Walk Off The Earth | Live Review

On the 6th September 2012 ‘Gaz Brookfield’ played his biggest ever, indoor gig, opening for Walk Off The Earth. The Bristol based artist could not have wished for it to go better!

With only a half hour set, Gaz managed to steal the crowd. It may not have been a full Bristol O2 Academy, but he still had a good 800 people in front of him as he stood alone, on the large stage with just his guitar. Gaz made the most of the stage rarely standing still and popping in some slap picking during ‘Frank And Sam’, which brought a big applause to ring through the venue.

For a relatively unknown act opening for an American main stream band, he was welcomed with open arms and before starting his heart felt song, ‘Man Of Means’ He looked around and said, “There’s a lot of people out there”, to which a lonely voice replied “and they’re all here for you baby!”

His trademark song ‘West Country’ had everyone clapping along and during ‘Thin’, he had the crowd all singing “it’s not over till you’re underground”. ‘Gaz Brookfield’ is one to look out for and if this continues he won’t be in the West Country for much longer!

(Gaz is performing a live intimate gig at the Bank Tavern, Bristol, on the 4th Oct)

I haven’t been surprised at a gig for a very long time…  And it was a pair of Canadians who did it! With their first ever gig in the United Kingdom, ‘USS’ were mad and exciting with Jason Parsons playing the decks whilst doing a handstand with one hand. The music was very infectious and poppy but with grittier vocals from Ashley Buchholz. Very much like Deryck Whibley from ‘Sum 41’, (that may be a Canadian thing). Their mixture of decks with acoustic guitar works live, it created an emphatic response from the very excitable and eclectic crowd. ‘Yo Hello Hooray (Everyday)’ was opened with a lovely little dance to ‘Careless Whisper’ by ‘George Michael’ and during their cover of ‘Hey Ya’ by ‘Outkast’, Ashley was playing guitar on Jason’s shoulders. The two of them really looked like they were there to have fun and the music reflected that. Not one song had the same beat, switching from drum and bass, to dub step, to hip hop, but all, pop in nature.

They also showed great adoration towards ‘Walk Off The Earth’ for bringing them along! I for one am glad they did because ‘WOTE’ themselves were like a very long episode of ‘Glee’.

Although you expect singing and dancing at a gig, you don’t really expect it to bring on an over-happiness hemorrhage. From the off, ‘WOTE’ had dance routines and perfect pop harmonies, of which most seemed mimed.

This lasted for 18 songs. A huge set list that ‘Queen’ would be proud of, and not one but two encores.

There were points where the over American, smile and dance, “everything will be ok” show had hit peaks. Balloons and glitter covered the crowd, while Sarah Blackwood ran around with sparklers.

They had played mostly their own songs. ‘Magic’ being a sign of how lyrically limited their own songs are and ‘Broke’ being possibly the worst song to close a show on. It is a repetitively dull song with no substance, especially when it was the second encore.

It was the covers that made the night. ‘Someone Like You’ by ‘Adele’ was sang with such grace and ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ by ‘Gotye’ was brilliant. The five of ‘WOTE’ playing their individual parts around one guitar is exactly what everyone was there to see. It looked and sounded great!

So if it wasn’t for a couple of covers, this set would have been an average performance, filled with a lot of run of the mill pop songs.

Words: Lee Kiernan