Live Review: Brown Horse + Pigeon Wigs + Ead Wood: Le Pub, Newport – 29th March 2024

Brown Horse have attracted the sort of reviews most bands dream of for their debut album and consequently they drew a respectable Good Friday crowd to Newport.  Managing to cram all six of the band onto Le Pub’s stage and carrying out some deft swapping of instruments through the evening, they announced this as their first ever gig in Wales.

They started with the opening two songs from their excellent ‘Reservoir’ album. The songs have evolved with Ben Auld on drums throughout. ‘Paul Gilley’ especially has acquired an epic Neil Young like quality with a scorching guitar solo now rounding it off. An early set highlight was ‘Sunfisher’ which marked the only appearance of Patrick Turner’s fiddle. Two notable new songs were introduced to the set. ‘Holy Smokes‘ and ‘Dog Rose‘ point towards a promising second album, and they acquitted themselves well beside the more familiar songs.

Le Pub’s small room hasn’t been kind to instruments like Rowan Braham’s Accordion in the past, but it cut through the sound clearly tonight. Emma Tovell’s pedal steel playing was featured effectively and there as a confidence about the whole band that came from having good material appreciated by a full room.

The set closed with three of the best songs from ‘Reservoir’. On other dates ‘Shootback’ had been listed as an encore but with Le Pub’s strict time limit it was promoted to the main set. ‘Bloodstain’ was the best song of the night, and ‘Outtakes’ finished in a squall of feedback. The audience were clearly gearing up to demand an encore when the house lights came up.

The evening was opened by local band Pigeon Wigs. Self-described as Fuzz pedal abusers, their 3-guitar line-up, complimented by an excellent rhythm section delivered a half hour of high energy power pop.  Also on the bill were Bristol based Ead Wood. Having evolved towards a more Americana based sound on their recent EP they came across as a mix of 90s style Alt-Country and Pub Rock. Judging by the number of albums under arms later in the evening they were a hit with an audience with a leaning towards Americana, and they were good warm up for the main act.

The only complaint about the evening would be the relatively short set from Brown Horse themselves, which seems to be down to the venue’s time restriction as other dates list longer sets. What was undeniable was the fact that we are seeing the blossoming of a major new talent. An excellent album and an extensive tour can only mean good things for the future.

About Tim Martin 247 Articles
Sat in my shed listening to music, and writing about some of it. Occasionally allowed out to attend gigs.
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