Monday, 9 March 2015

Moose Blood - The Vic Swindon, 08/03/15

If you've read my blog in the past, you might know that back in November I saw Moose Blood supporting Mallory Knox. They put on an amazing performance, so when it was announced that they were playing a show in my hometown of Swindon, there was no question in my mind that I needed to be there.

Opening band, With Ghosts, are local lads from Swindon, meaning that I've seen them in the past - including back in October, supporting Decade. The fact that I could remember quite a few of their songs, despite having heard them for the last time nearly six months ago, is a huge pointer towards the fact that they can definitely write catchy songs. However, whether due to time constraints or just an lack of confidence, they didn't shine as much tonight as I'd been hoping they would. Don't get me wrong, they still performed well! But there was hardly any interaction with the crowd, and instead of having an audible break between songs to allowed for an applause break, the guitars carried on in a way that meant the crowd were clapping throughout the start of the following song. Instead of having the audience eating out of the palm of their hands, they seemed to be making the entire situation rather uncomfortable, which was a crying shame. Similarly, throughout the entirety of one of their last songs there was painful guitar feedback; whether due to a problem with the band or the venue, I'm not completely sure, but something was definitely wrong with the set. However, I still have all of my fingers crossed that they will release an EP in the next few months, because I still have their lyrics stuck in my head from last night and I want to get a physical copy of their songs!

Second band of the night were Southampton's Creeper, a band who I hadn't listened to before but who I'd definitely heard of; they were featured in Kerrang!'s Introducing feature a few months ago, as well as Rock Sound's '59 bands you need in your life right now' (which is usually completely spot on), and they played at Takedown Festival on Saturday, after which vocalist Will Gould ended up falling down his stairs after the band drank one hundred beers between them, which was a hilarious tale. I was highly anticipating their set and I was not disappointed. Bursting out on to the stage with 'We Had A Pact', I was instantly gripped by their explosive and frenetic show, with Will hardly spending a moment standing still. Throughout their set they played their self-titled EP in full and it definitely demonstrated that the band have much variety in their songs, even though they only played five of them. Closer 'Novena' was a strange choice after such an adrenaline-filled pop punk set, as it has quite a slow beginning and gradual build up which could have been an asset at one of their headline shows, but seemed to make the crowd antsy and disinterested. The song was beautiful, soaring in a way that showed a band that are definitely holding their heads above the crowd, but it just seemed an awkward ending song for a live set. As the song built up and kicked back in again it definitely drew a lot of the audience back in, but quite a few of them seemed difficult to win back, which sucked for the guys. As they get more experienced with touring I'm sure they'll get better at building setlists, because I do think 'Novena' would fit very well in the middle of a set, but that's something that will come with time. Seeing as they haven't even been a band for that long and their songs are already being picked up by Radio One, I'm sure it won't be too long until these guys are headlining their own shows. 

We Had A Pact
Into The Black

Main event, Moose Blood, were definitely the main attraction for the majority of the crowd, who surged forwards and started singing every word the second that they stepped on to the stage. For a band who have supported Mallory Knox and are appearing on Warped Tour in USA this summer, it makes literally no sense to me that they decided to play a venue of this size, but I absolutely love the fact that I managed to experience it. All of the gigs that I've been to in Swindon have had a distinct lack of crowd surfing or stage diving, but that changed last night with the most hectic gig I've experienced in the town. The majority of the set was comprised of songs off of their debut full length album, 'I'll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time', so it wasn't too surprising that people were singing along to every word as it's been quite well promoted, but even older tracks 'Stay Here' and 'Evening Coffee', only available on vinyl, were gobbled up by the audience who seemed even more invigorated by these surprising additions to the set. With vocalist Eddy Brewerton telling the crowd that the band didn't write a setlist for the concert, so were just guessing, this might explain some of the lesser known choices, but I applaud them for playing them, and playing them excellently. In fact, the entire set was played excellently: Eddy's vocals were on point, as usual, and musically they are all completely in sync, not giving any room for error. 
I'm glad that Moose Blood aren't a band who have forgotten their roots during their speedy rise, and that was cemented even further when Eddy bashfully stated "thank you so much for coming down. I know it's late, and it's a Sunday..." when really I'm sure that this set is the highlight of many attendants weeks. It's always good when a band become successful very quickly and it doesn't go to their heads, but I really want to see Moose Blood accept that people are quickly falling in love with them, and they definitely shouldn't doubt it. If you haven't heard of Moose Blood, you need to jump on board soon. Their brand of emo-punk has gotten them lots of attention in America, and if you don't listen to them soon you'll regret it when they're selling out venues five or six times the size of The Vic. This was one of the best gigs I've ever attended in Swindon, and it will take a hell of a lot to beat it in the future. 

Swim Down
Chin Up
Stay Here
Evening Coffee
I Hope You're Missing Me
I Hope You're Miserable

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