Friday, April 24, 2009

Brakes (With The Voluntary Butler Scheme) in Oxford


I was in Oxford yesterday, and not just to see the Pill. This time, we've got Brakes to look forward to as well. This is the second gig I went in Oxford (I think it's the third for Pill), the first being Foals at The Oxford Academy. I was thinking, if Brakes is half as good as Foals was live, then we're in for a treat.

Anyway, I got there in Oxford at around 4pm by train from Paddington. I've been to Oxford so many times, and I do love the city. It's funny though watching Oxford students walking around in scholars' robes (that's just a made-up name, I don't know what it's actually called) for their exams. Never gets old.

The Pill enjoying her G&D ice cream near Muniri's place

We got there at The Bullingdon at 7pm after stopping by at Muniri's place to drop off her Breakfast At Tiffany's DVD, which is one of my favourite films. We got stamped at around 8.15pm and the gig started at around 9pm.


The support band - who tours along with Brakes - is a one-man multi-instrumentalist brilliantly-monikered as The Voluntary Butler Scheme, real name Rob Jones. So you can see with a name like Rob Jones why he chose to have a far more interesting pseudonym. Inbetween songs he gets a few laughs from the crowd as he endearingly shows the self-deprecating humour that's also evident in his lyrics.

By the way, pardon for the low quality of the video. It was very dark, and I've only got a 2-megapixel cameraphone. I wanna get a proper video camera by the end of the year, solely for gigs.

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The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Tabasco Sole

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The Voluntary Butler Scheme - (Unknown Title)

One of the best songs was Trading Things In, which has great lines such as "If you were a broccoli I would turn vegetarian for you" and "Just like coffee and tea, I need you regularly." The chorus is as catchy as the flu in the middle of winter, where he begs, "baby don't go for anyone." Unfortunately I did not record this particular song, but I did find a music video for it, and it's also in his EP, also titled "Trading Things In." I bought it at the show for a bargain £2. We managed to get it signed as well. Result.

Trading Things In EP

His autograph

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The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Trading Things In

Then there came Brakes onto the stages rockin'. By the way, the gig is an 18+ event, so half of the audience was 30-40 year olds. The crowd was reluctant to start anything. They just bobbed their heads back and forth. Sometimes I miss the annoying 15-year-olds that push you back, if only for their energy.


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Brakes - Hey Hey

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Brakes - (Unknown Title - Two Songs)

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Brakes - Do You Feel The Same?

Anyway, it took quite a while for the crowd to get going. But when it did, it was brilliant stuff. Most of Brakes's old stuff are short bursts of punk folk rock goodness, like for instance "Porcupine Or Pineapple," and the absurdly short "Comma, Comma, Comma, Fullstop," which they played three times in about a minute.


Brakes - Porcupine Or Pineapple (Music Video)

For a review of their new album, "Touchdown," read the previous entry. Anyway, Brakes is an explosive band live, with the aforementioned short tracks that run just over the minute mark, and longer ones that are epic in the rockin' out department. No wonder they had about 30 songs on their setlist.

So I got back to London at around 1am, and uploaded most of the videos onto youtube. And now here I am after a seven hour journey, back in York York York.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Trading Things In
via FoxyTunes

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