Live Gallery: Black Country, New Road at the Sydney Opera House 07.03.2024

Black Country New Road

Black Country, New Road carved their niche straight out of London’s vibrant Windmill scene. 2019 marked the arrival of the band, as they captivated audiences with their singles ‘Athens, France’ and ‘Sunglasses.’ Their debut album, ‘For the First Time’ (2021), climbed to the top five in the UK charts and snagged a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. The band’s follow-up, ‘Ants from Up There,’ was hailed as one of the best albums of 2022.

The band initially consisted of Tyler Hyde (vocals, bass), Lewis Evans (vocals, flute, saxophone), Georgia Ellery (violin, backing vocals), May Kershaw (vocals, keys), Charlie Wayne (drums, backing vocals) and Isaac Wood (guitar, lead vocals.) Following the departure of their distinctive lead vocalist, Isaac Wood, Luke Mark joined BCNR and the band reimagined themselves in a series of performances that culminated in the critically-acclaimed album ‘Live at Bush Hall,’ which saw them pivot from their rousing post-punk roots to avant-garde musical theatre.

Tonight the Sydney Opera House is packed as a capacity crowd awaits BCNR’s debut performance in Sydney. The band members confidently stride onto the smoky stage to the strains of the main theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey/ Also Sprach Zarathustra.

The music selection from that iconic film fits perfectly. Like BCNR’s innovative sound, the revolutionary Kubrick movie pushed boundaries with its experimental and innovative approach. BCNR’s sound is a unique blend of post-punk, jazz, and indie rock. Tonight this is very much on display – the songs are characterised by dynamic shifts in tempo and mood. A diverse range of instruments are used including guitars, keyboards, violin, saxophone, and drums, which create a rich and layered soundscape. There is a complexity and unpredictability to their music that makes it unique and captivating.

After tonight’s performance I understand why The Quietus named BCNR ‘the best in the entire world.

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