Consisting of Steven Ansell (originally from Horsham, West Sussex) and Laura-Mary Carter (originally from Ashford, Middlesex), they formed in 2005 after their previous bands (Cat On Form and Lady Muck respectively) had broken up and they decided to "have a jam". Blood Red Shoes is a musical democracy in which both members have equal say and control over the music and activities of the band. They have performed over 400 live shows and released eight singles since they began in 2005. They were signed to V2 in April 2007 with whom they released the singles "It's Getting Boring By The Sea" (June 11, 2007) and "I Wish I Was Someone Better" (October 29, 2007). However, following the sale of V2 to Universal Music Group, the band's debut album Box of Secrets was released on Mercury Records on 14 April 2008. It was leaked to private torrent trackers in November 2007, several months before its retail release date. The band have commented that although they have no issue with file sharing and downloading free music, having their debut album become available outside of their control and without the intended artwork and lyric booklet was a disappointment.
In an interview in Berlin, Laura-Mary explained that the band's name was taken from a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical, in which Ginger Rogers had turned a pair of white dancing shoes red with blood because she had been practising dancing so much in them.
The band featured on both days of the 2007 Camden Crawl, playing the Purple Turtle and the Earl of Camden respectively. Blood Red Shoes headlined the 2007 Red Stripe Music Awards alongside Yourcodenameis:Milo. They were also one of four bands to play the NME New Music Tour 2007, with The Little Ones, Pull Tiger Tail and The Rumble Strips. The summer of 2007 saw the band playing several festival spots, including T in the Park, the inaugural Underage Festival, Electric Gardens festival and a highly successful slot at Reading Festival. They have also supported a wide range of bands, such as Q and Not U, Panic At The Disco, The Young Knives, Lightning Bolt, !!!, Biffy Clyro, Maxïmo Park, The Gossip, Siouxsie Sioux and Rage Against the Machine. Most Recently, at Glastonbury 2008 they stepped in to perform in the place of The Long Blondes.
The band cite a large swathe of US-based underground punk and rock music as their primary influence, drawing inspiration from Babes in Toyland, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Q and not U, Pixies, Fugazi, Sonic Youth et al., although they also regularly highlight English artists Blur and PJ Harvey as music heroes. The band frequently distance themselves from current English guitar music and consider themselves to be a punk band, in ethos and attitude, if not in their immediate musical style. Blood Red Shoes deal with themes of frustration, anger, alienation, boredom, confusion and ultimately the hope of freedom, in their lyrics. They frequently refer to the fact that, like the music, their lyrics come from improvisation and are drawn from unconscious ideas rather than being consciously constructed. The band openly support anti-fascist campaigns such as Love Music Hate Racism, and have played the feminist festival Ladyfest in the past.
The band are known for retaining a high level of both creative control, and control over their business dealings - Laura-Mary designs and oversees all of the sleeve art, posters and merchandising (having left her art university to pursue the band) and they try to keep ticket prices low, merchandise is made on non-sweatshop fabrics and sold at a fair price, often much lower than their contemporaries. The band co-produced their album and are frequently the sole engineers and producers on their b-sides as well as on the early vinyl-only releases.
On Friday 11 April they smashed the 'cheese board' feature record on Gonzo with Zane Lowe by naming twenty cheeses in 20 seconds. Making the feat even more impressive was that the duo did not even say the most common cheese; cheddar.
After their Autumn-Winter tour of 2008, the band took a performance stop in the first months of 2009 to write songs for their next record. They have now begun touring again, and are introducing new songs at every gig, sometimes including unfinished songs or those without lyrics. They opened for Foals in Brighton in 2009 to road test some new material by playing all new songs except for "It's Getting Boring By The Sea" and "This Is Not For You". On the 17th of May 2009, the band played All Tomorrows Parties (ATP), having been invited to play by The Breeders. The band are currently recording their second album with Mike Crossey at the Motor Museum studio in Liverpool.
|Title||Release Date||UK Singles Chart||Album|
|"Victory for the Magpie" (EP)||18 July 2005||-||-|
|"Stitch Me Back / Meet Me at Eight" (Double A-Side)||20 February 2006||-||-|
|"A.D.H.D"||15 May 2006||-||-|
|"You Bring Me Down"||20 November 2006||-||I'll Be Your Eyes|
|"It's Getting Boring by the Sea"||11 June 2007||-||I'll Be Your Eyes|
|"I Wish I Was Someone Better"||29 October 2007||-||Box of Secrets|
|"You Bring Me Down" (Re-Release)||04 February 2008||64||Box of Secrets|
|"Say Something, Say Anything"||07 April 2008||79||Box of Secrets|
|"This Is Not for You"||07 July 2008||-||Box of Secrets|
|Title||Release Date||UK Album Chart|
|Box of Secrets||14 April 2008||47|
Laura-Mary uses thick 1 mm Jim Dunlop plectrums, and thick "skinny top heavy bottom" Ernie Ball strings. On her telecasters she uses standard tuning, on the Springtime, an alternate tuning.
- Fender American Telecaster
- Fender Japanese '62 Reissue Telecaster
- Marshall DSL50 JCM2000 Head
- Marshall 1960TV Cabinet
- Boss DD-6
- Boss TU-2
- Marshall Guv'nor GV-2 Plus
- Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
- Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
Steven uses a 4-piece kit and only 1 crash and ride.
- Tama Drum Kit (13" rack tom, 16" floor tom, 22" bass drum)
- Zildjian Cymbals (14" hats, 18" crash, 21" ride)
- Ludwig Black Beauty Snare Drum
- Roland SPD-S sample pad
Biography from Wikipedia