Guitarist and founding member Stone Gossard – who plays in another little-known band called Pearl Jam, too – has been working quietly with the Brad boys for 20 years, and this low-key London show is a rare chance to catch them live.
Brad’s debut, Shame, struck in 1993, and laid the template for their soulful, alt-rock, propelled by Gossard’s driving guitars and moreover, Shawn Smith’s velvet-smooth vocals.
The band were drawn from musicans who were friends who’d been playing together a long time before this official release, and their familiarity and laid-back approach infused their debut’s raw, earthy focus.
Follow-up Interiors four years later demonstrated a considerably more polished approach and Welcome To Discovery Park in 2002 melded these both, before a semi-hiatus around album number four, Best Friends?, saw a period in which touring members joined and founders were occupied by other projects.
Their fifth and latest, United We Stand, out at the end of last year, shows the fire still burns bright in their belly, though.
Laden with rock numbers that stir the soul, it is a less forthright affair than Gossard’s ‘other’ band, but no less moving.
Stand out tracks such as A Reason To Be In My Skin, as Smith sings, “Your soul is beautiful, your heart shines bright, your touch is electric,” are instant Brad classics.
It’s the strength of the songwriting and their too-little-heard back catalogue that makes this a must-see show for Brad, PJ and rock fans alike.
Academy, N1 0PS
Sun Feb 10
Doors at 7pm, £30
Tube | Angel