The Long Road Festival: The Showground & Buddy's Good Time Bar - Brooke Law
Possibly one of the more surreal moments of the weekend was watching Brooke Law set up while pan pipes played out over the PA and in front of the stage people were trying to throw hats onto plastic bulls heads mounted on wooden poles! They duly cleared away their apparatus for Brooke Law to put in the first of her 2 slots today, which were placed as far apart as could be humanly possible.
Looking resplendent in her turquoise jacket and jean shorts, and sporting a shiny new guitar - Brooke was accompanied by Matt on acoustic guitar duties as they started with the rocking "Talk To Me", It was initially acoustic only with Brooke joining in on her guitar after the first verse. Always a powerful vocalist she was not going to let the early start, stop her from delivering her all.
Measuring her vocals for "Millionaires" with supporting backing vocals from Matt. It would see Brooke at one point grab the microphone as she delivered the more heartfelt lines. If anyone was seeking a lay in at Long Road then Brooke was having none of it - with her vocals rocking out across the festival grounds as she sang "Not For Love". A cover of Four Non Blondes "What's Going On?" elicited an early bit of audience participation on this most engaging cover.
Displaying not only a control over her singing and the crowd she also seemed to have power over the weather as well - with the sun suddenly unexpectedly appearing. The crowd participation of "Boomerang" saw Brooke able to involve the audience again - essentially written about her 2 year old nephew although it could just as easily not be - the line "Come on and give me a break" was delivered with real fiery passion.
Moving around the family for a song about her Mum, Brooke let's her guitar dangle by her side for the opening verse of "Wild As I Was" - the chorus once again sees her hitting the big notes fearlessly. Not afraid of tackling tougher subjects "We All Need Saving" dealt with mental health issues - Brooke would lay her guitar down for this song and would hold the mic with both hands occasionally gesturing with her left. This performance captured a perfect balance between the plaintiff parts where she pleads "and the world needs me and the world needs us" which really grabbed even at 11am and the all powerful release of the final chorus.
This first set would close with "Freak On" which even in this acoustic format had something of an anthemic feel to it.and will need some suitably huge backing to go with it in a recorded format. Between them, Brooke and Matt generated a definite big crowd vibe
Having dazzled at one end of the day Brooke would take to the stage again later to close Buddy's Good Time Bar for the final time at this years Long Road Festival. This time she would now be joined by a percussionist on drums and cajon which would totally change the overall sound. The audience after a long weekend of drink and music were at times a little challenging, however nothing would stop Brooke from winning them over.
She would once again open with "Talk To Me", each casual flick of head would send a bundle of curls of hair following a few seconds behind in a blur. The shiny new guitar was there for "Millionaires" once again brought to life with the additional backing vocals and some great sustained notes from Brooke.
The guitar would come off for the heartbreak ballad of "Best Regret" which would see Brooke move to holding the mic in her hand while seamlessly hitting a number of big notes with absolute ease. If ever there was a song to unify a crowd the "What's Going On" by 4 Non Blondes was it with the whole singing and swaying along to the chorus.
This was a set to win over any doubters "Wild As I Was" once again saw her guitar by her side while the searing vocals on the chorus showed just how much was left in the tank.
"We All Need Saving" saw a slight accident as Brooke smacked herself in the face with the mic before going on to deliver another awesome version of this most powerful of songs. Brooke would turn to conducting the crowd for their part on "Boomerang" - "We're the main stage here!" she would triumphantly declare!
A request to the audience at this time of night, to ask if anyone had a bad tattoo was always going to end with someones trousers dropping and sure enough a pair of eyes on a different set of cheeks were soon revealed! #TEAMw21 had heard "Bad Tattoo" a couple of times previously yet it had never sounded as fresh and alive as it did tonight at Buddy's with it's classic chorus.Once again "Freak On" sounded anthemic and with the addition of the drums even more so - Brooke's rock vocal would close down the stage in some style.
Brooke Law will be at Under The Apple Tree with Laura Oakes, Robert Vincent, Savannah Gardner & Demi Marriner Oct !7th at Bush Hall
Brooke Law will be Special Guest with Sinead Burgess Oct 23rd at The Slaughtered Lamb