BRMC photo by Leanne Crowley


American rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have never been prolific in their presence, yet their string of albums and stunning live performances have always left fans wanting more earning them a demi-god status.

Fans of BRMC are loyal and tonight’s event is set to be no exception with the show being a sell out and the venue full to bursting as the band take to the stage. Set lists have been circulating on the internet this last week from previous shows and the anticipation mounts as soon as they take the stage, and it’s all worth it when they commence with ‘Beat the Devil’s Tattoo’ with its instantly recognisable riff. The blues inspired track is the perfect start and Peter Hayes’ vocal drawl lulls.

No one can dispute the calibre of their back catalogue and they fire through tune after impressive tune with ‘Let the Day Begin’ and ‘Rival’ before launching into ‘Weapon of Choice’ with its fast paced tempo and jangly guitar and the crowd react with gusto, the first crowd surfing rolling along happily. The room visibly lifts and there is not one person in this room who isn’t pleased by the inclusion of this one.

‘Aint No Easy Way’ is another sure crowd favourite and as the heat increases on this balmy Mancunian evening, the mood within the Albert Hall gets ever more intense. ‘Berlin’ and ‘Returning’ are offered up before the nine minute masterpiece that is ‘American X’ bursts forth. Empowered drumming from Leah Shapiro is the driving force behind this track and being aware that they don’t always play this one live, I feel like I’ve been treated to a thing of rare beauty.

BRMC photo by Leanne Crowley

BRMC photo by Leanne Crowley

BRMC power through the now rather intense heat with a tune from their debut album, ‘Salvation’ and without pausing to reflect, ‘Heart and Soul’. There is a nice amount of crowd-band interaction between every few songs, with Peter even telling the crowd “Thanks for having us back”. This is a pleasant thing to see as it shows the band have not forgotten who they are, and where they have come through. Yes, they may be underrated in the greater eyes of the world but to all in this room, they are legends in their own right.

There is added harmonica in certain tracks from Robert Levon Been to accompany his bass and when they finally break into ‘Conscience Killer’ it’s almost too much to take in. The set has been building in intensity with an interesting alternation between fast and slow tempo, but arguably the track that’s been most highly anticipated arrives on bated breath, it is of course ‘Spread Your Love’ and ends the main part of the set like a sledgehammer to the brain with a big red bow on. It’s executed with precision and purpose and the crowd waste not a second of it by jumping and dancing enthusiastically. They leave the stage to rapturous applause and whooping galore and soak in the acclaim discreetly.

After when feels like an infinitesimal absence, they return and launch into ‘Shuffle Your Feet’ and closely on its tails is ‘666 Conducer’; two huge tunes whose absence had been noted but put to good effect now. The evening is rounded of nicely with ‘Whatever Happened to my Rock ‘N’ Roll’. The track is perfect to seal things off nicely and leave the crowd jubilant as they leave. I casually listen to general opinion as I leave the venue and its clear there is a lot of love here right now

After tonight’s performance, it’s easy to see why many think that BRMC are largely underrated in the eyes of the world and yet everyone who was lucky enough to have been in this room this evening know that they have witnessed something really special. The twenty track set list has offered an impressive tour through their history as a band and not one song was out of place. It is clear, BRMC are not going anywhere – nor would anyone want them to.

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Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.