Bush Hall, where Brandt Brauer Frick were performing in the UK for the first time, was the perfect setting for a band who include a harpist, a vibraphone player and a horn section in their number. The west London music hall reeks of musicianship and respect in a way that only a venue with such a long heritage of supporting live music can. This was one of the first occasions of Brandt Brauer Frick performing as a full ten-piece band. They explained after the gig that the next night they would be playing at Berghain, but with only the three principal musicians to create a wholly different sound.
Photo credit: Mads Perch
After the well-oiled crowd had a chance to assemble, the band made their way into the auditorium and set about performing music from their debut album, You Make Me Real. They resisted the urge to include any covers of other dance classics, instead sticking to their own material. In many ways, though, the tracks they have written pay homage to the brief flicks of acoustic instrumentation, especially piano, in the history of dance music, and have an air of familiarity about them. Tracks like "Bop" and "Caffeine" were greeted with rapturous applause by an audience who seemed intent on dancing, but couldn't quite find the space.
The tension and suspense that came from a group of musicians playing live, with no click track or computer-sequenced percussion, added a whole new dimension to the experience of hearing house music in a live context. Let there be no doubt, though, that this was house music—not jazz or classical. And house music performed in a wildly refreshing and original way.