Blood Red Shoes | Live Review

Blood Red Shoes + Slaves + Dz Deathrays @ Trinity Centre, Bristol. 23.04.14

Blood Red Shoes certainly make their live experience count, but their self-chosen support acts for some will have no doubt been the highlight.

Now four albums in, Blood Red Shoes claim to have more in common with bands today than they did when they first started out. This becomes quickly clear tonight as Trinity gets bombed by not only the Brighton duo, but also noise-mongers Slaves and DZ Deathrays.

With a new record themselves Australian pair DZ Deathrays bustle through a swift round of their self-dubbed party thrash. It’s always incredibly satisfying to see someone pick up an old formula and then buckle it beyond all the past conventions; and each effect swamped guitar in this set brings smiles because it shows they succeed in doing that so effortlessly. New track ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ closes, with a manic chorus it easily contends against the older ‘The Mess Up’ and ‘Teenage Kickstarts’.

Are they drunk? Apparently not, apparently it’s the fuel of a Burger King which incites such a warped, hilarious and at times intimidating set. Slaves come on dressed like a pair of old pub loyalists, black trousers and t-shirts tucked into belts. They regale us with the backstories to most songs, “late one night I was walking along with a kebab”, before playing angsty tunes that leave a group of dedicated fans throwing themselves about and clambering the stage. Slaves again produce a huge sound for merely two people, fully utilising the power of the pause into which they often stuff spoken word or rowdy jokes.

So after this, the main attraction would seem to have much to follow. Opening with ‘Welcome Home’ Blood Red Shoes continue every inch of suspense as strobing lights flair up a reaction. It’s a statement opener from the new record and the band are only helped by a production which excites the stage. The crowd however slip out of their former truculence and into a less animated stance, but with the Slaves mob gone it was kind of expected.

Right from the start the band deliver their latest material with a clear accuracy and the connection between Laura Carter and Steven Ansell is a joy to watch. Although it’s the older tracks  ‘Cold’ and ‘Black Distractions’ that seem to notch the crowd up a level. We see a constant flair and passion applied throughout as Ansell takes to occasionally standing high above his drum kit to forge more of a link with the crowd.

Despite the execution there’s moments which feel like a slight step down in the heat of things. The pair boast “we fucking choose our own support acts, that’s why they’re awesome”, and to their credit this could be the reasoning for such a packed Trinity this evening. The pair are summoned for a three track encore which clearly excites them into delving again in the top drawer of their live show, they end on the biting note of ‘Je Me Perds’.

In all, Blood Red Shoes certainly make their live experience count, but their self-chosen support acts for some will have no doubt been the highlight.

Check out ‘An Animal’ right here:

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