Album: The Winner Stays On
Reviewer: Stuart Todd
Shoes4Brakes are a lively acoustic duo, featuring lead singer and guitarist Gareth Jones and cajôn/percussionist and backing singer Simon Hadfield. Since the two came together in 2012, Shoes4Brakes have steadily built up a reputation as one of the most exciting live acts on the Liverpool acoustic scene.
Recorded with Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios, The Winner Stays On is a strong debut, filled with memorable songs and spirited performances.
Highlights include hard driving numbers such as Tell Me and The Flame. The blend of acoustic guitar and cajôn is effective on Icarus, an epic track that builds momentum, while Hold Me Down, benefits from the inclusion of mandolin by James Addis. Lights Go Down catches them in a quieter moment.
The highlight of the album for me has to be the catchy Minnesota, a number that’s proved to be popular at their gigs. The epic title track brings the album to a spirited conclusion. Overall a strong debut that captures the energy of their live sets.
The impressive sleeve design by Lynda Munday is an added incentive to buy this release on CD.
Review © 2015 Stuart Todd – Liverpool Acoustic
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Album review: Shoes4Brakes – The Winner Stays On
Stuart Todd runs and hosts the award-winning Liverpool Acoustic Live music events with Graham Holland. Stuart was formally in the group Triad before leaving to do solo work. In recent years he has had a successful partnership with local classical guitarist and composer Neil Campbell with whom he formed the duo Campbell Todd. He has also been in the band The Freebies and involved with a number of creative writing projects. His current band is called Three Minute Hero.
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