Bloody knees opened the bill supporting Wolf Alice on their 19 date March tour of the UK, continuing to showcase latest debut release “My Love Is Cool” which graced us last June.
The 4-piece band touring with Wolf Alice have picked up support since being played on BBC introducing in Cambridge in 2012. They have since been described as a “shining light of the UK’s recent emo and lo-fi resurgence” and are an act to keep an eye on in the next few years.
I arrived in Rock City and weaved my way through the filling crowd to the tune of “Honey” from Swim Deep, the second supporting act of the evening. The melodic guitar based rock tempted us with summery care- free festival vibes and got the crowd moving and singing along to popular tracks such as “She Changes the Weather” and “Colour Your Ways” from debut album “Where The Heaven Are We”. The short set left us wanting more however and built up trepidation for the headline act. The crowd also remarked on front man Austin’s new look with his spikey blonde cut!
Folk meets grunge onstage with electronic elements and nostalgic 90’s vintage indie rock, led by angelic indie queen and heart throb Ellie Rowsell. Her sultry demeanor brings youthful energy to her lyrics which seem to craft a dark fairytale with underlying themes of companionship and coming of age including fear and confusion seen in “Bros”.
The show commenced with the four-piece diving into the expansive instrumental intro of “Your Love’s whore”, which also demonstrates how the band can be described as a “quiet then loud band”. Their set list changed pace and genre frequently from the ethereal “90 mile beach” and “silk” which lulled us into a false sense of security and had us swaying in our own little world before suitably named “Storms” cut through the serenity and whipped the crowd into a frenzy of jostling and mosh pits. Swallow tail was a similar jaunt with the crowd anticipating the monstrous breakdown in the last minute of the song that took me by surprise. At times it did feel though as if the testosterone fuelled scrum at the front were more interested in the crowd than appreciating and watching the band, but the atmosphere was electric from this energy all the same.
The set concluded with “Moaning Lisa Smile” inducing more moshing and head banging to chorus AHHHHHHHHH and finishing with pertinent last line “No we’re never losing life”. Not going to be fooled however the crowd eagerly awaited the bands return for what transpired to be an incredibly powerful encore, with the fragile and gorgeous whisperings of crowd favourite “Blush” that sent a shiver down my spine. Not a band to let you get too comfortable though and ready to rock the boat once more that evening, the nostalgia and reflective mood was torn apart by the dramatic outpouring of energy in “Giant Peach”.
The gig took us on an incredible journey spanning decades, genres and a variety of emotions- an experience I will not be forgetting for a very long time.