LIVE REVIEW: Moose Blood @ Sound Control, Manchester – 20th April 2016

Moose Blood have had a stratospheric rise in the last year or so. Following the huge success of debut album I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time, they’ve been permanently on the road supporting the likes of Lower Than Atlantis and Man Overboard, as well as headlining venues across Europe and playing Warped Tour. And tonight they’re playing the Sound Control in Manchester as part of their biggest headline tour to date – and the whole thing’s completely sold out.

 Opening up are Irish sibling duo Greywind [6]. This is their first ever tour, but you wouldn’t even know hadn’t singer Steph O’Sullivan sheepishly announced. Epic rock anthems like Afterthoughts are pulled off with the swagger of a band ten years their senior, and the vocal heights Steph can reach are nothing short of astounding. There are times when the constant falling to her knees and forced American-sounding twang to her voice grates, but the crowd seem to enjoy it and it’s certainly got Steph and brother Paul’s feet in the door.

 Fellow Irish band The Winter Passing [8] follow, and they definitely up the ante. Providing a chirpier change of pace to the one Greywind provided, they crack tongue-in-cheek jokes throughout their set, with songs like Daisy and Penny Chains making the corners of the crowd’s mouths perk up. Singer / keyboardist Kate Flynn can barely be heard over her brother and other singer Rob (we’re not sure whether this is due to technical issues or the quartet’s raucousness) but she more than makes up for it with her stage presence – leaping and bounding around the stage and banging on her own drum with excitement and vigour. More than a few people in the crowd will definitely be checking them out after the show.

 The fact that Moose Blood [9] walk calmly onto the Sound Control’s stage, tune their instruments and introduce themselves to the crowd before launching into opener Swim Down speaks volumes. Having truly risen from the ground up and earned recognition the old fashioned way (touring, touring and more touring), singer Eddy Brewerton remains as humble and modest as you’d expect, repeatedly thanking the crowd for their fanatic reactions and that they sold the date out. It’s worth noting the crowd’s reaction in further detail, actually – it’s often hard to hear Eddy during tracks like Pups and Bukowski because of the deafening reception. But with rarely-played fan favourite Cherry, the echo just adds to how special the moment is.

 While the thankfulness is endearing, it can be a little over the top at times, especially considering there isn’t much else in terms of addressing the crowd. This may be part of the reason their set finishes just under half an hour before curfew, but it’s probably just because of how brilliant it all is. Due to all their touring, they’ve had more than enough practice playing these songs and the execution of everything is practically perfect in every way. And newer cuts like single Honey and unreleased Glow fit in extremely well with hits from their debut, as well as showing just how much the Canterbury quartet have improved in songwriting. But despite the jump in venue size, the real measure of how far they’ve come is in the crowd watching. Everyone in it is shouting every word back at the band like their lives depend on it, and there’s at least one song per person that resonates. In just a few short years, Moose Blood have built up a fanbase for life, and that’s the reason they’re going to keep getting bigger and selling out venues. The release of new album Blush in summer is the start of something very special indeed.

Words by Georgia Jackson

Leave a Reply