Live Review: Moose Blood, Choir Vandals & Boston Manor – Red Room, Nottingham – 17/01/2015

It maybe the middle of January but thankfully Moose Blood are out on the road to warm-up our little hearts with their brand of emotionally charged rock. And they’ve bought Choir Vandals and Boston Manor along for the ride. Tonight they’re in Nottingham, playing in the intimate red room.

From the moment Boston Manor open proceedings for the night, the room is already packed out yet there’s only a handful of people getting their kicks out of the Blackpool bands emo pop-punk stylings. Showcasing songs from their recent ’Driftwood’ EP, Boston Manor prove to be energetic yet like any young band come off as slightly sloppy. Nevertheless they have a fun set of upbeat songs that have heart and certainly set the mood for the remainder of the night. (3.5/5)

Choir Vandals are making their UK debut on this tour and having listened to their latest ‘At Night’ EP before tonight’s show, I’ll admit I had little interest in the St. Louis band. Nevertheless this changed after tonight’s viewing. The quartet produced an intriguing set. Their brand of stirring alt rock is reminiscent of early Seahaven but is delivered in looser manner with a touch of vintage indie rock. Vocalist Austin McCutchen is confident in his purposely slurred delivery whilst musically Choir Vandals come off as self-assured but far from arrogant. It’ll be interesting to see how the bands future material shapes to be like. (4/5)

Seeing the rise of Moose Blood over the past 2 years has been great to see and tonight shows how far they have come. After receiving widespread praise for their debut LP (‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’) this current headline run cements their place as one of the UK’s most promising bands. From the opening moments of ‘Pups,’ its clear Moose Blood have crafted a wealth of songs that are made to be sung in unison as the packed out room sing back word for word.

Early highlights come in for the form of ‘Swim Down’ and longtime favourites ‘Evening Coffee’ and ‘Bukowski’ all of which are delivered on par and with even more energy than on record. Whilst ‘Cherry’ unites the crowd in a mass sombre sing-a-long much to the appreciation of Eddy Brewerton. Later tracks ‘I Hope You’re Missing Me’ and I’I Hope You’re Miserable’ are explosive and don’t show any signs of fatigue from the Canterbury based band. The night ends on one final sing-a-long as ‘Boston’ is yelled back at the band in sync thus leaving all in attendance feeling more than satisfied.

Although they may not have quite enough material to justify a headline run; tonight’s show ended more than half an hour earlier than expected, the material Moose Blood do have is played with passion through and through. In addition their confidence is growing; Eddy Brewerton at times comes off as uncomfortable in between songs, and as Moose Blood play more and more dates on this run of shows and beyond, you’ll see a band start to flourish as a headline band. (4.5/5)


Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)


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