It’s been four years since Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes emerged from a pool of samey, angular guitar bands and grabbed the attention of the music press with their Pixies-come-Kills-inspired indie rock debut Box of Secrets. Since then, plenty of their contemporaries have come and gone, and although being around for four years is no great achievement in itself, it nevertheless suggests that the two piece are still producing stuff that’s either worth hearing or, at the very least, remains marketable.
Within minutes of taking to the stage, it’s clear that the former applies; opener It’s Getting Boring By The Sea retains all its poppy charm and freshness, the lovely Laura-Mary Carter’s swooping vocal leaving sections of the crowd swooning as her dulcet East Sussex inflections drop from scudding guitar lines like blood from a sword. From there the night takes a steadily upward trajectory with a set list that finds a successful balance between the old and new: the instantly memorable guitar notes of Light It Up build triumphantly to its bilious, shout-along chorus, while latest single Cold brings a grander, more stately aura to the night, with Carter’s seductive vocal rising and falling amidst crunchy though spacious interplay between guitar and drum.
Yet the performance is as impressive visually as it is sonically – stark strobe lighting shifts with every beat, throwing brilliant focus to the chiselled cheekbones of the nautically-clad songstress, whose red nail-varnished fingers two-step their way up and down the fretboard with graceful ease. It’s moments like this that bring a sense of awe to this ecclesiastical venue.
What is perhaps most endearing about the boy-girl twosome, however, is the way they’ve remained true to their aesthetic and stuck to what they’re good at. There are no affectations or unnecessary accoutrements, no fawning over elaborate pedal combinations or sample tracks to pad out the sound. Instead, just refreshing hooks that ring out over a well-woven fabric of teasing distortion and infectious rhythms. Four years on and three albums in, the sanguine duo still have their fans cheering, heads rolling and feet scuffling. Long may it last.
As published in Crack magazine: http://crackmagazine.net//article/683/blood-red-shoes/