Black Country, New Road
Live At Bush Hall
Ninja Tune Records
In the accompanying concert film to Live At Bush Hall, the members of Black Country, New Road are dressed up as if they emerged from a time capsule from the 80s, seeking to mirror the sense of nostalgia and emotional intimacy of a prom night that attendees reminisce on decades following. To complement this visual ambition, the tone of Bush Hall blurs expectations from the band’s previous works, a live set embattled between sombre post-punk tendencies versus an indie rock melancholy tinged with happiness. Hence, even at the album’s euphoric high points (“Up Song”, “Across The Pond Friend”), there remains a sense of underlying discord conveyed most impressively through the soaring performances of violinist Georgia Ellery and saxophonist Lewis Evans.
Another element to note is the shared bond between the singers and the ‘prom-goers’ – every single audience member transfixed – that adds to the authentic vocals delivering heartfelt lyricism, written by a group that has endured loss and are pondering on uncertainty. Tyler Hyde will frequently be travelling between the realms of sung vocals and conversation, making the hopelessness painfully expressed in “Laughing Song” all the more hard-hitting in its emotional outpouring. The moment where this bridge is momentarily broken, and in the most awe-inspiring way, is on the transcendent “Turbines/Pigs”. Its pensiveness melds the supernatural (and initially humorous) assertions of singer May Kershaw with the introspective thought of self-worth and self-sustenance – a surreal standout in what will be fondly remembered by fans as a creative peak for the band.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD – LIVE AT BUSH HALL