Cast of Cheers, Blood Red Shoes - Heaven, London.
The Cast of Cheers, Blood Red Shoes
May 3rd, 2012
Just off Trafalgar Square, tucked away amid the arches beneath Charing Cross Station is ‘Heaven’ - a club better known for its gay nights than its great gigs. However, tonight might prove to be an intriguing exception as Blood Red Shoes and The Cast of Cheers take to the stage for a sold-out show.
The Cast of Cheers open the night to a room that is only beginning to fill. Anyone lucky enough to download the band’s free-album ‘Chariots’ before its unfortunate disappearance will know them as a hot prospect. Since then these Dublin boys have been blazing a trail with their quirky, catchy sound that nods in the direction of Les Savy Fav, Adebisi Shank, and Enemies. Their performance is intense and appealing from the off, with a driving rhythm section providing the perfect backdrop for such angular and frenetic guitar parts to descend upon the audience.
Coupled with Conor Adam’s edgy vocals, and the occasional deft synth line, you can’t help but find yourself swept up by this winning musical formula. It’s just a pity that the band have yet to find an on-stage demeanour to match the rest of their obvious performing prowess, as they say little between songs to help the ever-growing audience to loosen up.
In a set that consists of mostly new material, the highlight is older tune ‘Auricom’ - the band let loose, tearing through an extended and emphatic version of the track. By the time it’s over all eyes are fixed firmly on the stage, and they remain there until the boys finish and saunter off. It’s easy to see why there is such buzz about this band.
The venue is now packed with an audience eagerly awaiting headliners Blood Red Shoes. It’s interesting to note that although the gig has been marketed as a ‘14+ show’ there don’t look to be many in attendance who are younger than twenty, with many others looking noticeably older than that. Regardless, the stage is set with two old televisions and a charming red table-lamp before our Brighton based boy-girl duo take their places.
Looking very much the part amongst their props, they waste no time unleashing their high octane indie-punk sound. Songs from the new album such as ‘Cold’ and ‘Je Me Perds’ certainly get the crowd moving, but the biggest response is reserved for fan favourite ‘Say Something, Say Anything’. Ansell banters with the crowd incessantly, while Carter appears somewhat aloof on stage for much of the performance. The only time her cool is threatened is when a jumper thrown from an over-eager audience member hits her head - her face momentarily contorting with annoyance - but she handles it well, laughing it off after the song. All in all, it’s a solid crowd-pleasing set, that perhaps tended to flatten out somewhat towards the end. A little more nuance would go a long way to remedying this.