Should you happen to be in or around Norwich right now, do not fear should you hear a strangled cry in the distance, it is just us jumping up and down and singing (out of tune) loudly. Yes, Alphabet Towers is a-rockin right now and is all down to Gabriel Bruce who has just released “Cars Not Leaving”; a big pop-rock song that we fell head over heels for when we saw Gabriel use it to close his Norwich Arts Centre set, and one of the best we heard at all last year.
Back then he was grooving along with his backing singers like he was starring in his own private version of Footloose and it certainly evokes memories of that era. It has the overindulgence and pop swagger of “Absolute Beginners” era Bowie, and the feel-good bounce and sax of all the best John Hughes soundtracks. It’s a finger snapping, leg bopping gem of a tune.
With his deep gravel, you’d forgive Bruce for engaging in dark and foreboding melodrama but it is this big and colourful poppy, rocky, funky, soul sound that he excels at. He is a truly compelling live act and here he has captured the energy and excitement that engulfs his shows. Full of big organ, sax and piano sounds, “Cars Not Leaving” is also blessed with what promises to be one of the year’s most infectious choruses, “Hold on now, just hold on a minute. This car’s not leaving if you’re not in it”, so simple and yet so damn good.
We can’t wait for an album but this will more than keep us going in the meantime.
Photo Credit: Adam Shoesmith taken at The Victoria, Dalston, March 2012