LONELY THE BRAVE, Student Central – Evening Standard, 20 March 2015

It’s a surprisingly rare quandry in music: how to function when your singer is not your star. There are plenty of bands who have someone else writing the songs, but the one voicing the words is front and centre almost every time.

The reticence of David Jakes doesn’t seem to be slowing Cambridge rock quintet Lonely the Brave, who sent their debut album into the top 20 last September. Hanging back by the drum kit, looking downwards but singing with full voice and deep concentration, he made Andy Murray look like an embarrassing extrovert.

The show recalled that moment where the guitarist steps forwards to take a solo, all the way through. Mark Trotter mouthed almost every word with joyful abandon, lurching and flailing with his instrument as though on a listing ship. Songs as passionate as Trick of the Light and The Blue, The Green, and a new one, Control, merited a physical response from both band and fans.

Heavier than the average indie act but still a long way from metal, they used their volume to signify emotion, not anger. It’s no bad thing to have a singer who appears to be doing it because he needs to, not because he wants to. Such sincerity should take them far.

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