Moose Blood plus Luca Brasi, Boston Manor and Turnover
Venue: KOKO, Camden
Date: 7th October 2016
A year ago, I couldn’t possibly tell you who Moose Blood were, what genre they were or name one of their songs, and it’s likely you couldn’t either. The home-grown emo/pop-punk hybrid band shot to fame with the release of their single ‘Honey’ in April, and their name is now constantly plastered all over social media. The band have toured with the likes of Mallory Knox, Man Overboard, Creeper, have played Reading and Leeds and 2000 Trees Festival and are set to support Lower Than Atlantis and A Day To Remember in upcoming shows. Not too shabby for a band that only really begun to make a dent in the music scene back in 2014 with their debut album ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’.
Thinking doors opened at 7pm and not 6pm, I ended up (sadly) missing most of the opening acts, but it’s safe to say that they picked the right bands to open with for their demographic, because the fans were swaying away and a shocking amount of people knew the support’s songs. At about quarter to nine, the lights went down, Moose Blood came strutting out onto the stage and immediately everyone lost it and ran into the crowd as urgently as possible – including myself, who very nearly ended up dropping my drink in the process. Never before have I witnessed such a large crowd of strangers come together so quickly. A feeling of family and content washed over the venue; I’ve never felt more at home at a concert before, and the people around me agreed. It could be argued that it was electric, really.
Despite the close family feeling radiating from the crowd, one thing that rendered me shocked was the lack of audience interaction from the band. Considering the emotional content of the songs, I presumed frontman Eddy would have wanted to connect with the crowd further, but then again, he may feel that his music speaks loudly enough. He did stop and take a moment to thank everyone for coming and to announce that ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time‘ has been out for two years today, so “thanks to anyone that’s picked that up”, to show his fans that whilst he isn’t the most brazen vocalist, he appreciates that the band wouldn’t be where they are today without the fans and shows that you don’t need to make a speech in-between every song to prove that. The frontman’s timid exterior almost adds to the bands charm and really intertwines well with their lyrics – let’s face it, you can’t imagine Don Broco’s Rob Damiani singing ‘she’s not mine and she never will be, I’m reminded every day’ or ‘start drinking cups of earl grey’. Whilst it would be hilarious, it wouldn’t fit their image.
One thing that wasn’t a shock was the myriad of plaid shirts, but the ages of the people sporting them came as a bit of a surprise. The crowd was a mix of ages, but the average fan was older than initially expected. With Moose Blood being featured in Kerrang! a few times, it’s understandable that one could’ve assumed the venue would have been overflowing with fifteen year olds, but to take an educated guess, I’d say the overall age range was people in their late teens and in their twenties. You had the feeling that most of the people there had been Moose Blood fans from their ‘Moving Home’ EP that came out in 2013 and had grown up with the band. For many, Moose Blood is a gateway into the emo genre, as they have admitted that they are influenced by Brand New, but they aren’t quite as heavy duty, which would have been appealing for people dipping their toes into that scene for the first time. However, that’s not to say that the band is only good as a buffer – they can easily sustain their fan base, as they’ve grown with what their fans seem to like, not only what they like, which is bound to set them up as a rock solid foundation in the music scene.
As for the live music itself – impeccable. It can be argued that they’re even better live than they are in the studio. They emit this raw emotion that really shows the fans that they love what they do, and that everything they’re saying (vocally and instrumentally) comes from the heart. Not only did the guys in the band do spectacularly, but the people at the sound desk did a stand up job in making the guitars, drums, bass and vocals sound exactly as crisp as they did on their albums; there’s nothing worse than going to a gig an having the bass pierce through your chest like you’re at a drum and bass rave, when you were only expecting to sway calmly to some emo.
No matter what you’re into, try and check out Moose Blood live if presented with the opportunity. Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting much, but my expectations were surpassed and I can successfully state that they were one of the best live bands I’ve seen all year.