Back in Nottingham on their first headlining tour after previously supporting Lower Than Atlantis earlier this year, Moose Blood were supported by Greywind and The Winter Passing and kept a sold out crowd at the city’s Rescue Rooms entertained and on their feet.
Confidently taking to the stage on their very first tour (that’s right – their first tour EVER!), freshly-picked, Irish, indie-punk, duo-turned-four piece group Greywind made a stunning opening to the evening. The group gave the performance of one of the most promising support acts I’ve ever seen – passionate, emotional and raw from start to finish. Front-woman Steph O’Sullivan clearly pours her heart and soul into every song (a quality I find most admirable in any performer), ending up on the stage floor during almost every song and never failing to get up with a smile on her face, ready to do it all over again – definitely an act to watch, and I certainly hope to see more of them in the future.
Also hailing from Ireland, our second support act, The Winter Passing, also performed a promising, fast-paced and upbeat set, interspersed with periodic questions to the crowd and the almost-obligatory selfie (“I wanna send a Snapchat to my mum!” was definitely a new one to me!), which definitely got the crowd energised for the main event. Whether it was from lead vocalist/guitarist Rob Flynn’s amusing jokes or opinions on Snapchat filters, or Kate’s endearing dance moves, their energy was infectious and their songs seemed to be enjoyed by the crowd throughout. A talented group who have done well for themselves in getting their music out of the Emerald Isle and heard on a wider platform, I highly recommend their debut album A Different Space of Mind – on sale now.
Standing at the barrier, I took a few moments during the set changeover to take in the atmosphere. A much smaller, more intimate venue than somewhere like Rock City, easily seemed more densely packed when sold out. I wondered if, at 20, I was the oldest person there, as this gig had seemed to attract a younger demographic. With almost two years passing since Moose Blood’s last major release, I’ll Keep You in Mind From Time to Time, I’d assumed that older, long-time fans of the group would have been just as eager to see them perform. Maybe they were just lost in the abyss of live music lovers, but most of the people immediately surrounding me had an ‘under eighteen’ stamp on their hands. Regardless, the crowd’s liveliness and zest soon became a force to be reckoned with.
The house lights went down, and, one by one, atmospheric pink LED lights – a beacon on the dark stage of the band’s imminence, lighted up the band’s bass drum and amps. I found myself taken by surprise as the entire crowd rushed forward in excitement – my body ever-so-slightly crushed between them and the metal barrier – but this in no way detracted from the anticipation and overall positive experience.
The band’s set was flawless from the outset. Playing a vivacious range of songs – from fan-loved favourites such as ‘Swim Down’ and ‘Bukowski’, and heart-wrenching hit ‘Cherry’ (all of which had the entire crowd singing along with as much passion and gusto as they could muster), to their new tracks ‘Glow’ and ‘Honey’ which have debuted on BBC Radio 1 and have since been received incredibly positively by critics and fans alike – it’s safe to say that they didn’t disappoint. The crowd’s exuberant singing, arm-flailing, and even crowd surfing, was more than a testament to how far the band has come recently, and how highly anticipated their second album (coming this August) currently is.
Overall, this gig was definitely a highlight of my personal gig calendar. From a small, up and coming band from Canterbury, working their way up through the ranks to play at comfortably intimate venues, like Rescue Rooms, up and down the country, Moose Blood have done themselves proud, and I can’t wait for more from them.