Jeff Hemmings exposes Brighton’s band with attitude
Blood Red Shoes formed in late 2004, after Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter’s previous bands (local agit-punk legends Cat On Form and Lady Muck respectively) broke up and they decided to ‘have a jam and see what happens’. Laura-Mary has said that the band’s name was taken from a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical, in which Ginger Rogers turns a pair of white dancing shoes red with blood.
It’s an apt name for this politicised and opinionated Brighton band, their taut and loud indie punk rock is often uncompromising and direct. “We’re not a wholesome, family friendly band!” Steven has said. “We’re not the kind of band to write straightforward, political songs, but all the ideas filter into our music.”
“We’ve been writing discontented music for a long time. We’re the band’s saying there’s something wrong here. There’s a lot of bands like The xx in this world who make chilled out music, and say ‘everything’s cool’, and it’s f***ing not! It’s like they’re in total denial of the reality. It strikes me that most of the people picking up instruments are rich kids, and they don’t have a lot to complain about, and so their music is pretty happy. I wouldn’t mind if they made good records, but a lot of them don’t!”
Drawing inspiration from the American punk, grunge and hardcore scenes (Babes In Toyland, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stone Age, Pixies, Fugazi, Sonic Youth etc), as well as British artists such as Blur and PJ Harvey, Blood Red Shoes have always been just a two piece, guitar and drums, gigging relentlessly over the years, releasing three albums, the latest of which In Time To Voices came out prior to their UK and European tour.
“With this album we totally threw out the rulebook of how we write and record. We decided we wanted to make a really ambitious record, not something which reflects our live show but something which is only limited by our imaginations and not by how many instruments we use onstage. We figured the best way to push ourselves forward was to write the best possible songs and melodies we could. Once you have that as your foundation, you have the freedom to go anywhere with the sounds you use. We feel like a totally different band now. We feel like we’re shooting for the stars!”
Blood Red Shoes, Concorde 2, Friday 27 Apr, 7pm, £10, www.concorde2.co.uk