Lightning Bolt and Blood Red ShoesEdit this event
I'm writing this review 21 hours after stumbling out of a venue I didn't know existed, in an area several miles away from any I've visited. My ears are still clouded with a liquidus wave of distortion, and several bruises pockmark my hands. I've had a first date with the Brians, and like the rest of the sold-out crowd, I'll never be the same.
Not that the night is promiscuous. Promoters Damn You! are not in the habit of providing just one life-changing, boundary-pushing act per bill, and tonight's two support acts don't act as exceptions to the rule.**
First up are Nottingham’s own Lords, who feed the bludgeoning riffs of Black Sabbath through random number-generated time signatures and increase the pressure to around 5000 psi. Then add a shedload of country sleaze to the mix for the hell of it. It’s not pretty, and for the most part it's not clever, but Lords' southern-fried, street-hardened stoner rock is impossible to ignore and incredibly easy to take to heart.**
At first Brighton-based Blood Red Shoes, composed of clean-shaven boy/indie temptress girl pairing Steven and Laura-Mary, seem out of place amongst the beards and thousand yard stares filling the room. But they soon dismiss any doubts of scenester-friendly desolation with a machine-gun barrage of piercing guitars, snapping drums and duel shrieking, at its height in new single ‘ADHD’. But the band know they are just hors d'oeuvres, even going as far as announcing that their last couple of songs will be the worst of the set so that the audience can swarm around the headliners' newly-assembled kit. A little honesty never hurt anyone.
This, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your standpoint, can't be said about Providence, Rhode Island's Lightning Bolt, who seem to balance the pain/pleasure ratio 50/50. 'Assassins' and '2Morro Morro Land' are two slabs of maniacal, bludgeoning and sonically perfect noise-rock that shoot an endless amount of endorphins through your flailing limbs, and yet the volume that they are spat out at is almost nauseating. Similarly the live presence of the band is regarded in some circles as heroic, and yet when a misguided drumstick leaves you unable to clench a fist heroic is not the first word that comes into your mind.
But a fractured finger and ringing ears are dismissible qualms when treated to a set that within an hour renders every other band trawling the toilet circuit irrelevant and challenges the perceptions of listenability and enjoyability whilst destroying the inhibitions of every patron wise enough to venture to a rowing club 15 yards away from the River Trent. Many bands and shows are given the tagline 'life changing' when days later they are a distant memory. Lightning Bolt create something timeless, and whether for yourself the experience is pleasurable, painful or a mixture of both it is one that will lodge into your brain and never cease.
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