THE BREW - The Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton 26.09.17

Samantha Lloyd


After listening to these guys quite excessively over the past few weeks on YouTube and Spotify I’ve become quite a fan of the tight guitar work, bludgeoning drums and overall sound that these Grimsby boys produce. The Brew are a trio that have been around since 2006, who have found huge success in Europe and is made up of guitarist and lead vocalist Jason Barwick, bassist and backing vocals Tim Smith and drummer Kurtis Smith.


The band line up has remained the same since their inception and the music has gone from strength to strength, not to mention the fact that the three of them use up as much space on stage as a ten piece band would! Tim and Jason are all over the stage, all the time, they never stand still, and it creates such a great performance and an atmosphere of pure enjoyment for the audience. With a plethora of absolutely awesome tracks at their disposal from their various albums over the years, I was pretty confident that this gig was going to be huge. And I was right, the music was huge, however, the audience was almost nonexistent. I was 1 of approximately 25 people who had turned up for this event, which as far as I’m concerned, is an absolute tragedy! But, despite the poor turn out these guys played and performed as if they were entertaining thousands. It was a pleasure to behold.


The raw energy and dynamic performance is accompanied by tracks such as ‘Shake the Tree’ (taken from the album of the same name), ‘Name on a Bullet’ and ‘Knife Edge’ but for me the song that stole the evening was ‘KAM’. ‘KAM’ is a slow song, full of depth and moody blues. The use of Timpani style soft mallet drumsticks from Kurtis adds an edge to the song that when combined with the soothing, deep bass of Tim; rich, smooth vocals of Jason; really makes this song feel hugely satisfying to the soul. The track builds and falls, builds again, soaring until I feel like the roof is going to blow off from the sheer depth of the bass and almost 11 minutes pass before the song comes to an end. Wow!


Their set progresses through ‘Shake the Tree’, ‘Johnny Moore’, ‘Knife Edge’, ‘Mute’, ‘Skip’, ‘KAM’, ‘Repeat’, ‘Every Gig has a Neighbour’ and ‘Name on a Bullet’, 4 of which are taken from their newest album ‘Shake the Tree’, 3 from their previous album ‘Control’ (both albums of which were recorded at Veil Studios and produced by Toby Jepson), and 2 tracks from the album ‘A Million Dead Stars’. The night is littered with some of the most outstanding displays of musicianship that I’ve witnessed, (albeit for the bass being so loud that my feet were fuzzy from the vibrations along the floor). Tim Smith throws his bass, and himself, around on the stage throughout the 90 minute performance and quite honestly I’m exhausted from watching him and Jason, who accompanies Tim in bouncing around the stage like a pair over energised children on Red Bull and too many E-numbers. Head shaking, bouncing and springs for legs make their performance undeniably entertaining.


Barwick’s vocals are soulful and smooth throughout the performance, his guitar skills and musicianship would make any Hendrix fan proud (trust me he’s that good!) Then he changes up his MO towards the end of the evening when he pulls out a fiddle and goes all Jimmy Page style which sounds absolutely amazing! Just awesome! The night reaches its conclusion with an amazing and somewhat painful drum solo from Kurtis Smith who batters and pummels the life and soul out of his drums.. Oh did I mention he does this barehanded?


The only thing that bothered me was that some of the tracks were excessively long in their performance which meant that only 9 actual songs were played during the gig. Less lengthy songs would have allowed for a higher volume of tracks to be played. These guys write such lyrically outstanding songs that accompany their beautiful instrumental composition that I personally would have liked to hear tracks such as ‘Black Hole Soul’ and ‘Change in the Air’.

The Brew really put on one hell of a performance and it totally baffles me that they can’t seem to gain any traction in the UK like they have done in Europe. If you get a chance to catch a show then do so, you won’t regret it! Just don’t forget your earplugs because that bass is just so damn loud!


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