Review: Bloxx @ Thekla

FULL ARTICLE

By Joseph Morrison, Third Year Philosophy and Theology

Thekla has hosted some fantastic up-and-coming bands, with the arrival of Bloxx being no different.

The small boat venue has hosted musical giants such as Franz Ferdinand and Massive Attack. Therefore, it seems that the 400-capacity venue is a perfectly viable option for live bands to come through and propel their music careers. Bloxx were refreshing to watch; not only for their very obvious talent but their stage persona and charisma made it clear that they were enjoying every minute of the gig.

The show started with a set from Emma McGrath; an artist that I wasn’t aware of before the start of the night and now certainly am. With her drummer being absent through illness, the task of opening the show was left to just herself and her equally talented keyboard player and backing vocalist Hannah Freeman. The two of them showcased their exceptional talent with very chilled songs, such as “Love you Better”, which was particularly impressive.

Emma McGrath in support of Bloxx / Joseph Morrison

The second opener was The Rills, who’s hilarious Tik Tok presence I had encountered before. Songs such as the fourth in their set “World Leaders” really got the crowd going. Drummer Mason Cassar showed off his skills by not only stealing the show in this particular song, but by the fact he knew exactly what each song demanded of him; especially important as the band are only a three-piece. Therefore, it would be wrong to suggest that their headline show at Rough Trade on December 12th is going to be any less than brilliant.

By 8:50, the crowd was ready for the arrival of Bloxx. The opening song “Lie Out Loud” was received very well. This song displayed not only Ophelia Booth’s impressive guitar skills, but also her remarkable vocal range and stamina. Despite the singer admitting many times throughout the set that her voice had gone, it did not stop her from putting on an impressive display. We even saw her getting tripped up by a sound technician in the second song and simply carrying on; something that I’m sure many artists would’ve made a much larger fuss about. Despite them playing much-expected songs from their 2020 album “Lie Out Load” and their latest EP “Pop Culture Radio”, it was nice for Bloxx to play many older tunes that the crowd seemed to love; this included songs such as “You”. This did not, however, stop new songs such as “Everything I’ve Ever Learnt” being just as brilliant. This song in particular showcased the ridiculously talented Taz Sidhu’s lead guitar skills, in which, at one point, he seemed to be flawlessly playing the guitar behind his back.

The moment of the night however happened towards the end. This involved Bloxx being seemingly forced off stage by the Thekla security crew because they wanted to continue the set past the curfew. This subsequently, makes the Bristol crowd seem even more impressive given the fact that Ophelia lost her voice and yet, she still wanted to deliver more. This encapsulated the spirit of the night; the ineffable feeling and connection between band and punter. With this attitude, one could say that Bloxx are capable of whatever they want to achieve. And in my opinion, they would be right.

Featured image: Joseph Morrison


Have you seen Bloxx live?

AUTHOR