Black Country, New Road: Live at Bush Hall (Ninja Tune | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, December 4th, 2023  

Black Country, New Road

Live at Bush Hall

Ninja Tune

Aug 02, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For the members of the English band Black Country, New Road, this live release may feel like a second debut album, even though it follows the UK successes of 2021’s For the First Time and 2022’s Ants from Up There. When singer/guitarist Isaac Wood departed the band in early 2022, just before the release of Ants, the remaining members decided to continue as a six-piece, and they wrote entirely new material for their 2022 live shows.

Live at Bush Hall follows the film of the same name, drawing from the band’s three back-to-back shows in December of 2022 at Bush Hall in London. The saxophone of Lewis Evans grabs the audience’s attention at the start of “Up Song,” which opens the album with lead vocals from bassist Tyler Hyde and a joyous rock blast by the group. “The Boy” and “I Won’t Always Love You” demonstrate Black Country, New Road’s remarkable flexibility as players, with Evans switching between sax and flute while Hyde, violinist Georgia Ellery, piano/accordion player May Kershaw, guitarist Luke Mark, and drummer Charlie Wayne join in with a layered sound that can be both nuanced and powerful.

The band features three lead singers, adding to their multifaceted presentation as Hyde, Kershaw, and Evans trade off with each tune. Songs like “Across the Pond Friend” sound achingly personal at times, and the players’ impressive range of dynamics serve their lyrics well. The epic “Turbines/Pigs” combines multiple elements of the band’s sound—post-rock, piano-driven introspection, intricate arrangements, jazz elements, and even klezmer flashes—for a tour de force that is but one of the highlights here. The growth of Black Country, New Road from this point will be well worth watching. (

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