Broken Records @ Tunnels, Aberdeen, 27 Oct

Five albums in and Edinburgh's Broken Records still hold their own, undoubtedly bringing a little light to a dark Aberdonian night

Live Review by Mia Boffey | 03 Nov 2023
  • Broken Records

Tucked away under Aberdeen’s main shopping street, a loyal audience gathers at the cavernous club-by-night venue, Tunnels. They're here to catch a set from Broken Records, a firm favourite in the Scottish alternative scene, as their tour draws towards a conclusion. Unassuming frontman Jamie Sutherland takes to the stage and the crowd draw forward, cheering for old favourites. Sutherland carries himself with an air of slight aloofness, launching into the set with limited introduction and little ado. An undoubted highlight comes early in the show, in the form of the surely Bruce Springsteen-inspired They Won’t Ever Leave Us Alone from the band’s 2018 album, What We Might Know, which impels the more excitable gig-goers to dance and jump along to the powerfully energising number. 

Falling perhaps a little flat amongst the roster of old favourites – A Promise; Nearly Home; A Darkness Rises Up – is The Dreamless Sleep of the 1990s, from the band’s latest album of the same name, which is not, Sutherland clarifies, “a lockdown album”, despite being of that period. What exactly is to be made of that is left up to interpretation, but while this new song is not quite so compelling, any momentary drift of the audience’s attention is quickly cut short as the band swiftly return to the classics. 

Overall, a success, the band achieve their typical rocky and folky sound, with a little bit of Americana thrown into the mix. The band disappear from the stage as unobtrusively as they appeared, opting to skip the typical faffing around of an encore, simply playing their final three songs and taking their leave as the audience clamour for "one more song".

Although perhaps no longer quite at the pinnacle of their early successes, Broken Records still hold their own and undoubtedly bring a little light to a dark Aberdonian night.