Nev Brooks.

Speaking to Pity my Brain Head Honcho Jamie Richards when he first announced this gig, we talked about the problems running a smaller promotions company. How difficult it is to promote live music within the current Tribute/cover band fixation, and how great local artists and groups are getting missed and just not surviving, never fulfilling their potential.

I’m all for supporting the underground, I’ve vowed never to watch a tribute band and will always champion the underdog, something we here at RPM espouse passionately, fuck the mainstream or musicians that make their living from other peoples music, write your own fucking material, then tour, then learn what being a musician really means.

Enough, rant over tonight was all about new music and we had three acts on, First up Matt Richards put together a cracking little acoustic set, leaning towards the indie rock vein, it would be nice to see him with a band, maybe up front with a second guitar player? But a great start to the evening and do you know what we bemoan the size of crowds for support bands/acts but the Priory was rammed from the off, with a very different audience than I’m used to.

Next up Jules Gardner I’d seen prior to tonight supporting Ginger Wildheart on his last acoustic Americana round of gigs, tonight an appreciative crowd took the music to heart and the applause was great to hear from a more than happy crowd.

So on to the main act Zervas and Pepper who I have to hold my hands up to not having heard anything by before tonight’s performance. While doing some digging around I discovered they had actually formed back in 2007 hailed from Cardiff, and that they have actually released four LP’s (Somewhere in the city, Lifebringer, Abstract Heart and 2017’s Wilderland which you can pick up at the link at the tail end of the review.

They’ve picked up critical acclaim, played Green man, Glastonbury and any number of big UK festivals, and drawn serious interest across the globe, Wilderbeast was produced by James Raymond (Crosby, Stills, Nash).

Opening with I believe “Buffalo Crow” the band really nailed that late 60’s early 70’s Laurel Canyon feel, grounded in counter-culture history. Tracks like “Living in a small town” really hit home and the dual male/female vocals and harmonies really shone throughout the set.

As the band grew into the set the music really began to flow and you could gauge the band’s visible enjoyment coming right back at them from the crowd. How would I describe them having gone in blind, definitely psychedelic, leaning towards 70’s rock, hints of both folk and country.  but ultimately having a sound purely their own. I think the choice of “Ohio” to end the set from Crosby, Stills Nash and Young really nailed the band’s allegiances to the mast.

At a time when local or underground bands struggle to make ends meet tonight’s sell-out crowd shows that with The Priory Sessions Pity my Brain might well have found a new home venue!! Good luck guys.