The Fleece, Bristol
I suppose the apt word for Gaz Brookfield is troubadour. He is notorious for his relentless touring (a quick check of his website shows a mere 73 gigs lined up for the rest of the year), which has seen him build up a fanbase dedicated enough to make sure this show sold out back in January, helped by some high profile supports to the likes of Levellers and appearances at almost every festival you can think of. This is a hometown show to launch his new album, True & Fast, and unusually he is accompanied by a full band (with a star of a fiddle player). He’s a strikingly direct songwriter, whose enthusiasm and enjoyment are infectious and thrown back at him a hundred times over by this partisan crowd. The show starts with a high octane rip through new song The Diabetes Blues, a lament for the effect of said diagnosis on his drinking habits, and doesn’t let up for the next hour, until a massed singalong of his West Country Song brings the curtain down. In between we’ve had songs that are witty, angry, autobiographical and romantic. Good stuff.
He certainly seems popular with the local young ladies. There’s also a few people I recognise from the festival circuit, and generally a wider cross section of society than I normally see at gigs – the hometown effect, I suppose.
It made me think..
Those thousands of people who go to see Frank Turner play arenas should try Gaz. They’d probably like him.