The Blood Arm
It struck me today how important introductions are. Whether it’s those first couple of seconds in which we make our minds up about people or the way bands present themselves to their audience, that moment can remain forever or be lost in time. I truly hope that someone is recording Ben Lee’s introductions to The Blood Arm’s live experience for posterity for they set the scene perfectly.
Starting tonight with a tale of religion in North Carolina, incorporating the food encountered in Brighton (bangers and mash), and the experiences of sex and drugs in Camden; none of it’s enough to satisfy until the rumble of rock and roll comes within earshot. The satisfying sound of ‘the greatest rock and roll band’, The Blood Arm no less.
This show was the final date of a tour that’s taken them around the country, supporting Maximo Park and then headlining their own shows. What’s apparent, as the band open up with ‘Opportunity Knock’, is that they are no longer playing to people unfamiliar with their music and having to win them over. All around hands are reaching up to singer Nathaniel who doesn’t stop moving for a moment; whether it’s to shake those hands, hold them or kiss them. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before – the looks of happiness and joy turning this going away party into a huge celebration.
At this point in proceedings I would point out that my journalistic instincts went out of the window as all my body was capable of doing was bouncing around, smiling like a loon and joining in those celebrations.
The spirit of bonhomie certainly seemed to be catching as the first crowd invasion was matched by the first stage assault of the night, as if there was a live demonstration of displacement theory taking place. Instead of the usual security paranoia, two good natured gentlemen allowed the bouncing throng their moment before guiding them safely back to the dancefloor in exchange for the singer.
Although it was easy to focus on the interaction of Nathaniel with the crowd, it was moments like this that allowed you to take in the sounds that Dyan, Zach, and Zeb were creating.
The rest of the set passed by in a blur, new songs such as ‘Suspicious Character’ deserving – and receiving – as good a reaction as Bomb Romantic favourites, ‘Want x 3’ and forthcoming single ‘Say Yes’.
If this was the leaving party, the welcome back party is going to be one evening you shouldn’t miss.