Review by Kirsty Hillyer with Photography by Lee Allen

It was a mixed bag crowd that came out for Moose Blood, from older drunks dancing and singing on the sides, vintage victim glamour girls and teenage pop punk lovers. This eclectic crowd were not over awed by London hailing opener Honey Lung.

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Filling the Institute with dirty fuzz, sonic beach sludge they stole the show for me. From the band name, to the merch, the out of focus 7” cover and their font choices they are the embodiment of the 90s-grunge aesthetic – they only lacked some oversized plaid.

Omri Covo on drums hits with a force that extends from the elbows, driving the sticks through the kit. The occasional swaying pop sensibilities are met with a perfectly well timed ‘whoa’. Lyrically they may be err on the juvenile side but the whole set is delivered with so much angst and sonic fuzz that I really don’t mind at all. They are certainly a band to watch out for.

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honey lung (9 of 9)

Maryland’s The Dangerous Summer are sadly anything but dangerous and maybe that’s why after 5 studio albums they’re still mid-level on the card. Within the crowd a pit opened for those that have loved and followed the band, singing along with lead vocalist AJ Perdomo.

The gruff in his voice harks to Springsteen and the smooth to Diamond but their songs just leave you wanton. Each one feels charged with the moment the girl walks away and doesn’t look back and that’s the point, there Is no reason to look back. Live they are polished and engaging, if you love them they will deliver exactly what you expect, but as someone who this band has passed by they will continue to do so; but damn that voice is wasted.

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dangerous summer (5 of 6)

The lull between songs bring an ever-odder playlist since I was last at this venue. Upon walking in I was greeted with Rival Schools ‘Used for Glue’ but with some grime and classic 80’s R&B thrown in for good measure, the final song played before Moose Blood’s intro is the Backstreet Boy’s ‘Rocky Your Body’. The playlist was as eclectic as the crowd.

Pretty Tron lights charge up the stage to welcome Moose Blood before bathing them in hues of pink. Opening with ‘Talk in Your Sleep’ off their brand-new album ‘I Don’t Think I can Do This Anymore’ which was just released on 9th March. As soon as they blast into ‘Honey’ from 2016’s ‘Blush’ the crowd surfing begins in earnest to set the tone for the rest of the night before the place erupts at the opening bars of ‘Bukowski’ when Eddie’s vocals are lost to those of the crowd as a sea of eager faces experience their first ever gig.

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Tonight’s show was the perfect even split between their output to date, offering crowd pleasing bursts from IKYIM and Blush interspersed with their latest singles; even closing on ‘It’s too much’.  ‘Talk in Your Sleep’ off the new record feels like a return to form for me, especially after ‘Blush’ was that tricky sophomore record that lacked the hunger and buckled under the pressure of expectation.

Moose Blood are still in the throes of a controversial year of rumours and conduct and so tonight they appear to be a band with their head down taking comfort from a fan base rolling out in the numbers to sing their lungs dry and their emotions raw. It’s a show made for a bigger stage singing songs that lack the rawness of feeling that went into their writing. Hands down they don’t feel at their best, I wanted to see more fight as they roll from the punches.

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mooseblood (4 of 13)

Set List:
Talk in Your Sleep
You Left in the Worse Way
Just Outside
Missing Me
Have I told You Enough
Swim Down
It’s Too Much

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mooseblood (1 of 13)

See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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