Fresh off their Northsix performance in Booklyn just three days ago, the UK’s Nic Armstrong And The Thieves made their way back to New York once again Wednesday night at Webster Hall, supporting the Bravery for a few dates stateside.
Shortly after the first few notes of the opening anthem, “If We Can’t Escape,” it became clear why the group’s raw roots rock earned them a spot at this year’s Coachella, as well as gigs opening for Louis XIV and Oasis in the past month (The brothers Gallagher had offered more opening gigs for future tour dates, but Nic and his mates had to decline due to the Bravery commitment.)
From there, the band tore through the tracks “I Can’t Stand It” and “Natural Flair”, both found on their re-released debut album, The Greatest White Liar. These two pop-friendly numbers showcased the group’s classic British influences, prompting their growing legion of New York fans to swoon for more.
Throughout the rest of the set, drummer Johnny Aitken and guitarist Shane Lawler shared singing duties on tracks such as “Rising Shotgun” and “Have Pity”, making for some great retro-rock harmonies. The ability of each band mate to hold his own lyrically added immensely to the quality and depth of each tune.
The short set closed with the rousing final tune, “Broken Mouth Blues”, stealing the show with its harmonica driven, soul-drenched instrumentals that left the crowd in a glow. The ease with which the band delivered each track assured that Nic and his band of thieves’ timeless talent is sure to entertain for years to come.
Like Nic and the Thieves, The Bravery have recent ties to the Brooklyn area as well, having played their first ever gig at the Stinger Club just over two years ago. Since then, the whirlwind of publicity following the group has been nothing short of staggering, adding to the high anticipation of the sold-out crowd in attendance.
Kicking the crowd into a frenzy with tracks such as “Swollen Summer”, “Honest Mistake” and “Fearless”, lead singer Sam Endicott (sporting his trademark faux-hawk) and bandmates played like seasoned rock legends, intent on giving the crowd a memorable performance.
Undoubtedly though, the most intriguing parts of the evening were the covers that were selected, including U2’s “An Cat Dubh”, and the finale of the two-song encore, INXS’s “Don’t Change”. Re-counting tales of meeting Bono, and perhaps inspired by the new rock reality show featuring INXS, The Bravery performed each tune with the spirit and energy of the original writers.
Capping off the evening with a toast to the crowd, Endicott and fellow guitarist Michael Zakarin raucously strormed off stage in a blaze of fury (i.e. crashing into the drums), ready to conquer the world.
Source: Coleman Feeney