Brandon Flowers, O2 Academy, Birmingham 28/05/15

It’s the last night of Brandon Flowers’ second solo UK tour and as the charismatic Killers front man declares, he is going to “end out in style”. With the band playing ‘Dreams Come True’, the opening track from his new chart topping album, The Desired Effect, he strides out dressed in a sharp black suit and springs catlike onto the raised part of the stage.
Save for his shimmering lapels, Flowers is shorn of the glitz and glamour associated with his usual guise in the Las Vegas band. Like the music, this is a stripped down version of the man famous as much for his feathered jackets as his anthemic songs. But it would be wrong to label Flowers’ solo music as just a stripped down version of the Killers bombast. He puts so much more personal investment into the songs. Describing the Mexican pilgrimage that inspired ‘Magdalena’, from last year’s debut album Flamingo, he gives it an ethereality, whilst at the same time making it accessible to the crowd, who sing back the “ohs” of the chorus.
There is a place, of course for a couple of Killers tracks. Hot Fuss’ ‘Jenny Was A Friend of Mine’, swaps power for a hazy desert make over and Read My Mind has an added poignancy with Flowers describing it as a song about moving forward in life without losing sense of who you are. In contrast, ‘Digging Up The Heart’ is a 70s Mud style stomper that gets the crowd grooving and shaking. A highlight of the night is ‘The Way It’s Always Been’ which combines Eagles style chords with Flowers’ vocals. Delicate, simple and totally captivating. All you can do is listen. For the set closer, a motorik drum and vocals take on the Killers classic ‘Mr Brightside’, all you can do is sing! The Bronski Beat sampling ‘I Can Change’ is saved for an encore that has Flowers wearing a sparkling gold jacket – never too far away from Vegas glamour.
Front man, vocalist and song writer. Brandon Flowers can add artist to his ever growing list of attributes.

Andrew Gutteridge

Music obsessive and wild swimmer. Compensating for the toil of the daily grind by living a diluted rock star life through reviewing and gig-going. Brought up on the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and forever caught up in the myth behind the legend. Finding a voice and hoping that people will hear.
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Andrew Gutteridge

Music obsessive and wild swimmer. Compensating for the toil of the daily grind by living a diluted rock star life through reviewing and gig-going. Brought up on the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and forever caught up in the myth behind the legend. Finding a voice and hoping that people will hear.

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