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Blood Red Shoes

Glasgow Oran Mor (Sunday 27th April)

By • Apr 30th, 2014 • Category: Gig review

Some may think two is a strange number for a touring band, but with the talent possessed by Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes, it’s more than enough. ‘Welcome Home’, the intro track from their new eponymous album, is an absolute mammoth opener. From the off, it sets the mood for an evening of hair-raising, spine-tingling, face-melting (you get the jist) noise.
Older fans are suitably catered for with ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’ taking us back to the ‘Box Of Secrets’ days, along with the likes of innocent yet angsty ‘This Is Not For You’ later on. Compare them to the likes of new one ‘Everything All At Once’ and you hear nothing but evidence of a band who’ve continuously improved with age, honing their sound to the point they’re now pretty much instantly recognisable. The sheer power of sound exuded by guitarist Laura-Mary Carter and drummer Steve Ansell can only be put down to years of practice and an evident love for and devotion to their respective instruments. But they’re not the only ones making a brilliant racket.
“Wow, you lot are loud,” laughs Ansell, as if he’s genuinely surprised. But it’s a sentiment the crowd have accepted and even embraced for years.
However, it’s not until ‘Don’t Ask’ that things really start up and pits take form. The crowd are already warm and sweaty after support from Slaves and DZ Deathrays, bands who more than know their way around a guitar pedal or eight. But, with such a relentless beat and sense of urgency possessed by that frantic guitar, is it any wonder they get a little wild?
With new one ‘Speech Coma’, it becomes apparent the Glasgow folks have done their homework, despite the new record having only been released recently. Perhaps it’s the insanely catchy chorus of, “I can’t get the words out/I can’t get the words out/It’s like someone cut out my tongue,” that helps in this case.
A lot of BRS’ stuff has that hyperactive, young adult angst feel to it and, although ‘Cold’ does possess some of this to an extent, some more raw emotions are tapped into. True, the deep, gritty riff keeps the rock factor intact, but Carter’s vocals cover it all in a blanket of bittersweet sadness. It’s like a punch to the heart and gut simultaneously and it feels great.
Now, with the pits are growing larger, the cheers louder and the tiny Òran Mór basement sweatier, it seems as good a time as any to play some of their catchiest songs to date. ‘Heartsink’ and new ones ‘An Animal’ and ‘The Perfect Mess’ are, from start to finish, absolutely non-stop but the crowd are more than up to the challenge, caring not that it’s a Sunday night.
The duo visit ‘In Time To Voices’ again with ‘Lost Kids’ – a brilliant ode to a generation who have, for one reason or another, been failed by society – before treating fans to ‘Black Distractions’ and, later, ‘Red River’ from last year’s sleaze-tastic EP ‘Water’.
Due to a tight 10pm curfew at the Glasgow church-cum-music venue, an encore is out of the question so the band delve straight into the last few songs with no hesitation. ‘Light It Up’ wins the award for most fists in the air as the small crowd sing along with all they can muster whilst short and sweet burst of madness ‘Je Me Perds’ gives everyone one last chance to go nuts, should they feel compelled to, before heading home to face that Monday morning slog once more.

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