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REVIEW: Brutus // G2, Glasgow. 12th December 2023

Last week saw Belgian post-rock band Brutus headline the G2 in Glasgow and Lukas Neilson was on hand to cover the night. Unforunately I was unable to attend to photograph but hopefully won't be too long until theyre back.

Photo and words by Lukas Neilson. -

'Brutus have been on top form over the last couple of years. Having toured Europe and the festival circuit extensively since the release of their excellent Unison Life album in 2022, the post-rock three-piece arrive in the UK this winter for a club tour alongside Swedish electronic singer-songwriter Karin Park for an evening of ethereal bliss.

Karin Park arrives to the stage nonchalantly, asking an audience member for a lighter before burning incense and getting the mood right for her performance. The crowd seem a bit stunned by this, and Park later took to Instagram to call the crowd “a bit frightening at first”, but after the mood settles in and the crowd get on her wavelength, her performance begins to resonate. Karin Park is an interesting choice as an opener for Brutus, but after a couple of tracks she fully wins over the somewhat baffled crowd in the packed out G2. Park’s music is as poppy as it is haunting, and her command over her chosen instruments is fascinating to watch. Many watch in silence for the entirety of her set, captivated by the ease at which she dances and weaves between her devices. Her set is undoubtedly a surprise, but in the best way possible.

By the time Brutus take to the stage, the small venue is packed out. It’s no real surprise considering how much word of mouth has been spreading about the band, who have been relentless this year in promoting Unison Life. It’s almost surreal seeing the band on this club tour - their sound is perfect for this type of venue, but the capacity tonight proves that the band have already outgrown such spaces. Those who have come along on this cold night are treated to more than an hour of post-rock bliss. Brutus are as electric in a live environment as bands come - the chemistry between the three-piece is unquantifiable. Stefanie Mannaerts’ soaring vocals fill the room on opening track ‘War’, and her ability to reach such highs while breathlessly hammering her drums is remarkable to witness. Even when performing joint vocal/drum duties on ferociously-paced tracks like ‘Horde II’ seems like second nature to Mannaerts. Several of the tracks performed tonight have been expanded or adapted in different ways from their studio releases, which gives Brutus the chance to showcase their uncanny ability to read each other’s cues and seamlessly jam together.

‘Unison Life’ is the focus of tonight’s show, and it becomes even more obvious as they rattle through these tracks how unique this album is. Brutus truly thrive in a live environment, and the feeling of getting to hear these heartfelt, emotional tracks performed as flawlessly as they are tonight is something that is difficult to describe with words. Fan favourites like ‘Liar’ and ‘What Have We Done’ stand out as highlights in a set that’s bursting with incredible moments, but things don’t get better than they do with their performance of ‘Dust’ and ‘Sugar Dragon’. On any other night, ‘Sugar Dragon’ would be the perfect final song with its rising tension building to a climactic crescendo. Tonight, they settle on ‘Victoria’ as their last track, causing a final elated burst in the crowd as every word is shouted back at them. Brutus are special, and it really takes seeing them to believe how well they perform live. With any luck, they’ll continue to visit our shores for years to come.'


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