Live Review: bdrmm // The Cluny, Newcastle, 11.03.24

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Following the release of their 2023 album I Don’t Know, bdrmm are on the home stretch for their European tour. The Hull-hailing four-piece, comprised of Ryan Smith (vocals and guitar), Jordan Smith (bass and vocals), Joe Vickers (guitar), and Conor Murray (drums), brought out quite the diverse crowd of varying demographics to Newcastle’s very own, The Cluny, a venue small enough to create a sense of immersion, yet still with enough room to dance, tucked away within the charismatic quirk of Ouseburn.

Their support act, the Manchester-based Nightbus set a psychedelic prelude for the musical soundscape that was to come, occasionally combining spoken word with lyricism, their single ‘Average Boy’ was a stand out for me.

bdrmm’s set opened with their single ‘Alps’ which established the tone for the rest of the night. The spacey, synth beats seemed to settle the tone, before an explosive switch into rhythmic drums.‘Alps’ was smoothly followed by ‘Be Careful’, another synthy, electronic blur of sounds, their lyrics allowing for a moment of reflection, “be careful of yourself / prepare for something else”.

Their set was composed of the classic bdrmm mix of the lyrical and more instrumental-based songs, ‘Standard Tuning’ being the perfect example of this, creating a dreamy haze, They continued this into ‘Is That What You Wanted To Hear?’, a more enchanting piece with its meditative guitar motif.

The group’s final tracks sent the audience away with their signature liminal sound, as they played the classics ‘Happy’, a track that seems to be befitting with the changing of the seasons as we go from spring to summer, and ‘Port’ a slightly grittier song with more introspective themes, exploring addiction.

bdrmm certainly know how to work a crowd with minimal interaction, consisting of fleeting comments and heartfelt thank yous to anyone who made their appearance at The Cluny possible. They’re masters at creating the atmospheric dreamscape that is reflected in their albums, and are certainly a group to be kept on your radar.

They’re independent, they’re homemade. They’re a Northern powerhouse crashing into the UK’s alternative music scene.

Words by Victoria Ruck


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