Moose Blood – The 1865, Southampton, 14/04/2016

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Words by Sam Taylor

Emo troupe Moose Blood make their debut in Southampton as part of their headline UK tour at the sold out The 1865. This tour is part of a turning point for Moose Blood. This tour marks the end of the I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time era and welcomes in Blush, their second full-length set to drop in August, after taking a half a year long break to write and produce the record.

To set the scene; The 1865 isn’t the most glamorous of venues: it’s dingy with a couple of bars, an average sized stage and a balcony; so it’s safe to say Moose Blood don’t exactly have pyrotechnics and a lightshow to blow your mind. It’s simply their logo, which is supposedly meant to be an abstract moose but actually looks like a rake to an outsider in pastel pink, on a black backdrop with purple and pink hued lighting and LEDs around the amplifiers, fitting the new album theme. The crowd is a combination of people mixing different ages from pre-teens dragging their miserable looking parents to the show, 20+ year old sadboys/girls, trying to cover up the fact they had a really harsh scene phase by listening to the new wave of emo bands, and the occasional cringey couple. As peculiar as this crowd is everyone seems nicely integrated with one another as they are all here for that one purpose; to see a band they truly love.

What Moose Blood lack in their scenery they make up for with the substance of their performance. Moose Blood don’t need much to create such an exciting atmosphere and is show proves it. As the lights dim, before the first string is plucked and drum skin hit the capacity crowd surge forward to be as close as possible to one of their favourite bands and due to the wonders of the internet and setlists being posted online the majority of the crowd know what to expect.

Opening with ‘Swim Down’ from IKYIMFTTT everything about their performance is electric. There is an element of rawness in Eddy Brewerton’s vocals but he still has an outstanding level of power behind it that is on par with his recorded vocals. The way everything works together like a harmonious machine shows the band are clearly in their element playing and it reflects so well onto the crowd. The timing of the band is more or less immaculate and just sounds like a reverberation of their music recorded only slightly louder. Moose Blood play an excellent setlist compromising of all their most popular tracks as well as treating everyone to two new tracks, ‘Honey’ and ‘Glow’, allowing the opportunity to see the transition the band have made since signing to Hopeless Records, to a more pop-punk kind of vibe if anything. However, two live songs can’t really dictate how a whole album is going to reflect.

It’s a fucking Moose Blood gig – there has to be some kind of emotional breakdown/”I want to cry myself to sleep while thinking about my ex” moment, and this is obviously ‘Cherry’, a single guitar strumming gently in the background complimenting lyrics about missing an ex, however the vocals are literally drowned out by the crowd chanting, word for word in an almost hymn-like state. After everyone has their moment and the band graciously thank the crowd for what seems like the millionth time, the show spruings back to life and Moose Blood show clearly why they sold out this tour and that it’s really only going up for them from here. With a lot more in store Moose Blood need to get ready for the success they so truly deserve.

7/10

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