The Pineapple Thief 'Deliver Again In Bristol' At Bristol SWX, February 21st 2024






I’m back in Bristol SWX on a Wednesday night, a school night as some of my gig going friends refer to it, yes it beats me too, after all how long ago they were at school, but I get the drift. The Pineapple Thief have been around for 25 years now and in that time have released sixteen studio albums. Tonight, they are stopping off on a tour that takes in not a few dates in the UK but many more in Europe, culminating in a final show of the tour at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. This tour promotes their recent release just a few weeks ago ‘It Leads To This’.

They are joined by Randy McStine as support, he is a Multi-Instrumentalist/Songwriter and Producer, a new act to myself, but it appears he has collaborated with Jonas Reigold and Nick D’Virgilio fronting a band called ‘The Fringe’, and more recently with Marco Minneman. He has also toured as guitarist for Porcupine Tree. His set is short, and to all intents and purposes is as he put it, stripped back versions’. From his set are ‘Activate’ and ‘Bigwave’ from his work with Minneman. Hailing from New York it’s his first time in Bristol. He mentioned to the audience, he was a little shocked to be recognised today in a Bristol eatery, I guess it’s a small world at times. Unfortunately while he sounded great, the lighting was poor and it was difficult at times to see him swathed in green, purple and blue lights. One thing for sure is he got the crowd ready for the main act as the anticipation builds.



The Pineapple Thief Open the set with ‘The Frost’, which I believe was the first release off their recent album ‘It Leads To This’, it features some beautiful keyboard work from Steve Ketch and is a solid opening song. As they are promoting the album tonight almost half of the set is played and comes across better live than on the recording. Vocalist and guitarist Bruce Soord, tells the Bristol crowd this is as close to home gig as he can get, he’s from Yeovil, a town that’s about 42 miles away in Somerset. When he mentioned this there appeared to be a cheer, I guess they’re must be a posse of people in from the locale, I’m not quite sure how to describe someone from the area, perhaps a Somersetonian?

They played ‘Our Mire’, and ‘Versions of the Truth’ from the album ‘Versions Of The Truth’ released back in 2020, it’s clear that they are well received, their music is generally classified as progressive rock, for me though, I prefer to think of it as alt rock as it comes across that way, they don’t play epic 20 minute songs with 15 minute solo’s instead its well-crafted and constructed five minute songs, that have been described before as featuring ‘thought provoking lyrics’, they simply put, let their music do the talking.

Soord recalls Gavin Harrison joining the band a few years back, and how they began to rework some of their back catalogue, we are treated to one of those rewired versions next as they play ‘Dead In The Water’ from the ‘Little Man’ album.

‘Rubicon’, perhaps my favourite off the new album creates some great soundscapes, I keep coming back to this song, maybe it’s the disjointed/broken feeling, perhaps the marching feel, either way drummer Gavin Harrison pounds those floor toms to great effect. Beren Matthews who tours with the band works together with Soord, between them they create a fantastic combination.



‘It Leads To This’ showcases a solid beat provided by Harrison and bass player Jon Sykes, it weaves through so effectively. The lyrics feature the line for ‘all this time how could we get it so wrong’, and while I appreciate the context in which its meant, as a band nothing could be further than the truth, for all this time as a band they have got it so right.

The last song of the set, ironically titled ‘Final Thing On My Mind’ is from ‘Your Wilderness’, I found the use of what sounded like harmonics on the acoustic particularly effective. Back for an encore, Soord asks ‘You want another song? OK, as they launch into ‘In Exile’, it’s a great song that appears to be one of their most played songs live apparently, it’s a real crowd pleaser, before squeezing in ‘Alone at Sea’ from ‘Magnolia’, and that’s it for the night.

The Pineapple Thief are well established band enjoying success, they have been around for 25 years now and I suspect for a good few more years yet, putting out some quality work. The venue is packed, the sound mix has been fabulous and as someone put on social media, they ‘Delivered again in Bristol’.




The FrostDemonsPut It RightOur MireVersions Of The TruthEvery Trace Of UsDead In The WaterAll That’s LeftNow It’s YoursFend For YourselfRubiconTo ForgetIt Leads To ThisGive It BackFinal Thing On My Mind
ENCOREIn ExileAlone at Sea