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Blood Red Shoes - Light It Up
Oct 19, 2010
Total plays:
23 times
Why do we like this?
Only a day or two before the show date, it was announced on the Rickshaw Stop's website that due to visa issues, Sky Larkin, one of the supporting acts, had to cancel. Perhaps this was an omen of what was to come at the Blood Red Shoes show.

Although the doors opened at 8:30pm-ish, it was rumored that My First Earthquake was going to go on at 10pm. The anticipation for the show to start was palatable but, once several people pointed out that their keyboard stand was actually an ironing board, the audience laughed in unison "“ making the wait more tolerable.

When Rebecca Bortman, lead vocalist of My First Earthquake, got up on stage, she began to shimmy sideways in her pale gold cowboy boots. From that moment on, it was evident Bortman was going to be entertaining, in the same vein as Karen O. Before "Vow to Vowels," a song about word puzzles, Bortman gave the audience some words of wisdom in regard to the New York Times crossword: "Don't get discouraged. Start on Monday, not Saturday." And, after an energetic Bortman did the robot and advised the audience to pick "books over boys," My First Earthquake bought "it" -- making them an extremely difficult act to one-up (on a side, My First Earthquake are running a Kickstarter funding drive until October 23).

Forty-five minutes later, Blood Red Shoes' Laura-Mary Carter (vocals/guitar) and Steven Ansell (vocals/drums) emerged from behind the backstage curtain. Ansell's drum kit was situated perpendicular to the audience, which was odd -- it made the Feng Shui of the stage off.

As Carter sang "Don't Ask," her mouth moved but there was no sound  "“ her amp was off "“ in spite of the 30 minutes the venue staff spent setting up their equipment.

During their hit single, "Light It Up," members of the audience joined in the chorus and the atmosphere shifted into that of a grunge show circa 1993. Carter, dressed in jean shorts with solid, black tights underneath and a band t-shirt with an open sheer polka dot blouse over it, definitely looked the part of grunge goddess. However, while she gently head-banged while plucking her guitar, she appeared as though she just was roaring through the set to get it over with.

Soon after the song was over, Ansell divulged to the audience (and venue staff) that Carter had the flu and had vomited "out of necessity" all over the dressing room. Carter abashedly replied in her thick British accent, "I've been waiting since I was 13 to come to San Francisco. And I've got the flu. This is rubbish."

Despite Carter having the flu, Blood Red Shoes delivered a memorable show with a 90s grunge flair. Because their music compensates for the night's compromised stage performance, this duo has been called "the best new-ish band from the UK" -- and, deservedly so.
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