When it’s 35 degrees in Nottingham there is only one acceptable thing to be doing. Cramming inside a windowless, nearly sold out Rescue Rooms to watch one of the latest internet-viral stars showcasing their unique blend of heavy groove metal. Bloodywood hail from India and have reached our shores through excellent social media use and their take on what could be called Indian folk metal.
The room was packed and the air con was on (it actually worked too, properly… it was bliss). Straight into opening the night were Wolves Don’t Sleep, a local metal band who don’t seem too care too much about sub-genres. First thing first, it bothers me to see the drum kit off to one side of the stage. After being in a band for many years and having played in these circumstances, it sucks for the band. So firstly, lads, if you read this… I know.
Wolves Don’t Sleep fed the crowd a diverse mix of death metal breakdowns, metal core moments and some almost atmospheric blackened metal sections. They had the crowd going with pits happening at each turn in their 30 minute set and some crowd were squeezing through to reach the back of the venue to pour water over themselves only to gleefully run back into the madness.
Overall the band played well, some moments fell a little flat with dodgy timing and the last song feeling like it ended a dozen times but I’ll be keeping my eye out for the name Wolves Don’t Sleep. They proved that local metal bands shouldn’t be ignored.
Armada of Secrets were up next. A hugely refreshing dance/funk/alternative three piece consisting of a bassist, drummer and vocalist. The two members at the front of the stage oozed with confidence and charisma and without saying a word forced the crowd to move toward the stage in wonderment.
The snare popped and the bass roared as high, soulful vocals glided over the melody. Their stage show was excellent as they danced around one another and it looked like they were having the best time on stage – together. Their was clear visual chemistry between the members and this helped pummel the malleable audience into dancing to their groove. Although the drummer spent far too long staring at the laptop next to him, his performance was incredibly strong.
With such a minimal band line up, the sound did lack slightly. It needed thickening out with a guitar or a keyboard or anything really. They did have a strange sci-fi globe looking midi-pad but I failed to see what this did apart from look totally awesome. In fact, their whole stage was dressed in their logos and band name and that really did help make their slot completely about them. We loved it.
I will say, their bassist is fantastic, but he needs a talking to about health and safety! There was more than one moment where a few of the audience gasped as the headstock on the bass came within an inch or two of the back of the vocalists head. But still, I’ve always had a penchant for drama and his escapades satisfied.
For the final act of the evening the atmosphere began to electrify. The hugely diverse crowd somehow grew in numbers despite the previous hour and half feeling like sardines in a (very warm) tin. As the Bloodywood members stepped out onto the stage the crowd lit up with tremendous energy. By the first verse every audience member was moving, cheering and without doubt were seeing one of the best gigs in a long time.
There was a huge amount of groove to their music almost reminiscent of the nu-metal days but Bloodywood out-performed any hint of cliché or cheese that genre is associated with. Their performance felt real, in the sense that you could see how much it meant to them to be playing these shows. Their message about bullying, depression and generally promoting positivity didn’t go amiss either.
Every moment of the set had all of us smiling. The band are born entertainers and their musicianship is superb. Apart from a seriously dodgy cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, each song had a hook and pumped the audience to a tremendous climax by the set finisher.
Bloodywood, you have the world’s attention and tonight proved your place amongst some of the best in the business. Book this band while you can.
Pics by Watchmaker Studios