Gig Review: Black Foxxes / Bloody Knees / Emily Isherwood – Key Club, Leeds 29th March 2018

I have been harping on about Black Foxxes to anyone who will listen for months now. I add them to the playlist where I can, I bring them up on our daily discussions on Moshville Times Facebook page and generally try and sneak them into everyday conversations. To be honest I am not normally such a champion of new bands but quite simply the first two records prove to me that Black Foxxes are the future of rock in this country.

Black Foxxes (c) Jack Barker Photography

If you are thinking that this live review is going to fall anywhere short of this expectation you may well stop now as I am sure it will end with ‘Black Foxxes, the best new band in Britain?’ but before we get onto that I managed to get there in time to hear the support bands so what of them?

First up was Emily Isherwood complete with a double bass. Music wise it’s hard to describe the sound. The double bass is very prominent and with the minimalist use of the percussion at times it is almost reminiscent of 90’s trip hop but with Emily’s brand of ethereal vocals over the top. There is also an indie sensibility to the songs. As a live performance, supporting two much louder and heavier bands it could come across as an odd choice but I am sure many others went away remembering her name and thinking you would want to discover more.

The main support was Bloody Knees, a band I was already familiar with following last year’s Maybe It’s Easy EP. What I am immediately struck by is the raw power of the loud performance – this is loud, confident, brash exactly as you would want to hear it. It’s clear that the live arena is where Bloody Knees have been making their name as they are on blistering form. These were the surprise package for me, as I liked what they had done on record but I am not sure it captures the pure passion that these guys sweat, with every note and every song. A band to watch out for.

So what of Black Foxxes? Like any time you  first go to see a band for the first time when you have really enjoyed their albums there is apprehension but I needn’t have worried. From the very first chord it was clear why so many people have been building up the lads of late and why they have been included on so many festival line-ups this summer (including Download for a second time).

From that first note they were like a torrent, crashing in and out of guitar feedback, thrashing and whirling around the stage and the sound was note-perfect… but it is those vocals that will get you every time. The vocal range is truly impressive and it really raises the game for the Black Foxxes and sets them apart from their contemporaries. No other singer has quite the range, the feeling of emotions or raw power displayed here.

Set-wise we were treated to a good representation of both albums with the “I’m Not Well”/”Manic In Me” double header being a particular highlight. My only complaint was that I could have watched them all night and the set was too short for the arsenal of songs they have in their locker. As I left, ears still ringing and head buzzing it just leaves one question: Black Foxxes, the best new band in Britain? I think so.

Header image by Lara Fullerton Photography

Black Foxxes: official | facebook

Bloody Knees: facebook | soundcloud

Emily Isherwood: facebook | soundcloud

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