Blood Red Shoes: The Cockpit, Leeds

Blood Red Shoes had a lot to live up to after a fantastic support set from The Cast of Cheers and they didn’t disappoint. The stage at The Cockpit was set out to look like the living room on the album cover of In Time To Voices with a red lamp and flickering T.V. in the background.

They opened at pace with ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’ and the gig seemed to build from that point with a great performance of ‘Don’t Ask’ following. After that came ‘Cold’ which, as you would expect, got the audience jumping and singing along.

Audience participation was at a high level throughout particularly when they played ‘Heart Sink’ five songs into the set. The crowd were shouting along with the chorus and bouncing along to the track. At this stage of the set ‘Heart Sink’ had been the highlight but it was yet to be surpassed many times.

‘Light It Up’ and ‘In Time To Voices’ were thoroughly enjoyable live as the crowd were moshing and shouting along to these raw and powerful tracks. The next time I thought I had experienced the highlight of the gig was when they played ‘This Is Not For You’. It was a brilliant performance with really heavy choruses. The most impressive element of this song however was during the breakdown when the vast majority of the audience were loudly clapping along with the beat before the song kicked back in.

The final song of the set was ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’ which sent the mosh pit into overdrive, I thought this was a great ending to the set but there was still more to come.

The encore was possibly the best encore I have ever had the pleasure to witness, full force and classic Blood Red Shoes. It started with ‘It’s Happening Again’ followed by ‘Colours Fade’, which built intensely, firing up the crowd. The set then finished with a ferocious rendition of ‘Je Me Perds’, the perfect ending to a set which I adored from start to finish.

Throughout I was incredibly impressed by Steven Ansell’s ability to knock out forceful and energetic drum beats whilst singing alone or harmonising with Laura-Mary Carter. The harmonies between the two of them are so perfect that at times you can’t tell if they are both singing or just one.

Laura’s vocal range was also impressive ranging from angelic to gritty often in the course of one track. At times her vocals reminded me of Shirley Manson from Garbage and at other times they were reminiscent of Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth.

This was an amazing high energy gig, which gave the impression of being heavier than their studio recordings. The crowd seemed to really enjoy themselves and the new material was received just as well as the old classics.