Gig Review: Bloods

Who: Bloods ‘Golden Fang’ – EP Launch

Where: The Workers Club, Melbourne

When: 30th August 2013

With this being my first venture to The Workers Club, it was a bonus to see that there was to be not one, but two support acts performing this evening, as opposed to the one that what was previously advertised. First up to to take to the stage, was local troupe Richie 1250 & The Brides of Christ. A band who can only be described as the rollicking spawn of their various influences, The Cramps, Elvis and possibly King Khanh & The Shrines. With a sound that encapsulates the best parts of rockabilly, surf rock and doo-wop, these are a local act that need to be seen. They have the added bonus of having a front man in the vein of Richie 1250, who was reminiscent of one of those seemingly possessed evangelical preachers, with an added twitch or three. With two female backing vocalists flanking the aforementioned Richie 1250, they grabbed my attention right from the off. Aside from a handful of covers thrown in, including Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s “Insufficient Funds”, the likes of their own tracks “French Fry, My Guy”, “Moonshine” and “Sexy Crazy Cop”, allowed Richie 1250 to basically run amuck on and off stage, while at the same time holding court with ease, in front of those who’d gotten in early. Their self proclaimed hit single “The Whippet Walk” showed exactly what the band can do, when in full flight.

With the crowd numbers having swelled pretty dramatically, next up was Brisbane four piece Major Leagues. The scarily young looking group seemed to have brought along a fairly decent fan base, but unfortunately suffered from sound issues right from kick off. All three of the girls took turns at lead vocals during their set, but it was very hard to differentiate between their various styles. It seemed as though it was a combination of them holding back a little when taking over the mic, mixed in with their strained vocals getting lost behind the wall of guitars and bass sounds that were being emitted. Their fuzzy guitar pop sound was akin to listening to a mix of Dinosaur Junior and Yo La Tengo being fronted by the Dum Dum Girls, but it wasn’t as fulfilling as one would hope when you imagine what that combination may sound like! However all four members are well able to play, as was quite evident during the instrumental segments in their songs, but the words ‘ramshackle sounding’, kept playing on my mind throughout. Perhaps this is a tad bit harsh, but as they still have plenty of time on their side, I’m sure these issues will be ironed out rather easily.

A resounding cheer from the packed out room, accompanied Bloods’ entrance, and once they were settled, kicked right into “All The Things” and “Thinking About You”, both of which exuded the catchy and smart, indie pop sensibilities that Bloods possess in abundance. There was an obvious stage presence from both front women; MC on guitar and Sweetie on bass, as they looked incredibly at ease and nonchalant while playing their respective instruments, while Dirk’s drumming was crisp and controlled throughout. “Goodnight” was announced as an oldie – even though it was only released in May of last year! –  and it continued in the same infectious fashion as the previous numbers.

New song “Record” got an airing and cemented just how in sync both MC and Sweetie are with one another while performing. The audience were lapping up the performance, with more and more bodies beginning to do more than just shuffle their feet or bob their heads. It was something that didn’t go unnoticed by the group either, as they were quite taken aback by both the turnout and the reaction they were witnessing. The ‘We Are Bloods’ 7″ track “Mi Luchador” showed just how tight Bloods rhythm section is, especially the more it sped up half way through. With this being a launch for their ‘Golden Fang’ EP, it’s opening track “No Fun” proved that Bloods aren’t letting up on what they have become so damn good at, when it comes to penning a ear pricking tune.

Dirk’s thumping drumming abilities along with MC’s vocals, came to the fore during “Back To You”, where it became quite easy to find oneself being immersed in the world of Bloods as a whole. The luscious guitar licks and vocal harmonising continued during “Hailing Down” and new EP track “Language”. They finished up with a cover of The Premieres “Farmer John” – check out the holy grail of garage rock compilations Nuggets for that one folks – which proved that this is a band that don’t need to lean on theatrics when it comes to playing live. It may be viewed as basic to some, but when its done this well, who really cares?!

An edited version of this review appeared on Tonedeaf (An Australian music site)

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