The Louisiana the perfect choice of venue for top music nights and another spectacular in the My Big Sister Presents Series, it’s Laura Kidd’s 13th in her series of empowering non stop work ethic showcases in introducing new music to the audiences – from dazzling electro pop to full blown post punk goodness, there’s always something for everyone. Tonight was no exception, an eclectic line up range with the She Makes War leading the front line with an exclusive appearance of her band, joining Laura were Bristol trio rocker Forgery Lit and London singer/songwriter James Brute, marking his return to Bristol with new material and a new band.

Taking the stage first was James Brute, charismatic acoustic instrumentals alongside his fellow guitarist Mat Martin and drummer Fin Brown. Blue toned and shaded stage lights befitting to the rhythmic sounds of folk Americana – dynamic positions, twist and turns through gritty guitar strings, intertwining of electric and bass strings, scratching and raffling amongst James husky vocals. Fin’s toned drumming providing the backbone, slick guitar work and haunting harmonic melodies as James shares his folky tales. The most noteworthy however was the performance of his new single Bury Yourself, the acapella piece that has captivated previous shows and it was the case here, a backdrop of harmonic thrumming and rhythmic hand claps which brought the audience to a stand still – a cracking start the show.

Forgery Lit‘s reputation is well known in the Bristol scene so an exciting set was anticipated. Adrenaline fuelled rock ‘n’ roll lead by drummer Ami Amp’s empowering vocals, slick basslines from Gareth Jones and artistic rhythmic work from Nico Mar. Their set was indeed explosive, Ami’s drumming and melodic vocals bringing the firepower, stylishly layered by Gareth tremendous work on the bass and Nico’s dynamic rhythms and rapid solos; a set that could not be faulted, one that was oozing with rock ‘n’ roll confidence.

The stage was set for She Make War, Bristol’s ‘Gloom Pop’ artist but this time we were treated with an exclusive appearance of her full band (Chris Nicholls, Ami Amp and Joan Patrick), making this a one of a kind live performance. There was the usual instrumental range of electric guitar, vocal loops, ukelele, marching drum and signature megaphone but with Laura’s live band all this truly evolved into something more broader, unique and dynamic. This was Laura’s punk rock spirit and DIY work ethic at full force, amplified by ten fold with Amp’s solid drum presence, Joan’s exquisite violin and Chris’s tight guitar work. Kidd’s rumbling basslines then switching to ukelele, foot percussion, bells and sonic loops; keeping the audience on their toes throughout. From old tracks such as Olympian and NIMN to new ones like Stargazing and The Best, offering us an enticing glimpse into her forthcoming album Direction Of Travel. Delete is always a stand out at Laura’s shows, sonic loops and sirens effects captivating the crowd with Kidd marching onwards with the megaphone but the band’s performance of Drown Me Out completely stole the show – utterly brilliant and explosive!

Live review and photography by Mustafa Mirreh