Say what you will about the Perth music scene, at least we have bands with snazzy names.
Pop-rock outfit Brufield is an amalgamation of lead singer Lisa Caulfield and guitarist Andy Brunn’s surnames, who originally hail from Ireland and England respectively. The heat of the day at the Beaufort Street Festival, where Brufield were playing on 14 November 2015 was hard to ignore, with Brunn especially red-faced by the performance’s end.
The weather didn’t prevent Caulfield from winding up the crowd though, even factoring in a temporary sixth band member who tested their mettle on the tambourine. Between Caulfield’s rainbow outfit and drummer Graham Temby, the band makes for a striking stage presence. Temby vaguely resembles Jimmy Barnes, complete with a ripped-sleeves denim vest. Bass player Erin Gooden had only played one previous gig with the band, but she looked as though she’d been there since its inception, so powerful were the pumping vibes. Keyboard player Chris Brine seemed to be in his natural habitat, pounding the keys with obvious relish.
Speaking of good vibes, the band kicked things off with a cover of The Cranberries’ classic, Zombie. It was here that Caulfield’s powerful vocals shone through, bringing a cacophony of ordered chaos that broke the spell cast over the captive (and rather large) audience by the heat. The highlight of the set was Come Back, a relatively cheery piece after the aptly named Unhappy. True to its slated genre, Brufield is all about music that is accessible, providing catchy hooks (best heard in Let’s Go Find Another) and forceful instrumentation that never ventures into self-indulgent territory. Thanks to the high energy brought about by the tight meshing of frenzied drumming, slick guitar and engaging yet unobtrusive keyboarding. It has all the hallmarks of a solid festival band: a consistent, driving energy, interspersed with a few quieter, slow-burning numbers.
Although it could be argued that Brufield’s songs suffer from sounding similar to one another, I believe this works in its favour. This is a band that shines in a festival atmosphere, where they can let loose and captivate the audience with their infectious energy. This is a band that is at its absolute best when it has room to move, to get lost in the music and make the crowd feel at once both relaxed and thoroughly entertained as they groove to heart-pounding beats. At its core, Brufield are a perfect festival band with a wholehearted enjoyment for what they do, which in turn leads to an electric atmosphere.
Brufield is a stellar Perth band that has made quite the dent on an international stage. In the two years since they formed, the five-piece band has gone on to enjoy international success. They’ve made it big in the UK and also, surprisingly, New Zealand. The high note the band began its career has been both a blessing and a curse. Upon winning one of four spots in the Headspace Big Day Out Competition to play at Big Day Out in 2014, the band’s taste of glory was short-lived.
“We came out of that on a high, thinking we were going to conquer the world, when obviously, you’ve still got to do all the groundwork,” Brunn says.
Not to be discouraged, the band has since focused on releasing new content every six months, with its sights currently set on touring. Oddly enough for a pop band, Brufield has often featured in heavy metal lineups. Caulfield described the first experience as “scary”, but was quick to add that there was a sense of camaraderie between bandmates that made the whole experience run smoothly. They have locked in a tour in New Zealand for February 2016, showing that success can be found with hard work and effort, no matter how hard reality bites.
Brufield have also just released their latest EP “Cracked”, and you can check out their brand new and very poignant video clip below. Viewer discretion is advised.