Rattling Through – Broken Records live

Broken Records / Dante – Church, Dundee – Saturday 21st April 2018

Not quite sure what happened on Saturday night. After a short wait for Broken Records to appear at their in-store at Assai in the afternoon, at one point it looked like we might have a long wait to see their headline slot at Church in the evening.

Turning up just before 8 p.m. (for a 6.30 doors!) the doors were only just opening. Which meant that the first act was starting 45 minutes late – not leaving a lot of wriggle room for a 10.30 curfew.

In truth, neither of the first two opening acts were to the taste of myself or MPK2 and their sets dragged a little not least because little effort seemed to be made to recover some of the lost time.

Next up were Dante, a band whose name I’d seen from time to time but who meant absolutely nothing to me. I half expected some sort of classic rock band for some reason but word association is almost always well wide of the mark in such circumstances. And so it proved on Saturday.

In fact Dante could have been pitched as a perfect Broken Records support – operating in similar but still distinct territory. Their violinist was given a lot of prominence, thereby giving them something of a folky air, but they also carried a lot more bite than you might have expected.

And they were very good. Post gig Spotify listening suggested that they played a lot of their singles which wouldn’t hurt but throughout there was plenty of energy on display and not a few good tunes. We both really enjoyed them and hope to catch them again.

Remarkably the headliners took to the stage only 20 minutes after their advertised stage time, which counts as something of a miracle. There was no time to waste though as they launched into a perfectly paced set drawn almost exclusively from the new record ‘What We Might Know’ with, disappointingly for this hack at least, nothing from their excellent third album ‘Weights and Pulleys’. Although, to be fair, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the show at all.

The opening burst of four tunes, led off by ‘Let The Right One In’ and ‘Open Ground’ set the tone. Displaying an impressive sense of urgency both ‘All Is Done’ and ‘A Darkness Rises Up’ flashed by before the band finally took the foot off the accelerator for a beautiful ‘I Used To Dream’ and an equally chilled ‘So Free’.

Thereafter they gradually ratcheted up the pace again through the album’s two singles into a frantic ‘The Inbetween’. The set was brought to a close in the same order as the album, a powerful ‘Clarity’ led into perhaps my favourite track from the record ‘Someday You’ll Remember Me’. The song actually sounds quite like New Order on the album but here it sounded of a piece with the rest of the set and offered a more nuanced, complex song to set beside some of the direct tunes. Guitars were then set to minimal for the keyboard drenched set closer, an affecting take on ‘What We Might Know.’

Not sure if there would have been time for an encore but despite dropping a song and sprinting through the remainder of the set, the band lost only 6 or 7 minutes! Quite impressive.

Less impressive was a typical Dundee turnout. With the crowd probably split between the last three acts (and a decent number of musicians!) there was always an audience for all the bands and it was heartening to see those there mainly for the supports also staying for the headliners.

But nevertheless it was a fraction of what such an exciting live band deserves. The last time I saw them play alerted me to the fact that I was missing out on Broken Records – I’ve no intention of letting that happen again.

Broken Records played:

1 Let The Right One In 2 Open Ground 3 When all Is Done 4 A Darkness Rises Up 5 I Used To Dream 6 So Free 7 Perfect Hollow Love 8 They Won’t Ever Leave Us Alone 9 The Inbetween 10 Clarity 11 Someday You’ll Remember Me 12 What We Might Know

Full set of photos from the show here.

Broken Records have the following dates lined up in support of the new album:

26 April – Summerhall, Edinburgh
27 April – Tolbooth, Stirling
28 April – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
10 May – The Borderline, London
12 May – Night People, Manchester
18 May – Stereo, Glasgow

Dante can be caught at the following shows:

18 May – Drummonds, Aberdeen
25 May – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
18 July – Heb Celt Festival, Stornoway

More photos from the show: