By: Myles Herod November 7, 2013
Having last toured in 2008, ending their 16 year silence, My Bloody Valentine have kept relatively busy since then, releasing a widely anticipated album of new material in February, simply titled mbv (their first since 1991).
Critically lauded, the ensuing concert dates came as no surprise. Granted that talks of a third Valentine’s record seemed as unlikely as David Bowie returning to the mainstream’s ears. And yet, 2013 proved to be a funny year. If anything, the Shoegaze gods are keenly aware of the mythos that prevails their reclusive nature. Performing live offers a rare opportunity from the Irish noise makers, appeasing those hungry for My Bloody Valentine’s live sonic assault while permitting hipsters alike to obnoxiously brandish a badge of honour.
And so it happened. On Tuesday evening, Kool Haus saw the sublime sculptors of feedback return. If their discography were chaotic (both Isn’t Anything and Loveless were served up in healthy portions), their on-stage presence has always been less stable. Take for instance the band’s vocals – so beautifully buried on studio LPs – Tuesday evening saw them swept away in a swirling tornado of guitars.
However, not disappointing, for their notoriously dubbed ‘holocaust’ climax, the band blasted out “You Made Me Realise,” with its noisy interlude for a time that I eventually lost count of. Deploying maximum volume and blurry vision, it truly may have led some attendees to hallucinate, or more terrifyingly, succumb to a seizure.
The band’s leading light, and tumultuous roar, Kevin Shields, took his place to one side of the stage, while one-time flame, Belinda Butcher, occupied the other, accompanied by drummer, Colm O’Ciosoig. Their newest album got some attention, too, with “Only Tomorrow” and the unhinged danciness of “Wonder 2” making welcomed appearances into the band’s oeuvre.
Alas, things weren’t perfect, as Shields conveyed a dissatisfied demeanour with the sound throughout. A total of three attempts were given to “Thorn,” before it was dismissed, prompting the guitar hero to toss his instrument in frustration.
Thankfully, it didn’t seem to stop him from reliving such classics as “Only Shallow” or the pulsating rhythm of “Soon,” which clearly got the crowd revved up. Eventually, after the 100 minute show, with ample noise and minimal words from the Dublin legends delivered, a culmination of cheering, jubilation and tears filled the venue. The noise was brought to Kool Haus on Tuesday evening, with free ear plugs thoughtfully provided at the door.