The Winchester, Bournemouth

Moose Blood

“There’s a queue at a live music venue in Bournemouth that isn’t the BIC or O2 Academy?” – Most commonly heard quote in the queue.

Bournemouth experienced a rather special evening the other night thanks to emo up risers, Moose Blood, who played a sell-out, double header on the same night in our seaside town. Following their debut album’s overwhelming success, the band have acquired somewhat of a cult following and tonightís shows at The Anvil and The Winchester dwarf the likes of Koko in London, a venue they have also managed to sell out well in advance.

Opening the night is singer-songwriter, Tom George, who performs under the opus, The Lion and the Wolf. Anyone who’s seen this gentle giant perform knows that his sound tailors to an atmosphere of absolute silence, but despite the timid hustle and bustle of the excited teenagers squeezing to the front, he manages to deliver a typically spellbinding performance. Offering a mixture of material from his debut album and previews of his second release, his melancholic anthems manage to hush the buzz into a gentle lull, allowing the early birds to savour the beauty of the likes of “Heaven Forbid” and “Ghosts On Trinity”. There’s no doubt that Tom has an enormous future ahead of him.

The Lion And The Wolk
The Lion And The Wolf 1

Although they haven’t been a band for all that long, Sad Blood are clearly catching people’s eye through their take on the emo revival of late. Their uplifting choruses and energetic performance hints that this band could be swiftly rising up through the ranks in no time. It seems that their balance of melancholic lyricism and buoyant instrumentals has helped them to create a sound which stays true to their emo credentials, but also offers an opportunity for commercial viability, much like tonightís headliners. This band certainly have the potential to climb the ladder even further than they already have, so it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on them for the next few months.

Sad Blood
Sad Blood 12

Main support comes in the form of Dead, a band who have been on the live circuit for a few years now. I’ll go ahead and say it, I’m not their biggest fan. Any band whose name derives from a band’s song name and then pretty much plays to their sound clearly needs some lessons in originality. Since their last time in Bournemouth, the band has definitely grown in confidence. Their stage presence is commanding, they have clearly acquired a local following and they take their opportunity to give everything they have with both fists firmly clenched. However, I just can’t help feeling that their front man needs to stop seeing Gerard Way when he looks in the mirror. If his stage presence and vocal delivery was more unique, this band could be destined for greatness. They need to become special in their own right, not merely as a trip down memory lane for those who struggle to cope with the demise of a certain band.

Dead 12

Moose Blood close the evening to a room hanging on tender hooks. Despite seeing the band fairly recently, the occasion rises to expectations. It seems that from the very moment their front man welcomes the loyal audience to the show, they are in the palm of his hands. The way in which they seem so clueless about their success makes the crowd more eager to show their admiration, so expectedly there are more than a few incidents of movement, even for songs which donít really require any. The likes of ëI Hope Youíre Miserableí and ëSwim Downí see the room in good voice, but the bitter anthem of ëCherryí will never lose its distinguished emotional potency.

Moose Blood
Moose Blood 12345

Some may argue that their newer material has blunted the sharp touch they showed on their first release, but this could be the start of emo breaching the mainstream airwaves and hopefully offering a larger community for this revival. Theyíre definitely not a band who needs gratification, but it was certainly a special evening for everyone involved. Letís hope they agree to play a show of this size in a year or two (I highly doubt they’ll be allowed to).

Set List
Swim Down
I Hope You’re Missing Me
I Hope You’re Miserable
Chin Up



Words By George Fullerton
Pictures & Videos By Chinners

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