June 8th, 2008

MUCC love

BLOOD @ The Globe, Brisbane [Review]

This is a review I threw together last night for Japanese band, BLOOD. I thought you might be interested to see how their first gig went down. I'm not in the goth scene, but I was asked to go along and write up this gig by a good friend, and I am so glad I said yes.

REVIEW: BLOOD @ The Globe, Brisbane

BLOOD put on a fantastic show. I was skeptical at first, peering at the silhouettes I could see being cast upon the drawn red curtains as they prepared the stage, seeing if I could glean any clues to the outfits they had chosen for the occasion. I really had no idea what to expect from the live, but I was looking forward to the costumes. I wasn’t left playing shadow games for long though, and when the curtains opened and the band strode out with an air of calm confidence, the whole venue erupted into an electric round of screams and cheers.

Guitarist Kiwamu was draped in black, strapped into a corset and sporting a frazzled ‘do over the top of strappy black headgear, reminding me vaguely of Hannibal Lecter and making him seem wild and fearsome at first glance. It didn’t take long before his somber expression and collected presence smothered the ‘wild’ image for me, but still, he was quite a sight.

If Kiwamu seemed fearsome and wild, the manipulator, Ryo, was the complete opposite. Decked out with electric pink hair, little black boots, and a sparkling handheld keyboard/synthesizer, he instantly earned a round of appreciative squeals for his cuteness. Finally, last to grace the stage was vocalist Fu-ki, modestly dressed in black jeans and a fishnet tank top but somehow still far from being upstaged by the other two, commanding attention with ease.

With a flash of lights, they burst straight into an energetic, yet dark and dirty beat that had the fans cheering and jumping, pulsing almost gleefully with the music. From there on in, the whole set turned into a rollercoaster, effortlessly swooping the mood downwards from an excited high into something entirely more seductive, and back again.

Fu-ki really worked the fans, getting them to chant along with himself and Kiwamu, leading them through the set by example - encouraging the crowd to dance together with him. From a gentle, sensual swaying, he riled them into a head-banging frenzy, then seamlessly into collective arm waving and popping, continuously and effortlessly building them up and drawing them into the mood of the songs.

Fu-ki’s slow, powerful singing combined with Kiwamu’s equally emotion-eliciting guitar made FOLLOW almost trance inducing, and the intimacy of the show afforded Fu-ki the opportunity to really get up-close and personal. I was taken along for the ride along with all the other fans, and found myself thinking afterwards that for such a macabre, gothic seeming band, I had been having an amazing amount of fun bopping around, especially during ESCAPE.

Each and every song had such intensity to it, cleverly manipulated and overlaid with screeching and sometimes warped guitar, without ever turning into a mash of abrasive noise that I had half been expecting. The band were so comfortable in their roles as they leapt from song to song, moving about and engaging each other and the fans with confidence.

Overall I found that Kiwamu’s guitar gave the music at times a gritty, raw quality and at others, riffs catchy enough to be playing air guitar around the house to. Ryo’s manipulation juxtaposed deep techno mixes with haunting melodies that, combined with Kiwamu, could create wicked industrial sounds or devilishly catchy tunes. The vocals were the icing on the cake. Fu-ki has a beautiful, natural, soaring voice that can sooth or excite, and he used it expertly to draw out a plethora of emotions from BLOOD’s fans.

This gig was sexy, dark, and fun, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. If you want to dance, rock out, be moved by the music and sway gently to the sounds of things less wholesome, BLOOD have it all. Don’t be scared by the costumes or preconceived ideas of goth rock – take a deep breath, forget what you think you know, and just enjoy the ride.

BLOOD are playing:

Sydney - TODAY (8th) at the Factory Theatre (doors open at 6, tix available on the door)
Melbourne - TOMORROW (9th) at the HiFi Bar (doors open at 6, tix available on the door)

Vocalist Fu-ki, yesterday at the Globe