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LIVE REVIEW: Baroness @O2 Institute, Birmingham

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PHOTO CREDIT: Eddie Sims

WORDS: Eddie Sims

 

What with it being a leap year and all, this year itself is a bit special, so it’s only fitting that on this day we get gifted every four years that a very special show is indeed being put on. Straight off the release of their latest record, BARONESS are back to British shores and they’ve turned all their amps up to 10 just for the occasion.

 

You can’t help but feel a little bad for NO SPILL BLOOD. Being the only support act for a tour such as this is hard work, and their blend of infectious grooves and electronics falling flat throughout their 45 minute set time. The real issue with their set is just how little it captivates, the songs often outstay their welcome, with the repetitive bass lines droning on with the subtle additions made by the synths giving little to be interested in after the fifth minute of the same motif. It’s shame yes, because despite all of the short comings, the band are monstrously heavy at times and when they throw their weight around and get into their stride, the fuzz really starts to take shape. With a little bit of refinement and time taken to develop their ideas further and NO SPILL BLOOD could be onto something.

 Rating: 6/10

 

It’s fair to say that over the past few months, stretching back to the tail end of last year, the alternative scene has felt the heel of the cruel boot of life straight in its ribs, with bus crashes and deaths coming in thick and fast. It’s safe to say that it’s time for some good news, something uplifting to reassure us that everything is all right. Enter BARONESS, touring our humble shores with new material for the first time since their tragic bus crash. Having written a fantastic return to form with Purple, BARONESS are revitalised and rearing to go and it truly reflects when they take to the stage, kicking straight into new offering, Kerosene. Jon Baizley looks like a man possessed, clearly absolutely ecstatic to be back on stage as himself and his band of merry men plough through a 17 song set list, featuring every singe song from Purple as well as favourites March to the Sea, Cocainium and The Gnashing. The true excellence of BARONESS comes mid set, when an absolutely triumphant If I Have to Wake Up is dropped, slowing the set down and offering everyone present a superb, goose-bump inspiring moment. As the set draws to a close and Take My Bones Away rings out as the encore ends, it serves as a testament to not being dragged down by everything life throws at you. BARONESS have proved that beauty, creativity and art can come out of the worst situations and whist there are hundreds of words that can be used to describe tonight’s performance, there’s only one that really needs to be used: Magnificent.

Rating: 9/10

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