The Barr Brothers at Bush Hall, gig review: Foot-stomping rhythm

Playing with feverish, frenzied joy, each band member remains sharp and precise

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The Independent Culture

Red velvet drapes and chandeliers make for opulent surroundings, but Montreal-based band The Barr Brothers take it all in their stride.

Drifting between their 2011 debut and immersive sophomore effort Sleeping Operator, the band delve into virgin territory that separates them from their peers; melding country with psychedelia; Asian melodies with confessional Americana.

"I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin" could have come off a Black Keys B-side, building in intensity to a foot-stomping riff with snatches of propulsive rhythm. Playing with feverish, frenzied joy, each band member remains sharp and precise.

A drawn-out solo from harpist Sarah Page showcases extraordinary talent while Andrew Barr multitasks on drums and harmonies as the audience fight against the rising temperature of the room.

"Wolves" is quintessential country; its steady, even pacing and lone guitar whines recall Dire Straits, mirrored in lullaby romances "Even the Darkness Has Arms" and "Love Ain’t Enough".

Brad Barr is softly-spoken when he addresses the audience at the close, sincere when he speaks of his fondness for Britain. It’s appropriate, then, that the band close with the W.B Yeats-inspired "England". They're welcome back anytime.

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