INTERVIEW

“When I first saw angsty Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes blitz the crowd at the Insomniac’s Ball in November last year, I never imagined that a few months later the guitarist’s lingerie would be hanging up in my bathroom as they spent the night in sleeping bags on my living room’s wooden floor. Now signed […]

“When I first saw angsty Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes blitz the crowd at the Insomniac’s Ball in November last year, I never imagined that a few months later the guitarist’s lingerie would be hanging up in my bathroom as they spent the night in sleeping bags on my living room’s wooden floor.

Now signed to V2 Records, there’ll be some (there are always some!) who sniff at Laura and Steve’s NME tours or gig circuits with Maximo Park and Biffy Clyro or Laura’s locks or Steve’s refusal to clarify his real age or their forthcoming album glossed by the guy who produced Arctic Monkeys, Mike Crossey. But speaking to Laura during their seven-hour journey through France in a glacial Transit van, record label fascists can rest assured that the disco rock nuggeteers are still roughing it and winning over fans the hard way.

“We’ve played about 300 shows up until now but nothing can prepare you for a tour,” she drawls. “It’s weird when you go to other countries and people turn up, more than in England. We played at this tiny venue in the middle of nowhere in Bordeaux and it was rammed.” They’ve had to power through illness and exhaustion too: “It’s been really long and we tell ourselves we can do it but I’ve already been to the doctors twice and A&E,” she admits after having to cancel three of the Scandinavian dates on their European leg.

As if the stress of surviving on tour isn’t enough, pressure is mounting as the Shoes make the transition from DIY troopers to indie starlets, even though there’s not one indie chromosome running through their tunes. “I’m finding being signed cool but also a bit scary. What people expect of us now is quite mental,” she admits. “Sometimes if we have a bad show we get mail from people telling us how disappointed they were and it makes you feel really bad in yourself. Before if we had a bad gig we’d shrug our shoulders but now I get worked up about it because people might have travelled to come and see us. I never thought about any of this before we were signed.”

On being thrust into the stratosphere as a spokesperson for women in rock, Laura is uneasy: “There are a lot of questions coming up now that I didn’t used to get before about being female and a musician. I feel like I’ve got something to prove and I didn’t feel that way before.”

The hardcore fans are also growing in their legions. “Recently I’ve been getting loads of mail from people asking for signed photos for their girlfriends for Christmas or saying I’ve changed their life,” quips Laura. “We haven’t even got an album out!”
It’s not out yet but by early next year their debut long player will be vying to contort faces as, thankfully, their stripped-down style remains in tact. It’s long overdue but well worth the salivating – it’s a sonic rummage in a disco ball pool, wearing maniacal Doc Martens boots, hinging on an axis of boredom and being fed up. There’ll be no meaningless strings, over zealous auto-tuning or complete decimation of their raw and relentless sound – it’s their live show pressed on disc with an understated sheen.

Splashes in the Daily Express, gossip pages in the NME, threehundredandfiftyoddgigs later – is 2008 the year that Blood Red Shoes are going to stamp all over your sweaty Deks? We think so.

To Be Sold‚” listen to ‘You Bring Me Down’

The early disjointed blast of ‘Meet Me At Eight’ nearly got us excited about BRS but for all of its raw power it also lacked a certain accessibility. It was the chink in this duo’s armour until ‘You Bring Me Down’ showed that they could carry a tune with monster hooks, and thus began our infatuation.

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