Monday, January 28, 2013

live review: My Bloody Valentine, Brixton Electric 27th January, 2013


**a review of their far superior Hammersmith show is here**
For some reason I've always found it hard to write about My Bloody Valentine. They are one of my favourite bands ever, but they have hardly ever featured on this blog, maybe I just prefer to let their music speak for itself.

However, tonight was billed as a warm-up for their forthcoming Japanese and Australian dates, and I was privileged enough to be there I thought I better write something.

Obviously there was a lot of speculation in the room as to the existence of new material, and they soon put that to one side by opening with a new song with Bilinda on vocals, apparently called 'Rough Song'. Compared to their more familiar material, it seemed minimal yet pretty, and the melody line came from the keyboards of a temporary fifth member side stage.

Of course this prompted some queries from the crowd about the album release, to which Kevin replied "Maybe two or three days... Three days," which is about as committal as he is going to get. So that's your headline right there, although the fact that the song is called 'Rough Song' makes it sound like it isn't exactly ready to fly just yet!

As for the rest of the set, there were no further surprises and anyone who saw them in 2008-09 would have found it all familiar. As it is essentially a warm-up show they have a fair few teething problems, and these seem largely due to monitoring issues. Kevin doesn't look particularly happy at any point and he stops a first attempt at 'To Here Knows When' as he says they "sound like a band playing in a giant tunnel three miles from home." As far as I was concerned, the restarted version sounded great.

I'm not going to deal with technical niggles and sound issues as this was really a gig to iron those out, instead I will say that 'Only Shallow', 'Thorn' and 'Feed Me With Your Kiss' were particularly good, and the white-out noise section of 'You Made Me Realise' was a mere four minutes. I don't think I've ever seen them cut it shorter than fifteen. It will be interesting to see if this is something they will be doing for the rest of the tour, or if it was caused by technical issues, but I suspect it is the latter.

So in brief, this was not the best My Bloody Valentine show I've seen, although there are many more to come this year. However, the sound they make from what is essentially guitar-bass-drums will always seem a bit magical to me, and it is a genuine pleasure to have them back.


set list (if you haven't already seen it!)
Rough Song
I Only Said
When You Sleep
You Never Should
Honey Power
Cigarette in my Bed
Come In Alone
Only Shallow
Thorn
Nothing Much to Lose
To Here Knows When
Slow
Soon
Feed Me With Your Kiss
You Made Me Realise

1 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:42 PM

    Actually I think the reason for cutting YMMR short is rather more mundane, it was 22.30 and they were out of time. All gigs have to finish by then on a Sunday night or the venue can lose its licence. I guess if it wasn't for the earlier technical problems they could have continued for longer.

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