Monday, May 24, 2010

Everything You Need to Know: Blood Red Shoes

by Sarah Bastin

November 2007. I am taking photos of the Festival Les Inrocks for Brain Magazine. It’s my first time at this Festival, and if I remember well, it’s the opening night. Cold War Kids is headlining this first day but 2 hours before, I was stoked by a duo, Blood Red Shoes.

A drumset and a guitar. Then I remember the blond hair of steve and his blue eyes. But mostly I remember Laura-Mary. How pale is her skin and how dark are her eyes. I instantly got a crush on her, him, them. She acts shy but she rocks hard. Steve looks like a tiny boy but his big eyes are all opened.

I try to do my best to take photos. It’s complicated. I am far from the stage. I am not in the front row. The band is awesome and I am struggling against the work I have to do and the sensations that I feel. Blood Red Shoes gave me sweet warm feelings that I needed. "I Wish I Was Someone Better" blew my mind. So did "It’s Getting Boring by the Sea". Short songs full of riffs suit to my present life. It’s punk rock with the pop that we need. After the show, I’ve spent two weeks listening non stop to their first album. Buying it online, looking for their vinyls in Paris.

A year later, in 2008, Blood Red Shoes played a new show in Paris. The same night as Motorhead. First row in a pit full of photographers. Again, nothing on the stage but a drum set and guitars. It’s empty and I already love it. Laura-Mary is wearing the exact same shoes. Black ones. I remembered them as high heels. They are not. "Say Something, Say Anything" is epic and the band offers 3 exclusive new songs.

I don’t remember their titles but they are probably part, today, of their new album, Fire like this. After 3 years of intense listening to their music, I saw Blood Red Shoes for the first time in 2 years, at their show in Paris. I am here to film their set for Le Hiboo and I am excited and anxious just like the beginning of term. The new record is a bit more pop but "Don’t Ask" is an amazing single. The show was sold out and I am happy for this band. They played festivals and they deserve to have their own public. I am a bit scared too. What if nothing has changed? What if they don’t give something new?

This time I am on the left side, right in front of Steve who is facing me. I admit that I don’t remember Laura-Mary’s shoes but she has replaced her dresses for a large Led Zep tee and a skinny jean. Again, she rarely looks at the crowd while she is mastering her guitar. They are both themselves. At least, the same duo from 2007. But 3 years later, they are offering us a show with much more nuances of the rock music. Discret electronic drum intros, slow and fast tempos in the same song. "When We Wake" makes me want to stop filming and enjoy the song. It’s something heavy, weak, sweet, sour, fragile and strong. It’s the perfect symbol of a complementary duo, of an (apparently) shy girl offering heavy riffs, of a tiny blond boy with a huge drum set.

Titles, in no specific order :
Can’t Find the Door
Don’t Ask
I Wish I Was Someone Better
It’s getting Boring by the Sea
Say Something, Say Anything
You Bring Me Down
Light It Up
When We Wake
Follow the Lines

~ Sarah Bastin (

photo by Sarah Bastin

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