I arrived to a large crowd that had been drawn in by a familiar face – Friday night’s support act from my hometown Halifax, Ellur, who did exactly what she came to do – she got the crowd warmed up and ready for the phenomenal performance Brooke Combe was about to give us.
Ellur brought the fun on stage – rocking matching, colour co-ordinated outfits, she and their band were great from start to finish. Her vocals were powerful and strong, and she demonstrated her talent for songwriting, with some moving lyrics.
She switched over to the keyboard to play her new song ‘Satellites’, and during the break between Ellur and Brooke, I heard a lot of people saying how great her voice and the performance were.
Arriving on stage to The Fugees’ Ready or Not, Brooke Combe was spellbinding from start to finish. Considering she had to rearrange the shows owing to struggling with her throat, I’d never have suspected anything if it wasn’t for her mentioning it. For someone so young and new to the scene, her vocals were mature, soulful and distinctive, and she has some serious songwriting talent, too.
She joked around with the crowd, letting everyone know not to take her talent for songwriting too seriously – “Please don’t be scared to say hi to me in the street!”, she joked. There was also an honourable mention of how boss the pies are in the north.
She also teased: “Britain doesn’t need another Indie band!” As someone who loves Indie music, the tongue-in-cheek banter was well received – her sound was so unique. Having supported big, Indie names such as Paolo Nutini, Miles Kane, Blossoms and The Courteeners, she undoubtedly made a statement on stage. She also has an impressive catalogue of festival performances under her belt and a number of upcoming shows and festivals lined up, including Liverpool’s Sound City.
The chemistry on stage was amazing, the performance was so mesmerising. I couldn’t believe how much better she sounded live compared with her recorded music. I loved the flute in the back of her songs, and between herself and her band, they killed the instrumentals. Her latest album ‘Black is the New Gold’ features 8 tracks and provides moving introspect on important issues such as race and love, but still has that catchy, head-bopping sound to it.
For someone so young, her confidence and charisma came across so well. If you’re a fan of Tash Sultana, Amy Winehouse, Sade or Sticky Fingers, I’d definitely recommend Brooke Combe.
Just when I thought the performance couldn’t get any better, Combe and her band performed one of my favourite songs of all time – Childish Gambino’s Redbone. Dare I say it was just as good as the original song?!
I can’t sing her praises enough – she’s seriously one to watch. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t make it big over the next few years. Drawing in large and mixed crowds around the country, Combe and her band showcased some serious talent, and I’ll certainly be buying tickets for the next time she performs near me.
Photography by Jazz Jennings.