Pure Love - Bodega Social - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Pure Love - Bodega Social

by Lawrence Poole Rating: Release Date:

They were nervous, you could tell. Every time you looked, furtive-eyed door staff gazed on anxiously as the demonstrative Frank Carter plotted his next move. Carter, as anyone who has come into contact with his previous incarnation Gallows, can attest, is not a man for the predictable. In fact, a performance passing without featuring some sort of outlandish act is about as likely as horse meat on the plate of the Findus chief-exec this Sunday lunch.

This reputation was certainly one of the key reasons to entice me out on a blustery winter night to the compact Bodega Social - and I was not to be disappointed. Within minutes of taking to the stage, not only is Carter's tattoo-splattered torso surfing across a feverish crowd, so too is pulsating guitarist Jim Carroll, who, impressively, still manages to fire out the riffs dispite being shuffled from pillar to post. In the space of an hour, Carter also to straddles an inflatable blow-up doll of a rather nefarious nature, croons a couple of numbers standing on the bar and organises a mosh-pit circle around his drummer on the dancefloor - much to the delight of a baying, beery following.

But what about the music? Is there much go to match this show? Carter has been quoted on record as saying Pure Love are the band he "always wanted to be in", one which would swap the stress of rock 'n' roll for the fun of it. There's no doubt the quartet are having a ball. 'Handsome Devils Club' is pure Manic Street Preachers in their joyous, riotous early-1990s pomp, while 'Burning Love' hints at early U2.

Overall though, Pure Love's debut Anthems is simply unashamed, unprentious rock 'n' roll with all the thunder and bluster you would expect from the decade Pure Love's members were born into - namely the 1980s.
And while this visceral, in-your-face organised chaos makes perfect sense in the live arena, I'm not quite sure there's enough originality to make me want to listen repeatedly at home. There's no denying Pure Love are pure fun in live though - catch 'em if you can.

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