Pennyblackmusic Presents: Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) - With Hector Gannet and Andy Thompson @The Water Rats, London, Saturday 25, May, 2024

Headlining are Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) With support from Hector Gannet And Andy Thompson
Hosted at the Water Rats London , Saturday 25th May, 2024. Doors open 7:30pm. First band on at 8:00pm; Admission £15 on the door or £12 in advance from We got Tickets
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Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

  by Jacqueline Crockford

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

Brooke Combe is a young talented Scottish singer songwriter who has come a long way since she was the first act on stage at a 2021 gig supporting Red Rum Club in Liverpool. Combe cut a solitary, diminutive figure on stage with nothing but a guitar until she started to sing. Performing just a few tracks but it was obvious there was a talent and a voice that was soon going to be headlining her own gigs. Brooke spent Lockdown playing and uploading songs from her bedroom and it was her rendition of the unofficial Scottish football team anthem ‘Yes Sir I Can Boogie’ originally recorded by Spanish duo Baccara that brought her to the public’s attention. By 2022 Brooke was on her debut solo tour where the relatively small venue in Liverpool had to be upgraded twice to a as the tickets had sold out. Fast forward to 2023/2024 and now with her own band and an impressive repertoire, the singer’s confidence and stage presence has clearly grown. Opening her set with two crowd pleasing tracks, ‘A-Game’ and ‘Talkin’ About Heartaches’ from her album ‘Black is the New Gold’, Combe’s cheeky grin at the audience as she appeared on stage said it all. Combe’s apology for having to reschedule the gig twice from having lost her voice was unnecessary, the audience were with her. ‘Black is the New Gold’ is an LP the singer admits to being immensely proud of with its strong message of black female empowerment, race, identity and feminism. The singer continued saying how the disc shows her naivety as a young musician, her growth and her inspirations going forward and it is the most mature thing she has ever written. Not content with just material from the album, several new tracks including ‘Lanewood’, ‘For the Last Time’ and ‘Leave Me Alone’ are performed. Moving to the side of the stage to sit down alongside her guitarist, the latter is renamed ‘Leave Me The Fuck Alone’, introduced with her usual sense of humour in Combe’s strong, expletive-filled Scottish accent. Powerful latest single ‘Praise’ works equally well performed as an acoustic number or as on this occasion, with her band. Another song which demonstrates her maturity as an artist, it filled the venue and sent tingles down your spine; an anthem you found yourself singing along with. Moving effortlessly from guitar to keyboards or solo vocals, the transitions are hardly noticeable as the most complex arrangements are performed with ease. The title track from the album sees Combe put her trademark sunglasses on to a roar of audience appreciation (“I love it when she puts those sunnies on” one audience member squeals excitedly). Rounding off the set with one of her (already) classics ‘Are You With Me’, one of the best tracks from two years ago, the audience respond with chorusing the melody, with a venue-wide show of phones aloft.

Also at Sacred Trinity Church, Salford

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Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

Brooke Combe - New Century Hall, Manchester, 1/2.2024

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Jacqueline Crockford finds 24 year old indie / soul singer Brooke Combe, who has been described as a “future megastar” by the press, on dazzling form live in Manchester.


Photoscapes (2024)
Brooke Combe - Photoscapes
Andrew Twambley takes photos of Scottish indie/soul songwriter Brooke Combe at a gig at the New Century Hall in Manchester.

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