Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes


Having given their most recent album a few spins, and hearing who had been lined up as the support for their UK Tour, I’m really looking forward to this gig.

Support comes in the way of DZ Deathrays (who I miss, sadly) and Slaves, who I’m very fortunate to catch. Slaves are a punk duo from Tunbridge Wells who play infectious, heart pounding tunes. They both seem to really enjoy themselves on stage, and their patter is believable. The crowd seems to get really into it which spurs the lads on, and their set is a great indicator as to why they’re rapidly becoming huge (having just signed to Virgin EMI!).

As Slaves finish up their set and time ticks on, I’m relieved to see the room fill up with people. Earlier in the night I’d mistakenly gone over to the main Academy and assumed the gig was cancelled as it was so quiet, something which I assume everyone else had thought. Thankfully, it turns out they are in the much more intimate Club Academy, a venue I prefer to the huge Academy 1. You feel a lot closer to the band on stage at the Club Academy, and I can only imagine bands love playing here too.

The last time Blood Red Shoes played Manchester was 2012, so the packed room are eagerly awaiting the Brighton duo. They open the set with the massive ‘Welcome Home’ from their new self-titled album. As an album opener it’s undeniably huge, and as a set opener for their live show, it’s no different. It’s an absolutely perfect build, and when it reaches its crescendo the crowd go mental. Pure balls to the walls, snarling rock, pounding drums. It’s one of the tunes from the new album I’ve really gotten into, along with ‘Speech Coma’ and ‘An Animal’, all of which are dotted throughout the set list, along with a few other tracks from the album, each sounding rad live.

The rest of the set is built up around the previous albums, and they certainly don’t disappoint, whacking out crowd favourites ‘Heartsink’, ‘Cold’ and ‘Don’t Ask; throughout. I’d say it’s damn near impossible not to get your head nodding when they’re on. Such a massive sound for a two piece. However, there are points when they lose me, and it all got a bit samey. It’s a shame to say, and I hope I can put that down to me being ill for the days leading up to and following the gig, but some tunes do start to blend into each other. The crowd were fully into it though, and I don’t think the pit near the front of the stage lets up for one second.

They do an encore, which for a venue this size feels like an odd choice. I’m not the biggest fan of encores, and I would have been happy for them to stay on and thrash through the rest of the set. Coming back on to thunderous applause, they go straight into ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’ from Box of Secrets, which has one of the standout moments of the night. Whilst the fans loudly sing ‘I WISH I WAS SOMEONE BETTER’, on stage drummer Steve stands atop his drum stool, bathed in red light looking cool as fuck, as guitarist Laura riffs like crazy on the guitar. Not only are they a top band, but they’ve got that effortlessly cool thing locked down…Blood Red Shoes are pretty great all in all.

There were times during the set where I was losing interest somewhat, but they’re such a good band, and the tunes really are something else, so I still came away from it having loved the gig.

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Andy Hughes

Hi, I'm Andy.I'm the man behind Birthday Cake for Breakfast, a site featuring music news, reviews and interviews.Big believer in Birthday Cake, Pizza, math rock and beer (preferably all in one sitting.) I spend my mornings daydreaming about gigs and my evenings going to gigs. Lunch times are spent walking about town listening to Tom Waits.'Id rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy'