Gabriel Bruce, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 5 February 2013

It’s quite extraordinary just how interested people can be in the most boring of bands. On stage are three punks who appear to have travelled here in a time machine, all dressed in Doc Martens and tartan trousers, playing tedious almost-Sex Pistols cover songs with a frontman barking at the mic like he thinks he’s Joe Strummer. The audience laps it up. Dread instills. Is this what ‘new’ music has come to?

And then Gabriel, the saviour, arrives to assert his position as perhaps the best new act on the scene. Certainly, he can claim the best voice, some of the best songwriting and some of the best moves.

His voice is nothing short of incredible: its deeper-than-deep tones magnificently reverberating through each audience member’s chest. With seemingly little effort, he can roar with more passion and fervour than you can fathom, conveying all the feeling of some of a great blues singer but channelling a sound caught somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and Lou Reed.

The fire in his belly seems impossible to contain, as he is compelled to move around as if possessed. Like a melodramatic actor caught up in a moment or a toddler throwing a tantrum, he screams and throws himself around with no regard for his surroundings.

Even a self-confessed cheesy speech at the end of Honey Honey Honey (something to do with a plane falling out of the sky, and how we should all experience love for there is nothing greater on this Earth) is surprisingly engaging as his voice turns from a beautiful hum to an impassioned shout.

Together with his charmingly simple yet richly emphatic lyrics, and the cohesion of his backing band, the sound of Gabriel Bruce is of a rare quality. Next to this, very few will appear to possess any talent at all.


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