Following the release of their debut album ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’, Moose Blood have kicked off 2015 with their first ever headline tour, including sold out dates in London, Manchester and Nottingham amongst others. Over the past year or so, Moose Blood have taken all the right steps to head towards getting the acclaim that they deserve, touring with the likes of Mallory Knox, Balance and Composure, Funeral For A Friend and Gnarwolves. As pop-punk loving teens began to pack in front of the stage dazzled with fairy lights, it became clear that Moose Blood’s mass appeal seems to fit in the department of young escapists. The 100-cap basement venue soon filled with a definite sense of anticipation and it was plain to see that those readily kitted out in Moose Blood merchandise had waited months to finally see the band grace the South-West and perform.
Kicking off the set with a personal favourite, ‘Pups’, it was immediately obvious that Moose Blood have refined themselves into an impeccably polished quartet that have grown massively from the more rugged days of the ‘Moving Home’ and ‘Split’ EPs. Early highlights came in the form of romantic belter ‘Swim Down’ and album staple ‘Chin Up’. Throughout these tracks, it was difficult to determine the vibe of the crowd and what kind of show they were expecting. Most seemed to be singing the lyrics to themselves and seriously lacking in the movement and energy that the music rightfully calls for. After scouting out the real enthusiasts and receiving some fierce looks of disapproval, the crowd finally got going as Moose Blood piped up with cult classic ‘Bukowski’.
The set soon took to a lower tempo as front man Eddy Brewerton introduced a track that ‘means the world’, titled ‘Cherry’. For me, it’s tracks like ‘Cherry’ that make Moose Blood stand out against other emerging bands in the UK simply for their modesty and beautifully honest lyricism. Atmosphere lifted like no other during this tender-hearted performance, with virtually every pair of lips belting the lyrics back to the band with enough emotion to rival the intensity of the front man himself. Ending the track with gratitude and heart-warming smile, the Canterbury rockers swung straight back in with ‘Girl’, the only the track of the set that wasn’t taken from the debut album. Despite proving to have reached a point of comfort in their own sound, the rawness of ‘Girl’ showcased that they haven’t lost touch or stemmed away from their rougher roots, making them the band that stole the hearts of fans in the first place.
Pace was picked up once again by the heavier ‘I Hope You’re Missing Me’, sending audience members flying over one another and up onto the ceiling. Followed closely by the album’s closing track that almost begs for an offload of anger and vexation on it’s hook and title line ‘I Hope You’re Miserable’. As the set drew to a close, fan favourite ‘Boston’ was launched with it’s almost acoustic opening, leading the basement to fill with the vicious singing of slightly sweaty teenagers prior to the explosion of hefty riffs and drumming upon the second verse.
The crowd lacking in craziness at times? Sure, but audience devotion to the songs and the band themselves can’t be doubted. With a remarkable yet modest stage presence, punchy guitar riffs and lyrics that hit you right where it hurts, it’s almost impossible to believe that the band have only been together two years.
All images by Josh Hansford – Check out the rest of his work over on: