Grand Archives: Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough. (includes Set List)





Turning your back on Band of Horses may seem a perverse thing to do but Mat Brooke did just that. He doesn’t look like a man with any regrets though. Completing a four date UK tour at Middlesbrough’s Westgarth Social Club, where his current group Grand Archives became just the latest in an impressive array of bands to grace this unlikely but excellent venue, Brooke wears a broad grin throughout and frequently reiterates what a great time they are having.

When you listen to his music, you realise that Brookes probably had no choice but to walk away from Band of Horses. While the latter certainly know a great harmony when they hear one, Brookes takes things to a different level. His harmonies are put together with the precision of a jeweler, each note set against the previous in a way that allows it to hang and shimmer.

There’s a very real danger when music is put together as meticulously as this. All too often sterility and a lack of soul can creep in as the cleverness and the aim to create perfection can push out any emotion from the song but there’s not even the merest hint of this with Grand Archives. This is a band who love their music and perform it with care and tenderness and that’s a feeling which is evidently transmitted to their audiences.

With Band of Horses set to go interstellar, Grand Archives are headed into the studio to record their third album. Given the songs that Brooke previews tonight, when that album finally emerges it will be a fairly safe bet that he will have trumped his erstwhile partners once again. (Jon: SuitcaseOrchestra)

For a free Grand Archives EP, visit

A big thank-you to Jon the writer of this review. He has his own web site which is called The SuitCase Orchestra (link below). Hopefully he will be doing more stuff for us at The Northern Line. Again thanks to Andy & Phil at The Kids are Solid Gold and Siobhan and Mr Callaghan at The Westgarth.

This review is taken from – indie, folk, electronic.


By peter on August 10, 2010

Check out all the pics

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