My Bloody Valentine Live, June 22nd & 23rd, 2008

So how was it? How about like a bomb going off. Slowly. Or as described by Mani, who was in attendance, as a ‘post-apocalyptic war-zone’. Or how about just keeping it simple-it was loud. Very, very LOUD. Yet My Bloody Valentine aren’t solely about audience annihilation by waves of feedback. Up until the gut-wrenching and near-transcendental aural onslaught that is ‘You Made Me Realise’ it was pretty much flawless, as they filled the set with equal pickings from ‘Isn’t Anything’ and the more revered follow-up ‘Loveless’. It was a remarkable experience hearing these songs live for first time. Even more remarkable to see how the band have barely aged since the early Nineties, in fact frontman Kevin Shields seems to be getting younger looking. ‘I Only Said’, ‘When You Sleep’, ‘Soon’, ‘Feed Me With Your Kiss’ all sounded huge and reinvigorated in a live setting. They built the intensity as the gig progressed as if in preparation for that explosive climax, each increase in volume a portent for what was to come.

And then it came. When they launched into ‘You Made Me Realise’ you could sense the frisson of recognition throughout the crowd, a sense of ‘This is it. Cover your ears’. And then five minutes in, the song slowly shifts down a gear, a low rumble kicks in and then they crank it up again until we are completely immersed in the mercilessly protracted mid-section of sheer white noise (on the two nights I saw them, the ‘holocaust’ section went on for at least thirty minutes). Odd sensations take over. You can physically feel the soundwaves coming from the stage. A strange curdling in your stomach. A vague light-headedness as your eyeballs are bombarded by the odd visual imagery and the fierce strobe lighting. They kick back into the rest of the song on drummer Colm O’Ciosoig’s cue for a while and then that’s it. They depart with the whirring, coruscating swirls of ghostly feedback whizzing around the circular confines of the Roundhouse. There’s no goodbye and no contrived encore which is always a very good way of keeping your mythic status intact. Incredible.

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One thought on “My Bloody Valentine Live, June 22nd & 23rd, 2008

  1. hugger says:

    Bastard, have to wait until EP so not even going to read this!

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