Brave Rival Album Launch With Special Guest Amba Tremain,// The Echo Hotel Music Club // Elizabeth Hall // Hook

Saturday, in the small village of Hook in Hampshire, I find myself at the Echo Hotel Music Club at Elizabeth Hall for Brave Rival’s album launch party. Hailing from Portsmouth, these guys are no strangers to the Elizabeth Hall in Hook as they had recorded their live album there pre-lockdown. The Echo Hotel Music Club is run by Verd and Jacqui Nabbs, who before the pandemic, was putting on some wonderful shows, so it was lovely to see them back in action with this sold-out event.

Now Brave Rival have just released a full studio album called ‘Life’s Machine’ which has had some rave reviews from the music press both online and in print, so on paper this looked like it would be a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

It all kicked off with Amba Tremain, a larger-than-life character with a voice to match.

Now Amba is no stranger to the stage and has a strong pedigree. She has appeared on TV, winning ITV’s This Is My Moment, she is a much sought after session musician, and she is a backing singer for artists such as Boy George and Eva Cassidy.

She has an absolutely spectacular voice and is an artist that you really need to check out, you will not be disappointed.

Setlist:- ‘Keep Me Running’, ‘Magic’, ‘No One Like You’, ‘Shouldn’t Have Let Me Love You’, ‘Love Child’, ‘Baby You’re Gold’, ‘How You Gonna Feel?’, ‘Honestly’, ‘Stay’, ‘Hell’, and ‘Righteous’.



It was time for the main event as Brave Rival took to the stage in front of a sold-out room with all seating taken and standing room only. They were received with great applause by a thoroughly expectant audience.

They were not about to disappoint as they launched into ‘Heart Attack’ which is a full hi-octane number to open with and really set the scene for the night. There would be no easing you in gently this evening, that’s for sure.

Next up was ‘Guilty Love’, another from the new album, before we are treated to a wonderful cover of ‘Damn Your Eyes’ by the fabulous Etta James.

Now normally a five-piece band, tonight they had a sixth member in Paul Quinn, who joined them on keys from the start for quite a few of the tracks throughout the evening, adding an extra dimension to an already quality lineup of musicians.

Now, not only was there the addition of a keyboard player but also a choir, in fact, the Bravian Choir, consisting of friends of the band including Amba Tremain and Matt Long and they were excellent. It was wonderful to hear all these harmonies and backing vocals complementing Lindsey and Chloe perfectly. Again adding yet another dimension to an already rockin’ stage.

They decided that tonight would be the perfect time to try out a couple of acoustic numbers as they took to their seats with Donna leaving the drums behind for this and picking up a guitar instead, effortlessly I might add. They start with a brand new song that was getting its public debut tonight. The song was called ‘For The Ones’, and was beautiful. Before the second acoustic track, Chloe left the stage for a bit only to return with some bad news, she had laryngitis, which for the most part she dealt with but unfortunately her voice was really suffering, and a tearful Chloe had to pass the vocal duties for their cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Sound Of Silence’ over to Lindsey.

Chloe was a real trooper and tried her best to continue, but it was just a note too far most of the time so Amba stepped in to take over her part, while Chloe joined the Bravian Choir. (now Amba had stepped in when Chloe was heavily pregnant, so this was not her first rodeo with this band).

We are treated to the title track from the new album, ‘Life’s Machine’, then ‘Break Me’ before a rockin’ cover of ‘The Letter’ by The Box TopsChloe rejoined Lindsey for the last couple then the finale, ‘What’s Your Name Again’.

The crowd had just been treated to something a little bit special this evening, and without a doubt, this gig will live long in the memories and will be right up there as a potential gig of the year.

This was a wonderful evening with so many talented musicians on display, all at the top of their game and each and everyone put in a 5-star performance. I felt privileged to have been there to witness it…..

Setlist:- ‘Heart Attack’, ‘Guilty Love’, ‘Damn Your Eyes’, ‘Fool Of You’, ‘Secrets’, ‘Thin Ice’, ‘Without You’, ‘Come Down’, ‘Run & Hide’, ‘Long Time Coming’, ‘For The Ones’, ‘Sound Of Silence’, ‘Life’s Machine’, ‘Break Me’, ‘The Letter’, and ‘What’s Your Name Again?’.



Review & Photography: Will Carter



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