Blood Red Shoes - The Lexington, London
Tonight’s set at the intimate Lexington venue gave Blood Red Shoes the perfect opportunity to showcase and road test new material from their upcoming second album, Fire Like This; perfect because it was not their own headline show. Instead they were the not-so-secret special guest at Club Fandango’s monthly Club Panda and they took full advantage of the no lose, no pressure situation.
The majority of the 30-minute set is taken up by new material with five songs from the new album on display with room for only two old favourites in ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’ and ‘Say Something, Say Anything’. Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter are so confident in their new material that they even decide to start and finish the set with new tracks, even when a sneak peek at the set list shows that they had planned to play ‘Doesn’t Matter Much’ as a finale, but the new material doesn’t disappoint. Blood Red Shoes have lost none of the intensity and raw power of their debut album, Box Of Secrets, and have even managed to amp it up several notches.
Despite the fact that the set only lasts seven songs, there’s no way that even the diehard Blood Red Shoes fan who bought tickets just for their set would be disappointed. Highlights of the set both come from new tracks with ‘Light It Up’, lead single from Fire Like This, and ‘When We Wake’.
‘Light It Up’ turns into an absolute monster of a live song with its thumping drum beat and simple, yet powerful, chorus consisting of the twosome competing with each other to see who can say “light it up” the loudest; it’s bound to become a live favourite and definite sing along at their own headline shows. A different side of the band not seen before is shown by ‘When We Wake’ as it is a very intimate song with the usual confident delivery of Laura-Mary’s vocals coming with a sense of fragility as she sings “in the end is this all we can ask for” during the chorus but, in true Blood Red Shoes fashion, it comes to a crashing finale as Ansell’s drums come to the fore.
Crowd banter is kept to a minimum tonight other than Steven excitedly proclaiming that he feels like he’s in The Beatles when he attaches a tambourine to his drums before ‘Light It Up’, but the band are more than happy to let their music do the talking and talk it does. Make no mistake about it, there may be only two of them but they create as much noise, if not more, than your typical four or five piece rock band. It makes their live shows as raw and intense as they sound on record and makes them an experience that you literally cannot ignore, especially so in a small venue such as The Lexington.
On the basis of tonight’s evidence, their second album is shaping up to be something very special with Blood Red Shoes showing no signs of ‘difficult second album’ syndrome. It’s fair to say that chances to see them in support slots at intimate venues such as tonight are going to be few and far between after the release of Fire Like This.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
IT’S GETTING BORING BY THE SEA
LIGHT IT UP
WHEN WE WAKE
SAY SOMETHING, SAY ANYTHING
IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN