Bloodworm @ Jam Café, Nottingham, UK, January 31, 2024 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bloodworm

Bloodworm, The Rain Age, The Solution

Bloodworm @ Jam Café, Nottingham, UK, January 31, 2024,

Feb 12, 2024 Web Exclusive
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It speaks volumes for a city’s music scene when the hottest tickets in town are for some of its local acts. Although we’re only a month into 2024, Nottingham has already seen Marvin’s Revenge sell out the Bodega while thousands came out last weekend for the sixth edition of the annual Beat the Streets event which also predominantly featured an array of local artists.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise as the first month of this year draws to a close that the hottest ticket this evening is at the city’s intimate Jam Café for a three-bands bill featuring Nottingham hopefuls Bloodworm and The Rain Age alongside hotly-tipped Mancunian outfit The Solution. With tickets selling out just hours after being released, and anticipation brewing for weeks Jam Café was the place to be on this cold, January evening.

Openers The Solution ably demonstrated why it is always imperative to get to shows early and check out the support acts. Invited by tonight’s headliners off the back of playing a show together in Manchester a few months earlier, The Solution undoubtedly won themselves a host of new devotees in Nottingham this evening. The four-piece describe themselves as aiming to be “pioneers of the gothic revival” and while that might come true in time, it only really tells a fraction of the story.

The Solution
The Solution

Playing eight songs this evening that veer from Berlin-era Bowie style dramatics (“Hit The Floor”) to ACR/Working Men’s Club death disco (“Taste”) via more traditional post-punk (the first half of the set) that’s as incisive as it is unpredictable which only adds to the excitement. Vocalist and occasional guitar player Shan Henderson is a livewire performer, an exquisite focal point that delivers each song as if it were their last before closing on a biting, funked up rendition of The Teardrop Explodes’ “Sleeping Gas” that’s equal parts ESG as it is Julian Cope. The Solution are ones to watch over the coming months without any shadow of a doubt.

The Solution
The Solution

Next up are Nottingham-based trio The Rain Age, whose collective members have been around the local scene for a while having cut their teeth in various other bands before getting together. Although live shows have been quite sporadic since the band’s formation, The Rain Age have used that time to hone their craft with considerable aplomb.

The Rain Age
The Rain Age

Opener “Domesticated Living” is eerily reminiscent of The Walkmen circa Bows & Arrows, which is no mean reference point for starters. While the likes of “Oscar Wilde” and “Islanders” bristle with a similar intensity to Protomartyr at their most impassioned. Singer/guitarist Kieran Poole looks unmoved by the rapturous applause that greets each song, instead fully focused in his own world. A frantic cover of “Charlie Don’t Surf” by The Clash leads ambiguously into set closer “Ease Up”, which turns into this, feedback and reverb drenched number Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon et al would be proud of.

The Rain Age
The Rain Age

While its still early days in terms of recordings, The Rain Age announced themselves as serious contenders this evening. You have been warned!

Onto tonight’s headliners, and for Bloodworm it’s probably fair to say the last twelve months have been stratospheric. From their humble beginnings as three friends getting together to make music to becoming Nottingham’s brightest young hopes has been a phenomenal rise to witness, and one that’s justified such is their hard work and dedication. Having spent the majority of 2023 playing shows almost every week, their live set is arguably the most exciting to watch in the city. Reference points are perfunctory but inconsequential all the same. All bands have them but ultimately its about defining their own sound, which Bloodworm are well on the way to accomplishing.

Playing eight songs this evening including one brand new, as-yet-untitled number early on, their confidence has grown immeasurably from the band Under the Radar first witnessed opening for Ghost Car at the Chameleon almost a year ago. It speaks volumes that two of the band’s three recorded songs (“Alone In Your Garden” and “Bloodlust”) are casually dispersed at the start of the set, such is the belief in the rest of their material. Singing guitarist George Curtis delivers each lyric with gleeful menace, one part Robert Smith, other parts Billy Idol and Peter Murphy respectively. Alongside him is bass player Chris Walker, whose astute craftsmanship has earned comparisons with The Cure’s Simon Gallup, while machine-like drummer Euan Stevens completes the trio. Together they’re a potent and immeasurable force.

Bloodworm
Bloodworm

Live favourites “Depths” and “Back Of A Hand” sound more accomplished with each passing show, while the moody “Clairvoyance” serves as a grandiose penultimate monologue before the lively “Cemetery Dance” turns the Jam Café into an excitable and communal moshpit where everyone is welcome and participates accordingly.

Tonight will be etched in people’s memories as one of those “I was there” moments, because when Nottingham’s Class of 2024 breaks – which it undoubtedly will over the coming months – you can bet your bottom dollar Bloodworm will be at the forefront of it.

Bloodworm
Bloodworm




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