The indie genre is currently in danger. This danger derives from a wave of bands who believe in style over substance, and whilst this convention can’t possibly last forever, it seems to be lingering for a disturbingly long time. I expected BRONCHO to be one such band. I anticipated a superfluous brashness, harbouring a sound that would be both unmemorable and hyped without justification. Fortunately however, I was wrong.
Kicking off the evening were Swimming Girls, a tastier, dreamier more substantial rendition of Wolf Alice. Hazy black pop was the name of their game, and once strong vocalist Vanessa warmed up, it led for a lustrous performance that was oozed in a synth-inspired atmosphere and an ethereal, lucid stage-presence. Both mainstream music lovers and more independent music fans alike will undoubtedly devour this guilty pleasure, and I urge you to check them out.
Next up were Rink, easily one of the most impressive indie bands that I’ve seen this year. Their avant-garde tones were distinct, their writing skills were infinitely intelligible, and their likeable personas shimmered poignantly throughout their stage time – honestly, how many bands offer the audience crisps halfway through their set? Likewise, in sound they were an artistic amalgamation of beautifully smooth, slow moving tones, with an ominous and murky undercurrent; and these eccentricities will set them apart from the tedious bands currently hogging the limelight. It’s time for more intellectual bands to step up to the podium, and leading the way will be Rink.
After such inspiring support bands I was sceptical that BRONCHO could impressive me further. Yet the second that the band infiltrated the stage with their hallucinogenic, 80s reverberations, I knew that the gig was to be a full-house of eclectic success indeed.
In sound, BRONCHO were the hazy, peculiar mess that they are on record, with added enthusiasm and heap loads of idiosyncratic, yet predictable qualities. In terms of stage presence though, the band delivered conventions that I wasn’t entirely prepared for. Bouncing around vigorously like he’d had one too many shots of espresso, Ryan Lindsey was an impressively captivating frontman. His lack of audience interaction may have also been a touch disappointing, but I was in absolutely no doubt regarding his commitment and adoration for his craft. Similarly, the remainder of the band had no qualms with demonstrating this love either. It was a passionately boisterous performance, and the chaotically entranced audience agreed.
Some may have declared the group’s set-list to be repetitive and tedious in timbre, but their music’s sound isn’t a creation that should be dissected forcefully in search of intellect or meaning. BRONCHO create frisky, peppy, fun music for an audience who crave a rousing experience – and that’s exactly how their set was!
A hype-saturated marvel that are deserving of the hysteria, BRONCHO are a must-see live band. Their recordings may capture some qualities of their energy, but they’re a group that are built to be played in front of a cavorting audience leaving their lucidity at the door.
Words by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad