“You would think out of all these people here, I would know at least one person” is what I heard someone in the crowd say and I thought to myself “likewise”, but that just shows har far Brothers Osborne’s music has travelled across the UK, how far country music has reached.
The O2 Academy in Bristol wasn’t sold out but it was pretty damn close to being so. Six headline dates across the UK and a couple in Ireland, Brothers Osborne really have a solid fan base here now. When TJ and John last took to a UK stage was during their support slot with Cadillac Three last year. Tagged by many as “gig of the year” this headline tour has been eagerly anticipated.
The Bristol date not only took place on a bank holiday Monday which was perfect for most of us but the day itself was glorious and very hot, almost Nashville weather. The queue to get into the O2 Academy was already going around the block hours before doors opened and the excitement had already set in. It was easy going in the venue, not cramped, easy to see from any standing point and thank goodness it was cool inside as I couldn’t bare an evening of being too hot.
After a phenomenal set from Kendell Marvel (Review here) the Brothers took to the stage not long after. Met by a roaring crowd the brothers kicked off with lead single Shoot Me Straight off of new album Port Saint Joe. The crowd, as expected knew all the words and the vibe from the start was electrifying. TJ and John both looked in awe of their audience – “It is a dream come true to come back and play some headline shows for you” John said.
TJ’s baritone is infectious and joyful to listen to, he is so incredibly alluring that you could hear him all night. Highly talented doesn’t cover it as they are so much more. John’s insane guitar skills impressed throughout the night and you could quite happily listen to guitar solo after guitar solo and the band in general had a strong connection on stage which was warming – they really knew each others strengths and brought them out of each other creating a hell of a good noise.
The set list was a crowd pleaser for sure. 21 Summer created a beautiful moment with everyone singing along and made me realise just how good of a song it really is. New song A Couple Wrongs Makin’ It Alright gave a real traditional country feel and Pushing Up Daises showed the softer side to the boys and showed how lovely TJ’s voice really is and how brilliant their songwriting is. Songs from Pawn Shop such as Down Home and Greener Pastures were very well received and Rum was so much fun with the crowd interaction but the crowd got even more involved when it came to songs such as Stay a Little Longer and of course It Ain’t My Fault. It Ain’t My Fault made the venue erupt and the brothers really took advantage of the crowd partcipation which was really atmospheric from the excessive, rhythmic clapping to the chorus to the crazy chanting.
A favourite from new album Weed, Whiskey and Willie went down a storm and John and TJ seemed to really love playing the song live as much as the crowd loved hearing it and singing along.
The best part was how the asked the crowd a few times for requests and A Little Bit Trouble was shouted from the crowd a few times to which TJ finally responded “we obviously love that song as put it on our record but we have never done it live”
“Let’s just do it ” John replied “Let’s be men”
“Alright then” said TJ “but if we mess up it’s your fault” he tells the crowd.
Well….ever the professionals. The band and the brothers only went and did it and they didn’t just do it but they did it well and you would never have known that it was their first time playing it. John’s repetitive background vocals where he says “You you you you you ” seemed to take TJ by surprise and made him giggle but it was such a brilliant addition which made the song excel even further.
The band all looked at each other with big smiles and disbelief/relief on their faces as the song ended and when they knew they killed it. How privileged to have not only been part of the audience who got to hear this song live for the first time but to be the audience they tested it on without any plans, any practice. What a talented and professional band.
Brothers Osborne are fantastic live and in an intimate setting they really are quite something, however, this duo are “sold out” arena worthy and would shine so much brighter on a larger stage and whilst we would lose the intimacy, I feel we would gain their full potential of being a band that make dang good use of their stage and fill an arena with such an impactful atmosphere that they would blow the roof off.
With Brothers Osborne you don’t just get a live show, you get an experience, you get an intimitae, crowd enaging, interactive and at times comedic show which hold a lifetime of memories.
Brothers Osborne will be back to the UK in November/December songrab your tickets now to see these guys as it is so worth it.