For some reason, on the morning of Wednesday 16th April, I decided to check the music listings on the Crack Magazine website before work. This is not something that I do habitually, as I am generally in far too much of a rush! There, nestled amongst the various local acts and open mic nights, were Blood Red Shoes, whose appearance in Newcastle had somehow passed me by until that very day. Nabbing myself a ticket on my lunch break (after putting a morning's industrious pen-pushing, paper-shuffling, keyboard-bothering toil, naturally) I, via a brief sojourn with a pint of Black Sheep in a nearby watering hole, headed straight to the venue from the office.
This was one of those gigs where, had I been a full decade younger I would still probably have been older than a good half of the audience (you could spot the older audience members quite easily, as they were the only ones singing along to the Nirvana and Hole that was piped through the speakers in the intervals!). Just to contextualise...I am 27! The fact that a good majority of the audience were not yet old enough to live independently or buy an alcoholic drink, combined with the smoking ban, meant that the room took on a rather putrid odour. Teenage boys, especially en masse, smell. Of niffy feet and stale armpits. How I missed the shrouds of tobacco smoke that used to mask the ponk!
The wait until support came on was interminable. Cue a whole hour's worth of people-watching. The first support act came on at 8.15pm, and they were France's 1984. Despite being hand-picked by Blood Red Shoes, who had heard them play in Austria, and who were right there in the audience watching them and bobbing their heads along (he in particular, surprisingly for a drummer, enthusiastic but rather arrhythmic), this, to me, sounded very much like blood red noise for blood red ears! 'Music' not worth a marred myrinx! The high point of the set was the chance to have a snigger at the bassist, who jumped up onto the speaker, then down into the audience, only to find that he was unfortunately stuck there...having to be ushered back to the stage by the bouncer like he still needed his mum to thread his mittens into his coat.
Ten past nine (bearing in mind the doors opened at 7.00pm) and a second warm-up act came on. By this point my patience (and my eyelids' ability to stay open on their own) was being severely tested. I couldn't even go for a cigarette because we weren't 'allowed' (the security on the door as I went in muttered sheepishly something about their boss telling them about people cluttering up the street). This second act were certainly nothing extraordinary, but were very welcome after the tosh that was 1984. The lead singer of this band, Them Amazing Babies, was wearing a home-made t-shirt that read “Narc Magazine can suck a fuck”...clearly not a wordsmith. Narc is a local magazine that, I guess, must have reviewed them unfavourably. And if I'm not very much mistaken, the editor Claire Dupree was standing there right in front of me looked rather teed off! But hey, any publicity's good publicity, right? (Also in the audience were at least another two Johnny Ramones – must be a popular look presently – and a Hatchet Face whose fella had a girl fringe).
Blood Red Shoes finally came on at 10.15pm. If I'd have known they would be coming on this late, I would have gone home for a disco nap! They opened with It's Getting Boring By the Sea, which was excellent, but I was pretty much too knackered to enthuse too vociferously, and finished with I Wish I Was Someone Better, coming back with an encore of Stitch Me Back (possibly the best song of the evening) and ADHD.
They were pretty good, but I'm just not sure that 45 minutes worth of music was worth all that waiting. It just wasn't as rousing as it sounds like it should be from listening to them on record.
Oh, and Doesn't Matter Much, in which there is a refrain of “no no, yeah yeah” reminded me of this...enjoy:
Music 2000 (from the hilariously funny Look Around You...check out the episode entitled 'Germs' on YouTube - "It's a different sort of moth to one you might enjoy in a sandwich"...superb!).
Back to Blood Red Shoes...here are a few mp3s:
Buy their album, Box of Secrets.