Live Review – Tom Auton And The Bottle Breakers @ The Sunflower Lounge

Tom Auton And The Bottle Breakers © Paul Reynolds

Tom Auton And The Bottle Breakers

The Sunflower Lounge

Review by Isabelle Evans

A week ago I had the pleasure of going to The Sunflower Lounge to watch the wonderful Tom Auton And The Bottle Breakers, alongside the fantastic support acts Brie Devine, Owen La Cortar and Tom South. It was an incredible night and had an amazing, energetic atmosphere, which is always my favourite part about going out to see live music.

The night began with Brie Devine, a singer songwriter based in London, performing an acoustic set with the only other instrumentation being an acoustic guitar and her friend Grace adding harmonies, which sounded heavenly. My immediate first thought was that she had a beautiful voice as she started with her cover of ‘I Heard Love Is Blind’ by Amy Winehouse, which was both similar to the original yet also unique to her, mainly because of the difference in her vocal style. Brie’s voice stayed just as lovely throughout every song as she dedicated a song to her mum, which came across as a very sweet, genuine moment, and encouraged the audience to dance to the music which she played at the end.

Brie’s engagement and effort with the audience was wonderful to watch. When her guitarist had to leave the stage to get a capo, she continued to talk to the crowd, encouraging them to talk back and discussing the songs to come. It was a good example of making sure a crowd is entertained even when you are not playing your music. Even when she was playing and she was standing at the mic stand, she was still making an effort in her demeanour to be interesting to watch, and it worked very well.

Next on the stage was Owen La Cortar, who got up and immediately launched into the music. The stand out part of the set for me was the original song ‘Bury Me’, the harmonies throughout that song from Owen and the singers on stage with him were beautiful and led to an emotional moment in the set. This set also had some of my favourite choices of covers with ‘Ignorance’ by Paramore and ‘You’ve Got The Love’ by Florence And The Machine. These were very good choices of covers for a setlist, they are well known enough that it will get the crowd excited and people will want to sing and dance along and you could see this by looking at the audience throughout these songs.

The penultimate act was Tom South, an indie pop/rock artist. His set consisted of his own originals, which immediately were so catchy and fun to listen to. Within the first couple songs of the set the audience were dancing and jumping, as were the band. This was the first act of the night to have a full band and the whole set raised the energy in the room by so much. Speaking of the band, every member was incredibly talented and it was wonderful to be able to watch people who were amazing at playing their instrument, as well as seeing how well they all knew what they were doing.

To add on, Tom had an amazing voice, which was tailored exactly to the kind of music he was playing, as well as being incredibly likeable to the audience. For example when he was tuning he made an effort to talk to the audience and make jokes about how he had not used a tuning pedal before. It made the whole set even more engaging and enjoyable to watch.

The final act of the night was Tom Auton & The Bottle Breakers, an indie rock quartet from Cardiff and the amount of energy that filled the room during their set was wonderful to see, it was electric. People were dancing and jumping and singing along and it was one of the best atmospheres I have ever seen a band create. Clearly, the band were joining in with the energy as they were moving around just as much as the audience were, enjoying their performance so much, which just made it even better to watch. On the topic of the audience, their control over the crowd was astounding, from joking with them when Tom Auton almost tripped over the drum kit to dividing the room in half to have a shouting contest between the two sides, the audience were in the palm of their hands and loving it.

They were pretty impeccable when it came to instrumentation and music as well, being obviously very well rehearsed and talented on their instruments. Tom’s voice sounded great and was clearly suited to what he writes, as well as his playing style. My personal highlights for the songs they played were ‘Stay’ and ‘Mother Mary’, both were stuck in my head for days after and clearly the audience loved them, these were two of the biggest ones for the singing and dancing and it was such a thrill to see live and be in the room for. After that outstanding performance, I am definitely a fan.