Reviews

LIVE: Moose Blood – HMV Oxford Street 5/8/16

9 out of 10

What happens when you put a rapidly growing band in an attic room in a central London record store? In the case of Moose Blood last night, the roof gets blown off.

When the show and signing was announced as free with only an album purchase necessary, just about every fan of the band in and around the capital jumped on the opportunity. Filled to capacity, the room was brimming with excitement as all the spectators walked past the signing table to get in; seeing the unstoppable band and getting their excellent new record signed was only moments away. The soundtrack to all of this buzz was, quite predictably, the new album Blush, which was only released yesterday.

Walking out with the usual “we’re Moose Blood, thanks for being here”, frontman Eddie Brewerton looked truly terrified. The band are known for their timidity, but when Honey began it was easy to see why they’re growing at the rate they are. The crowd were jumping about within fractions of a second of the first note, much to the band’s delight; the grin was visible on guitarist Mark E Osborne’s face the whole track.

After another “thank you for coming, it really does mean a lot”, they announced they would be playing next “the first song [they] wrote”, and the crowd that meant only one thing: it was time to go crazy to the tune of Bukowski. For perhaps the first time in 363 Oxford Street’s in-store show history, crowdsurfing was rife. The massive singalong appeal of the track meant the atmosphere went from “enjoying” to “electric” in less than a verse. This carried over into fan favourite Swim Down with further crowdsurfing before delving back to first official single Boston, much to the crowd’s delight.

Due to the sharp glares of security personnel, Eddie reluctantly told the crowd “I’ve been told to say ‘no crowdsurfing'”, but with a “not that you were anyway” and a wink to calm the groans from the crowd. As he tuned his guitar down for some more new material he acknowledged his awkwardness, even to the extend of calling himself “bad at this talking thing” and resorting to filling some of the silence by literally saying “words”, resulting in laughter all round (not least from drummer Glenn Harvey, the instigator of the Roam Twitter banter).

When finished tuning, he asked if they were allowed to play some new songs, and with the crowd as hooked as they were was a bit of a pointless question. Glow was first up, closely followed by Sulk and Knuckles which only got a better and better reaction as they went through and the set built to a massive crescendo with Gum.

Through the quiet first verse, Eddie stopped singing at moments as he was evidently overwhelmed with the response the track got, as were the rest of Moose Blood. As the guitar started building to signal the crashing into the second verse, the crowd were mimicking every sound they knew from the record with excitement and anticipation of the mania that was to come when the crashing rhythm of the second verse came in.

The band finished up with roars from the watching few hundred, dripping with sweat in the boiling attic room having clearly given the show their all before dashing to get changed before the signing.

Moose Blood are building their popularity at an incredible rate, but it is clear to see they still have fans from the beginning coming to their shows. They have done the impossible task of hitting the more mainstream rock market while keeping the alternative fans gripped, and their live prowess is formidable to the level of challenging the very best. The fanbase make the band’s slogan come to life: it seems that emo really is a gang.

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