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Torche - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - August 18 2013 (Live Review)

Friday, 23 August 2013 Written by Ben Bland

Known for their melding of jaw-dropping downtuned stoner rock riffs with extremely accessible pop hooks, Torche are a band in a million. They do what they do so well that it makes it hard for anyone else to even attempt something similar.

Local lads Shields aren’t all that far off though. Their high octane antics aren’t quite as deliciously heavy but their songs are certainly catchy, and they make for a tough act to follow for main tour support Fat Goth.

The trio, having travelled down from Dundee for three dates with the headliners, get off to a convincing start but seem to elicit a mixed response from the crowd. This is a shame, given the quality of latest record ‘Stud’ and their bitingly sharp sense of humour. They are ones to watch, for certain.

It really is all about Torche tonight though. Launching into their set, the quartet look fairly subdued on stage, but they sound anything but. Frontman Steve Brooks and fellow guitarist Andrew Elstner reel off massive riffs while hardly breaking sweat. The rhythm section of bassist Jonathan Nunez and drummer Rick Smith, meanwhile, are such a solid backbone that they almost feel like part of the Brudenell’s brick stage background.

Of course, there is more to Torche than just some good riffs with choruses stuck on top. The way in which the two crucial elements to their sound are melded together is nigh on perfect. Tracks like Across the Shields and Grenades are exercises in truly brilliant songwriting, something that this band has more than mastered after three albums. The large crowd react to their songs with a mix of affectionate adulation and that rare kind of genuine joy that only the best of bands can inspire in their fans.

Photographs by Metal Dave.


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