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6 November 2006

The Blood Red Shoes is the support for tonights act and have been touring with Metric. I saw this band a month ago at The Engine Rooms and was impressed by the sharp gothic sound.

Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansall look great and perform with real vigour and enthusiasm. This is a local band and they have a pretty unique sound. The comparisons to The White Stripes follow this band wherever they go and in some ways this really is sloppy journalism. The sound really is very different and the only real similarity is one plays drums and one plays guitar, and that is where it ultimately ends. Whenever I think of this band I am reminded of blood red orange juice and that really sharp taste, which is why I think this bands name is great as it suits the music. The vocals are shared and the sound is ferocious fast and energetic. This band is not the most melodic but they look great and work best live. The sound is edgy and uncompromising, the drums rattle and the guitar is played with frenetic passion. They end with the song ADHD and the crowd laps it up and gives their Brighton based tunesmiths a rousing reception.

The hall in the Concorde fills quickly in anticipation for Metric a band from Canada and lead by the ultra hardworking Emily Haines of Broken Social Scene. This band is incredibly tight and work really well together, I am reminded of New Order but with a slightly harder edge. The band look really good and the crowd go absolutely wild as the band ramble through a great set. The music is a pure joy to listen to and everyone around me cheers each time the band start playing. The songs are melted together through the set in a way Spiritualised used to do at the height of their musical genius. This band is genius too and the crowd really appreciates being witness to perhaps one of the best concerts seen at the Concorde for a long time. I recently went to see New Order at Wembley Arena and felt I was not going to see a performance of pure musical ecstasy for a long time. Tonight at the Concorde I witnessed just that.

With songs old and new everyone went wild, people down the front were really getting into the experience. The set was mixed with classics like Handshakes, Posters of a Girl and Combat Baby. At one point a wheelchair (quite worryingly for it's missing occupant) flies over the barrier. Emily plays the frontwoman extremely well and relishes the attention thrown on her like a true performer lapping up the applause and encouraging the crowd at every available opportunity. The music is dark and implores you to move to the rhythm, as I look around nobody is standing still. There is a mix in the audience of Metric fans old and new and many clap in time to the beat of the drums. After a set that seemed to last only a few moments the band put down their instruments and leave the stage. I look at my watch and what I thought was only ten maybe twenty minutes passing turns out to be just over an hour. The audience scream for more and Metric never disappoint, five minutes later they return to the stage ready for more. They save the best till last and cap a wonderful performance with a stage dive from Emily. From the look in her eye I could sense she was planning something as she consults the bassist and looks into the crowd like a kid might look over the edge of Brighton Pier in summer relishing a dive into the cool water below.

With the same mix of trepidation and pure determination of the summer pier divers she dives into the crowd. The swell of hands carry her into the audience before she is quickly hauled back onto stage to finish the set with a rocky yet sensitive rendition of Love is a Place and Rock Me On. This band has everything you want in a rock band but a little bit more. Metric is certainly no side project as the performance tonight clearly illustrates. Everyone leaves the Concorde knowing they've witnessed something great; I can't believe anyone left feeling short-changed by this band. This was by far the best performance I have witnessed at the Concorde for a long time. Long live the Canadian Invasion!

Words: Neil McLennan
Photos: Justin Evans
More Blood Red Shoes photos at Concorde 2, Brighton, 6 November 2006
More Metric photos at Concorde 2, Brighton, 6 November 2006

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