LIVE REVIEW: Blood Red Shoes, The Cockpit (Leeds), 12.05.2012

Blood Red Shoes are far from a united force as they take to the intimate stage at Leeds’ Cockpit. While drummer/vocalist Steven Ansell is bounding with energy and determined to have a good time, it appears that guitarist/vocalist Laura-Mary Carter is feeling somewhat under the weather. Gripping what appears to be a mug of tea, she slinks on stage and barely says a word as Ansell peps the audience for evening of treats.

With Carter clearly concerned about her well-being, her low energy presence has a clear knock-on effect to the static audience. While there are occasional bounce along moments, mainly due to Ansell’s frenetic presence and encouraging words, Blood Red Shoes fight what appears to be a losing battle.

Far from purely promoting their recently released third studio album “In Time To Voices”, the Brighton duo revisit both 2010’s “Fire Like This” and 2008’s “Box Of Secrets”, a move which excites the otherwise fairly nonchalant crowd.

Ansell dominates vocally, with the defining battle between the two differing vocal presences missing from the evening’s setlist. While understandable that Ansell ensured that the evening ran smoothly, it was a shame that the light and dark that makes the Blood Red Shoes magical was missing from the mix.

Thankfully as the evening reached its concluding moments, Carter caved in to the moment and unleashed a riotous closing three numbers to ensure that the audience were not left hungry and disappointing. What could have been a little too late was in fact the vital ingredient to ensure that a cheer filled the audience beckoning the Brighton pair back on stage for an encore.

Though Blood Red Shoes may not have fulfilled everyone’s ambitions for the night, their determination to continue through an adverse situation was honorable. Carter could have clearly done with a night off, but Ansell’s bounced through and ensured no-one left disappointed (bar those who yelled for him to take his top off!)

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Katherine Rippon
Photographer: Jeremy Williams

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