Blood Red Shoes in Paradiso, Amsterdam on March 17th, 2009
According to drummer Steven Ansell the Paradiso show was the biggest they ever headlined. Touring in support of their new album “Fire Like This” the show was loud, tight and energetic. Warm-up act “Pulled Apart By Horses” was fitting and at times I wondered if this was how Nirvana sounded about 20 years ago in this same venue.
Blood Red Shoes have perfected the art of doing everything with the bare minimum. It’s not a band you go to watch amazing musical ability. Laura-Mary Carter’s guitar playing is simple: easy riffs and chords that most accomplished players will be able to play, but she plays them loud, she plays them tight and she plays them well. No Springtime guitar unfortunately, that would have been a real treat. Steven Ansell uses his drumkit entirely to give the music something extra. You never miss any other instrument with both getting everything out of their instruments. They are not the best singers, in fact the singing doesn’t really add anything, but they sing anthems that people can anticipate, jump around on and sing along. Their mix of grunge and punk rock doesn’t sound very English but their unique setup allows them to have an own style that might not be very inventive, but very effective as a live band.
A few times both mentioned how much fun they were having and the crowd seemed to enjoy it as much as the band. Dozens of people jumped off the stage into the audience to be carried far into the room. At times you could see more people looking at the surfers than the band.
After the show ended Ansell decided to top his great night out with a jump into the audience and was carried all the way to the end, followed a few minutes later by Laura-Mary. It seemed a fitting tribute to the sometimes crazy crowdsurfers.