Live from the Mondo Water Rats, 10/10/11
Blood Ceremony – 3.5/5
And this is one gig I very nearly missed; a poorly advertised performance from a band whose debut lingers still somewhere in the depths of this blog, at a venue I had never even heard of, but it didn't seem too far off the beaten track. With no real expectations in store, I found the place which as it turns out is just the back room of a small pub, with a half decent stage and room for probably fifty or so spectators. Not that it was full when I arrived. In fact when I wandered through I found little more than the support band, Purson, and their manager standing nearby. Fortunately, this was not to be the entire attendance of the gig, and was merely the stage rehearsal I'd stumbled upon, with the real deal to come in just a few moments.
I feel a little bad commenting on the support act as what was made quite clear in the opening moments is that this isn't a band who have the greatest amount of experience under their belts. Barely past their teens, their lack of confidence on the stage to truly engage the audience rings out quite clear: this a band still finding their feet – as later confirmed by the vocalist, who pointed out they've only been around for three months! – and the fact that they currently still feel so amateur makes it rather difficult to judge. They could go on to be a 'tour de force' in the live industry, they could find themselves floundering despite garnering a greater deal live performances under their belt. At this stage it's simply impossible to really say as a year down the line things could easily be completely different, but if their first release ends up being as strong as the music performed here then this is definitely one I'll be keeping a close eye on.
As for the main band, they definitely felt the benefit of performing to such a small crowd. There's little in the way of frills or banter; there's no synchronised movements or stage pieces, and ordinarily this might be something of an annoyance (that they did little to acknowledge the audience) but somehow here it doesn't feel so bad. The continuous flow of music helped maintain the atmosphere; something that if they suddenly chirped up and started spouting how happy they were for people to have gone to see them would have been destroyed, but somehow after the final song had been sung, I didn't quite feel satisfied. It's not always the 'mark of a great performance,' leaving you wanting more, it simply felt a little short; as though they'd gotten out a bit later than expected and were left with not enough time to play enough material as they otherwise could have. Their respect for their fans is certainly pleasant to see, coming out to meet the crowd and actually talk to them – I don't mean this 'thanks for coming' shake your hand to a fake smile and them walk away quickly, but actual conversations – and is sure to be a benefit in their future, but performance wise there's little to it either way. I'm not disappointed, nor am I ecstatic at the spectacle I've just seen, I'm merely content until the next time.
Photograph by me. Re-use as you please, just please properly accredit the source.