Moose Blood are seemingly unstoppable at the moment, and their sold out headline tour of the UK speaks volumes about their dedicated fanbase. The tour hit Cardiff this week for the band’s biggest headline show to date. With Turnover, Boston Manor and Luca Brasi supporting, the show was set to be monumental.
Luca Brasi opened the night, a punk band from Australia. The quartet provided a tight and energetic start to the evening, playing a set largely fueled by their recent album If This Is All We’re Going to Be. Their vocals were comfortably powerful, the music led by a rocking bass presence, with songs interspersed with jovial, almost indie guitar riffs. It’s an interesting stylistic blend from a promising band, a solid addition to the evening. [7/10]
Up next were Boston Manor, hitting this tour straight off the back of their debut album release. Material from Be Nothing filled most of their set list, and they kicked off with an electrifying performance of premiere single Laika. Vocalist Henry Cox’s impressive range was on full display here, throwing out some brief, ruthless screams between his staple raw vocal style. Reassuringly, both the band’s new and older material gained similarly positive responses. The whole band seemed charged with energy right through to their closing performance of Trapped Nerve. Boston Manor have an increasingly spectacular stage presence. [8/10]
Turnover are, perhaps, the odd ones out on this bill. The other bands performing each boast an inarguable energy on stage, and whilst Turnover create a powerful atmosphere, their performance is more reserved. Nevertheless, the lead support played to a comforting number of supporters in the crowd, and their musicianship was exquisite. They played Humblest Pleasures from their 2016 7″ release, and some of the more popular tracks from Peripheral Vision. The quality of their show was nothing short of stunning, hitting each note with practiced aplomb. Turnover closed their set with Dizzy On The Comedown, cementing their ethereal, spellbinding performance. [8/10]
Moose Blood took to the stage for the headline slot and launched straight into Pastel, the opening track of their recent debut album Blush. The band have been refining their live show for years now, and it pays off – these guys are tight. There’s just enough discrepancy between their live performance and their studio recordings to give their gigs a unique, personalized atmosphere. Second up is Honey, the lead single from Blush. It’s here that the band’s revamped attitude to song writing truly shows it’s success, with a packed out room of people screaming back the anthemic emo-pop Moose Blood have crafted.
As expected, Bukowski is one of the biggest hits of the night. Everyone knows the words, and every now and then frontman Eddy stands back with a look of incredularity as the whole room takes over his vocal duty. Some of the tracks off of Blush don’t garner quite the same response as the band’s older material, it seems that some people are still only familiar with the singles, but it’s by no means a disappointment for the boys. Moose Blood‘s excessively polite, humble attitude is still at the forefront of their show, but Eddy is starting to look more confident on stage these days, so it’s a more comfortable experience all round – no more waiting on awkward silences from the vocalist who has struggled with speaking between songs.
As the band move through their set with grins essentially carved onto their faces, they glance at each other every now and then and share moments of wonderment – they still can’t believe they’re here; the atmosphere is euphoric. Something that detracted somewhat from the performance was the prominence of the slower songs in the set list. Occasionally it felt like the slow songs stalled Moose Blood‘s building energy, but many of their fans can’t resist the ballads, and they’re not bothered in the slightest. Closing with Knuckles, it’s somewhat surprising that the band didn’t finish with one of their more rated songs, but it’s not a disappointing close by any means.
In all, each band contributed to a stellar concert, but Moose Blood rightfully stole the show. The atmosphere of positivity around the Kent-based band is infectious, they are undoubtedly one of the UK’s prodigy bands at the moment, and they’re not slowing down one bit. [8/10]