INTERVIEW

“John Pugh, one half of Free Blood, has a simple plan: “We just want to fuck with people,” he says, conscientiously. Under discussion is his band’s impending UK debut, due in about three hours, where neither he nor his sole bandmate Maddy Davy are fussed about making friends. “If people come to a show expecting […]

“John Pugh, one half of Free Blood, has a simple plan: “We just want to fuck with people,” he says, conscientiously. Under discussion is his band’s impending UK debut, due in about three hours, where neither he nor his sole bandmate Maddy Davy are fussed about making friends. “If people come to a show expecting to have an easy time,” she says breezily, “there’s no chance.”

But exactly what people are expecting tonight is anyone’s guess: the total musical information on Free Blood thus far extends to two demos on their Myspace and the fact that John used to play drums for !!!. These facts conspire to suggest dark-tinged electro, mixed with LCD/Rapture New York punk funk, which turns out to be pretty accurate, albeit an even more untreated interpretation when stripped down for the live show – all the way down, in fact, to a drum machine and a pair of microphones.

While this rawest of set-ups offers more than a handful of compelling moments during the band’s set, there’s an equal amount of crowd restlessness, not least during the lengthy gaps between songs. However, John reckons this is standard Free Blood fare. “We’ve played shows where we clear the room,” he admits, “but then we’ve done ones where everyone’s there with us, dancing away. But we’re a new band, and I think we’re still weeding out our audience – we’re looking for the kinda people who, no matter how much you poke them with a stick, are gonna wanna stay there and dance.”

Clearly, from tonight’s mixed reception, the “weeding out” process is still in its infancy, but, promisingly, what Free Blood already have, in their musicality and electrifying onstage chemistry, is far tougher to acquire than what they’re lacking. The rest will undoubtedly come, and if they keep fucking with people like they currently are, it’ll be sooner rather than later.

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