Gig review: Blonde Redhead at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Blonde Redhead. Picture: Charles BillotBlonde Redhead. Picture: Charles Billot
Blonde Redhead. Picture: Charles Billot
Much-loved US alt-rock trio blend shoegaze, noise rock and dream pop in an unforgettable set.

There are some gigs that you go to that you realise, later on, were incredibly important – seminal, even – and there are some where you can recognise that fact in the moment. Blonde Redhead’s visit to Brudenell Social Club falls into the latter of those two categories.

The much beloved New York alternative rock trio have been around since the early 90s, gaining a dedicated fanbase for their unique sound, which incorporates elements of shoegaze, noise rock and dream pop among others.

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The group released their tenth studio album, Sit Down for Dinner, in September of this year. Their first studio release since 2014’s Barragán, this latest album is an incredible sonic journey guided by the beautiful melodic tones of Kazu Makino.

It was the release of that album that led the three-piece to visit Brudenell Social Club. Arriving in the torrential rain, the gig had a certain feeling of significance to it which only increased as the set progressed.

Twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace took the stage amid a wall of thunderous applause. Bedecked in pristine white boiler suits, and followed closely by Makino in leather dungarees, the band had a palpable sense of artistry to them.

Their dark and mysterious stage presence continued throughout most of the set, with very minimal crowd interactions.

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In fact, the first words uttered by Makino that did not make up the lyrics to any of their songs only came halfway through the band’s 16-song setlist, when she quietly asked, “Are you alright?” whilst the twins set up for the next song behind her.

Armed with a plethora of guitar pedals, enough to make their shoegaze influences blush, the group skilfully flowed through their set.

Made up of some deep cuts from their past, fan favourites and a healthy number of tracks from Sit Down for Dinner, the crowd were loving it.

Although unimpressed with certain members of the audience repeatedly shouting requests in between songs – leading Makino to say, “We’re in the UK, I thought everyone would be polite” – the trio seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage too.

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Finishing their three-track encore with ‘Kiss Her Kiss Her’, from the new album, Blonde Redhead sent the crowd back out into the rain of Leeds with the hopes that the group will continue to write and record new material so that they can return to Leeds as soon as possible.

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