Think of Flight Brigade as a family as much as a band and you start to understand the chemistry between them. Think of their songs as epic stories to which each member is essential and you begin to grasp what makes their music so powerful. Watch them perform and you can’t fail to be struck by the special bond they share.
“Our relationship drives everything we do,” explains lead singer Ollie Baines. “Our sound is all of our influences and the tension between them”. Flight Brigade’s strength lies in the scope of their songs, the songwriting craftsmanship and the ambition of their arrangements. The striking mix of male/female vocals, crunching anthemic guitars, orchestral strings and vintage synths have bought them comparisons to Arcade Fire and Fleetwood Mac, whilst Ollie’s intense, storytelling lyrics set them apart.
At the core of Flight Brigade is an actual family. Ollie and Miriam are married. Miriam and violinist Dorry are sisters. The trio grew up in each other’s pockets, their families part of a hippy commune in Hampshire where Ollie’s family settled after moving from Ohio in the US. Bassist Tom Clay, guitarist Thomas Pink, keyboardist Jonny Barker and drummer Neil Blandford were childhood friends who lived nearby.
In 2016 they released their debut album, ‘Our Friends Our Enemies’. The album’s title track was inspired by a story about Czech factory workers forced to make bombs for the Nazis. Some risked their lives by neglecting to include detonators, so that when the bombs dropped, they didn’t explode. “It was on a production line, in front of soldiers,” explains Ollie, “so it’s a story of bravery. One even put a note inside a bomb saying ‘this is all we can do for now’”.